Our work in the schools continues to go well. Maria is greatly improving in her English teaching (and her personal English as well!). The kids love her, too! She has also been able to speak into the lives of her students and guide them spiritually. As of now, she is not planning on returning for the second half of this year. My work in the Barrio 17 elementary school continues to go great! A bunch of kids from the school are now attending our Saturday events and basketball practices. I have been able to pray for healing for some kids and also have some conversations about God (it’s a public school). I also share a Bible verse/biblical principle at the beginning of each PE class.
In Jireh, my work continues to go well but is very challenging at times. I am praying for God to renew my vision for working there. It has been encouraging to see and hear how some kids have been changing and growing in their relationship with God. One student in 5th grade recognized that what was happening in a movie we were watching was spiritual warfare without me saying anything. I also took the 4th graders to do evangelism in the neighborhood (their first time). I was encouraged to see a few students’ desire to share God with the people. I am currently teaching ultimate Frisbee and handball in PE.
Enciende El Fuego – Barrio 17 de Diciembre
Our ministry in Barrio 17 is slowly taking shape and growing. Right now we are building the “foundation” and doing all the small details. We hope to open a bank account for the foundation this week and start receiving donations. Maria’s twin sister will be doing an internship with us through her college and will be working in fundraising, contacting businesses for donations, communication, etc. We are so thankful for the staff God has given us and we are excited how He will continue to grow it. Our baseball project has had some complications, and we aren’t sure at this point what will come of it. This past Saturday we celebrated Día del Niño (Kids’ Day) with competitions, food, awards, and a message/activities from Ministerio Siloé, a ministry from our church. There is a girl from the ministry named Elizabeth that has been in the hospital with a serious condition, so we are hoping and praying for her restoration.
We believe that God has great things prepared for this ministry. Right now we feel a little “stuck in the mud” as we weigh different opportunities that have arisen and are expanding our vision. We only have to be obedient and walk by faith and God does the rest. We are planning and looking for ways to involve people from our church, community where we live, and other ministries in the foundation. There is a group from our church called Exploradores del Rey (like a Christian boy scouts or Royal Rangers) that want to start a program in Barrio 17 with the kids and do Bible studies (which would be an answer to our prayers). They plan on visiting this coming Saturday. We are also open to receiving volunteers.
Life and Marriage
We are blessed to have celebrated our one-year anniversary on April 13. God has done in ton of work in us and through us in this past year. We are so thankful for all He is doing. We celebrated with a dinner and walk by the harbor in downtown Santa Marta. On April 21-22, we took a tour to La Guajira, the desert region of Colombia. Someone had gifted me a trip, so we decided to go and we were blown away by the beauty and serenity of that region where the desert meets the ocean. We are enjoying God’s favor and blessing in our lives and are excited and thankful for all He has planned for us in the future and for what He’s doing right now – even the many things we can’t see. Our goal is to gain heavenly treasures and expand His Kingdom here in Santa Marta and beyond!
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” – Colossians 3:23-24
María y Jonathan