Category Archives: Missions

Day 1 and 2 Guatemala Update

Day 1

So, day one was possibly the most interesting day of any mission trip I have ever been on.  A lapse in judgement on my part almost caused us to miss our first plane.  A weather storm caused us to have a ridiculously close layover for our second flight.  But those were the most flawless transactions of the day.  We arrived safely in Guatemala city on time at 10:45am local time.  Flash forward to 3:oopm.  We have now been waiting for our contact to pick us up at the airport.  He was supposed to be picking up the rental car from Thrifty.  Now when you think of Thrifty, you must understand the Guatemalan Thrifty is nothing like USA Thrifty.  Sure, they have the same logo and sign but the similarities end there!  So, we called up to Thrifty from the airport.  The assured us that “Gary”, our American AIM contact was there picking up our car and would be done shortly.   After being told that for almost an hour, we decided to go and look into ourself.  Apparently, all Americans look like a “Gary”.  Turns out Gary’s flight was delayed with no arrival time in sight.  So the 4 of us.  Me, Stella, Bill and our worsip leader Bryan, rented our own car and decided to make our way to Panajachel on our own.  This drive from Guatemala City to Panajachel will be one that goes down in infamy.  It was hands down the scaries/most fun drives I have ever been a part of in my life.  There is so much to say here, but to sum it up, we made the 3.5 hour trip in about 2 hours and 40 minutes.  I could go on… But I won’t.

After safely arrive at our Hotel, we found out that it was rented out to another group for the week.  How nice.  We did get to stay there for the night…

This is what I am learning.  1 – God always wants us to rely on Him. 2 – When we do this, we will have NOTHING to fear and our lives WILL be abuntant in provision, blessings and FUN!!!

Day 2

Through the provision of the Lord, I made a contact with an American Missionary in Panajachel named Lloyd Monroe.  He has an awesome ministry right downtown Panajachel.  Today, he has helped us to arrange lodging, meals, transportation and most everything for our needs on ths Trip.  Now, Stella and I will go and meet with the Pastor of the local church, the orphanage people and get all the ministry details into place.


  1. All the remaining details to get worked out.  There is still a lot about the ministry times that is up in the air.  We want to have a good plan that is in line with God’s will that provides for a life change experience for all involved.
  2. Safety for our group arriving on Monday and all our travels in the mean time.
  3. For flexibility.  This trip has already taught us that we will need to be extremly flexible.  The last thing we need are bad attitudes getting in the way of The Spirit of God directing us.



-j (and bill, stella, bryan, and a bunch of other people)


Posted by on June 20, 2010 in Missions


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.


  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


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.


  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.



Posted by on August 24, 2008 in Missions


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!

Posted by on August 23, 2008 in Missions


Good Morning from Mississippi!

Pray For…Yesterday was yet another good day down here in Mississippi.  The only bummer since we have been down here is that Amy hasn’t been feeling well.  She seems to have some sort of cold.  So please pray for her, that she would be totally healed and able to participate in everything that is going on.

So I woke up this morning, groggily tried to get some breakfast shoveled into my mouth and headed  back to our room to do my morning devotions.  The thing that caught my eye today was in 1 Corinthians 9:19-23.  The main reason I put the text for the day as a link is because I do my devotions from Eugene Peterson’s The Message translation of the bible.

I really like how Peterson translated this passage.  It says, “…I entered their world and tried to experience things from their point of view”   Even in the early church, there was this tendency of wanting to build impenetrable walls between the church and the world.  And while Paul did value walking as “called out ones” he realized that part of the vary nature of our call as Christians is to GO!  Somehow this has become so contrary to how the church operates today.  Somehow we have become all about getting the unsaved to enter our world.  Paul was saying, we need to alter our attitudes and personalities in such a way that we can enter into the worlds of the non-believers and actually make an impact.

I heard a song on Christian radio today that said something along the lines that you and I may be the only Jesus that some people ever get to see.  The point was to make the most of the relationships and opportunities that the Lord gives to us.  I must confess that these domestic mission trips are difficult for me.  For whatever reason it is difficult for me to empathize with the plight of the average American.  But this scripture reminded me that every opportunity that we have is a blessing from the Lord.  My prayer for all of us today is that we would make the most of every opportunity, but also, as Paul did, that we would enter into new worlds asking the Lord for even more opportunities to be Jesus to this world…

be blessed


A Quick Saga… But Arrived Safe and Blessed

Okay, first I have to start by telling you of my interesting car saga.  I so wanted to be able to take the Cadillac on our trip down to Mississippi.  I mean, who wouldn’t?  It is big, comfortable, rides nice and believe it or not, not too bad on the gas.  But, alas, there have been a couple issues with the car of late that would make it a pain in the rear to take on the trip.  There was this weird thumping coming out of the front end and the power driver’s seat kept blowing a fuse (so it would be stuck in Amy’s position OR my position).  So I took it in before I headed down to Mexico a couple weeks back.  They fixed the thumping (some bad stabilizing rods – yeah, I don’t know what they are either) and they said that they fixed the seat (some corrosion on the connectors), but that they noticed some problems with the front breaks and we should think about re-doing the entire front end breaks.  I though, no problem, I have done that before.  So, I went ahead and re-did the breaks.  New rotors, new pads – went perfectly.  Only one problem, the shaking didn’t go away.  So I took it in to have the tires balanced and rotated.  This is when I found out that the tires were bad – at first I was sure I was getting hosed, but upon inspection they did need to be replaced.  I won’t even dare to keep a running total of how much this is all costing me.  Okay, now I have new tires, new brakes – the world is right.  Wrong.  So I replaced the front rotors, AGAIN, but alas, the shaking is still there.  Granted it is only like 10% of what it used to be so I am just dealing with it until I return.  But that isn’t the real saga…

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Posted by on March 30, 2007 in Missions, Prayer


The Joy of Travel

Well, last night was an interesting one.  I knew that I had an early flight back when I left home, but I didn’t know that it was going to cause me the heart ache that it has.  The plan was that I would go to bed at a reasonable time last night, get up early to cross the border and get on my plane.  About 20 minutes before we were going out for our last supper we found out that the border crossing doesn’t open until 6:00AM…  My flight left at 6:30AM so this posed a major problem.  I had to quickly (in about 20 minutes) pack all my stuff and load it into the vehicle.  We dropped Hugh and our friend Gabriel off (Hugh is taking Gabriel to a drug rehabilitation center in Oaxaca, Mexico) and then headed for the border.  My AIM project leader said that AIM would have to buy me a hotel room for the night because of their mistake with my airline ticket.  No problem eh?  Problem – Spring Break.  Yep EVERY hotel room in Harlingen was filled.  It was ridiculous.  So my night consisted of about 2 hours of sleep on the tile floor in the airport.  I am not complaining, but it was quite an adventure.  Anyway, I made it on my first flight and now I am waiting for my last flight home.  I am so excited to see Amy and sleep in my own bed.  Thank you for your prayers.  Please pray for Hugh and Gabriel that the Lord would bless their journey.

be blessed

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Posted by on March 18, 2007 in Missions