Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Check out this great video Jessica's dad made about the kids of Rio Bravo, where we are supporting a breakfast program that feeds these kids 5 days a week. While their situation is dire, these kids are truly benefiting from their nutritious breakfast, and the clean water that we are beginning to be able to provide for them to take home to their families.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Casa Shalom

Last week, we celebrated 15 months of ministry at Casa Shalom. We have been so blessed to work with the wonderful staff and children of the Casa Shalom orphanage! We feel the Lord has placed us in Guatemala to do His work and we are excited to continue serving Him by serving Casa Shalom's kids. For the benefit of new readers of our blog, we'd like to share a little bit about our ministry and we'd like you to watch the short video we made of Casa Shalom, below.
Casa Shalom currently has 55 kids of all ages. Our typical day begins by teaching English at the school located on the orphanage property, which also educates approximately 40 children from a local HIV/AIDS hospice. Speaking English is a skill that will allow the children to escape from the desperate poverty from which they have come.
We also work with the 12 - 15 short-term missions teams that come to Casa Shalom each year. With the teams, we have replaced roofs, painted buildings, built a chicken farm, conducted Vacation Bible School, played countless games of soccer, and much more!
In November, we also began working with a feeding center in the coastal town of Rio Bravo, where several children had died of starvation prior to the opening of the center. We partner with churches in the USA to provide the 200 children who attend the program with a nutritious breakfast 5 days a week. We'd like to thank everyone who has prayed for, encouraged, supported and visited us. Your support has been invaluable. Let us know how we can connect you with the beautiful children of Guatemala!
Please take a second to check out our video below.

Monday, September 21, 2009

New Life

Yesterday, we spoke at the New Life Church in Deerfield Beach, Florida. We'd like to thank Pastor Tony Farmer, his wife Cindy, for their generous hospitality and especially for taking us out for a delicious lunch of spicy chicken wings after church! Take a moment to check out New Life's website here.

Photo: Alex and Tony enjoy sharing some space on the swingset

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Here is a very short video featuring some recent photos we've taken of some of Casa Shalom's youngest boys.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Cave in

We have both a praise report and a prayer request for everyone. Right before we left for the U.S., we had a very strong rain storm at Casa Shalom. During the storm, at about 9:30 at night, a large portion of the retaining wall that surrounds the soccer field collapsed, sending large chunks of the cement wall, along with dirt and fencing, spilling onto the soccer field. We are so thankful that the cave in happened late at night, or else the children easily could have been hurt (yes, they even play soccer in the rain!). Praise God that he kept the children safe. Now for the prayer request - it will cost around $2,000 to repair the wall and to reinforce the portions of the wall that did not fall, to prevent further cave-ins! We know this amount isn't too much for the Lord and that He will supply what is necessary to keep Casa Shalom's kids safe!

Monday, September 14, 2009


Hello everyone! We'd like to give you a brief update on our fundraising trip here in Florida.

This past weekend, we attend the 2009 Missions Conference at CityLife Church in Tampa, Florida. We were so blessed by the 3-day event. Pastor Tony Stewart and the entire missions staff organized an incredible line-up of teaching sessions and a missions-centered service yesterday. We were able to connect with dozens of missionaries, many of whom have been in the mission field for longer than we have been alive! They are an inspiration to us and we were able to learn much from them. Take a moment and check out CityLife's webiste here.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Road construction

As any who has been to Casa Shalom can testify, the road the runs through the property gives one bumpy ride! The concrete road has survived dozens of rainy seasons, but has deteriorated greatly in the past few years. Director Jorge Mario began brainstorming ways we could re-do the road, if we had adequate funds. After being blessed by several donations for the road, construction began a few weeks ago. At this point, approximately 30% has been completed and it looks wonderful. To celebrate the progress, on Saturday an opening ceremony was held at the home. We'd like to thank our friend Bob for the photos he took of the ceremony.

A few days into the construction progress

The new road is paved with these stones.

The new road looks wonderful!

The kids all came to watch the opening ceremony.

Casa Shalom's van takes the first drive on the new road.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

The Sanctuary

We'd like to thank Pastor Clayton Watson and his wife, Linette, for allowing us to share with their congregation this morning. Today, we shared about our ministry with The Sanctuary, a growing congregation in DeLand, Florida. The people of the The Sanctuary were warm and welcoming, and we appreciate so much the blessing they were to us. Take a second to check out The Sanctuary's website here!

Photo: Waltercito, Jorge and Tony show off their teeth, in various stages of loss!

Saturday, September 5, 2009


We'd like everyone to know that on Thursday, we arrived in the USA for our one-month fundraising trip! We will be in Florida until October 6th, and will be speaking at churches across the state, sharing our ministry and the ministry of Casa Shalom. Our goal is the raise the rest of the funds needed to remain at Casa Shalom into the Summer of net year. Please keep us in your prayers as we travel and speak. Pray for traveling safety and that we will be able to effectively share the wonderful work that is going on at Casa Shalom. Also, please keep checking the blog because we'll be posting photos and stories we collected before we left, as well as updates sent to us from the orphanage. God bless and happy Labor Day weekend!

Photo: Some of Casa Shalom's oldest boys - from left - Cesar is studying to be a mechanic, Benjamin is studying to be an accountant, Edwin is studying business/marketing, and Elias will graduate high school in October and wants to study to be a lawyer.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The home where I met Jesus

Casa Shalom's motto is: "Casa Shalom - the home where I met Jesus." Every day, we strive to show Jesus's love to the 56 amazing kids who live at the orphanage, and that love is evidenced in so many ways. We want to share with you the story of Anggie, a little girl who has been greatly changed by the love of Jesus shown at Casa Shalom. Anggie is 2 and a half years old and came to Casa Shalom nearly 7 months ago. After being sexually and physically abused by a male relative as a very small girl, she was taken away by the courts. She came to us from another orphanage as a scared, broken and sad little girl. She never smiled, never laughed, and rarely did more that sit in silence. Anyone who visited Casa Shalom during the months after her arrival can tell you she was incredibly frightened by strangers, especially men, visibly shaking when one entered the room. We have been working extra-hard with Anggie, trying to show her love and trying to win her trust. Thanks to the many prayers of her sponsor in the United States, and thanks to the grace of God, she has opened up little by little. It started with an occasional smile while swinging on the swing set or a laugh while being tickled...and now when you come to see her, she runs up to you and gives you a big hug and wet kiss! As you can see by the photos, the Lord has healed Anggie's broken little heart - and while she may continue to struggle, she has come so far from her tragic start in life. Praise the Lord for all his blessings! Photo above: Anggie happily poses on her bed. Below: Anggie loves to play hide and seek - her favorite spot is below the kitchen table!