Last month we enjoyed a fantastic trip to Guatemala’s Pacific Coast compliments of Jason’s parents who had given us a few nights away as a Christmas present. We had never been to this area and it was amazing to drive through the sugar cane fields and rubber trees on our way. I love being able to show our kids how things we use everyday are grown. The coast was balmy and very peaceful. The kids will most remember the fantastic swimming pool facilities where we stayed.
We also enjoyed some special events these past few weeks — the kids finished up a month of swimming lessons, we celebrated sweet Simeon’s birthday, received a visit from friends, made Valentine’s Day pancakes and Mabel got a tooth extracted!
Jason and Will hosted a boys youth group campout on our neighbors’ compound last month. 16 boys showed up, which was awesome! They had a meaningful evening of fellowship, singing, games and food; followed by a mostly sleepless night and a hot breakfast together the next morning.
We also got to join in a special Guatemalan Day celebration at our friend Danielito’s school in which all the students dressed in traditional outfits from different areas of Guatemala and performed dances. It was really wonderful to see all the traditional outfits in one place and so fun to watch Danielito.
Several of the board members of La Casa de la Paz visited last month to discuss the continued care for the women of La Casa and also to determine if now is a good time for expanding the ministry to try to assist some of the men in our community who struggle with addiction. We enjoyed meeting these board members that we have only ever seen in on-line meetings before.
We are excited to share that the La Casa ministry will be expanding to include men. Many of you are familiar with Victor’s story and it is incredible to watch how God is growing his story. Last month these three men below (to the left of Victor) named Julian, Eduardo & Carlos asked if they could please be taken to a rehab center. The Deeds immediately sponsored them and you can see the difference in them in the second picture.
Victor and the Deeds know that rehab is only the first step in their recovery journey. Due to their addiction, these men have no family support, no homes and no jobs. They need additional assistance and, most importantly, community who will walk with them. In seeing this need, the Deeds have organized a home to serve as a type of half-way house (something that does not exist here) and are serving these men in hopes of restoring dignity and helping find God’s purpose for their lives.
We are thrilled to share that Jason has been hired in a seasonal position again in the Sequoia National Forest beginning in May and that we will get to spend another six months among the big trees … but as seems to often be our predicament, we are still searching for a place to live. We are looking forward to seeing how God will work this out for us this time around.