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

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Let His will be done in Guatemala

Wednesday
Aug262015

Wheelchair shop property is for sale!

Dear Friends,

We need your help in Guatemala.  We have the amazing opportunity to purchase the building our wheelchair shop is in. 

Many of you who have come to Guatemala to work alongside of us have had the opportunity to visit our wheelchair shop near the city square in Chimaltenango.  Since 1994, Bethel Ministries International has worked with the disabled in Chimaltenango.  From the very beginning, our staff has taken used wheelchairs and refurbished them in order to give them to people who disperately needed them.  

 The man who owned the building has always loved our ministry and allowed us to rent the building for a very reasonable price.  He has passed away, and his family has made the decision to sell the property.  But, the family still believes in us, and has given us the first opportunity to purchase the building.

The price they are asking is $80,000 US dollars. That may seem high.  But, as they say in real estate, “location, location, location.”   This is an incredibly low price for where this property sits near the city square.  This location allows the disabled to easily visit our shop when they come via public transport.  It also allows us to host distributions in a centrally located church near by.  Quite honestly, we could never replace this location for anywhere close to this price.

We have 18 months to raise the needed funds.  We need your help to get the word out to all the people we can. 

Some may feel this amount is insurmountable.  A close friend and supporter tried to put it in perspective for me.  He reminded me that we have approximately 30 teams visit us each year.  Each team is approximately 12 people.  That is 360 people a year who come work with us first-hand…people who return home believing in us.  If each person gave $222 dollars, we would raise all the money.  Now imagine how many people have worked with us over 16 years of ministry?  A little goes a long way when it is spread out among many. 

Please consider giving how the Lord leads you.  Some people may be in a position to help a lot, and some only a little.  We cherish all of the help we can get, no matter the amount.

We try very hard not to ask our supporters for money.  We appreciate your coming to work with us.  But, many people have told us that we must be willing to lay our needs out when they do arise.  So, here we are…laying our needs before the Lord, and those who love us.

Please spread the word to your friends, family, co-workers, Bible study groups and Facebook network.  Facebook is an amazing way to reach many people in short time.  We would like to raise the money as soon as possible so we do not miss this opportunity.

We’ve had a packed full summer! As it comes to a close, looking back we are amazed at God’s faithfulness and at the hard work of so many volunteers who came to join us. Many homes were built for needy families, widows and abandoned mothers. Wheelchairs were given to people who need mobility! Hundreds of families were visited in their homes, bringing encouragement and the love of Jesus - shown by sharing food and clothing with them.  Many began to weep with the emotion of knowing they are loved, and there were many that surrendered their lives to Christ. Quite a few children now receive an education because team members or their friends are sponsoring them. We praise God for the unity and blessing of working together!

Thank you for your love and support.

Chris and Donna

Bethel Ministries International
P.O. Box Reserve, NM 87830

(575) 519-1098

www.bethelministriesinternational.com

Wednesday
Jun102015

Picture Blog

 I know that we often use the same words to try to explain all the wonderful things God is doing, so please forgive us. We find ourselves in the same boat that many who have come down and experienced God's mighty hand at work have.  It is almost impossible to describe what He does! It is remarkable, and as one preacher here in Guatemala says, it is extraordinary - which leaves us pretty much an impossible task. So, while words might be hard to come by, pictures can tell many stories.

 

Eicka who is deaf and mute, gives thanks with a drawing of her new house with a red heart drawn over the top!


 Telling the story of Mary and Jesus!

Gods timing is perfect; we have experienced this time and time again! This week, we had the opportunity to visit families and believe me, it never gets old. Not only did God put us where we needed to be, but he put those that need to be ministered to in the house. It is awesome, to say the least, how God sets things up, puts all into motion and brings forth a miracle! To be honest with you, it makes us break down and be humbled before the almighty God. Salvation came, lives were restored, and forgiveness was given. All of this did not come without sacrifice; Money was given, planes were boarded, families were left behind, and mountains were climbed. All this was done to share His great love.

We always look forward to serving God, and we want to thank you who have helped. Thank you so much, we thank you for your prayers, your support, and your willingness to be sent out. We love the country that God has placed us in and we thank those of you who make it possible for us to be here. Please let all of us continue in the Great Commission.

God Bless You!! 

Tuesday
Mar312015

It's Not About the Wheels

Thoughts from a friend....

I have a good friend who has gone to Guatemala  for a number of years to volunteer with Hope Haven and Bethel Ministries International. She often spoke about the blessing she has received from being a part of this ministry and so when she was leading a team to Guatemala I decided to join her.  I was not disappointed.
Our itinerary included wheelchair distribution, building a home and bringing food and and clothing to needy families. On the first day of our work several of the Bethel Ministries staff were wearing a Joni And Friends tee-shirts with the slogan "It's not about the wheels". As the week went by I realized that It is NOT about the wheels, the house or the food. Don't get me wrong. These tangible acts of love have a huge impact on peoples' lives.  I think of the 49 year old man who was carried into the wheelchair distribution centre by his brothers. He has most likely been carried everywhere for all his life, but on that day he left that building on his own, in a new set of wheels - lifechanging!  The house we built was for a widowed mom and her three young sons. As she recieved her new home there were a tears as she spoke about moving from despair to a renewed faith as she now has a stable home in which to raise her children. Again, lifechanging! The food and clothing we brought to those needy families was received with real appreciation and joy knowing that their lives would be just a little easier.
However, as I said, I learned that it is NOT about the wheels, house or food. It's about showing the love of Christ as lives are impacted and changed. It's about finding real joy in making a difference one family or individual at a time while not getting discouraged by the overwhelming need in each town and village the ministry teams enter. Its about loving the people of Guatemala. And most of all, it's about sharing a word of encouragement and love from a life-changing and life-transforming God.
Once again, the team was blessed to be a part of this ministry.
Thank you,
A team from British Columbia, Canada

 


Friday
Mar202015

Jumpstart in the New Year!

Dear Family and Friends,

Mid March! Where is the year running off to! As we take a look back, I'd like to share a few comments by mission team members who have been down with us. Always fun to get a fresh perspective! It has been awesome so far; we are blessed to be a part of lots of planting and harvesting!


"We had the chance to sit and talk with Ursula. We heard her tell her story. Her husband was an alcoholic, and was physically abusive. Ursula had been praying for 18 years that God would help her. Her husband died 8 months ago. He was walking down the road in a drunken condition and was run over by a car. This family has been through so much. Ursula’s tears flowed as she spoke of her prayers and faith in the midst of the storm. As Tom said, “She has been a jar of clay for 18 years, waiting for God to fill her with His Spirit and Provision.” She thanked Pastor Juan for finding her family and connecting them with Bethel. I told her that this house and all of these blessings were answers from God. It took 18 years for her to finally get to see God working all things together for her good. He had to orchestrate the lives of so many people not only in Guatemala, but in the USA to bring this special day together. It was not only a blessing to her family, but a blessing in our lives as well. What an honor to serve God. The thing that blew us away was that Ursula clearly saw this as an answer from God. While she was thankful for us, she kept praising God!

Pastor Juan took the opportunity to speak into Ursula’s children’s lives. They were attentive to what he said, and were really soaking up what their mom was saying as tears ran down her face.


A special moment for me was capturing a picture of Ursula after the dedication. While she had much pain in her life, seeing she and her daughter smile and laugh was worth it all to me. I love her smile!






Norma is a Christian, but Victoriano is not. Chris began to ask him about his life, and why he was not a follower of Jesus. Victoriano really did not have a reason. He was kind, loved his family but really just didn’t know anything about Jesus, and why that had any bearing on his life. Chris looked down at the floor and noticed they did not have a concrete floor. He commented to me about that. It immediately popped into my head about Matthew 7:13-27. It is the story of the 2 houses, one built on sand, and the other on rock. I had been studying it, as I was going to preach tonight on evangelism and why Jesus even matters to every man and woman. I leaned over to tell Chris about that. I immediately began to pray for Victoriano. I prayed that God would open his heart and eyes. That God would move his heart to accept God’s love and mercy and forgiveness. Chris then asked Victoriano a very important question, “Victoriano, your house is on sand. If you ever get a very hard rain, your house could be washed away (Victoriano nodded). If you ever had the opportunity to pour a concrete floor under it to make it strong, would you do it? (he said yes) Then, Victoriano, if you have the opportunity to build your life on the solid rock of Jesus Christ, where the storms of life will never be able to destroy your soul, and will give you the opportunity to be in Heaven one day with God, wouldn’t you want to do that? (Victoriano looked at Chris and said yes)


Victoriano now clearly understood why Jesus matters. Victoriano acknowledged the sin in his life. All the times he chose to live his way, instead of God’s way. He saw that Jesus is the answer to the problem in our soul…we are cut off from God spiritually and need a way to be made right with God again. Chris asked him if he wanted to accept Jesus Christ to be his Lord and Savior. He said yes. Chris led him in a prayer to do that very thing. It was an awesome and powerful moment. I will never forget it. I have a brand new brother in Christ. You can imagine how happy his wife was at his decision. Salvation has come to that home. Chris told him that it was the most important decision of his life. I told him that every decision he will ever make from this day forward will be affected (for the better).



We all then went into Marta’s home next. She has 8 children, and an alcoholic husband. He is not a good provider. She is so strong. Scott, Rick and Tom fitted the children for shoes. This is where the chaos broke out. Every child from within 100 miles seemed to have poured into the house. Madness!!! After finally getting all the other children out, we were able to find shoes for all of the kids, except one. We are finding that the feet of the children are bigger and wider than we expected.


Tom then handed Marta a blanket we were donating. The floodgates opened in her eyes. She grabbed onto Tom and would not let go. It was a very special moment for us to witness. Her husband is an alcoholic that is painfully missing in this family’s life (even though he does still live there). To see our group’s generosity was overwhelming. She praised God for all He is doing for her.


Men’s bible study that night was a blessing as usual. The familiar Guatemalan men and the Gringos, studying the WORD, as translated by Chris Mooney, our missionary. As we wrapped up, a new young man stood up and shared a prayer request. His family had been experiencing a very dark presence in their home for several nights and it has been very unsettling. The group had an intense prayer session for Sebastian and his wife Wilma. We wondered how the night would be for them tonight.


The next morning, we went on a visit to build a stove for a family. We had no idea, but it was the home of Sebastian and Wilma! Our first question...”how did the night go?” Their faces both BEAMED with huge smiles! “Thank you for your prayers! No problems last night!” Wow!

This visit also had another very powerful moment. We had the INTENT to spend time talking with the family and praying mainly for the continued peace in their home. We did that. But then as Chris was counseling the family he was DRAWN to Sebastian’s brother, Elvin. He knew not why.
Elvin had been struggling with many things and was far from the Lord. Chris counseled with a very receptive Elvin. The next thing we knew Chris was removing Elvin’s shoes and socks and washed his feet. This was a very powerful moment. Chris later told us he had never felt called to do a foot washing during a home visit. Elvin then accepted the Lord. What a day! We would then later see him at church the next 3 nights!"

A few picture highlights .....









We spent two weeks up in the northeast corner of Guatemala as well, working in Poptun and in Salamá. Salama was a little more wet then what we were prepared for, not being the rainy season, but what a special time! The fruit of visiting in the homes and watching people give their lives to Christ was way over the top!


It's been exciting getting children started in school for the new term. Such a joy to watch them exceed and be excited about the opportunity to learn! A couple of students especially stand out. Sara Skeen is 19 years old and has a great desire to continue studying despite the hardships that have not only happened to her, but to her family as well. Two years ago, Sara was sexually assaulted resulting in her having a child - becoming a mother durring a time when her life conditions were hard. Their house was made of scraps of cloth and some plastic, and in the rainy season the family suffered because everything would get wet. They now live on a donated property, in a safe, dry Bethel house. Sara also began studying ninth grade, and is so grateful for the help received. She continues to care for her child, and works to help support her mom. We are so thankful to God for His provision to Bethel to be able to help her family and others.

Cesar is a 13 year old young man who is in 9th grade. His mom died because of untreated stomach ulcers and his father has never been around. Cesar's elderly grandmother takes care of him. Even though they have been through many hardships, these two believe that God loves them, and takes care of them. Grandma's wish is that Cesar will graduate and have a good future for when she is no longer here. Cesar is happy to be studying and hopes to one day be a good administrator and own a company. Such a blessing to be able to help him with his education, thanks to sponsors!

Aura is 37 years old and has been a single mother for 6 years. Her husband was an alcoholic who never took responsibility for his family. Aura is diabetic and because of the hard living conditions of this family she can not afford her insulin. Their only income comes from doing housework. For more than 8 Months, Bethel has been able to support Aura with monthly financial support so that she can buy the insulin that she needs.
Aura said: “Thank you for the financial support that I am receiving, because without your help I was not able to buy the insulin. I am so blessed to have met people like you in my life, you are Angels that God sent to my life to give me a hand in moment of need. " Now she can continue to provide for her children.


Last but not least, there have been lots of wheelchairs given out already this year.
Christopher Fabián García is a 5 year old. Within six months of being born, he started to have rashes on the face, body fatigue, and seizures. He was taken to the hospital, and was diagnosed with Tuberous Sclerosis Complex. Christopher’s condition requires many trips to the doctors, but because he had gotten so big recently, his parents had stopped taking him because his mom could not carry him anymore and they could not afford a wheelchair.
Thank God we were able to give Christopher a wheelchair so that his mother can continue taking him to the doctor, and continue to receive the medicine that he needs.

Christopher´s mother said: “Thank you for the wheelchair that we have received; it is a great help for me and my son. God bless everyone that made this

Alejandro is a 70 year old man, and is a pastor from Iglesia Galilea in Chimaltenango. On September 14, of 2001 when he was returning from work, he was in an accident where he lost his right leg and left foot. He was in the Hospital for five months until he was fully recovered.
After his accident, Alejando was very depressed, and he felt that he didn't have any purpose in life to carry on. His wife and children supported him in moving forward after his accident.
Some time after his accident he received Jesus Christ in his heart, his life radically changed, and he made the decision to become in Pastor. For 8 years he has been impacting many people through his testimony. He feels privileged to preach the Gospel despite his disability.
Alejandro said: “After my accident I made the decision to accept God in my heart, and since this time I am enjoying God´s blessings that he has for me and my family. I can’t believe how God changed me and showed me the true purpose of my life. I am so blessed to have received a wheelchair and because of this, I can continue spreading God´s love to many people and show them how he uses our lives to make a difference - despite our disabilities”.


We here in Guatemala thank you for the big part you play in helping all these, and many more.

God bless and keep you this spring!

Chris, Donna and the Bethel team


Bethel Ministries International

P.O. box 573 Reserve, NM 87830


575 519-1098 ( forwards to Guatemala)


Monday
Dec222014

Merry Christmas 2014!

 We pray that this finds you well and enjoying a very special Christmas season with your loved ones! Please take a moment to watch this video and let us thank you for your part in the work here in Central America. Looking back, we’re so excited about all the lives that God allowed Bethel Ministries to touch!

Chris, Donna, and the Bethel team wish you and yours a 

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!