Monday
Sep172018

Hopes and Updates

Dear Friends and Family,

Happy Guatemala Independence Day! We cannot believe that it’s already September, and summer is behind us. First and foremost, we want to thank you all for your prayers and support. We are truly blessed to have such an amazing group of brothers and sisters in Christ that we can rely on in whatever circumstances.

A few updates:

Emily has recovered well from her surgery in May, and the doctor believes that there should be no foreseeable issues with giving birth come December.

Speaking of the baby…we learned in July that we will be having a little girl! We’re very excited, albeit with a bit of nervous anticipation. Baby Girl Mooney is perfectly healthy and seemingly happy. Her favorite pastimes appear to be doing acrobats, dancing, and boxing.

Some more exciting news is that this upcoming Tuesday it appears we will finally be able to submit Emily’s paperwork for temporary residency here in Guatemala. After being told several times over the last year and a half that certain papers or signatures were missing from documents, it seems we finally have everything that migration wants. Please, please, please, be praying for us on Tuesday that everything would be complete and the office will finally accept our paperwork. If they don’t accept the documents on Tuesday then we will need to fly to Costa Rica the first week of October to renew Emily’s visa. We’re trying to avoid flying at this moment, not just for the financial reasons, but also because at almost eight months pregnant, it would be difficult to travel.

This summer has truly been one of growth. Our faith in God grew immensely at the beginning of the summer as we went through the process of surgery and recovery for the first time, and has continued to grow as we anticipate becoming parents. Emily grew when she found herself leading home visits on her own for the first time, ministering to people in a language in which she is still not quite comfortable. Ben has been growing more every day as he begins to take on even more of a leadership role in the ministry. We thank you, again, for all of your prayers, encouragement, and support. We love you all, and could not do this without you.

Blessings,

Ben and Emily

Sunday
Dec102017

We Made It!

We made it through a whole year of work, of smiles, of tears, of struggles, of faith, of joy, of love - of life here in Guatemala. And you know what…we could not have done any of it without all of you. Thank you all for the support: the financial, the prayers, the emotional, and the spiritual. Through the help of God and you, we have made it through our first year working as full-time missionaries in Guatemala, and we are ready to continue in 2018. 

  2017 has gone by so incredibly fast that we’re not quite sure where it went, but we have countless memories to remind us of what an amazing year it has been! In 2017, we met hundreds of wonderful people: from Guatemala and from the US and Canada. Through all of these people, our hearts have been opened and stretched. We have learned from many of these people how to love, how to lead, how to see, how to pray, and how to trust. Although we are still continually learning and growing in all of these things and more, we are thankful for the growth that we have endured and to God for putting these teachers in our path. 

2017 has also been another year to prove the faithfulness of God. There have been numerous times throughout the year that hardships have appeared out of the blue, but right alongside the hardships, God proved his unending love and faithfulness by providing for us and guiding us through them. This doesn’t mean that we did not still have moments of doubt and worry when the difficulties appeared, but God shortly after gave us a nudge (and we’re pretty sure a laugh), showing us that He is completely and 100% in control. Many times, God even used one of you to prove his faithfulness to us. So thank you for being willing to be used by God. 

The new year is right around the corner, and we truly hope that it is a year of work, of smiles, of tears, of struggles, of faith, of joy, of love, of life, and proof of God’s faithfulness for all of you.  

Have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year - we can’t wait to see you in 2018!

Blessings, 

Ben and Emily

Friday
Nov102017

The Most Beautiful Thing

Just a few days ago we finished out with the last team of the year with an amazing week! Although it was consistent heat and humidity all week long with little to no shade at times, it truly was an incredible week. Approximately 55 wheelchairs were given out, 3 homes were built, twenty families were given bags of food and clothes, and several gave their lives to God.

There were so many highlights in the week, but I would have to say that my favorite part was a particular home visit that Ben and I did. The family consisted of a single mother of three children: an eleven-year-old girl, a five-year-old girl, and a one-year-old boy. We began getting to know the family and found out that the mom had stopped going to church sometime ago and that her daughters didn’t know anything about God. Ben soon began fixing that and started telling the older girl all about how Jesus came to earth to save everyone and that He loves her and wants to make her His princess – all the while the younger one listened intently. The older girl decided that she wanted to give her life to God that day, and prayed with Ben to accept Jesus into her heart. A little later on, a friend, who had been listening in as well, asked us if we would pray for her. Of course we did, and Ben called over the new little princess of God to show her how to pray for her friends. Without prompting, she copied every word that Ben said in prayer. It was a sweet and touching moment! At times it almost seems like there is nothing more beautiful than seeing a young child discovering that God loves them and then spread that love to others.

Last week was a great way to end out the teams for the year. Now we look forward to three weeks of camp for the disabled. Week one with the kids starts in just a few days.

Wednesday
Sep062017

What a Summer!

It’s been quite sometime since we last wrote and that has been in large part due to a busy, but wonderful, summer. We were finally able to begin the rotation that we had been planning since moving to Guatemala where two couples go out with the teams, and one couple stays at home to work in the office. It has definitely been intimidating to start leading teams on our own instead of having a mentor there to help, but we have grown and learned much these last several months.

            Ben has begun to lead construction crews on his own to build houses and put in cement slabs for the floors. After a couple houses on his own, he has now become comfortable leading construction by himself. The biggest challenge and growth for him so far though, was leading home visits on his own. Every day a team is here, there is always one group who goes out on home visits to talk to people and give them food and clothes. The conversation always includes getting to know the family and also evangelizing. Every home visit has new surprises and different challenges, as each family is vastly different from the next. Ben did a wonderful job opening up his heart to minister to these families and find out their needs.

Emily has also been challenged in the home visits, as she has had to put her Spanish to work as an interpreter. It has been a difficult learning process, however, the language has been coming slowly but surely. The effort is completely worth itthough, as we have seen how important it is for the groups to be able to understand what is going on, and give them the opportunity to connect to those they are helping.

           One instance that impacted Emily was when she was translating at a wheelchair distribution. The lady receiving the wheelchair began preaching and bestowing blessings upon the people who had given her the chair and the whole group in general. This lady then shared a bit of her story, how she goes into the streets in the worst parts of town and preaches. She also goes into hospitals to pray for and with people who are on their deathbeds. The two people who had fitted her into her chair were touched by her words, and began to share a bit about their lives. The conversation lasted only 15-20 minutes, but it made an enormous impact on everyone involved as brothers and sisters from different countries and languages were able to share their hearts with one another.

            What an incredible year it has been so far, and we could not have done it without all of you. Thank you for the prayers, encouragement, and support. Please continue in your prayers for us, as we continue in this ministry. We ask that you pray for our hearts and eyes to be open to where God is moving, for our understanding as we grow in our positions, and that Emily would continue to improve in her Spanish.

Blessings,

Ben and Emily

Tuesday
Mar282017

Where has the time gone?

As we are nearing the end of March, we have come to the realization that we have already been in Guatemala for three months! In this time, we have been getting settled into our roles, and have been blessed with the opportunity to go out with six groups from the US and Canada. We have met many wonderful people, and have been able to be God’s hands and feet to many of the needy of Guatemala. With these groups, we were able to build 17 houses, give out approximately 350 wheelchairs, distribute food and clothing to many families, and witness to hundreds through these actions. We would not be able to do these things without your generosity, so thank you. Thank you for your financial gifts, and thank you for giving your time and your prayers.
 
Blessings, 
Ben & Emily