Category Archives: Month Review

January in Guatemala

Happy (Late) New Year!

So I’m learning how hard it is to get some quiet time to sit down a write at home now that we have a baby! I’m already slow enough at writing! The past few weeks have been so busy that I wasn’t able to send out an email in December, so here are all the updates for the past two months:

We had a great Christmas break! My mom was able to visit us in early December in order to meet our new daughter Margaret. We had a great time with her (as always), and this time she got to spend a lot more time with our guys. It was really fun to all be together, and our house sure felt full with 7 people living here! While she was visiting we also got to visit the kids at Casa Shalom, and we had a baby dedication for Margaret at our church. Yuli and I also celebrated our third wedding anniversary. We’re so grateful that God brought us together!

Elias celebrated his 22nd birthday. He’s been looking for a job now that he’s graduated high school, and he got an offer at a tech support call center which he just started at. It’s a long bus ride everyday, and it takes him about two hours to get there during rush hour. So he’s been pretty tired. He’s currently in training, and the first week he came home one night and asked, “Brent, what’s outsourcing?” (I thought it was funny because you hear so much about it in the USA) His company answers calls from Spain, and he’s learning slang, accents and customs from there. I think that it’s a good experience for him. There’s also a chance that a local computer repair store might offer him a job close by, so we’ve been praying that God would show him where the right place is.

Benjamin changed to a new job at the end of last year, and he now works in sales at a cell phone company. He works in the streets of Guatemala City selling different phone plans, which is quite different from his accounting background. He really seems to enjoy it, but my concern is that it’s commission based, and I see his attention now solely focused on how many phone plans he can sell and how much money he’ll get at the end of the month. He’s also just starting to study telemarketing in college on the weekends. I ask that you pray for him and his heart.

Edwin doesn’t actually live with us, but he’s always here anyways! We love Edwin. It’s been great watching him grow up from one of my kids to one of my friends. In early January my visa in Guatemala expired, so I had to travel to Mexico to get it renewed. Edwin came along to give me company during the trip and to get to experience a different country. Well, we didn’t understand the rules, and the passes for Guatemalans to visit Mexico had been all used up by the time we got there. So we ended up only making it about 50 feet into Mexico! But we had some great conversations during the 10 hour trip about his hopes and dreams. His older brother died last October, and his younger brother and sister depend on him a lot. It’s all been really hard on him. He could really use your prayers as he seeks God’s will for his life.

The construction on our house stopped for a few weeks around Christmas to give everyone a break. In December we stuccoed the walls and installed the drainage lines. In January we’ve poured a cement floor and are installing tiles now. I hope to record a new video this week to show the progress. The big prayer request is that we still don’t have any electricity, and I’m not sure how much longer it’s going to take because there’s still no power lines on our road.

Whew, I think that’s enough for this month.
Thank you so much for your support and prayers for Yuli, myself and the ministry with these guys. We’re grateful for all the support that we’ve received this past year, especially with the additional expenses of the guys now living with us and our new daughter. Thank you for enabling us to serve in Guatemala!

Brent & Yuliza

November in Guatemala

Happy Thanksgiving! I was planning to send this email out in time for Thanksgiving, but I’ve been a little behind these past few days.

The biggest news this month is that our daughter Margaret Sophia was born last week! We named her Margaret after my grandmother who has been such a blessing to us. Both mother and daughter are doing well, but sleep sure has been much more difficult these past few days! We are so grateful for God’s wonderful provision and protection throughout the complicated pregnancy. And we are so excited to now hold our little girl in our arms! Please be praying for Yuli as she continues to heal from the C-section that was necessary.

Elias graduated from high school at the end of October, and he is now searching for his first job. So these past few weeks he’s been here at home with us, and we’ve had much more time to spend with him than we normally get. It’s been great to have this time with him, and our relationships have grown a lot deeper. He’s also been an absolute blessing to us this past week with our new daughter as he’s been so incredibly helpful with cleaning and running errands. I really enjoy our time together, and it’s so wonderful to watch him grow and mature. Please pray for him as he searches for a job.

Benjamin just celebrated his 24th birthday last week, and he also just started a new job. He decided to work at a cell phone company where a few other guys from Casa Shalom now work. This new job offers more money, but I’m concerned because it also requires longer hours. Our relationship with him has grown and matured a lot these last few months, and we’ve seen a direct link to how busy he is at work with how stressed he is at home. (In other words, he’s just like all of us!) Please pray for him as he decides where to work and how to invest his time.

The house construction continues to progress as well. We’re currently working on putting stucco on all the walls and installing pipes and drainage lines. I’m not sure when the house is going to be finished, but the progress continues to move along. I guess I should make a new video soon in order to show all the progress since we poured the roof!

Verse for November

This month we finished our Bible study on the book of John. I just love this book, and I learn more and more each time that I read it. It’s fascinating to see how Jesus interacts with His disciples and other people around Him. The thing that really stood out to me this time was how Jesus acted as a leader. I want to be a good leader to the guys that God has placed in my life, and I want to be a good leader for my family.

Chapters 13-17 are so rich with great examples of His leadership during the last supper and in the Garden of Gesemane. Jesus serves the disciples by washing their feet. He says hard things to them and does what He knows must be done. He gives them a vision for the future and a plan for the present. He challenges them and comforts them. He spends a long time praying for Himself and for them. And all throughout these chapters there is a continuous theme of love: God’s love of Jesus, Jesus’s love of them, and their need to love each other.

John the Baptist’s attitude about Jesus is exactly what I want and need for my life. It’s a great response about how to be a good leader:

He must become greater; I must become less.”
John 3:30 (NIV)

I would appreciate your prayers for me: Jesus must become greater in my life, and my personal desires and attitudes must become less. It’s so simple, yet so hard. Thank you!

Thank you so much for your support and prayers for Yuli, myself and our ministry with these guys. We pray that God also blesses your lives and draws you closer to Him. We pray regularly for you, so please let me know if you have any prayer requests!

Brent & Yuliza

October in Guatemala

Elias finished up his internship that he started in August. He was hopeful that they might offer him a full-time position, but it didn’t work out. We would appreciate your prayers as he now starts job hunting. Saturday is his graduation ceremony from high school, and they’ve asked him to share his testimony at the ceremony. He’s pretty nervous right now as he prepares for it!

Edwin and Jenifer are siblings who stayed with us for Christmas last year. On Sunday their older brother Hugo died of complications from pneumonia. He had several medical conditions that had progressively worsened over the years, and lately he had been constantly in and out of the hospital. The most beautiful thing about his testimony was that in the middle of all his problems and pains, he always talked to everyone about God’s goodness. Well now he’s in the presence of his good God and isn’t suffering anymore, and we give God praise for that.

Out of this sad time came a new beginning. Hugo had left the orphanage years before I arrived, and his death reunited many guys who grew up with him and are closer to my age. We had an INCREDIBLE time meeting them and getting to know them. It was like a big extended family reunion! The common feeling with everyone was “I miss this family. We need to get together more often!

On Monday I got sick, and I wasn’t able to get together with them. They responded, “No problem, we’ll come to your house!” God helped me feel better in the evening when they arrived, and He really blessed our time together. I’m very excited about the new relationships! Yuli and I really enjoyed listening to each of them share their experiences after leaving the orphanage and learning about the challenges that they faced. Yuli invited them all back over again in a few weeks so that she could cook for them all, but I think that she forgot that she’s about to give birth! (God really blessed me with an incredible wife!) We would really appreciate your prayers that God would allow us to continue to build these new relationships, and that we can encourage each of them to continue to seek God as adult men.

At the end of September we poured our cement roof! It was a pretty massive undertaking, and it used about 150 sacks of cement (about 6 tons), 14 cubic meters each of sand and gravel (around 23 tons each!), and lots of water. Coming from the United States, it’s a little weird thinking about all that weight above your head. I put together a quick and very shaky video of the process if you’re interested. The last few weeks we stopped construction in order to let the roof fully dry, but now we’re back removing the wooden mold that held it all together. It looks good!

Our family is going to grow in size very soon! Yuli is less than a month away from giving birth to our little girl, and we can’t wait to meet her! We work with lots of kids, but not with many babies, so it’s going to be a huge change for us. We’re so excited to soon meet our little gift from God! Last week we took advantage of the break in construction and snuck away for a little vacation to relax for a few days. Pretty soon our lives are going to become a lot busier, and so the time was so needed and refreshing. The doctor says that our baby is doing well and already over 6 pounds, but she has her umbilical cord wrapped around her neck twice. Please pray for our baby during these final weeks of pregnancy and as we decide if a C-section is necessary.

Verse for October:

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted
and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
Psalm 34:18 (NIV)

Please pray this verse this month for all the kids and men that God has placed in our lives. Edwin and Jenifer are going through a time of sorrow. The guys who live with us are affected by the rejection of their mother. Many of the kids at the orphanage suffer from the abandonment and abuse and brokenness that brought them here. We so desire to be used by God as a conduit of His love and healing. Please pray for us!

Thank you so much for your support and prayers for Yuli, myself and our ministry with these guys. We pray that God also blesses your lives and draws you closer to Him. We pray regularly for you, so please let me know if you have any prayer requests!

Brent & Yuliza

September in Guatemala

Last Saturday was my birthday, and it started me thinking about how wonderful God has been to me. This newsletter is going to be a bit longer than normal, but this month I want to give thanks to God for what He’s done for me and for who He’s placed in my life.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. Hebrews (12:1-3 NIV)

These verses from Hebrews 12 follow the most famous section of Hebrews about the men and women of faith. Hebrews 11 talks about men who believed impossible things by faith, and by God’s will they became reality. Men who faced danger, suffered, and were persecuted for their faith, but persevered through the trials because of their faith. Go back and read chapter 11 again and think about what incredible faith it would take if you were confronted with situations of these men. Hebrews 12:1-3 perfectly captures what our response should be: throw off everything that hinders us and run our race!

These verses get me so excited and inspired, and so I want to write about the men of faith that God has placed in my life. These men have been incredible witnesses to me, and I feel so blessed that the God of Heaven would look down on someone like me and provide these men to guide me, teach me, train me, model for me, love me, and always point me to Christ. I’m not planning to name them by name, because the purpose is to show how God has been so wonderful to fill my life with a great cloud of witnesses. (And I know that each one of them will be reading this and know who you are.)

Like any good story, my cloud started right from the beginning. God blessed me with incredible parents, and I never had any reason to doubt that they loved me. They were fully committed to raising me as they felt God wanted them to, and I knew the Lord at a young age because of them, and my parents taught my sunday school classes often when I was growing up. A few years ago I was visiting them and I got to sit in on my Dad’s Bible study where he was going through the book of Acts. Paul had been severely persecuted to the point of death during his first missionary journey. And yet when he finished the arc of the cities he wanted to preach in, instead of returning home he instead retraced his steps and spent much more time in those same cities discipling and forming the new churches. The study really opened my eyes to the need to follow-up with new believers. Not just run away from confrontation and persecution, but to persevere and finish the work that we’ve been given. Thank you for your love and guidance, for raising me, and for introducing me to Jesus!

I entered high school as any geeky teen does: very shy, quiet, timid, and more excited about my computer classes than anything else. I wasn’t prime evangelistic material, and I certainly didn’t go into high school thinking about how to impact it for Jesus! I wasn’t searching for a group like Young Life, but God had different plans, and it found me. Our leader was so committed to us that he positioned his job to be close to our school so that he could stop by when we were getting out of class in order to build relationships. And he modeled how to reach out to my friends in a non-threatening and “cool” way. He helped me develop my quiet times and my prayer life. And I got to see my best friend come to know Christ. Thank you for developing me and for showing me how to reach out to the lost!

Then I went off to Georgia Tech, where I didn’t know anyone. I tried to find a good Christian group, but I wasn’t able to find anything my first year. Through my parents’ help I was introduced to the Tech’s Navigator leader. He worked me over like no one else! He made me do in-depth studies and analysis on many books of the Bible. And once when I didn’t finish what I was supposed to, he sat me down and made me write out every last detail of my weekly schedule so that it would be clear to me that I was being lazy. He was really hard on me, and it was exactly what I needed! But the greatest lesson that he taught me was love. He had incredible love for me. He had incredible love for all of the students. Christ’s love compelled him in such a unique and powerful way, and it impacted me deeply as I watched and learned from him. It was during our time together that I first got my call to be a missionary, and it was though him that I heard about Guatemala. Thank you for your LOVE and for discipling me!

In Guatemala I first worked with Hearts for the Children Ministry where I lived with the leader and his family. He modeled a life fully submitted to God’s will. He prayed and what God said, he did! The ministry had lots of medical clinics, feeding programs, clothing donations, out reaches, kids programs and church services. It was hard to keep up with it all! But in everything his mission was never material provision. People would get sick again, clothes would get worn out, and they would get hungry again. He used all those as only a means to an end. To get everyone’s attention the best he could in order to reach the most people possible with the gospel. I also learned so much from him and his family about breaking down the barriers that exist between American & Guatemalan, English & Spanish, rich & poor. Thank you for your Obedience to God’s call, for helping me adjust to life in Guatemala, and for your example!

I then transitioned to helping out at the orphanage Casa Shalom which was just down the road. My time there was like none other. The director loved those kids like they were his own. His house was FULL of crying babies, and he constantly was checking in with all the other kids to see how they were doing. He was a man of faith, who didn’t freak out or doubt when the home’s finances were in the red but instead acted in faith to expand the ministry believing that God would provide. He imprinted on my heart the verse “For we live by faith, not by sight.” (2 Corinthians 5:7) Those preteen & teen boys that I was put in charge of during my time working at the home stuck in my heart permanently. It was during that time that God started giving me a vision for the boys and our future together. Thank you for your example of faith and for your love of the kids!

When I moved to Texas six years ago to start a job there, I wondered where I was going to go to church. After living in Guatemala, I was really unsure if there was a church where I could fit in and grow in the few years that I would be living there. I clearly underestimated God and His plan for my life. He quickly led me to a small church down the road from where I lived and worked. I found a church with the most wonderful mix of hispanics, black and whites. Although small, it had the biggest ministry to the community that I’ve ever seen. And I found a pastor and congregation that were incredibly passionate about God. Church wasn’t an hour on Sunday mornings in order to check a spiritual box off, but instead lasted as long as was needed to fellowship and grow in the Lord. One of the things that I miss most about living in Guatemala is this church. The pastor’s house was always filled with people, and he helped raise many other kids. It was during this time that I was praying a lot about what God wanted with the half-way house, and He used my pastor as a great example, mentor, encourager and help. Thank you for your example, help, training and love!

One of the biggest and most important things that this great cloud of witnesses has illustrated to me is a dedication to their families. I sometimes hear such sad stories of missionaries who set out with such great hopes and ambitions, but in all the busyness of doing “God’s work” they left their family behind. And I can see how easy it is to do! It’s so easy to get overly involved in the busyness of ministry that there’s just not enough time for anything else. I’m grateful for the examples of these men, and I could write so much about their incredible wives too! Please pray that God will help me never leave my family behind. This presses on my heart so strongly as we’re only about two months away from having our first child. Thank you (and your wives) for your great examples with your dedication to your family!

Thank you, Lord, for the family you’ve given me. Thank you for all the blessings that you’ve placed in my life: the incredible spiritual leaders, the pastors, the friends, the family, all my dear brothers and colaborers in the faith, and most of all my wonderful wife! I pray that you help me as we form our own family: that we can always point all of our children, both biological and pseudo-adopted, towards You.

This is my birthday wish: as God has so richly blessed my life by surrounding me with great witnesses, that He would in turn use me to be His witness here in Guatemala. That I would be found to be a man of faith and would persevere in God’s calling to share His love with the children, teens and young adults that He has place in my life.

And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others. 2 Timothy 2:2 (NIV)

Paul’s final letter before he was put to death was to his “true son in the faith” Timothy. He encourages Timothy to not let the message that he learned stop with him because it was now his responsibility to share the gospel message with others so that they can then share it with others as well. No matter what the cost, Paul encouraged Timothy to proclaim the gospel, and my own cloud of witnesses have challenged me to do the same. I ask that you pray for me that I would be faithful to the task that God has given me.

Please pray for us as we now have our own Timothys living with us. Pray that Christ’s love would penetrate their hearts and transform them. Pray that I would be faithful to my calling and that God would be glorified by my life. Pray that the barriers would be broken between us. Pray that the works of the devil which brought the boys to the orphanage would be broken. Pray that God would give both me the words to say and the way to say them. Pray that I would give a good testimony in the good times and the hard times. And pray that they would leave here equipped and ready to teach others.

Thank you so much for your support and prayers for Yuli, myself and our ministry with these guys. We pray that God also blesses your lives and draws you closer to Him.

Brent & Yuliza

August in Guatemala

Sorry that it’s been so long since my last update! It’s been a busy past few weeks, and here’s what’s been going on:

Elias is currently finishing up his senior year of high school right now. This is his last month of classes, and so he’s really busy finishing up lots of final projects and preparing for final exams in the coming weeks. He’s excited to be so close to graduating!

Benjamin continues to work at his new job of inventory management at a label making factory. The company makes everything from soda bottle labels, to hotdog packaging, to different types of sales stickers. He’s really enjoying the new job experience and being able to use his accounting degree.

Proverbs 20:5: The purposes of a man’s heart are deep waters, but a man of understanding draws them out.

The guys have been with us for about eight months now, and we feel like we’re only now starting to really get to know them. They’re brothers, but their personalities are very different. They both struggle with not knowing their fathers and the abandonment of their mother. These experiences have affected them deeply and have created walls in their hearts that keep others out. It takes lots of time and patience and love and prayer to break through. I’m so grateful for the conversations we’ve been having lately with them and the glimpses into their hearts. Would you please pray Proverbs 20:5 for us? We want to be used by God to minister to their hearts. Please pray for them as they live and grow with us. Please pray that God would give us love and wisdom in ministering to them. And please pray for the guys that come in the future to live with us, that even now they would be getting to know God as their Heavenly Father.

Last month was crazy as we found out that there was a problem with Yuli’s residency in the US, and so we had to quickly fly back to the States before July 1st. I returned to Guatemala shortly afterwards, and Yuli stayed with my parents until things got sorted out. (thanks Mom and Dad!) It ended up taking four weeks for everything to get sorted out, and we’re happy to have it resolved and be back in Guatemala together. Yuli’s pregnancy is going well, and we’re expecting a girl to be born in mid November. It exciting to be getting ready for our first baby! It was hilarious a few nights ago to watch the guys get freaked out when they saw Yuli’s stomach move as our baby moved around.

My mom took advantage of Yuli’s return to Guatemala to fly down with her in order to visit us. It was lots of fun to introduce her to our guys and to the kids of Casa Shalom as well has spending time with her and Yuli’s family together. My mom has always been a great source of spiritual guidance and encouragement, so it was so wonderful to have her here with us!

The construction continues to progress well, and now the walls of the house are just about finished. Next week we’re going to start on the preparations for the cement roof. We have to first build a huge wooden mold that the cement can then be poured into. It’s so exciting to see it all getting finished, and we’re still hopeful that we’ll be able to move into the house by the end of the year.

Thanks so much for all of your prayers and support for us in Guatemala! God has given us an incredible responsibility to be His witnesses to his children in Guatemala, and we feel honored to carry His name.
Brent & Yuliza

May in Guatemala

This past month we were able to get in contact with another guy who grew up in Casa Shalom, named Carlos, who now has returned to live with his family. We have his story in our blog here, and it was great to see him again. There are many other kids who have also left over the years, and we hope to continue to make contact with them.

The construction on the house continues to progress well, although it’s now a little more complicated because we’ve entered the rainy season. There are new pictures of the progress here. The most exciting progress was finally getting permission from the new mayor to connect water to our land. After three months of asking neighbors to use their water in order to be able to mix cement, we are very excited to now have all the water that we need.

Prayer requests for June:

  • At the end of May we flew up to Austin, Texas in order to visit some friends and our home church in Austin, Texas for ten days. It’s wonderful to be back visiting with so many friends! Please pray that this time will be relaxing and refreshing for us.
  • This trip was necessary because of the current status of Yuli’s residency paperwork. We’d appreciate prayer that it would all get sorted out.
  • Please pray for Elias and Benjamin as they’re home alone until we return on Monday. They’re both adults, but it feels strange to be away from them. Fortunately Skype helps us keep in touch!
  • Yuli’s pregnant! We’d appreciate your prayers for her health and for us as we plan the new addition to our family.
  • Please pray Philippians 3:10-11 for us, “I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.”

Thanks so much for all of your prayers and support for us in Guatemala! God has given us an incredible responsibility to be His witnesses, and we feel honored to carry His name.

Brent & Yuliza

April in Guatemala

April was another busy month; sorry that this newsletter is coming out a little late. Our website is a little messed up right now as it’s been moved off of Casa Shalom’s website, so please update your bookmarks to Hopefully I’ll be able to soon resolve the problems that it’s having.

It’s great having Benjamin and Elias here with us, and we’re growing closer and closer together as a family. There’s certainly a transitional phase for both them as Casa Shalom has been their home since they were both young kids, and they’re accustomed to being surrounded by the other kids. So it’s a big change to be in a much smaller family now. And it’s been a change for Yuliza and I to have them here in our house all the time and to have the larger responsibility of planning and providing for them. But it’s so exciting to be growing together! I have great memories as a child eating dinner together with my family and talking about each of our days. Eating together while we discuss our days, hopes and plans for the future has now become my favorite time that we spend with the guys. We’ve also been studying the book of John together, and it has created many deep discussions. My prayer is that their relationships with our Heavenly Father will continue to mature in knowledge and depth of insight.

The construction on the house continue to steadily advance, and I’ve put a video of the progress on our website.

During my first trip to Guatemala I stayed with the Allan family and helped with their ministry Hearts for the Children. I watched the way this family from Canada interacted with the Guatemalans, and I was impacted by the way they tried to live as close to the Guatemalans as possible. Their example brought to life what the apostle Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 9:19-23:

Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings. (1 Corinthians 9:19-23 NIV)

My hope and prayer is that we would also model these verses in our own lives and in order break down the cultural and social borders that exist so that Christ may be glorified through us.

Prayer Requests for May:

  • Benjamin & Elias: Pray that they continue to grow in their relationship with God as they grow in their professional lives.
  • Traveling to Texas: At the end of this month Yuli and I are going to visit our church and friends in Austin. We’re so excited about this opportunity to visit so many people that we dearly miss, and we would appreciate the prayers for our trip, that it would be a great chance to reconnect with many friends and supporters.
  • Please pray 1 Corinthians 9:19-23 for us: to the fatherless and motherless, we pray that we may be a father and mother, to win as many as possible.

Thanks so much for your prayers and support for our ministry. We are incredibly grateful! We pray for all of you, so we’d love to hear from each of you about specific things that we can be praying for.

Brent and Yuliza

March in Guatemala

March has been a busy month full of teaching, cooking, constructing and growing! Benjamin has moved in with us this month, and so the Brito brothers are now here together. We have a picture of our family on our website, and our home sure feels a lot fuller now!

In February we finally had received the land title and began work on digging the trench for the foundation for the wall around the perimeter of the land. This month has been full of pouring the cement and laying blocks for the outer wall. It’s been really busy and tiring! (and I’m not even doing most of the labor) But it’s so exciting to be planing and designing the house. We have a bunch of pictures of the progress on our website.

Prayer requests for April:

  • Benjamin & Elias: We’re excited that God had brought them both to our home. Please pray that He would continue to form them into men of God while they’re here with us.
  • Construction: Construction is exciting, but it is also intimidating with so many big decisions and problems that arise. Please pray for wisdom for our decisions and safety for our workers. Please pray for favor with our mayor for issues such as water which we still need. And please pray for financial provision.
  • Us: Please pray that Yuliza and I would be able to spend the quality time together that we need as a couple as our home is now busier. Please pray that we would remain one in heart and mind.
  • Please pray that Galatians 2:20 would become more and more real to us and to our boys this month: “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

I love the Easter season! I remember going to a sunrise service Easter morning with my family as a child and singing sings like ”Up from the grave He arose”. I remember being amazed by the love and the power of our God. The love that God had to send His Son for us sinners, and the love that Jesus had for us to suffer and die in order to pay the penalty for our sins. And the amazing power of our Lord. He remained perfect and pure while He lived and as He died. He conquered death by rising again. He destroyed the plans of the devil. He broke the bonds of sin in our lives that held us captive. And He returned in victory to His Father’s side, where He is preparing a place for us to be with Him. What an amazing God we serve!

My prayer for you, and I ask that you pray the same for us, is that the incredible love and power for our Lord would become more and more real in your lives. Happy Easter!

Thank you so much for your continued prayers and support!

With love,
Brent and Yuliza

February in Guatemala

February has been a very exciting and busy month because the land title has been finally approved! It took 5 months for the whole process to complete which is a lot longer than we were anticipating, but we’re so grateful for the land and excited to now begin building.

We had a picnic party to celebrate the start of construction the final weekend in February. We invited all the teenage boys from Casa Shalom over to the land along with our pastor and our family and friends. It was a great time of giving thanks to God for His provision.

We also used it to talk to the boys about their hopes for the future. Proverbs 29:18 says, “Where there is no vision, the people perish”, and other translations say that the people “cast off restraint”. A common problem with orphans is that they have no vision for their lives. When you grow up with no parents or your parents die and you’re left alone, your hopes and dreams for the future can easily die too. Our message to the guys was that in Christ we can have a hope and a future. Like a pot in the hands of a potter, He is forming us for His purpose.

Prayer Requests for March:

  • Elias: Elias is continuing his final year of high school. Please keep him in your prayers as he plans for the future.
  • Benjamin: Elias’s brother Benjamin has finished his required internship in order to graduate from high school, and is now looking for a job. He is also moving out of Casa Shalom and moving in with us. Please pray for him as he transitions into this new phase of life. We’re excited to have him here with us!
  • House Construction: There are a lot of details that go into building a house! I’m learning a lot as we get the project started. One issue that we’re waiting for is that we don’t have any water yet, and the new mayor hasn’t decided how much he wants to charge us to hook it up. Without water we can’t make concrete. Also pray that God provides all the finances needed to build the house.
  • Us: Please pray that Yuliza and I continue to have enough time together as a couple amidst the busyness of teaching, construction and our guys.
  • Please pray Colossians 4:5-6 for us: Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.

Our website and blog have moved! Our name change is now complete, so our website can now be found at Please update your bookmarks! My email address will continue to work.

Thanks so much for all of your prayers and support for us in Guatemala! God has given us an incredible responsibility to do, and we feel honored with all the support that we receive.

Brent & Yuliza

January in Guatemala

The busyness of Christmas time settled down quickly after most of our house guests left shortly after the new year, leaving just Elias with us. And then the school year started up, with Yuli teaching second grade at a school nearby, and Elias beginning his senior year of high school. It felt strange to all of a sudden have so many less people in the house! The kids from Casa Shalom have also returned from their vacation and are now busy with the new school year. It’s fun to be back with them working on homework and projects together.

Elias has now been with us for almost 2 months, and we’ve really enjoyed having him here in our home. We even got to celebrate his 21st birthday with him about three weeks ago. Yuli’s family has also been incredibly welcoming and wonderful to Elias. They have been a great help and support to Yuli and I! Elias has now even started calling some of Yuli’s sisters “tia”. (which mean aunt)

We are incredibly grateful that God has brought us here to serve, and that He has brought Elias into our lives. We pray that we will do a good job raising him, and we ask that you pray that God continues to guide our ministry to Elias and for the guys who will come to live with us in the future.

Here are some prayer requests for February:

  • Please pray for Elias. He’s in his senior year of high school and works very hard at it. Because of long bus rides he leaves very early and is gone for 12 hours everyday. Pray pray for him as he lives and grows with us and as he decides what to do after graduation.
  • Please pray for our land. We have not been able to start construction this month like we hoped. We’re still waiting for the final land title to return from a government office. It’s been frustrating to wait, as it’s taken about 3 months longer than we anticipated. Sometimes it’s hard to know exactly why it’s been delayed so long, but it’s mostly a mixture of the craziness of elections and new government officials taking office and slowdowns due to Christmas break. We were supposed to receive the final paperwork at the end of January, but our lawyer had mixed up some numbers. So we’ve resubmitted the paperwork and now are waiting for it to be accepted.
  • Please pray for Yuli and me. Please pray that we get to spend sufficient time together, and that God continues to bind our hearts together. Pray that the busyness of the world would not distract us from growing together as spouses.
  • Please pray James 1:2-4 for us:“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” We are young and new at this, and we NEED God’s wisdom in our lives. Please pray that He would always be our focus and our guide!

Thank you so much for your prayers for us!

As we’ve mentioned in the past, we’ve been trying to decide for the past few months what name to call the ministry. Many have recommended an obvious pun on our last name to call it “the Potter’s House”. The idea is from Jeremiah 18, where God says, “like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand”. What we decided that we like even more is the name “the Potter’s Home” because our desire is to create a loving home where God can form these guys into men. What do you think?

Thanks again for your support and prayers! The messages and emails that we receive are so encouraging to us. You are a great blessing to our lives!
Brent & Yuliza