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    Guatemala 2016 Update – God Is So Good!

    GUATEMALA UPDATE 2016

    In less than 5 weeks, I’ll be in Guatemala again.

    I can’t wait!

    I long to take in the beautiful mountains of this country I have come to love.  I can’t wait to smell the aromas produced by local street vendors.  I can’t wait to walk the streets of Xenacoj where smiles and stares greet me.  And I can’t wait to experience the magnificent people who hold my heart.

    Our family is going back again.  There are many reasons for our trip (admittedly some of them are selfish):

    • We want to get away from the hustle and bustle of life in Pennsylvania.  We have found the pace of life so different in Guatemala.  Relationships and activities aren’t rushed.  They happen when everyone is ready.  They happen when they happen.
    • We want to wrap our arms around the people we have come to love – families, children, widows, brothers, sisters, and friends.  It’s been nearly two years since our last visit, and we miss the people of Xenacoj.
    • We want to re-calibrate ourselves.  A trip to a third world country for a week or two (or more) will teach you a lot of things (if you let it).  In the past, our family has learned a lot about being content with very little, about being generous, and about caring for those in need.  Yes, this is how we try to live here at home.  But there is something amazingly powerful about traveling even further outside your comfort zone.
    • We want to help widows and orphans.  We want to encourage.  And we want to help them get on their feet to help them survive and thrive.  Widows and orphans in Guatemala are often forgotten.  We want to help them know they are loved and valued.  We want to give them the boost they need to make it to tomorrow and the next day and the day after that.  We want to be the voice for those who don’t have a voice.  We want to help tell their story, so others will get involved to help.
    • We want to do something with our lives that matters.  Life is so short.  We have a relatively short period of time to leave our mark.  Our names may not be remembered in Guatemala, but I’m convinced these trips have helped families get on their feet.  And I’m convinced the fruits of our labor will far outlast us.  Our kids are different, because we went to Guatemala.  Assuming our kids have families one day, their families will be different.
    • We want to follow God’s calling for our lives.  In the great commission, Jesus instructs us to go into all the world sharing the gospel.  For our family, this means going into our local community and going to Guatemala.

    God continues to shape and mold us, and He takes our selfish, misguided motives.  And He shows us over and over again how good He is.

    Many of you know, I have a goal.  I want to build 100 houses in Guatemala before I leave this earth.  I’ve helped build three homes so far.  Only 97 more to go!

    A couple of months ago, our family launched a gofundme.com site to help raise funds for our trip and for building a house in Guatemala this summer.  We had already paid for our airfare and some of our expected expenses, but we needed to close the gap the costs associated with the trip and the house build.  When we launched the fundraising site, we honestly weren’t sure what to expect.  Would people step up to close the gap?  Would we have the funds to build a house this summer?  Would God provide?

    Why did we doubt?

    God is so good!

    If you check out the gofundme.com site, you’ll see that we are close to meeting our goal.  We will definitely be going to Guatemala, and we will definitely be building another house.

    It gets better!

    God is so, so good!

    I received a phone call last week.  Someone is stepping up to make a second house possible this summer.

    Sometimes, serving others requires a leap of faith.  And often, reaching our crazy, big goals requires one step at a time.  We questioned and we doubted, and God provided through others.

    God is so very good!

    As our family prepares to return to Guatemala, we are humbled and thankful.  We can’t wait to see how and where God continues to work.  Thank you for being part of our journey.

    What leap of faith do you need to take?  What’s preventing you from seeing God’s goodness in your life?

    [Note:  If you want to get in on the action our family is taking this summer in Guatemala, please pray for safety and effectiveness in our ministry.  If you want to give to the cause, click here.  Any funds raised above our goal will be used to build more homes in Guatemala.  Thank you!]