One of the hardest things for me to live in Guatemala is to be away from our home church, and we miss all of our great friends there. But I also really miss hearing Pastor Rick’s sermons and learning from what God’s teaching through him. So I was so happy that he started uploading his sermons to their website so that I could hear them.
Here are the sermons so you can check them out!
We flew back to the USA in order to spend Thanksgiving with my family. Our hope is to relax a few days and enjoy the time with the family. It’s exciting to be here with my parents and family again! And this way we’re all rested and ready for the guys who will be coming to live with us in December.
I’m excited to spend some time with my architect sister and get her input into our house design. We’re planning to send out a new newsletter while we’re here, so please email me your address if you’d like to receive a copy by mail if I don’t have it already. And finally, I’m hoping to catch up on a few blog posts that I haven’t had time to write yet!
There have been a lot of pets at Casa Shalom over the years, including two cows that they used for milk about 8 years ago. Most pets are just strays that are found and don’t stick around for too long. But here are three of pets currently at Shalom. (oh, and I don’t count the chickens as pets… they’re just for food!)
Elias & Spike
Cesar with his husky “H” (pronounced ah-chay)
Martin & his new iguana
Today was the monthly Visitor Sunday when the family members of the kids at Casa Shalom are able to visit the home. Many of the kids are at the orphanage due to extreme poverty, and these visitor sundays allows the kids to keep in contact with their parents. But there are also many kids who don’t have anyone who ever visits them, and so this day can be hard for them.
Yuli and I try to come as often as possible on Visitor Sundays in order to spend time with the kids who don’t have any family. This month Clara came with us with her new baby, and her brother and sister were very excited to see their niece again.
It was also great to see Nixon! He grew up at Casa Shalom and was one of the first guys that I was in charge of. He moved away from Casa Shalom about three years ago, and I haven’t been able to see him since then. He still has a brother and sister at the home, and he came to visit them today. It was great to see how much he’s grown and catch up with how he’s doing.
Yuli also prepares a bunch of sandwiches and snacks for the kids, and now they all beg her to bring her famous jello cake for dessert.
Clara, Carlos & Flora with baby Linda
It’s great to see Nixon again!
Today is Army Day in Guatemala, which is their equivalent to our Memorial Day.
Because classes were cancelled today, Yuli invited a few of the other previous teachers from Casa Shalom over for lunch and to catch up with how they’re all now doing.
We also went over to Santos & José’s school this morning to pick up their second semester grades, and it was great to see that they’re doing well. Thanks for helping us send them to school!
Casa Shalom has had one of their favorite groups here visiting for the past 10 days. Life Church comes down from Minnesota every summer to help out at the home. Over the years they have built great relationships with the kids as they’ve grown up together. This trip they’ve been incredibly busy taking the kids on trips and helping paint one of the houses, but the love that they share with the kids makes the greatest impact of all. Here’s a picture them them hanging out with the kids on their last night together, and today they flew back home.
One of the people who comes down regularly, Rena, has become a great friend to Yuliza and I over the years. She’s a teacher and also visits Guatemala with kids from her school each year. We really enjoyed spending time talking with her. We are all blessed to have them come visit.
Sorry I haven’t updated our blog these past few weeks since returning. We’ve had Edwin, Benjamin, and Alex stay us these past three weekends. I’ve just been bad at remembering to take pictures of them!
Carlos, Marvin, Edwin, Martin & I were playing with my camera today, and here’s the result.
While visiting my family in Florida we were able to make two extra stops in order to visit some good friends of ours.
We were able to visit the directors of Casa Shalom who had a surprise early delivery of their baby Sophia at the end of April. They had returned to the USA for a short visit when they found out that Jessica needed an emergency delivery due to an unknown illness. You can read more about the God’s miracle for them on their blog here. It was great to visit with them and know that their baby is now doing well.
We were also able to visit our friends Cristina and Matt. Cristina worked for a long time at Casa Shalom teaching in the school, and she and Yuli became good friends during that time. Matt and Cristina also have the distinction as being the other couple, just like us, who met each other while working at Casa Shalom. It was great to meet their daughter, and they now have a second girl who was born after we visited them.
We made it back to Guatemala this afternoon after visiting to my family in Florida. We had a fabulous time visiting everyone, especially my niece and nephew! But we’re really happy to be back home now.
Flying in to Guatemala City