Another month has gone by and we have some important news for our family and friends. After a lot of prayer and discussion between Cassandra and I as well as Pastor Luis, we have determined that our ministry in Guatemala will end in mid-October. Although we had initially planned on remaining here until December, we’ve made a change in our plans based on the following reasons:
1. Our primary responsibilities here will be completed by that time. The school year in Gualan ends on October 15th and does not start again until January so Cassandra will no longer have any work to do with the school. My 3 confirmation courses are on track to end the first week of October and we have a Confirmation service planned for October 9th. I am currently training those who regularly assist me with my classes to take on the next year’s cycle of Confirmation students.
One of my helpers, Luis Antonio, leading praise songs in La Union.
2. We have some health concerns. Cassandra’s health especially has been inconsistent at best during our time here. Her immune system in general seems to be weaker because of the stress of mission work. We are also concerned about the Zika virus and it’s potentially unknown effects (Guatemala and specifically the region we are in are at risk for Zika transmission).
3. We dearly miss our families and friends. It did not help matters that Cassandra lost her grandfather just before we left. Right now we are motivated to stay here because we still have clearly outlined work that we need to do, but when October comes we won’t have the same motivation to stay here away from family and friends.
4. We are running out of funds. That is likely due to our troubles with the car as well as the fact that we only raised 87% of our funding goal. We faced the option of asking our generous supporters for more funding, but due to the other factors listed above we feel that would not be the best use of our supporters’ resources.
Due to the reasons above, we have come to an agreement with Pastor Luis that we will be leaving in October. We made this decision on amicable terms and there are no hard feelings between us. Pastor Luis fully supports our decision. This was not an easy decision for us to make by any means. Many hours, tears, and prayers went into it. We are sad to leave our loving Christian family here in Guatemala, but we believe that this change of plans is the best for everyone involved. We continue to thank God and all those who support us for the incredible opportunity we have had to be a part of the ministry here. Please keep us in your prayers as we begin making preparations for our return home in addition to many exciting events we have planned within our respective ministries. Details about those events are as follows:
Cassandra and her choir will be performing their first song this Monday for the school’s 7th anniversary celebration. She also has a larger concert planned for September that the kid’s are extremely excited about. They’re even learning a praise song in English!
As far as the ministry I’m involved in, I have finalized a date to confirm youth from the three different groups I work with. It has truly been an honor to walk alongside these youth as we learn more about our Savior and the foundations of our faith in Him. Another very exciting thing is happening with the adult ministry in Los Limones. I help lead an afternoon prayer service every Sunday and when we first started only 5 adults were in attendance. Well, now we regularly run out of chairs! I just got back from this week’s service where we worshipped with over 100 people. God is truly working through the ministry here and strengthening this community around His Word.
Ubaldo leading the prayer service in Los Limones
If you have any questions for us you can contact us via Facebook or email me at email@example.com.