This past month has been a month of blessing, affirmation, and adventures. Our time with family and friends in the USA was a huge gift! God blew us away in providing every single detail and opportunity and for allowing us to spend time with and meet family and friends. We got the chance to visit Washington, DC and New York City. At our church in Raleigh, we had the opportunity to share about our ministry one evening and also shared one Sunday during the service. The support and encouragement we received was awesome! Another highlight was that I got to preach at my parents’ church in Pennsylvania about storing up heavenly treasures. Maria also got to play tennis for the first time and we got to visit the world’s largest zoo in North Carolina. We also had a game night at Maranatha Church for the kids where they made gifts for the kids of Barrio 17!
Return to Santa Marta
Our return to Colombia brought a lot of mixed feelings and emotions, but God is faithful and continues to affirm His call for us to be in Santa Marta and to be working with the kids here. It has been great and encouraging to see the Barrio 17 kids again. We have been praying that God will bring helpers and there are currently four of us (Maria’s sister and another girl). We hope to officially register as a foundation this month. Several people have shown interest in working with us as God keeps giving us more connections.
This year Maria is working at El Shaddai Christian School a few days teaching English to grades 1-9. Jonathan is working at Centro Educativo Jireh (where he worked last year) three days a week teaching physical education and religion and is also working in the public elementary school in Barrio 17 two days a week teaching physical education and helping with English. We are hoping for a great year of growth for us and the students!
After my time in USA, I feel more focused on God’s kingdom and what truly matters. God has done a lot of work in my heart and is allowing me to see people differently as it is softening more. Maria is very thankful for her time in the USA with family and for all the people whom we connected with. She (and I) felt a little lost upon our return, but God is guiding us on the path where He wants us. God continues to use our marriage in ways we don’t even realize to bless and encourage others. We know we will have a great reward in heaven for what we are doing. We continue to lift up Santa Marta and its youth to the Lord and pray that every person and neighborhood will follow Christ!
María and Jonathan
“Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.” – 1 Corinthians 15:58