Hello from Petén, Guatemala. After such a crazy year we are so thankful to start the new year by celebrating our son’s wedding. Chris and Jacquelyn were married on January 30 in a sweet and intimate service with family and friends. What made it even more special was our daughter Carrie came from Southeast Asia to be with us for Christmas and to help plan the fun and festivities for the wedding. We are so grateful that our family is growing!
Another reason to celebrate and be thankful in the beginning of 2021 is that the government allowed schools to open and begin classes. Although education is not the best here we believe that any education brings greater opportunity for the people here in Guatemala. Because of some special gifts and the support of our partners we were able to scholarship 12 students (9 girls and 3 boys) this year in higher education and trade schools. Also, we bought school supplies for 58 students in primary school in the village of El Limón and for 15 students in La Nueva Sesaltul. Please pray for these students to thrive and excel in 2021.
One of the goals of the Kekchi Bible Institute (KBI) is to send graduates out to plant churches in unreached villages. It’s an aspiration we believe in and we are honored to be involved in this ministry. We are so excited about the new work begun by Giovani and Angelica. In the beginning of 2020, this young couple graduated from the KBI and moved to plant a church in the small Kekchi village of Se Pur. Their heart to serve God in such a sacrificial way is an encouragement to us.
Until his church plant can support him as pastor, Giovani is raising chickens and is a day laborer whenever possible. The local people admire his work ethic and honesty, and his family has been accepted by the community. Beyond providing for his family, he saved up Q 1,000 (about $130) for block to start working on the church building. This attitude is so rare. He fasts 2 days and nights a week asking God to grow this church plant. One night when he was sitting on his porch praying, a man came by and started asking Giovani questions. Later he became the first to put his faith in Christ!
In cooperation with KBI and through the generosity of our partners, land was purchased in the village to give them a place to live with space enough to begin a new church. As Giovani and Angelica continue to visit people in their homes and conduct meetings in their house, their group is growing. The ground has been cleared, materials purchased, and a church building is being raised in this small village. Please continue to pray for this precious couple as they continue to share God’s love.
The work on the Mission House is moving very quickly these days. Since our return to Guatemala in October, we have floors now and we have been installing switches, plugs, lights, tile, windows, choosing paint colors and we are now waiting for doors to come. Next week we will make a trip to Guatemala City to buy countertops and a few things we can’t get here in Petén. Is it possible that we could move in by summer?? But really, it is getting close! Please pray that the work continues smoothly.
If you would like to become involved in our work here in Guatemala please click the “Giving” tab here on our website. You may also make donations by mail at Commission to Every Nation (CTEN), P. O. Box 291307, Kerrville, TX 78029-1307 (Include separate note “For Jim & Bonnie DeHart”).