We have emailed this letter to many of our supporters, but we may have missed a few because we’re doing everything electronically. So this update is for all our supports, prayer-warriors and followers!
We hope you, your family and loved ones are doing well and have had a great year. We want to update you on our current status and future for our ministry here in Guatemala. We are so thankful and grateful for your prayers and/or support for us as we have been able to be God’s hands and feet here for many orphans and impoverished families near our local area. We’ve also had the opportunity to extend our reach to families as far away as Nicaragua since moving away from home in so many months ago. Knowing that you have blessed us and/or sent a prayer (or 2 or more up!) helping us to be able to be a blessing to others has not only affected those we’ve worked with but has also deeply impacted us personally.
Our initial plan was to be in Guatemala for 2 years. We hit that mark on September 7, 2019! WOW! It sure has been an amazing journey, one that has changed our lives and one that we never could have done without YOU! At the end of 2018 we knew Rob was transitioning into a new area, expanding our ministry outside of the walls of Casa Shalom Orphanage and into villages where the bulk of ministry has been building homes for families in an area that was greatly affected by the June 2018 Volcano Fuego eruption. In this role with Servants Hearts Ministries, Rob has never been so fulfilled. Using his God-given gifts to show God’s Love and Hope to families in need has been a dream come true. There is too much we could say about the experiences, putting it in this letter wouldn’t do it justice.
It is important to share with you our plans going forward. As much as we love serving the people of Guatemala, we are beginning to make our transition plans back to the States. We believe the Lord is moving us back for a season, and we are prayerfully listening for His direction on our next steps.
As we brainstormed what a BIG task this will be, mentally, physically and spiritually, we are confident that moving back this summer is the best decision for our family. A transition in December would be most difficult for Evie and Elliot who would be changing schools mid-year. We believe a summertime transition, slowly adjusting back to “life in the States” would be best. We know that we’re all going back to what we’ve known, but we will be carrying life-experiences that have impacted us and changed us. We have been given advice from other Missionaries who’ve stressed the importance of processing through our time in the Mission Field on top of adjusting back to “normal life in the US.” Making time to intentionally do this will help all of us, and we especially don’t want to make light of what Evie and Elliot have experienced in our time here. We are even considering attending a debriefing retreat with our “Re-entry.”
We have prayerfully decided that returning in June of 2020, after Evie and Elliot have completed 4th and 2nd grade, will be the best decision for our family and our ministry. Meantime, Rob will continue building homes, kitchens, and drilling water wells with Servants Hearts Ministries and Melissa will continue working with the health and nutrition of the children at Casa Shalom Orphanage and we will both help in any other areas that we can. We are asking you, our faithful supporters, prayer-warriors and followers, to continue your support for us and our ministry through June of 2020.
We are forever thankful that you have been with us through the years and are praying for returned blessings for you and your loved ones as you consider starting or continuing to give until we return home. Our reach alone can only go so far, but with you behind us we are able to do so much more! We are awaiting your response as you prayerfully consider our request. We couldn’t do this without you!