Greetings once again from a rather wintery and cold Houston, Texas! It is hard to believe, but we are just 9 days from celebrating the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus! This means that we are also coming to the end of yet another exciting and successful year! Though it has certainly not been the easiest year for us, we can still confidently say that it has been a good one filled with our Father in Heaven doing amazing things through us and our ministry in Guatemala!
Discipleship Training Schools
This year, God challenged us with something that we had never attempted to do before. Run 2 Discipleship Training Schools in 1 calendar year. For those who do not know, the DTS is an intense 5 month school where students grow in their Intimacy with God, thus allowing Him to reach into different areas of their lives to be discipled and molded more into the image of Jesus. It always a privilege to work in a DTS, however, it is also very intense for us as staff as well. Not only are we working with students and areas of their lives that they would prefer to have left alone, but we also are dealing with our own challenges as the DTS teachings always bring things out of us each and every time we run a school! So to run two 5 months schools was a daunting challenge that we were more than willing to accept!
Between the 2 schools, we had 13 students from 6 different countries and as of December 22nd
, 11 of them will have completed all the requirements and graduated! Our February school graduated 5 students, in which 3 of them have continued further in worldwide missions. The 2 who did not continue in missions have returned home to complete their education before moving into the amazing call that God has on their lives.
Part of the 20 week DTS is to go on an 8 week outreach to “Make God Known” amongst the nations or people groups that He sends the team. This year’s February school stayed in Guatemala and was able to work in the largest cities of this beautiful nation. Huehuetenango, Xela, and Guatemala City. Though each of these locations had a very distinct ministry focus, our purpose in each was the same…train and encourage the local body of Christ to go out and shine His light brighter. Throughout the 8 weeks, we were able to minister to over 700 children, over 2000 adults, and pray with 31 people as they accepted Christ for the 1st
time! We were also able to train and serve with local church leaders and I also got to run a 3 week seminar on Spiritual Warfare in which over 30 local church leaders attended. We also got to help several families affected by the earthquake in June and read over 60% of the Bible audibly in the central park of Xela!
Our school that began in August is currently in Nicaragua where they have been for the past month. They spent 4 weeks in the coastal town of Bluefields where they got to work with children, youth, and adults. They also got to help build a home as well as do some cleanup of another home. Before going to Nicaragua, they returned to Huehuetenango to continue in the work that we began with the February school.
This year we also had the privilege of traveling to various YWAM bases in Central America to teach in their DTS schools. Juli teaches a powerful teaching on Biblical Relationships, while David teaches on Intercession as well as Spiritual Warfare. All in all, we had the honor of teaching over 40 DTS students from at least 10 different countries around the world! What an honor!
Ministry as a Family
One of our goals for this year was to return to serving in missions as a family, which meant to include our little ones in the ministry as well. This is one of the central values that we share in YWAM and the DTS outreach proved to be a great opportunity for our children to experience ministry. Watching them help out with puppets, participate in dramas, and just share the love of Christ with other children was a beautiful dream come true for us. We have seen their faith grow exponentially over this last year and for that, we give all the praise to God!
Thank You For All of Your Support This Year!
In closing, this was definitely an extremely busy year for us that has ended with us in Houston, helping my dad, who suffered a stroke in October. It is certainly not the way we anticipated ending this year, but we are ever so thankful that we get to have this precious time with him. I would not trade these last 6 weeks for anything! That said, we also want to express our thanks to everyone for supporting us with your prayers, your encouraging emails, and your financial gifts. None of this would be impossible without you, so thank you so very much! If you would like to see a small video of photos from this past year, click here
! As this year comes to an end, we look forward to 2018 and continuing in the call that God has placed on our family to raise up world changing “Daniels” and send them into the world to shine His light to the nations!