25 September 2010

Upcoming and more Filters!

We wanted to share a little about whats coming up, and ways you can be a part of it through your prayers and help!
The big event with three months of preparation is our big Christmas Eve outreach dinner for the people in Zona 3 that live by the largest landfill dump in Central America.
We have plans for this year to be even bigger and better than before. Last year we had about 200 people attend, each receiving a traditional Tamale dinner, a Bible reading and message containing the salvation story, carol singing, children's program and a gift for everyone!
How can you help?
Please remember to pray for all of the planning, preparation, for those invited to accept, and for the funds needed to do all of this.
We do have exciting news about that also. Last year we were a little under funded, and we have increased our budget for this year, expecting more people, higher food prices due to so many crops ruined by all the flooding, and our desire to provide gift baskets of basic needs for each family. 
God has already provided a big partner this year! Wildwood Church, from Illinois, has pledged over half of our budget already! We still pray for another $1,000 or a little more to be able to do all we are hoping for.
If you feel led to help, you can give online here , or you can mail a check to:
CAM International, 8625 La Prada Dr., Dallas, TX 75228
Be sure to include it is for: CASITA OUTREACH EVENTS # 062877
All gifts are tax-deductible and only used for this event.

Making LOTS of decorations!
Christmas is a depressing time for most of the people that will attend. Most cannot afford a traditional dinner, or even one gift for their children. We want to give them a day of hope and love, and the opportunity to hear of God's love, and experience it.

Making LOTS of cookies!
The Christmas event involves many people, and offers an opportunity to serve for many. We involve many of our youth with this, which they LOVE! Most of them come from Children's homes or poor families, where they have been served their whole lives. The opportunity for them to serve others is something they cherish. And, they put all they can into it.
The youth help make decorations, wrap presents, bake cookies for the dessert, learn Christmas carols, learn a play to perform and much more!

Wrapping LOTS of presents!
The outreach also involves events leading up, like the youth performing and leading carols at Kairos house, a home for children with cancer. They also will perform at their Children's home and perhaps if we can at some others. In past years we also performed at a church after the dinner on Christmas Eve and hope to again this year!

Singing to a packed house!
We also have a band coming to perform and provide music, a preacher, and several other volunteers to help coordinate. Wildwood Church is also sending one family to take part with us Christmas Eve.

Youth performing for the kids!

Serving dinner!
So please pray for all that needs to be done, planned and prepared for to make this event happen.
Many people who would have basically no Christmas will be loved, and will hear of the hope that only comes from Jesus Christ. Many, for the first time!

More exciting news! We have received many water filters and have been blessed to give lots away to families in need of clean drinking water.
This has become a fantastic ministry that touches many people. God is using it to provide life to many, with a message of His love through the many people involved.

Some youth painting buckets!
It begins with many people like you that give the funds that purchase these filters.
The filters cost just under about $50 each with the buckets and supplies to make it complete. They are not fragile, are small and light, are easily cleaned, and should last for years and years!
Again, many others are involved here, we have our youth, and others, paint the buckets we use, so they are fun, and also so they will not be used for other things like washing clothes, etc.

Family receiving a water filter!
We target families or groups in need, that cannot, under normal circumstances afford to purchase purified water. We have used the filters as a way to reach out into some very poor, and spiritually dark neighborhoods. We have also given filters to poor schools that before, were not able to provide safe drinking water to the students. We have also gotten many filters out to poor villages without access to clean water, and many that have been devastated by the storms and flooding this year.

We have been able to partner with a Guatemalan ministry called "Abrazando mi Guatemala" that reaches small remote villages to provide some basic supplies, i.e. rice, beans, milk etc. They also include evangelism, as well as teach about health, sanitation, first aid etc. 
We have been able to give Abrazando mi Guatemala many filters to provide people in these remote places without access to safe water.
This weekend, they will be taking 20 filters to a village, El Zunzo, in Jalapa. 

Villagers receiving some basic supplies!
The children at St. Andrew Presbyterian Church in Denton, TX decided this summer to adopt our water filter ministry for their missions focus, and to raise some funds to buy filters! Recently they let us know, they have over $3,300 for us that will provide over 65 filters!
Praise God for these children, may those served by them be blessed by their love!
If you would like to help also with the purchase of filters you can give online here, or send to:
CAM International, 8625 La Prada Dr., Dallas, TX 75228
Be sure to include that it is for: GUATE HOME WATER FILTER SYSTEMS # 062900
A $50 gift will supply a family with a complete water filter system that will last years!
All gifts are tax-deductible and only used for these filters..
 That's lots, but please pray for all of these things, God is doing GREAT things here in Guatemala!

24 September 2010

Puerto San José and more clean water

So...last Tuesday, the 21st Septiembre, we went to Puerto San José with our friends and fellow CAM'ers John and Gail Conner. Puerto San José is on the Pacific coast of Guatemala, just a little over an hours drive from Guatemala City. Last June, the Conner's with 3 of their kids and Sandi and Maria went there for a day off to play on the beach . John Conner and his 15 yr old son David, and 13 yr old daughter Katie all went into the water and almost immediately were swept out by a rip tide. A 14 yr old boy on the beach, Edwin, saw what was happening and went in to help. He was bringing Katie in when he saw David going under. He got Katie in and went back for David. He also managed to bring David in who all thought was dead. John barely managed to get back by himself. It seemed touch and go for a few hours, but they all got back to Guatemala City to a hospital here, and when all is done, they are all okay. Thank the Lord, and Edwin!
So, the Conner's have been back to meet Edwin's family and thank them etc. He lives a couple of blocks from the beach and his family is very poor. The Conner's have taken them some groceries and small thank you gifts, but their home church in Oklahoma wanted to express gratitude also. So, they have raised funds to fix up their house, and also pay tuition for Edwin to go to school until graduation! This is huge because he was not able to go to school for the past year or two because they could not afford it.

Some kids at Colegio Evangelico Genesis

Well, we joined the Conner's Tuesday because they asked me to look at the house and see what was needed, and what was feasible. So, that was why we went, but the Lord had more in mind I am thinking.
We first stopped at the Colegio Evangelico Genesis, the school Edwin will attend. It is a school connected with a church that happens to be a CAM church! Iglesia Evangelica C.A. San Pablo.
We met the director of the school, also an elder in the church,
Rony René Montepeque Coronado.
He also shared with us about 8 daughter churches they have in small villages in more remote areas, and the projects they are helping them with. The school is also adding a third floor as it has been growing 10-20% each year. We have been looking for some different projects for teams next year, and this looks like a real possibility, both at the school and the daughter churches!
I also asked Rony about what they do for drinking water at the school. Well, he said, "when we can afford it we buy bottled water, but we don't always have the money".

Giving Rony one of the four filters we gave the school

So, I told him about the water filters we get from supporters to give people that need clean water. I told him we brought some with us and they were out in the car. His eyes kind of lit up, then he asked "how much do they cost?" Well, he almost cried when we said they are already paid for, and we gave them 4 filters to use at the school. One on each floor and 1 in the kitchen.

Having lunch at Edwin's house

We then went over to see Edwin's house, and give him the news about starting back to school in January. He was sick, so a little subdued, but was pretty happy about school.
We also gave the family a water filter, which was good timing with Edwin being sick, a little dehydrated (it is very warm and humid on the coast) and he was very thirsty.
We looked over the house and took some measurements etc. What they have now is just four walls and a metal roof. Literally. No interior rooms and a floor of black sand.
Part of one wall will need to be replaced, then we can add some partitions for a couple of bedrooms, and a bathroom. A concrete floor and they will be much better off. So, looks like it will all happen.
The Conner's church is hoping to send a team to help with part of it, and they have asked me to basically be in charge of the project and team.
Lord willing, we will be able to get things planned so we can do the project during the coming dry season, maybe around the beginning of the year.
Another opportunity to see the Lord use what looked like tragedy, and bring HUGE blessings to many, many people! Please pray for these many opportunities and for Edwin and his family, Rony and his great work, and give thanks for the desire of so many to help!

23 September 2010

Sergey and Kimberly Basantsev

So we made a trip back to the Northwest this summer because our daughter Kimberly decided to get married!
Sandi and Maria flew to Seattle July 23 after our "Next Step" program in Texas while I returned to Guatemala. They then went to Bellingham, so Sandi and Kimber could have a few weeks together before the wedding! I flew up on August 5 to Seattle, spent a couple of days with my dad and stepmom, went to a Mariner's game with my friend Ken, and then went to Bellingham.
Busy, crazy time there, attending the wedding of my close friend Mike Watters daughter Kelly, and then prepared for Kimber's wedding.
The rehearsal came and I fell apart. I just couldn't get out my one line "Her mother and I" when asked who gives her away. I think I had them all pretty concerned for the actual wedding.

La Familia Glick 14 August 2010

August 14 arrived a beautiful sunny day, one of the warmest days of the year in Bellingham!
We arrived at the wedding early for our pictures, and then some time to relax until the guests arrived. Then it was showtime....and despite the concerns of all, myself included, I was able to walk Kimber in and say in an audible voice, "her mother and I do".

Sweating bullets!

Then it was Kimber and Sergey's turn to sweat (it was a little warm up on the platform) and each say "I do".

Mi hija

It was a beautiful wedding, personal, fun, incredible singing, and very God honoring ceremony.
Sergey's family asked for one Russian tradition to be included, for the parents to all come up and say a prayer for the couple.
What a wonderful tradition, I would love to see become a tradition everywhere.
It was truly a privilege and honor to be able to pray for our daughter and her new husband, to ask God to guide them and keep them, to challenge them to always make God the head of the union.
I had a little fear I might start to cry, but I think my voice only crackled a little at the beginning, then I was just praying to God.

The parents pray for the couple

After the introduction of "Mr & Mrs Sergey Basantsev, they walked out
to the sound of James Brown's "I Got You".

Mr. & Mrs. Sergey Aleksandrovich and Kimberly Anne Basantsev

After the wedding, we went to some good family friends of Sergey's house above Lake Whatcom where the reception was held in their beautiful yard.
One of the highlights was the cake!
Kimber had this 'idea'. She's not sure where she got it, maybe in a dream!
She had nine different friends and family members all bake a cake (she provided the cake mix and pan, so all would be the same size) and asked each to decorate however they liked, with a message or memory for the couple. Then the morning of the wedding they assembled the cake like a quilt! It was an amazing idea that I think will be copied!
Sandi decorated one cake (it's in the center) and Jacob and I did one together (not sure they'll let us do that again).

The 'quilt' cake

It was a very special day, Kimber was relaxed and so very happy. We welcome Sergey into our family, he very obviously loves Kimber totally so I can handle that!
For us, it was great to see Kimber that happy, and also to have all four of our kids together for
4 1/2 days! Then, Kimber and Sergey even delayed a honeymoon to Whistler for a week so they could spend time with us before we returned to Guatemala.

May God bless Sergey and Kimber Basantsev!

EMERGE summer interns 2010

We had a great summer intern program for 2010!
There were some differences in set-up for this year, biggest was that we offered options this year for length of service instead of everyone serving for 6 weeks as in past years. This year we offered 4, 6 or 8 week internships. We had two come for four weeks, two for six weeks, and two for eight weeks. We also have two other interns this year outside of the summer program, Heidi is here for ten months and Meredith is here from September into December.
The downside to the options is that we want all summer internships to end together with a two day "Next Step" in Texas with all interns from, this year, four different countries.
This meant we had interns arriving starting May 26th every two weeks, needing a very important orientation. Years past we held a four day orientation when all the interns arrived (arriving the same day), but this year we needed to hold three orientations, so we shortened it to two days.

Guatemala Summer Interns 2010
Erin, Rachael, Heidi, Sarah, Allison, Rebecca & Amy

Heidi was already serving at Casita Benjamin, and Allison, Erin and Amy joined her there. Rachael, Rebecca and Sarah served at The Oasis home for girls.
With the interns arriving at different times and serving in different locations they did not all get to know each other much to start. So we did try to get them together a few times. We had the Oasis girls come in for a sleep-over with the Casita girls, and we had a week-end mini-retreat to Panajachel. That was a fun week-end away to talk, worship, eat and shop!

Mini-retreat in Panajachel

We also took a boat ride across the lake, which was a lot of fun. I asked the pilot of our boat if I could drive. Well, he said okay and I drove all the way back from Santiago. Sandi didn't realize I was driving at first and said to someone, "we seem to be going faster than before". We did get back about 15 minutes faster than going over!

They let me drive!

On July 18th we, and the interns traveled to Denton, Texas where St. Andrew Presbyterian Church hosted our Next Step program for the third year in a row. What a huge blessing they are for us. They provide vehicles to pick everyone up at the airport. The arrange host families to house everyone, they pretty much give us whatever we want and use of their entire church facilities. We love them there!

CAM Summer Interns 2010 at Next Step

Next Step was a great time to meet the interns that served in Mexico, Honduras and Spain, as well as ours from Guatemala. We heard their stories, broke up into small groups and processed what they experienced, where do you go from here with that, and how has God changed and grown them with it all.
It was a great time, and also helps us learn ways we can improve as coordinators for future interns.

A bonus for us at St. Andrew were the children! During July each year they have a weekly children's program that focuses entirely on Missions. This years theme was world hunger and clean drinking water.
They meet Wednesday mornings and asked Sandi and I if we could come and share with the kids, because....they had adopted our ministry with water filters as there fund-raising focus for this year! So, we showed some pictures of the things we have been blessed to do in Guatemala with water filters and shared about it with them.
When we finished the kids said they had a surprise for us....so they presented us with a sign that said, at that point, they had raised just over $1,800 for water filters! And they still had another one or two weeks to raise more!
Since they finished they have let us know they have a total of approximately $3,000!
WAY TO GO kids of St. Andrew!