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Monthly Archives: August 2008

An Absolutely Awesome Day

God is good – ALL the TIME.  Today was ATL day (Ask The Lord)  We set aside all morning to do whatever people felt the Holy Spirit leading them to do.  I have done this on every mission trip I have led and been blessed the most by this day on every trip – this was NO exception.  I don’t have time to get into all the details, but here are some bullets:

  1. One team went into the mountains and followed their promptings to do more for a family that we met earlier in the week.
  2. One team stayed at the Casa D’ Oracion and followed their promptings to minister to the team of people that made our trip possible.
  3. Another Team went to two Mayan-Catholic Churches and ministered to some people in the city.  We even saw some people accept Jesus as Lord. PTL!!!!!!

NOW, we are back in Guatemala City staying at the Marriot again (I know – real tough life!).  We will get up tomorrow morning at 5 am and head to the airport.

Some personal thoughts…

This trip was so much different from anything I ever expected.  It was so much different from any trip I have ever been a part of.  The accommodations were SO nice, the ministry pretty much went out without a hitch, yet some of the cornerstones – like one on one evangelism seemed far off.  I knew that most of our focus would be construction (this wasn’t new to me).  What I wasn’t prepared for was the resistance to the message of Christ displayed by SO many of the people.  This is why:  All the places I have been before, many other missionaries had come before us, planting the seeds, tilling the land, watering the ground.  In some instances it must have taken years to get a large crop of souls.  The place in Guatemala that we did ministry at is one that has had almost no consistent Christian missionary influence for any significant amount of time (even pray america has only been here for 5 years).  As a result, we are now the people plowing the ground, planting the seed and watering the soil.

Ron Morin, founder of Pray America, shared that when they first came into Chichicastenango, the locals had just been through over 30 years of war and rumors spread that Pray America was feeding their kids so they could make them fat and turn them into soap!  Yeah!  So, our primary objective while we have been here has been to represent Christ as a loving influence in the lives of these people.  Another interesting fact – MOST of the people that we ministered to didn’t even speak Spanish, they spoke their native Keche (sp?).  We found out today that until now (actually in about 2 months) the bible had yet to be translated into Keche.  This is in the process of being completed now and over 70,000 copies of the keche bible will be delivered to Chichi in about 2-3 months.  It is so awesome to me to be a part of this ground level ministry for the kingdom.

It feels late, and I am not even sure what I just wrote made total sense… Anyway, here are a couple prayer requests.

PRAYER REQUESTS – PLEASE PRAY!!!!

  1. About 6 people (including me) are fighting a pretty nasty throught and sinus thing.  We have prayed for one another for healing, but could use some more prayer support.  I felt like I was about to pass out tonight, but everthing is feeling better now – please pray that this goes away from everyone!
  2. Flight Safety/Timelines – I see that there is some nasty stuff heading for Florida right now.  Interesting that we flew through Florida on the way down and Texas on the way back!  Pray that the Lord keeps us safe and on time.

There are some really awesome things that happened amongst the team, but I don’t want to “steal anyone’s fire” be sure to ask your family/loved ones what happened with the team on the last night!!!

Blessings…

-justin (and the team)

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Posted by on August 29, 2008 in Uncategorized

 

Muddy House Building – What fun!

What a beautiful group!

What a beautiful group!

When we arrived at our third building site, we were greeted by a menagerie of mud.  Mud and water everywhere!  This was a little difficult for the team to work with at first, but after a few nails got pounded in, the team was ready to roll!  This was our wettest day of work so far.  The cool thing is that God has protected us from the rain at every turn.  There were several times that we thought that we were going to get rained on while building or far away from shelter, but every time we were protected from the rain.

After building our third widow’s home, we had one last project for the day.  Pray America needed to move an 18 foot tree that will be used as a header over their cement entry gate to Monte Flore.  I don’t have a lot to say about that other than I am glad that everyone came out unscathed.

Well, we are about to leave for a day of touring Guatemala.  Pray for safe travel.

-justin

 
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Posted by on August 28, 2008 in Uncategorized

 

Another day of ministry – God is good!

Helping at one of the Feeding Programs

Helping at one of the Feeding Programs

Yesterday, we spent our second day of ministry building another widow’s house.  It was a great day where we saw the hand of the Lord in many ways.  This house was built in almost half the time as our first one ( about 3 hours in total).  This left us with a significant amount of time to spend with the family that was going to receive the house.

When the widow that recieved the house saw it for the first time, she began to weep uncontrollably.  Pray America had found her through one of their feeding programs and she already knew Jesus as her Lord.  When she thanked us for the house she said a couple of really interesting things.  First she said that in Guatemala nobody helps each other and the she knew that it cost us a lot of money to come so far just to help her.  She said that this would not just be a place that she lived, but rather a house of prayer.  She comitted to praying for us, our families and the ministry of Pray America.  It was really touching.

In the afternoon, we headed out to another of Pray America’s feeding programs (their first one).  After helping out at the feed program, we headed back to the Casa De Oracion for dinner.  After dinner, Ron Morin (the founder of Pray America) shared his personal testimony with the group.  It was so incredibly moving that the team is still talking about it today.

PRAYER REQEUSTS:

  1. I feel like God still has some business to do with some of us while we are here.  Pray that we would ALL discover God’s individual purpose for our being here in Guatemala.
  2. Pray for OPPOPRTUNITIES to share JESUS and the BOLDNESS to be faithful to his call.

Blessings…

PastorJ

 
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Posted by on August 27, 2008 in Uncategorized

 

An $1100 Miracle

Standing the Newly Built House

Standing the Newly Built House

Day 2 was a great day.  We spent the morning bulding a new house for a widow in the mountains of Guatemala.  The concrete foundation and verticle support beams were already in place, so we were able to get right to putting up the walls/roof of the house.  The day was filled with firsts for people.  First time swinging a hammer, first time putting on a roof, first time connecting with someone from a different culture.  The widow and her family mostly only speak Keche, not spanish.  So we had to communicate through 2 sets of translators (one to spanish one the keche and then back again)  That was a first for me!

After we were finished building the house we spent some time ministering to and praying with the family.  We were able to share with them that the gift of this house was not from us but directly from Jesus. 

In the afternoon, we headed up even further into the mountains and participated in one of pray america’s feeding programs.  This evening that fed and ministered to about 250 mountain residents.  It was great seeing the team play with the kids and spend some precious time with these people.

After our dinner back at the House of Prayer, we had some AWESOME time in worship and the Word.  The Holy Spirit really showed up.  At one point I heard Luke Jones say, “Looks like we are having a camp meeting”.  Which, if you know anything about VFC’s youth camps, that is a very good thing.

PRAYER REQUESTS:

  1. BOLDNESS
  2. That we would share about Jesus without fear
  3. That we would be sensitive to all the opportunities He makes for us

blessings from Guatemala,

Pastor Justin and the Team

 
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Posted by on August 26, 2008 in Missions

 

Day 1 In Guatemala – Hold the beans

Monte Flor Family Center

Monte Flor Family Center

Well, we are just now winding down our first day in Guatemala.  Today has been one of relaxation and fun.  We arrived in Chichicastenango around lunch time.  After enjoying a hearty soup and sandwich lunch cooked by our wonderful cooks here at the Casa De Oracion, we headed out to the Market.  There we found street after street of handmade textiles and other regional items.

After our day at the market we hiked about 2 miles up the mountain to tour the brand new pray america facility located on 61 acres called the Monte Flore Family Center.  It is an amazing facility that Pray America intends to use for the purposes of taking “unadoptable” children and giving them a hope and a future.  We learned a little lesson about the rain on the way back down the mountain – basically; it comes quick.  And one other lesson that Danielle learned – watch out for little boys pushing up water filled tarps as you walk by. 

We are now winding down by playing some team games before heading to bed.  Tomorrow will be an amazing day of ministry.  We will begin building the widow’s homes tomorrow – yeah!

One last thing – the quote of the day.  I asked Lucas (one of our Spanish speaking participants) to ask the spanish speaking waitress if I could take my coffee up to my room at the hotel this morning.  He walked right over and said, “Can he take his cofee up to the room” (in English) Funny.

PRAYER REQUESTS:

  1. That we would bond and grow as a team
  2. We would be sensitive to the directon of the Holy Spirit
  3. We would have opportunities to share Jesus
  4. Safety and Health.

THANK YOU!!!

 
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Posted by on August 24, 2008 in Missions

 

Arrived Safe and Sound

I don’t have much time to post, but I wanted to let everyone know that we have arrived at Pray America’s headquarters in Chichicastenango about 30 minutes ago safe and sound. Due to our flight delay/cancellation issues yesterday, we stayed at the Marriot in Guatemala City last night (I know – tough missionary lifestyle!).

It took about 3.5 hours to drive 85 miles today up into the mountains. This is the highest elevation that most everyone on the trip has ever been before. The drive up was beautiful

Tomorrow will be our first day of ministry.

The Casa De’ Oracion (House of Prayer) where we are staying is the nicest missions facility I have ever seen. I am sure we will have a blessed time. Thank you for your continuing prayers.

 
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Posted by on August 24, 2008 in Uncategorized

 

On our Way to Guatemala – Day 1 – Delays and the Marleys

It is currently 7:57 AM and here we sit at the Detroit Metro Airport.  If you were following along, you would know that we were supposed to take off at 7:20 AM.  Well, upon arrival at DTW this morning we found out that our airplane has some “mechanical problems”. 

Me and Julian Marley

Me and Julian Marley

Apparently, they are in the process of replacing a part on the plane.  As soon as it is fixed, we take off.  Okay, so what are ya gonna do?  The only bummer about this is that we will miss our connecting flight to Guatemala and will need to take a later one.  That’s okay, no biggy.

Okay, here is something cool.  While waiting at the entrance to the Gates, we came across a group of guys that were obviously from Jamaica.  Bob Withee got to talking to them and we found out that one of them was Julian Marley (Bob Marley’s son – Read about Julian HERE)  Apparently, Julian and his band just got done playing at the Olympics and are on their way home.  They happen to be on the same airplane as us.  He was super friendly and let some of us take our picture with him.  Well, I think it is about time for me to try to catch some zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz’s before it gets too late.
Be blessed, and thank you for all your prayers!
 
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Posted by on August 23, 2008 in Missions