Greetings in the name of Jesus! As leader of the trip, I’d like to take the opportunity to thank you for all of your prayers over the past few months!
In my personal study the past few weeks, I’ve been especially moved by the prayers of King Hezekiah as documented in Isaiah 38, and this comes to my mind again as I sit to compose this greeting to all of you. At the beginning of this chapter Isaiah has come to King Hezekiah to prophecy the Lord’s directive to set his affairs in order because his illness would lead to his certain death. Verse 2 tells us that “Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord,” and God’s response is to grant him fifteen more years of life, conquer his earthly enemy and show him a miraculous sign to confirm His promises. Wow! While God’s response to our prayers is always to accomplish His purpose, this passage shows how He also delights in the prayers of faith that call out to Him, recognizing that He is powerful to accomplish “immeasurably more than we could ask or imagine.” (Ephesians 3:20)
As we’ve prepared to join Jesus on His mission in Guatemala, our group has truly seen the manifestation of God providing in ways we couldn’t have imagined. Here are some ways we’re celebrating His accomplishments in our final days before departure this Saturday:
- Our 1 fundraiser, smoking turkeys to sell at Thanksgiving, earned nearly $2,000! Special thanks to Sean Egmon and Steve Hoover from St. Luke who used their expert skills and smokers to prepare nearly 30 birds. They were delicious!
- A family from St. Luke approached me privately because, while unable to actually travel this time around, they sensed God inviting them to be part of this team in some way. As a result, their $2500 gift was used as a matching fund for our turkey fundraiser, and the balance went to help with the cost of travel. Thank you!
- Despite our trip coming together in late autumn, followed by the busy holiday season and university students traveling away, our team has still spend quite a bit of time together planning, praying, preparing meals, laughing, and studying God’s Word.
- During the month of January, the St. Luke community + our social media connections donated nearly 500 lbs. of in-kind donations! Thanks to this generous outpouring, we’ll take vitamins, first aid supplies, backpacks, school and craft supplies, faith helps, adult diapers, and dental supplies that will allow the ministry to stock their shelves for distribution as needed within their community!
- University Lutheran Chapel (ULC) on the campus of University of Michigan, once part of the St. Luke multi-site and now an independent congregation, generously gifted $2000 just one week before our departure! This gift allows us to supply even MORE to Groundwork Guatemala that we expected…despite the 500 lbs of items already being packed!
So I say again, “Thank you!” We leave this Saturday, and appreciate your prayers for the final prep and safe travel. Two of our team have never traveled internationally, and one has never flown, so we are all excited about this adventure together! Please especially pray that all baggage is handled and routed correctly, that our experience with customs is smooth, and that ALL donated items arrive safely to the ministry with us on Saturday night.
We are so grateful that YOU are on our side, turning your face to God like King Hezekiah and praying confident prayers on our behalf!
In His grace,