Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Thank you so much for all your prayers and support this past year. We've really needed them!
December has been one of our most challenging months so far. At the beginning of the month I had to leave the country and go to Mexico because of a problem with immigration. Then two weeks ago Yuli came down with appendicitis and needed an emergency operation. We're happy that she's now recovering well. We've celebrated Christmas and the New Year with a bunch of visitors in our house and with Yuli's family. And Yuli and I celebrated our fourth wedding anniversary last week!
But the hardest thing this month has been the loss of a dear friendship. Elias, who has been with us the past two years, left us three weeks ago. He made some new friends with coworkers this year that have been very harmful and he has wandered away from God. Yesterday he returned to stay with us in order to celebrate the New Year, and I ask you to please pray for our conversations today and pray for our heart. We really miss him and greatly miss our friendship, but most of all we're saddened by his choices. Please pray that God would work on his heart! And please pray that he would return to live with us again.
New Ministry Opportunity for 2014
We're very excited about 2014 and the big things in store for this year!
For the past few years we've been visiting a family with kids that lived at the orphanage for a while. And we've been praying about how to best help the kids. They were sent to the orphanage because of alcoholism and abandonment, and the family is also really poor. Celia really captured our hearts and she graduated from 6th grade last year. They live very remote, and there aren't any schools for her to continue further. Her older sister Estela graduated a year ago and is in the same situation. So we're going to open a girls home!
A small two-bedroom house just down the street from us has become available to rent. Our hope and prayer is to use it for a girls home and create an environment where girls like Estela and Celia can continue to study and break free from poverty, but also to grow into women of God. One of the saddest things to see here is the incredible number of pregnant young girls. Guatemala leads Latin America in the number of teens pregnancies. Many of these girls' friends have already gotten pregnant since finishing 6th grade.
Our vision is a home where the girls can remain connected to their families while having a refuge with us to learn, develop and mature into women. The school year starts later this month, and Christian school that Yuli and I have worked at is looking for scholarships for the girls. There are so many details still remaining that we have to work through! Please pray for us during this exciting and challenging new project.
Thank you so much for your support and prayers for Yuli, myself and the ministry. Thank you for enabling us to serve in Guatemala!
Brent & Yuliza