Giving Thanks at the Midpoint!
"The trumpeters and musicians joined in unison to give praise and thanks to the LORD. Accompanied by trumpets, cymbals and other instruments, the singers raised their voices in praise to the LORD and sang: “He is good; his love endures forever.” Then the temple of the LORD was filled with the cloud,"
2 Chronicles 5:13
Good afternoon from a beautiful and sunny Antigua, Guatemala! We are officially arriving at the midpoint of the classroom phase of our Discipleship Training School (DTS) and all we can say is "Wow!" Though it has certainly been challenging, God has been continuously doing some amazing things through us and in us during these first 6 weeks of the school! We have such amazing students (5 of them from 4 different nations) and an incredible team of staff (3 from 3 nations) working alongside of us and each and every day, we give thanks to God for them as we know that without them, nothing that we are doing today would be possible!
Translating and Teaching
Because we run bilingual schools, we are always challenged with the need to have translators for each teaching week. In the past, this was never a huge issue because we had William in school and Nathaniel was really little. Thus, Juli was always available. However, our family dynamics have greatly changed since running our last DTS as William is now 11, Nathaniel 7, and we now also have our precious Ariela. We are also homeschooling which makes Juli's availability rather limited. This has meant a new challenge for me, one that I am in need of much growth still, as I have begun translating some of the classes. I have learned through this that it is one thing to be bilingual and another to be able to translate a 4 hour class.
At the same time, I also had the honor a few weeks back to teach on Intercessory Prayer with our students! This has always been one of my favorite topics to teach on and always inspires me to rise up from the ashes of circumstance and use the divine authority that God has given us to cause change to happen around me! One of the core messages that I teach during this week is that we are Christ's Ambassadors and because of that, we have the ability to pray and see complete change in whatever it is that we are praying through!
Outreach to Panama!
Another one of the joys / challenges of leading a DTS school is the opportunity to lead an 8 week outreach with the students. This is considered the practical phase of the DTS where the students are challenge to live out and express to the world what God did within them during the classroom phase. One of the parts that I love about this phase is that we get to practice complete dependency on God for each and every decision. This includes waiting on Him as a school to determine where to go and then once we are there, waiting again on Him to show us what to do and where to go minister on a daily basis. It is a beautiful time where we get to see God show Himself off as things that seem impossible at the moment become so simple.
For this school, we will be going to Panama and will be working for 7 weeks in the Northern part of Panama where the Ngabe tribes live. We will be working with 2 different YWAM bases, one in Bocas del Toro where YWAM ships has an outpost, and the other in Chiriqui. We are super excited about this as it will be our first outreach as a family in quite a long time! However, to make this happen we will need to raise an estimated $5000 to cover food, housing, and transportation. Because the outreach portion begins on May 8, we need to raise this funding rather quickly as we will soon by buying plane tickets. Thus, we would be honored if you would join us in praying for these finances to come in an timely manner. We would also be honored if you would like to financially sow into this outreach! If you would like to get involved (prayerfully or financially), or would like to know more, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In closing, we want to just give thanks to God for all that He has done in our ministry this year. In April, I will be celebrating 14 years in missions and I cannot express more my thanks to God, to our family, to our friends, and to everyone else who has walked through this journey with us! God is shining His light in Guatemala and each and every day I can see this nation getting closer to becoming the nation He created it to be! So thank you to everyone and thank you Jesus for letting us be a part of this!