Monday, August 1, 2016

Summer Update



Friends & Family - 
We realize that we do a lot of quick updates on social media, but rarely find the time to sit down and write newsletters to you. We hope that you know that this is in no part a sign of our lack of gratitude or desire to keep you informed of what God is doing through our ministry here. Life is just moving at a rate that doesn't seem possible and we haven't had a chance to sit down together and write anything in, well, a long time!

Here are a few updates from some areas of focus this summer. We hope you enjoy them.

Community Care Center - A huge part of 2016 has been dedicated to starting a community care center in Chimaltenango that Dan is overseeing. The goal for this program is to provide holistic care in order to focus on family preservation and health. In the long-term, this helps to keep the cycle of poverty and orphans creating orphans from growing. The main areas of focus initially are: spiritual growth, health care, and educational support through tutoring. Starting in September, we will be starting an after-school program for 40 children that are currently in this program. Part of the focus for health care has also been installing efficient, safe stoves into the homes of the 50 families in this program.




Sponsorship - As you know, we oversee the sponsorship program in Guatemala for Orphan Outreach. This has been a blessing to us in many ways. The extra one-on-one time that we get with the children we serve by overseeing this program is priceless. This year we have made it a goal to try to keep the donors, churches, and individuals more connected to the daily lives of the children they pour into. In doing so, we've been very busy with updates, receiving, translating, and delivery letters to the children and back to their sponsors, providing video updates, and doing our best to help those relationships feel as close as possible. 

Our time with the children has truly become a precious time and we pray that the Lord uses it to encourage, disciple, and mentor them. The words that He gives us and closeness we feel to the children as we look in their eyes and just let them speak from their hearts is incredible. Many of these children don't have deep relationships, especially with adults and it is a privilege to use this time to minister to them. 




Mission Teams - Dan has had the honor of traveling with several mission teams this summer, both individual teams and church teams. Because of growing up in the US, being on short-term trips, then eventually moving our family, learning another language, and culture, we offer a unique perspective to these teams. While he has countless opportunities to minister to the children, improve their living conditions, and teach them more about God's Word, he has also had a lot of opportunities to minister to the teams that come to serve. While we didn't know the Lord had that in mind initially, He's made it clear that it's definitely a unique spot to be in and that we can add a lot of value to mission teams in this way. 

While it is hard for Dan to be away from home many nights in the summer, we can see how the Lord is using his skills and gifts as well as stretching him in his walk with the Lord. Here are just a few of the highlights from the mission teams that blessed us this summer so far - 

  • Seeing familiar faces from a supporting church in Illinois 

  • Building and painting projects

  • Pouring into the caregivers

  • Helping an orphanage move to a new building

  • Ministering to families in the city dump

  • Receiving new children into the orphanages 

    Please keep praying with us for our time of discipleship with the children, for more opportunities to equip and pour into the caregivers and teachers, and for more lives to be reached with the message of Salvation found in Jesus alone!

    It is an honor and a great privilege to be able to serve orphaned and vulnerable children and their families here in Guatemala. We thank God and our supporters for this opportunity! 
On the homefront - We are 11 weeks shy of the school year finishing up here... but who's counting anyway ;). Malakai is finishing up his transition year (equivalent to 1st grade) and is now considered fully bi-lingual for his age. We are still navigating some health items with him and he has oral surgery coming up later this week, so we ask you to please keep praying for him.

Finley is 4 years old and attends pre-school part-time. She's finishing up pre-K and doing really well. She's come out of her shy shell a bit and has made some really great friends. Please continue to pray for her to have good friendships and for her heart - she really misses her grandparents.

Titus is also 4 years old and attends the same pre-school that Finley does. They have been blessed with an incredible, very small school that is the equivalent of the OT and ST that he needs. He's also continuing to do PT and ST at home and is growing like crazy. Please continue to pray for his development.

Isaías is 20 months and is the funniest little guy ever. He reminds us of Dan so much and is so easy-going, well until he's hungry ;). He enjoys having a couple mornings a week with just him and Christi. 

Here are a few photos of an opportunity we had to serve at an elderly home recently, together as a family. 






We love and appreciate you all greatly!
In Christ,
Dan & Christi 

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