If someone had told me 5 or 6 years ago that my husband would leave corporate America for full-time ministry, I would have said - “That’s crazy!” If someone had suggested 3 years ago that we would sell our home and all our junk to become missionaries in Guatemala, I would have thought they were insane. If someone foretold us 2 years ago, “Hey your first gig won’t work out as expected, so you are gonna start a new ministry.” I would have laughed, knowing that is the craziest thing God could do in our lives. If you had told us last year, that God would grow that ministry as He has done in this first year, I would not have believed you. I would have said - it’s not possible. I think the Lord enjoys crushing my expectations and exceeding what seems possible.
Here is an review of our first year with Redeemer’s House International.
- Returned from US on the 15th and launched a new ministry.
- New school year begins - Parker in 6th grade, Anna Kate in 4th
- Application for 501(c)3 Non Profit Organization submitted
- Begin work on website - www.redeemershouse.org
- Met Katarina - single mom of three beautiful children
- Visit from Peterson family
- Tropical storm damage - We saw the undeniable strength and power of water as it destroyed homes.
- Launch Adopt-a-family program to assist with nutritional needs, home improvement needs, educational needs and whatever else comes down the pipe.
- Met Casimero & Maria - who lost their home in the storm.
- Burgers visit - Built a well cover for the protection of Katarina’s kids.
- We adopted the world’s CUTEST dog into our family - Ali
- Conversations begin with Rick & Emily Everswick about an extended summer visit to Guate.
Ridiculous, I know - but soooo cute!
- RHI receives approval for 501(c)3 from IRS.
- North Metro Church hosts the Hope Market and raises over $6000 for RHI - used the funds to build a house for single mom, Rosa
- Mimi visits for Christmas - lots of sight-seeing and fun excursions.
Tradition - baking Christmas cookies with Mimi.
- Rich & Cheryl Buhre arrive for four months - tons of fun serving and building ministry together.
- Began the process for creating a Guatemalan Non-profit Association, called Casa Del Redentor.
- Talked with 3 young adults who want to serve for one year with RHI - Lexie, Michael & Karri.
- Bought school supplies for needy families headed back to school.
- Conversation with Everswicks evolves into long term co-laborers instead of a summer visit.
- RHI’s first intern Eliza arrives for three months of service.
- We launch an After School Tutoring program to help kids with reading, math, English and Bible.
- Construction on Rosa’s house begins
- Took Casimero’s daughter, Maribel to an Orthopedic clinic in San Lucas Toliman.
- Lee helped build a front porch at Casimero & Maria’s house.
Working on Casimero & Maria's house
- RHI’s first short-term team - ECHO - who helped with construction at Rosa’s.
- Visits from many friends including - Maggard’s, Gibson’s, Pearson’s, Kicklighter’s.
- Brown Family Team - such fun to share and serve together.
- Residency process is finalized, we are now residents of Guatemala.
- Xocomil - we took the kids to an amazing Guatemalan water park to celebrate their birthdays.
- Met Sebastiana - a grandmother helping to support and raise two adult children and two grandchildren.
- Took Maria Celestina to an eye clinic in Chamancaj, Guatemala
Our favorite lazy river!
- Angel’s parents arrive with a team from the Crossing Church in Tampa, FL.
- Friends from Antigua bring family and friends (13) to support Todd running the Panajachel Half Marathon in the rain.
- Grandfather/Grandson team help build a new latrine for Casimero’s family.
Todd running on a lonely stretch of mountain road.
- Intern Cat Marlow arrives for one month - such a huge help with teams and school programs.
- NMC brings a rockin team who helped host an amazing science camp
- Accidental Intern Kristina moves in for 6 weeks and wrecks our life - (actually she was a divinely appointed blessing to our summer)
- Rob Greene arrives to talk Lee’s ears off - I mean brainstorm through Vision, Strategy and Goals, blah, blah blah and other really helpful stuff.
- Casa Del Redentor receives approval as a Guatemalan Association.
- Met Nicolasa and Dominga - two single moms trying desperately to keep shelter over head and food on the table.
Amazing day at the lake.
- Cruser Family - Father and two daughters arrive to serve and bless the families of Pana. Bonnie Leigh stays an extra week to serve and visit clinics.
- Lee & I celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary.
- We take all the interns kayaking on Lake Atitlan. (BL, Kristina, Bethany & Katie)
- Melder Family Team - Parents and 3 daughters came to serve and teach 4 days of Art Camp. What fun, messy times we had!
Paper Mache art projects - fearfully and wonderfully made.
- Radfords are headed to the States for much needed rest, relaxation and Chickfila.
See you guys soon!!
So as I look in the rear view mirror I see - 2 non profits created, 4 long-term missionaries joining, 3 mid-term missionaries joining, 5 interns discipled, 130+ days of guests/teams hosted, 55 visitors from US, served 9 Guatemala families (50+ people), taught 40+ kids in after school program - and ONE amazing God who can do crazy, insane, impossible things with any old passenger in the car.
Guess what? He’s not done yet - He’s doing more incredible and unbelievable works.