Wow, what a night we had for our 2019 Night of Lights! I think we had record attendance; handing out 777 tickets to people! We served coffee with chocolate, a Christmas tradition in Guatemala, handed out candy canes and gave each family a Christmas tract. People enjoyed the lights, Christmas music being played, taking photos on their cells, hearing Jeanne's youth choir sing carols and then the highlight of the evening...the raffle! We had a little over 200 items to raffle off plus LOTS of things to throw out into the crowd...including candy, sponges, mardigras beads, plastic leis, small stuffed animals and balls batted out into the crowd! It is a fun family activity that the town looks forward to every year! Enjoy the photos!
We had a team of 17 that came to cover our annual town VBS; all from Michigan except one from Tennessee. It was a huge success! Our final count was 337 children registered and the last day had about 500 people in the ministry center; with moms, little ones, and some youth coming in to watch. The town kids really look forward to this activity and while it is a lot of work and very tiring; it is all worth it to see the children’s joy at participating in it. The team went out the morning of the first day to invite children to come and the children were excited to receive the little papers with the information. One little boy “kissed his paper” when he received it! We had a professional clown, that we have used for years; that does a wonderful job at holding the children’s attention. After our joint time, we divided into class time, puppets, yard games and the Jesus Bingo game. The puppets were a new addition this year and the children really enjoyed them. We had a few of our local youth come along side to assist the team in overseeing the activities. The last day was our carnival day and you have no idea on how much the children get into it😊! There are blow-up inflatables, a dunk tank, face painting, food sales (780 bags of popcorn, over 600 jello bags, not sure how many 100s of freeze sticks and Kool-Aid), and a store where the children could shop. The children earned points from their attendance and also participation and they could use these points on this last day! To say that the children enjoyed the activity is a gross understatement😊! There were 100 children that invited Jesus into their hearts….”that” is why it all worthwhile!
The Lord put something in my heart and I am stepping out in faith to do it. Our pastors, especially the mountain village ones, earn next to nothing. They have no medical care and some are getting up in age. I so admire these servants of the Lord in their dedication to their work, when they receive so little in monetary return. I know that they are building up great heavenly rewards; but sometimes we have needs in the “here and now” that need to be attended to. I wanted to have each of our pastors and their wives receive a good medical check-up. We talked to a local doctor that has worked with us a lot and she gave us a list of the lab testing that she recommended that they have done, to detect potential issues. All of our pastors were to come into town, with their wives, and get that done. On Thanksgiving Day, we had our medical clinic at the ministry center with the local doctor. She will have their test results and we will see what we are dealing with. We will try to look for the means to help them with problems that they need and/or medications that may be necessary. It may be a matter of fundraising to do this but I believe that if the Lord put it in my heart to do, that He will provide. I just need to be obedient to open the door that he gave me.
We had our annual time of the board members and spouses coming together. This year we held the activity in Michigan from September 16-19. We met at a beautiful B&B in Marine City, Michigan. Because we have board members in both Michigan and Tennessee, we alternate each year on where we hold this meeting. Two board members from Tennessee were unable to attend this year; both due to surgeries for either themselves or spouse. We were able to plug them in to the actual business meeting by conference calls so that they could at least be a part of that. We welcomed a new board member, Ed Camera, to the board. Ed has been coming to Guatemala for several years; with the annual medical team that comes from Crossville, TN. He learned much more about the ministry as he was presented information about all of the different outreaches that exist. We had a great time of prayer, sharing, strategizing and fellowship. We enjoyed being in the “Blue Water Area”, along the St. Clair river. We had some great food, times of fun and fellowship. I thank God for people who have such a heart for the work in Guatemala; that try to work together with me to look for new ways to reach out to the people of Guatemala.