Monday
Dec102018

Great is His Faithfulness

I have always loved hymns, partially because I was raised in a traditional church that sang them every Sunday, but also because many hymns are written in a poetic style that bares the soul of the author. There are several hymns that remind me of the Psalms in that you can read the lyrics and see a personal struggle or enlightenment. Also similar to the Psalms, hymns have managed to endure the test of time in that they are still applicable to many situations today. For 2018, I have chosen the hymn “Great is Thy Faithfulness.”

“Great is Thy faithfulness,” O God my Father,
There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not
As Thou hast been Thou forever wilt be.”

“Great is Thy faithfulness!” “Great is Thy faithfulness!”
 Morning by morning new mercies I see;
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided—
“Great is Thy faithfulness,” Lord, unto me!

Summer and winter, and springtime and harvest,
Sun, moon and stars in their courses above,
Join with all nature in manifold witness
To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth,
Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!” 

These lyrics have resonated deeply with me, because of the description of God that lies within them. For every fear and doubt that I have had this year, this song provided a reminder of the nature of our Heavenly Father. In the midst of all of the changes of the year, finding out we’re having a baby, discovering I had a mass, going through surgery, taking on heftier leadership roles in the ministry, and being stretched in ways that we did not expect for quite some time, this song reminded that God does not change and his compassions do not fail. Every difficult day that we have had this year has always been accompanied by new mercies and God’s hand of provision. This year, we were able to join in with nature to be witness to God’s great faithfulness, mercy, and love. God himself with his strength and his hope guided us through the year to do his work.

2018 was a very good year as we were able to take what we had learned from 2017 and apply it to all of the new challenges we faced this year, which aided substantially in our growth and helped us to be more confident in our work. But more than anything, 2018 was a good year because of God’s great faithfulness and his overflowing blessings!

The best blessing being the gift of our new, precious daughter: Lily Grace Mooney, born December 1, 2018.

Thank you to each and every one of you for your encouragement, prayers, thoughts, hugs, advice, love, and support. We appreciate you more than we can express in words! We hope that as you look back on 2018 you remember God’s great faithfulness.

Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

            Love,

               Ben, Emily, and Lily Mooney

 

 

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