1 John 4:19- “We love because he first loved us.”
God’s love for us is unexplainable, and I am incredibly blessed to be able to share just a glimpse of His amazing love with the people in Guatemala. A lot of preparation has gone into this trip, and for some odd reason I still can’t believe that we leave in less than 12 hours…even though I’m not completely packed yet.😁😂 I still have a lot of fears about the trip, and I know that Satan will try to throw many hardships at us to make our efforts less effective. I wholeheartedly believe that God will only let him touch us with what we are capable of handling. I ask that you please continue to pray for me, the rest of the group, and for the people in Guatemala. Please pray for health, safety, and for our efforts to make a difference in the people we will be coming into contact with. Also thank you for your financial donations and prayers so far.
I believe that God called me to go on this trip. Before I decided to go to Guatemala I had a choice to make…I could either go to Washington D.C. with my friends for learning purposes or I could go to Guatemala with my church youth group for God’s purposes. In my heart I truly wanted to go to Washington D.C., but after talking to Kevin and to other people who had been on both trips, I reluctantly decided to go to Guatemala. Now I can say that I am extremely excited for this trip and that I am glad that I chose to follow God’s calling. I don’t know what to expect out of this trip, but I pray that God will show me what He wants for me to learn on this trip. I am extremely blessed to have an opportunity to share His love, and I assume that I will be blessed by the people in Guatemala in return.
Thanks once again for all of your support!
Sincerely, Natalie Schuitema🌎
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Natalie, I think you made the right choice! 🙂 Praying that you see many God sightings this week as you use your many many gifts to bring glory to Him. Praying that you have an incredible day tomorrow as you begin to build the homes.
In His grip,
Hey Nat, glad to see you all made it safe. Isn’t Gods faithfulness amazing? Hope you had a great day. I heard it was really hot & tiring. Are you practicing your spanish? We are praying for you and the team. Give Mom and the other kids a big hug from me. Thanks for the early Fathers day email, it really meant alot and you also are very important to me. I love you a ton and hope you have a great week. Can’t wait to hear your stories! Love you dad 🙂
Hey! Yeah I have used a little bit of Spanish, but the people here talk so fast and they are so hard to understand…so I just answer everything with “si”!:) The weather is really hot, and I’m surprised I haven’t gotten sunburnt yet (but I don’t want to jinx that)! The people here are amazing and the children are hilarious! The food is amazing, and our house looks great! My group built a house for a widow in the village named Dominga! She is so sweet and generous considering how little she has! It’s unbelievable how happy all the people here are, and it is so much different than Michigan! Anyway, we got a big day planned tomorrow…we are dedicating the houses to the families…so I should probably turn in! I can’t wait to see you! Love you so much!!! -Natalie<3
I also think you made the right choice in following God’s call to Guatemala. I believe that you will not only have amazing experiences, but that your heart will be changed as well. I am praying for your strength and for energy to make it through the hot days. I am praying for the family for whom you are building a house. And I am praying that your soul will be refreshed as you watch God at work in all you are experiencing!
Mrs. Coallier, I was so happy to find out that you were my prayer partner! Thank you so much for your prayers…they are GREATLY appreciated!!! Some things you can pray for:
-That the family members’ hearts stay open to hearing and accepting God when we are dedicating the houses to them tomorrow
-That the devil will have no foothold on any of us (especially the families) tomorrow and the rest of this week
-That we will all continue to stay healthy and energized throughout the rest of the week
-That we as a group can grow in our relationships with one another and with the families and kids here
-That we can stay open to God’s promptings and be obedient to what He has planned out for us
Thanks again for all of your prayers! I can’t begin to explain to you the difference they make and have made so far!
Natalie, I keep praying for you every day and it sounds like things are going so well! I loved looking at the pictures of the houses being built. The pictures from today when you dedicated the houses are really amazing. I am so thankful that your family gave their hearts to the Lord. Mr. Coallier and I are going to Guatemala in August with Paradise Bound to build a church with Austin and his fiance’ and a group from their church. Hearing about your experiences makes me so eager for that trip! I know that your group devotions can be pretty powerful and I will keep praying for those too. Stay strong in the heat!
Hey Natalie, I’m so glad you are there serving with this team. I’m sure you are being blessed and blessing others with your servant heart. Keeping you in prayer
I am so glad that you decided to go to Guatemala! I know that God will do great thing through you! What a blessing it will be to have Noah and Nicole to experience it with you! I am so excited to hear about all the awesome things God does through you and the team as you show the people there His love! Praying that you’ll encounter God’s power to the fullest and that the people there will be impacted by His amazing love working through you! Love you lots!
Natalie, it’s great to hear about your trip so far! God bless you with just what you need for each day as you serve Him!
Thank you Mrs. Billin! I appreciate all of your prayers and thoughts they mean a lot!!
Dear Sweet Natalie,
Grandpa and I have been praying everyday for all of you. Sounds like you are working very hard and enjoying it. What a wonderful way to share Christ’s love with people who so desperately need it. We are anxious to hear all about this wonderful opportunity God has given you.
Praying for you & with you! Love you! Grandma Schuitema
Thanks Grandma! God has definitely been doing some amazing things in the people here and in my heart as well! Today we dedicated the houses to the families and everyone in my family accepted Christ into their hearts and lives! It was so amazing to see someone come to know and feel God and His presence! I have to go now, but I can’t wait to tell you more when I get back! Thanks for all of your prayers…we definitely need them here!! Love you guys so much!!
I know you are having a long day with lots of travel, new experiences, and awesome opportunities. You are in my prayers!
In Jesus’ Name,
Hey nat, I was so thankful to read that you made it back safe last night. From what Kevin briefly posted, you guys must of had an amazing day. So thankful that it didn’t rain. Can’t wait to hear how God is working in your life and how he’s been using you on this trip. I was having devotions with Noland last night talking about how amazing our God is that he can be with you guys way down in Guatemala and still be with us hear at home hearing our prayers at th same time. Give mom a huge hug and the other kids. Miss you guys a ton, especially your smile. Love you a ton! Dad 🙂
Happy Father’s Day!! I miss you guys and can’t wait to see you! The trip has been amazing so far and it is so hard to describe on a computer…so I’ll have to just wait to tell you until I get home! Thanks for all of the prayers! I will! Love you too!!! Natalie<3
First off I apologize for not blogging about my trip. Time is limited and so are computers…especially with 29 other people trying to stay connected as well! I can’t explain how amazing God is, and how much He has changed my heart. I came on this trip not knowing what to expect, but I knew that God had something special planned out for me. The first day of the trip we went to the village where we were going to be building the houses. My small group got assigned to a widow named Dominga. It was amazing to see how generous she and all of the other families were with how little they had. Dominga had Pepsi, fruit, and some crackers laid out for us before we even arrived at the village for that day. The work was strenuous, but what was the hardest for me personally was the fact that there were no kids around at all, and before the trip everyone had told me that the kids were amazing. I was so excited to get to play and make a connection with the little kids, but when there were no kids around I was thoroughly disappointed and I didn’t want to continue with the trip because so far it wasn’t turning out like I had planned at all. I talked to Nichole about how I felt that night, and God broke down a lot of my walls. I shared with her how I had felt about my relationship with God not only on this trip so far but over the past year in general. I have struggled to stay connected and to remain genuine in my faith this past year. Most of it has been a show, and not real. That night during worship it was pouring rain and the door of the base swung open because of the strong winds. In that moment I felt an amazing sensation come over me, and inside I just broke down. I had felt an amazing sense of peace and power that I hadn’t felt in such a long time. Then during the message that Dan gave us for the night there was a verse that he read that said there was an earthquake and the doors of the prison flew open and the chains on the prisoners fell off. When he read that I felt God saying to me that I was free of all of the lies that I had been telling myself and that I had been letting Satan feed into me. This was the first time in a long time that I had truly felt God’s power and presence inside of me, instead of just in the people around me. It was a moment I will never forget, and it was definitely needed for my faith (which I wasn’t even sure if I had anymore).
Hey Natalie, I really appreciate your honesty and testimony above. I am so glad you were able to share with Dominga I am sure your words will stay with her for her entire life. Blessings today!
Thank you Mr. VanDyke! This trip has been an extreme growing time for me, and I still can’t believe that we are leaving tonight! I just want to tell you that you have two amazing young men as sons! They are both so passionate, caring, and loving toward the group and toward the people here in Guatemala! I can’t begin to tell you how much of a blessing they have both been! Thanks again! -Natalie:)
Dear Natalie, I’m so glad you shared your feelings and that God has freed you from those lies. Isaiah 61:1-4 is one of my favorite passages because it is the one Jesus read about Himself in the synagogue. (Luke 4:16-21) He came to set the captives free!! I praise God for His grace 🙂 I am praying for you and I’m happy that you and Tim are on the same team 🙂
Thank you Mrs. VanDyke! I already told Mr. VanDyke this, but you guys have two wonderful sons! They are both such a light in my life and in the lives of the people here in Guatemala! It has been such a pleasure to have Tim on my team! He brings such a positive attitude to the group and he is so caring and fun…especially when he is playing with the little kids! Zach has such a tender heart and devotion toward God! He also has an amazing drive to keep a positive and fun feeling among the group and the kids! Both of your sons are such blessings to me and to the people here in Guatemala! Thanks so much for all of your prayers…and for letting your sons come along!:) -Natalie
Natalie, it’s awesome to hear how God has moved in you. Your right, being here reading your stories can’t hardly do justice to what you guys are experiencing. Even though we can’t experience it in person, it brings us to tears reading everyones post’s. It reminds us of how much God loves us and because of that we have been given a gift to share with others in just loving them where they are. Thanks for being transparent! You’re a blessing!! Love you and can’t wait to hear your stories in person!
Thanks dad! I am so excited to see you…I can’t believe we are leaving tonight!! It has gone so fast, but I am excited to share with you guys…and to see Sader!!!:) Love you so much!!!<3 -Natalie
Praying for you Natalie! Your honesty is priceless and there is no doubt God knew what trip you needed to be on. So thankful that you listened to his call to serve these people in Guatemala. Can’t wait to hear more stories.
I am praying for you as you adjust to being back home. Your trip sounds like it was amazing and I am so thankful that Dan’s message touched you so deeply. Thank you for sharing how that happened. Now I pray that you will continue to feel strong in your faith, and that you will feel God’s nearness every day. We have an amazing God!
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