Tag Archives: Jesus

A Life Changed.

2 Jun

This morning, I ran. I should say, I attempted to run. And then I received the link to this video. I ended up standing in the middle of the road, bawling like a baby. If you would like to join GuateTeam on its next adventure, reach out to Orphan Outreach. We’d love to have you join our family.

Thank you, Amy Hobbs, for creating this video.

~Ronne

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You Bring – Hope.

17 May

Hope is that thing with feathers that perches in the soul and sings the tune without the words and never stops… at all.  ~Emily Dickinson

In October of 2010, a brave woman named Evita quietly shared her dream. “I want people of God to come and teach my girls. I want the girls to have job skills. I want the girls to know how to make good decisions. I want my little moms to know how to be the best moms.” Today, she admitted she didn’t think anyone would really want to take the time. “When I got the phone call that your team wanted to teach my girls, I knew God heard my prayer. I wanted to scream ‘yes!’ even before I was asked if it would be OK. I had hoped and hoped someone would come, and here you are.” Continue reading

Theme.

14 May

There’s a moment before every journey to care for the discarded where the sweet whisper of the Lord says “here’s your theme.” Last time for me, it was “Little is much.” For Courtney, it was “Jesus first.”

This time, for me, the whisper came in the words of a song: Continue reading

Little is Much – Jose Pablo

15 Mar

Never underestimate the power of little.

We watched through the window as the nine 3 and 4-year olds and their caregivers, also known as “mamas,” marched around the building to our door. This was a rare treat for them – an opportunity to be little chefs. Most of the children live at Eagle’s Nest, an orphanage nestled high in the hills overlooking Lake Atitlan in western Guatemala. The children’s home currently has 22 little residents, ranging in age from newborn to 13. At Eagle’s Nest, they are are provided more than food and shelter – the kids are given a good education, lots of love, and a strong foundation of faith. The children are reminded of their worth and value daily.  It is evident in their eyes.

Our “GuateMission” team from Austin Christian Fellowship had transformed the apartment below the orphanage into a makeshift cooking school for our special guests. The recipe was a simple one – some cookie mix we had brought from the United States, a few eggs, and sticks of butter. One by one, the children took turns stirring the eggs and butter together, and brave volunteers carefully poured the mix into the bowls. They waited patiently as the grown-ups then made sure the dough was blended, and each little chef took their turn with the scoops to transform that dough into perfectly round circles of sugary goodness.

Every child, that is, except one. Jose Pablo.

Making the perfect cookie.

Jose Pablo is only small in stature. Inside the bright, talkative 4-year old is a powerhouse of personality. He was the first to raise his hand to help make the cookie dough, and he was the first in line to scoop that dough onto the cookie sheets. And scoop he did – with no help from any of the grownups. His little face was intense as his little hands gripped the scoop with all his might. He first tackled the walnut chocolate chip dough. A smile and two lovely cookies later, he was ready to move on.

Sugar cookies meant more than simply scooping out dough onto a sheet. It also meant getting to decorate with stars and jimmies and colored sugars. Each child sprinkled and sprinkled and sprinkled.

Every child, that is, except one. Jose Pablo.

The little chefs design their special cookies.

When it came to decorating his sugar cookie, he made sure his would be noticed. Those little hands selected a purple star and three yellow jimmies to create a design that would be different from all the others. He giggled as the cookies were served, knowing there would be no mistaking his sweet masterpiece.

Delicious.

When the little chefs finally got to enjoy their creations, Jose Pablo relished his. When the children said their “thank you’s,” Jose Pablo’s was just a little louder. And this evening, when we said our goodnights to the sweet kids at Eagle’s Nest, Jose Pablo’s hug was big and strong.

Today, the power of little invaded my heart.  As I find myself once again wondering what good can come of the little things I can offer in this life, I am given a mop-topped reminder that even the smallest things – like baking cookies with an orphan – have the potential to make hearts grow. And that same mop-topped little chef reminds me to live big, even when life feels small. May I be willing to go first, unafraid to be different, eager to say thanks, and always ready to give big hugs.

Little is indeed much when God’s in it.

Labels (part one).

27 Feb

This is part one of a two-part post.

Double-orphan.

Gary Schneider, founder of Every Orphan’s Hope, used the term at IdeaCamp: Orphan Care in talking about programs to care for kids with HIV/AIDS in Africa. Though I understand the term – it means the child has no mother or father – it lands hard on my heart. I fight back tears.

There are so many labels in this whole “orphan care” space. Continue reading

Family.

7 Nov

Our journey to Guatemala was made complete by the team of beautiful people who joined us. Jean Clark is a pediatric nurse in Florida, and this is our second time to serve together in Guatemala. We’re thankful to share her words today as our guest blogger.

Jean with one of the sweet orphans at Cerecaif outside Xela, Guatemala.

Life is fragile.

Continue reading

Santiago.

28 Oct

The main street of Santiago.

We drove in the clouds, winding along roads pockmarked from recent mudslides. The afternoon skies disappeared in a blanket of thick gray mist as we . Getting to Santiago before dark was essential, we were told, because it’s impossible to see the roads at night. As the mist cleared, we saw our destination – a village of around 150,000 that rests at the base of a volcano.  Earthquakes are common, though few are strong enough to do damage. What did do damage to Santiago’s neighboring village, Panabaj, in 2005 was Hurricane Stanley. The storm filled the cone of the volcano, and the internal pressure caused a large section of the top to break way, literally covering the town in mud and rock.  Entire neighborhoods disappeared, along with a school, hospital and police station. The village has been slowly rebuilding, though many areas are considered unfit for habitation.  The Guatemalan government received substantial support from the US and other countries, but aid to those impacted has been minimal.  Only recently has a neighborhood of permanent housing been designed and built. Children who lost their families during the mudslide now live with relatives or in orphanages in other parts of the country. Driving past the cinderblock rubble is a haunting reminder of how quickly life can change – forever.

Continue reading

Paved.

21 Oct

(A message to our team, but we thought we’d share it with everyone because God really does know EACH of your names).


Good Morning Team Guate10! As Ronne and I prepare to head out this morning, I wanted to share with you something that Jesus spoke to me this morning.  He knows each member of our team by name. He knows our strengths, our weaknesses, our fears, and the number of breaths we’ll take today.  Each step of our journey has been paved with His blood and we can take personally His instructions to “fear not.” During the next two days as you prepare to depart know that Ronne and I are praying for you, and that your way has already been prepared.

~Courtney

I woke up with this song playing in my head. I think it’s for you. Today.

~Ronne