Guatemala Blog: Day 3

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The rabid excitement and anticipation of our first two days has officially started to die down as we have been exposed to the gritty and harsh reality of this country. 

The morning started like the previous day, however it was admittedly earlier than any of us would have hoped. We had breakfast at 7:30 am with one of the Guatemalan missionaries named Sandra, who joined us for the entirety of the day.

After breakfast, we went on our second excursion of the trip. We visited a ministry named Only a Child, which focuses on empowering street boys to turn their lives around and succeed in whatever they choose to do by giving them work ethic that is almost unheard of in this city. 

The founder of the ministry, George Leger, relayed the origin story of this ministry. Some years ago (‘some’ being more years than I’ve been alive), George was perusing the daily newspaper where he came across an article about a Guatemalan boy, Giovanni, who was brutally tortured and murdered by the Guatemalan police. The story of Giovanni completely transformed George’s life and resulted in him moving to Guatemala to start this ministry. (Check out their website at for more information.) George’s story really struck a chord with us; despite all of the obstacles that was thrown his way while he was starting his ministry, he persevered and God made a way. 

Afterwards, we went back to the house for some lunch and a bit of recuperation. It was there that we were introduced to the Guatemalan missionaries that will be helping us throughout the week. We met Cesar, Sandra (who had breakfast with us), Oscar, Manuel, Julian, Ana, Carlos, and Aracely. 

We were then split into two groups where we went on our home visits. It was on these trips that we witnessed the true poverty of the Guatemalan citizens. They lived in the heart of the dump, literally. Their “houses” are built on garbage that has been coved with dirt. One thing that struck a chord with all of us today was the attitude of the impoverished people. They were all content with what they had despite the fact that they had nothing of material value. Each and every person understood that their relationship with God was much more important than anything the world could ever offer them. Another thing that stood out was the prayer requests of the Guatemalans. Almost all of them, without fail, wanted us to pray for their families  and the other people around them. There was not one occasion I can think of where their prayers were based on their own selfish needs. 

All of us on the team were impacted differently by this experience. Some of us had complete paradigm shifts, some of us were in shock and could barely vocalize what we were thinking, and some of us could only weep at the disparity of the Guatemalans. We came back to the house and all shared our experiences, learning from each other and strengthening the bond between us.

We ended the day with dinner and devotions, spending time reflecting upon the events of the day.

Keep us in your prayers as we teach the children about God’s word tomorrow. 

This is Amanda Crossman signing off, keep it classy planet Earth. 

CLICK HERE to follow the Groundwork Guatemala Facebook page for daily pictures. 

 GROW Leader, Amanda Crossman

A Note From Blake...

Hey family,

As I write this everyone is tucked into bed, the mission house is quiet and I am finally able to reflect on the day. Amanda explained our experiences for the day well through the 559 words she has written. 

Tomorrow we begin doing our children’s programming! Kevin has just made us aware that we are not sure where this programming will be happening because after 9 years of ministry in the same “public” location; someone has changed the locks of the building leaving us without a place to worship. I asked Kevin what we are going to do and he responded strongly by letting me know that just because a building has different locks on it does not mean our programming is canceled, it just means we have to find a new place to do it. 

Tomorrow is going to be an adventure for multiple reasons. An adventure that we are expectant and ready to see God move in the lives of the Guatemalan people and within ourselves. We do not know where tomorrows programming will be but, the one thing we do know is that the Gospel will be taught, spoken and heard! 

Please pray for where it is we will be proclaiming Jesus from tomorrow. 

~ Blake 

Posted by Amanda Crossman with

Guatemala Blog: Day 2

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The second day of our trip, or rather the first full day, was mostly spent resting and preparing ourselves for the week to come, the calm before the storm, if you will. 

Early this morning we woke up and had breakfast, which we were all thankful for. Blake had been so elusive about the fine details of the trip that we were all unsure about whether or not we would be fed. 

After our five star breakfast (eggs, a muffin, and a banana), we packed up and got ready to go to church. I use the term ‘packed up’ loosely; we could only bring a copy of our passport, a bottle of water, and some toilet paper, lovingly coined ‘TP.’ Let it be made known that the toilet paper was optional; it was only necessary if we ‘felt the urge.’ 

We then left the house, our passport copies and water bottles in hand (some of us with the toilet paper too) and we were fully subjected to Guatemala and the culture. Kevin Holmes led as we walked to the church located about six blocks away from the mission house. Right away we were greeted by the Guatemalans and it was shocking. They each addressed us and gave us hugs full of sincere affection. It was clear to see that all these people were there to glorify the name of Jesus and while our team couldn’t necessarily understand what was going on due to the language barrier, the presence of God was potent and it did not hinder our worship experience in the least. 

The sermon, on the other hand, was another story. The pastor spoke in Spanish the whole time (as to be expected), and without our native speakers—Andres and Kevin—we would have been completely lost. 

At the end of the service we stopped at the bathroom so that the toilet paper was not completely taken in vain. We got home, or rather what will be considered our home for the next five days, and had a delicious lunch thanks to Ginny Holmes.

We then organized all the supplies that were so generously donated to us by the wonderful congregation of theCross. The rest of the day was spent planning our lesson plans for the children and teenagers we will be teaching over the next week. For dinner we had the best bowl of vegetarian chili!

Tomorrow is sure to be an eventful day, as will the following five days. The anticipation we were all feeling yesterday is nothing compared to what we’re feeling now. All of us are excited, some nervous, but we’re all expecting God to show up in our lives and the lives of the Guatemalans as we do house visits and explore the different ministries in the city. 

We ended the night on the best note possible with devotions and fellowship. 

Please continue to pray for us throughout the following week as we step out of our comfort zones and share the love of God. 

This is  Amanda Crossman signing off, keep it classy.

CLICK HERE to follow the Groundwork Guatemala Facebook page for daily pictures. 

 GROW Leader, Amanda Crossman

A Note From Blake...

What is up, faith-filled BIG-thinking family!?!

First off I would like to thank you all for your continued prayers as we traveled to our destination here in Guatemala City. Words cannot express how clear God has made it that this team was put together for a reason beyond our understanding. Sitting down at dinner Kevin (Groundwork Guatemala Missionary) encouraged each of us to really listen for what it is the Guatemalan people ask for in prayer on our home visits. What does this mean? Well, I am sure Amanda will share that with you all tomorrow! 

One quick breakthrough that I want to share with you is about one of the members of our team who is doing the teenage lesson plan. As I sat him down to go over what he’s sharing, I had asked him to tell the Guatemalan teenagers how walking with Jesus changes his everyday life. 

I looked over to see the progress he had made and noticed a small tear running down his left cheek. As his eyes continued to swell with tears, all he could do is point to the screen where he had written,

“By living a Christian life I no longer live only for myself but for Jesus. I live for all the lives he has changed by his work in me. Living as a Christian is rewarding because it helps me to see those I make happy. Some might think it is a simple moment that might be insignificant to anyone but those are the moments that hold a special place in my heart. Those are the moments that I remember when I find it hard to sleep, moments where people are smiling or laughing because of the joy that we find in Christ Jesus and the new life that we have been given.”

I know that this is just the beginning of the work God is doing within our team. Thank you all once again for your continued prayers and support throughout our trip! 

~ Blake 

Posted by Amanda Crossman with

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