Hello from Guatemala! We hope everyone is doing well, and we’re praying for all of you during this trying time that we’re in. There are currently 20 people in Guatemala who are infected with the virus, and in order to contain it the president has closed schools, most businesses, all public transportation, all flights, and there is a mandatory curfew every afternoon at 4. The market and grocery stores are still open a few hours everyday, so we have enough food. Our girls have been off from school this past week and here at the house. The teachers were nice enough to give them lots of homework to keep them busy! And they’re enjoying spending the time learning to cook new foods with Yuliza. The curfew is a new thing that just started this weekend, and it’s very bizarre to be stuck at home so early and have the normally very busy streets so empty and quiet.
Most people that come to our feeding programs live day-by-day, and these new restrictions have affected them hard. We’ve had to cancel our feeding program and Bible study, but our group, DBO Ministries, has been buying food and supplies for the families. But there are many poor, homeless, and shoe shiners who we haven’t located. Please keep them in your prayers.
Los Gozosos is an incredible orphanage in our town that ministers to children with special needs, and they invited me to join their board of directors about a year ago. They’re going through a trying time as they care for their children. Groups regularly visit and they’re the biggest source of income, but with the flight cancellations, the home is in great need in order to pay their workers.
This year we welcomed a new girl, Mary, into our family. She is 18 and in 9th grade. We got to know her when she had to live in Casa Shalom about 5 years ago. She returned with her mother, but they were having trouble making ends meet. And we’re so thrilled and blessed to be a help to her and her family.
Sandra is a senior this year, and she’s studying to be a preschool teacher. She has an internship at a local school near us every afternoon and stays super busy as she prepares for graduation at the end of the year. Ana entered high school this year at a new school where she is learning to be a secretary. She is very excited about this new stage of life and is always working on her shorthand and improving her English. And Karla is in 9th grade. She loves cooking and is Yuliza’s constant shadow. And of course, Margaret is in the middle of everything and loves having a bunch of older sisters!
We’re blessed to be able to invest in the lives and futures of these girls. It never ceases to amaze me how unique and special our girls are and how wonderful it is to feel like a big family.
Alfonso & Julio
If you recall, we had two guys, Alfonso and Julio, who used to live with us several years ago. Because of a situation that arose, we had to ask them to leave our home, and it was a really difficult time. We were particularly sad about Alfonso because he had been with us for three years, and we love him a lot.
We hadn’t had any contact with Alfonso for a few years besides a message every once in a while. So we were so excited when he decided to come spend Christmas with us! (You can see him kind of hiding in the back of this picture)
We’re happy to have his friendship again and we would really appreciate your prayers for him as he is still very unstable in life and is always changing where he lives.
We also have been talking to Julio, and he also needs your prayers as he’s in-and-out of rehabilitation centers due to alcohol. He’s back in a center now, and we’d love to see him get better.
Margaret & Isabella
Isabella has her first birthday in just a few weeks! She is an incredibly happy and energetic baby who loves to be the center of attention at all times and play peek-a-boo nonstop. We love her laughs and the joy she brings to our family.
And Margaret is a wonderful big sister who takes such joy in having a sister. Margaret is in first grade and loves learning how to read and write. It’s been interesting as her school is in Spanish, but her primary language in the house is English. And her favorite class is one that teaches Kaqchikel, which is the local Mayan language of our part of the country. (There are 23 native languages other than Spanish in Guatemala) Her teacher is a native speaker of Kaqchikel, and Margaret loves learning new words. She wants to be trilingual and loves asking her teacher how to say new things.
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 less fortunate here in Guatemala. It’s a rare privilege to be able to do what we do. Thank you so much for making it possible!
During hard times like these, when so many conveniences that are often taken for granted suddenly disappear, we are presented a unique opportunity to have conversations and share with people that otherwise just wouldn’t happen. I pray that we all take advantage of this time to point everyone around us to the hope and peace that can be found in our loving Heavenly Father.
Here are a few prayer requests:
- Pray for our girls: Sandra, Mary, Ana and Karla. Pray that they would grow and mature emotionally, mentally, and spiritually, and that they would continue to seek the Lord and His will for their lives. Pray for Celia as she continues to look for a job. Pray that she would trust in the Lord for her future.
- Pray for all the people who are affected by the coronavirus: The sick, the unemployed, the hungry, and the fearful. Pray that we can be a light in this world!
- Please continue to pray for us with immigration. We are supposed to travel to the US in May, but we can’t with the current travel restrictions. It’s an interesting time to live in another country.
Thank you so much and God bless,
Brent, Yuliza, Margaret & Isabella