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From Cubulco, Guatemala

February 2022 – When Community became Family: Juana’s Story

‘Community Living’ is a beautiful outcome of ministry in Cubulco, Guatemala. Juana was a poor 70-year-old woman who was taken care of by her young grandson. It was heartening to see how such a small and poor community was willing to help Juana by dropping off food, providing personal care, or cleaning up her home. Our partners Alejandro and Kathryn Ortiz helped and ministered to Juana over time as if she were part of their family.

Juana
The community was with Juana even in her last moments.

One day, Alejandro’s sister called him to inform him that Juana looked ill. The Ortiz’s thought that the best option was to take her to the provincial capital Salama for medical attention, which was about an hour and a half away. So, Kathryn and her mom went to bathe Juana and had a friendly chat with her. They returned home to hear Alejandro’s sister call again to tell them that Juana had passed away. The Ortiz’s were shocked and grieved over losing such a dear soul, who had just chatted with them 15 minutes earlier!

In the meantime, some women in the area had already cleaned out Juana’s room, organized her belongings, and prepared Juana for the evening’s wake. Others were sweeping the porch where the wake was to be held while someone went to buy pan dulce (sweet bread) and coffee for later that evening. Many people stopped to donate more pan dulce, coffee, and additional funds to help pay for some expenses. The municipality donated the coffin and a plot in the cemetery in the end. It was just as if it were a big family where everybody helped!

What a blessing that the smallest deeds of a community, the short time we had to pray for Juana, and the food that the neighbours shared with her helped Juana reaffirm her faith in God in her last moments!

Our partners, the Ortiz family, believes that God has called them to serve the Achi people of Cubulco. The effort is to address the high numbers of people who live in poverty because of the lack of education and employment. Alejandro and Kathryn are working to initiate appropriate projects that offer food security and employment opportunities with which the community can thrive.

February, 2022 – Update Report

“February was an odd month for us! We all got sick except for Abigail. Thankfully the kids were not sick for too long and recovered quickly. This time it was only I that had a really bad cough that lasted for 3 weeks. Thanks to God we are doing much better. We tried to put our kids in the local school but because of Covid restrictions, they were only going to school one day and not learning much. We decided to take them out of school and home school instead. It’s been a bit of an adjustment, but we’ve got a good rhythm going now.”

December 21, 2021

“We are doing well as a family. The children are adapting to the new environ- ment and are getting prepared to go to a local school this coming year. Hope- fully they will be attending in person classes in the beginning of February. Abi- gail, our oldest daughter, will continue with online classes. For the last couple of weeks I have been helping my brother in law fix up his old house and he moved in this week. We began visiting some families who left the church and now they are planning to return. With your donations we will restart the “chicken project” with some families of the church. We will keep you posted in our next newsletter about this matter.

Please keep us in your prayers and help us to be like Mary [we are] “the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about [us] come true” … Luke 1:38″

– Alejandro Ortiz

Prayer Requests From the Ortiz Family:

  • Pray for the members of the church who are coming back to worship with us again.

  • Pray for our health and for the three youngest as they get ready to go to school.

  • Pray for Guatemala, especially for Cubulco that more people come to know Jesus as Lord and Saviour.

     

October 29, 2021

“Thanks to God we are doing much better then when we got here. It seems like we are handling the stomach problems way better. Our kids are involved in different programs and activities in town. The three youngest have swim- ming lessons at the local pool and our oldest is very busy with university.

For now Kathryn is home schooling. Sometimes we have internet problems because is to slow or we don’t have electricity for a day for maintenance but other then that they are doing very well.

Please intercede for us in the way that Apostle Paul taught the Colossians: “Pray for us… that God will give us many opportunities to speak about … Christ… Pray that I will proclaim this message as clearly as I should” Col. 4:3-4″

– Alejandro Ortiz

September 10, 2021

“Dear Brothers and Sister,

Greetings from Cubulco, Guatemala;

Thank you so much for your prayers and economic support. Without your help, we wouldn’t be able to be here and respond to God’s call in this community that is in need to hear the Good News of Jesus Christ our Saviour. It has been 8 weeks since we ar- rived and time seems to fly by, but thanks to God, all of us are doing well. Two weeks after our arrival, our two girls got really sick and ended up in the hospital for a few hours due to a severe bacterial stomach infection. Since they got dehydrated quickly be- cause of vomiting and diarrhea, they needed to get intravenous fluids and antibiotics. The next day, our two boys also had the same symptoms, and went through the same process as the girls. Not surprisingly, we got it too. After taking the medication there has been a huge improvement and we are back to our old selves.

It has taken us some time to adjust to all the street noise, so, we didn’t rest so well in the beginning. Times have changes since we lived there in the early 2000s and there are many more motorcycles, trucks, cars, buses and particularly three wheeled tuc- tucs that speed along the road.

have been busy visiting people from the area, praying with them and preparing short messages, especially for birthdays. It is very common for the Christian community here to include a short service for someone’s birthday.

It is an opportunity to remember or celebrate that, by God’s grace, they have been blessed with another year. The service is then followed by food, cake and piñatas if it is a child’s birthday.

We really appreciate your thoughts and prayers, and also we encourage you to partner with us through your donations, since we fell short in our monthly budget. “May the Lord repay you for what you have done. May you be richly rewarded by the Lord”. (Ruth 2.12…)

– Alejandro Ortiz

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