Dear Family & Friends,
We’d like to take this moment to send a sincere heartfelt thank you. Our trip to Guatemala was one that we’ll never forget. It was impossible without your support! We’d love to share a couple of many stories we experienced in hopes that it will encourage you as a supporter in furthering the gospel to the “ends of the earth.”
The purpose of our trip was to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with some of the Guatemalan people. We spent most of our time in a small village just south of the Mexican border called La Union. People there live in dirt floored homes among many family members as well as family animals (goats, pigs, chickens and dogs). Imagine your entire extended family in your living room alone – that’s what it was like. They eat mostly tortillas, black beans, and chicken cooked over open fires. The food, despite our hesitations, was wonderful!
The first story we’d like to share is one from our afternoons. We spent the afternoons going from home to home asking people if they knew Jesus. Don’t worry, in their culture it was not weird to just stop by and talk to strangers about God like it would be with our neighbors here in America. We asked them how they were doing and what they did for a living to get the conversation going. At one particular house, we met an older lady who practically ran out into the street because she knew we were in the village – our reputation by the end of the week had preceded us. She brought us into her house to pray for her mother. There we learned of some unexplained illnesses that caused much pain. All the family members are Christians and were in need of encouragement. At that point, Kristen was prompted to share about her stomach issues over the last year and to encourage them that God is the ultimate healer. We had an amazing time of powerful prayer and physically felt the presence of the Holy Spirit. The first picture at the bottom of this letter is a picture of this family.
The second story we’d love to share is a “fish and loaves” one. We experienced a miracle! Prior to the trip we were told to plan a Vacation Bible School for about 50-100 kids. Just two weeks before takeoff, we got word that the kids might be around 200. So, we adjusted and planned crafts, bible story, recreation, and music for 200 kids. When we got to the village we found out that we’d be able to be at the public school (that’s big just to be in a public school!) for about … 800 kids! We were quite honestly dumbfounded! We assessed the ages (kindergarten to 8th grade) and our materials and quickly made a new plan. David’s recreation relay games were a huge hit and God allowed us to have enough crafts for all of the children each day with excess! How much excess? 200 crafts came home in our suitcases – the amount we planned for in the beginning. God is good! The second picture is of the children carrying their chairs to school. The chair serves as their desk as well: sit and listen, kneel and work on the seat of your chair, sit again and listen. What an amazing view of how good we have it here in America!
The stories could go on and on, but we hope you get the picture! God blessed us beyond what we could have ever expected. Thank you for praying for us. Never did we feel unprotected. Never did we go without shelter and food. Forever will our hearts be changed! You might be wondering what’s next for us … we are too! We know that we felt “at home” while sharing with these people and we are definitely going to stay open to God’s direction about missions in our future. We don’t know where he’s leading, but we also don’t believe this one trip was the end. Please keep us in your prayers and know that you are appreciated!
David & Kristen Patrick