Watch out for my baby girl while you are there! I’m praying for you guys and you will wear the skin of Jesus on this trip!
I signed up to pray for you at Maurice Church. Our two younger children went to Guatemala to Paradise Bound. It was an incredible experience for both of them–changed their lives. I pray that you will be safe, healthy, and God’s servant through these next few days.
Love and prayers, Bill Vlietstra
How cool that you’re in Guatemala with this group! I’ve taken this trip twice, and was incredibly blessed each time. You will be amazed at all that God does. His love is incredible and the way He allows us to be a part of it is amazing. I’ll be praying for the group this week and following the updates. Blessings!
Sorry it has taken a bit to post.
The travel went super smooth and probably was pretty boring to the people that I sat by as I read most of the time.
Bereket, hey buddy. I hope that you havent had painful teething over these past two days. Mom needs some sleep! I love you Bodek. Gonna getchyou when I get home.
Jaylee, my beautiful 4 year old. How were the glitter pens with grandma the other day? I hope you made a pretty picture that dad can put up in my office when I get back. Have you been playing Just Dance lately? Hope you are doing well. Can’t wait to see you again.
Madelyn, so . . . how has preschool been? Is mrs. lehr better yet? do you guys send your money soon? I hope that you aren’t making too many goofy faces. Dad got to see a lot of little girls your age today and I thought about all of you. Can’t wait to see you.
Carlee, my favorite 7 year old. So did you have art today? How has school been going? I’m sure you’re excited about cheering this weekend, I’m sad that I am going to miss it. Dribble it, pass it, dribble it pass it we want a basket! I hope you have been a big helper at home and aren’t going out of our house looking too pretty.
Benjamin. Hey man. How have things been going? I’m guessing you’re just getting home from Baskeball practice tonight. Did you guys work on defense again. Hopefully everyone listened tonight so you got to scrimage. There was a six year old boy today who’s name was Oliver that reminded me of you. He had the biggest smile and was a very nice boy! I love you, hope it is going okay being the man of the house.
H . . . How have you been doing on your own? Miss you. Sorry we weren’t able to talk much on the phone before I left. It has been really good so far. The work today consisted of building walls and putting sheetrock and fibercement board on either side. It basically was an instant house in about 4 hours time. The man that will receive this home lives on his own and is a little older. There were 3 other teams so we built a total of 4 houses.
The next day will consist of putting stucco on the outside and finishing up some of the inside drywalling as well as putting a porch on. Miss you all. I’m excited to start opening some of my cards.
God definitely has blessed the work that Dan and Heidi started here 15 years ago and that has been cool to see (in just 1 day).
I guess there is a dedication ceremony when we are done with the house that is a neat experience and where they share the gospel.
Tell me how you guys are doing, what did you do today? Give everyone a kiss for me.
Thank you all who are praying for us here. Can’t wait to see what happens the rest of the time. Thats it for now. Love you guys.
Hey! Good to hear from you and glad you made it safely! We had a good day….it was beautiful here so we spent most the day outside and played with the neighbors. Benjamin had basketball and he’s not feeling so hot right now…really sore throat and a bit of a fever I think…hopefully he feels better tomorrow. Hope you sleep well and keep your snores to a low roar….love you!
“Keep snores to a low roar” hmmm. I have slept near this man. Good luck with that.
God bless you all Jackson family.
Glad to hear you had a safe trip there and that things are going well. I had a great time Monday with the kids and of course Heather. Maybe you can build one of those houses when you get home. The kids would probably love having one in the back yard. Brian Tutje says HI to all of you. He sang at the funeral we went to today so we talked with him for a while afterwards. Hope things continue to go well there. We are praying for all of you.
Sounds like a wonderful trip. I’m glad it was a safe one. I will keep you in my prayers while you are there and also Heather and the kids while they wait for you at home.
Praying for you Jason!!! We hope you have an amazing time and you really see God at work. May you feel God’s presence and see it in action!!!
Aaron and Marissa Maassen
Happy to hear that your first day was awesome. I pray that you can be the hands and feet of Jesus as you serve him.
Love and prayers, Bill Vlietstra
Hey! Hope you had a good day! Just waiting to get Carlee from school…Benjamin ended up staying home today. Nothing exciting here…look forward to hearing about your day! We went to Pizza Ranch to grab some gift certificates and there was a “tip jar” to raise funds for the Pizza Ranch team that is going to Guatemala this summer so the kids proudly and loudly informed the cashier that you are there now! Well, hope you had a good day and look forward to seeing you soon!
well this is take 2. I had a very long comprehensive post and when I clicked post comment it showed up as an error. I will try to get it back as much as possible in my mind.
Thanks so much for all the prayers everyone. It has been hard work but very neat to be able to interact with the people in the village. Nothing is done without prayer here as we depend on God for safety in traveling to and from the village, while working, that God would open up hearts in the village. It is all done guatemalan style (while everyone prays out loud at the same time) which I did for so long in youth group and now have experienced it first hand.
Corey, I don’t think that much has changed with the snoring. Brett and Bryan on either of side of me have been complaining a bit but I haven’t had too hard of time falling to sleep. How are you doing brother?
sorry to hear the benjamin was sick today. Hope that he is feeling better and the fever has gone away. There probably isn’t too much snow left if it has been that nice I guess. It definitely gets hot during the day here but cools down quite a bit at night. My head has payed the price and I most definitely have a nice tan line right across my forehead due to my bandana vs. a hat. Oh well.
I met a neat guy, Daniel, who is a guatemalan that works with PB. We have gotten to know each other pretty well despite the language barrier, we both know about enought to help us through the challenging convos. It has been fun and I hope to write him after I get back.
today we got, I would say, about 75% of the work done on the 4 houses we have been building. Stucco was applied to the outside by mass production and application but gave the homes color and protection. the other portion of the day was spent puttting porches on by screwing steel together and putting tin on top. they are very simple homes, but well built and for the people in this village that were refugees after the civil war ended in 96, this is huge for them.
I most definitely should have brought more candy (dulce) as that is all the kids want in the village and as we travel back in the vans.
that is it for now. I am going to take a shower and try to get to spend some time in the orphanage. I love you all. Have a good breakfast night jacksons! Whats on the menu tonight?
We had amazing tostadas today that the women of the village cook for us so we have definitely not gone hungry by any stretch of the imagination.
Get better Benjamin, Carlee and Maddy, hope you had a good day at school, and Jaylee and bereket at home. Heather, hope you’re hanging in there. Love all the cards. Definitely unrequited right? I will make it up with some souvineers. Love you all so much, wish you could see all of this with me!
Praying that your Day of Dedication will be one of those WOW moments as you serve our Savior.
Love and prayers,
Hey Dad! Hope you had a good day! Guess what? I got 80 on my time test today! I think mom said we are going to go the YMCA, swim, and then out for supper since I got 80! Can you take a picture of that boy who reminds you of me; Oliver? What does he like to do for fun? Love you!
Hi Dad! I got 44 on my time test oday! My teacher let me pick something out and I picked a starburst and a glow stick. So you can build a house in one day? wow! Love you and miss you. Thanks for putting my favorite song on the CD!
Hi Dad! We had a good day today. We went to the mall and walked around and played in the play place for awhile then went to Chick-Fil-A for lunch. Preschool was fun and I got to paint a dinosaur fossil. We have been working on a little surprise for you when you get home so you can lots of pictures to hang up in your office. We are counting down the days until you get home.
Hey guys. Bill, the day of dedication was very intense. I know you know, but for everyone else we finished the houses by 12 and had a lunch that the village prepared for us out of the goodness of their heart. We were told that it doesn’t happen very often.
After we finished eating dedications started. We were able to stand in the house along with the gentleman that we built it for. His name was Jairo and is a more elderly man who is single. We started by handing him the donations that we packed in a suitcase for him. Dan presented him with a water filter that the just started to hand out to people which solves their water contamination issues. He went on to share the gospel using beans, salt, and soap and ended up giving him the Bible. Hermano Jesus shared scripture from 1 Corinthians and gave him the opportunity to accept Christ. He was definitely ready as he had had an accident a few days ago and caused a lot of fear in him. After he prayed along with Hermano we all joined in guatemala style and prayed that God would continue to work in his heart. Then we went to the outside of the house and prayed for protection and God’s blessing.
We did that 3 more times for the different houses and every single person or family either gave their lives to Christ, or rededicated their life. To see families not only light up at the opportunity to receive gifts, but then at the end to be exposed to eternal life and accept it was amazing to see God’s power.
Benjamin I am so proud of you getting an 80 on your timed test, and 44 Carlee! That is awesome! Can’t wait to see the surprise you guys and see you. Love you very much. Gotta go.
Jason / daddy
Hey everyone, thought I would give you a quick update.
We will be going out to do a medical clinic this afternoon and won’t get back until late so I thought I would say hi.
Did you guys have fun going to Olive Garden the other night to celebrate Benjamin’s 80 right on his test? Wish I could have been there with you! Love you guys so much. It sounds like school is going well for you guys. Jaylee, has mom been dancing with you on the wii? Has it been nice during the day still? Riding bikes? It definitely gets warm here during the day and cools off at night so we have to put a sweatshirt on but it is extremely nice.
Thanks for the notes the other night you guys. Can’t wait to see what you made me. Any requests from the market? I will try my best to find some stuff.
How are you heather? Few more days and I’ll be there! Thanks for the pictures and the cards! The picture from Ethiopia always makes me laugh:) Especially the picture that was taken by the Cannoys’ house too! has everyone been sleeping okay? Any plans this weekend?
Okay, gotta run, but I love you guys very much and thnk about you all the time! Talk to you and will try to drop a line tomorrow morning. Am looking forward to the medical clinics this afternoon.
Hey! We celebrated with Taco Bell….not Olive Garden:) The weather has been nice so we’ve been outside as much as possible. Bereket slept terrible last night…I think he has what Benjamin had; a really dry cough and runny nose. I took the kids to school today because they were all awake and Bereket fell asleep on the way home and he slept until 11:30–which obviously meant no afternoon nap! Hopefully tonight goes better!
Lots of little funny things have happened over the week…Jaylee is committed to wearing a ring on her finger until you get home, had an interesting conversation about whether Mother Nature is God’s wife, the kids made a “village” in the back yard with the Christmas tree and a bunch of branches (so the backyard isn’t looking so hot but they had fun). Bereket is able to point to his eyes and nose now which is pretty cute. Maddy learned about dinosaurs in pre-school so every animal she sees she tries to figure out if it is an herbivore or carnivore based on the way it’s teeth look.
No big requests from the markets…our track record of doing anything with stuff we buy is not so good! Nothing else too exciting here…hope you had a good day and look forward to reading about it. See you soon!
Sounds like you have been very, very busy and I am sure you will be very, very tired. I am sure you will have lots of stories to tell when you get back. We are praying for you and also for Heather and the kids. I am at Monte’s right now and we just brought Lori to the airport. Take care and hope the rest of your trip goes well.
Hey, I’m sitting next to you.
Wow, quite the collaboration of funny things. At least there was a purpose for having the Christmas tree and other items back there for a village.
Yesterday I wrote about the morning I believe in terms of packing and working on the plumbing a little bit at the base. So we had some lunch and headed out for a village that was about 1/2 hour longer than La Reina, the village we were buillding houses in. There were 83 families total that were seen as a whole. HaLF OF THE families had been seen I believe about a month ago and this was the other half. I really wasnt in the clinic too much as I was playing futbol most of the afternoon. Kinda funny, you’re coming to a village where there aren’t a lot of relationships built and we just are in charge of “loving them.” We had a bunch of pipe cleaners and little foam stickers that we gave out to kids along with “dulce” of course. I got the pleasure of painting about 5 little girls fingers and only a few toes. They weren’t too interested in their feet being painted I don’t think. so I thought about all 3 of you girls as i was painting little girls nails on the cement, purple no less.
So following the finger nail polish we decided to play a few games of futbol and it was really funny watching how the Guatemalan teams got older and older. It was kids at first, and I would say ended up with guys in their 20’s and 30’s that were really good. I met marcos and dirke right away and they kind of became the closest to me along with Christobal. The last game we played in it was USA vs. Guatemala and really, we held our own, 3 to 2 (they won) but we’re pretty sure that they took it easy on us.
following that time we had some prepared sandwiches, waited for the clinic to wrap up, and then showed the Jesus Film in Spanish. Once the movie was over we got up there with our team and sang about 3 songs in English and 3 of us shared our testimony. We sat down and Hermano Jesus got up to share the gospel message with the community. There were probably about 150 or so people in this building. Hermano shared very passionately and gave the invitation to accept Christ at the end. We don’t really know how many went up, but I would guess with kids, that there were probably 30-40. I’ve never been in quite that setting before but to see people come face to face with Jesus for the first time was moving to see. Not everyone got up, but we went out and prayed for those people individually.
Once Hermano was done and they received their Bibles and new testaments, we handed out beans and rice to families that had not been there on the previous trip and we packed up to leave. There are a lot of things to process from that experience but I was blessed to be part of seeing God work in that village.
I think we got home around 11:30 p.m. so we hit the showers and went to bed after the long journey back.
I hope that Bereket is better now and will sleep through the night.
Benjamin, hope you do well in your last game of the year today! I am sorry that I will miss it. I want to hear all about it though so try to remember as much as possible.
Carlee, sorry I won’t be able to see you cheer in your last game! Cheer extra loud for me. I will try to imagine both of you cheering and playing as well as I can.
Madelyn, can’t wait to catch up on dinos from you. What is your favorite since you talked about it in class?
jaylee, keep that ring on baby girl, daddy’s coming home soon!
Brek, get better buddy. I hope you remember me when I get back!
Heather, cant wait to see you. The cards and pictures have been a treasure, plus I have showed them off quite a bit so people can see my better half. This will be our last day for medical clinic so it is a long but good day! Have a good saturday in the village:)
Love all of you,
Daddy and Jason 🙂
It was definitely a longer trek to get to the village yesterday but there were less families.
Jordan and I took the challenge to lead the worship time for the people in the village so we played Lord I lift your name on high, Blessed be your name, and Come now is the time to worship.
Instead of playing soccer the whole time I helped out with the clinic and packed bags along with about 5 other people. It was a great experience of watching people come and share their concerns with Dan or Johanna and be part of the process of helping them.
It was the same layout at the night before. Hermano gave a message after which he gave the invitation to accept Christ. There were some people that were okay with some of us praying for them and others werent’ too interested but there were still some that made a decision to follow Christ so we handed out bibles to them.
It was about a 2 1/2 hour drive back to the so there was talking but also sleeping. i Have been able to meet Andrew who is here working on a documentary/promotional trip for PB and we have connected pretty well and that has been fun. i.e. sharing music, likes/dislikes.
I think we’re headed to the market this morning and then to a few different services. I will be sure to let you all know.
How did yesterday go?
I’m ready to see you guys. Have a good morning at church. Say “hi” for me. Hugs and kisses.
I’ll check this out later and try to update again. Love you all.
It has been great following your blog and seeing how God is using you and the team. Know that you are continuously being lifted up in prayer! Can’t wait to hear more about what God is doing!
Lots of love my brotha!
Happy Sunday. We pray you have a good time shopping, etc. We pray for a safe trip home. I am sure your family is ready to see you again. We pray for an awesome Sunday. I also pray that God will continue to bless you as you continue to be God’s hands and His feet.
Love and prayers,
Just wanted to let you know that we’ve been praying for you and your mission there. Hope you have safe travel back to the big S.C… We’ll also be anxious to hear all your stories. Say hello to Justin… and give some hugs to those kids in the orphanage for us. Manda/BJ/Kamea/Brody
Hope you had a good day and you and the team are able to end the trip well…looking forward to seeing you tomorrow!
Sounds good. We did, had a church service back by La Reina where we had previously built the 4 houses. Sounds like that never usually happens. it was a lot of fun, we actually got asked to come up and sing a few times which was very similar to what we did the night before. The people were so endearing and so thankful. I sat next to an 83 year old lady most of the day, Josephina.
We’ve cleaned up, have to pack a bit more, and we’re going to do our last group devos.
I think we’re headed out at 3 a.m. to get to the airport so it will be a short night.
Ready to see everyone! Love you heather and tell the kids that I love them as well.
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