This year 2020 has been a great challenge since we have not had a normal year due to the different events that have been emerging internationally and we could even say globally. We tried to let it not affect our ministry and tried doing everything that we do in a normal year but it was impossible due to COVID19. One of the hardest things was knowing we could not see the elderly. It was quite difficult to know that we cannot visit them, talk to them, sing with them, give them the message of God's word the message of hope, listen to their stories, see their smiles, listen to their requests and thanks, sit by their side and sing together, give them their snack and hear them say “I don’t like it” or ask “is there more?” It is quite painful not to be able to visit them; To see them from afar and not be able to chat or give them words of encouragement, to leave their food at the door and not be able to give each one of them their snack, to see their sad faces from afar knowing that we cannot be with them.
What comforts us and encourages us is knowing that their health is good. Despite the fact that COVID-19 is still in Puerto Barrios and that we are the department most affected by this disease, the elderly are healthy. The staff at the nursing home tell us that they are grateful to Kathy and that through the team, they always bring the elderly a snack and always remember them. They say they miss us, as we do them.
As a sign of the love that the Pure Joy Missions’ team have for them, we have bought them their Christmas gifts like every year. We hope that the gifts give them a little happiness in these difficult times (photos below!). We are very grateful to God because through the difficulties, He has shown His power and has allowed us to get even closer to Him. Every Tuesday after leaving the snack at the nursing home, we have a moment of praise and prayer where we intercede for each of the ministries of Pure Joy Missions, for the board of directors, the children, the elderly, the tutoring program teens, for the life of each person who collaborates directly and indirectly with Pure Joy. We also thank God for the team here in Puerto Barrios and for those who were a part of forming Pure Joy in past and for the opportunity it gives us to serve others.
Just a year ago, I received a challenge, for me, a great challenge, and that was to lead the ministry of Pure Joy Missions in Puerto Barrios, Guatemala. I remember I felt that I could not do it, and I asked for time to pray. I told God if You go with me, I go. I prayed, “Lord, Pure Joy Missions was born first in Your heart and is Yours Lord. I want to please You and do things well for You.” After praying, I felt the confidence to do it.
I then realized that I had to learn to drive a car. It seemed very difficult to me, but God was faithful and I learned to drive. Then on March 16, Guatemala was closed by the pandemic, something unusual and a situation that we did not know how to handle. We didn’t know how to continue with the ministries if we couldn't visit and get together. It really became a challenge. I praise God for our team. The ideas began to flow on how to maintain the support of the scholarship students of Project Valor, how to continue the Bible classes for the Explorers Club, how to take the snack every Tuesday to the elderly at the nursing home, and how to support the children of the orphanage in some needs.
God is still faithful. I know that I have made many mistakes, and I have a lot to learn. I praise God for each member of the team. I love to see the love with which they carry out each ministry and that they are always willing to go the extra mile. They are a great team, and God is still faithful. Although many times I have felt insecure to continue, God has shown me that He uses the weak of this world for His service. Like a loving Father, he teaching me how I can serve in the best way. In everything I do, I want to please God and be a blessing. May God guide me where He wants, and my prayer has not yet changed: IF GOD GOES WITH ME, I WILL GO.
THANK YOU, PURE JOY MISSIONS.
Este año fue toda una nueva experiencia en mi vida, muchas cosas importantes pasaron en mi vida.
Justamente hace un año, recibí un desafío, para mí, un gran desafío, y ese fue liderar el Ministerio de PURE JOY MISSIONS en Puerto Barrios Izabal, Guatemala recuerdo que sentí que no podía hacerlo y pedí tiempo para orar y le dije a Dios si Tu vas conmigo yo voy.
PURE JOY MISSIONS, nació primero en tu corazón es tuyo Señor y quiero agradarte y hacer las cosas bien para Ti. Sentí la confianza de hacerlo, me di cuenta que debía aprender a manejar carro y me parecía muy difícil pero Dios fue Fiel y aprendí a manejar carro, luego en marzo 16, Guatemala es cerrada por la pandemia algo inusual una situación que no sabíamos cómo manejar como continuar con los ministerios si no podíamos visitar, reunirnos, realmente se convirtió en un reto. Alabo a Dios por el equipo, las ideas empezaron a fluir de cómo hacer para mantener el apoyo a los chicos becados de Proyecto Valor, llevar las clases bíblicas al Club Exploradores, llevar la refacción como todos los martes a los abuelos del asilo de la 22calle, apoyar a los niños del Orfanato en algunas necesidades, Dios sigue siendo fiel. Sé que he cometido muchos errores, y tengo mucho que aprender, Alabo a Dios por cada miembro del Equipo, me encanta ver el amor con que realizan cada ministerio que siempre están dispuestos a dar la milla extra, son un gran Equipo Dios sigue siendo Fiel. Aunque muchas veces me he sentido insegura de continuar, Dios me ha mostrado que de lo débil del mundo tomo Dios para su servicio y que como un Padre amoroso me enseña cómo puedo servirle de la mejor manera, todo lo que hago deseo que agrade a Dios, ser de bendición, que Dios me guie hacia donde El quiere, y mi oración aun no a cambiado SI DIOS VA CONMIGO YO VOY.
GRACIAS, PUERE JOY MISSIONS .
As a Pure Joy Missions team, we felt the need to go and support the people who lost everything due to the storms and flooding. We have been working hard trying to find food to give to the community called Quetzalito in Entre Rios where access is very difficult. There were many challenges. The community was still flooded and families did not have food to eat. It was also difficult to find food such as rice, beans, corn flour, and nutrition drinks here due to road closures. By God's grace, we managed to get the necessary food to be able to take it to Quetzalito village and Cacao Frontera village. There we distributed New Testament Bibles with each bag of food in order to bring them not only physical food but also spiritual food. We were also able to pray together with the families of the community.
Something that moved us was there were not enough food packages for the entire community of Cacao Frontera since the need is very great. We also ran out of New Testament Bibles, and people asked us for more New Testaments. We felt that in the same way that they needed the physical food, they also were spiritually hungry for the Word of God. We thank God for the opportunity he gave us to go and support the families affected by Hurricane Eta. Please pray for all those families who at this time do not have food to eat.
-Ana, Assistant Director of Pure Joy
This year has been a year full of challenges for everyone due to the Covid-19 pandemic. However, it has also been a time that has helped us grow and create new strategies to develop our work as a ministry. Although we have not been able to achieve many goals that we had for this year, we have achieved much more in other different areas. One of them being becoming more technological than ever before. This has been a great advance for us since this was an area where we did not place too much importance on developing before. For me (Andrea), being in charge of producing and editing the videos for the Explorers Club and Project Valor has been something very interesting, entertaining and also edifying.
You may wonder how this has impacted my life. Well, I can say how this time with the team has helped us in our unity and coordination as we prepare the themes and messages that we want to share with both the children and adolescents. Also in developing the ideas of how to make scenery or choreography for them, we have had to plan new ideas for everything. This has been something very exciting and fun. I love when we think of crazy things that are very fun for children and teens who see us on social media.
Anyway, the moment I get home and can edit these I have realized that God speaks to me through something that, although we have already recorded at the time of editing, God speaks to me clearly and I am very surprised about this. It has really helped me to be able to get closer to the team and to God in those moments, that is why we strongly encourage you to see our videos (although they are only in Spanish, I hope that soon we can give them with English subtitles). It amazes me what God wants to do through this resource, and we hope it will be a very blessing to all who see and enjoy them in the same way that we have enjoyed doing this for you.
A few clips from our future Christmas program!
Este año ha sido una año lleno de retos para todos debido a la pandemia de Covid-19, sin embargo, ha sido un tiempo que nos ha ayudado a crecer e improvisar nuevas estrategias para poder desarrollar nuestro trabajo como ministerio. Aunque no hemos podido alcanzar muchas metas que teníamos para éste año hemos logrado mucho más en otras áreas diferentes...siendo una de ellas el volvernos más tecnológicos que nunca antes y ésto la verdad para nosotros ha sido un gran avance ya que antes no creíamos que era un área en la que pusieramos demasiada importancia para desarrollar. Para mí (Andrea), el estar encargada de producir y editar los videos para el Club Exploradores y Proyecto Valor ha sido algo muy interesante, entretenido y también edificante, pero se podrán preguntar como esto ha impactado mi vida, bueno, puedo decir que como equipo éste tiempo nos ha ayudado en nuestra unidad y coordinación de cómo preparar los temas o mensajes que queremos darle tanto a los niños como adolescentes. También en desarrolar las ideas de como hacer escenografía o coreografías para los mismos, hemos tenido que panear nuevas ideas para todo y eso es algo muy emocionante y divertido, me encanta cuando se nos ocurren cosas locas que son muy divertidas para los niños o para los que nos ven en las redes sociales. En fin, el momento que llego a casa y puedo editar estos me he dado cuenta que Dios me habla por medio de algo que aunque ya hemos grabado al momento de edición Dios me habla claramente y me muy sorprendida de ésto y de verdad me ha ayudado a poder acercarme más al equipo y a Dios en esos momentos, por eso es que animamos mucho a que puedan ver nuestros videos (aunque están solamente en español, espero que pronto podamos darlos con subtitulos en inglés), me assombra lo que Dios quiere hacer por medio de éste recurso y esperamos sea de muchisima bendición para todos los que los vean y disfruten de la misma manera en que nosotros hemos disfrutado hacer esto para ustedes.
When this year started, we obviously anticipated our ministries, such as Project Valor, to continue as usual, with only a few changes and improvements. One of those changes was having a new location for the bi-weekly tutoring program. We had just about settled into the place feeling like home when we had to shut it all down in line with the government response to the pandemic. We weren’t the only ones thrown off by this- in fact it took most schools here at least another couple of months before they were at a place to start sending school work home to students.
The kids who benefit from the Project Valor scholarship program not only get help with paying their school fees and with things like purchasing school supplies and uniforms, but they also receive lunch at the tutoring program and have their travel both to and from school covered. In light of this, we were able to redirect the money we were no longer spending on lunches and transportation to be able to put together care packages for the families of all of the Project Valor beneficiaries. The packages included both staple food items as well as some common household supplies to help meet the needs of these families who were already disadvantaged before the pandemic came along. We were able to go out to do this more than once, and could extend the offer of these kinds of helps to others beyond just this group in some of the most struggling communities thanks to the generous and continued donations of Pure Joy Missions’ supporters.
Regarding their schooling, although we have been unable to re-initiate in-person tutoring times, we have been in regular contact with all of the teens, their parents, and their teachers. For those in need of it, we were able to cover some of the cost of network data to enable these young people to participate in online learning and complete any school work that required internet access. We have also sent out weekly devotional videos via Facebook, in lieu of the devotional times that would have taken place during the tutoring program and have been available to try and offer any other help they have requested.
We are now in the midst of preparing for next year’s programs - getting students registered for Project Valor, finding sponsors to pair with them, and developing plans for both possibilities of schools reopening or remaining closed. The Lord alone knows what 2021 will hold for these all these kids, but we continue to pray for and work towards the best outcomes for them. Thank you for being a part of this work done in the name of Christ.
We had the opportunity to help our community after a natural disaster, and I had many different feelings: sadness, amazement, helplessness, but also joy. What caused me joy was to see the people calm in the middle of great difficulty. Even when they had just lived the experience of going through the flood, many on the roofs of their homes with their family for three days, without food and watching the water rise, when we told them that God loved them and to trust that He will be their provider, they showed great confidence in this message.
Never before have I seen that where a street used to be, today is a new river. The water reached levels that it had never reached before. Seeing the people not complain about God but instead allowing us to pray for them was wonderful. I saw people trying to dry their Bibles in the sun because they also got wet. That gave me a feeling that they are always fighting to have the Word of God.
God, work in every heart and bless my Guatemalan brothers
and sisters who lost everything.
To our sponsors, they send blessings to all the people who donated to the cause and allowed us to purchase the care packages. Thank you.
Thanks to the generosity of many, we were able to provide care packages of food and hygiene and cleaning products. In addition, we also handed out Bibles.
Tube la oportunidad de visitar un lugar después de un desastre natural, y tube muchos sentimientos diferentes tristeza, asombro, impotencia, pero también Gozo, y lo que me causo Gozo fue ver a las personas tranquilas en medio de la dificultad que aun cuado acaban de vivir esa experiencia de pasar la inundación en los techos de sus casas con su familia por 3 días sin alimento y viendo el agua aumentar, cuando les decíamos que Dios les ama y que confien en que el sera su proveedor mostraban confianza en ese mensaje. Nunca antes vi que donde antes era una calle hoy es un nuevo Rio. El agua alcanzo niveles que nunca antes había alcanzado pero ver que las personas no se quejan de Dios y permitirnos orar por ellos fue maravilloso. Vi personas dando sol a sus Biblias por que también se mojaron eso me dio un sentimiento están luchando por tener siempre su palabra. Dios obre en cada corazón y Bendiga a mis hermanos Guatemaltecos que lo perdieron todo. Y ellos envian bendicones para todas las personas que donaron para la causa.
Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua are all facing severe flooding due to hurricane/tropical storm Eta. Puerto Barrios is experiencing the worst flooding they have in years. There will be many needs once the waters go down, and we are preparing to help. Many families and businesses have lost everything. We ask for your prayers not only for Puerto Barrios but also for each country affected. If you would like to make a financial donation, you can do so through our Facebook fundraising page (link below), on our website at www.purejoymissions.org/donate or by check (made payable to Pure Joy Missions and sent to 316 Golf Course Road, Milton PA 17847). Thank you for your prayers and support!