We have now been in Guatemala for one full month. In many ways it has gone very quickly and in others very slowly. Maybe we were a little naive about how difficult the transition would be, but it was definitely a transition! Everyone here has been very welcoming and friendly and we still feel that this is where God has called us to be, but we have had to face the reality of how comfortable we were in our lives in the states and of how unrealistic our expectations were compared to how things work here. God has definitely begun to develop in us a spirit of patience and humbleness. It is safe to say that if something takes 3 days in the states it will probably take 2-3 weeks here. The pace is so different and we are learning to appreciate not being in a hurry for anything.
We are now settled in our home and have found the items that we need to survive here. Every purchase was like a treasure hunt! Minimalist living has it’s benefits once you learn to appreciate it! We had a lot of help from the staff at Shadow and were able to get settled relatively quickly. Living out of suitcases and moving 3 times in 3 weeks was not pleasant, but when you wake up to sunshine and 80 degree temperatures every day, it is a small price to pay.
We have started to get into our positions at Shadow and are very excited about the work we are blessed to be a part of. Mike will of course be working with the current staff on developing a regular schedule for building maintenance and up-keep and helping with the planning of future projects as well as working with teams. I have begun working with some of the missionary children on their homeschooling and will soon be helping set up and implement an English/Preschool curriculum for the daycare. I am very excited to begin this new work and God has definitely prepared the way for this ministry. I will go into further detail as the program progresses.
We have been given a more in depth look at the operations of Shadow and the finances and there is much more need here than we originally knew about. The needs go on and on and the stories of how these beautiful children came to be here and the abuses they suffered are too horrible to even think about much less retell. We are praying for increased donations and sponsorships and that every person that hears about Shadow will be given an inspiration as to how they can contribute. For example, we will be needing supplies for the Preschool such as: finger paints, paper, glue sticks, crayons, craft supplies, paint kits, brushes, bulletin boards, classroom materials ( alphabet, number, color, shape etc. decorations), chalk, scissors…. and much more. The cost for shoes for the entire orphanage is about $2700.00 and there are prices to provide meals for the entire project for 1 week, 1 month etc. on the website. The needs are great, but we know that He is greater and He will provide. Please contact Shadow via the website or contact us directly if you would like to get involved in any capacity.
On a personal note, Mike has had to travel back to the states for 12 days to deal with an employee situation in our business. It has been frustrating for him after just getting settled here, but we have already seen how God is using this situation to bless not only our ministry here, as Mike has gotten to share with a lot of people about the work we are doing here, but He is also using it to bless our ministry there in Salem. Some people have come forward to do the next step of renovations on the building and Mike has gotten to meet with them and is also meeting with others who have expressed a desire to be a part of the ministry there. Pastor Heri Salamanca has been receiving support from various churches and is well on his way to meeting his salary requirements for his visa, but we are still praying that he will receive the rest quickly to ensure his continued ministry here.
The boys have adjusted very well and I included some pictures of their adventures here so far. Mike and I feel very blessed to have been given this gift of getting to live here and be a part of the work that God is doing here.We both feel that we have been more changed in this short time we have been here than we can express. We are learning more everyday about who God wants us to be, who He is and what He is calling us to do. We will keep you updated about what is happening here and at home, we are just as excited as you are to see what God is going to do. We miss our friends and family horribly, but know that we will be seeing everyone in June and we will have a lot to catch up on. Please keep in touch with us when you can, it is always a great encouragement to hear from home! Thank you all for your prayers and support, we are praying for all of you also!