ADONAI INTERNATIONAL MINISTRIES ~ JULY 2016
There are so many stories of God’s faithfulness and provision to recount. Yet, the one that stands in the forefront is the hospital that He has built in the middle of the San Andres Valley. Almost ten years ago, Duane received a vision and a word from God to build a hospital here in Canilla. And for years that project was put on hold. Yet as the years passed God continued to put the pieces in place and we began to move towards that reality. In 2013 we took a leap of faith, submitted paperwork to the government and embarked upon the unknown.
The actual building does not tell the story of how God weaves together people for His Kingdom. The story really lies in those that He has called to come alongside of this project. There are ten family members, three other families, 14 Guatemalan workers and their families, short term teams from the states, individuals with specialized skill, the rotating doctor group, and innumerable connections that have been made as God weaves a web of people together from across the globe to complete this work. Each penny for the project has been donated by those who believe in shining Jesus through medicine here in Guatemala.
January of 2015 commenced with a ground breaking ceremony and block by block, this building rose to what exists today. The hospital will open in two Phases. July 2016 saw the first phase open – Day Clinics which includes the clinic rooms, reception, laboratory, dental room, pharmacy, ultrasound and prayer room. These rooms serve the public daily.
Phase two includes the emergency room, x-ray, operating rooms, labor and delivery and wards. The workers continue to plug away on this daily as they put finishing touches on a second story, operating rooms and creating a sterile environment. In a third world country, this is no small task as it is all done by hand without the assistance of modern tools. When God instructed Moses to build the tabernacle, He laid out exactly what it was to look like. Duane and his boys spend many days trying to fine tune how to do this in this country. It hasn’t been without cost, but it has been worth it. Thanks for walking this journey with us. We have much ahead including staffing, meeting the demands in this area, and financing the care, but we press on daily with the task ahead of us.
A picture story from start to now…. Be Blessed! ~ Adrienne
January 2015. ..
This date has been looming in the back of my mind since it was first mentioned to me as the date that everyone chose to move to Guatemala. Follow me back on this journey…
Remember that we had three different families all contact us saying they believed that God was calling them to Guatemala on a permanent basis starting in January 2015. This was without any announcement of starting a hospital. Any announcement for others to come and join the ministry. Any communication between them or from us. Each of them was a piece to the puzzle that we would need in order for a hospital to be opened. And so our gates have been filled with Guatemalan licensed doctor (a must for the Ministry of Health) and his wife who is a pediatric nurse and their 2 children, a PA and his wife who had done the financial part of this ministry for years from the states along with their 4 children, and the DOCS for Hope group that will rotate their families through who all have experience oversees and work as Family Practice doctors in the states. When they first contacted us over a year ago all giving us a start date of January 2015, we knew that this confirmation was the start of moving forward with the vision of the hospital.
My journey began prior to 2015 because I know that God had asked me to play a role of a middleman before we completely exploded as a ministry. I knew I was supposed to come on board when we went forward with the hospital project, but I didn’t expect it to be because we were putting in a school. Yet as I settled it became clear that before we had a hospital, we had to have a school. And so my focus changed to less time at the house and more time at the school. It was, to say the least, the most challenging year in my teaching career. Between learning to teach in Spanish, learning the system, and dealing with educational challenges, I found myself constantly asking God for strength and direction. In some aspects it was the same as the states as who I am and why I teach didn’t change, but I had to learn how to do it within a different culture. We officially wrapped up one school year and have begun the second. During this year we will be adding two more levels of education as the school expands into a university.
This upcoming year will have a little different take for me than the last. As the doctors transition to being here full-time, I will be able to focus completely at the school instead of splitting my time between school and clinics. In addition to the university, we will also have classes in the pre-med program to be taught as well as English classes. When I added up the total number of classes that will be taught this year, we will have 48 different classes taught as well as individual English courses, tutoring and labs. We will be sure to be busy! I will focus my time on the science side of things, but will also be involved in the day to day operations at the school. Here is the new building we are adding due to quadrupling the number of students.
God has guided this entire process and continues to amaze us as He places people into place and we find favor within the government when we come up against walls. The latest praise that we have has to do with our university program. We were approached last June by a school in the city that shares our Christian values and vision to help the people in the rural areas of Guatemala that have no access to education. The road towards approval has been rocky and traveled through the Department of Health, which has been a thorn in our side for years as they continually change administration due to corruption and have regulations that constantly change. Dealing with them has always proven to take five times longer than it should. In November we were still waiting on communication to begin our first class of professional nursing students. December came, and as Katie met with both sides, the walls that had been standing in our path fell and we were granted permission to open. Now comes the difficult part – staffing, preparing the curriculum and expanding the current structure to support these classes. What we are sure of, and embrace with confidence, is that God is behind this process in every step and leading the way, even when we drag our heels.
Building, building and more building. If it were up to us, I think we would snap our fingers and have everything we need placed perfectly into place. But that is not how it works in a third world country. If you are expanding to a hospital, you need people and with people comes the need for housing. So between the hospital, school and housing for residents, the men have kept more than busy this year with construction! Here is a snapshot of what has gone up in the last few months… a new room at the school, an apartment for Dr. Luis, remodeling to accommodate more visitors inside the main house, Katie and Ryan’s house, a building to house teams and a fence around the property…. And on top of that continual work to build a hospital in a third world country.
Work at the hospital involves preparation of the ground. The dirt had to be brought from the river one truck load at a time taking four months of time. It had to be leveled and packed and all of the other raw materials for cement were collected as well. All of the columns need to be constructed by hand as well from pieces of rebar. There is no simple answer. No easy solution. It all just takes time. Here are some pictures of construction happening in including the panoramic on the front of the whole property.
Overall, this is all one large project that has been given to us by God. The school, the hospital and the clinics are all linked… as God’s way of reaching this valley through education and medicine. Thanks for joining us along this great journey. Many days it is hard because everything presents its own challenge. But God is good and His work prevails.
Thanks to all who helped bring me my new set of wheels! I was tentative to ride this at first, but actually feel safe on these two wheels. This will enable me to be more mobile and reach some of the outer lying areas. I can get between the school, property and town easier and safer.
Current Prayer needs:
- For our students – that they would develop a desire to serve their communities and grow in their relationship with Jesus
- For the staff at the school – unity and discernment
- For protection of the workers at the hospital property
- Continued favor within the government for all of Adonai’s current projects
THANK YOU! THANK YOU! For continuing to remember us, think of us and support us. We have been so tired and weary at times, but are convinced that this project reaches far beyond what we can see here, and I am convinced that it takes all of us to see it through so thanks for being a part! ~ Adrienne
Change is inevitable is what they always say, but the change that is currently happening is Guatemala can only be explained in one Word – God. It is not change that we could possibly see coming. It is not change that we could have orchestrated ourselves. And it is not change that is going away either. Since God laid on our hearts to begin a hospital, He has been bringing together people with every unique ability and gift possible to create the team that He wants. It starts with a group of doctors that have experience on the foreign scene and the energy to see this hospital built. They have committed to being here full time and staffing the hospital. We needed a Guatemalan certified doctor as well. Since we are so remote and isolated, this was only a dream. We could not even find a nurse willing to come to the rural part of Guatemala in which we live. But God knew we would need this doctor even before us and laid it on the heart of a doctor to come to Canilla. He showed up on our doorstep (literally), not knowing us or the fact that we were beginning a hospital, only saying he felt God is sending he and his wife here. And they fit in perfectly with the heart that we have for the people. Meeting them and hearing their stories still brings chills to be as God’s intentions are so clear.
With the hospital we quickly realized that we will want to train up staff that have the same heart as our ministry. Our main objective is that the people would come to know Christ. We want the doctors, nurses and staff at our hospital to know Jesus and to treat the patients as Jesus would treat them as well. And so we have begun a school where we can train students under our own system. This is the first program with a pre-med emphasis in country and we are convinced that it is ordained by God as it took only two weeks to get approval – a miracle by ALL Guatemala standards. The students in this area have few options for schooling and are well behind the urban areas. In the short time that the school has been open, it is evident that not only are the students receiving an education, but they are alive with hope for their futures. They know the challenges that face them. Many of them have worked and saved for years to have this opportunity. We not only have to teach the curriculum, but we are also teaching an “I can” mentality. Believing they are not good enough or it is too difficult has been engrained in them. Reversing this culture is an enormous task.
And so you ask, how can I help… what can I do? We will always say – pray. So much of this has come about because it is just what God wants. With that we know that there are so many praying and fasting and trusting that God is the center of all we do. We want to keep this focus. You can partner with this ministry with specific needs (equipment, etc. that is needed) as well as financially if God is leading you in that direction. We have exploded with staff and have many, many positions to fill. We are collecting things for the hospital and school as the building and expansion continues. You can see more of what is happening at my blog mytrustfall.com.
I know many of the people I encounter have never seen God working in their lives. It is one of the most exciting things I have ever experienced. We had an idea of what a hospital might look like in this area, but we never EVER expected this. The doctor group, the Guatemalan doctor, the teachers at the school – they all have the same vision. They all have the same heart. It is so, so clear that God has handpicked each and every one of them to be here for such a time as this (Esther 4:14) . I so very much thank you for your love, support and prayers. It has not been easy, but it has definitely been worth it. The race continues. May we run with perseverance the race that God has marked out for us! ( Hebrews 12:1) May this be an encouragement to you that God continues to work and draw His people to Him!
As school was wrapping up in May I was planning for next year and content with how well the last year went, but God had other plans. In a two week time span my worlds collided, and I was sent in another direction. There were warning signs. Years ago the pieces of the puzzle started to come together, but never did I imagine it would be so quickly. And so as summer draws to an end, I am now headed to Guatemala instead of back to school. Here’s how it all came about…
Over a decade ago, it was known in our hearts (those that work for AIM) that there would one day be a hospital in our area that would serve the rural population with the love of Christ. Currently anyone needing the services of a hospital has to travel nearly 3 hours by bus, or even 8-9 hours depending on their needs. If they could not afford a bus, they walked for days to reach care. At these hospitals they are often treated as if their lives do not matter, there is discrimination, nothing is translated into their native language, the hospitals most often don’t have the equipment necessary, and the people leave more frustrated and hurt than when they came. More often than not, if we recommend they go to a hospital, the people in our area choose to go home and die (or take their children home to die) than to try and navigate the national system. Fear coupled with the reality that they would be leaving their other children at home to fend for themselves leaves many with no option.
Although we did not actively pursue this or push for the pieces to all be in place for this to happen, the pieces have been coming together rather rapidly. I am one of those pieces. I have been working with Adonai International Ministries since those early difficult years. I first ventured to Guatemala in 2001 and have returned for at least a month every year since. I know the people. I know that area. And most importantly I have the same heart to see a care facility come to fruition in our area where mothers no longer have to leave our doors with the fear that their child will not make it through the night and where children do not die from dehydration or simple illnesses. We are currently moving towards opening such a hospital to care for the people. Before the hospital though, there has to be workers to staff the hospital and a building for them to stay in overnight.
Another piece of the puzzle is a nursing school to train up nurses to staff the facility. Our hope is to teach nurses not just to tend to the physical needs of the people, but care for their emotional and spiritual needs as well. The nursing school received approval by the government and is hopeful to open in January 2014. This school will encourage Guatemalans to care and love their own people while equipping them with a trade that will allow them to escape their own cycle of poverty. Yet another puzzle piece came this spring when a group of doctors that had no connection with us and we had never met committed to joining AIM full time. This group of doctors had been doing similar work in Zimbabwe, but felt God sending them to Guatemala and found us through a mutual connection. It has truly been a God-appointed connection. This group of doctors has the same heart to serve the “least of these” as we do and has the same idea of a hospital as us. God wasn’t done there. With their commitment to serve long term in Guatemala, God laid it heavily on my heart that His timing was now for me to be present in Guatemala more than just during the summers.
And so I have resigned my teaching position and will be joining AIM full time starting August 19th. You may ask what I will be doing and my answer is simply, what I have always been doing…and then more. I will be helping with the direction of the nursing school, teaching, long-term planning, hosting individuals, teams and doctors that come to help, helping with paperwork and travel details, caring for patients, discipleship training, clinics, partnering with other organizations like ours, heading the nutrition and widow’s programs, and a hundred other odd things that come up. This is only what I see myself doing right now as we get the nursing school and hospital off of the ground. Each month will be different and I am sure that what I will be doing daily will change as our circumstances change. What I do know is that God’s hand is in this and over this growth that is currently happening and it has been overwhelming as times to see Him bring all of the pieces to the puzzle together at just the right time.
Another truth that has been spoken to me as I prepare is how important it is to involve others. There are many out there that wish they could do just as I am doing, or have a heart for the needs of those in other countries. There are many opportunities out there for you to embrace. My desire is that you too will have that opportunity to connect, even if you never leave your own home. One of the greatest testimonies that I can share are the countless mothers who have left our clinic with babies who should have died because they weren’t receiving enough oxygen, they were extremely dehydrated, and yet there was little we could do for them. Many mothers have said they will take their children home and pray over them. They return in a month with a little one who is all smiles and we know that it was by their faith that these children live. Prayer is more vital than anything else in this culture, so I ask that you committ to pray for this area and these people, that they would know the love of Jesus and open their hearts.
This last June I took a group from our area on a short term trip to experience and live out the call of discipleship on each of our lives. When I first committed to this team, I never would have guessed how deep its purpose really would be. As we as a commiunity embark on a journey, I know that it is to create partnerships with other mission organizations and come alongside them to support their work as we expand His Kingdom.
There are many questions you may have – be sure to ask them! I like to be prepared for everything, and I want to fuel your interest in how God’s moving mountains in Guatemala. More than anything, I encourage you to stay connected as I travel across this bridge. One thing I have learned over the years from living a suspended life between two countries is that you can never have too much support. It is difficult to communicate and stay connected when you are out of the country. Prayer support and encouragement are invaluable. I will be updating my blog and sending out periodical updates for you to remain in the loop. Be sure to get me your information!
Thank you for the support that you have already shown me – for your prayers, encouragement, motivation, and wisdom that you have instilled in me. It is my philosophy that we are all in this together!
Adrienne.firstname.lastname@example.org My blog: mytrustfall.wordpress.com AIM’s website:adonaiinternationalministries.org