Last night my wife and I spoke with a friend who said, “Good thing you never know how much work these things will actually be, otherwise you would never start.”  While that certainly applies to our present situation, I cannot even begin to describe how fulfilling it is to spend our extra hours doing this work.  I love this verse in Proverbs:

A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.

  — Proverbs 11:25

We certainly don’t do this for our own sense of satisfaction - we do it to return some measure of gratitude to our God who has given us more forgiveness and love than we could ever repay.  At the same time though, it sure is fun to enjoy this roller-coaster ride of emotion, progress, and setbacks. 

With that said, here are a few updates on how we are currently executing our mission and what we are planning for the future.

1. Our awesome and generous friend, Pernille Ripp, is the creator of the Global Read Aloud, a global literacy initiative that connects more than 600,000 students through a read aloud for six weeks in the fall.   For the first time, the GRA has decided to adopt a non-profit organization as a way to build more empathy in the world, and we have been chosen to be the very first partner!  Our main focus will be on a book drive to create a library at the community center in Jocotenango!  We are SO EXCITED to kick this off and will continue to keep you posted as details get worked out.

2. Our system of financial accountability is really coming together.  We have settled on using a PEX card to make purchases for the community center in Guatemala.  Basically this is a debit card that is linked to an online money management system instead of a checking account.  We are able to load funds onto the card when the directors of the community center make requests for purchases, and we can even restrict the card to work only at certain vendors, such as grocery stores.  The low fees to maintain this card are also a marked advantage over other international debit systems.  P.S. if you have a business or a teenager and want more control over the expenditures than you can get with a debit or credit card, you should check these cards out.

Yay.  I can make wrapped text.

3.  We have started to build the website for the community center which will be invaluable for them to attract more donations both domestically and internationally.  This website will have both English and Spanish versions, so we look forward to showing it off to you once it is complete!

There are no words that will adequately express how thankful we are for all your encouragement and support.  It is so exciting to see us all coming together to change this little corner of the world!  God bless you all.