Exciting News!

I met her while standing in line waiting for coffee at church. I had heard she traveled to Guatemala and when I asked her about her recent trip to Guatemala the shine on her face and intensity of her love for the poor solidified an instant connection and wonderful friendship. Only God knew at that time the ensuing journey that this friendship would embark upon as sisters in Christ and only He knows the journey that lies ahead for us. One of the few things we do know for certain on this journey is that we shall continue to serve Him with all our heart and strength!
It has been exciting to watch over the years as God has shaped and molded this dear friend, Shawn Johnson, for work in leading teams and ministering to and advocating for the Guatemalan people. Shawn has been traveling to Guatemala for 7 years and for the past 2 years she has volunteered her time outside of her full time job to found and operate Recycled Lives, a non-profit Christian organization. As her friend and the Chair of the Recycled Lives’ Board of Directors I am blessed to be a front row cheerleader for her and Recycled Lives’ mission. A mission centered on demonstrating Christ’s love through building relationships centered in Christ to change the face of poverty. We work to encourage our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ that are suffering by offering love and support in many ways. Most importantly, we offer hope to people that do not know the hope available in a relationship with Christ. We also serve to connect people, like you, that have a heart and desire to help alleviate the suffering on this earth with a way to do so.
Recently God has called Shawn to take a leap of faith in leaving the security of her full time job in order to devote more time to work and travel for Recycled Lives. This comes with the humbling struggle of having to surrender fully to faith and dependence on God for provision while she abides in His calling. We, as the board of directors, fully support Shawn’s decision and are excited to also announce that we have decided to hire her on as a part time employee. This we feel is an important step to better serving those we are called to care for and are so excited to see what God has planned through using Shawn’s love and talents!
Supporting our organization means you are supporting work that creates a lasting and impactful change. Imagine Ya Ya, a 4 year old, being able to excitedly show a visitor her newly built home and her summersault skills on her new bunk bed. Imagine a young mother’s tears of joy knowing her 3 starving children have food for another month upon receiving her monthly food package sponsored by a loving stranger. Please take the a few minutes of your time watch Shawn’s heart-inspired video, “Overwhelmed”. Once you are done watching it, pause and ask God to guide your heart in how to respond. Please immediately act on what God just told you.
Most importantly I ask that you please pray for Shawn and the board of directors to seek, clearly hear and do the will of God. We truly desire to shine God’s light in some really dark places of suffering. Please come alongside us in supporting the vision and work that Shawn has been humbled to accept by lifting her and Recycled Lives up through your powerful prayers and financial support. Shawn leaves November 5th for a month of serving in Guatemala. There is no better time than now to come together to show God how much we love Him through prayers and thanksgiving supporting Shawn in this overwhelmingly-amazing calling!

In Christ’s overwhelming love,

Kelly Wichman, Recycled Lives Board of Directors’ Chair

Overwhelmed- in a good way


Recycled Lives is a non-profit Christian organization dedicated to bettering the lives of people living in poverty through facilitating access to resources that are physical, spiritual and/or financial in nature. We are advocates for ceasing poverty for all of God’s people throughout the world. Recycled Lives is focused on sharing the gospel through serving as the hands and feet of Christ in our communities and throughout the world. We will go forth into the world to bring positive change to lives through demonstrating the love of Christ so that we may bring praise and glory to God. We are a 501c3 Christian non-profit organization. Your contribution is tax deductible and can be received online by clicking donate on our webpages or by check to “Recycled Lives” PO Box 408, Cambridge, MN 55008





WE GOT IT! OH YEAH!! THANK YOU GOD!!!!

It is with great excitement and loud thankful praises to God that Recycled Lives can announce we have received our 501c3 tax exempt designation! All donations made throughout this past year and into the future will now be tax exempt. We thank you for your support in the work that God has called His body of followers together to do in order to make a difference for His beloveds living in impoverished conditions. The heart of Recycled Lives beats to make God smile through caring for those that are suffering and trapped in impoverished conditions. We are blessed to know that there are people like you that want to make God smile too! With a little help from a lot of people we can change the lives and conditions for impoverished people all over the world while bringing glory and praise to God.

We believe in an approach that does not just simply provide material resources to ease the effects of poverty but to evaluate and treat the root cause of poverty. The cause is not always simply due to lack of material resources but due to a broken relationship with God. This broken relationship often times renders a person to feelings of worthlessness and hopelessness. We work to address this spiritual poverty by sharing the gospel and sharing the hope readily available through a reconciled relationship with God while also addressing the real needs of limited material resources. With the donations we receive we are able to perform this work God has called us to through equipping individual volunteers, local volunteers in the community being served and through mission team projects to provide spiritual and material assistance. We provide tools and supplies necessary to construct homes & stoves, install water lines, serve hot meals and perform a monthly supplemental food distribution to a community in Guatemala living at a garbage dump. Most importantly we are leaving an imprint on each person’s heart through prayer, biblical lessons and materials that are provided to community leaders for a weekly children’s bible school as well as ongoing men’s and women’s bible studies and prayer groups… these are the things that are making a permanent change!

All of this help is being given through just a few faithful donors such as you! We ask boldly in the name of Christ that you continue to support our organization’s work through making a commitment to include Recycled Lives and the people being ministered to in your regular prayers. We also ask that you would prayerfully consider making a monthly commitment to giving financially to Recycled Lives’ work. With each donation we can make a powerful change to the ugly face of poverty.

Praying for God’s greatest blessings upon you and yours,

Shawn Johnson, Recycled Lives Executive Director & Mission Team Coordinator

Recycled Lives is a non-profit Christian organization dedicated to bettering the lives of people living in poverty through facilitating access to resources that are physical, spiritual and/or financial in nature. We are advocates for ceasing poverty for all of God’s people throughout the world. Recycled Lives is focused on sharing the gospel through serving as the hands and feet of Christ in our communities and throughout the world. We will go forth into the world to bring positive change to lives through demonstrating the love of Christ so that we may bring praise and glory to God. We are a 501c3 Christian non-profit organization. Your contribution is tax deductible and can be received online by clicking donate on our webpages or by check to “Recycled Lives” PO Box 408, Cambridge, MN 55008





July 2014 Guatemala Mission Team

Two years ago while in my 6th year of serving in Guatemala I witnessed something that still haunts me just as much today as the first day I saw it. Women, some with their infants strapped to their back, and their young, barefoot children are digging through trash at a garbage dump. They are searching for their next meal in the very trash they sift through for plastic to recycle. I see many living under trash-constructed shacks on top of the garbage dump they call work and home. The words “I need to do something” keep repeating in my head and heart as I stand sobbing and feeling helpless over what I am witnessing. These conditions do not make sense in a world that has plenty.

Recycled Lives was formed because we recognize there is a desperate and urgent need for us to do something to stop the suffering for those trapped in impoverished conditions. We know that there are people like you that want to do something about it as well. With a little help from a lot of people we can change the lives and conditions for impoverished people all over the world. We are asking you to consider with us the situations of the children and families that are living in these unimaginable conditions and do something to help us help them.

For the past two years we have been doing something about this heart-wrenching problem. By sending volunteers, providing supplies, constructing homes & cooking stoves, installing water lines, serving hot meals, providing educational support and monthly supplemental food distributions to this community, we are making a permanent change. All of this is being done through just a few faithful donors & volunteers! With each donation, large or small, we can make a powerful change to the ugly face of poverty. Would you be willing make a contribution toward our work and encourage others to do so as well?

We have a team of 8 traveling in July to work directly with the men, women and children living and working at this garbage dump in Guatemala. We are raising funds to support daily biblical teachings, hot meals, monthly food packages, medical aid, shelter improvements and homes!
This community is learning they are loved from afar through the monthly support through our food distribution as well as through semi-yearly mission teams. We ask that you consider helping our organization and July Mission team to give them something that can only be received through a team’s work…smiles, hugs, tears and the light and love of Christ in person. Together we can enrich the lives of families living in unimaginable conditions at this garbage dump in Guatemala. We would be honored to have you come alongside of us to help!

Blessings,

Shawn Johnson, Recycled Lives Executive Director & Mission Team Coordinator

waterline Digging for a waterline

stove A completed stove

fooddist Food Distribution

Contributions can be received online or by check to the address below. If you would like to view videos showing the work we do and the conditions in Guatemala you can do so by searching YouTube or Vimeo for “Recycled Lives Escuintla Project”. We are a non-profit organization that has applied for 501c(3) tax exempt status. Until that determination is made by the IRS, your donation will not be tax exempt at this time. If tax exempt status is granted this year, a year-end statement will be sent to you by January 31, 2015.

4th Annual Cinco de Mayo 5K Family Fun Run

The mission of this 4th annual fundraising event is to provide a Christ-centered family friendly event that is focused on FUN & FUNdraising! No need to be a professional runner! Run, walk, jog, skip OR…eat, cheer & play; whatever suits your lifestyle! This event will help raise funds needed to perform life-changing projects for some of the poorest children and their families that live on a garbage dump in Escuintla Guatemala.

Activities for kids: face painting, games & activities, playground!

We will also be selling Walking Nachos for lunch!

Event schedule and times
12:00 registration for 1k & 5k

Events begin:

12:15 Line up for 1k race

12:45 Line up for 5k race

For more information or to register for the race, please use this LINK.

zach2723 Last year’s youngest 5K runner Age 10 Time of 27:23 5th overall!

thepark A look at the race location.

lastyearswinners The top three winners from 2013.

littleonesrun Even the little ones run! How FUN!

iheartguate This will be the race logo for the 2014 4th annual Family Fun Run

We sure hope you can join us! If you can’t, remember there are a number of ways that you can help out with other fundraisers to support Recycled Lives work in Escuintla, Guatemala. Check out the How You Can Help page.

February – Love Offering

1 John 4:7 “Dear Friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.”

It is February and Love is in the air! Would you consider sharing some love with those suffering from poverty in Guatemala? Please help fulfill our mission here at Recycled Lives through donating online right here on our website. You will find the “donate” button at the bottom of this post. Thank you for sharing some love this month!

iheartguate

 




 

Recycled Lives is a tax exempt 501c3 non-profit Christian organization dedicated to bettering the lives of people living in poverty through facilitating access to resources that are physical, spiritual and/or financial in nature. We are advocates for ceasing poverty for all of God’s people throughout the world.

For more information, please email us at info@RecycledLives.org.

Father, break my heart for what breaks Yours.

“Heal my heart and make it clean.
Open up my eyes to the things unseen.
Show me how to love like you have loved me.
Break my heart for what breaks Yours.
Everything I am for Your kingdom’s cause.” Lyrics from Hosanna by Hillsong

These are the verses that have become a regular prayer for me. In 2011 I was leading my 4th team on a mission trip to Guatemala. While gathering together on a roof top terrace for our worship and devotional time we sang the song Hosanna. Its words cut deep into my heart. Since my first trip to Guatemala in 2008 my heart had been broken and it was moving me to want to do something to make a change but this was something different. I was starting to see the suffering of the Guatemalan people not through my own scale-covered eyes but I would say a little bit more through the eyes of Christ. I was praying for God’s will in my life in regards to continuing work in Guatemala and what it was to look like. God made it clear to me that moment with the lyrics of that song that the things that were breaking my heart didn’t even touch the tip of the iceberg of how much more it broke God’s heart. He showed me on that trip how differently things were in serving as His hands and feet with Him being the center of all of it. He blesses the works and time even more richly when we are focusing on carrying out His will, His purpose and His plan. How humbling it is to have the privilege to aid in furthering His kingdom even with our imperfect and lacking abilities. What matters to Him is that when we are moving in tune with His song, He allows us to be a part of His ongoing miracle of loving on others as an extension of His beloved son Christ Jesus’ hands and feet.

This morning at church I was again reminded of this time of confirmation of continuing on with mission work in Guatemala. There was a missionary sharing about his serving in Japan for 42 years and Ukraine, Siberia for another 15 years. His message made it so clear how as the body of Christ we are all in some way a part of Global mission work. That just because we may not step foot on foreign soil while proclaiming the saving love of Christ, that God uses us to further His kingdom throughout the world nonetheless. He talked about how a mailman played a starting role of another missionary that brought hundreds of thousands to Christ through the planting of a church. We are all able to play the role that mailman played….by simply witnessing to a lost soul surrounding us and years later they may become a missionary or perhaps that day they become saved and raise their children to know the love of Christ for generations to come. The closing song to today’s sermon: Hosanna by Hillsong. Thank you Father God for again reminding and confirming the work I feel at times is busting my heart to pieces while you continually mend it back together with every act of love done in your name in Guatemala.

I thank God for being gentle with me. For providing me with His never-ending grace and loving guidance as I fumble my way through how best to lead teams in Guatemala to grow His kingdom and love on His people.