Greetings and Happy 2016 from Guatemala City! It is so hard to believe that yet another year has passed us by. Seems like just yesterday that I was writing a similar email about 2014 and yet here I am today looking back on the amazing year we had in 2015! God continues to amaze us in such special ways and looking back at this past year, we can certainly see how He moved the mountains to captivate our hearts!
The Spark Launches
As most of you already know, this past September we had the joy of finally renting a small place in the bus terminal of Guatemala City so that we could open an activity center / coffee shop that is specifically focused on helping street youth as well as "at-risk" children. At first, we thought that we would try it for a few months and see not only what God would do with it, but how He would also provide for it (we did it with no extra money in the bank). Well, as always, He does not disappoint as we have seen the street youth and nearby "at risk" children really take hold of the place and blossom. With the start of 2016, we are looking towards creating more organized activities in the Spark that is designed not just to capture the hearts of our street friends, but also to inspire them to rise up and make a difference in this nation!
My Little Chapina Takes Off
Probably one of the most unexpected surprises of 2015 was seeing Juli's handcraft shop take off. We have actually had this shop open for a long time, however as the year came to an end, Juli used her amazing croche talents to create something that no one else had created... a Dark Vader Hat / Mask. It was an instant hit and quickly she formed a pattern that has not only sold very well, but has also brought her a lot of orders as well. One of our dreams that we have had since getting married was to form a small business that could help sustain us and fund our ministry work. So watching God move and make this dream a reality has been really touching! Juli is now working on some new patterns for 2016 and we are praying that this will just be the beginning of something great that will be able to fund missions work for years to come! If you would like to see her work, you can visit our FB page
or her Etsy Shop
Progress Made with Youth Living on the Streets
Something else that was big this past year was seeing how many of our street friends took strides towards leaving the streets. Cesar and Maria Jose have now been living in an apartment in a different area of the city for several months now as they continue to work towards getting Baby Duncan and Lupita back from the government. Mauricio continues to stay mostly drug free and has been in and out of a few jobs over the last few months. Rosita and Marcos are working hard to be able to pay rent for their apartment. Gerson, Selvin, Erica, and Manuel all experienced seasons where they were either living at home or in a rehab. Though not everyone has been able to stay off the drugs and off the streets, we did see our guys far more motivated this year to do something better with their lives and we are believing that with the continued development of The Spark Cafe that the momentum will carry onto 2016 and beyond!
Several Teams / Volunteers Came to Serve!
2015 was also a year where we got to host a number of volunteers and teams! In fact, when looking back at this past year, there were really only a few months (mainly during our vacation) that we did not have someone living in The Nucleus Volunteer Center! One of the things that we love about missions is being able to host teams / volunteers throughout the year, which is a big reason that we have continued to rent a good sized home! We are believing that this trend will continue as we already have had a number of volunteers and teams schedule to join us throughout 2016!
It Was A Great Year!
All in all 2015 was a great year! We are very thankful to God for all that He did through us on the streets and in our midst! We are also super thankful for everyone who has either prayed for us, encouraged us, served with us, and financially supported us in this past year! We are in constant prayer for you all and look forward to continuing in partnership with you all in this coming year! So thank you so much!