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  • Writer's picturetimothy martiny

Missionary News in Guatemala, January 2016


One of the things I love most about being in Guatemala for Christmas is celebrating it with the children we love. The girls from the orphanage Fundaninos come over regularly for youth group meetings in our home. To close out our classes for the year, we held a Christmas party with them and the new house mother, who came in a few months ago.


The celebration included delicious Guatemalan tamales and punch, Christmas games, a gift exchange, and doing all we could to make them feel loved.


We took the opportunity to recap the topics we had studied during the year; faithfulness, learning to have a Christian work ethic, the books of Esther and Ruth, and, central to it all, the beauty of what Christmas means. We reflected on the amazing love of God, to send his one and only son to be born on this earth, to carry the weight of the sins of all mankind, so that we might be redeemed and restored to our heavenly Father.


We were also blessed to have my sister Lena visit here for the first time, and Sandra, one of our first students, came to spend a few days with us for Christmas. She is someone we have poured into a lot over the years since we first met her in an orphanage 10 years ago. Upon graduating as a teacher, she came to work for us for two years at the Precious Moments School and Orphanage, where she did a fantastic job teaching children from one of the most dangerous slums in the city.


She was recently offered a position in a Christian ministry that runs a boarding school for impoverished girls who are gifted academically but have limited resources. She will be running the home while tutoring and counseling the girls who live there.


While we are sad to lose her as a teacher, we are so very excited to see her embrace this wonderful opportunity to have an impact on the lives of these girls. She shares their background and has been through many of the same difficulties, breaks, and struggles.


Knowing what she, and so many other children who are placed in orphanages for their own protection go through always makes me sad. But, in many ways, those breakings make her perfect for the job. When Jesus said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit,” he challenged the way our carnal mind thinks. But in truth, the brokenness, when we are poor in spirit, is often the pathway to His blessings! What I find amazing is not that I see this in Sandra’s life but that she does.


Below is a touching note, translated from Spanish, she wrote after staying with us.


Hello Martiny Family,

I want to thank you for everything you did for me this Christmas. For me it was a very nice and a very blessed experience.

Thanks for the food, every meal was delicious, thank you for the presents and thank you for inviting me to stay with you.

I am very grateful to God for giving me the opportunity to learn, live and share with people as kind as you, you have blessed me and are my angels.

May God continue to use you to bless the girls you work with at the orphanage Fundaninos.

With all my heart, thank you so much!

Sincerely,

Sandra


Woodworking

In our woodworking and engineering classes at the orphanage, the students continued to make Christmas ornaments and the boys also designed, cut, sanded and painted some nativity figures. I am constantly impressed with their desire to learn, their work, and their positive attitude.


Culinary Arts

Sharie continued her culinary arts classes, and all the children loved participating in baking and decorating Christmas cookies. The highlight was the day they made gingerbread houses. Several of our friends from the women’s group at our local church assisted with making it a fun-filled day for the children.


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