Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Beginnings and Why We Still Do It

We are a typical Christian family who lived in a small Illinios town about 30 miles from St. Louis. We were serving God in our local church when we felt called to the mission field. We, as a family, went on 2 short term trips to Guatemala in the late 90's. When we felt the call to move to Guatemala in 1999, it was a decision that wemade as an entire family, and we all packed up the bus and truck that brought us down through Mexico and into Guatemala. A "road trip" that tested our faith and obedience to God's leading from the beginning, it was the start of a journey that has proven over and over the faithfulness of God as we have surrendered to His will in serving the people of Guatemala through various outlets of ministry. We intially started with a one year commitment which we served working in an orphanage in San Andres. While there we learned the culture and the language. We felt a strong calling to expand the ministry to include more medical outreach, we moved to Canilla and our ministry continues to grow. We live in the department of Quiche it was one of the department hardest hit during a 30 year civil war that ended in the past 10 years. The area still feels the effect of war today: poverty, corruption, lack of education and resources, lack of basic health care, and often a struggle to simply find food for families.

As AIM was birthed, so did the foundational verse Matthew 25:40 "The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'" We also committed to serve the Guatemalan people by meeting not only their physical needs, but more importantly their spiritual needs by seeking to lead them to a relationship with Jesus Christ through intentionally building relationships with those that they come in daily contact with.

When asked why we do what we do, we point back to our Statement of Beliefs:

We believe both the Old and New Testament are verbally inspired by God: the revelation of God to man: the infallible, authoritative rule of faith and conduct. II Timothy 3:5-17

We believe in one God existing in three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Matthew 28:18

We believe in the creation and the fall of mankind. We believe in man's spiritual depravity and inability to attain righteousness. Romans 5:12

We believe that Jesus Christ was conceived of the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, fully God and fully man. We believe that He died on the cross, was buried and on the third day was resurrected. We believe that He personally appeared to the disciples and ascended into heaven to the right hand of the Father. John 1:18, Isaiah 7:14, I Corinthians 15:1-4, Romans 4:25

We believe in salvation by grace through repentance and faith in the perfect and sufficient work of the cross. Eph. 2:8-9, Heb. 9:12,22

We believe in the present supernatural ministry of the Holy Spirit, including the indwelling, inner workings and baptism of His person in the believer. We believe in the multiplicity of spiritual gifts and supernatural signs that follow those who believe. II Cor. 7:1, Acts 4:30, Rom. 12:1, Heb. 2:3-4, Acts 2:1-41

We believe in the resurrection of believers into everlasting life and blessing in Heaven, and the resurrection of unbelievers into everlasting punishment in Hell. John 3:16, John 5:24, Mark 9:43-48, II Thess. 1:9, Revelations 20:10-15

We believe in the personal, literal, and bodily return of Jesus Christ in power and glory as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. I Thess. 4:13-18, Zech. 14:5, Matt. 24:27, Rev. 1:7, Rev. 19:11-14

We are honored to have been called to serve the people of Guatemala and continue our efforts to build His kingdom. The people in this area are hungry for anything that brings hope to their lives, and we are confident that the gospel is the most precious gift we can give to them.
In the years that we have lived in Guatemala, God has given us numerous opportunities to minister to the people who live here. He has opened many doors allowing us to use our abilities and experiences to spread the gospel. We see our ministry growing in ways that we could never have imagined. We have come to love these people and our lives have become intertwined with theirs. We have been with them through births and deaths, hurricanes and droughts and through it all we have seen the love of God. We may not always understand what is going on but we know that we serve a God who is faithful and will never leave us. The verse that comes to mind is James 2:23-24 which says “And so the scripture was fulfilled that says, Abraham believed in God and this was accounted to him as righteousness, and he was called God’s friend. You see that a man is justified through what he does and not alone through faith (through works of obedience as well as by what he believes)”

Please stand in prayer with us.
In His love and service,
Duane, Leslie, and family

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