Marlin

Since yesterday was our last day of ministry, we traveled back to Guatemala city today. We were very fortunate that those who were sick this week did not get sick on the car ride. Today has been a well needed day of rest for our team.

Once we arrived at the Arkansas House, we had a time where we debriefed the week. Because we did not have any ministry from today to tell y’all about, I wanted to tell you about our friend Marlin. We went to La Libertad on Wednesday and visited a school our team had never been to before.

Among the wonderful children we encountered, Marlin was the one who really connected with our high school girls. She is a 12 year old student with a tender and beautiful heart. She was constantly talking to our students, and never gave up on communicating. With the language barrier, most of the children would not talk to us unless we asked them one of the few questions we knew in Spanish. Marlin would speak to our students as if they were her very best friends. Because of Marlin’s kindness and perseverance to communicate to them, many of our high school girls left the school encouraged with full hearts.

Tomorrow we will start our journey back to South Carolina!  A couple of our team members are still feeling a bit sick so please pray for their health during our plane rides back. Thank you for your continuous prayer for our team this week. To end this post, I will leave you with a picture of Marlin two of our high school girls.

 

-Ashton

 

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Go FOURth

Today was the fourth day of ministry for us, which sadly means it is our last day of ministry.  We were able to go visit a school in Nearar and spend time sharing bible stories, passing out bags of beans and water, and playing games with the children.  Unfortunately, our team was short three members because of sickness, but everyone stepped up and did a great job ministering to the children and teachers anyway.

In the afternoon we were able to join a small church for their worship service and were allowed to teach and sing for them.  Tate and I taught on 1 Samuel 17 and the story of David and goliath for the adults.  Veronica led a devotion from Matthew 6:25-34 on not worrying for the women as well!  Liz, Sean, and Hope took the children and played games with them and taught a bible story from Luke 18.

Overall, we’ve had an amazing time here in Guatemala.  God has been so good to us!  We’ve made awesome friendships, have been able to love on hundreds of children, and have had some great house visits that allowed us to encourage and pray for families.  It’s been great to watch our students step out of their comfort zones and serve in faith.  Everyone on the team has done an awesome job facing adversity, uncomfortable/awkward situations, and a tough language barrier.

This evening we debriefed a bit and talked about all the amazing things we’ve been able to be a part of.  Right now we are finishing a game of phase 10 that we started on the first night (I’m winning in case you were wondering).  Thank you all for your prayers.  Please continue to pray for our team members that aren’t feeling well and for safe travels tomorrow back to the city as well as safe travels home on Saturday!

-Josh

 

Going Back To School

Wednesday, July 25, 2016

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We arrived at the La Libertad school, which has grades kindergarten through middle school, right about snack time, and brought smiles to the faces of each child as we handed out bags of black beans and water.

As the students were dismissed for recess time with us, this beautiful girl came up to me and started talking away, in Spanish. “Yo no comprehendo,” was my reply. I was able to communicate what our names were and that my “hija” Shelby was there with me. Marlin really loved that. I brought out a piece of paper and wrote my name, asking her to write her name down too. Other girls wrote their names also: Karen, Dasli, Mildreth. Next I wrote down the names of the girls with me: Hope, Ashton, Shelby, Kate Lee. Spelling it out helped us all to pronounce each other’s names. Next came ages. Marlin was so shocked to see my age. (You will just have to guess it.)

As we worked at this school, Marlin stayed pretty close to us. She enjoyed trying to talk with us and especially with the girls. She wanted me to join in the circle where everyone was going to participate in the “Father Abraham” song and motions, in Spanish. Then I encouraged her and her friends to play “Jump The River” with us. The river (two jump ropes lying parallel on the ground) symbolized the space between us and God caused by sin in our lives. After the game was over our team explained to the children what this game meant.

After this Marlin, through an interpreter, asked if Shelby, Kate Lee, Hope, and myself would go with her across the street to the little store to buy something. We did. It was such an honor to see that she was buying for us as well as herself! These families do not have much, and for them to buy something for us was, like I said, an honor.

Back on the school grounds, we sat in the shade, having our snack, watching the last kids play “Jump The River,” which by now was about 9 feet wide. Marlin asked if I went to church. At my “yes” reply, she was very excited, “Bien!” I asked her if she went to church, “Si!” This young lady of 12 has such a joyful heart.

As Marlin and the girls went on to other things, I encouraged Mildreth, 10, to show me her classroom and where she sat. I tried to pronounce the Spanish words on the walls and get them to say the English word but they’d just smile. One student brought me a dry erase marker and now I had the attention of five kids, and their voices! As I wrote out the English, they would try to say it. Little Uber wrote his full name (4 words) and explained how to pronounce it. Then he wrote in Spanish a phrase and asked me to write it in English, so I did. “I like very much,” or “I really like it.” That pleased him.

While the other team members were painting fingernails, handing out stickers, or jumping rope, I used my Nikon camera to draw kids to me. I would take their picture, show them the results, then I would have them take pictures. They would giggle when they saw the subject matter of the picture they took. I love using my camera to God’s glory.

As we were getting ready to go, Marlin and her friends gave us such big hugs. I really enjoyed spending time with these kids today. They were a happy, friendly group. Thanks Lord for giving me this opportunity to spread Your love with them today.

A note from the guys: Though both our vehicles came to a traffic stop, the guys were stopped. The police asked for identification and their bags were searched. Tate was sweating because he couldn’t find his passport. Thankfully our interpreter Miguel explained to them that the guys were missionaries and all was well.

And at the school, in the soccer game, the score: Locals – too many to count vs. Gringos 3.

Thank you for praying for us while we are here. We have definitely felt it and seen the results. Keep the prayers coming! Good night.

Veronica Higgs

Day 2 on the Mountain!

Today was our second day of ministry in Guatemala!!

Today we went to a city called Chispan-jaral. It was a new city for us because we have never been there before. We were the first missionaries to visit and share with the people. Our children’s story was about Jesus’s love for his children. The number of children was around 130, and they were pretty excited to play with us! Afterwards, we painted the girls’ nails and played jump the river with jump ropes. It was a wonderful time with them.

 

After departing from the school, we split into our groups and began making house visits. Our first house visit was with Jovita, a catholic woman. She has been mourning over the death of her son and facing the persecution of her neighbors. We were there in order to encourage her and give her scripture that might lift her up. After leaving Jovita’s we made several other house visits. One of our groups was able to share the story of David and Goliath as well as Jonah and the Whale. Coming back to the hotel we had enough time to jump in the pool! It was very refreshing after a long day of climbing the mountain.To end the day, we had chicken quesadillas for dinner. After dinner we had group time together and were able to share the stories from the day.

 

Tomorrow we will visit a new school with around 60 children. We will share with them the story of The Good Shepherd. Please pray for the children’s attention and that they will not be super distracted while we teach. God has blessed us with good health and we would like for you to continue to pray for us in that way. Thank you for your love and support during this week in Guatemala.

 

-Ashton and Hope

In the beginning…

Today was an amazing first day of ministry here in Guatemala! We began teaching bible stories at a local school that had around 30 children. We told them the bible story about the great shepherd and told them how the great shepherd is Jesus. Even though we wander like sheep, God is faithful to pursue us and to draw us back to Himself! After playing a game of tag in which we had a “shepherd” tag sheep and round them up, we played a game of soccer/Futbol! It was a great time and the kids loved it!

 

After leaving the school we went on house visits. The first visit my team went on was to visit a widow who had lost her husband last month. We did our best to encourage her, but came away feeling a bit discouraged. After that house visit, we went to a young man’s house who had professed Christ, but had recently tried to take his own life. He has a disease that causes him to have multiple seizures each day, and it had all built up and discouraged him. When we got to his house we were sad to learn that he was at his sisters house so she could keep an eye on him and give him his medicine. Unfortunately, her house was at the top of the mountain, and we had walked down the mountain to get to his father’s house where he lived. So, we had an awesome hike and got in good shape!

 

When we got to his sister’s house, we had a great time in which many team members shared bible passages of encouragement including Jeremiah 29:11, Ephesians 2:8-10, Psalm 139, and James 1:2-4. It was a wonderful time and we felt like we were really able to encourage him and strengthen him in this tough time. After these house visits it had been a full day so we went back home (a 40 minute drive) and had dinner. After dinner, we went to the White’s house for our devotion and debrief. When I arrived the lights were out and Sean and I thought that was weird. We opened the door to loud shouts of HAPPY BIRTHDAY with people dressed like batman! They had surprised me with a cake and a party! Ben and Cruz, their sons that are 4 and 6, had made me cards with ninja turtle stickers and special drawings they had done! Also, the team got me a card and had written special messages in it. It was very special to me!

 

Tomorrow we are going to a school that has 130 students and will do more house visits! Please pray for us to have the right words to say, for clarity in translation of bible stories, and for a boldness when sharing the gospel and our testimonies! God has given us safe travels, good health except for a couple small sicknesses, and amazing time with the children and families here in Guatemala. Pray that we do a great job in making His name known and bringing Him glory as we finish the rest of the mission that He has for us here!

 

-Josh

2016 July Guatemala Team

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Here we go again! FBC Mt. Pleasant is sending off another team to work with our partners, David & Regina White, in Guatemala. Our Team will be serving alongside the Whites and some national believers July 24-30. Our Team of 10 (5 HS students & 5 adults) will be working in several villages sharing the gospel and encouraging national believers.

This work is not new. In fact, we began this work alongside IMB (International Mission Board) Missionaries on September 23, 2012. We are approaching 4 years of this partnership! Though the work has been slow and difficult at times, we desire to continue to be faithful knowing that God is calling some out of the Ch’orti’ people! We see this promise fulfilled in Revelation 7:9-10:

“After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, ‘Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!'”

Yes! Salvation belongs to our God. Therefore, God opens the eyes of the blind when He chooses, at His will by His Word! We go confidently knowing the Holy Spirit indwells us and has equipped us for every good work. My deepest longing is to see the Lord worshipped as He deserves, by all peoples for His glory and for our joy! I praise the Lord for the promise we hold to in faith- that one day we will stand with Ch’orti’ believers in perfect community with one another and with the Father.

Please pray for our team.

  • Pray we would display this type of unity now- that people would know we are disciples of Jesus by our love for one another.
  • Pray for our students and adults to be BOLD- trusting in the sufficiency of Christ’s work in us and through us.
  • Pray for our affections for Jesus to grow this week. -And that God would call some to commit their lives to laboring in foreign fields!
  • Pray for our partnership with the Whites and with our national brothers and sisters- that we’d be a blessing to them.
  • And finally, pray that Jesus would be magnified throughout the mountains of Guatemala. That He would raise up believers who would be faithful disciples that would have a passion to plant churches in Guatemala and beyond.

Please lift us up to the Father by name: Josh Driscoll, Kate Lee Anderson, Tate Goodson, Ashton VanDeusen, Sean Collins, Sharon Goodson, Veronica Higgs, Hope Gay, Shelby Higgs, and Liz Eckbreth.

Below are the Whites: David, Regina, Cruz, and Ben!

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Thank you for your prayers!

“The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working!” -James 5:16

For the July Team,
Liz