HI FRIENDS –
In less than 4 very fast approaching weeks, I will be running in the TCS New York City Marathon on November 5th, 2017! I’m nervous and anxious, but beyond excited! I will make my best attempt at finishing and hope to make all 26.2 miles more meaningful by running to help others – but that requires your help and support!! I am running to raise funds for Students International Guatemala, specifically for Alvaro Diaz and the creative arts site in Magdalena.
During this past July, I was blessed with the opportunity to serve in Guatemala. A small team was formed and with only one month of preparation, God met and provided our every need to go and to experience Him. I left there with a growing desire to continue serving back at home, in addition to strengthening my relationship with Christ. While there, I worked with Alvaro who serves as the site leader of the creative arts ministry. He teaches the students on how to develop their talents in drawing and painting, but above all, sharing with the children and their families about Jesus and God’s love for each of us. I loved every minute of working with the kids; it gives me great joy to see their enthusiasm in learning both how to create beautiful artwork and how Jesus is a part of their lives.
Many of the students live in El Gorrión, which is a community made up of mostly families who were displaced by the devastated aftermath of Hurricane Mitch in 1998. The area is made up of improvised housing of shanties, which are made with scrap metal, plywood or similar materials. They live in unfavorable conditions such as dirt floors, have limited clean water, and many of the families are faced with financial hardships due to competitive job opportunities. During Store Days, students are able to sell their artwork to SI participants (50% goes towards the ministry site and 50% goes towards the student artist). The money they earn really goes a long way for them. It could go towards saving for new shoes or even helping with putting food on the table at home. I really believe the art school is a great ministry, teaching kids both art and the beauty of the gospel. I am so thankful I got to witness firsthand how God is working through this school, Alvaro, and the students. Alvaro’s devotion to serve God is extremely encouraging. His smile and energy is contagious, and his actions and words truly exemplify God’s call for us to serve and to be a blessing to others.
Alvaro was born in Antigua, Guatemala and is a full-time long-term missionary serving in his own home country. Missionaries of Students International receive a monthly stipend and have to raise all of their own financial support in order to stay on the mission field. I have learned that missionaries like Alvaro serving in their home country can often experience the challenges of raising enough support – this is where you and I can help!
“Ministry update: Our art site continues to flourish. Alvaro, the site leader has a desire to raise up a couple of leaders from among his students who will eventually be able to lead the site. That’s what community development is all about. We aren’t here to take over; we are here to empower.” (Blake Davis, Field Director at Students International)
Will you please consider praying about the part God wants you to play in this opportunity of partnering with me and raising support for Alvaro? I appreciate all and any prayer and financial support.
If you have any questions, I would love to talk with you.
Living to serve Him in all that I do.
Blessings and in Christ,
SERVING IN GUATEMALA //
HOW YOU CAN PARTNER WITH ME //
If you feel led to give financially, you can do so with whichever method is best for you. My goal is to raise $1,500 by November 5, 2017. (So far, we’re at $850!!!) Any amount would be greatly appreciated, but if you would be willing to contribute $20, $50, $100 or more, it would really help me to reach my goal!
Cash or Check: Please hand to me personally
Chase QuickPay: firstname.lastname@example.org
Venmo username: @avahyumyum
If you feel led to support through prayer, I would love for you to pray for the following:
• That Alvaro will draw strength from the Lord daily and to teach with purpose and love
• That the students and families will have open hearts and minds to receiving the Lord
• That God continues to use Students International to serve the community and His Kingdom
• That I will have the physical, mental, and spiritual strength to run and finish the marathon