30 October 2009


Hi everybody!
Just a quick update, and hopefully will get more info to all soon.
We are beginning to gear up for some events and new ministry.
Hopefully you all remember the Christmas Eve outreach dinner we hosted last year in Zone 3 by the dump. (If not, there is a blog post from January I think you could look back at)
This year, we are hoping for BIGGER and better! We have made a lot more friends in those neighborhoods and have been building credibility there throughout the year. We are expecting quite a few more than the 140 people we had last year.
This is such a great opportunity to share the hope of Jesus in a very, very dark neighborhood.

Our youth group singing Silent Night at last years dinner

We will again have a traditional tamale dinner, an evangelistic message for the adults, and a program for the children, to teach them the true Christmas story!

Children's program

We will also have a present for everyone that attends, child or adult. Depending on the budget we have to work with, I am hoping to perhaps be able to give a Bible to each adult.

Our youth group after the dinner last year!

This is also such a great experience for all of our youth that we involve in the service. They are very excited about being a part of the preparations leading up to the event, and also doing the serving at the dinner. This year I am asking our youth to actually write and direct the program for the kids (with our help).

Please pray about perhaps donating to help this event. We have had a separate account approved through CAM for these outreach events, we are hoping to perhaps host 2 or 3 per year in these neighborhoods! We are praying the Lord would provide around $2,000 for this years Christmas Eve event.

If you feel led to help, please send your gift to CAM International, 8625 La Prada Dr., Dallas, TX 75228
Mark all gifts as: Casita Outreach Events and put the account # 062877

You will receive a tax deductible receipt from CAM and the funds will only be used for outreach events we hold in those neighborhoods in Zone 3.

We have another exciting announcement as well!
You will be receiving (most of you if you are on our mailing list) a letter soon to announce a new ministry God is leading us to start.
We are planning to open a "transition home" for girls, La Luz Brilla.
This will be a home for girls 18 or over that are coming out of orphanage or Children's Home settings and beginning to live on their own. For many reasons this is not an easy transition, so we will provide a setting where they will hopefully be able to find success for their lives.
We will provide spiritual guidance, training in basic life skills such as budgeting, paying bills, buying groceries etc.

Some possible future candidates for La Luz Brilla

This is a very difficult transition to make, these girls have a lifetime of hurts and issues to overcome. Our prayer is to help them break the chain of poverty so common here and go on to a successful, stable family life.

This is a home of girls between 15 and 19, where do they go from here?

This is a new adventure for us, but God is leading and we are very excited! Look for the letter soon with more information. We are hoping to begin early in 2010.
We have a separate ministry account also for La Luz Brilla, so if you feel led to be a part of this exciting new ministry, you can send gifts to:

CAM International, 8625 La Prada Dr., Dallas, TX 75228
Mark all gifts for:
La Luz Brilla and include the account # 062879

You will receive a tax deductible receipt from CAM for all donations.


So, in our last post you met Erika, my "hija" that plays fútbol on a women's team in the community of Mixco. This was a big step for Erika. The rest of the team are all women with families, and she is just 16 yrs old. There was a total of 6 women on the team and a coach, the field is small so the games are all played 4 on 4 plus a goalie.
The final games were supposed to be two weeks ago but were postponed until last Sunday, 25 October. I was planning to leave that day for Huehuetenango to help with a group of 20 people
but......I couldn't miss Erika's final game, I went to all of her other games, so...I delayed my travel to Huehue and left early Monday morning. I really couldn't miss this last game because...
entering last Sunday, Erika's team was holding onto first place with just one loss! So....
We picked up Erika and Martina, one of the 9 girls that lives with Erika in the Casa Juvenil, and drove up to the Campo (field).


The final game against the second place team ended in a scoreless tie, so Erika's team was crowned as the CHAMPIONS!

ERIKA with the First Place Trophy

The whole team with their coach

I am VERY proud of my girl, she played very well all season and this was really a big step for her and a big confidence booster.
She was so happy she even insisted on a picture with her "parents" and the trophy!
Erika with us and her "sister" Martina

After the game we took the girls to McDonalds to celebrate with Ice Cream!

Tomorrow, we will pick up ALL the girls in the Casa Juvenil and their Tia and go to a graduation for one of the girls, Diana. There are actually 5 graduating in total from different schools at different times, and, in July Tia Cony received her licenciada, basically a bachelors degree, from the university. I attended a 'clausura' for Martina last week (similar to a graduation, moving to another level), and we will attend Diana's Graduation tomorrow.
After the graduation, we are bringing all the girls to our house for a surprise party and dinner. I will post pictures after we celebrate!

With Martina at her Clausura

Very busy time of year, but I am very proud of all of our girls and it is very special to be invited to represent them as "dad".

09 October 2009

Jail and Fútbol

Hi Everybody. This is Sandi again. I just wanted to share with you a few more ministry opportunities that we’ve had lately and want to, once again, thank all of you prayer warriors out there. You mean so much to us.

I want to share with you about the opportunity I have had to join a team of ladies that get to visit the Women’s Prison here. Wow, it has been such an eye opener and faith-builder to walk into that prison. And I want to tell you that I have found that (only because of God’s precious Spirit) being in that prison is where I feel the most comfortable, more than anywhere else in Guatemala. I love the ladies and love talking to them and coloring with them and crying and laughing with them. I feel so blessed to be a part of this ministry and covet your prayers for continued opportunities there. (Sorry, no pictures, I can’t bring a camera in there!)

Another ministry, that you already know is so dear to our hearts, is working with the youth at the Children’s homes. Mike has become a “Dad” figure to a lot of them and has gotten very close to many of them, but one girl, Erika, who especially appreciates him so much, even more now since he’s been taking the time to go to her Soccer games every Sunday for the last five weeks.


Erika didn't really believe Mike the first time he said he would pick her up to take her to her game. Mike found her and a friend waiting at the bus stop! She truly didn't believe someone would care enough to take time to watch her game. Now, Mike hasn't missed a single game of hers! That makes an impact!
Maria and I have gone along a couple times too, and enjoy it so much. Maria has even loaned Erika her soccer shoes and shin guards (since Maria’s season doesn’t start until January.)

Neighborhood "Campo"

The games are played in this little typical poor “very Guatemalan” neighborhood. I love the atmosphere and find it such a fun way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

Corner Kick

We continue to get to know more of the girls at Casa Juvenil, where Erika lives, better and have been taking 2 or 3 of them to The Kairos House with us once a week, when we go to sing and pray with the people there. I think this has really opened up the eyes of these girls as they enjoy ministering to others that have even less than they do. Kairos House is also dear to our hearts, and we are so blessed to be a small part of that ministry.
Another of the girls at Casa Juvenil who doesn't have a dad asked Mike to go to her graduation October 31. She has asked us all to go and we are looking forward to it. It is a BIG deal for her (her name is Diana) and we hope to help make it a very special day for her.

Erika gets the ball

God is good…..and we are so thankful that he has called us to this “Land of Opportunities.”


I had the blessing to give away the remaining water filters we had a couple of days ago.
These amazingly simple devices are such a HUGE blessing for people struggling to get by.
The woman in the photo below, Lorena Garcia, travels from near San Pedro Sacatepéquez into Zone 3 of Guatemala City each day. It is between 1 1/2 and 2 hours by bus during traffic times. This is so she can work. They struggle to make ends meet and having this water filter will help them a lot. She will ALWAYS be able to have SAFE drinking water for her and her children.

Señora Lorena Garcia receiving a new bucket water filter!

Below is Wendy Juarez. She lives with her children in a small house they rent right next to the dump. I was able to visit with her and provide them with a water filter. I explained how it works, and how to clean it. I shared where the filters came from, then we talked about spiritual things, how in the midst of all of lifes ups and downs, God is always faithful. We then spent some time there in the entrance to her house praying for her and her family.
Wendy and her new filter

Wendy's house next to the dump

We then went to a couple more homes that have children attending Casita Benjamin. We visited for a bit, set up the filters and explained their use and cleaning. Then before leaving we would have some time to pray for each family.
Lester Lopez gets a filter

Hector Us y Amalia Zacarias de Us

One of the filters I gave was to a family I had visited a couple of weeks ago. I had given a filter to the sister of the woman we visited, but she lives in a different location. I told her the next time I returned I would bring another filter for her and her family. When I arrived at their home she was somewhat shocked. She really never expected me to return. People generally don't follow up in these neighborhoods. She was so very thankful, and gave thanks to God for the blessing of this filter.

Another amazing thing for me was the recognition we are gaining there in these neighborhoods. Like the woman who did not expect me to return, people here do not have much trust or hope in others. In two houses we entered, the people knew of me before we arrived! I entered one home and introduced myself, "Hi, I'm Mike." She said to me "Hermano Mike? The hermano Mike that helps the kids at Casita Benjamin?" Instantly, the mood changed in the home. We were quickly welcomed inside, and they went from being wary, to bright eyed, smiles and you could feel hope, trust and expectation of something good!
This, to me, was one of the biggest highlights of my time here in Guatemala! I have been trying to get into this neighborhood for two years, now I am finding credibility and trust from the people there. God is doing great things, and there are many more great things to come! I am sure of this!

I gave out all of the filters we had, so please pray we might receive many, many more. Our daughter Kimberly will come to Guatemala in early November and bring a few more filters with her. If you would like to help by sending some filters, please contact us and let us know, we'll tell you how you can do that!

Please keep checking our blog, we hope for more exciting news coming real soon!