Ivanrest Impact Ministries – Guatemala


Monday Morning -Last Day!
June 23, 2008, 12:40 pm
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Monday Morning -5:45 AM.

 

Once again God proved to be amazing and showed his presence to us in so many powerful ways that words will not be able to describe what took place yesterday.  The village we traveled to was again at the end of the road where few gringos have ever been.  The village was considered the poorest of all the villages that will be visited this year but they were really the richest when it comes to the things that really matter.  Only a few children were even present when we arrived and as always they had fears that needed to be broken down so they could receive the love that we were bringing.  Quickly your team of “missionaries” did what they do best.  They began loving and building relationships and trust.  Tennis balls, soccer balls, marbles, helicopter shooters, crayons, finger nail polish, Frisbees, jump ropes, dulce “candy”, the meds in the clinic and simply the words of love all worked beautifully together and the walls that separated us not only crumbled but they vanished.  What began as an evening of strangers meeting for the first time ended last night after 5 hours as a farewell of life long friends. 

 

Saturday Night God gave us a huge lesson on fear.  At each village we as a group go up infront of the people and sing some songs and then share personal testimonies of what God has done in our lives.  Sunday night as the call to share came, like a deer in the head light the team froze and gave into their fears.  Only one of the team after a short time came forward and gave their words.  This night I believe will prove to be the pivotal point in many of the teams lives as they realized that there is so much that they are holding back and afraid to step out in faith with. 

 

Sunday morning the personal devotion that was put together in the devotional booklet weeks ago was on the very topic of fear.  The group devotions yesterday were also on fear and how our fears keep us from following and trusting.  God knew that we were going to give in on Saturday in that moment so we could learn something about ourselves that we dared not admit, that through our actions we often show the appearance of being ashamed of God and afraid of standing up for him.  I think of Peter as he also in a moment of weakness denied his one true love.  But through that painful lesson he also discovered how to give his greatest weakness over to God and became one of the most passionate followers of Christ even giving his life to stand for Christ. 

 

Last night as the call to share personal words of a relationship with Christ, you would have thought the team was fighting for the mic and that many who denied Christ the day before had completely given over their fears and faced them head on.  What is in store for those who are able to set there fears aside and trust God with everything?  What is in store is a life of “Sold Out” passionate love that will be expressed each moment of life.

 

I believe that God has just powerfully commissioned many of this team with a new spirit.  A “spirit not of timidity and fear, but a spirit of power and love” [2 Timothy 1:7].  There are still others on this team that this fear is still too real, still too strong and today we need your prayers and God has much to do with all of us as we for one more day seek the answers to becoming “Sold Out” for God.

 

Today we will first travel to Antigua for a short time in the market.  If all goes as planned I will be using my shopping time to update the web page and down load more pictures.  [I am so disappointedJ]  After having lunch there we will visit Estuardo and spend time praying for this man of God who has paid a painful price for being “Sold Out” for his savior. 

 

We will then travel to the new base in the mountains that is near completion.  There we will have our last personal devotion time.  We will also stop at one or two villages from previous years and bring some gifts and let them know that they are still loved and prayed for. 

 

Tonight we will conclude with a final Team devotion and a challenge for us to give everything over to God and return home with an attitude of being “Sold Out”.    Please pray for this moment that will begin at 10:PM Michigan time. 

 

In the morning at 3:00 am we will need to leave for the Airport for another long day of travel back to our families and should arrive back at Ivanrest church around 8:30 PM.

 

This team has had to work hard and do it with very little sleep.  There is no way that this team should be functioning the way they are.  It has been a week of push, push, push like never before.  I know that their reward will and already has been great.  It is through your prayers that we have been sustained to make it through.  Continue to pray us through today and tomorrow.

 

Yesterday, Nate and I were able to down load all the posts that you have sent and the team has been able to read them.  We are very sorry that we could not make things more personal, but I think this too has been part of God’s plan for us.  This team has really come together and bonded and not having any thing to divide our attention has increased that.

 

Pray too for travel as we still may encounter adventures.  Last night your prayers carried us through as one of the van’s brakes completely went out going  down the mountain out and the driver through God drove off the road in the only place that would have even been a possibility.   God is so evident in every step we take down here and we rely and trust in that fact.  Oh, the stories you will hear when we returnJ.

 

I can’t thank you enough for all the ways you have supported us through this week.  Your family member or friend that is here will surely not return the same and that is our prayer that God will change us so we change others.

 

God bless you as God works in your life and you too live a “Sold Out” life for him.

 

 

In His Grip,                  Kevin

 



Sunday team 5 last team update!
June 23, 2008, 12:35 pm
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Our last village day was a great success as villagers received not only physical healing, but spiritual as well. The people at this particular village were so friendly, kind, and accepting of us “gringos”.  We could feel the Holy Spirit working in many of their hearts even as we talked with them and played with their children.

Many of us ventured down a narrow path that eventually led us to the edge of a cliff. As we looked out over the tree covered mountains and saw the sun cascading down we were taken aback and were once again reminded of the incredible beauty of God’s earth.

Later in the evening we were blessed to hear many of our teammates give their testimonies, overcoming their fears or insecurities and surrendering everything to God. After some singing and testimonies we all had the privilege of hearing hermano jesus preach for the last time. Once again it was a powerful experience as many villagers came up, including many many children, all seeking to reconcile their lives to the one who died for them. We were all able to witness the power of\prayer, the joy of the Lord, and the incredible passion shown through hearts fully alive in Christ. What a wonderful night we had, what a wonderful experience it was, what a wonderful God we serve!!

 

Love,

Team KRAAKS ( Kevin, Spencer, Alisha, Rachel, Amber, and Kelly)



Sunday -Team 4 post
June 23, 2008, 12:34 pm
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After a long night’s rest, Saturday started with sorting meds and preparing for the medical clinic. We began our two and a half hour drive to a remote plantation on top of a mountain where two villages would come together.

            The ride there was interesting for the red van, while going down the narrow and bumpy dirt road, one of the benches came unattached. The ride was beautiful as we rode up the mountain, winding down the narrow road. This road was barely wide enough for our van let alone the two trucks, Guatemalan semi, and bulldozer we passed on the way.

            Once we finally arrived to the plantation we noticed the people were very shy and kept their distance. Once we took out all the toys and started to play, the kids joined right in. The kids took us to the soccer field, which we thought would be just around the corner, but it was quite the hike. The kids really opened up here and began to play and have fun. When we returned to the village square, we started a couple games involving marbles, gave out stickers, and, of course, passed out dulces! Since the kids were so excited about the candy, we had to do it from a safe distance: the top of a van. After all of the candy was passed out, we held a little concert for the people. Carley, Amber, and Kelsey entertained the people with songs such as Alabre, Ain’t No Mountain High, and He’s Got the Whole World. The girls received many blank stares until laughter erupted because Kelsey fell on the top of the van.

            Meanwhile in the medical clinic, things were going well. We had a much bigger turn out than expected, but we made due. Everything went really smooth and everyone worked really well together. Erin, the intern, even got to do a pregnancy test for a young woman. It felt so good to be helping out the people who were in need.

            Since the medical clinic went so long, the Jesus video started later than hoped, but no worries. Hermano was still able to give a beautiful sermon after we sang praise songs and Nate gave his testimony. The Holy Spirit started to move in people to come forward and except Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. The interesting thing was the turn out in men that came forward, as usually the turn out is more women than men. All the people that came forward were given copies of the new testament.

            As we loaded up the vans, we noticed the volcano, El Fuego, spewing. It was amazing to see and hear. The volcano spews three times every minute and is the most active volcano in Central America, now you know. The van ride was smoother than the ride in and we made better time, getting in at around one twenty in the am.

            We ask for your prayers as we present the gospel to another village today. Thanks for all your prayers and support. See you in two days!!! =]

                                                                                  Love,

                                                                       Team Four- The Simply Smashing Six

                                                           Alexa, Brenda, Chad, Kelsey, Larry, Lindsey



Sunday Morning -6:AM
June 22, 2008, 11:05 am
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Sunday Morning – 6:AM

 

Buenas dias,

 

As the tears ran down her cheek and her body shook from the sobs I knew that this young girl, along with the dozens of her fellow villagers standing around her, would go to sleep this night with a new found peace for the future.  As I stood there praying for her I couldn’t help but wonder, “Will I be standing next to her once again when all things are made brand new?”  I looked around at the rest of the team each with their hands lovingly placed on the shoulders of a precious Guatemalan child of God.  One that God had prepared for them to stand next to before they were even born.  My heart felt at peace knowing there could not be a better place on this night to stand, then to stand here in the midst of God’s Spirit transforming lives for all eternity.  The cries of new found joy filled the school room where over fifty people had come to hear and know the love of Christ Jesus.

 

The village we were at last night was really not a village at all, it was more of a compound were hundreds of people lived and worked for a wealthy plantation owner.  The air strip that we saw just above the village after 20 miles of up and down washed out roads was a reminder that the people that worked here lived far different lives than the one who profits from their labor. 

 

The team did an amazing job breaking down the fear that was evident in the people as we drove past the guarded gate leading into the compound.  They were fears of who we are, of what me might do, of the differences that we represent and the unknown of what was to happen that night.

 

The first frisbee was thrown with one daring child and then another stepped in and soon the streets were filled with gringos and Guatemalans playing games together and laughing like this was what has always happened there on a Saturday night.

 

As I think of the fear that was in the faces of these people and the way it paralized them I am reminded of the fear that so often paralizes us when it comes to stepping into the unknown that God has called us to.  This team of thirty has not only stepped into the unknown but they have jumped into the deep end.  Today our devotions will take us to these fears and will challenge us to let go of what we have come to trust in our earthly riches and securities.  Riches and securities that promise only emptiness when all is said and done.  Today, many of the team will be confronted with the truth that being a Christian is the most expensive thing that they will ever do, it is the most costly venture that they will ever pursue.  It is a title that will cost them their lives.

 

As I write this, the team is still sound asleep.  They are recharging their batteries that have been depleated.  The drive yesterday was 2 and a half hours one way with much of that being on roads that you would seldom find any car daring to travel.  We arrived back at the base in Chimaltenango around 1:30 PM.  Tonight we will again travel for the same amount of time to rescue souls for eternity.

The team has been amazing and has been incredibly positive with the long and exhausting days.  They have poured their heart and souls into doing their best for the one who called us here.  Many of you would weep if you could see the way God is using your child, your mom or dad, your brother or sister or your friend.  The stories that await you when we return will fill many hours.

 

I had time for my first run this morning and it looks like it is going to be a glorious day.  The sun is beginning to burn off the fog that has once again filled the morning air.  Shortly I will make a trip to the internet café down the road and Send this post along with many more pictures for you to see the stories that you will hear when we return.

 

Please pray for this last day of going deep into the mountains of Guatemala.  Pray for strength for the team.  Pray for passion to show God’s love.  Pray for the spirit to stir in the hearts of many.  Pray for sustained health as several are feeling the pains that come with serving here.  Pray that the team will put their fears aside and trust in the one who will not let them down.

 

It does not appear that we will have any connection to the internet at the base.  I assure you that everyone here sends their love and they will soon be ready to be back with you.

 

Again we are so thankful that you have lifted us p and carried us through thousands of miles this week.  We could not and would dare not do this with out the prayers that you share on our behalf.

 

In the villages, Hermano Jesus , our pastor, refers to the team as “Missionarios”.  That is exactly who they are.  But then again, aren’t we all?

 

I will post again in the morning.  May God bless you as you serve this day!

 

In His Grip!

 

 

Kevin Van Wyhe



saturday morning – we finally have internet!
June 21, 2008, 10:39 am
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Saturday Morning -6:AM        Wow has the time here flown by already.  Last night around 9:00 PM we arrived back at the base in Chimaltenango after an incredible three days in the village where we built the homes.  The satellite internet service was not able to get up and running at the village and then just prior to our arrival here a huge storm took out the power and fried the server at the base.  If you are reading this, most likely I was able to find and internet café in town. 

 

The village as you will read by the teams and hear when we get home, was an amazing experience.   The people there were so kind and appreciative and welcomed us quickly to live among them.  The team did and incredible job, through exhaustion and heat, building the homes and making the connections with the people, especially the kids.  This group has the ability to both work and play very hard.  Parents, you should be very proud of your sons and daughters as they are truly being Christ’s hands and feet here in this small part of Guatemala.

 

The schedule is quite different this year as the group times have been much less due to the fact that we run out of time and have to get people to sleep.  Though they have been less they have been very good.   Our topic this year is on becoming “Sold Out!”.  Christ calls all of those who wish to be followers to take up their cross and follow Him.  Pray for each of us as we explore and challenge our selves to step to the plate, realize how broken we are, face the fears that hold us back and let go of our own needs and become sold out for the one who gave us the only hope there is for Peace and Joy. 

 

This morning we will be packing for the village clinic tonight and getting ready to touch hundreds of lives.  Please pray for us as we travel.  On the way here last night one of the old vans lost a wheel and God spared us from a tragedy.  We had to fit 36 people in two vans along with all the 50 team bags that we took here.  [A small miracle in itself]  One of the new vans is sitting up on jacks waiting for a part to complete the brake job it is in need of.  

 

Pray also for a couple of the team that we have had to put on antibiotics due to skin infections or bites that have gotten infected.  This can be very serious if the antibiotics don’t begin working right away.  So far there has been no other big health issues.  Your prayers are certainly covering us.  Continue to pray for the weather as there has been some big rain falls here in the past week.

 

The village we are going to is about two and a half hours from here and we should be getting there about 4:00 PM [6:00 Michigan time].  Pray that we can quickly make the connections with the people and that the message of Christ is received openly.

 

We will continue to post as much as possible due to our internet issues.  We can’t thank you enough for the love and prayers that you all have and are offering to us.  We are truly blessed to have such a great community the has surrounded us.  Thank you!

 

Each of the 5 small groups have been assigned to write a post for one of the days.  I will try to get the individual posts that you have written us to the team.  It does not look like we will be able to have them write in theirs, at least not until tomorrow or Monday.  We hope you understand.

 

God Bless!

KEVIN



FRIDAY -DAY 3 DEDICATION DAY
June 21, 2008, 10:37 am
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Day Three

Somos el cuerpo

 

Today we woke up with eggs, toast, and the best coffee in the world.  We painted the house and decorated it with beautiful murals of flowers, crosses, and bible verses.  It was topped off by gorgeous curtains and flower wall paper.  The kids helped us a lot with the painting and some of the sanding of the drywall.  When we were finished we had another wonderful lunch of beans, rice, and tortillas.  We returned to our worksite for the dedications and gave the house to a family of 5. A Grandpa, Grandma, Mom, 2 young girls. Everyone is our house accepted Christ into their hearts and were all very grateful for all of our work. Prayer is still needed for some of the people in other homes that are battling Satan.  After our dedication, the clouds decided to open up and start pouring down on us for the rest of the dedications. It was refreshing but then became very cold. One of the families was very grateful and gave us all coconuts to drink the milk from and also some SUPER COLA!  This family was already believers and the father was the minister of the village church.  Overall the dedications went really well but your prayers are still needed for those who didn’t accept Christ into their hearts today.  

         We packed up at la bendicion and while we waited for the other van to arrive we got to play with the kids and sing some songs and even dance with them.  Due to very bumpy roads the ware on the wheels was great, causing the blue van’s wheel loose.  Suddenly, the wheel came off and hit the van window and forcing the van to a screeching halt.  Luckily everyone was able to get to the side of the road safely. We had a nice little break to stretch our legs before getting crammed into 2 vans plus all of our luggage on top of the white van.  Finally once we were 5 minutes away we had to go through a detour due to a downed tree on the road where the base is located.  We all enjoyed lasagna and hit the hay!  Goodnight West Michigan we miss you and love you.

 

Holly, Chris, Nate, Jeff, Kristina, and Jillian 

 

 

 



THURSDAY -DAY 2 BUILDING
June 21, 2008, 10:35 am
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Today was rossome! We started the day very early, around 5 AM. After an amazing pancake breakfast we began our work in the village. It was stucco day at the village! It smelled like mayonnaise and looked like strawberry milkshakes. We all started at the first house and then work our way to the other houses stuccoing the walls…and each other. At one point we stuccoed Ross and thought he was part of the wall, but don’t worry we found him. Everyone in the village pitched in, even the little ninos carried the stucco platters. After we were all stuccoed out, we headed back to the base for lunch. We took a little break and we went back to the village to play with the children. They were very excited and ready to play! We played many games like soccer, ring around the rosy and duck duck goose (aka perro perro gato). We played an intense game of soccer, the United States versus Guatemala. The United States was little competition for the Guatemalans and they ended up winning 8-2. Some of the team put doors and windows on the newly built houses. The families of the houses are anticipating the completion of the houses, as are we. We are very excited to paint the houses and dedicate them tomorrow. We cannot wait to see what God has in store for us!

 

TEAM 2