Dear Brethren in Christ,
How has the year 2023 been for you? Ours has been a year of being humbled again and again, and waiting patiently for God’s timing. There have been times of disappointment in the humbling, and times of anxiety in the waiting, but God’s Word to us has been the same: “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” We pray that we all follow His Word and indeed cast all our cares upon Him, so that our lightened hearts may be filled with gratitude to our God.
Zion Middle School
On November 17th, Zion Middle School held its 12th Graduation Ceremony, with a total of 45 graduates. This is the largest number since the school opened. Middle school graduations here, like high school graduations, have a touching sense of maturity as students move from adolescence to young adulthood. The expressions on the students’ faces as they walked in with their parents were so sincere. In the congratulatory hugs, some even teared up with a heavy sense of responsibility and gratitude. Each graduate received a gift bag with a variety of gifts, bicycles, and scholarships for students with good behavior and grades. Small gifts were also given for their teachers. We are grateful for the generous gifts and scholarships that were sponsored by the Sepoom Church and Jo-E Bike Rentals in Vancouver.
Most of the graduates hope to go on to higher education. But unlike last year, tuition fees have risen significantly, thus making it a financial burden. Please pray that the graduates may be provided with everything they need to continue their education, as the Lord so wills.
Christian Middle School Project
For a year now we have continued our search for a location for the new project for establishing a Christian Middle School in Patzicia. But to date, due to various problems, both expected and unexpected, we have not found a suitable location. Excessively high rent, the lack of proper facilities, and safety concerns have delayed this project. We are praying that God’s mighty hand will fulfill what we cannot do in our own strength. In the meantime, we have received an offer to use a facility for free. This building in Sumpango is for a seminary ministry by a Korean missionary and we were offered to use their unused classrooms, and other facilities, for free. Sumpango is located about 37 miles from Guatemala City and has a population of about 37,000 people, and is about halfway to Patzicia. It is an impossible commute for students from Patzicia to make, so we will need to do a lot of preliminary research on the possibility of recruiting students from the surrounding area of Sumpango. We are praying with an obedient heart as we do not know where God’s mighty hand will lead. Please pray with us that God’s plan will be made clear and that all necessary provisions will be made so that the educational opportunity to equip youth with God’s Word can unfold soon.
Our English classes, which had been held every Saturday morning, are now every Tuesday and Thursday. For a few weeks, the unstable political situation blocked several major roads, making it impossible to proceed. However, since November, they have been running smoothly. We currently have 15 students to read and study Bible verses and English. Pray that every student will be blessed by the Word of God as good seed sown in their hearts to produce abundant fruit in their life. As this is a voluntary class, many students have dropped out. So please pray for those who are currently attending to remain committed.
Special Prayer Request
There is also a special prayer request for the various problems with our current car. It has been partially repaired a number of times by various repair shops, but it continues to cause ongoing problems that are not being resolved. The burden of costly repairs is mounting. Please pray that this will be resolved in the most efficient way possible.
Our son Joshua is working as a manager in a restaurant in Belgium. He has applied for a student visa for graduate school. We are thankful that he loves his current job and is working hard. Pray with us that he will do well in his career and be able to get a work permit.
Finally, would you pray that the political situation in Guatemala will stabilize. We always keep ourselves alert to these situations and are cautious and try to stay safe. But unpredictable things happen, and we need your prayers for safety. Again: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
Our job is to be obedient to the Lord’s counsel. Dear brethren in Christ, our prayer is that you will cast all your cares on the Lord and patiently wait to see what He will do.