Saturday, December 29, 2012

Today Sean's Mom (visiting for Christmas) and I spent the afternoon at a small clinic here in Guatemala. As I sat in the small dark room I started to gain a different perspective.

A young girl from a small village far away from Guatemala City heard of Mimi's House through some other missionaries. This young girl was pregnant but knew it would not be an option for her to keep her baby. She had no means to care for this new baby and she didn't have family that could support her. a few months into the pregnancy she had decided that she would have Mimi's House take the baby.

Friday she was admitted into the clinic and ended up having to have a c-section. This morning the baby was able to go home to Mimi's house and the young mother is still in the clinic healing.

We sat in her room as she tried to sleep. We could tell she was in pain but with my limited Spanish couldn't offer much support. We would rub her head, adjust her blankets and try to show her we cared. My heart was breaking for her. This story hit close to home for me.

I had my oldest daughter when I was young and thank God I had the resources and a family that rallied around me for support. As I look at my beautiful daughter Mikayla, I am so thankful for every minute I have had with her. I remember how scared I was when I found out I was pregnant.

But what if I had nothing and could not feed her or care for her and what if I didn't have family willing to help? What would I have done?

Then years later I got to be on the other end of it. We adopted a beautiful little girl who's young birth Mom told me through a translator "It is not that I don't love her, I just don't have the means to care for her". Aubryella is such a gift to us and we are blessed to have her in our life!

When we first moved here and I started hearing about all these women giving up their babies. I must admit I was a little judgemental with the thoughts that went through my head. Then one day here Aubryella said to me "Mommy, why didn't my Mom want me?"
 I asked her what she would do if she got a new puppy and she could not feed it or take care of it and it was crying because it was hungry and thirsty. Would she keep it or give it to a family that could care for it?  She quickly responded with "I would give it to a family that could care for it so it wouldn't be sad"
My answer brought her peace and she moved on. I wasn't really sure it brought me peace.

Today baby Emily was brought home, to Mimi's house.

As I sat with the young birth mom I realized this was not easy for her. Who am I to judge if this is right or wrong. Maybe we are supposed to bear one anothers burdens Galatians 6:2 Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
and open our hands to the needy and poor  Deuteronomy 15:11 For there will never cease to be poor in the land. Therefore I command you, ‘You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in your land.’

Today I feel like I have a better understanding....... every story and circumstance is different and I don't have to understand it, I shouldn't try to. Our job is to be there to help. To support her as she heals physically and emotionally and to continue to support Mimi's house who has opened a home for children like Emily who deserve a chance and a forever family.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas

This Christmas was a little different for the Cherry family. We didn't have many decorations, but we love our very little Christmas tree that we do have.

We didn't bake Christmas cookies with my family and the cousins, but some new good friends invited us over to make cookies.

We didn't go to the candle light service on Christmas Eve and then enjoy dinner with our family, but some friends invited us to their Christmas Eve celebration and we all had a great time.

It didn't snow Christmas Eve, but we saw the most AMAZING firework show we had ever seen. Words can not even explain how amazing it was.

We didn't wake up Christmas morning and open presents with the whole family watching, but we were incredibly blessed to have Sean's Mom , Aunt and Uncle join us here for Christmas and share in the joy of the kids opening their gifts.

We didn't get dressed up and join the entire family for a Christmas meal and games today, but we had some good friends that we shared a Christmas lunch with and celebrated a common interest of the new baby home getting ready to open.

Though many things were different this year one thing remains CHRISTmas is a celebration of the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! So in a different country, with different traditions, we celebrate Him!

Friday, November 30, 2012

The Season of Giving has always been a happy time of year for me! I love giving gifts to people, gifts that have meaning and bring a smile to their face. As a child it always felt better to receive the gift than to give it. Not for my nephews, I am so proud of them!

My oldest nephews Cody and Austin have led their church two times in collecting items for “the least of these” in Guatemala.  The first time they collected shoes for kids in a village and the second time they collected baby supplies for the new baby home. Both times it was their idea and they took the initiative to get their church involved.

Then there are my youngest nephews, Jacob and Andrew. They were saving up their money to buy a new video game. When the opportunity came for them to give a little money to help the baby home get started, they came to their parents, with their little piggy banks and they decided to give ALL their money to the baby home!

During this Season of Giving I am asking you to consider giving a small gift to help get supplies we need for the baby home. We need cribs, window coverings, high chairs, changing tables, diapers, formula, and rocking chairs to just name a few things. This is all stuff that we are required to have to open up the baby home. We can’t do this on our own.

I have a goal to raise $5000 by Christmas! If 1000 people gave $5, that is all it would take! I know there are needs everywhere, including right where you are. That is why I am asking everyone to play a small part and maybe ask 5 of your friends to do the same? In 5 minutes, you can make a donation online or stick it in the mail and help bring the abandoned babies of Guatemala home! Please know that 100% of your donation will go directly to the baby home. Gifts for the baby home are not used to support our family.

For your 5 min donation go to and put baby home in the “designate donation” box. Or you can mail it to:

Catalyst Resources International (Baby Home on memo line)
PO Box 967
% David Greene
West Chester, OH 45071

IF you decide to participate in this tax deductible donation and get other people to do the same, please share your stories with us as it is such an encouragement to us! You can email us at

Here are 5 reasons I ask you to give…….......................................





 If we all give a little, together we can help a lot.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Not just holding babies

Well, we got the baby home and are moving forward! A couple weeks ago we stepped foot into the future baby home for the first time. Since then we have been busy! With help of our Guatemalan friends, we have been cleaning and painting and cleaning and cutting down trees and cleaning and slowly purchasing things we need in the house, and working to get hot water (still don't have) and cleaning some more.

It has been a busy couple weeks but I have seen a transformation in this home and in only a couple weeks! It's amazing! I am amazed at how hard these people work and how many countless hours they have willingly put in. What a difference they have made.

One of the projects we did with a few of our friends that were here visiting us was to help carry blocks to the area where our new team house is being built. Just so you know, these block are heavy. These men that work here carry these around like it's no big deal. Me on the other hand, I thought I might die! I was sweating and hurting and had blisters all over my hands.

We had a good process going. Two of them would carry the blocks from the pile in the parking area to the edge of the yard then the rest of us would carry them from the edge of the yard to where they are building. This worked well for a while but then I started realizing that from where I was working, there was no end in sight! I couldn't see the pile of blocks so I had no idea how much progress we were making and when (if ever) we would be done. I needed to know so I offered to switch with someone on the other side. Surely this would be easier for me to know. As soon as I got to the other side, I was so discouraged. The pile we had left was SO big! :(

Isn't that how we are? We always want to see what's on the other side. We want to know the results or when it will end. I think sometimes God allows us to not see because that is what is better for us. I can think of many things that I wouldn't have done if I knew how hard it would be but then in the end, I was glad I did it.
So as we move forward with getting the baby home ready, 2 Corinthians 5:7 "For we live by believing and not by seeing.". We trust His word, His plan and His way.

For those of you that think all we do is hold babies everyday, you now know that is not true. :)
I did manage to get some baby time in and met a sweet little baby boy that is a year old. He was recently taken to an orphanage because his mom tried to sell him to a man and the police found out about it. This sweet little boy stole my heart. His beautiful eye, with long lashes were full of tears and fear. They had taken him to a Dr and said he had worms and was malnourished. I know he will be ok because the lady that runs the orphanage is amazing and she will make sure he is cared for.
But I just don't get it and it continues to break my heart. 2 Corinthians 5:7 "For we live by believing and not by seeing.".

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

How quickly we forget

This morning Sean and I went to chapel at the kids school. Every Wednesday they have chapel and then split up by class and gender for discipleship after chapel. Sean leads 9th grade boys and I help lead 7th grade girls. Today the speaker in chapel talked about the bible story where Jesus and his disciples were on a boat and a big storm came up. While the disciples were freaking out Jesus was sleeping. They woke him up in a panic. Jesus calmed the storm and said “Why are you so afraid, where is your faith?”  
The speakers message was about how we go through storms in our life, and sometimes it might feel like God is sleeping but His promise is to never leave us and we have to trust Him.

After chapel and discipleship class my friend Jenn and I decided to go have lunch. While we were sitting in the restaurant eating we noticed that we were having an earthquake. Now this happens often in Guatemala, we have felt 4 in the short time we have been here. We looked around the restaurant and noticed other people looking around too. The earth quake kept going and started to get progressively worse. As we looked around, we started to notice fear on everyone’s faces. As it continued to get worse and we heard dishes breaking on the floor, a panic filled the room. People started diving under tables and running out of the restaurant. My friend grabbed my hand and we ran out as fast as we could while the ground was still shaking.

I wish that I could tell you I felt complete peace and completely trusted God in this moment. But that is not true. As soon as the earth quake finished, I was so scared. I was scared to go back in the restaurant, I was shaking terribly and couldn’t even eat my lunch. I sat in the chair worrying about whether or not it would happen again, and what if it was worse this time? Was my family ok? Were they scared?
Just 1 hour before this 7.5 earthquake, we had just heard a message, that when everything was ok, made me feel safe and strong, like I could conquer the world with Jesus by my side. Why is it that when we are in the storm, it is so easy to lose sight of that?

Today everyone woke up after another presidential election. Some people are very happy with the results and others are feeling discouraged and maybe even fearful. For some people, this could feel like a storm. If we can stay focused on the big picture and remember that we serve a God that is a rock for us and will never leave or forsake us,  that should bring us peace and comfort.

Tonight I pray that when I am in the storm, I will stand strong and trust His word. I pray that all the people affected by this particular storm and all the storms in the world right now, will find peace in Him.


Monday, October 15, 2012

Please pray for this little girl

Today we have heavy eyes, but even heavier hearts. Last night a little girl, 2 1/2 years old was dropped off at Mimi's House. Not for a couple hours, for the rest of her life. Her Mom did not want to care for her anymore. Within a matter of 30 minutes this little girls world was turned upside down.

As we all tried hard to distract her, nothing worked. She continued to cry for "Mama" and point in the direction where she knew she had last seen her Mom. Words can not even describe this moment. The fear in her eyes was indescribable. Eventually she gave up the fight, buried herself in my chest and fell asleep.

As I layed in bed with her, I could not fall asleep. I was so sad for this little precious girl. I tried to come up with every reason in my mind why this happens. Nothing made sense to me. As I began to pray for her and her mother, I started to think about the message we had just heard at Church an hour before she arrived here. We had been going through a series called "When God?" by Andy Stanley for the last three weeks. He tells the story of Lazaras, a man Jesus said was the greatest who ever lived. And yet, even this man struggled with God's inattentiveness.  But the story of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead offers a picture of hope in the midst of a hopeless situation. If we continue to trust God through our pain or lack of understanding, he will eventually show His glory.

Today, I have seen His glory! As I played a small part in helping this sweet little girl adjust last night, I knew that my role moving forward would be different. As much as I would LOVE to be the person to fill the void in this lovable girls life, I know that I can not commit to being here with her the rest of her life.  But God has given me a front row seat to see an awesome ministry with BEAUTIFUL people who have stepped up for this girl in such a short time with short notice.
 They took her to the Doctor today and determined she was pretty sick with an ear infection, throat infection a fever and a bad cough. She started her medicine and is a different girl this afternoon! They have played with her, hugged her and made her smile.

She was not safe where she was but by the Glory of God, She is safe and with her forever family at Mimi's House!!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Back on track

I haven’t written a blog post for a couple weeks because I wasn’t sure what to say. I didn’t want everyone to know that I was having second thoughts. Second thoughts about why we sold everything and why we moved our family here. I was having second thoughts about helping start this baby home. I kept asking myself “what was I thinking? Who am I to think we could get enough money to help start a baby home? We are not good at fundraising, or asking for money. Why in the world did I think this was a good idea? Surely this all wasn’t from God, right?" This is what the last couple of weeks has consisted of for me.

Then Mimi’s House gets a call, a call from some friends that go to church  here with us.  They know someone, who knows someone, who has a baby boy that is 1 ½ months and his very young mother with a very sad story cannot care for him and there is nowhere to take him, can he come to Mimi’s House?

Baby Sam!

 It all stopped for a moment and became clear to me again……….. I am here for a reason, it was God that gave us the strength to sell everything and leave everyone and everything we know to come here. We could not have done that on our own.  I was right, we can’t do this baby home, without Him but he didn’t ask us to do it alone! He will bring the babies, funding and all the supplies we need. We just have to listen to Him and allow Him to use us.

I got so caught up in the circumstances around me the past two weeks. Aubryella, (our 5 year old) has been crying at school almost every day and struggling with some anxiety and fear.  I allowed my insecurities/fears about asking people to support the baby home financially overcome me. I got scared and I lost focus.

I choose today to get back on the path that God intended me to be on. I know that God is with Aubryella through everything she is going through right now. I know He is growing her through all of this and she will be stronger because of it. I also know that I am not asking for financial support for me, I am asking for support for Samuel and all the other babies like him that God will bring to Mimi’s House. I know that God does not always send the equipped; He equips the one He sends. Today I will find peace in that!

Please pray that we can stay focused here and continue to move in His will!

Please also pray about being a sponsor for the baby home. We need your help!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Our hearts have been touched

Living at the current Mimi's House has given us the opportunity to get to know and grow to love the girls that call Mimi's House their home.

Here they are! All with different stories, different personalities, different gifts and one thing in common...... They are all given a chance here at Mimi's House! A chance to go to school, a chance to become who they want to be! A chance to learn about the
unconditional love of our Heavenly Father.

When asked, the girls will tell you how much they love living at Mimi's House!  I asked what they like best about living here......................................

 Lesly said " the Greene Family because they are very kind & loving."

Deanna said "I like that they help me go to school"

Paola said, "they send me to school and provide me food and everything I need to survive".

Cesia said, "I like to live here because there is a lot of room to play basketball or soccer and Paula and Fontaine are very kind"

Cynthia said, "they help me go to school"

These beautiful girls have dreams of what they want to do when they are done with school!

Lupe wants to go to college in the US and become a teacher

Jullisa has been going to art school and has been encouraged to continue to keep painting.


Evelia wants to be a lawyer

The reality is without Mimi's House and without their sponsors these dreams would most likely remain a dream but now they have hope!

 I love that we serve a God that loves all of these girls SO much, that He used this family to help write their story. I love that this family saw a need and stepped out in obedience. I love that each of these girls has a sponsor in the states that is also allowing God to use them through their sponsorship donations.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Their Story

Most of us have a story. A story of where we were born, who our family is and a story of how we got to where we are. These sweet little babies, who recently were abandoned, unknown, without a name, what will their story be? 
socorristas alimentan a   María Mercedes, en la estación bomberil de la zona 2. cbm

 Como Manuel de Jesús fue bautizado el bebé de 4 meses abandonado ayer en la Catedral Metropolitana de Guatemala. erlie castillo

As I think about the issue of babies being abandoned here, and as we work toward opening this Family Style Home for abandoned babies, I pray that God can use all of us to help write their story. I pray this home can be a place that will lead them to a story of life in Him. I pray that God will bring people who want to be a part of their story, to pray for them, care for them and help support them.
Inviting you to partner with us!

We invite you to help care for the babies of Guatemala who have been abandoned! There are many ways you can partner with us.

Most important, we need you to lift this project up in PRAYER. This is big but we know God is bigger. With your prayer support, we know the paper work (already in progress) will be finished in a timely manner. The upfront costs will pour in as needed and we will overcome the spiritual battle that can sometimes come with a project like this. We also ask you to pray that His will be done, not our own.

We would love for you to send TEAMS that can assist with fixing up the house that we will be renting for the Baby Home. We should have the house by Nov 1st! The teams can bring supplies for the babies. Most of the stuff needed is much cheaper to get in the US. Once we have the babies, the teams can come and share the love of Jesus with them and the staff. The profit from the Guest House will help fund the home.

This project will be requiring FINANCIAL SUPPORT. We are asking people to pray about a monthly faith promise they can commit to the project. We are praying the Guest House will eventually support the home, but to get it going we will need financial supporters. Please see below the approx cost of running this home.

James 1:27
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

Estimated Monthly Expenses

Rent - $800

Utilities (are very expensive here in Guatemala) - $500

Expenses for Babies - 4 @ $360 each = $1440

Staff - 3 nannies -$1,200

Social Worker - $200 - part time

Psychologist - $200 - part time

Miscellaneous - $110

Total - $4,450

Starting with one baby = $2,670 ( $360 + $50 social worker + $50 psychologist and only 2 nannies ).
To set up your tax deductible monthly donation
Click on the link below. Please make sure to put "Baby Home" in the Designate My Donation box

If you would like any more information on the home, please email us at

 We are working to change the way the world cares for orphans and asking you to partner with us. Join us in what God is doing on behalf of the fatherless.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Becoming Dependent

Well, we did it! We got all three girls through their first week of school. Here is a picture of them on their first day. We had our first night of Youth Group Wednesday night. Did I mention Sean was asked by our Pastor here to be the youth group leader? I am so proud of him! The first night of youth group was great! Getting through all of these things might not seem like much but let me tell you, when you are living in a third world country that is new to you, all of the accomplishments are HUGE!

Today as I was driving the kids to school, (I said I would never drive here) I was scared for our lives! It was crazy! Now hear me on this, the path to school is not a bad one (compared to other routes) and it is fairly close the where we live but my goodness, it adds 15 grey hairs to my head every time I drive it! There are lanes here but nobody uses them and there are turn signals but they are optional and I think there might be a speed limit but I have never seen one and I am pretty sure nobody else has either.

Isaiah 41:13
For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, “Fear not, I am the one who helps you.”

Last night as I prepared myself for today's drive to school I realized something...... I am becoming very dependent. I am becoming VERY dependent on God! This kind of dependency is new to me. Don't get me wrong, I prayed before we came here and I tried to rely on God but it was different. Living in Colorado, I had everything I needed. It was easy to get to where I needed to go or to get what I needed. It was easy to go to the Dr if we needed. If there was ever a problem we could call 911 and trust all the people that showed up to help us. There was very little need there.

Things are different here. I completely depend on God to get us to and from school or anywhere else we are going. To bring my husband home safely from the airport at 4:00am in the morning. To protect us from getting sick if we eat something that wasn't prepared correctly. To give us strength to deal with the severe poverty that we see all around us. Strength to care for the children we work with at orphanages, some who are sick or some longing for a mommy and daddy. I have become dependent on God bringing me peace when I miss my family and friends or when our family and friends are hurting and we can't be there for them because we are so far away. I have no control here over anything.

To be honest, it is a little scary to not have control but everyday that I can give up a little more and become a little more dependent, I feel a little more peace. It is starting to make sense to me! A good friend reminded me today.......

John 15:5 I am the vine, you are the branches: He that abides in me, and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit: for without me you can do nothing.

Without Him, I can truly do nothing!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Thank you for the prayers

One of the craziest things I have seen here is the number of people who drive at nights without their lights on! The streets here aren't well lit, there are a lot of curves in the road and the traffic is usually moving at a very fast pace. It is so scary!! People go flying around a curve with little time to stop and you can not see the cars without lights until you are almost on top of them! There is a reason cars have lights, right?

The other day a friend asked me how we do it. She had googled Guatemala to try and learn more about it and she wondered how we could live hear and not be afraid.

As I thought about this question I realized we don't do it. We are completely dependant on Jesus and prayer. The prayer support that we are getting from friends, family and even people we don't know, is what helps keep us going.

If I really stop and think about where we are, what we are doing, how will we do it, it would be easy to live here in fear. Almost everything we do here could lead us to some level of fear. We all feel peace here. Don't get me wrong, it has not all been easy and there have been moments of fear but for the most part we have chosen faith instead. There have been some nights of little sleep and a lot of prayer but we have been able to wake up to a new day of comfort and peace. It is truly amazing and hard for me to describe.

Luke 18:1Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.

Getting through a day without prayer; would be like driving in the dark, really fast, around curves, without lights. SCARY! Thank you for being 'lights' for us.

So for everyday and everything we do, we will continue to pray.

Psalm 55:17Evening and morning, and at noon, I will pray and cry aloud; and He shall hear my voice.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

An Invitation to Guatemala from Eduardo Ramos

Hello to all who visit this blog. My name is Eduardo Ramos I am from Guatemala City and this time my friend Tiffany gave me the opportunity to share with you in the blog.

I want to tell you about my country is a very nice place with big mountains and volcanoes, plains, lakes, rivers, pleasant weather is called "The Land of Eternal Spring". The people are very friendly and somewhat dare I say "happy." But there is something called poverty is a disease that affects my country and in most cases the children die for lack of food. Actually not only poverty is the country that attacks so is the lack of education, health and safety, these being the most relevant points. That's why with your help and God will make a big change, not that I mean you end up with all the bad but we will impact many lives and share the love of Christ.

We are beginning to work in an area called Cerro Alto, Chimaltengo. In it we are building houses (since most live in houses made of cane and metal roof where in winter the water is filtered making this an unsuitable place to live), installing wood-saving stoves (in this place cooked over an open fire using wood and smoke affects people), cages for chickens (do this for people to have an income because they need to care for the chickens, feed them and when they sell a healthy weight buy more and so on, almost business) and share with the children at school.

By this I invite you to come and share with people how much Christ loves us and He is so great that we never imagined traveling hundreds of miles to change the lives of many people. I thank you for taking the time to read this and tell them they are always welcome.

With love, God bless you always.

John 3:16
 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Quick update on Kelly

Thursday morning we got up early to take Kelly to the Dr. You aren't able to make an appointment so we had to get there and get a number. We arrived and sat in a big waiting room that already had a lot of kids waiting. it didn't take as long as i had expected and they called Kelly back. I went back with her, her Mom, her Dad and our translator Eduardo. the Dr asked them to take her clothes off her and set her on the table. My heart sunk as I looked at this beautiful little 5 year old girl that appeared to be the size of maybe a two year old. You didn't have to be a Dr to know something wasn't right. I had noticed she was tiny but her baggy clothes hid how fragile she really was. I turned to look away as I felt tears swell up in my eyes. She was already upset about having to take her clothes off, there was no way I could let her see my tears.

The Dr began too look her over and started to speak to the parents......... Eduardo (my translator) didn't say a word but I knew why. I was able to pick up enough Spanish to hear the Dr say that Kelly was severely malnourished. the Dr then asked the parents how many other children they had and they told her 10 more. The Dr firmly but nicely told them that was a problem. She said it is very expensive to care for one kid well, let alone 11 kids total. She told them to tell all their friends and family the same. The room was silent.

The Dr said that her scabies were gone, she saw the scars from them. What is left on her and still causing her discomfort is mainly due to malnutrition and too much sun. Se asked the family to bring Kelly back next Friday to meet with a nutritionist. she also told them it is necessary for them to put sun block on her 3 times a day.

This is hard thing and you see it here a lot, families with a lot of children. Life is hard and it is hard to properly care for all your kids when you have so many. I think some of it is due to a lack of education. Please hear my heart on this, they are very good people, they work very hard for their family. The dad works all the time and the Mom gets up at 3:30am every day to make tortillas to sell. All this to make ends meet and provide as much as they can for their family.  I can tell they love their children very much.

Please continue to pray for this family. Pray that they will bring her back next Friday to see the nutritionist.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

A post from Sean, written last night

Tonight there is an unsettled feeling about us and a stark reminder that we have an adversary who desperately wants to distract us from slowing down to love the people of Guatemala.   I’m not one to look for Satan “under every rock,” but tonight, after a series of frustrations, distractions and strange issues to deal with I know we need the prayer and support of those back home who are in the all-important role of covering us in prayer.

I’ve been learning about “loving one another” at our Sunday night church, as well as in reading John’s gospel and letters.  God tells us bluntly if we want to be a disciple, then love one another.  Today I both struggled to do that and excelled at that.  I failed in loving my wife very well today, was distracted by issues with my business at home and a plethora of appliances etc breaking here and at our house in Colorado today, and thrown into a difficult situation by the abrupt firing of our Guatemalan maid by our landlord.

All this is taking place while we’re trying to focus on a very poor family from a village we chose to love by inviting them into our home and to needed medical care out of reach for their beautiful scabie-ridden daughter.  

We have spoken of 5 year old Kelly before.  She has been plagued by a chronic and severe case of scabies (we know all about scabies after Tiffany got them at an orphanage in Haiti).  We have provided medicine at a cost less than most of us spent out at lunch today, but with no clean water or change of clothes at her dirt-floor house there’s little hope of beating the scabies.

So we brought her family to our home today… shared a meal and as much conversation as we could.  They are very appreciative.  In the morning we will take them to get medical care for their girl, some new scabie-free clothes and hopefully some education on how to fend off these aggravating bugs.

As I tried tonight to focus on showing God’s love to this family I found my mind and my feet pulled in so many directions.  I know God’s enemy doesn’t like when His disciples do the simplistic thing of slowing down to look the “least of these” level in the eye and meet a basic need.  Imagine if I and all the others I “share a pew” with did this on a regular basis?  Satan would be quite unsettled. 

Tonight,  l’m thankful for those of  you keeping us in prayer, those of you looking level into the eyes of someone in your “village,” and one or two of you that might pray that Kelly can beat these scabies very soon.

Learning to Love,


“… let us love one another, for love comes from God.”  1 Jn 4:7

Saturday, July 14, 2012

"Just Jump"

On Friday we went Zip Lining through the jungle near lake Atitlan. This was my first time going zip lining so Thursday night leading up to this adventure I was a bit nervous. I had crazy dreams that night about it and woke up thinking, this is crazy, we should not do this in another country.

Once we got there we had a 20 min hike up the mountain. It was beautiful! We saw a monkey and water falls, it was amazing! This helped keep my mind off what we were about to do. We make it to the top and there is a line of people waiting to get hooked to the cable. As I am standing in line I am thinking, this is crazy... I need to just hike back down this mountain and call it good. The line was moving quickly and soon it was my turn. The guide calls me up. I stepped up and I completely froze. The guide hooked me up and said, "Go" I couldn't move..... He said , "just jump".... JUST JUMP?!?!?!?!? ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!? If the equipment fails me I will be jumping to my death.
At this point, with the encouragement of my husband and some friends,  I realized I had to just jump, there was no turning around. So I jumped, I held my breathe and closed my eyes and jumped. two seconds in, I opened my eyes to see if i was still alive, I was, and it was AMAZING!!! It was like flying through the jungle! I loved it (good thing because we had to do it 7 more times to make it to the bottom)!
This is a lot like life. I was so scared to do something I had never done before but the reward of doing it was so great! Sometimes you have to"just jump". So we are going to jump. We are going to move forward with starting a baby home here. It won't be easy, and I am scared because I don't know how we will make it happen. We don't have an extra $4000 a month for all the expenses, but we are going to jump knowing that God's does not fail us and His word is our encouragement.

James 1:27

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

Matthew 25:34-40
"Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
37 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

Monday, July 9, 2012

Baby Home

First I want to update you on Kelly. We were able to visit Kelly in the Village on Saturday. She looked much better!! Her face was almost completely healed from the scabies. Her arms and legs were still covered in the scabies and she said they were still very itchy. We went today to talk to the pharmacist and he recommended she do one more round of the medicine but still the issue is that she needs to be able to shower a couple times a day along with taking the medicine and always have clean clothes on. This is not as easy as it sounds. Please continue to pray for her, for complete healing. Through Him, all things are possible!!

Here is a picture of another precious child we met. This is Angel, he is approx 20 days old and was abandoned at the hospital by his mother who said she could not care for him. This story is very common here.

In 2008 International Adoptions from Guatemala shut down and still have not opened back up. This has caused a huge problem in Guatemala. Most orphanages are full with not enough staff. The number of children being placed in homes has not gone down, yet they are no longer being adopted out. There has been a rise in babies being abandoned all over the place. Whether it be on the side of the road or in the hospital, the number of babies needing care has gone up. When you visit a babies home here there are a lot of babies with only a few staff. These women work so hard without vacation days yet it is impossible for every baby to get the attention they need on a daily basis.

Dr. Karyn Purvis is the Director of the Institute of Child Development at Texas Christian University (TCU), she states,” As revealed in Scripture and confirmed by science, all humans are designed as relational beings. Yet ‘children from hard places’ miss out on so much of the nurture and development that is ideal and serves to build a strong foundation of trust early in life.” She also talks about how Through play, children learn to develop the social and emotional skills they need to succeed in life. She talks about touch and how touch is a universal language - more dynamic and powerful than any other form of communication. More than an integral part of everyday life. Touch is essential to our very existence.

I could keep going but I think you get the picture.

We have been asked by the Greene family/Catalyst Resources International to partner with them in opening a babies home.

We first met the Greene’s when we adopted Aubryella 5 years ago.  They are well established missionaries here and have been running a ministry called Mimi’s House. The girls at Mimi’s House have come to them from difficult family circumstances. Mimi's House provides a positive Christian atmosphere in a family-style environment. The girls of Mimi's House are able to prosper in ways that would never have been possible in the world of extreme poverty in which they lived. It is their desire to see these girls receive a Christian bilingual education that will position them for a better life!

Mimi’s House has seen a need and through much prayer has decided to move forward in opening up a babies home. This will be a Christian home with a family-style environment where Guatemalans will be hired to care for approx 4 babies. The house parents/staff will be trained on the importance of holding the child, nurturing the child and also providing proper nutrition and education for the children as they grow. They hope to open their first home within the year but then to be able to duplicate this model all over Guatemala.

Please join us in prayer as we partner with the Greene’s in opening the first baby home. Please also pray about how you can be a part of this with us.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Our first week here and sweet Kelly

We made it through our first week. It's amazing how everyday gets a little easier. Last Sunday when we arrived, I couldn't imagine ever feeling comfortable in this new house. The smells are different, the noise is different, the humidity is different. As I sit here tonight writing this post, I realize the smells have become normal (at least most of them), the noises have faded to the background and I am figuring out ways to get use to all the things that humidity causes like smelly towels, sticky tile floors, stretched out clothes etc. What seemed impossible a week ago, seems much smaller today. I hope I can apply this to everything we come across in this journey, the impossible is possible and the light is always there. It may take time to see it but it is there.

This first week was packed with visiting a babies home, visiting a village, serving at a feeding center, going to a quinceanera for one of the orphans turning 15, teaching songs to children at another children's home and so much more. Each day packed with a lot of stories to share.

One thing that is standing out in my mind is a story of a little girl named Kelly that we met in the village. Kelly is a 5 year old beautiful girl (the size of a three year old). We met a lot of kids in the village that day but Kelly stood out because she was covered in scabies. She had them all over her face, her lips, all around her eyes. They covered her arms and legs. For those that aren't sure what scabies are, it is a little bug that burrows under your skin and causes major discomfort and makes you very itchy. I can say this speaking from experience. The children at the orphanage in Haiti all were covered in scabies. On one of our trips to Haiti, I got scabies. I had to lather in a cream every night before I went to bed. I had a pill I would take every day. I had to wash my sheets every morning and wash my towels after one use. As soon as I changed my clothes I had to throw them in the wash. I showered often. This was the only way to get rid of them. Mine never got even close to as bad as the children in Haiti or Kelly's.

This day in the village, Kelly clung to our daughter Alyssa but you could tell as happy as she was to have a new friend, she was very itchy and uncomfortable. Through a translator I asked her if she had any medicine for the scabies and she said yes, she had a cream but it wasn't helping. We asked if she could take us to meet her mom so we could see if we could help her. She gladly took us to her home. Her home was three walls with a tin roof. The floor was the dirt on the ground. We asked her mother if it would be ok for us to go to a pharmacy and see if they had any other medicine that would help her. She agreed and was happy that we offered. The pharmacist gave us a medicine that is stronger then the cream and would hopefully help but she really needed to have hot showers and wash her bedding and clothes in hot water often. Unfortunately, they don't have the access to hot water like we do in the states.

I am sure glad I had scabies because now I know what Kelly.
I pray that the medicine is helping her and her scabies are gone. Please join us in praying for sweet little Kelly and her family. We will check on her soon to see if the medicine is working.

Monday, June 25, 2012

First night in Guatemala

Last night was our first night at our new house in Guatemala! Let me back up to the hours leading up to getting here. Sunday morning we woke up at 2:00 am to load our suitcases and head to the airport. After a lot of really hard good byes and a few last minute things we only ended up sleeping for a couple hours before we had to leave. Being very tired and already emotional, this did not make a good mix for already emotional females (poor Sean).

Sunday was a really hard day for us but it was also a good reminder. We had been planning this and talking about it for a long time, but something happened when it was time to go. It would have been easier for me to back out at that point.
I couldn't understand why it was so hard. I thought I had prepared myself and was ready. Sean said it well, sometimes we think of change as loss. Loss is hard.

God was our strength Sunday. When we were overcome with fear about what we were about to do and the fear overwhelmed us, we were reminded that we can do anything through Christ who gives us strength! God gave us strength to leave Colorado, our family, our friends, our home. This is how we will serve here, in His hands, with Him leading the way and providing our strength.

We made it through the travel and all the luggage made it too. We were greeted at the airport by our new friend Eduardo. He is our ministry assistant here. We spent our first evening here getting to know Eduardo and his beautiful family. We shared dinner with them at our house.

We have an amazing view from our house, the weather is perfect and Sean is very happy that we have not seen one mosquito! :) As soon as the fog moves out we will post a picture of the view!

Thank you all for the prayers, we feel them all!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Leaving in 26 days....

In 26 days we leave our comfortable home, our comfortable life style, all our friends and family, to go to a place where we don't know the language, there is hurt and poverty every where you look, a completely different culture and different way of life. Are we crazy???? Yes, crazy in love with our heavenly Father!! It's an indescribable love that makes us want to completely lay our life down in His hand and say, "here we are Lord, use us for Your will"!

Please join us in prayer over the next 26 days as we prepare to go. Pray that as we leave our comfortable life, we will not loose sight of what we are doing and why we are going. Pray that our children will feel peace as they begin to say goodbye to everyone.

Monday, May 14, 2012

What does Photas Ministries mean????

"Photas" is the Greek word for 'of Light' Why would we choose to name our Ministry 'of Light'?
In the bible, Jesus uses light to describe Himself, "Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” John 8:12
As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” John 9:5
As Christians who are united to Christ with shared values, we are Christ's living representatives in the world. Therefore, we are also lights....
“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Matthew 5:14
Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Matthew 5:15

The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, And upon those who sat in the region and shadow of death Light has dawned.” Matthew 4:16

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16

Our Pastor said it well this past weekend, "the light of God put in us isn't so people will see us, it is so they will see God."

There is still so much darkness and confusion all around us. We feel like as a body of believers, we should allow His light to shine through us. We should bring Light to the hopeless to give them the peace and hope that we have in our Savior!

Monday, April 30, 2012

"We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps."  Proverbs 16:9

We are in the midst of planning.  Sharing with groups of people who might bring a team, or group of friends, to experience a week of orphan ministry in Guatemala.  It's been exciting, following on the heels of our Friday night dinner with friends a couple weeks ago, to get the opportunity to participate in Missions Weekend at Timberline Church.

We were able to share with the kids about Guatemala and how God still performs miracles today... if we have the blessing of needing to rely upon God for everyday needs!  We got to meet and talk with many of you after the services... some who share a similar heart for touching the lives of the Fatherless, others who were a huge encouragement in words, commitments to consistently pray and even gifts to get us started on our journey.  Thanks to each one of you and we hope to see some of you in Guatemala!

We've also had the opportunity to share two weeks in a row at the youth groups of Foundations Church in Loveland, led by the amazing Shannon Arthur. They have hopes of bringing a team or two of youth and adults to Guatemala.  We've even heard from some groups of adults who are considering gathering 6 or 8 of their friends to come South for an adventurous week with us!

All said, we don't know exactly who will be joining us and what exactly our days will look like in Guatemala, but we do know who will determine our path... and we have absolute trust in Him!
In fact, people often ask if we are nervous.  Perhaps a little, but we have had incredible peace about the plans we have made and even more about the One who will direct us.

Sean Cherry

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Mikayla's heart on Orphan Ministry

" My first trip to an orphanage was in Haiti last March. Leading up to the trip, I was nervous and wasn't sure what to expect. Some days I would be really excited about going and others I would be really scared. I had heard many heart touching stories about all the orphans that lived at the orphanage. It broke my heart to hear some of the things I heard. Like all the infections the kids had, how little the kids were and how poorly they were being treated. this made me kinda scared of going there. I wasn't afraid of the children; I wasn't sure how I would react to kids being treated like this.

While I was there, I experienced some life changing events. I grew relationships with these kids and I saw a 3rd world country for the first time. Even though I couldn't communicate verbally with them, I was still able to hold and love on them. the part of the trip I have remembered most was this little girl Christaline. She was about 3 years old. She clung to me and I would just hold her. I was not away from her the majority of the time we were at the orphanage. We taught the kids at the orphanage a worship song in English and all of the kids would sing it. It brought tears to my eyes when my favorite little girl Christaline came up to me and started singing it. It amazes me that a 3 year old would remember a song in a different language.

After the trip, it was really hard for me. I realized how lucky we are to actually sleep in beds, to actually eat three meals a day and to have a loving family here for me. I struggled for a while thinking about how we left them nothing and we came home to everything. this trip to Haiti has helped me not take things for granted and realize how fortunate I really am. I will never forget my first trip to an orphanage in Haiti, it was an unforgettable trip of a lifetime!"

Alyssa's Heart on Orphan Ministry

"Going to an orphanage in a foreign country, you never know what to expect. I had an amazing experience at the orphanages in Guatemala and in Haiti. When you are there with those kids it is like you are with God because they have nothing but their love for God . It was really hard for me to go to a place where they have nothing and come back to all of my riches at home. I could have just kept going on in life like nothing had happened but I refused to forget about the children who I developed a relationship with so quickly. For days after I had gotten back from Haiti I would cry because of how much I have and how little those kids had. These experiences also made me relize that if I had nothing but God, I would have the best relationship with Him."