Bethel Ministries International
Follow us: Life in Guatemala
Funny Guatemalan Fact!

Guatemala has the Genesis World Record of how many people you can get in a chicken bus - 221 people!

More facts about Guatemala


Let His will be done in Guatemala


Partnering together to bless!

Therapist students and professionals partner together with Joni and Friends and Bethel Ministries to meet the need and share love in Guatemala. A team memeber with photography talent created and shared this video with us. Enjoy! What a great week!



Carrying His Hope!

Dear Family and Friends - as we always address you, because you are - Family and Friends!

2017 is coming to an end, and we want to end it with a note of thanksgiving. It has been a good year, hard at times, but good. There’s something that always happens to us at the end of the year. We look back and can only see one thing, the faithfulness of God, not only in our own lives, but in the lives of those that were touched by Him this year. He brought many people close to Him, because He loves them. 
One of my favorite scriptures says that it is not by power, nor by might, but by My Spirit says the Lord. It is our prayer here in Bethel that this will always be the reality, that we will always trust and find rest in His goodness. 

We also want to thank you for your faithfulness to His calling on your life.  It has always been our desire to see people walk out their life in God by faith.  Thank you for every wheelchair given, for every food bag and article of clothing that brought relief and joy, for school supplies that enabled, and medical supplies that brought healing. For as you did this to the least of these, you did it to Him. 

So as we end this year, let us all find ourselves in a place of thankfulness and a place of rejoicing before Him. And let us go into the year of 2018 carrying His hope. 

Hoping you enjoyed a very 
 Merry Christmas and have a Happy New Year!
With all our love and sincere appreciation,
Chris, Donna and the Bethel team


Exciting news to share!

We are breaking ground! Starting last week, we were able to bring in the machine to begin preparing the land for the medical clinic and warehouse. It is extremely exciting to be moving forward with this project, and we thank every one of you who has donated or prayed for this day.

While this is exciting, there are many other things that have been happening this summer filled with blessing. Many have given their lives to Christ. Below are a few stories that we’d like to share. 

 Isaias is a single dad raising two teenage daughters: Saida who is 15 and studied through second grade, and Damaras who is 14 and in fifth grade. Isaias rents and tends a field to grow corn.  Bethel visited this family at the beginning of July. Two weeks prior to our visit, Isaias had been encouraging his daughters to accept Christ into their lives. The girls were  unsure, but at the same time they had been having dreams that we would return to their house again. Sure enough, Chris came to visit with a team from Iowa. He walked through the door and asked if the girls had been baptized. They said they had not and made the decision to give their lives to Christ that day! They were baptized at Pastor Juanito’s church two weeks later. Throughout the rest of the week, there were several more who decided to give their lives to Christ and be baptized as well.

One of the young ladies that was baptized is someone we have known for several years. From the heart of a great friend and mission team member, Brad Clark shares:

Isaiah 55:8 says “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways”.  This side of Heaven, we may never fully see how God is moving in each of our lives, and those around us.  But, there are times God graciously gives us glimpses how He makes all things work for our good, and His glory.  In 2009, during my first trip to volunteer with Bethel, we built a home in Tecpan for a woman named Blanca.  Our team spent two days working “around” Blanca’s family, but we truly had no idea what God had been doing through many years, and much heartache in her life to bring her to this moment.  It wasn’t until the home dedication that we heard her full story.  While space does not permit me to share the whole story, needless to say, only a loving, all-knowing, gracious God could orchestrate all the events of so many lives to get us there that day.  There was so much joy that day for everyone involved.  That day changed my life in so many ways.  It made me realize I never wanted to miss what God was doing around me.  I want to look for it in everything I do.  It also showed me that whatever we think God is doing on a mission trip to Guatemala, it is actually so much more.  Blanca’s story would not end that day.

In all of the years we have returned to work in Tecpan, we would always visit Blanca and her family.  We wanted to continue to invest in their lives. Over those years, we saw Blanca’s family struggle.  Life is hard there.  Finding work, feeding her children…holding it all together! Bethel continued to help through love and sponsorship.  All of us prayed for them.  We knew as Isaiah continued to say in 55:10-11, that as the rain would come down from Heaven and accomplish its purpose, God’s Word will accomplish His purpose, and achieve what He intended.  God’s grace and redemptive power exceeds our capacity to understand.  Where we see brokenness, He sees opportunity.  To do what only He can do…save the lost and heal the brokenhearted. One of her daughters got married several years ago at a young age.  My heart sank when I heard the news.  I was concerned the cycle of brokenness would continue.  The young man seemed very nice, but I asked myself, “Lord, how would this end up?”  Chris recently shared the joy that has come to Blanca’s home.  God used the son-in-law I was concerned about, to bring the family back together again.  Blanca’s daughter recently gave her heart to Jesus.  In front of the church family, she was baptized.  Praise the Lord! 

Was this the outcome we had all prayed for?  Yes.  Did it happen the way we envisioned it?  Absolutely not!  Amazingly…this was even better.  More hearts were changed.  More glory has been given to God.  My prayer is that all of us look for how God is working in our lives and those around us.  He is the God of miracles! 

We’re certain that the angels were having a grand party those first couple of weeks in July, with more then 65 people giving their lives to Christ.

Many houses have been built these last few months, but there are always a few that touch our hearts to the core.  Glenda, Leidy, and Luisa are three sisters who are living on their own in Cuyotenango. Glenda is 16 and has been taking care of Leidy (14) and Luisa (13) since their mother died six years ago from tuberculosis. Their father lives and works as a security guard in Guatemala City, about four hours away. He sends the girls a little money every month for food and school: visiting them every few months. Except for this minimal support from their father, the girls are basically on their own. They were living in a run down house of rusted sheet metal and plastic that let water pour in during rainy nights. This last July, though, we were able to build them a house and a bathroom with the help of a team from Kentucky. It was beautiful to see Glenda, the oldest, break down in tears as a weight was lifted off of her shoulders because she and her sisters finally had a functioning roof over their heads. 

What a month! We have closed out July, and are heading into August with eyes and hearts wide open, ready to see what God will be doing in the upcoming weeks.

 Thank you dear friends for the wonderful enabling part you play; we appreciate you!

Love in Jesus,

Chris, Donna and the Bethel team


An amazing spring!

We are so thankful for all that God is doing in our midst, and want to especially focus in this blog how He is moving in the home visits that Bethel does every year. We are now entering into the homes of more then 800 families a year to sit down with them; to live with them even if it is just for a short time, but it's God's moment - He meeting them where they are. It has been fantastic how He brings hope into the lives of those who are down and out, as He has done for us.  He truly is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
Often it is mentioned, Chris, teach them to fish. In all reality they do every day! The single moms, the moms that have been abandoned by their husbands, these are the ones we are mostly visiting, and every day they go out and do all they can to provide for their families but every day they come up short - not able to buy what their children need in food for that day.
Do I ever feel bad about giving a bag of food to a needy family? No, and neither should you! Jesus' words resound in my ears: If you did to the least of these you did it to me. 
Thank you for your heart of compassion. You make this all possible through your generous gifts. You are feeding families every day. It is so awesome to see how the kids light up when they see a bag of milk - something they could never afford.
If I have a conviction - something that I know we should do - it is to share the love of Jesus with everyone.



Blessings in Santa Lucia

Last week in Santa Lucia over 55 people received mobility: forever changing their lives as they can now be out in the community. As pastors prayed with them during the wheelchair distribution, many with tears accepted Jesus' love and the great hope that it brings. 

Several others were also blessed throughout the rest of the week, like Maria Jacobpus. Maria is married with two daughters and a baby on the way. The family received a solar light, and is now saving 20 quetzales a week on candles. With this extra money they will be able to afford another day of eating every week.

Sulmi Yulisa is twelve years old and her mother passed away from a two-year battle with cancer the day before we visited her. It is just her and her grandmother now living in a small shack with a light that her mother was previously paying a neighbor for. With no source of income, Sulmi and her grandmother were not able to afford to rent light any longer, so we installed a solar light in their home.

Angela Perez lives with her husband, son, and two granddaughters. The family does not have a bathroom, electricity, or potable water. There is a well on the property that has run dry and is filled with trash. Angela and her family live in a small shack of rusted, breaking sheet metal with a dirt floor. At one point the town began to put in a water line for the family, but stopped because they could not afford to pay the $120 necessary to run the line. They will now receive a brand new house with a cement floor, a solar light, a bathroom, a water line, and a sewage line.  

Ten years ago Faustina’s husband died in a car accident. She is left with two children now, and at most makes $65 a month working as a housekeeper. The family lived in a small room made of rusted, breaking sheet metal. They now have a new house to keep them dry and safe from the elements, and a solar light. 

 Tomasa has been praying for a new house for many years. Her and her husband, Juan, have six children. Juan and his oldest son, Carlos (13), work in the fields cutting sugar cane. They make $85 a month, and the rest of the family collects firewood to sell to try and make ends meet every month. Their house was made of deteriorated scrap metal, and their beds are made of scrap wood. Tomasa and her family now have a new house with six new beds with mattresses and a solar light. In addition, their son Carlos was given the funds to go back to school, since he could not afford to go after sixth grade.



Myrna Ophelia is the community's pastor's wife, and recently had a stillborn child. Her and her husband could not afford to pay the 1,500 quetzales to take care of the child and bury him, so they borrowed the money. The couple had 43 days to pay off the loan with an interest of Q900, and everyday the collector would come by to take Q50. Myrna's husband works in the fields during the week, making at most Q50 a day. We found this couple, heard their story, and were able to pay off the rest of their debt. Since the money was being repaid faster than expected, the loaner even decreased the interest substantially. 


Blessings were given in abundance in Santa Lucia, and there are still more to be given. To see how you can bless, visit our Helping Hands page.