Dedication Day through the Eyes of Team Members

Dear Family and Friends,

Thank you so much for praying for us today as we dedicated our homes. For the past couple days we had seen a lot of the family we built for, Gonzal, Marta, and their four year old daughter Keli. However, we really didn’t know them very well. With a max of two years of Spanish speaking in our more experienced team members (which is really not a lot when comes to conversing), we had a difficult time talking to the family and really only knew them on a superficial level. We cannot say that after today. On the outside of their home were streamers, balloons, and flowers and Gonzal was setting off fire crackers. Today was definitely a special day. When we first got into their new home, we gave them many gifts including blankets, stuffed animals, and toothbrushes (just to name a few things).  After that, the family was able to say thanks to us via Dan. They expressed many times how grateful they were to us for our time and for their new house and Marta even began to cry a little, which Dan expressed to us to be a very meaningful thing because Guatemalans do not often cry. After they spoke we were able to say how thankful we were to them for their hospitality and kindness over the past two days. Let’s just say, we all cried a little. We then were able to give them an audio Bible. It is a solar-powered, Spanish Bible which is so small, it can fit into your pocket yet can tell you every verse of the Bible. They were slightly enchanted with the little gadget. After explaining and handing them the Bible, Marta clutched for the rest of our visit. It is possible neither of them can read so this Bible may be the only way they will hear the Gospel and share it with those around them. Now it was God’s turn. Daniel (not to be confused with Dan 🙂 ) is one of the mission’s pastors-in-training and he spoke to Gonzal and Marta using normal objects from their daily routine to explain God’s love for them. Beans symbolized the ‘protein’ and substance of  their daily diet, or God. Salt symbolized the flavor God adds to our lives and soap symbolized the cleanse that occurs when we accept God into our hearts. Hermano Jesus, the mission’s pastor, spoke to the family next and asked them if they wished to accept Jesus into their hearts. Their answer was yes. As we kneeled around them praying, you could feel God’s presence in the home. We as a team believe our family was Christians before, but now we think they God truly lives in their hearts. We left them with hugs and blessing of a bright future, however our day was not done. Being the first home to be dedicated, we still had four more homes to pray over. Teams who were not inside the home had the task of praying and singing over the outside of the home trying to keep distractions away. It overall was a beautiful experience of community that affected us all deeply in different ways. Let’s just say today will never be forgotten. However, our fight for eternity for Gonzal, Marta, and Keli is not over. We still must pray that God stays in their hearts and blesses their lives richly. Fittingly, on their wall we painted ‘Dios bendgia este casa’ which means ‘God bless this house’. Hopefully that truly happens.

As a team, we’d like to thank everyone at home who’s bean praying for us. We can definitely feel your prayers for protection as the rain stayed away and only lightly sprinkled on us as we prayed over the last home. It was actually kinda refreshing! Right now, it is down-pouring and our rooms have some puddles forming. Please pray the rain subsides slightly so we can start group devotions; it’s a little loud with the rain pounding against the tin roof.

We love each and every one of you who are reading this and so does God!

Buenes Noches from Guatemala, Al, Lori, Noah, Joe, Laura, and Abby

It’s Dedication Day!!!!

Friday Morning 4:30 AM    “Dedication Day”
“Jesucristo, Entra my vida, Entra mi Corazon, Cambia Mi” “Jesus Christ, enter my life, enter my heart, change me.” These words will be proclaimed over and over the next several days. These words are some of the most powerful word that can be uttered in this world. These words are words that bring about change. Not just a change in appearance or something on the surface. These words reach beyond time and space. The change that these words carry is forever and eternally significant.

Today as we head back for a final time to the families and the village where we have been building homes and creating relationships, we will carry with us the ultimate goal that we came to Guatemala for. The ultimate reason that we have raised so much money and are willing to make whatever sacrifice that is necessary for us. The Goal that should drive all of Christ’s followers to be willing to reach out to another person who ever they are or where ever they may be. The Goal to open another person’s heart to Christ so their future can be changed forever through the blood of Christ.

Today, we are truly entering into spiritual warfare. Today the enemy will try to stop us. Today we will arrive at the village armed with a resolve to tip the scales of eternity and see lost people become found.

2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore if anyone is in Christ he is a new creation, the old is gone, the new has come.” Having a relationship with Christ and surrendering one’s life to Him changes everything. Change is often something that we in the States, struggle with. Having a desire to change means that a person must first admit that they have a need to change and then desire to make that Change. Christ came to this world to change and fix what was broken in the Garden with Adam and Eve. Christ came to call us to a life of change and a life of bringing change to the world around us. To be agents of transformation in a lost and dying world.

I can feel that moment right now. The moment that another person is confronted with the choice to follow Jesus or to deny Him. The point that everything in their life hinges on. “The Tipping Point of Eternity”. Today we are praying that we will be able to witness this “Tipping Point” take place in home after home and in heart after heart as we dedicate each home that we completed yesterday to God and share the amazing transformational news of a Man who left his place in heaven to come down and die on a cross so they can have life. Life that is eternal.

This is why we are here. This is what our time here is really all about. Today more than ever we need you to be praying for us. Today we will be taking time in each home with the team surrounding it in prayer to open up God’s word and invite each person to build a new home with Christ in their heart.

This team has been amazing. They are passionate and on fire. They are willing to do whatever they are asked. Today pray for strength as the enemy will surely try to stop us from completing our goal. Pray for us as we pray and give ourselves to the Holy Spirit. Pray that as we stand in God’s presence and witness the “Tipping Point of Eternity” first hand that we will not remain unaffected. Pray that the days and hours that still lie ahead of us will change our hearts and strengthen our passion to serve our Maker with all that we are.

I look forward to having you hear the stories of “Change” that are sure to take place today and over the next couple days as we begin our village ministries.
Now as I sit on the deck at the base watching the sun rise, I feel it once again. The birds are beginning to wake. The clouds left over from the nightly rain hang low in the valley. The calm is almost deafening. There it is, “the calm before the Storm”. I thank God for these moments. Moments that I can just feel peace knowing that whatever happens, God is in control and is watching over us. If you want to read one of my favorite Psalms that I love to read to find that Calm, turn to Psalm 121.
Thank you for your prayers once again. Now I and the team go to face the battle or the storm that awaits us.
In His Grip,
Kevin Van Wyhe

Thursday Team Update

We are team brown, our members are: Martha Kleinbrook, Olivia Stegeman, Julian Cervantes, Tony VanderPloeg, Nancy VanDyke, and Katie Van Wyhe. We are building a house for a family of 6 (2 adults and 4 kids). The mom is Maria, the dad is Mario, the oldest son is Alex (14), Gladis is a daughter (13), Rosy another daughter (10), and Ferner the youngest (7). Today was the second day of building: stucco and painting day. We started out the day putting up and sanding drywall. As a whole group we stuccoed the 5 homes and enjoyed working together. The families of all the homes were eager to help with this task and we had a lot of fun with them. Stucco is very messy and is used to protect the outside and keep water out of the home. After stucco we all went back to our individual homes and painted the inside of our home. The paint color of the inside of all the homes is a mint green and looks very nice. After painting we headed to lunch, which was amazing once again! After lunch we picked out bible verse in Spanish to cover the walls of our home so the people of our house are always surrounded by the word of God. Our verses were John 3:16, Revelation 1:8. Psalm 121, Joshua 24:15. We also put crosses around the house so our house members would remember the love that their savior has for them. The people we are building the house for are incredible and extremely helpful. They want to help in every way possible and you can tell they are very excited to live in this house.

After our detailed painting we packed up and headed back to the vans where we played with kids for a little bit. We are so in love with these kids and we love spending time with them!

We have been so blessed with weather and have had little to no rain. On our way back today it began to sprinkle. But throughout our work days we have had no rain. This is such an answer to prayer because rain makes everything a little bit harder to do.

Worship was amazing last night and we have all felt the presence of God around us. Thank you all for praying for us and walking with us throughout this journey. We covet your prayers and we are so thankful for all of you!

Love the brown team!

 

Thursday Morning -“Stucco Day”

Thursday Morning –June 16 5:00 AM “Stucco Day”
Romans 12:1-3 says, ‘Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God- this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – His good, pleasing and perfect will.
In the Old Testament the word sacrifice was very familiar. It was the presenting of and then the killing of a spotless lamb representing the perfect messiah that was one day going to enter the world and ultimately end the need for spiritual death through His own physical death. So as the word sacrifice was used it clearly referred to the idea that something needed to die. In these verses comes Paul’s urge to us offer ourselves not as a sacrifice that needs to die once but an urge for us to be a living sacrifice that is willing to die over and over again. A sacrifice who is willing to take up the cross of Christ daily and present our bodies to whatever God is calling us to.
We think of sacrifice as a giving up of something. Paul is giving the picture of a sacrifice that God is calling us to, to give up everything. In view of what Christ has done for us, nothing is more valuable or precious than the sacrifice that He made for us. And in that mind set of recognizing that we would be completely lost without His great sacrifice for us, we are called to not die for him but to live for Him til we die.
The word worship is often one that makes us think of things like church, or worship services, or singing praise songs, or praising God, or being in a moment that we recognize the greatness of God. Kind of like I am feeling right now as I sit on the deck at the Base. As the team is still sound asleep inside, I am witnessing the sky catch fire in the East as a spectacular sun rise is being painted on the amazing tapestry in the sky once again. Yes these experiences that we have of experience the awesomeness of our God are amazing and important, they really are not our true spiritual act of Worship.
Our true spiritual act of worship comes when we offer ourselves, even at great risk to be used completely and fully by our maker and our Savior. Worship is really by design, not something that is meant for our hearts to be touched but for us to touch the Heart of the one who should be the most precious thing in our life. God’s heart is most moved and His sacrifice for us best remembered when we offer our lives as a offering. This week, that is what this team is doing. They are living out the term sacrifice here is the middle of Guatemala.
Many of the team here are sharing that they desire to discover what God’s will is for their life. I am sure that they are not alone. Is it not something that most of us struggle to find. “ What does God want me to do with my life?” is a question that I know many of us ask. In verse 3 of Romans 12 we find the secret to discovering the answer to this question. “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind” Can you see it. There’s the wind and the waves again. The powerful distractions of this world that take our eyes off of Christ. The “fool’s gold” that we so often chase after only to find out it isn’t real.
If you believe what Paul is saying, the only wat to discover the God ordained purpose for your life. If you want to chase after a purpose that will eternally satisfy, it all starts with turning your back on the world and fixing your eyes, your hearts and your mind HIM! That is the beginning of a life of true worship. Turning our back on the World and the wind and the waves that distract, and letting God take ownership of everything we are. Remember, when one has their eyes fixed on Christ, nothing, not even walking on water is impossible if that is God’s will.
Today as we head back to the families that we have begun building for [both homes and relationships], we will be putting the coat of protection form the wind and the rain over the home. This protection is in the form of a pink concrete stucco. It is a messy day but is very necessary to making these Homes last and be able to weather the storms that will surely come. On Friday we will be covering the Home with something even greater than stucco. We will be covering them with the spiritual protection of Prayer. A protection we trust that will protect these special families from the spiritual storms that will surely come as well.
Pray for the team today as we travel, as we stucco, as we love, as we laugh, as we cry, as we work hard, as we offer ourselves as living sacrifices, Holy and pleasing to God. Pray for us as we truly worship God again today.
In His grip,
Kevin Van Wyhe

First day as a team!

Our team is the first to post about our experience team building today. Our team members are Tim Brummel, Rachel Bredeweg, Ben Steenwyk, Connor Schwartz, Jessica Quist, and Lori Schuitema. Last night we arrived in Guatemala to rain, but awoke to a beautiful sunrise. After breakfast and individual quiet time, the entire group was ready to start the day. We received some instructions from Dan and joined in prayer excited for what God had in store for us. We loaded the vans and had an adventurous ride to our worksites, only about a mile away, but a bouncy 50 minute ride.

The heat was quite intense throughout the entire day, but so was the excitement in our hearts to meet our family and begin the work on their home. We are building a home for a young couple and their 1 yr old son. They were so excited, and Luis, the husband, even joined us throughout the day as we worked on the house. Over the course of 6-7 hours we transformed a concrete slab into a home for this family. Even though this morning our group felt quite inexperienced in building knowledge and the ability to speak fluent Spanish, we accomplished so much and by the end of the day were even talking with our family in some light Spanish. Each one of us felt challenged today in some way, but it was amazing how our group worked side by side and completed each task.

We have been surrounded by such beautiful people today. The young couple who provided a snack of fresh oranges, bananas, crackers, and pop. They were so happy to be able to give us refreshment and extend their love and appreciation. We also were able to enjoy a delicious lunch provided by families in the community. They made us feel so special! They set a beautiful table and placed fresh pine needles on the ground under our feet like carpet. Such love, given so freely, o if you could see the beautiful smiles 🙂

Even though we are being challenged by the heat and activity, it has been such a special day. We have been able to see the beauty of God’s creation all around us not only in the landscape, but especially in the Guatemalan people. Thank you Lord for choosing us to be Your hands and feet, may You continue to bless our time here, our bonding as a team, and help us to see how evident You are in everything. May all praise and glory be to You alone this week!

Wednesday Morning -First Building Day

Wednesday Morning -June 15 5:30 AM -First Building Day
As the team still sleeps, the sun has decided to present itself with glory and splendor through the early morning mountain mist and deliver a spectacular sun rise once again here at the base. It is good to be back. Good to be back in the place full of so many memories of lives touched and changed. It is good to be back knowing that there will once again be a team full of people who will encounter God in amazing ways this week. It is good to know God will once again do a mighty work in the lives of this team and in the hearts of many here in Guatemala.
As we start this day, I wanted to give you a bit of a glimpse of what we will be trying to accomplish. In about an hour the team will be waking up to quickly prepare to leave for our first building day. Bags will need to be prepared, breakfast will need to be eaten, personal packs and water bottles will need to be filled with food and drink to get us through the day and some alone time in devotions with our maker inview of the beautiful mountains will be experienced. After a Guatemala style prayer we will load the vans and head out on the rocky and rough roads to a village where 5 families await the team, anxious to see the concrete pad and building materials that have been lying outside their corn stalk homes to fulfill the purpose for which they were intended. Though he five homes may seem small at only 10×12 feet, they will be the biggest earthly gift that these families have ever received.
In just a matter of hours after arriving at the village and meeting these precious families, the homes will be up right and certainly recognizable. As the steel studs are covered with dry wall and exterior board the shape of a home will permanently become part of these families lives.
Our goal today is to have the homes completely framed and ready for painting and stuccoing tomorrow morning. Our goal today is that we will also lay a framework of love and care with the people we are building for that will translate into relationships and friendships that will be open to receive and trust the message of Love form our maker that we will ultimately share with them on Friday.
After a full day of building, we will return to the base where the team will have time to unpack and settle in. After dinner and showers the team will have a chance to post some stories and share with you some of their personal thoughts and God sightings that have yet to happen. Then one of the things I look forward to most, the singing and team devotions. This base was built for singing and worshiping our God. I wish you could all be here to experience the passion and power behind the music and the message of God’s word as we lay ourselves before the master’s feet.
I am humbled yet again that I have the privileged to be a part of this amazing adventure. We are blessed to have you and so many others here with us through your prayers. Today –please pray for the weather to stay clear and for the spirit to move. Pray for the many miles we will be traveling. Pray for safety at the work sight. Pray for a spirit of Love and community with in our team. Pray for receptive and welcoming hearts from our families that we are building for.
I can’t wait for you to see pictures tonight. Till then have a blessed day!

Feel free to join us for our personal devotions this week as we spend time with “My Heart Christ’s home”   The devotions are posted for you to see or download on the web site.
In His Grip,
Kevin Van Wyhe

We are safe at the Base!

Tuesday -June 15,  1:00 AM   [3:00 AM Michigan time!]

Though we had some delays, we arrived at the base at 12:30 AM.   The team is going directly to bed and will be getting up in about 5 hours to hit our first day of building.  Again we thank you for your prayers that brought us safely here.  We look forward to sending you pictures and stories tomorrow night!

In His Grip,   Kevin Van Wyhe

Tuesday Night On the Plane to Guatemala

Tuesday night on the final Plane to Guatemala, June 14 -10:30 PM
The final leg of our trip to Guatemala is just about half over and we are nearing our final destination of Chimaltenango, Guatemala where the mission base is located. During our planned 5 hour layover [which turned into a 8 hour layover] we had a team devotion time and our introduction to the theme for the week: “My Heart Christ’s Home”. We are each invited by the Creator of the Universe to invite Him, by way of His Son Jesus to make a home in our hearts. In doing this we are inviting Him to enter into the very depths of our being and be our guest. He does not force His way in our make us open the doors but rather waits for our invitation to share our lives.

This will be the theme this week as we look at not only having Christ enter as a guest but ultimately inviting Him to be the operator and owner of every room of our lives. Sure our trip to Guatemala is primarily a trip meant to bring others into the Kingdom, but the journey of leading others to invite Christ into their lives begins with us opening our hearts fully to Him and giving Him the deed to our hearts and the controls to our lives.
As we began our devotion time in a quiet area of the gate near where our plane was going to be leaving from, I was able to share with the team about the earlier post that I put on the Blog. The story of Peter answering the call by Jesus to “Come”. To step out of the Boat and do the impossible, to walk on water. But just as Peter began to sink when he took his eyes off Jesus as he was distracted by the wind and the waves and the noise around, we too will face distractions and be tempted to take our eyes off of Jesus as we begin the difficult task that awaits us over the next week. Satan will throw everything he can at us to take our focus off of Jesus and the purpose He has for us in this coming Week.

After sharing this thought with the team, we opened to the first pages of this small booklet, “My Heart Christ’s Home”. At the very moment that we began to read, we found ourselves bombarded with an unbelievable amount of distractions. A storm with great wind and rain and lighting began to pound the terminal. Inside, the sound system began to hiss out strange noises and then on top of all that the emergency lights began to flash and the emergency buzzer began to sound as a recording was played over and over: “We have an emergency inside the building, please wait for further instructions”. This recording was repeated over and over as people all around were moving in all directions. We kept reading even as the sound of the storm grew louder and louder. This is not something I am making up. This is exactly what we happened. There was no doubt of the timing or of the learning moment that we were all experiencing.
As we answer Jesus’ call to “Come” and go where he leads, Satan will surely throw every distraction possible our way. Isn’t this true all the time in each of our lives. The distractions of needing things, of urgent meetings, of seemingly important tasks, of places we feel we need to go, of electronic devices that need our attention or of so many items that come up and take our focus off of the kingdom purpose that we have been called to. This week, as we move from the “Calm before the storm” into the Battle we will surely be under fire from the enemy to give into the wind and the waves and take our eyes off the prize.

After a very short night of sleep tonight, due to our 3 hour delay in Atlanta, we will be getting up early tomorrow and loading into the vans that will take us to the mountain village where 5 families await this awesome team to “Come” and build them a new earthly home and share with them the invitation to an eternal home that also awaits them. By days end tomorrow, we hope to have the walls up, the exterior and interior fully assembled, the first coat of drywall mud applied and the roof laid out. It will be a full day of building. During the building of the homes comes our real task of building relationships with the families and showing them the Love of Christ which is ultimately what brings us here this week.

Please pray for us as we will certainly be tired and have a long day ahead of us. Pray that the Weather does not keep us from being able to the work that we are here to do. Pray for health for each of the team. Pray for open hearts to what God has to say.
Again we want to thank you for taking this journey with us and remember that we could not do this without your prayers.

Wednesday night we hope to begin posting pictures and stories of what God is doing.
In His Grip,
Kevin Van Wyhe

The team is on their way

This morning was such a blessing to send our team off with lots of hugs, prayers and a few tears (from those of us staying). Today is going to be a very long day for our team. They arrived at the Grand Rapids Airport at 8:30 am and most everything went smoothly or as smoothly as it can with 30 people and 59 large bags! Their long layover in Atlanta went even longer but they finally got on at 8:15 pm (instead of the 5:59 pm they were supposed to be).  They are scheduled to arrive in Guatemala City at 9:50 pm (11:50 pm in Michigan).  Please pray them thru customs and that all the much needed  medicines and supplies that the missionaries need arrive safely.  Pray for safety in their long drive to the base. They won’t arrive there until approximately 1:30 am EST. If you happen to wake up during the night please pray for the team. It always amazes me how often God wakes me at just the time when the team needs prayer. So if that happens to you during this week listen to His gentle prodding and pray.  Kevin will let me know when they arrive safely at the base and I will post.  There will not be much updated until tomorrow night and then only if the internet is working at the base.

Tomorrow morning the team will be getting up very early and heading to the village to start building 5 homes.  They will arrive and see 5 slabs of concrete with a pile of material just waiting for them to turn into homes. Each home begins and ends with prayer. Each team will come together on the foundation and dedicate their home and family to the Lord. Then they get to work. It is simply amazing that by lunchtime they will each have all 4 walls up!  Pray for strength, safety and that they begin to build relationships with the families.  Please pray for each of the families who will be getting a home. Pray that God prepares their hearts to receive His ultimate gift…His son Jesus Christ.

House #1 ~ Juan, husband and Tomas, wife

House #2 ~ Gonzal, dad; Marta, Mom and Keli, Daughter (2 1/2 years old)

House #3 ~ Mario, Dad; Maria, Mom; Alex, Son ( 14 years old), Gladis, Daughter (13), Rosy, Daughter (10) and Ferner, son (7)

House #4 ~ Luis, Dad; Maria, Mom; and Luis Gustavo, son ( 1 year old)

House #5 ~ Dominga, widow (62 years old)

Thank you for going on this journey with the team! They can not do anything without your prayer and support.

In His Grip,

Kristy Van Wyhe

Welcome to our Journey to Guatemala

Monday Night, June 13, 8:00PM

“The calm before the storm” is an interesting concept. The only time that this calm is recognized is when a storm is imminent and the beholder is aware of something that is about to happen. In a race there is a similar moment before the gun goes off. Each of the runners knows that after the gun sounds there is going to be a great effort required to finish what lies ahead. In war there is also a calm before the battle is waged. As the charging side prepares to attack, they know in their own silence that something very difficult awaits them and that the battle will be very difficult and the outcome uncertain.
Today for me has felt like “The calm before the storm”. As I embarked on my morning bike ride with my Maker, I could feel the calm. I knew in a matter of hours that a great battle awaited me and the team from Hillcrest, but as the sun peeked over the quiet lakes in Millennium Park I could only feel the “calm”. I could only see the beauty around me that seemed so unaware of the battle that is about to be waged in a place very far from the comfortable setting of West Michigan.

It has been many months that this precious team of 30 individuals has been preparing for this moment. Preparing to meet the enemy head on with the Love of Christ. We have been meeting, and planning, and praying, and packing and mentally and spiritually preparing to tip the scales of eternity yet once again in the far away mountains of Guatemala.

When planning a trip, many people look for the most comfortable place to visit and try to plan activities and accommodations that will make life seem as enjoyable as possible. Not this team. As this team answered the call to make a kingdom difference in the villages of Guatemala, each one of them knew in their hearts that this was not going to be a vacation. Though it promises to be rewarding, the work and risk ahead of each of us is great and very imminent.

As we packed our 30 team bags last night at Hillcrest church full of medicines, food, toys, and items we will use to show love and build relationships, I could not help but think that we were arming ourselves to face the enemy head on. As we prayed earnestly for travel, and weather, and for receptive hearts and souls both for the people we meet in Guatemala and those we will encounter during our travels there, I could not help but recognize again that “Calm before the Storm”. Because I have experienced this battle for eternity many times in Guatemala, I think that this “Calm” stands out even more. Even as I write this opening for our blog, I am feeling the “calm” on my back porch in Grandville. The soft breeze and sounds of birds singing all around completely masks the sounds of souls crying out to be saved. Yet I know they are there and in just 24 hours we will be facing them head on.

Only a crazy person would decide to take a boat out on a big lake or ocean when they knew a storm was brewing. Only a crazy person driven by something powerful would dare to set sail when the wind and waves are about to invade the waters they are about to travel. I guess that in some ways as followers of Christ we are called to be both Crazy and driven when it comes to facing the Wind and the waves of the enemy. Only we know that the wind and the waves are no match for the one who created them and allows them to exist under His control.

As the disciples were out in their fishing boat in Matthew 15, they were safe in their vessel protected from the wind and the waves when they saw something astonishing. A man walking on the water toward them. We know this man was Jesus, but the disciples were not so aware. They became terrified as Jesus did what no man should be able to do. He walked through the storm on the water. As he drew near to the terrified disciples, Jesus said “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid”. Then He answered Peter’s request to join him on the waters with a simple call: “Come.” We all know how the story goes, Peter began to walk on water. But as he was walking on the water, He took his eyes off of Christ and began to notice the wind and the waves around him and he began to sink and cried for Jesus to save him. Verse 31 says that “Immediately Jesus reached out His hand and caught him” and then when they climbed into the boat the wind died down and the waves settled.

This week in Guatemala we are being called by Jesus to journey into the storm. We are being called to a difficult task, one that is impossible except for the one who controls all things, even the wind and waves obey Him. We are being called to keep our eyes fixed on the author and perfecter of our faith and follow where ever He leads. The moment we take our eyes off of Him and focus on the things around us, we risk sinking in the storm. We also know that if that does happen He is right there to catch us.

As we prepare to wage war this week in Guatemala. As we begin our journey into the storm that is certain. In this “calm before the storm” that we feel right now, we ask you to pray that we keep our eyes fixed on Jesus when the wind and waves hit. That we place our complete trust in Him to do a good work in us and through us.

It is through your prayers and the prayers of hundreds of others lifting us up over the next week that we can go with confidence. Confidence that as we travel many miles over challenging roads, as we build homes both in Guatemala and in people’s hearts, as we care for people’s physical needs and spread Christ’s love and the message of salvation that we are in the center of God’s will and part of His amazing plan. What a great confidence we can have in the one who can walk on water and also the one who can calm the storms and the battles that are ahead of us. We trust that He will be our “Calmer of the storm” this week as we answer His call to “Come!”

Tomorrow morning as we leave we invite you to come with us. No, not on the plane or in a suitcase, rather through this Blog. Come and be a part of the journey and experience the Joy of Lost ones being saved through your prayers. We will be updating this Blog with many posts, pictures and stories of our journey. Feel free to write to members of the team on their wall.  Feel free to look through the pictures that we will post. Feel free to lift us up as often as you can in prayer. We are excited to see what God has in store and though the “Calm before the storm” is about over, we also know the outcome of the battle before it even begins. We may not know what the future holds, but we know the one who holds the future.

Thank you for taking this journey with us. May God bless you as He uses you to sustain us this week in Guatemala. We look forward to sharing this trip with you!
In His Grip,
Kevin Van Wyhe