Hola! Well Trina and I are settled into our apartment here in Antigua, Guatemala. We arrived yesterday afternoon so today is our first full day. We spent from Friday afternoon until Sunday afternoon traveling. It was a long process but I think we made the right decision breaking the traveling up into multiple days. Asher did amazingly well. I definitely believe it was an answer to prayer.
As you can imagine we are still adjusting to our new life and it hasn’t been an entirely easy process. There are so many things you get used to and so many conveniences at home that we don’t have here, like being able to drink tap water, hot showers, carpet, and being able to flush toilet paper, just to name a few. But I’m not complaining, we actually have it really good. Our apartment is a nice little 2 bedroom that suits us perfectly. I’ve posted a few pictures of it below.
Antigua is beautiful town nestled in the hills of Guatemala. It is rich with culture and history. I can’t wait to get out with my camera and take some pictures. The population of Antigua is around 40,000 so it is similar in size to Bellingham, WA but it feels much smaller. It is a popular tourist destination as well as a popular vacation spot for Guatemalans wanting to get out of the city. Because of that there is a ton of stuff to do and places to shop and restaurants to try. If you’ve ever thought about a vacation to Central America I would recommend checking out Antigua. The only thing it doesn’t have is beaches.
Trina and I want to express our sincere thank you to everyone who has been praying for us during this time. We believe there is real power in prayer and we really have felt covered. There are so many obstacles and things that could have gone wrong or disrupted our travel but instead it all went smoother than we even anticipated. And that was a real answer to prayer. As we settle in here we have a couple of prayer requests. Please pray for our health. As our bodies adjust it is easy to get sick with various things. We also ask for prayers for Asher as he adjusts to sleeping in new surroundings. He did great while traveling but last night he was up 4 times in the night.
Click on any of the images to view a full size version
Well this has been a crazy week. You never know how much crud you have until it is time to move all the crud. The process of moving out of our house seemed like a never ending task – there was always just a little bit more or one more thing to take care of. But, I’m happy to report that we’re finished and officially homeless. It is a strangely unsettling and exhilarating feeling. It is unsettling just because we are without the security of home and facing a great unknown. Exhilarating because there is a sense of freedom being released from all our “stuff” and having life reduced to two suitcases. And then there is the bold and dashing adventure we’re about to embark on.
As Trina said in her last post, it was a rough first couple of nights while Asher adjusted to his new surroundings. On top of being exhausted from moving we got hardly any sleep those first couple of nights. Since then Asher has settled in and is back to sleeping through the night. What a difference a good night of sleep makes!
A Huge Answer to Prayer
God is good. If you read Trina’s previous post you saw our plea for prayers for her mom. She had a CT scan that showed a mass in her lung. On Friday they went to see a specialist in Seattle. What happened next is nothing short of incredible. Here is what Trina’s sister Lindy posted on Facebook:
Just leaving Seattle with amazing news for my mom! The cat scan report from Bellingham was my moms personal information but someone elses report! They did another cat scan here and her lungs are completely clear. The scans match up but the info reported to my mom did not match up as the report with the large mass in the lung were in a women with breast implants which my mom clearly does not have!
It was all a huge mistake and there is nothing wrong! After an emotional roller coaster we’re praising the Lord for that answer to prayer. Of course her good news is someone else’s bad news so we continue to be in prayer for that person.
Send Off Party Reminder
Our families are throwing us a “Send Off” Open House Party and we would love to have you join us. There will be appetizers and dessert to enjoy too! More details are below:
Where: Blake and Jody Starkenburg’s Shop (575 Pangborn Rd. Lynden)
When: Thursday, September 23, Open House between 5:30pm – 8:30pm
Well, we finally did it…we are officially moved out of our house. It was a lot of work and we are glad to be done with that phase. Thank you to all those who helped with the moving process. We are currently staying in the basement of Chad’s parents house. It is comfortable and perfect for a short stay. However, Asher is having a difficult time with his new surroundings. He has been a bit out of sorts ever since we started packing things up. My heart breaks for him as he must be so confused with all that is going on in our lives right now. He does not sleep well at night, which means we don’t sleep well at night. We feel a bit burned out from all of this and appreciate the prayers.
As if we didn’t have enough going on right now, we recently got some scary news regarding my mom’s health. After a CT scan, doctors have found a mass on her lung. We are not sure what the mass is quite yet. She is going down to Seattle on Friday to have some testing done and hopefully get some answers. She is very scared, as are all of us. I have a tendency to think the worst, but we are hoping and praying that it is NOT cancer. This makes leaving all that much more difficult. It is clear that the devil does not want us to go to Honduras. He is attacking us in more ways than one and it is more than we can take right now. But God is good and we are trusting in Him through all of this. Again, we appreciate your prayers.
We would love to see as many people as we can before we leave. Our families are throwing us a “Send Off” Open House Party and we would love to have you join us. There will be appetizers and dessert to enjoy too! More details are below:
Where: Blake and Jody Starkenburg’s Shop (575 Pangborn Rd. Lynden)
I know that many people have questions about our ministry and our move. I answered some of those in my last post and we want to do our best to answer your questions before we leave. One of the questions we get a lot is, “What will you be doing?” Our simple answer is “working with abandoned children and youth.” But I will try and give you a better idea of what our days will look like.
Chad speaking at one of the church services with Alvin.
Chad will be involved in several different areas of the ministry. He will be regularly involved in/called on to minister at the men’s discipleship meetings through the church, as well as street ministry and the juvenile detention center. He will also be involved in several administrative tasks, which includes being the main contact for short term mission teams visiting the ministry. Chad will also be developing Manos’s website and expanding the ministry’s online prescence. This includes involvement in managing the Child Sponsorship Program of children from the Feeding Centers. Other responsibilities of Chad’s include developing fundraising strategies for the ministry, developing strategies for attracting long term missionaries and short term interns. So as you can see, he will be a busy man!
Me and Sylvia, who is a preschool teacher at one of the Feeding Centers.
I will be heavily involved with the teenage girls in the Eagle’s Nest. I will be working along side Sally and Sara, the house mothers, mentoring, teaching, and counseling the girls. I am very much looking forward to this and am anxious to begin a relationship with these young women. I will also be assisting and mentoring the preschool teachers at the Feeding Centers and the church’s Sunday School, providing insight and training for them. I also hope to continue the hospital maternity ward ministry, which I have talked about in a previous blog entry. And of course, I will be a full time mommy to Asher. I get asked a lot, “What are you going to do with Asher when you are working?” I will be taking him with me a lot of the time. And when I can’t take him a long I will probably have a babysitter take him, who would be the girls from the Eagle’s Nest or Alvin and Nelly’s teenage daughters. One thing is for sure, I will not get bored!
Our lives will be busy, but we are prepared for all that God has called us to do. To be honest, we feel blessed to have this calling. And we wouldn’t have it any other way!
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