Knocked Down But Not Defeated
 » post date: 5/27/2015 » back to News Listing
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The dictionary defines the word stress as “a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances: something that causes mental strain”. Every part of this definition is true in the circumstances we’ve faced over the last month or so. The purpose of this month’s newsletter is to share these circumstances with you. Not to whine and complain, but to share what life is like for us at times and to show how God works in difficult situations.

Bryon and Aramie on a Sunday afternoon hike, trying to forget about the heat.

To set the scene it must be explained just how hot it’s been here. Imagine late July in the States. Now imagine late July without air conditioning. Anywhere. Now imagine trying to sleep during this kind of heat and humidity. Again, without air conditioning. Add an infestation of mosquitos and you may get the picture. Tent camping in the mid-west or southern states may come to mind. Miserable. Yes, we do have fans and they do help. When there is electricity. Cold showers could help too. But again, no electricity means no water or showers. Of course during this difficult time at work (more to come on that) it was extra miserable and frustrating when the electricity went out in the middle of the nights. Yes, nights - plural. Tension has been high, tempers have been flared, sleep has been fitful.

Now the work related issues. As the employer, the director, the boss, the manager, or the owner of any business, organization, or any other entity in which there are employees, tough decisions regarding those employees must be made by the person in charge. Sometimes the decision is to fire. Sometimes it’s an easy decision, sometimes it’s difficult. But when it involves someone you are close to and have trusted a great deal, it can be devastating. But when the trust is gone, the confidence is lost, and the closeness severed, the decision is obvious. Not easy, but clear. Not desired, but justified. Facing this issue has been very difficult over this month.

In addition to dismissing someone from service, the following situations were dealt with as well: interviewing potential employees, yearly employee reviews, handling behavior issues with kids, battling intense spiritual strongholds in the lives of some of the children, delivering bad news, restructuring established norms and policies, and managing financial shortfalls (personally and organizationally). Keep in mind that all these things occurred and were dealt with in the matter of one month. Many of the above leadership positions only have to deal with these issues in the time span of one or many years of leadership. For us, one month.

These precious kids help us to remember why we are here and how good God is!

Mental strain - yes. Emotional strain - check. Tension - definitely. Adverse circumstances - absolutely. Very demanding circumstances - without a doubt. We are ready for a break. We are ready for a vacation. But we are also ready for more. More of the challenges and trials. More of what God has for us. More of Him. Without Him, we would have thrown in the towel. In fact, it did cross our minds. Despite how we felt in the flesh, God strengthened us through all this adversity. We turned to prayer instead of to flight. We relied on Him, instead of ourselves. We laid it at the cross instead of our shoulders. We reflected on our weaknesses, but remembered His strengths. We didn’t carry the burden alone. He was with us through it. All of it. And He deserves all the glory. Because stress is not in His vocabulary or His dictionary.

May God richly bless you.

Bryon, Tiffany, Jaqueline, Sierra, and Aramie

P.S. - Please consider joining our support team by praying, giving, and/or sharing what God's doing in Guatemala. 

P.P.S. - Click the video below to check out our recent video on how we are breaking the cycle of abuse in Guatemala.

 

KID UPDATE

Sierra received the news that she met her ACT goal and will not need to take it again. She also received a $500 translation job, a result of being a translating all-star for a visiting medical team. Working with the team she experienced some highs and lows while being exposed to the medical needs of the extremely poor and diagnosing STDs in very young children (eek!). It was a great eye-opening experience for her and she handled it beautifully.

Aramie said goodbye to her amazing teachers as she completed her school year. We are very thankful to these amazing young women who worked with our little bundle of energy. For the next several weeks, Aramie will be attending Collegio Libertad (our school on site) every morning. She loves to go and play with all her friends from town and the Project. She also celebrated her 8th birthday by swimming with friends, eating ice-cream cake, pounding a piñata, and building Legos.

Jaqui hasn't been around much lately as she has been staying with friends, participating in school events, and traveling.  She’s loving the taste of freedom, but says she will not move out until she’s ready for marriage.  We can live with this.  Provided she can find a decent job. As graduation approaches she dreams of becoming a hair stylist and make-up artist. She also thinks it would be fun to live either in the States, Brazil, or Spain. With her love of English, we think Spain may be the best option.


 

Thank you to those that have supported our work in Guatemala! This ministry couldn't exist without your help!

"Praise the Lord for the work Bryon and Tiffany are doing. If you are looking for a reputable orphanage program to support, this is certainly one. Seeing the love that is shown to these girls and knowing the vision of Team Applegate for these girls, the orphage and school, wholeheartedly and enthusiastically recommend your support."
             
                - Debra Peachey

PRAYER REQUESTS

1. Wisdom for parenting our sweet, high-energy, strong-willed baby girl.

2. $500 in additional monthly support to help us minister to the kids at Shadow of His Wings.

3. Rest and restoration for us all. It has been a hard month and we need a time of refilling.

4. Encouragement for the work that is being done in and through this ministry.

PRAISE REPORTS

1. Sierra and Aramie both ended their school year with success!

2.  It's finally rainy season!

3. We've had electricity fairly consistently for a couple weeks now (now we are praying it continues).

4. We've received several new personal sponsors for our ministry. Thank you for your faithfulness.

WHAT'S HAPPENING

Aramie celebrated her birthday with a small group of friends and Mike from Monsters, Inc.

We are enjoying every moment we have left with Sierra. She is about to enter her Senior year and Tiffany is already a mess thinking about her leaving.

Ceilin and Mimi have both had big months. Ceilin was hospitalized for 2 days with a UTI infection and Mimi is learning to walk. Please keep them both in your prayers.

Our girls love to aggravate each other. Normally, Aramie is the instigator but on this particular evening, she doesn't look so thrilled with how it went.