A movie theater in the city invited all of children of Casa Shalom to come and watch Cars 2 this afternoon. We had a great time, and I really don’t know if they enjoyed the movie or all the popcorn more! (fortunately Viviana and Sarai made sure that I ate enough) The theater was dark, so the pictures aren’t very good, but we sure had a fun time together.
Santos & José are brothers that Yuli and I got to know in Casa Shalom. Their grandparents won custody of them this past year, and so in October they returned to live with them. They don’t have much money, but they’re so happy to be home. Fortunately for us, they live on the outskirts of Chimaltenango, which is the same town where we live.
We’ve gotten to visit them a bunch, and it’s great to see them so content to be with their family. But we also saw that money was really tight. They we’re looking to get them enrolled in a nearby school, but education is expensive here. As we mentioned in our previous newsletter, we decided to help out and pay for their schooling.
We enrolled them in a nearby middle school, where Santos is in 8th grade and José is in 7th grade. Here’s a picture of them one day after class. It’s been so much fun for us to stay connected with them and continue to build a relationship. They also now join us for church every Sunday, and we’re just so happy to be involved in their lives. We would appreciate your prayers as we continue to work with Santos and José.
We would also appreciate your prayers as we continue to meet with other kids who have many needs.
Celia, Anna and Marcelino are three siblings who used to live at Casa Shalom, but returned to live with their parents a little over a year ago. Celia is remembered by about everyone who meets her as being one of the sweetest girls ever.
Since the three returned home, my friend Matt and my sister-in-law Veronica have made a few trips last year to visit them to see how they were doing. They had been sent to the orphanage due to poverty, and so Yuli and I decided to also go check-up on them. Celia’s going into fourth grade, Anna into second, and Marcelino into first grade this year, and so we got them some backpacks and school supplies to get them ready for school.
We didn’t have a phone number, and they live in a small village, but we headed over a week ago in hope to see them. We were sad to find Anna home alone, and she told us that her mom and the others had been at a coffee plantation working for the past two weeks. They were due to return the following Monday, the same day that school started. We walked with Anna over to another family member’s house and got a phone number to call and made plans to visit again in a week.
Today we hoped to return to see all of them, but no one was answering the phone these past few days. Finally this morning before leaving we got a hold of Celia only to find out that her family had gone to a new coffee plantation, and they would be working at the plantation for about a month.
We are very concerned for Celia, Anna and Marcelino. It looks like their family is really needing money, and this is hard work that doesn’t pay very much at all. We also don’t know if their school will take them so late in the year when they return. Please pray for them: That God would protect them, that He would provide for their needs, and that He would give us wisdom how to best help the family.
On December 26th, 2009 last year we were joined in marriage before God, our family and our friends. We are so happy together!!!
We marvel at how God has worked to bring us together, how He provided for all of our needs with the wedding and visas, and how He has blessed our past year as we went to the US and now have returned here. If you haven’t seen our wedding website, you should check it out!
We also spent time planning and praying for this next year. We would appreciate your prayers also as we get adjusted to our new life here and get into ministry. We know that God has great plans for us and we’re excited to be used by Him to share His love with others!
It seems like there’s so many details to prepare for with crossing different boarders and figuring out the best routes to take, that it feels a little overwhelming at times. But it will certainly be a trip that we’ll never forget!