Monday, January 2, 2017

Year-End Update

James and Ellie Carr
Happy New Year!  We hope you are having a wonderful start to 2017.  We wanted to share with you a brief update of some of the work we were involved in throughout 2016 as well as our plans moving into 2017 as Subdirectors at Fundaniños Children's Home.  The month of December was an extremely busy month for us, as the home directors here at Fundaniños were on furlough to the States, increasing our job responsibilities, and we were extremely grateful for their return on New Year's Eve.  Their time away made us extremely grateful for the amount of willing hands we have here normally, and also helped us grow more into our roles by taking on more responsibility for the children who live here and their direct caregivers.

As for the rest of the year, it was filled with ups and downs in ministry, but we are so thankful for where God has led us, the doors He has opened for true worship through service, and His truths that He has made evident to us throughout the year.  Below is a list of just a few of the highlights from the past 12 months of ministry in Guatemala-
(un)adopted® training in February
  • James began the year serving as Team Coordinator at our previous ministry.  He coordinated and helped lead several week-long stays for teams from across the U.S. who were working in the slums of Guatemala City.
  • We attended Lifeline Children's Service's (un)adopted® training to learn more about holistic and sustainable orphan care in February.
  • In February, we also attended our first intermissions conference in Guatemala- a time for international missionaries in Guatemala to learn, fellowship, and network together.
  • In a process that began in Fall 2015, James was able to help one young man living in the slums of Guatemala City find his birth records at a small hospital, obtain a legal birth certificate, and register with the Guatemalan government so that he can begin attending school, and one day have a legitimate job and legally marry opening many doors for this young man's future- a lengthy process, but so worth it for Juanes and his family!
  • Ellie visited two young mothers in local pueblos to bring them food and encouragement after they recently gave birth.
  • Over the summer we taught approximately 96 hours of English classes to about 20 boys in the slums of Guatemala City.
  • In June, we helped coordinate and hosted a retreat for six boys from the slums of Guatemala City.
  • In mid-July, we moved from a charity we felt God was calling us away from to our position as Subdirectors Fundaniños Children's Home where we have been able to truly and openly serve in a much fuller capacity.
  • Initiated small groups with boys and girls within the home to disciple teens in a more intimate environment and setting.
  • Assumed responsibility for leading weekly meetings with and overseeing the direct caregivers at Fundaniños.
  • Collected and bought much needed food and vitamins for a needy and malnourished family in Guatemala City.
  • Counseled and coordinated the baptism of one teenage girl, and initiated countless purposeful and direct conversations to disciple boys and girls.
  • Took charge of onsite discipline within Fundaniños.
James tutoring a boy in English in Guatemala City.

Juanes the day his registration process was complete!
We have many hopes and goals for serving God in 2017.  Here are a couple of the things we are preparing to accomplish in the coming year-
  • Restart and direct small discipleship groups for teens at Fundaniños.
  • Create and implement health, hygiene, and sexual education classes for adolescents at Fundaniños.
  • Oversee and facilitate weekly Bible classes in Fundaniños' onsite school.
  • Initiate daily devotions for younger children within the four houses at Fundaniños.
  • Work with Fundaniños' independence committee to plan and carry out monthly service projects with kids in the local community.
  • Use Trust-Based Relational Intervention® curriculum by Dr. Karyn Purvis to train and equip caregivers here at Fundaniños.
  • Continue weekly meetings with caregivers to support and direct them in their roles.
  • Continue direction of discipline as well as positive reinforcement within the home.
  • Continue one-on-one discipling with children and adloscents here at Fundaniños.
  • Partner with the local church body to reinforce Biblical teaching to kids at Fundaniños through youth groups, Sunday School, and other church-related events.
  • Continue supporting roles in daily activities of home (facilitating meals, transporting children to various appointments, etc.)
Ellie taking part in the December 2016 service project
with the kids at Fundaniños.
James (and Riley) in conversation with one of the girls at
Fundaniños.
We thank God for the opportunities that He has given us over the past year, and thank you for helping us serve Him in the ways above through your prayers, encouragement and support.  We ask for your prayers as we enter 2017- that our focus would always be to bring glory to the King rather than to our own selves or completing a list of tasks.

Happy New Year!
James + Ellie

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