Hello from Guatemala!
You might have heard about hurricanes, Eta and Iota, that have recently hit Central America. We’re doing fine here! We’re very blessed to be located where we are, and only received a lot of rain. Other parts of the country were much more affected by the two storms. About 150 people died mostly due to landslides, and hundreds of thousands of Guatemalans have had their homes damaged by the flooding.
As for COVID, it’s better news. Last month the government released us from the curfews that we’ve been under for over 6 months. It still feels weird to be outside after 6pm after being restricted for so long. Businesses have also been opening back up, and life has slowly been returning to normal. The number of new cases has remained fairly steady since then, and it’s a huge relief that things appear to be getting better.
I do think that we’ll look back on this year with fondness because we were able to spend time together in a way that the normal busyness of life prevents. I mean, for such a long time we weren’t allowed to go outside during the weekend! But we had a great time together with the girls – cooking, talking, playing games, reading the Bible, studying and hanging out together. Our Sundays can typically be very busy, but this year we’ve been able to spend hours watching sermons online, singing, sharing, reading, and praying for each other. We would realize that it was already evening, and we hadn’t even had lunch yet! My prayer is that we would all grow more grateful for God’s provision, His care, and His love for us. We take so many blessings and conveniences for granted, and He’s so patient with us.
We are delighted to have a new girl named Liseth join our family! She’s grown up at the orphanage Casa Shalom and is a shy but hard-working young lady. She turned 18 this year and wanted to come live with us. She’ll be in 10th grade, just like Karla & Maria, and it’s nice to have a bunch of girls who are the same age as each other. And Margaret says, “now I have a new big sister!”
The end of October brought the end of the school year, and Sandra has graduated from high school! We’re so proud of her and have loved having her here with us the past three years. Karla and Maria start 10th grade next year which is the start of high school here, and Ana will be in 11th grade.
They’re all looking for a job during this break from school. Liseth already had a job at a restaurant, the rest of the girls are working there on weekends. We’d appreciate your prayers for Sandra as she look for a full-time job. It’s a tough job market!
Breakfast Ministry Restarted
Our city’s park has reopened, and the shoe shiners have returned, and it’s great to be able to start back up weekly breakfasts to them and the poor of Chimaltenango in order to share God’s love. We’re also making plans to have a few Christmas parties with the different groups of people that we minister to, like we’ve done previous years.
We are sad to report two deaths of people from our ministry. The first, Don Victor, was an elderly shoe shiner who was always looking out for all the younger boys. I had the privilege of leading him to the Lord a few years ago, and he asked my friend Ronald and I to baptize him last year. Since then he’s been struggling with kidney problems, and even with medical attention he passed away in April. The second is a teen named Emerson who always came to our Monday night Bible studies. He he passed away in October due to complications from meningitis. Praise God for the hope of eternal life!
We’re hoping to begin construction on a new house this next year. There is space beside our house that we would like to build two smaller houses in order to have room for guys who need a place to stay. The plans and blueprints are in progress at this point, but I wanted to let you know of our hopes this coming year.
It’s crazy to think that next month we celebrate 10 years since we packed up our little white car in Austin, TX and drove through Mexico in order to start full-time ministry here in Guatemala. Time has flown by, and we’re so grateful for all the support that you’ve given over these years which made it possible. We’re grateful to Pastor Rick and North Austin Christian Church for their support and help with the finances. We’re grateful to God for calling us into this life that is harder yet fuller than we could imagine. And we’re grateful to have been able to invest in the lives of so many.
Thank you for your continued prayers and support for us! We’re grateful for God’s goodness and for all of your help. We’re so blessed to be able to serve the poor, lost, and needy here in Guatemala. It’s a rare privilege to be able to do what we do. Thank you so much for making it possible!
Here are a few prayer requests:
- Huge praise: Yuliza’s immigration paperwork has been accepted! It took over a year, but now she is recognized as a missionary which gives us more flexibility on our trips to the United States and more peace that she won’t have problems during re-entry. Praise the Lord that He’s always so good to us. (Even when I get scared and doubt!)
- Please pray for Martin and Alfonso who both left the alcohol rehabilitation center and aren’t doing well.
- Please pray for our girls: Sandra, Maria, Ana, Karla and Liseth as they look for jobs during their break from school. Also pray as we decide on where they should go to high school next year.
Thank you so much and God bless,
Brent, Yuliza, Margaret & Isabella