Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Happy New Year! (...A Little Late)

James and Ellie Carr
Hello Friends and Family!

Much has happened with our family since last October to update you on.  I will try to hit some of the highlights so as not to leave you with a novel to read.  I wrote a post yesterday that seemed to be a bit of a downer, but if you want to read some of my unedited feelings, they are in the previous post.  At least you've been warned.

Some of the biggest news that our family has from the past three months is that in November we moved out of Antigua, Guatemala, where our Spanish school was located, and into the Benaiah House, a home acquired by Engadi to become its first boys home.  We were grateful to find out that the home would be semi-furnished when we moved in, so that left very little for us to have to buy.  Praise God!  We spent a lot of November fixing up the house and making necessary changes to allow boys to move in.  Right now, with just our family there, it still seems very empty and is more than we need, but it is a wonderful design for a boys home, and we will need all the space we can get when they move in soon.

As of right now, it looks as though it will only be a couple more weeks until we open our doors to three boys from Paraíso.  We are so excited to be this close to what we feel God has called us to be doing, and at the same time we are also intimidated that in only a couple of weeks the number of mouths to cook for and bodies to clean up after will double.  Of course we have concerns with more than their physical well-being, as well.  Thankfully, another thing that we have had the privilege of being a part of was attending a class provided by Lifeline Children's Services called (Un)Adopted.  The course is geared toward preparing and equipping children's homes/orphanages to care for vulnerable children and children from troubled backgrounds.  The course was tremendously informative, and we hope to utilize many of the resources we learned in the coming weeks and years.

Over the past weeks, James has continued working with and building relationships with the boys in Paraíso.  It is great to see how much they look up to him and seek to have his approval in what they do.  As I've said before, the vast majority of them have no father-figure in their lives, and to see how they look up to and trust James is really rewarding.  This week, James is scheduled to help finish up the process of getting Juanes, one of the boys in Engadi's Derek Program, his birth certificate.  It will allow him to get a well paying job, start/finish school, and get married one day.  He is a teenager now, yet has never been to school and can't read or write due to not getting a birth certificate when he was born.  Through the process (and it has been quite a process) of getting Juanes' birth certificate, he and James have really bonded, and it's been really cool to hear about his ups and downs through the time spent together. We are really hoping that all goes well this week, and we can wrap up this birth certificate task.  Juanes has a bright future ahead of him.

So those are just a few of the highlights of the past few months.  We are anticipating having boys move into Engadi's Benaiah House soon, but must take care of a few details such as having internet hooked up first for their schooling.  We will keep you updated on the progress, as the date grows nearer to having boys join our family.  Thank you all for praying for us and supporting us through the ups and downs of ministry life.  It has really been an adventure, and we look forward to experiencing this next part together with you.

Riley with some of the boys of Engadi's Derek Program

Much love from Guatemala,
James, Ellie and Riley

Other things we have been involved with in the past few months include (but are not limited to)-
- Helping lead four week-long teams from the States who were working with Engadi (Oct, Nov, Dec, and Jan)
- Attending the week-long Synergy Leadership Summit in Guatemala City (Nov)
- Assisting moving the Engadi Ministries main office to the Benaiah Home (Dec)
- Took our first trip back to the States over Christmas/New Years (Dec, Jan)
- Supporting the enhancement of Engadi's social networking and outreach
- Creating meal schedules for feeding a larger family, and learning how to cook for larger numbers (Jan/Feb)
- Learned where/how to shop in bulk in anticipation for feeding larger numbers at one of Guatemala City's largest open-air markets (Feb)

James and Ellie Carr / 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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