Guatemala 2016 Update – Coincidence Or Something Else

Do you believe in coincidences?  Or do you believe that things line up to work for or against you?

Maybe another way to put it is this – do you believe in spiritual warfare?

Our trip to Guatemala has been pretty good, but there have been some things happening that could be classified as coincidences or could be considered spiritual warfare.

For example, today I came back to our house in Xenacoj after a run with Hannah, and I started to experience migraine symptoms.  Then our van had problems with the tires, and we had to get two of them replaced delaying our trip to Santo Marie, a nearby town where we were going to clean out the ears of widows.  Tonight, we found out that one of our team members received a disturbing text message from home about a friend who’s son overdosed on heroin.

We had a few other things happen along the way in just three short days, and it makes you wonder.  Is Satan fighting against us, or is it all just a coincidence?

I’m not typically one to get overly wrapped up in talks of spiritual warfare.  I typically believe that we get oursevles into our own messes by our stupid decisions and poor choices.  But I’ve also heard stories of people trying to do good for others only to be held up by a resistive force.

Regardless, I’d ask you to keep our team in your prayers as we continue to minister in and around Xenacoj.  Pray that God would open doors for us to share the gospel in words and in actions to those who need to know the love of Christ.  Pray for the safety and health of our team as we continue to serve.  And pray for protection for those we are service – specifically the widows receiving the houses we are building during our time here.


This morning we traveled to Santo Marie to help clean the ears of widows in this village outside of Xenacoj.  When we showed up, there were men, women, and young children standing in line to receive this service.  Our team did a remarkable job examining each patient and taking time to analyze their ears.  They cared for them with love and compassion.

I spent a decent amount of time talking with German Espana who has a huge concern and compassion for the orphans and widows in his community.  As we talked, it was moving to see the tears roll down his cheeks as he shared is worries on how to keep providing for those in his community.  I love talking to German who an unbelievable heart.

As we were finishing up at this clinic, there was a young boy named Kevin who had a rash on his face.  It looked infected, and I’m thankful we had nurses on site to take a look at them.  They were able to give him some antibiotic which will hopefully help the rash clean up.  When the team returns on Friday, it will be interesting to see if there is a change in Kevin’s condition.


Since the clinic ended early, we decided to take a trip to Antiqua for an evening of shopping, eating, and walking around the touristy area 40 minutes from Xenacoj.  With this being my fourth trip to Guatemala.  I have already been to Antigua three or four times, so I honestly wasn’t overly excited about returning here again.

We stopped at an old Catholic cloister turned hotel/museum on our way into town.  This was far more beautiful than I had expected.  When we finally made it into the heart of the town, our kids ended up hanging out with the other members of our team while Leanne and I stopped at McDonald’s for an ice cream cone and a Coke.  (I had the ice cream cone, and Leanne had the Coke.). If you’re unfamiliar with the McDonald’s in Antigua, you should know that it’s one of the nicest McDonald’s in the entire world.  We sat for a while talking about our experiences so far.  It was refreshing to sit and talk – just the two of us.

We met our team in one of the markets before catching dinner on the roof top terrace of a beautiful hotel.  It was such a fancy treat, and our team enjoyed the opportunity to laugh and relax together.  This was not the typical “missions trip” dinner for sure, and I won’t soon forget the flashes of lightning surrounding us as a storm crept into the area.  Just as the rains started falling, we walked off the roof, paid our bill, and hustled back to Cafe Barista to meet our ride back to Xenacoj.


It was a fantastic day!