Thursday, April 17, 2014

Happy Easter from the Carr's!

As our moving date approaches quickly, we are finding ourselves spending more and more time looking for different shipping methods to move to Guatemala, looking at housing options for when our house sells here in the states and when the baby is born, and looking at available places  to live when we get to Guatemala this fall.  It's all really exciting, but also overwhelming.  We are just going to have to take it one thing at a time as it comes.

City street in Antigua, Guatemala, the nation's capital during the 1500-1700's

Our house is currently listed for sale, and we will be moving somewhere locally until the baby is born and we can make the move with all of the baby's documents to Guatemala.  To see the listing of our house click here.  To say "God's timing has been remarkable so far," would be an enormous understatement, so we are excited to see when He will bring a buyer for the house.

A huge milestone to mention is that we have been fundraising for a year to date as of this April.  In that time, God has provided over three-quarters of the funds necessary for us to move to and begin ministry in Guatemala.  Praise Him!  It seems like we will definitely be fully-prepared and ready to leave this fall!

One miscellaneous item that we also are in the process of taking care of is finding a home for our family cat, Millie.  As much as we wish we could take her with us, we will have our hands full over the next several years, so we are looking for a new family for her.  She is three years old, and very energetic.  She has been spayed and declawed in the front paws.  Please help us find a good home for our sweet Millie.

Millie posing to impress her new family

On a much more important note, this weekend is marks the celebration of Christ's resurrection!  Happy Easter!!  In Guatemala, Easter is a celebration that lasts several weeks, but unfortunately, much of the celebration is either not glorifying to God, or is muddled in the indigenous Mayan faiths that are intertwined in much of the Roman Catholicism of Guatemala.  People flock to the city of Antigua to party and celebrate Easter, living it up in the bars and on the streets of the city.  People apply to the Roman Catholic Church during the year, and during the weeks leading to Easter, people are sentenced by the church to pay for the sins that they committed in the past year.

Sins are paid for by first paying a fee to the church.  Individuals are then sentenced to be a part of a parade, carrying float for a certain distance through the streets of Antigua.  Each parade float depicts a Biblical scene or person, with the "more important" Biblical roles such as Jesus and Mary costing more money to carry.  Floats are huge; they weigh several thousand pounds and can take up to 80 people to carry them through the streets while onlookers observe the parade.

A float being carried though the streets while James was in Antigua last month

Unfortunately, as beautiful and traditional as this ceremony is, it completely contradicts the idea that Jesus came and died as payment for the sins that separate us from God.  There is nothing- no fee we can pay to a church, no act of penance- that we can do to bridge the chasm that our sins place between us and a holy God.  Jesus has already paid the price for our sins by living a perfect sinless life here on earth, giving his life and dying on a wooden cross, and then rising from death three days later.  It doesn't get any better than that!

Happy Easter!
James and Ellie Carr

"And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience.  Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.  But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them."
Ephesians 2:1-10

JamesandEllie / Author & Editor

James and Ellie Carr have been missionaries in Gautemala since 2014 and write to share their feelings and how they have experienced God's goodness and mercy on the mission field.


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