For the greater part of June we were back in Arkansas to visit family and friends and to do a bit of fund-raising. It was great seeing everyone and we really enjoyed the little time we had. We were successful in getting donations to complete one of our larger projects and to start another. We want to thank one and all for their generosity. We are truly amazed at God’s provisions and blessings. We are reminded that HE is the source of all things and we make sure that the beneficiaries of our work know that it is not us, but our great and glorious God that provides all things.
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With the help of Diane and Paul James, David Pack and members of Messiah Lutheran Church in Pea Ridge, AR., we were able to complete the work on the Castillo home in zone 18 of Guatemala City. They now have a complete new roof with support timbers and a resurfaced concrete floor. Two new vinyl windows and a new door were installed where there were none before. They have an efficient vented eco-stove and a water filter to provide them with a ealthier environment.
We also bought three new bunk-beds for this family of 12 people. (They had been sleeping on disgustingly filthy mattresses on the floor.) Rebeca de Franco of the Lutheran Hour gave a beautiful dedication ceremony with bible readings and hymns on the day the work was completed and the family was presented with a new bible. Lastly we want to thank our friends at BuildinGuate for arranging for the purchase of materials and helping with transport and labor for this project.
With funds we had set aside for school supplies, we were able to buy 65 quick-learning guides to reading and writing for the school at the dump in Escuintla (shown in the photo below on the left). These guides were developed by a University Professor here in Guatemala and will teach the children how to read and write in only 28 days. The three other photos show the delivery of school supplies that we brought back to Guatemala at the end of our U.S. visit. The supplies were donated by our friend Bob Montague’s grand-son, Sebastian and some of his classmates in Tacoma, WA. Our daughter, Paula and grand-daughter, Abi, also pitched in with the purchase of some of the supplies. Thanks to all! The girl who is excitedly pointing at some of the items is Olga who is 13 and just started school a few months ago and really enjoys it.
With the proceeds from beneficiary buy-ins for 25 water filters that we delivered to Gualan, a donation from a member at Faith Bentonville and from a visitor to the Lutheran Church in
Antigua, work has begun on extending the roof of the rest rooms so that the children can be
dry during the rains for Sunday School. It has taken a while to get the funding in place mainly
due to the fact that the last donation from the visitor was a US$ check paid to the church. It took a month to clear, but last week materials were bought and work was started. It will take some time to be finished as two members from the church are doing the work to save on labor costs and they have other jobs that keep food on the table. It will be so nice and also a wonderful blessing when the work is done so that the Sunday School teacher and children will not have to worry about the rains as they study the bible and grow in their Christian faith. Thank you Brian and Michael!
Filepa Jimenez Lopez, left, has had a tubal ligation paid for through our medicine fund. She has six children and decided that she, like the two ladies on the right, neither needed or wanted more. They all live at the dump in Escuintla and have realized that bringing more children into that environment was not wise or healthy. I don’t know the names of the ladies on the right, but their procedures will be paid for through donations by the VBS children at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Colorado Springs. Some months back the American Legion Post here in Antigua provided some matching funds for 25 water filters that were delivered to Gualan. On August 14 we were able to reciprocate a little by helping them deliver 20 filters to the parents of 1st grade students at a Catholic School in San Antonio Aquas Calientes near Antigua (see below). The families were given orientation on the proper use and care of the filters and now have a source of clean water without paying for it. This will increase their disposable income for necessities such as food, clothing and medical care as well as reduce the chances of water born diseases (that can be sometimes fatal) in the home that younger children are more susceptible to.
With a generous gift from Becky Turner we were able to help Pastor Jasinto in Gualan get 25 bibles from the Lutheran Hour for his out-reach in Los Limones. (Sorry, no photos.) His work in Los Limones has brought many children to Christ. Please remember that we are still raising funds for more water filters, stoves and medicines. These three projects are all low-cost and high-impact. Please make donations via https://squareup.com/market/faith-bentonville/church-giving.