It is my goal to provide a weekly update during the time I am here in Guatemala and the work of Recycled Lives. Here goes for my first week.
Spanish lessons: I am very slowly learning Spanish, it is so very hard, especially learning the grammar & pronunciation piece so I can string together the billions of words I think I know but can’t use properly.
Clinic and Activity Center construction: rThe walls are all constructed!!! The roof, floors, electrical, plumbing and interior finishes remain. The estimated material costs remaining to complete construction is approximately $10-15,000 (estimates are currently at: $5,000 for the roof, $1,000 for the electrical, $2,500 for windows (16 windows x approx $150 ea), $2-5,000 for other items (doors, septic, plumbing materials, paint, fixtures,etc.). This amount is with the hopes that a local cement company will be donating the bags of cement needed for making the floor and sidewalk. This amount also does not count the $200+/wk salary for the 2 workers (that guide volunteers and do most of the labor). We currently have enough funds/supplies for one more week of work. If funds continue to come in for the needed materials & labor, the clinic should be done in May, longer if needing to wait for funds. Please pray for God to continue to bless this building project/ministry into its completion. It has employed 2 local men since November, has brought much unity in volunteerism in the community and will be a huge blessing to the community for healthcare and ministry programs.
March mission team: Social visits were performed and it has been determined that the team that arrives next week (my husband Brad and friends Dave & Kelly Wichman) will build a home for Miriam (30), Jose (7), Gabriella (3) and Daniella (5 months). The children’s father committed suicide and life has been very tough for this family. Little Jose witnessed the death of his father.
After Kelly & Dave leave, Brad and I will be building a home for another family (Claudia & 5 children). They live on a very narrow and long piece of land. We are really in need of additional funds for this building project as the initial estimate for the cost of the house was half of what it will actually be due to the difficult nature of the build and shape of the land. (it is only 6 feet wide in the back and 8 feet wide in the front by 30 feet long. This family lives under pieced together sheets of rusting tin, rotting boards and suffers tremendously when it rains. They basically have little to no shelter.
General update: This week has been one of my most challenging weeks in Guatemala. It has offered me many areas for personal growth and opportunities for dependence on God and thankfulness for the blessings I experience in my daily life at home. For the past 5 days, the city in which I am staying has been without water. We were fortunate enough to have a trickle of water from the water lines, enough to wash hands and fill the toilet tank over the course of the hour…. however today, the trickle of water is gone and there is no water at all making things even more difficult. We also experienced several hours of no electricity last night. The water likely will not return until at least this weekend when a city water pump is replaced.
Aside from “suffering” without the customary comforts I am used to, I am really trying to embrace the situations and learn from them. I cannot imagine life never having the hope of running/clean water, shelter, electricity…the reality so many of the people we are trying to help feel each and every day, it is humbling and also heartbreaking.
*for all persons suffering throughout the world that lack physical resources but most importantly that do not know the saving relationship available through Jesus Christ.
*For each of us to know and “go” (work) in our personally God-given ministries to reach all persons lost and suffering.
*for the families we assist to not only know the comfort of shelter, water & electricity but the comfort of their Savior Jesus
*For the aid to be available to finish the clinic, build many more homes, continue to feed our supported families monthly and provide Christ-centered help
*For team members Brad, Kelly & Dave as they prepare to depart for Guatemala
*or my entire family as I am away, I miss them dearly.
*For my brain to absorb and my tongue to speak Spanish fluently to minister more directly to the people I have been called to serve
Thanks for all of your love and support.
🙂 Shawn Johnson
Founder and Executive Director