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!


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!




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.