09 October 2010

Must Be Almost Christmas!

It must be October, because 10 days ago (yes, that was still September) we saw Christmas decorations in some stores here! Complete with Christmas trees!
However, it was a great reminder for us that we have to get started on plans for Christmas activities here.
My youth have been asking me "when are we going to start preparing and practicing for Noche Buena?" and Loyda, the director at Casita Benjamin was asking if we will host our dinner again, because she has had many requests from families wondering if we would do it again this year!
OF COURSE! And, we are hoping for bigger and better than ever!

Christmas Decorations are going up!
Want to help?
We could use your help.
First, pray. There are many, many things to plan and do, and many, many people involved to coordinate.
Pray that we will be organized in our planning and scheduling. That we don't forget things, etc.
Pray for God to be preparing those that will attend, that their hearts will be open to the message of hope and salvation in Jesus Christ.
Pray for our youth and others that are the servants for this, the opportunity to serve has a huge impact in their lives.
Pray also about helping with the costs of the undertaking. Praise God, Wildwood Church in IL has already pledged over half of our budget! We could still use another $1,000 or a little more.
We are expecting more than the 200 people we had last year. Food prices are climbing here due to so much flooding that destroyed many crops. We have gifts to buy and our desire this year is to also provide a basket filled with basic goods to each family.

If you would like to help with a gift, you can give online here, or by mail to:

CAM International
8625 La Prada Dr.
Dallas, TX 75228
IMPORTANT: Include on your check it is for #062877 Casita Outreach Events

All gifts are tax deductible and will only be used for this event.

Emotion of youth servant team
We also have some other things coming up.
Next week-end, we will take our two interns here for a week-end at Las Buenas Nuevas. The CAM retreat center on the shores of Lake Atitlán.

Las Buenas Nuevas
In November, my sister Robin and our niece Andrea will visit for a couple of weeks. Robin is helping to obtain some technology help for Casita Benjamin.

We are also working on plans for a 2 or 3 day retreat with our youth in early December. Maybe a camping trip....could be 20 - 40 youth!
So...even in our 'slow' season, lots to do and look forward to!

02 October 2010

Aldea El Zunzo, Jalapa

We were so blessed to be given a few water filters a year ago, not knowing at the time how the Lord would use those 10 water filters to begin another work here in Guatemala. In the past year we have been blessed to give out somewhere around 100 filters, thanks to so many of you! Many have given us funds to purchase filters, knowing that this is literally a gift of life.

"The poor and needy search for water, but there is none;
Their tongues are parched with thirst.
But I the Lord will answer them;
I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them."
Isaiah 41:17

The children of St. Andrew Presbyterian Church in Denton, TX used this verse as they raised funds this summer to help buy filters. They raised over $3000 to buy between 55 & 65 filters!
Many others have helped also, and we have been blessed on this end to give and see the difference the filters  make in peoples lives.

We have also provided filters for several projects of another local Guatemalan ministry called
"Abrazando Mi Guatemala"

They left their mark!
They have been a blessing for us, to help distribute filters to very needy families in rural areas around Guatemala.
Last week-end, we were able to provide through them another 17 families with water filters!

Some of the villagers waiting to receive some basic supplies
The 26th of September a group of volunteers with Abrazando Mi Guatemala, traveled to a village named El Zunzo in the department of Jalapa. It was not an easy journey, due to the tremendous amount of rain Guatemala has received there are landslides blocking roads all over the country. They had to go through some slides and many places just barely wide enough for a van to pass through.

Preparing to explain how to use and clean the water filters
While spending the day in El Zunzo, the group was able to provide 125 families with a bag full of basic food supplies, they painted the village elementary school, they gave out 597 pieces of children's clothing, fed a snack to the entire village, had games and activities for the kids including 6 piñatas, AND they provided 17 families with water filters!

Cony teaching the benefits of clean water

Testing a filter for the first time!


Laura giving a filter

Yes, it is a happy day!

The smiles tell what these filters mean

The 'Abrazando Mi Guatemala' team in El Zunzo
Please join us in thanking God for His allowing us all to be a part of the great things He is doing here in Guatemala. For His provision, both materially for the filters, but also providing His servants to join with us all to share His love and hope with those in need.