Guatemala – Day 3

Lake Atitlan - Panajachel, Guatemala - This is the lake as seen from the terrace of our hotel.

It is a beautiful day in Guatemala.  It is warm (like mid 70’s) with a nice cool breeze.  I was up at 5:30AM to get an early start to the day.  After some sweet quite time, I headed on my first solo venture since I arrived (yep, that means no translator).  After checking in with my american contacts at the orphanage we will be visiting, I headed up the mountain to check out the place for myself.  The road that goes to San Andres (where the orphanage is) was destroyed during the recent storm.  So you have to drive half way there (about 1/2 hour), cross this washed out bridge on foot and the get in another vehicle (a pickup truck with 20 other people who don’t speak english) and go the rest of the way.  Bringing 46 people on this journey will be awesome :o)

The tourism of Panachel will present a unique challenge to one of our primary goals on this trip.  The place we are staying at (as you can see from the picture) is beautiful.  As you walk through downtown Pana you see americans all over the place.  In fact, I have seen over 20 americans in the last half hour alone come into the cafe that I am sitting in (one family used to live in Portage – how crazy).  Anyway, the result of all this is that you get this false sense that things are better than they really are.  It looks more like some of the ports of call Amy and I have visited on one of our cruised more than it does an impoverished nation.  Our team is praying that the Lord will help us to break through these things and see into the hearts of the people.  We want to be perceptive to their TRUE needs and respond in a way that honors Jesus.

Thank you for all your prayers thus far.  As we continue, please PRAY:

  1. For safe travels as our group arrives tonight.
  2. For relationships and chemistry between leaders to be conducive to effective ministry.
  3. For healthy bodies…  Give us wisdom on what to eat and what not to eat and protect our bodies from all illness.
  4. For the ministry opportunities to manifest themselves.  Some things are still very unclear.

Thank you all!



Posted by on June 21, 2010 in 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


Sweet Baby Boy

Hanging out with Mommy and Daddy

Hanging out with Mommy and Daddy

Here is our sweet baby boy hanging out with us at Walmart…  We saw this hat and couldn’t resist.  He is such a good little boy.  He is just happy and content to be with you that you can pretty much take him anywhere and he will enjoy being along for the ride.
That being said… What is it about Walmart that brings out the crazies?  It seems like every sort of crazy thrives on the Walmart air.  We weren’t three steps in the door this time when we saw a redneck family fight complete with cussing and name calling.  Well, at the very least it is a little entertaining how ridiculous people can be…
I better get back to what I was doing.  What was that anyway?
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Posted by on July 14, 2009 in Personal Life


Amazing Video and other EPIC Stuff

This post is for all you EPIC students.  Here are a couple things… FIRST, if you haven’t seen this video of BRIAN WELCH form guitarist of KORN, you need to watch it.  Pay attention to how he first came to turn to Christ (from his realtor). 

Also, here are the notes from class.  I had to go a little fast at the end, so maybe this will help some of y’all.

Week 6 Evangelism Notes

Lastly, I talked about free bible study software called E-Sword…  Here it is: 

That’s it for now!

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Posted by on January 4, 2009 in EPIC Stuff, General


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.


  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!!!


-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.



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.


  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.



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Posted by on August 27, 2008 in Uncategorized