Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Slideshow!

Here is the slideshow, as I promised. I know it took me a while, and sorry about that. But I hope you enjoy it now!


video



Thank you all so much for your prayers and support for us while we were in Guatemala. It meant more to us than words can ever say. Please continue to pray for the people we ministered to and the missionaries working there. 

Until our next trip (TBD),

Bethany for the Guatemala 2011 Team

Monday, April 11, 2011

04/11/11- 4,359 photos

Sorry for the lack of updates lately. Last week I got photos from most of our team members. The total came out to be 4,359 photos. Yesterday, I finally emerged from under the pile with 800 of the best snapshots, sorted and renamed, to be made into a DVD that can be distributed to the rest of the team. I'm about to start the process of reducing those 800 pictures to about 150 for a slideshow. Once I get that slideshow put together, I'll post it here.

Thank you all so much for your prayers. They mean more to us than you can ever know. Please continue to pray for us as we continue to readjust to life here in the States. God did amazing things in Guatemala, and we don't ever want to forget any of it. Again, thank you so much!

Monday, April 4, 2011

04/04/11- We're back!

We made it back safely! Here are a few pictures of the trip. I'm working on a slideshow from the trip, and I'll try to post that and maybe some videos when I can. Thank you all for your prayers. It was a completely incredible trip... beyond words. Again, thank you!!


Saturday, April 2, 2011

04/02/11- Leaving today

We're getting ready to go! Please pray for safe travles and for us to have plenty of energy and patience. Also, praise God with us for the extra money from our budget that we're able to leave here for the work at the tracks. Thank you all so, so much for your prayers. I'll try to post a more detailed overview tomorrow or Monday! :)

Thursday, March 31, 2011

03/31/11

We went over to Lake Atilan this morning. The half-hour boat ride was very enjoyable. When we arrived at the village, we lugged several suitcases full of ministry supplies part way up a hill. We arrived at the school and delivered the ministry supplies. We then spent a couple hours hanging out with the kids. We played soccer, jumpped rope, made power band bracelets, and played with pipe cleaners. We walked around the village and were able to see a home that Pastor David had built there, along with an area of homes that were destroyed by mud and rock slides last summer. While we were standing where one girl's house had been, we prayed for her and her family. It was incredibly powerful. After the boat ride back, we had lunch and some free time. We drove back to the mission house and had dinner. We're getting ready to have a team devotional time. Please keep praying for us, that God would work in and through us. Tomorrow is our last day here doing ministry. We're going to take several of the track kids to a water park and Pizza Hut. Thank you all so, so much for your prayers!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

03/30/11- Hello from Lake Atilan!

We made the four hour trip safely! We got to Lake Atilan about lunch time and spent the afternoon shopping around town. We went out for dinner and enjoyed some great fellowship, had a team meeting, and now we're back at the hotel getting ready for bed and a full day tomorrow. Most of us are feeling much better. Please pray specifically that nothing that we ate or will eat will make us sick. Pray that God would help us to be very flexible tomorrow, as we aren't really sure what exactly we're going to be doing. Also, pray that God would work in and through us, and that His name would be glorified above all. Thank you all so much for praying! It means more to us than you can ever know.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Let's Keep Praying for the Team

One week before the trip began, Bethany posted the following prayer requests on her blog. I think they are still relevant. Please continue to pray for the team. From Bethany:


As we start the countdown to departure, here are a few more prayer requests:
  • Please keep praying that we would be unified as a team and spiritually prepared for everything that God wants to do in and through us as we prepare, go, and return.
  • Thank God for being faithful to provide everything that we needed and will need. We are in awe of what He has done already through this trip.
Thank you all so much for your prayers, support, and encouragement. It's because of you that this trip is a reality. We wouldn't be able to do what we're doing if you weren't praying, so thank you!

03/29/11

Today was an incredible day. We spent the morning painting and conducting a chapel service for the school that meets at the church along the tracks. Six of us did the chapel service, which included a poi arts presentation, a short movie, a memory verse, and some other fun stuff. We then visited different homes with Pastor David. Four of our team members, three of whom were sick, stayed back at the mission house. The rest of the team spent the morning painting. By the end of the day, we finished all three of the houses that we were working on. After lunch, we came back to play with the kids and finish painting. Several of us had prepared bags of clothes and toys for some of the kids that we met yesterday. We gave those out after lunch. The kids were extremely grateful. We really enjoyed the play time as well. We had chalk, bubbles, silly string, and more. The kids had so, so much fun. I may try to post some pictures and/or videos later this week, but if not, I'll be sure to post them after we return. Please keep praying for health for our team. Two of the three people who stayed home today are feeling extremely better, but several of us have had some sort of stomach bug over the past few days. Last night, one of our teens twisted her ankle, and many of us have extremely tired and sore feet. Pray that God would protect us and heal those of us who are not well. Tomorrow, we head to Lake Atilan. We'll spend tomorrow night and Thursday there. Please pray that God would prepare us and them for everything that He wants to do. Thank you all for your prayers!! :)

Monday, March 28, 2011

Painting and Playing

Day 3: The team painted houses on the tracks today. Some of the paint actually made it onto the walls. Those who weren't painting played with the many children who were there. Team members passed out pipe cleaners and showed the Guatemalan children how to make shapes with them. And everyone had fun playing with sidewalk chalk.

The big prayer request is for the adults and teens on the team who don't feel well. Pray that they will sleep soundly tonight and feel better in the morning. And pray that no one else will get sick. Thanks, Miss Molly, for nursing everyone back to health.

Tomorrow, the day starts early as the team will lead a chapel service at one of the local schools for the children on the Tracks.  The team will also spend time paining houses and playing with the children again.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

This morning started with a rather melodious bus ride into Guatemala City. We spent the 45-minute drive singing various worship songs that most of us know and all of us love. Arriving at the church, which is right along the railroad tracks, we were greeted with smiles and hugs by many old friends who whisked us into the service. It was completely incredible. Even though all of the music was in Spanish, we were truly able to worship along with the Guatemalan people. One of the songs that we sang was a song that most of us knew in English. One part of it was:
People from every nation and tongue, From generation to generation, We worship You, hallelujah, hallelujah, We worship You, for who You are, And you are good.
It was amazing because we had people from two nations and tongues and many generations singing it together. After the worship was over, our entire team went to the front. Each of us got to say our name and anything brief that we wanted to share. The message, given by Pine Castle's Generational Minister and our team's spiritual leader, Sylvia, was on God's love for us even when we sin. We gave people an opportunity to come forward for prayer at the end. God was present and moved in some incredible ways. We then went upstairs and gave goody bags and toiletry bags to the kids in the Sunday School classes. They were thrilled to get them! We hung out with the kids, playing around. After church, we walked along a section of the tracks to get back to the bus. A huge group of kids from the Sunday School classes at the church escorted us. Several of them were grabbing our hands, giving us hugs, or getting in as many pictures as possible. They were so, so loving. Many of them had already connected with people from our group on previous trips, so it was so sweet to see the reunions. With many hugs, kisses, photos, and goodbyes, we boarded the bus for Antigua. We can't wait to get to go back to the tracks tomorrow and hang out with the kids some more. Our shopping was enjoyable, and so was our dinner out. We're back at the mission house eating birthday cake. After singing Happy Birthday to one of our team members in three different languages (English, Spanish, and American Sign Language), we had team devotions. We all shared favorite memories and moments from the day. It was so much fun. We had funny moments, spiritual moments, and emotional, heart-melting moments. It has truly been an amazing day, full of special moments and sweet gifts from God. As one of our team members shared in church today:
The Lord has done great things, And we are filled with joy. -Psalms 126:3
Thank you all so, so much for praying. Please keep praying that God does even more amazing things this week! By the way, I'm sorry for any spelling errors. My spell check is in Spansih, so I'm doing the best I can. Also, the one long paragraph is just because the formating is not working correctly. Again, sorry! Goodnight!!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

03/26/11- We made it safely!

Thank you to all of you who prayed for our team today. We made both of our flights, everything was on time, and we made it through security and customs without problems. We've spent the afternoon getting settled in at the mission house and sorting through donations. Tomorrow we will visit the church along the railroad tracks and then spend the afternoon shopping in Antigua.

Please pray for our team, especially over the next few days, that we would recover from the time change and lack of sleep and that we would rely on God's strength for us. Pray that we would be united as a team, loving each other as Paul defined it in 1 Cor. 13:4-7, treating each other with patience and kindness.

Thank you all so much for your faithful prayers and support. We are able to be the hands and feet of Christ here in Guatemala because of your prayers and gifts. Thank you so, so much. It means more to us than you can ever know!

(We probably won't be taking the time to post pictures of our trip this week so that we can focus on ministry. Look for lots of uploads when we get back, though!)

And They're Off!

At 5:00 a.m.  this morning, the team, running on adrenaline,  assembled at the Orlando International Airport to say good-bye to family and friends, check their bags and board their planes. They appear to have made their connection in Miami and landed safely in Guatemala City. We are still awaiting our first report from them on the ground.

In the meantime, as team members settle into their quarters for the week and prepare for ministry time during church tomorrow, let's pray for them. Join me as I pray from Ephesians 1:16:

Dear Jesus, thank you for each of the team members who followed your plans for their lives and left on this mission trip this morning. We pray that You will give them spiritual wisdom and insight so that they might grow in their knowledge of You. We pray that their hearts will be flooded with light so that they can underand the confident hope you have given to them as your children, your holy people, who are your rich and glorious inheritance.

We also pray that they will understand the incredible greatness of your power toward them because they trust you. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God's right hand in the heavenly realms. May each team member gain a greater sense of who they are and whose they are as you use them to bless the Guatemalans this week, in your powerful name we pray, Amen.

To learn more about David and The Foundation of Saint Peter, our contact person and organization in Guatemala, check out this link:

http://www.tfofsp.org/blog/author/david/

Don't forget to pray for the team as they minister at a Guatemalan church on Sunday morning.

Hey, team! How about some pictures?

Friday, March 25, 2011

03/25/11- Leaving tomorrow!

We're getting ready to go! Our first plane departs in just 15.5 hours. We're really excited about all that God is going to do in and through us.

Please continue to pray that we would have peace today as we're getting ready to go. Also, please pray that God would protect us as we travel and keep preparing us to be His hands and feet in Guatemala.

Again, thank you all so much for your faithful prayers!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

03/23/11~ Final Preparations

Our team leaves in about 64 hours, and we couldn't be more excited! Our last team meetings are tonight and tomorrow night. Tonight, some of our team members will be trained in face painting and balloon art so that we can use those things with the kids in Guatemala. Tomorrow night's main focus will probably be some various arts ministry pieces that we can present.

As we enter these last three days, please pray that:
  • We would have peace amidst the hectic-ness of packing and getting ready to go.
  • God would keep us all healthy and protect us from sickness, injury, or anything else the enemy might try to send our way.
  • We would be seeking God as we get ready and that we would be prepared spiritually.
  • God would be preparing the Guatemalan people to receive all that He has for them through us.
Again, thank you all so much for praying!

Here are a few more pictures from the packing party:



Monday, March 21, 2011

03/21/11- Commissioning, New Members, and a Packing Party

Yesterday was a pretty important day for our team. During the morning church service, we went to the front to be prayed over and commissioned. After the service, we stayed to pack things that people donated. We started with 24 empty bags and a church lobby covered in clothes, school supplies, sidewalk chalk, bubbles, and backpacks, and ended four hours later with 24 very heavy, full suitcases and duffel bags. You can see a couple of photos of us packing stuff at the bottom of this post!

In other (very big) news, we also have two more team members! Because we had some surplus donations, two of the women who had wanted to join us, Kim and Peggy, will be leaving with us in just five days.

As we start the countdown to departure, here are a few more prayer requests:
  • Please keep praying that we would be unified as a team and spiritually prepared for everything that God wants to do in and through us as we prepare, go, and return.
  • These next five days will probably be hectic for many of us. Pray for peace for all of us as we pack and get things ready to go.
  • Thank God for being faithful to provide everything that we needed and will need. We are in awe of what He has done already through this trip.
Thank you all so much for your prayers, support, and encouragement. It's because of you that this trip is a reality. We wouldn't be able to do what we're doing if you weren't praying, so thank you!



Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Update 3/16/11

In addition to other prayer requests previously mentioned, please pray that God would keep us all healthy. Right now at least one of our team members (me) isn't feeling well. Please pray that God would protect us from getting sick.

Thanks!

Monday, March 14, 2011

03/14/11

Well, we're just one week away from our target fundraising deadline. Thank you so, so much to all of you who have already given. If you haven't yet, check out our Online Giving page to make a secure and easy donation today.

As you pray for us this week, please pray specifically that God would bring in the rest of the money that we need. Also, please keep praying that we would all be prepared for everything that God wants to do in and through us and that we would be unified as a team.

Your prayers and support mean more to us than you could ever know. Feel free to leave a comment and let us know that you're praying!

Friday, March 11, 2011

03/11/11

Well, we're about two weeks away from our trip! We don't have any new updates, but here are a couple more prayer requests:
  • This week we started a fast as a group to spiritually prepare for the trip. Pray that God would give us wisdom and strength for it.
  • Please pray that God would continue to bring in all of our needed donations, both money and some items that we are looking for.
  • Lastly, please keep praying that God would prepare us for everything that He wants to do in and through us while we are there.
Thank you so much!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Update 3/7/11

Well, we've had a good week on many fronts. We've reached nearly 90% of our fundraising goal. If you haven't had an opportunity to give yet, you can make a secure online donation right now. Visit this page for more information.

We have another team meeting coming up tonight. Please be in prayer for us as we prepare to go. Pray that we would be unified and prepared for everything that God wants to do in and through us on this trip.

We're just three weeks away and couldn't be more excited!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

First Team Meeting

Our first team meeting went very well last night. Things are starting to come together! We spent some time last night sharing testimonies and getting to know each other better. We're very excited about all of the opportunities God is giving us through this trip!

Here are a few more prayer requests:
  • As a team, we have reached approximately 78% of our financial goal. Please be in prayer for the team as we follow up with people. Pray that God would bring in the rest of the money.
  • Please pray for us as we pray about and prepare arts pieces. Pray that we would be able to find time to practice and that we would remember that we are doing it all for His glory.
  • Lastly, please pray that we would all be prepared spiritually for this trip. Pray that we would be flexible and ready for whatever He has for us.
Thank you all so much!

Also, here's a few pictures from our Pioneer Days parking fundraiser. We collected approximately $1,500. Thanks again to all of you who came and parked!




Monday, February 28, 2011

2/29/11

To all of you who came and parked at Pioneer Days, thank you. Parking at Pioneer Days was our big fundraiser for the trip, so we really appreciate you helping us make this trip happen.

Thank you all for praying for our team as we prepare to go. I can't believe that we're just four weeks away. Tomorrow we begin meeting on a weekly basis to be in prayer, shore up any loose ends, and work on some arts ministry pieces. Please pray for our team to be spiritually prepared and unified as we get ready to go.

We hope to post updates Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Thank you so much for your prayers and support for us. We really appreciate it!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Welcome!

On March 26, 2011, a team of kids, adults, and youth from Pine Castle United Methodist Church will be leaving for a week to minister in Guatemala. We will be playing with kids, building and painting concrete block homes, working in an Indian village, and bringing the love of Jesus to the people of Guatemala.

Here on this blog you will find updates and prayer requests as we get ready to go, as well as during the week that we are there.

We look forward to seeing God do amazing things in and through us while we are in Guatemala, but we can't do it alone. Please keep our entire team in your prayers as we spend the next five weeks preparing and training.

Thanks!