Stories and Outcomes from Guatemala
 » post date: 3/1/2016 » back to News Listing
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When working in certain ministries it can be difficult to measure outcomes. Unlike a business or a church, outcomes in an orphanage are subjective at best. We sometimes get discouraged when we hear churches or evangelists recite the number of salvations that occurred during a service or revival, but are unable to do this ourselves. Ultimately, salvations are what we want to measure through our ministry, but when working with kids (and even young women) this is difficult to measure.


What we’ve learned since moving here, is that children say what you want to hear and are very good at going through the motions of living a Christian life. Do kids get saved through our ministry, yes. Do kids walk out that salvation, at times. Do we see the fruits of salvation in our kids, on occasion. Do kids learn to say the right things and do the right things because it benefits them to do so, absolutely. According to Jeremiah 17:10, only God knows the heart and mind of men. We will leave it to Him to judge whether or not our kids are “saved”.

What we can measure is the number of kids that we serve each day, the amount of food that is purchased for them, the achievements they earn in school, and the cost-per-child it takes to run this ministry. The administrative side of ministry is not glamorous or flashy, nor should it be. It isn’t always rewarding or appreciated either. And that’s ok. What it is though, is necessary. It’s mundane, but mandatory. It can be frustrating, but fruitful. Our role here is multi-faceted and it is not our desire to be applauded or recognized. Our goal is to be productive and obedient.

There is something else that cannot be measured, but can be observed. And that’s change. Change can be faked and disguised, certainly. But when you see a child grow in their understanding of scripture and their desire for Christ it doesn’t take a measurement to equate its value. When a child overcomes their past and defeats the enemy’s hold on them, we don’t make a tally in our record books. When a child learns to control his anger, it isn’t recorded on paper or computer. These things are only celebrated. They are lifted up in praise to the One who made them happen. He is the One who knows the eternal affect of ministry. He is the One who measures all things.

We understand that when someone invests their time and resources into a cause, a ministry, or even missionaries, they desire and expect a return on that investment. We are in absolute agreement with this. It is a biblical principle that Jesus taught (parable of the talents) and one that we minister by. But being in our positions with this particular ministry we’ve felt the frustration of showing that  return to those that invest in us and our ministry. How do you measure the amount of love you pour into a child that feels unloved? How do you measure the effects of a smile or a hug? How do you measure the trust you build with a child that trusts no one? Obviously we can’t put these measures on a spreadsheet. Instead they are recorded on the hearts of the children we serve. And to us, our investment in to the lives of these kiddos yields returns beyond measure.

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. 

KID UPDATE

While Sierra waits for an answer/offer from Yale and Princeton, she continues to build her resume by teaching English classes with another ministry here in our little town. And this time she gets paid with real money (not coffee).

Aramie’s most recent animal adventures include dealing with the deaths of a baby bird and baby goat. The bird death was devastating enough to ruin an entire school day, give her an upset stomach, and a day of sobbing. I don’t know what it is about birds, but these are the only two animal deaths that have made her cry (cue duck story).

Jaqui is studying hard at beauty school. She’s loving it so much that she is voluntarily attending an extra day each week to learn more. In addition to attending school, she is also working two jobs and growing in her independence.


 

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

PRAYER REQUESTS

1. $1,000 for motorcycle (donate here)

2. Continued healing for the loss of our son

3. Encouragement

4. Wisdom

PRAISE REPORTS

1. Friends and family that support us

2. Tiffany was able to attend a week of language school

3. God's love

4. Fruits of our ministry

WHAT'S HAPPENING

Aramie has been attending gym class on Fridays with the kids at our school (Colegio Libertad). For those of you that know Aramie, you know she's really enjoying the time with friends and nonstop movement.

We've been blessed to see this beautiful young lady blossom and rediscover joy. She arrived angry and scared. Now, she can't seem to remove the smile from her beautiful face.

Papi Rudy constantly amazes us. He is a house father, our accountant, and an incredible teacher of the Word of God. We are so blessed to work with such Godly men and women.

We led a day of prayer and team-building with our staff. It was fun to see the competitive nature of each person come out, but more fun to see this group of people calling out to God.

Sindy is another one of our girls that has completely changed since coming to Shadow of His Wings Orphanage. As the oldest sister of five, she served as the mother of the group for most of their lives. The responsibility was great. She has now learned what it is to be a kid and be taken care of.