Prayer for Guatemala

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Here is a note from some of our contacts in Guatemala.  Could you take a minute and pray today for the people of Guatemala?

Dear Friends,

The Pacaya Volcano which is located 8 miles south of the Children’s Home (and 15 miles south of the airport) erupted on Thursday night about 7. It began raining small lava rocks and sand on the Children’s Home. Those living closer to the volcano had larger rocks falling. We understand that 3 people were killed.

The airport was shut down almost immediately. We had a summer intern on the way on a flight and he was diverted to San Salvador. He spent the night there and came on a bus with other passengers the next evening. We are thankful for Ethan’s arrival!

What started out as a Tropical Depression became Tropical Storm Agatha off of the Pacific Coast of El Salvador, Guatemala and southern Mexico. We have received a bunch of rain and it rained so much yesterday that we understand one day rainfall total records were broken going back to at least 1949. Some areas received more than 10 inches in a few hours. This has caused cleanup efforts for the airport runway to be delayed, and we are told that the airport may be closed for another 3-5 days.

However, there is much for which we can pray:

Our clinic is currently without a doctor. Pray that God will bring us his person to fill that position as soon as possible.

Ana Maria, our clinic receptionist, called this morning. Her family had to flee for their lives from their house last night due to a mud/rock slide. Their house is now filled with several inches of water and mud. Large  boulders and tree trunks are strewn everywhere. We praise the Lord for protecting their lives!

The government just announced this morning that schools (both public and private) will remain closed the entire coming week. We are getting calls from neighbors, near and far, for help. A pastor friend reports 17 families near his church suffered roof damage on their houses, 5 of these are urgent and need immediate repair. They also need blankets and clothing. We are expecting the need for temporary shelter, food, clothing, medicine, etc. to increase. Though the storm made landfall on Guatemala’s south coast near the Mexican border and has been downgraded to a Tropical Depression, it is still dumping rain on the country and is forecast to do so for the next 2-3 days. So far it has left 13 dead, 24 missing and thousands evacuated from their homes.

Pray that we will be able to respond to as many folks with needs as possible and that the Lord will provide the resources to meet those needs. Our prayer is: "Lord, here we are, use us as You so desire. Allow us to minister to folks in your name, being your hands and feet, and showing them You."

We are all safe and for that we are thankful.
Kendon, Wendy and the NLCH Team

Juan Pablo is Coming Home!

imageThis is Juan Pablo.  Here we are, chilling after some intense trampoline wrestling.  Someday I will tell you the long version of this amazing young man from Guatemala.  The short story is this:

When he was very young, he was in a fire.  A propane explosion.  He carries scars over much of his body.

After the fire, his mother came to the hospital, looked at him, decided she couldn’t handle it, and left.  She has never returned.

Juan P has lived in an orphanage for the past several years.  Who would want an older orphan with medical challenges? 

image Enter my friends John and Emily Wiggins.  For the past 2 1/2 years they have pursued Juan P with a resolve that is rarely seen.  The journey has cost them heartbreak, time, energy, multiple trips to Guatemala, and a load of money.  Just when they thought they could adopt Juan P,  a door would slam shut.  For more that 2 years, they have dreamed of bringing Juan home. 

Today, dream becomes reality.

At 6:45 PM, a plane will touch down in Indianapolis.  On that plane will be John, Emily, and their son, Juan Pablo.

Last week Juan got a new name:  Juan Pablo Wiggins.

Last week he became an official US citizen.

Today he climbs on a plane with parents who have been dreaming of this moment.

Tonight he lands and will be welcomed home by people who think he is one of the greatest kids in the world.

Welcome to the dream my good friend.  I am so glad you are here.  I’ll see you soon!

We are in Guatemala

100_6944 After a long day of travel, including late planes and re-directed flights, we made it to Guatemala city.  After a night in the Buckner offices (a house with some bunk-beds and a slightly warm shower, we are ready to hit the day.  Today we are going to a state-run orphanage and then to the babies home.

Yesterday I had some issues going thru customs. I think it had something to do with the way I was dressed.  Check out a picture here.

On a serious note, this is a great team and I am already sensing that God is going to do some fantastic stuff this week.  Stay tuned.

Our team is made up of Shawn Wallace, Jody Elslager, and Nate and Rachael Brown

For more info on the trip, check out the team’s blogs at shawnw, elsblogger, and thepipeline