Thursday, May 7, 2015

Spring 2015- Moving, School, and Ministry

Happy Spring, everyone!  I (Ellie) just wanted to write a quick update to keep you updated on our progress here in Guatemala, and a little bit of what is going on in our personal lives.  I will start out with what has happened last month.

About three weeks ago, we moved from the apartment we were living in to a small house owned by a retired missionary here in Guatemala.  We are so thankful for the opportunity that opened up that allowed us to do so.  Our new house is about 500 square feet, has two bedrooms, and came furnished, which was exactly what we needed right now, since we sold all of our furniture before leaving the states.  It is very tranquil and the neighbors are a little further away, so we don't have to be on edge every time Riley cries.  My favorite part is that it has hot water throughout, including the kitchen sink!! Our last apartment only has hot water in the shower, but that was definitely better than none.  I never thought about how much I appreciated hot water in the kitchen sink until I moved and had to hand wash ALL of our dishes because, of course, there are no dishwashers here!  God has definitely changed our perspective on so many things and made us more thankful.

Currently, we are both still working our way through Spanish school.  We had both hit a plateau at our first school, so we changed to a more advanced language school here in Antigua that is geared more towards teaching missionaries.  Interesting to me, our Spanish teacher, Teresa, considers her ministry to be teaching missionaries Spanish so that they are prepared for the field.  She says that she could easily find a job at a higher paying or more convenient school closer to her house, but chooses to work at Christian Spanish Academy, because she feels God has called here to prepare missionaries.  We have both loved getting to know her and sharing our testimonies and struggles with her.  We are also constantly amazed at the beautiful web that God is weaving to reach the boys in Paradise.  It is like He is teaming up Teresa here in Guatemala, Engadi Ministries, each of you in the states who prays for and supports us, and so many more.  The web just keeps stretching, strengthening, and building, which is so cool to be a part of.

I don't have many pictures relating to school, but this is our walk to school in the mornings. 
Anyway, back to our schooling.  At our new school, Christian Spanish Academy, there are seven levels of Spanish that we must complete through exams and interviews to be certified as "fluent."  Two weeks ago, James passed both his exam and interview to get to level three.  Last week, I completed level four and started level five, and by the end of this week, James is set to move up to level four if all goes well.  It is exciting to finally see some progress, and to see the light at the end of the tunnel.  While we are finishing our schooling, Engadi Ministries is busy drawing up the legal documents to take in our first boys from off the streets.  The ministry will be busy hosting church teams from the states all summer, and finishing other preparations, but it looks like we are just a few months out from starting our official role as houseparents!  We are looking forward to not living out of boxes, and actually working with the kids full-time!

Next week, a team from South Carolina will be coming down to work in Paradise (our target neighborhood in the slums of Guatemala City), teaching English within the schools there.  We will spend the entire week with them working with the kids in Paraíso, so we are excited to have a brief break from school to work with the ministry and the kids.

So that is what we have been up to lately.  Other than that we are doing well, and Riley is growing like a weed.  She is about seven and a half months old now.  She loves getting her hands on anything and everything that she can reach, and is trying her hardest to crawl which she hasn't quite mastered yet.  James and I are soaking up our last few days before she is totally mobile!

We hope everyone in the States is doing well, and recovering from the springtime pollen.  We don't miss that at all.  We do, however, miss you all very much and appreciate all of the prayers and support, as always.  If you would like to be a part of our ministry here in Guatemala, there are several ways you can get involved-

1. Pray- We need your prayers!  Pray that we can finish Spanish school as quick as possible.  Pray that God is preparing us completely (spiritually, mentally, and physically) to be parents to boys currently living on the streets of Guatemala City.  Pray for God's continued provision for our ministry and that we would act wisely with how He blesses us, using each blessing to its fullest potential.  Pray that we can be the best parents possible to Riley, and be receptive to her needs.

2. Serve- Do you think your church, school, or small group might be interested in serving with Engadi Ministries?  Engadi Ministries hosts vision trips which are short trips (3 or so days) for a small group of individuals (usually 3-5 people) to discover what we do here in Guatemala, how God has led our hearts to serve the people of Guatemala City, and how you can get involved here.  If you think your church, school, or small group would be interested, let us know, and we can get you more information on setting up a vision trip with Engadi Ministries.  For more information on the ministry, check out

3. Give- We can't do what we do here without your support.  At the start of 2015, we lost several of our monthly donors.  If you forgot to renew your monthly gift or would like to set up a monthly or a one-time donation, you can do so at  We appreciate the generosity of each gift we receive, and thank you for being a part of what we do here in Guatemala!  We can't thank you enough!

Time to wake Riley up from her nap, and take a walk to the market to do some grocery shopping before James gets out of school.  Thank you all again for all of your support! Until next time.

"Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil.  So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is."
Ephesians 5:15-17 (my favorite verse in high school :))

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