An outreach entity of St. Paul's that provides needs in the local community such as:
- Volunteering at food pantries
- Hosting baby showers for single mothers
- Food drives
- Care packages for the homeless
- Annual clothing giveaway
St. Paul's has an established relationship with the Groundwork Guatemala missionaries.
Approximately every eighteen months, St. Paul's sends a team to help build God's kingdom among the people of Guatemala.
Interested in joining our team?
Contact Lenore Van Santen: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mission Trip 2020 Updates
Saturday February 29, 2020
The people from St. Paul’s have arrived in Guatemala and all have their luggage! Your loved ones are looking forward to a great week!
Sunday March 1, 2020
Today is warm and sunny! We were on the rooftop of the mission house and were able to see the volcanoes smoking.
We walked to church where we found the people very welcoming. The service was led by Carlos, one of the Guatemalan missionaries. It started with prayer, then energetic music, singing and clapping of hands while praising God. It was inspirational!
In the afternoon we unpacked the 9 large suitcases we brought full of the donations of medical and school supplies. One of our projects was to count out and label 500 bags of 30 children’s vitamins! We had a visit and conversation with Marvin who is a worker at “Only A Child” workshop. He has had a very tough life but now has found Jesus and doing much better!
Tomorrow will be a busy day!
Darla Leitermann and Lori Moy
Monday March 2, 2020
Thankful for another awesome day in Guatemala!
After breakfast and morning devotion led by Manuel (one of the Guatemalan missionaries), we headed to "Only A Child" carpentry shop. Here we heard stories about the young gentlemen that are a part of the mission and doing very well! It was interesting to hear how the Holy Spirit is working in their lives. The mission is in a transitional stage to being more of a resource and support for education for young men coming from rural areas who would not be able to receive an education.
Once again we visited the area around the dump and saw how sadly the living conditions are in this area. It was sad to see what some people need to do to survive in this dangerous environment! Many tears were shed and we all realized how much we take for granted. We are truly blessed!
We came back to the mission house to enjoy brats for lunch and then plan our faith lesson with the missionaries.
Then we split into two groups and began home visits for the week.
Team 1 went to visit Marian, sponsored by pastor Bender. It was another eye opener to see the living conditions of a family of 7. Although they live in a corrugated steel home on a hill, the trip down the steep hill was worth it! Hard to believe they do this every day to get to school and work! It was refreshing to see a family with a Mom who cannot read or write seek out Groundwork Guatemala to get her children a better life through education and the word of the Lord.
Team 2 walked a short distance to visit Rebecca. She shared some hardships and challenges she has faced, but we all shared Bible verses with her that perfectly fit together. We were touched when she asked if she could pray for us! Lenore spent some time with her as a doctor since she has been having foot pain. With some new inserts for her shoes and a boot she can wear, she was smiling and feeling better. She was grateful for our time and visit!
We gathered back at the mission house for dinner and evening devotion by Bob.
Thank You for your prayers and support of the mission trip to Guatemala!
Crystal Barry and Joe Ross
Follow Groundwork Guatemala on Facebook for pictures from what happened today!
Tuesday March 3, 2020
After a quick breakfast and devotion by Oscar and prayer on pleasing God, we boarded the vans to head to El Rincon. Here we went on home visits...Bob was able to visit his four sponsored children and Crystal was able to visit her sponsored child. The overjoyed feeling of reconnecting with each other again was mutual! Others went with the mission nurse, Ana, to see a mother with four children, one being just one month old. Some of us visited a couple whose ages are 93 and 73 (married for many years!) After sharing Bible verses and a beautiful song by the couple about God providing for their daily needs, we were in tears! What a Christian example!
In the afternoon we divided into our groups for faith lessons...There were about 100 adults under 10 tents, 7 youth in a field, and about 120 kids met in a covered cemented area. The focus on the lesson this week is on prayer and the Our Father from Matthew 6:9-13 (see below for verses.) This prayer is not commonly used and known in Guatemala. The children were given a craft coloring book to reinforce the lesson.
George from "Only A Child" mission came to visit after dinner and shared more about the young men in his ministry. Lori led us in evening devotion.
The Guatemalan people are very receptive, joyful and loving! We thank the Lord for being able to be a part of yours and our ministry in Guatemala!
Love and prayers in Jesus,
Sue Vilter and Nancy Gottschalk
Follow Groundwork Guatemala on Facebook for pictures from what happened today!
Wednesday March 4, 2020
Happy Wednesday Brothers and Sisters in Christ!
Our Wednesday was full...getting up at 5:00 a.m., a quick continental breakfast before hopefully a two hour ride to Buena Vista. Traffic is always heavy, but enjoyed a very scenic ride of mountainous views! Then we turned off the highway to the bumpy dirt road for 8km. Then we arrived at ceiba tree, knowing we are in Buena Vista. Being along the coastal plain it is more warm and humid than where the mission house is closer to the mountains. We were going to be drinking a lot of water! This town is narrow, like one block wide built along an abandoned rail way that goes for miles. Kevin shared there are no trains in Guatemala! We are surrounded by an ocean of sugar cane and a myriad of other fruits, vegetables and exotic flowers. The majority of people work in the sugar cane field or rubber tree plantations.
We arrived at the Groundwork Guatemala "International Headquarters" consisting of two "salons" (two concrete slabs with corrugated steel roofs.) The homes are all rusted corrugated steel, bamboo, dirt floors, skinny stray dogs, pigs, chickens and other animals. As we arrived kids, adults, and teens come out of nowhere and very excited to see us again! The 140 kids gathered in a soccer field not too far of a walk to listen to Bob, Nancy, and Sue. The adult lesson led by Darla, Crystal, and Lenore was in one salon. The youth lesson led by Lori, Ken, and Joe was in another salon. Around the faith lessons we traveled by van or on foot to do home visits. It always touches us when they have Bible verses to share or things we can pray for them. We are astounded at their great faith!
There is sickness and extreme poverty all around in this area, but these people are happy and trusting in the Lord! Around all this we had lunch of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, chips, cookies, and water.
We were so blessed feeling the presence of our God after a great day of faith lessons and home visits! The sun, dust and dirt took a toll on us and we were ready to go. We loaded everything in the two vans and headed back to the beautiful countryside, most of the volcanoes had been covered by clouds. After making it through the slow rush hour traffic, we were pleased to arrive back with supper almost on the table and to our pleasant surprise we had burgers!! After a pleasant exchange of the great stories from today we were then prepped for tomorrow. We are looking forward to our nightly devotion led by Crystal and a good night of sleep!
Thank You for your prayers and support sharing the gospel in Guatemala!
Bob Reynolds and Ken Moy
Thursday March 5, 2020
Thursday night greetings from Lori and Lenore!
We woke to a beautiful sky and once again we could see the mountains and volcanoes that surround the city. Sondra gave our morning devotion and talked about setting aside time for God. When we make a date with a boyfriend or girlfriend we set a specific time and place, we are excited about what we are going to do and happy about the experience. We could/should do the very same by making a date with God to spend time on our daily devotions.
We broke into two groups for house visits. One group went to vist Elvis and his family who is sponsored by Darla. He is 17 years old and will be graduating this year. His plan is to study medicine and become a surgeon! His mother and three siblings were there. There was so much thanking and appreciating from Elvis and his mother to Darla for her sponsorship, letters and prayers! They said that Darla felt like family and a sister in Christ!
The other group went to visit Victor, a 13 year old boy who just started 7th grade/junior high at Escuela Antiocia. His favorite subject is math and he would like to focus on accounting and eventually become a lawyer. His Dad works in construction and Victor loves to help him lay concrete blocks for houses. Their home is shared and crowded with a pig, four turkeys, a rooster, a rabbit, two dogs, several chickens and a cat. Some are pets, some are destined to become dinner! They are a family of faith. All of them help with maintenance of their evangelical church. They asked for prayers for the family and "difficulties" (likely financial) and health. We also shared scripture and prayers for Victor to be successful in school and to let God guide him and make good choices in life.
We did our faith lessons...182 at the kids lesson, 140 at the adults lesson and 25 at the youth lesson. The interactions and involvement with the Guatemalans is a blessing to all of us! The lessons have been a lot of fun, especially when the youth realize that Ken is Chinese. They are quickly interested in learning Chinese!
Another great day in Guatemala!
Lori Moy and Lenore Van Santen
Friday March 6, 2020
Happy Friday from Guatemala!
We started out with breakfast of delicious egg mcmuffins by Ginny. Ana led morning devotions with verses and a song that fit together perfectly. Following morning devotions we did group pictures and Guatemalan missionaries and their sponsor pictures.
Then we split into two groups to do house visits. One group Lenore, Lori, Sue, Bob and Joe went with Sondra to visit Maria Carmensita. She is 83 years old, lives in a house that's about 10x15, with one light bulb and no windows. The only other light that came in was from the openings in the make shift walls or the worn down curtain for the front door. She has lived here for over 50 years and was very happy to see us as her family rarely comes to visit. She receives one bag of food a month from the mission, goes to church and has arthritis in several fingers in her right hand. We shared verses of comfort and encouragement assuring her that God is always there for her no matter what she faces! We prayed with her and could tell the visit meant the world to her!
The other group of Nancy, Darla, Crystal and Ken went with Kevin and Ana not too far from the other group in an area near the dump. They headed down a narrow littered street with adobe block homes which had rusty corrugated steel panels for roofs and siding. The homes entrances were right at the street. Most windows and doors had steel bars on them to keep unwanted visitors out. Their visit was with Ana Christina who greeted them at the door with hugs and her immediate and extended family all living in the same compound. Ana is 47 years old and lives with her husband Francisco who is 52 years old. They have five children from age 16 to 21 (Hector, George, Gabriella, Sarai, and Ana Theresa and her three year old son.) Ana Theresa is 16 and has a 3 year old son. Ricardo, (the father of Ana Christina) also lives with them. Ana Christina and Francisco do not work because usually people older than 50 cannot get hired due to the abundance of stronger and younger workers. We did our introductions and spoke of a few concerns the family shared. Ana Christina suffers from bad depression and has not been able to go to church because of it. We shared some encouraging Bible passages reassuring her to trust God and He will always be there for her! We prayed that God would give her comfort, strengthen her faith and continue to keep the family safe.
We came back to the mission house to have the "best of everything" from the week for lunch. We did our faith lessons at the mission house for smaller groups, but turned out well and a lot of fun doing it! Then we thanked the Guatemalan missionaries for an awesome week together and said good bye to them. We had pizza for dinner and shared reflections about the week.
It was a blessed week with eye opening experiences in Guatemala! We thank God for your prayers and support helping us share the gospel!
Ken Moy and Joe Ross
Saturday March 7, 2020
We've safely arrived in Atlanta and made it through customs with all our luggage!
Thanks for your prayers and support, look forward to seeing you soon.
St. Paul's sponsors overseas missionaries across the world!
St. Paul's Lutheran Church
7821 W. Lincoln Ave
West Allis, WI 53219
Phone: (414) 541-6251
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Sunday: 8:00 & 10:30 am
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Wednesday: 6:00 pm
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St. Paul's Lutheran School