June: Teams & Two VBS’s

Carolina and Chloe, two awesome young ladies who were the first team we have ever hosted since taking over Sponsorship

Wow – June was a jam-packed month for us here in Guatemala. After a long, long wait, we had our first official more “normal” set of short-term teams come and visit from the states. It was a special opportunity to be around “our people” as the team came from Visalia, California, which is pretty close the the neck of the woods where we come from. Sharing the Central Valley in common gave us a unique opportunity to share what God is doing in Guatemala with high school/college aged students who came to visit.

The girls from Visalia got to help Brianna during Club de Chicas (Girl’s Club) for middle school and high school-aged girls.
We spent a morning on the “Montaña de Oración” hearing each others’ testimonies. Raquel (r) co-leads the Tutoring site.

For the first two weeks of June we shared two girls, Carolina and Chloe with the tutoring site as we were planning and then carried out a Vacation Bible School in the local church right next to our headquarters in El Gorrión. It was a privilege to see these young girls grow in their faith and to be able to spend two weeks learning about what God is doing in their hearts and we hope we have impacted them in a lasting way for the Kingdom.

A student enjoying a nice warm tortilla after being soaked in the rain in the back of our pickup.
Kiddos during game time at our El Gorrión VBS.
A team leader from Visalia, CA partners with someone in the states who donated these dresses to the smaller girls.

At the VBS in El Gorrión, we saw about 40 kids coming for the three day event. Our students from the states got so engaged in interacting and teaching the kids.

Aaron’s new street dog best friend, Mr. Burns (who he later realized was a girl, but it was too late – the name stuck)
Our second group of teams, stopping to pray for our second VBS in El Tablón.

The last two weeks of June we had another set of teams, both also from the Visalia, CA area. For these two weeks, we partnered with Gerber from the Microfinance site and held yet another VBS but in a smaller community called El Tablón. The first day, after the kids started to go home, the pastor of the church and his family were so excited and wanted a bunch of pictures of us. We didn’t think much of it at first other than I guess the gringos are in town, so… but then we learned that this was the first VBS that they had in that church ever. So it was a big deal, and the event ended up being so good and we pray that God was glorified in it.

Sharing some tostadas provided by the church that we hosted the VBS at in El Tablón

One of the best blessings for us during this time with the teams came from the letters and testimonies they shared with us at the end of their trips. Over the four total teams that came, there were multiple American students who said that we had had a huge impact on them. Some of them have said that God opened their hearts to possibly doing future mission work. While we talk a lot about what we’re doing with the Guatemalan students, it’s important to note that half of our ministry at SI is ministering to North American students as well. At the moment we can’t minister all over the United States. But thanks be to God that students from all over the US are coming to us.

As we close for this month, we want to ask for you to continue praying for us. Pray that we would recoup lost monthly financial support. If you’d like to increase or start supporting us financially, you can do so at the button below.

Also, be praying for our whole situation with cars. It’s a constant battle, but the past month was particularly hard. We’ve spent about the last 3 weeks without a workable vehicle.

A Challenge For 2022

The Guatemalan staff is funded by teams such as the ones who came during the month of June. As is probably obvious, the last two years we have not had very many teams come due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Guatemala has been open since September 2021, which paved the way for us to get here. Our challenge to you is to take the step of leading a trip or encouraging your church to plan a trip here in 2022. It is such a blessing for us to be able to partake in the other half of our ministry – which is ministering to those from our home country. And even more, it is the way that we can employ local staff to minister to theirs. So would you please prayerfully consider answer the call to lead a team to Guatemala. For more info, click here.

We pray God blesses you this summer!

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