July 3, 2010 to July 10, 2010
Mike and Dottie Clark, who took a short term mission trip to Guatemala, heard the call of God to rescue abused, battered and abandoned children from the intense suffering they were in. Mike left a successful business, had 2000 dollars in his pocket, and along with Dottie, heeded the Lord’s call to Guatemela. The result is Casa Aleluya, which now ministers to over 400 children with housing, food, education, medical care, and lots of love.
One of our Desert Call Trustees is a Board member of Casa Aleluya, and we have wonderful new ties to this amazing ministry to God’s hurting children in this beautiful country.
Here is their daily journal of the 10-day mission trip of the team’s experience in Guatemala at Casa Aleluya. We want you to share in their time there and see it from their eyes as much as possible.
They are all back and we give God, our Father, the Glory for the work these servants accomplished while they were there.
First Day, July 4, 2010
We started out the day joining the children’s worship as they praised our Father in heaven. Wow! How much we could learn! Susan pointed out a little girl, six maybe seven years old, with her hands lifted high, eyes closed and such an intense look of pure worship and communion with her heavenly Father on her face – she was such a beautiful sight to behold!
There is the most amazing sense of love and community here between these children. They laugh, play, and look out for one another in an amazing way. It is impossible to walk into a room without a child attaching themself to someone to be held or played with.
Tomorrow we find out what our work assignments are. Continue to pray that we can have some small part in touching these children’s lives for Jesus. Our health is great, we are happy, and thank you for your continued prayers. We are being blessed.
July 5, 2010
Today started with a delicious breakfast of bacon and eggs, followed by a devotion and prayer time. After breakfast Chris (our CASA rep assigned to us) gave us a list of chores for the day. We broke up into groups and tackled our assigned chores. Our assignments were painting a newly constructed dorm for future missionaries, painting a large metal gate and a wrought iron fence. We cleaned beans (removing small pebbles and weevils) in the kitchen. A grassy area was created in the school area for the children by cutting sod from a field, loading it into wheel barrows and transplanting the grass in the school yard.
We worked until noon, then cleaned and put away our tools and met in our dorm for lunch. At this time, I discovered that the charger I had brought to send our daily progress reports quit working and the Blackberry was dead. I asked everyone I could find if they had a charger for my Blackberry. Many had Blackberries but they were different models and the chargers were not compatible. But God is good all the time and from an unexpected source a charger was found, and because of God’s grace I am able to send this report. However, I must return it tomorrow, because Chris (our Case rep) is going into Guatemala City tomorrow. Pray that he will be able to locate a charger for us so we can continue sending these reports.
After our lunch, the children were finished with school for the day and the team took on our primary jobs – to love the kids. There is a beautiful little girl here who is six years old and has syphilis. Some of these children’s stories are heartbreaking. They are in such need of a hug and a little attention.
Wayne spent the afternoon drawing stick figures in a binder and writing their names under each one. To those children, he was Picasso. Those children hugged him and caressed his face, fought over who got to sit on his lap and called him grandpa.
Everyone on the team had a similar experience. Through God’s grace we are these children’s family for this time that we are here. We see God in every face. As this is being written, it is pouring rain outside, our devotion completed and the dinner dishes have been put away. We thank God for those that answered HIS call. Those that went, those that sent, and those that covered this mission with prayer. By answering HIS call we have healed and partially filled that empty spot in the heart of these orphaned, abandoned, lonely children. We are HIS tools and we were put to good use today. God bless you all! Your prayers are felt and needed. Keep them coming.
July 6, 2010
We are in day four. We woke up to a beautiful day. Fr. Josh was asked to put together a small prayer group to pray for Mike the founder of Casa who is suffering with pain in his back. The choice as to who to take with him was hard for Fr. Josh as this team is composed of many healing prayer warriors, but he placed his trust in God and chose four. God used that small group to pray for healing for not only Mike,, but for three of his family members as well. A healing in Mike’s back was done through that group by the Holy Spirit. Praise God!
Dave and Jo Ann headed for the kitchen first thing to clean beans. It costs thirty thousand dollars a month to feed all these children, that’s a lot of beans that need cleaning. Lynnea and Susan spent the day altering a wedding dress for a young lady that is about to be married. At Casa you are not made to leave just because you have become eighteen years old. Here you do not leave until you can make your way in the world as a credit to society. There are seventy-two young people in Casa going to college. Some day Guatemala will be blessed by their Christian leadership in this country that is so in need of God.
After lunch we again concentrated on our primary task, loving the abandoned and unloved. Our Lord’s hand was in so many things today, it would take all night to tell them all. Your prayers continue to protect us, mentally, physically and spiritual. We love you all. Good night.
July 7, 2010
Earthquake between 1-1:30 a.m. no damage here. Everyone ok. The guys slept through it.
Today we awoke to a beautiful day, and we were raring to go. After morning devotion each team member took off to their respective assignment. Every day is filled by God’s blessings and there is much to report about today. But with your permission I would like to return to last night.
As we talked to Mike the founder of CASA a beautiful young girl came by who was nineteen years old. Mike had asked for her permission to tell her story. She stood beside him as he told it. She lived with her father and brother. Her father sexually abused her for four or five years and then he died. She was happy that her dad died and the nightly nightmare was over…or not. Her brother took up where her father had left off. And nightly, he too abused her and she hated him for it. After four years of her brother’s sexual abuse she was taken away by the courts who then placed her at CASA.
Here at CASA she found Christ and accepted him into her life. Shortly after that the children were having an all night praise service (this is done periodically and is put on by the children). At this service she asked if she could give her testimony and Mike gave his consent. Now, almost every girl at CASA has been raped. And when she got up at about 1 in the morning and told everyone that she had been raped first by her father and then by her brother, all these girls related to what she was saying. But then she said, every time my brother raped me, he made me wash, but I never felt clean. Then I found Jesus and by HIS blood I have been washed clean. She looked at the girls standing around her and said, “You can be too.”
The next morning she asked Mike to take her home. Mike drove her to the shanty town where she had lived with her father and brother, she asked Mike to stay in the car and she walked down this little slope to what she used to call home. After a while she showed up next to Mike, kissed him on the cheek and thanked him, then she climbed into the car. Before Mike could get into the car he felt a presence behind him and turned to face her brother. He looked into Mikes eyes and between sobs he told him, “She forgives me, I took away her childhood and she forgives me.”
She not only forgave her brother that night…she led him to the LORD as well. This beautiful young girl is nineteen now and getting married. Susan and Lynnea altered her wedding dress yesterday.
GOD IS GOOD ALL THE TIME!
Thank you for forgiving me and giving us the power to forgive others.
We love you all
July 8, 2010
Roaming the cobblestone streets our group experienced the beauty and color of Guatemala and her people.
July 9, 2010
Need prayers for Fr. Josh – very bad cold, sore throat, constant sneezing. We were in the catacombs yesterday and prayed immediately after. He also was using degreaser chemical for two days. Wayne needs prayer for his back and blisters on his feet from power washing filters above stove for two days. All others are healthy. Please pray for continued health, safe travel tomorrow and energy for the baptism we have as soon as we get home.
Casa is truly an amazing place. There can be no doubt that it is truly a God ordained place. There is no way all these children could be healed and have the smiles they do without the mercy and grace of our heavenly Father. The fact that Jesus heals still today is so evident through these children who reach out and counsel one another. As Fr. Josh says, to love the Father more, we must not only have the vertical alignment with God, but we must increase our horizontal love for others to increase our love with our Father. These children manifest the Father’s love in amazing ways!
July 12, 2010
The Guatemala mission was a success, God blessed us all. We have returned safe but not unscathed. Fr. Josh, Lynnea and Dave returned sick. The symptoms are flue like, queasy stomach, headache. Your prayers are still needed for this last attempt on the team by the prince of darkness.
We are all exhausted, I will update you more after I get some much needed rest. Thank you all for placing yourselves on the firing line for our well being.
July 13, 2010
Thank you all for being there for us. Dave, Fr. Josh and Lynnea are still a little under the weather, but they are all improving. God is good all the time and all the time He is good. I say this because, when we went to Guatemala we went blind, we did not know what to expect as we had never been there before. But our God is good and He provided for us. There was a team there from Gainsville, Florida, West Side Baptist Church, who had been there numerous times before. We shared the same lodging, meals and morning and evening devotions. They took us under their wing and saw to it that we needed for nothing. This proves that when you are willing to step out in faith to do His work He always provides. We painted, cleaned up the grounds, worked in the kitchen, and poured out love on the kids.
His mission was a success, the seed was planted for a good and fruitful work in His name for many years to come. Again I would like to thank you all on behalf of myself and the team. We could not have done it without you. Your prayers were felt all the way.
God Bless you all for your devotion to His work.