Make Change

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

It's no surprise that Mitch and I live in a country with great need. A lot of people in the villages here are just trying to survive. Guatemala's child malnutrition rate is the highest in Latin America and 4th highest in the world (source)!  The contrast between the wealthy and poor is quite stark. In other words, there's not really a middle class. And if there is one, they are very sparse. Mitch and I want to change that. Not necessarily create a middle class per say, but to help people get out of poverty. Our goal is for Christ to be made known. We have befriended these villagers and are currently studying the Bible with them. We want to focus on both their spritual well being as well as their physical well being.

It seems like such a daunting task. Completely overwhelming.
Mitch and I are currently working in 3 different villages, the smallest having roughly 50 families. We desire for these villagers to rise above the rest. To see these people no longer be a statistic. To see them succeed, when everything around them is telling them they'll fail. We want to see, or better yet, make change.

But we can't do this alone. Mitch and I are only two people. We can help feed someone for a day, but not forever. As the saying goes, "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime." We're in this to teach people to fish and help them stand on their own two feet.

But how?

Here are our ideas:
1. Pigs/chickens
If a family owns pigs and/or chickens, not only will they have food to eat, but they now have a recurring income from piglets and eggs.

2. Sending a child to school 
The thing is, everyone here goes to school…but only until 6th grade or until they can't afford it anymore. Public high school is just too expensive for a villager to pay for. But, helping a child finish school means endless opportunities. A high school degree will get you way further here than it will in the states.

3. Greenhouses
A greenhouse for a whole community provides not just food, but nourishment.

4. Financial Investment
Some villagers have big dreams, but little resources. A financial investment in their future could help jumpstart that dream of theirs into reality.

There are a lot more ideas and ways to help, but this is a start.
God loves them and so do we. We want to extend an opportunity to make change in Guatemala. Do any of these needs resonate with you? To give to any one of these projects click here, type in Guatemala Projects in the search bar, and give. To specify which project you want to help with, leave a comment in the comment box. For more information you can email us at

God is at work here in a big way. Will be a part of it too? 

"Defend the weak and the fatherless; uphold the cause of the poor and 
oppressed. Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from 
the hand of the wicked." Psalm 82:3-4

Crossing Borders

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

It was a hot September day, just a few days after my 23rd birthday. Ahead of me I saw dry, barren land. It looked like a desert in the middle of the Caribbean. Behind me the landscape was lush and tropical, like one might expect the Caribbean to be. We were crossing borders from the Dominican Republic to Haiti. As we approached the Haitian border, the chaos grew louder. Since we were the only white people around, we hopped off our bus hoping to hear sounds of English, but were only left with the clashing of Spanish and Creole. Not knowing what to do I followed the rest of our group and stood in line to have my passport stamped. I wish I could say that once our passports were stamped we hopped back on the bus and drove off, but that was not the case. What should have been an easy, organized process turned out to be an unorganized, corruptive mess. Like I said…we were the only white people in a sea of dark skinned Haitians and equally dark Dominicans. Our skin tone gave us away and resulted in us paying 3 times more than what we were supposed to.
Unfortunately, crossing back into the DR from Haiti was not any better. Our heads were spinning, our stomaches were hungry, and I'm sure someone on that bus had to use the bathroom but no one dared get off the bus if they didn't have to. 5 hours of waiting and one passport stamp later and we were in the clear. We drove off in relief, hoping to never again relive such an exhaustive and terrifying process.

When Mitch and I began preparing for our trip across the border to Mexico to renew our visa's, I was so nervous and had no idea what to expect. I was praying not to relive our Caribbean border experience. I tried talking Mitch into going to Belize instead (it's safer and by a beach ;)). But we had already made arrangements to go with our Mexican friends who needed to renew their visa as well. Fortunately(!), crossing from Guatemala to Mexico was no where near as bad as our first border experience. What I learned was that Mexicans favor Americans. So for us, the process was smooth and easy. Still a little chaos, but easy nonetheless. The important thing is that we accomplished our mission of renewing our visas. We're good for another 90 days in Guatemala (and are hoping to finish our residency paperwork before the 90 days is up)!

We ended up having a lot of fun in Mexico, but we're so glad to be back in Guatemala! Here are some photos of our trip in Chiapas, Mexico.

12 hour bus ride!

Tuxtla, Chiapas, Mexico (the city where we stayed, the capitol of Chiapas)

We ate cactus for the first time! Mitch and I both thought it was green beans at first. 

San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas

Mexican coffee

I think I ate quesadilla's everyday while I was there! 

Taking the public transportation bus in Chiapas…something that is too dangerous for us to do in Guate

VW Bugs are everywhere in Chiapas

Visiting Chiapas de Corzo…the first city in Mexico that was conquered by Spain.

Touring a canyon by boat

Isn't it beautiful?! 

We're thankful that our border trip was somewhat uneventful, but next time I vote for Belize!
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