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 

 

Wednesday
Jan112017

We're Here!

We made it! 

We are finally here in Guatemala thanks to your help. We could not have made this move without all of the prayers and financial support that we have been receiving, and we are in continual need of it even more now. Thank you to all who sent a donation our way: we are almost to our budget! Thank you also to all who prayed for us or even just thought of us… thank you!

This last week we were able to go out with a group of physical therapy students from Indiana and do three wheelchair distributions in three different areas. Between Guatemala City, Santa Lucia, and Chimaltenango we were able to give out 153 wheelchairs! On top of it all, 88 people gave their lives to God, and countless seeds were planted by the love and hearts of service that were present in the volunteers that came down and the workers from Bethel Ministries.

It was such a blessing getting to serve all of these people at the distributions, but there was one special lady who touched Ben’s heart. Nicolása had a stroke five years ago, and since then has not been able to walk, so she has been carried around by family members. Last week she came to the distribution in Santa Lucia for a wheelchair. Ben was working as a translator, and the first thing he noted about her was how joyful and thankful she was even though she was in pain. She praised God for the blessing of the ministry’s help, but insisted that she could not walk. Ben and the therapists working with him believed otherwise. They worked with and encouraged Nicolása, trying to get her to walk. They helped her practice with a walker, moving with her so that she was more comfortable. Nicolása still did not believe she could walk, until she discovered that the leg she believed she could not move was actually moving all on its own. Once she discovered this, she got past her mental block and with determination began walking by herself! She even insisted that she walk all the way over to the prayer station instead of being wheeled over. As she walked out of the building with her new mobility she was all smiles and praising God.

We are elated to finally be here in Guatemala doing the work that God has placed upon our hearts. While there have been some struggles along the way and more still to come, we are at peace knowing that we are where God wants us to be.

Please keep us in your prayers,

Ben and Emily