August Newsletter
It was sad to say goodbye to all the birds in Colombia, especially the hummers! Fortunately, we have already had some new ones at the feeder here on the 6th floor in Guatemala after only a couple days.
Our Mission
Photo Gallery
Monthly News
Prayer Requests

Our Mission
To follow God's will for our lives so that we can serve Him in all we do, go wherever He leads, and share His amazing love with those around us.

The marketplace had lots of interesting items in San Juan Sac. including fowl and dried lizards.

Continue to support mission projects around the world:

1) Cusco, Peru - Romulo Tupa - Local Missionary
2) Lima, Peru - Pace family and their school, missionaries and outreaches
3) Guayllabamba, Ecuador - Tulcanza Family - Local Missionary Church with three outreach locations
4) El Batan Missionary Alliance Church - Ninos de la calle en riesgo
5) Just For Kids Orphanage - Valle de los Chillos, Ecuador
6) Home of Hope - Malawi, Africa, Canadian Missionaries
7) Missionaries and mission trips that God plants in our hearts
8) Foster House - Cochabama, Bolivia

Photo Gallery

Spiders are a little scarier and hairier close up! No matter the country we go, spiders are always there!

The toucans showed up on our last day in Colombia for a final show.


Monthly News

Well, we have made it to Guatemala after a whirlwind tour of relatives in the southeast US. We were blessed with a good trip and all 10 suitcases making it more or less intact.  If any of you can engineer a suitcase that can truly survive international travel and would guarantee it for at least 10 years, people would buy it. With the weight limits going down, it wouldn't have to be huge, just flexible and indestructible. Unlike Armenia where we were in in Colombia, Guatemala City has about two million people and all the extras like Walmart, Taco Bell, Wendys, Subway, Chilis, and even Quiznos. The Guatemalan culture is very evident, but so is the Western influence. Good for us in a lot of ways, bad in that it is a little too easy!

This is us leaving Colombia on our private bus with our 14 pieces of assorted luggage and carryon.

If you've ever wanted to trim down and learn to live with the minimum, move overseas and change countries every couple years. You will find out what you really need and want and learn to make do with what's available.

I don't see myself making many cookies here as the ingredients are hard to find and expensive. Too bad for the new students and staff but I can always return to Colombia where I'm sure I'd find an audience to eat them.  I actually had to go to a pharmacy to get baking soda because apparently it isn't a cooking item! There is no Coke Zero for Steve so he is having to find other alternatives. He was so excited when it came to Colombia but this seems to be a Pepsi place so he isn't holding out hope. We saw some of the Sub20 Futbol finals in Armenia on TV as Guatemala was playing and got a little choked up as they showed promo commercials of Armenia; new adventures are good but so are old memories.

Martin nesting island

During our time in the states, we went to visit friends at Lake Murray and saw the island where the Martins nest in the evenings. I don't know if you can see the flocks of birds over the island on the right, but there were thousands of them swarming around across the lake.

So far the driving in Guatemala has been better with very few motorcycles and more roads, but we have driven in quite a few circles so far trying to get from point A to point B; we have found ourselves at point L and had to find our way back. The problem is that when you miss a turn, you have to go halfway across town to find a place to go back in the other direction. People do seem to follow some rules of the road though and are overall courteous. The city is designed in a spiral with zones 1 to 15; but, that doesn't mean zone 2 is next to zone 1!


Our visit to Belleville, PA saw a few Amish buggys on the roads and lots and lots of farmland.


My favorite part of any shopping experience here in Guatemala has been the greeting. It is always a pleasant sing song voice asking what they can do for you. Definitely the most service/customer oriented place we've been in a while. We went to a small town, San Juan Sacatepequez known for wooden furniture and flowers. We sucked in enough diesel fumes to get a little black lung disease but found our way along some not so great unmarked roads thanks to helpful people with directions. Below are photos of the market place we visited.



One of the biggest advantages to coming to a new place is that you have the chance to start fresh and try to correct your character flaws where no one knows you yet. For me, the book of James has been a good guide for a "new life" in that I really want to work on being more Christ-like and less me-like, especially with my attitude and what I say. I looked at what I said and did in a given day and didn't like what I saw. It wasn't huge things, but a lot of little things that were judgmental and not edifying of others. I go back to what Thumper's mom said to him in Bambi, "If you can't say something nice, say nothing." Even if I said nothing all day it would be better than saying things that could make others look bad or hurt them. I think one of the reasons the disciples didn't want Jesus to go was because while he was right there, it was probably a lot easier to stay on the right track! We are supposed to be spreading God's message and that is hard to do when what comes out of your mouth doesn't make you seem like a good representative.  I never really thought about the little things I was commenting on or griping about being gossip but if it made someone else look bad or created a negative impression in someone else's mind of someone they might not even know,  it was.


I thank God for forgiveness and second chances over and over through grace. So my goal is to think about what I can do to get myself and others closer to God through actions, deeds, listening, or sharing. Think about how your words can open or shut an opportunity and remember that once the words are out, it takes forever to correct a misspoken comment. Make it a goal to be known as someone who builds up, listens, and encourages others. I don't know about you, but that takes a specific focus for me because I don't find myself as that kind of person naturally; I try to be generous and hard working,  but not always compassionate or patient.


Steve was very excited about the chocolate covered bananas for .14 so he got two!

It seems that we will again be able to have flowers very inexpensively as there are vendors on many corners selling dozens of roses for $3.00 - 4.00.  The bus looks like quite the adventure but not one I am interested in participating in!

The buses were crazy the day we went to San Juan Sac but they didn't have any live animals on the roofs.

If you ever decide to go abroad and have a beloved pet you want to bring, be sure that you really really love the animal because it isn't easy. We helped another teacher to retrieve her dog from the airport and it was an all day, lots of paperwork, and visit every possible office to pay another fee event. The people were all really nice and helpful so it at least wasn't painful in that aspect, but it was about six hours of going in circles and waiting in lines. We have been to the craft markets in Guatemala City and found quite the cornucopia of items. The one market had three floors of food and produce, crafts, handicrafts, clothes, and who knows what else we didn't see! I'll bring my camera next time and try to capture the essence of the scene.

This is the view from our apartment. Like Quito, you can see several volcanoes. Guatemala is different from Ecuador and Colombia in scenery and unique in its combination of natural elements. We are looking forward to exploring the country more and visiting the sights. Below are a few bird sightings, two in Guatemala and one in New York.


The carpintero in Guatemala and a rose breasted Grosbeak in upstate New York

A San Blas Jay in Guatemala

We look forward to starting at school next week and finding out what God has in store for us here in Guatemala. We have been truly blessed in our lives and hope to be a blessing to those around us.  Pray that my throat gets better from my surgery a couple weeks ago so that I can actually talk to the students! (For those of you who didn't know, I had to have oral surgery to remove a suspicious patch in the back of throat and they took a piece of the soft palate and the uvula. The biopsy was negative so that was great but I still feel like there is a marshmallow back there I an trying to talk through and  oxygen and liquids are still trying to figure out how to get in and out!)

Cathy and Steve Carpenter

  Steve and Crystal with Bandit (Steve does pretty well as a cowboy)
Prayer Requests and Praises

- Safe and easy transition so far in Guatemala
- Steve's teacher certification and BS degree completed
- Recovering slowly but surely from the oral surgery
- Mission group from PCC interested in a trip to Guatemala
- Boris and his family receiveing their support to go as missionaries to India (link to story
- church planting teams going out in Peru

- Fabiola, the pastor's wife in Guayllabama - health issues with diabetes, thyroid, and high cholesteral
- the church planting teams in Peru to have open doors and hearts to establish their churches
- David Sloan (car accident recovery) and Jeff Benefield's health and sabbatical at CMC
- continued good reports for Tim Goode from his brain tumor (not causing any problems)
- for our young people - nieces and nephews - to avoid Satan's traps as they start out on their own paths and be drawn closer to God
- doors to be open for missionaries in and going to Pak. as well as safety for them
- good start and opportunity for all teachers in the new school year

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