Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

We hope that you had a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

I’m busy catching up with old posts that I’ve never finished, and here’s some pictures from our Christmas. IMG_4572


It’s been a busy and fun time as Alejandro and Flora adjust to life with us. We also had the usual gang of Edwin, Benjamin, Elias and Jennifer join us to celebrate the holidays.



We also invited two guys from the home, Edwin and Juan Carlos, to join us for a few days of their break. We enjoyed spending extra time with them and loving them.



Christmas is celebrated very differently here. In the US most people go to candlelight services and sing “Silent Night” on Christmas Eve. Well, here we light lots of fireworks in order to bring joy to the world!





After the fireworks we make a fire and sit around talking and goofing off for as long as possible. Eventually everyone gets too tired and we go to sleep sometime after 3.

One thing that really impacted me when I first came to Guatemala was the way that they value relationships here. Long after most Americans would want to leave to be alone or go do something, Guatemalans just enjoy being together. Christmas and New Year’s perfectly exemplify this love of each other’s company. To be honest, at times it’s a little exhausting for me. I think that it’s both being American and an engineer, but I love that we get to love these guys and spend so much time with each other.

Fresh Avocados

We were spending the day with the kids at Casa Shalom, and Yuli mentioned how wonderful an avocado would be. They have this tree at the home that’s really old and huge and has some of the best avocados in the world. Some of the guys ran over and started climbing the tree in order to get some, and other guys brought a blanket which they used to catch them. They picked a LOT of avocados, and they were delicious!


They’re waaaaaaay up there!


Merry Christmas!

December has been an incredibly exhausting month for us. It began with the surprise from immigration that I had to leave the country immediately. So I had to drive to Mexico. About a week before Christmas Yuli needed an emergency appendectomy. Thankfully the operation was successful and she has been recovering quickly.


Edwin and Jenifer came over to spend Christmas with us again, and we celebrated  in the traditional Guatemalan way with lots of fireworks and great food.


On the 26th Yuli and I celebrated our 4th anniversary! We’re so grateful that God brought us together. It now seems like a long time ago as we think back to all the different challenges and issues surrounding our marriage and problems with visas, but God worked everything out just perfectly. Thank You, Lord!


December was especially difficult for us because we lost Elias. He’s been with us for two years, and we really miss him a lot. Please be praying for him as he now lives in Guatemala City!


Celia’s Birthday

We sure do celebrate a lot of birthdays… Here’s the third one for the week!

Celia and her family came over to celebrate her birthday with us today.celias_birthday_2013_2

For a few years we’ve been praying about opening up a girl’s home in order to help girls like Celia and her sister Estela. In Guatemala most kids don’t have the opportunity to go to school past sixth grade. Celia just finished sixth, and her village doesn’t have any further opportunities. So we’re hoping, praying and planing to open a new home for them in January. Please be praying for us during this time and important decision.


Visiting Celia

Next year we’re going to be hosting our very first team!

A church from Florida is planning to visit us in February, and they want to do an evangelical outreach. We’re really excited by the idea, and we feel like Celia’s village would be a great place. Her family goes to church near where they live, and we’re getting to know the pastor to see if we can partner with him in reaching out to the community.

Driving past a herd of goats on the way to their village (see the volcano peaking through in the back?)
Parking on the side of the road beside the entrance to the family’s land.
The church just a short distance further down the road.
Hanging out with Celia, Estela, Ana & Marcelino. We love these kids!