I am overwhelmed by what I have seen and am experiencing. Where to start? I could begin writing and never stop. So broken and rebuilt, repeatedly. But I have a story to share, and I am searching for words to this unexplainable experience of daily saying "yes".
Some day I hope to be a writer, but today the best I can do is to simply try to show you these past 90 days through my eyes.
Shortly after arriving in Guatemala I sign a lease agreement for Journey Church Guatemala to to meet in the auditorium of the Christian Academy of Guatemala. We haven't met together a single time, but my name is on the line.
Kellie & I attend a month of language school in Antigua. We spend a day at a pueblo in San Antonio, Guatemala learning about local culture and customs. Kellie re-enacts part of a wedding ceremony as mother of the bride.
We stop outside of the city in awe of the landscape. Our training for now is complete and we take some time as a family to explore some of the ruins of Antigua
With the ruins explored, we find ourselves with a week before we can transition to the grounds of our mission and so we trek out to the nearby Pacific coast for a few days of family time. For about $100/day, we found ourselves in paradise.
We arrived at our home on the hill above Mimi's House.
The kids & Kellie begin at the Christian Academy. Caleb 8th grade, Aleksandra 5th, Sterling pre-school, and Kellie teaching English
I spend some time in Cerro Alto and Labor de Falla along with the final couple of teams of the summer.
Hanging out with the kids...
...just sharing smiles and the days
practicing English & Spanish and learning that smiles
are a great place to start.
Watching chickens grow &
a small business change lives
a house for a family, a safe place
for their children to grow
seeing an installed ONIL stove that is both
efficient and much healthier for the family...
...and seeing projects develop for the future.
This one is an aquaponic system of tilapia & veggies.
$80 will buy a solar pump!
Over the past 7 weeks we have been a part of the new
Journey Church | Guatemala
Seeing it grow with an all Guatemalan worship team, and
volunteer staff from around the globe. We come together
to be the family of God... to worship, to inspire others
to Live Big, and to do life together.
Inspired by Coach Ernie, Caleb is now
on the CAG Soccer Team
And I have somehow become the boys
substitute Physical Education Teacher
(2 days a week).
I have also found myself a discipleship leader
for the 7th grade boys at the academy, as well
as a chapel speaker at two local English schools.
I have had the joy of watching a team come together
to make possible the youth group of Journey Church,
Big Student Ministries!
We have begun processing our residency paperwork with these lovely photos & some incredible help from family
in the states!
And had time for some amazing moments of service and intense self-reflection. This is a couple in their 80's which is a rarity in these parts. They asked for beds so that they could rest off the floor for the first time. My heart breaks daily as I find myself intensely challenged... how great is our love? How much are we willing to give?
In the words of mother Theresa... do we give out of our wealth, or do we give out of our poverty? Do we know what it means to give until it hurts? To push through that pain and find the joy that is available when we give out of our own suffering? Have you ever spent 80 years sleeping on the ground with plastic over your head to keep the rain out?
And recently God has absolutely blown us away as He has shattered our expectations of establishing a baby home for 4-6 infants. He has dropped in our laps this amazing opportunity to care for many more. This is by his grace. This is our most recent miracle. This is the site of Casa de la Abuelita.
We are now on an 18 month endeavor to meet requirements set by the government to receive abandoned children, ages
0-7 years old. This is our mission.
We begin raising money now by establishing a partnership wall in the main entryway. Our logo will be the central tile, and surrounding it will be tiles with the names of the families who partner with us at $1,000 each. Some paid all at once, and some paid over time. These families will help us build this mission like the people of Nehemiah built the great wall.
By the end of the year we will be selling world-class Guatemalan coffee... shipped directly to your door. We will profit about $4.00 from each pound sold.
We also will be seeking sponsors for our babies at $30.00 per month. We will provide you will the child's story, monthly updates, prayer concerns and needs... and the opportunity to even come and hold her.
This has been our first 90 days.
All I can say is that it has been...
an unexplainable experience of daily saying YES.
Contact me if you have questions or want to be a supporter of the baby homes of C.R.I.
House of Hope ~ The Herman Family, Directors
Casa de la Abuelita ~ The Shepherd Family, Directors