Friday, January 11, 2013

GUATEMALA 2013: (1) Introducing Our Mission

Shepherd January 2013 Newsflyer
In five short months from this time tonight I will be writing my first blog post as a missionary from Guatemala. I can already feel it coming like a shift in the air before a cool summer rain.

Our mission has four separate components and I wanted this flyer to provide a preview into exactly what the Shepherd family will be about. This is our calling. It is a single mission with four clear areas of focus: 

Labor de Falle
We will actively work in this village with teams from the United States and Guatemalans to accomplish: home building, water projects, feeding programs, medical & dental clinics, child education, literacy & completion of a church. 

The big idea here is initiating generational change. Decades of civil war has devastated communities and families. We seek not to just help those whose hands we grasp, but also to  strengthen them to become self-sufficient, lifting up not only themselves, but an entire community. 

This is all accomplished with a foundation of sharing the story & living the love of Jesus. True religion is more than words.

Christian Academy of Guatemala
Kellie will be fulfilling a lifetime goal of teaching in another country. She will be volunteering and has already sent in all necessary documentation. The school is a private institution that many local missionary families as well as domestic families attend. 

Caleb and Aleksandra are already enrolled and daycare will be available for Sterling. I will be volunteering as well, filling multiple roles as needed: driver, coordinator, speaker, ditch-digger, jack-of-all-trades. This will be an area of community and stability for us as we can interact with other mission-minded families. 

Journey Church Guatemala
Founding missionaries of our organization, Catalyst Resources International, Fontaine & Paula Greene have been organizing mission-minded people and Guatemalans who want to worship in English to weekly meetings of worship, fellowship, and teaching.

Within the past year, this gathering became a campus of our home church, Journey Church in West Chester Ohio. Now, Journey Church Guatemala will be our congregation. I will be on staff as an associate pastor, working with small study groups and assisting with the weekly teaching series.

A Home for Abandoned Babies
And now we are at the heart of our mission. Our home will be a safe harbor for 4-6 infants who were abandoned and hopeless. Kellie and I have a passion for adoption because of how our two daughters have blessed our lives. We all walk hands held tightly together as we live out our belief.

We also believe that the God of the universe created us and called us His own, adopting us as His sons and daughters.

Our experience and our belief drives our conviction that we want to spend the rest of our lives reaching out to these beautiful children and uniting them with forever families.

Our life journey is now about looking after widows and orphans in their distress. We understand that to know God we must... beyond all else... have love. This love compels us. (James 1, 1 Corinthians 13)

We are forever grateful to so many who walk with us on this pursuit of belief. You are now the Provision of God.

This is our Mission
(Sponsor a Child or Come & Serve)

This is our Sending Agency
(Partner with our family today)

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