Visit to Antigua with Orlando

We had the wonderful joy of having our good friend Orlando from Costa Rica visit us the end of April. We visited many of AMG projects together and he is considering how he might be involved with our ministry. The photos below are mostly of our visit (Mary, Orlando and I) to Antigua, Guatemala a wonderful colonial city just 30 minutes from our home.

Make-A-Wish Foundation

Sometimes it´s hard to explain the full range of emotions I often experience in the course of a day here on the mission field. I drove home last night from the mission office thinking, wow! what more could I have experienced today????!!

I began my day listening to the results of an audit of our organization by the Guatemala taxing authority, which we had labored over for a week. Thank you Lord, all was good! I then spent an hour or so on the phone discussing the legal requirements for our residency here, which made my head spin with bureaucratic dizziness!! The process is absolutely amazing and is going to require many trips to the immigration office here, other offices with purposes unknown to me, photocopies of things, authentications from embassies here and in the U.S., seals from various courts here and the list goes on! Well, I am going to seek out some help from an attorney friend and deal with that after the birth of number 6!

Next, Bob and I drove to the Radisson Hotel and picked up the De Witt family from Holland. Their 15 year-old daughter is suffering with bone cancer and was granted any wish by the Make-A-Wish foundation. Her choice... not Disney World, not a Safari, not a home makeover... her wish was to fly to a third-world country (Guatemala) and meet the child her family has sponsored from AMG. That alone threw us into deep emotion...and the fact that we were so privileged to be taking part in such a wish! They arrived at our offices here in the city, had a complete tour of the school and administration and then we piled into a van and headed to their sponsored child´s home. Miriam (the child) was ill with hepatitis, but still anxiously awaiting the visit from her sponsor.

The story of Miriam´s family is like many we find here... father a drunk and missing for along time, mother trying desperately to raise her 3 children in the 2 dirt-floored rooms offered her by her grandfather. Their living quarters consisted of a room approximately 10 x 10 with 2 beds and a few personal items and a room for cooking and eating. The ¨kitchen¨had a concrete platform with a camp-fire going...on top was a kettle of black beans, their coming meal. I saw little else in the way of food in the house. Thank the Lord the children eat in our project each day and receive supplements and nutritional drinks!

The family from Holland brought gifts for Miriam and her siblings. While she was opening them we were standing in the doorway to the bedroom. A man asked me if I wouldn´t mind moving into the room a bit so as to not ¨get hurt¨. I agreed somewhat questioningly. A few moments later I was shocked to see him wrestling a large bull (roped around the mouth and head) through the house and out into the street!! A bull in their home! This was certainly something you don´t see every day! The bull struggled, knocking things over on his way through and then hitting his head against the door. I thought for a moment that he would run into the room, injuring us all!

Leo from Holland is a pastor. He shared with Miriam´s mother that it must be difficult living this way, however, if she knew Jesus then all this would be temporary and that she would have an eternity without struggles. Miriam´s mother said in a very sweet and humble way that she had ¨learned to live with what God had given them in this short life¨. I wanted to burst into tears. I was reminded of a story Meredith Kerr (Good friends from First Baptist Church in Portland) wrote in a note regarding the loss of our home Easter Sunday to a fire... she said a women stood watching her home burn and said, ¨Oh the blessedness of nothing!¨ We could all stand to learn to live with what God has given us, huh??? Leo and his family had prepared a little dutch hymn to sing for the family and did sweet. We then continued visiting and ultimately left.

Back at our office, Leo shared with our entire staff the great blessing for them of the trip... his daughter shared that her #1 desire had been fulfilled. Nidia in our accounting dept. (a student here since 3 years-old and now senior accountant) shared that without sponsors like them, we could not do what we do for these more than 7,000 children. What sweet moments.

I asked myself if I have learned yet to live with what God has given me... and what my final desire would be if faced with such a thing? I ended my day with a devotional surrounding these thoughts and others with my kids... I am so grateful for the experiences God is bringing my way.

Below is a video of our visit to Miriam´s home in Colonia Verbena, Guatemala City.

Trip to Nairobi, Kenya Africa

I had the amazing opportunity to attend a conference by our partners Word and Deed, from Holland, in Nairobi, Africa for 2 weeks the end of March and into April. I learned so much about world development and relief and had the opportunity to contribute to their planning for the future. What a blessing to share fellowship, ideas and our minsitries with Christians from all over the world. I feel better informed and have many ideas on how to improve our ministry here in Guatemala..serving the poorest of the poor of Guatemala with life-changing opportunities in education, health and of course, the gift of salvation through our Lord! These pictures are of our stops in Amsterdam and some of my time in Africa. If you wish to view them more slowly just click anywhere on the slideshow.

Goodbye 45 Beacon Avenue

We lost our sweet little cottage in Alton Bay to a horrible fire yesterday. You can read all about the fire at:

We will post more as we have time.