Final Trip Before Moving

Dan, Kadi, Carlee & Josh in Antigua Guatemala
Dan, Kadi, Carlee & Josh in Antigua Guatemala

Our close friends Josh and Carlee Howee joined us on this last trip to Guatemala. It was such a blessing to have them with us as we met many pastors and missionaries, rented a house, purchased a vehicle, and went shopping to make our new house move-in ready. They were amazing travel companions, constantly encouraging us in the Lord and helping us practically to get everything set up. Our friends Melanie and Alex, of Tree Ministries, were also a huge help to us! They picked us up from the airport and hosted us in their amazing missions house. They fed us, drove us around, and helped us find the best places to buy things. We are so grateful for their help and friendship!

Worship Night on the Roof

Tuesday 5/31/22

We flew with Josh and Carlee from Spokane to Dallas to Guatemala City. Melanie picked us up and expertly helped us pack the back of her pickup truck with all the bins, guitars, and luggage we brought down. That night we had a barbeque at their house and enjoyed a worship night around the fire on their roof with Alex and some of their friends.

The Family Room of our House in Antigua

Wednesday 6/1/22

We walked through our house! It was so great to see it in person. It is such a blessing to have a place in such a beautiful location. There's a small park in front of our house, a backyard, and lots of space for showing hospitality to our neighbors, people we're ministering to, and our friends who come to visit us! We got to test drive what is now our very own gold Honda Pilot. It's not easy to find one of these, and we put it through its paces and it is in great shape with low miles. 

We attended a Wednesday night Christian service in English at La Vid, Alex's coffee shop. Alex led us in worship and Josh gave a short message about walking in faith. It was great to worship together and meet the Guatemalans who came to the service. People are really good at living life together, and it was so natural for them to stay after and talk to us for an extended amount of time. We had many meals this week that lasted several hours. We could learn a lot from Guatemalans in the way they value relationships and invest in time with others. That night we had a great time gathering around a game of Settlers of Catan.

Thursday 6/2/22

Carlee, Marlan & Dan in the Los Chilitos Church
We drove to visit our missionary friends Mitch and Amanda in Barberena. They had us over for lunch at their house and we were able to meet their son Lucas. They adopted him in Guatemala. He's a super cute five-year-old. We also had a young man from the church youth group join us named Marlan. Kadi spoke to him in Spanish and he shared that he is the only Christian in his family and spends a lot of time with Mitch and Amanda. His favorite book of the bible is James but he is currently reading and learning from 1st Peter.  Dan helped him learn a basic drum beat so he could help play at church and Carlee translated for them. Mitch and Amanda were evangelistic missionaries who have become church planters, working in a remote village in Los Chilitos. There they have evangelized many and built a church that reaches out to the community in practical ways and with the good news of Jesus. Mitch spent years training one of the converts named Cayetano who is now pastoring the church in Los Chilitos. You can read the story on The Gospel Coalition here. It was such a joy to visit them at their church and hear from Cayetano, and other church members, about what God has done in their lives. It was very impactful and encouraging. God is at work in their lives and community through their church!

Friday 6/3/22

It was so much fun to visit El Faro (The Lighthouse) school and church. Juan Carlos and his wife Liz Jimenez serve there. Juan Carlos pastors the church and leads the school. When we visited we saw their teachers leading them in worship and teaching them beautifully about Jesus. Juan Carlos was a sponsored child of the Compassion ministry. Now he runs a school where they get funding to sponsor children whose parents can't afford to send them to school. At school, they learn about the Gospel, worship, and get a wonderful education from the many excellent teachers on staff. They had the kids pull us into the crowd to join them in the motions they were doing to worship songs in between leaders preaching truths of the Bible to the kids with lessons for them about being thankful though many of them have very difficult lives. Hearing the kids sing and dance to God and listen to good Bible teaching was a powerful thing to witness.

We toured the school and then went to see the large plot of land they purchased to build a bigger school and church on, to serve the community. Their vision is awesome and it was so cool to hear them share it. God has and is doing a mighty work in their community through them and the school and church they started. It was humbling and encouraging to see. After seeing the construction plans for their facility over coffee, and hearing more of their story, they took us to their house and fed us lunch. Juan Carlos barbecued some Guatemalan-style carne asada. It was really good! They were so hospitable and it was an awesome time talking more about the things of God with them. We felt much closer to them as brothers and sisters in Christ by the time we left. Their two boys are really sweet and it was fun to meet them again. They will be great friends for our boys Seth and Jack, and are close in age. What a blessing! We will be attending and serving in their Spanish speaking church. We will be learning from them and helping in discipleship of the church members, as well as preaching and helping with worship music. That night we walked to the market and went to an open mic night at Alex's coffee shop. Alex played several worship songs, as did Dan. Some others also played some great songs. It was an awesome day!

Saturday 6/4/22

We met our Spanish teachers, Carlos and Nancy, for lunch. They've been teaching us Spanish over video for the last few months. It was so great to meet with them in person. We ended up talking with them for four hours! Guatemalans are so relational. Our time with them was really fun as we told them we wanted to speak mostly in Spanish. They shared their testimonies with us, and time flew by as we conversed over great food at a steakhouse in Antigua. That night we walked the city with the Howies and did some shopping for things to bring back home. Back at Melanie and Alex's house, we had tacos and more fellowship while playing games. This is how they live, with ongoing hospitality sharing meals, playing games, worshiping, and spending a lot of time in relationship with people.

Sunday 6/5/22

We walked to Cerro de La Cruz in the morning and prayed for the city with a breathtaking view of it and a huge stone cross. You can see this view in the header of our website at the top of the home page. We went to church with Melanie and Alex at Calvary Chapel. The service was encouraging and the people were very welcoming. Many came up to us to introduce themselves and welcome us. The pastor was full of joy as he preached from 1 Corinthians 2 about the Holy Spirit in us that teaches us the things of God.
The pastor is friends with Juan Carlos and they have preached at each other's churches before. It was great to continue to connect with believers in Antigua.

Monday 6/6/22

We ran into Juan Carlos and Liz again at Alex's coffee shop. We went out to lunch with them and Maggie, an awesome missionary who works with a feeding clinic and with Melanie for Tree Ministries. It was another long sweet time of fellowship over food. As it is the rainy season in Guatemala, while we ate and talked it would suddenly rain like crazy and then stop. We finished out the day with some shopping at the market, a walk-through of our house with the owner, and more games.

Carlee Buying a Bedspread at the Market

Tuesday 6/7/22

Our last full day in Guatemala. We went out to breakfast at a restaurant on a coffee farm called Finca San Cayetano with views of the volcanos, walked around the town again, signed paperwork for renting our house, and had street tacos at TaCool for dinner, bought mattresses and packed our stuff to return home. Kadi and I felt ready to come back with the kids. This trip was very helpful in giving us a chance to see ourselves living here and getting everything set up. What sticks out though is the time we spent with people. That was our takeaway. People know how to BE with each other here, investing a lot of time in relationships. It's a beautiful thing.

Wednesday 6/8/22

Melanie drove us to the airport very early to avoid traffic. Once in the city, we had breakfast together and prayed for her. We enjoyed our long layover time with the Howies and finally made it home to Spokane late at night. It was a long day and the end of a very impactful trip with our friends Josh and Carlee. We got to see a lot of God's beautiful creation, and wonderful things he is doing through pastors and missionaries in Guatemala.

We are excited to move, become fluent in Spanish, and love on the people with the good news of Jesus.  We intend to be in the lives of people over meals at our house and in discipleship relationships. Juan Carlos's church, El Faro (The Lighthouse), will be a great place for our family to integrate into the language and culture quickly. Dan's desire is to serve there and come alongside and serve with Juan Carlos in preaching and shepherding, like visitation to people's homes. Dan is eager to learn so he can one day plant a church in Guatemala and be an effective minister of the gospel, training up Guatemalan elders and deacons to someday enable him to step away and, Lord willing, do it again somewhere else.

Please reach out to us if you would like to hear more about our plans. If you would like updates via email, please send us your email address! You can do that in the Contact Us form below.


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