When God Speaks 

My dear friends. As an assignment for the youth at the Rio de Vida Church, the Pastor instructed that we either write a song or a poem that is inspired by God. I had written a poem earlier this week, just writing it out so I completed my “homework” but tonight God really laid it on my heart to write another poem. I would like to share with you a poem that was written from my heart. I pray that Christ might be glorified through every trial and hardship. Lean on Him for support and strength, and you will find rest and reassurance in Him. 

I WILL LOVE 

I grew up in a home that was happy and well, but trials arose and I hid in my shell.

I supressed all my worries, my doubts and my cares, and believed I could do it without any prayers. 

My heart was so broken, so torn and distraught, yet I faked “I’m ok” and that’s what everyone thought. 

But again and again I got way off track, and I panicked and hid, thinking there’s no way back. 

I cried out in pain, praying, “Father, please answer,” but rather than love, I turned angry and bitter. 

Full of shame and guilt, I had reached my rope, there was no turning back, no grace nor hope. 

So in the darkness and calm I decided it was over, yet God had a plan that was ten times greater. 

I heard his kind voice, so quiet and gentle, saying, “Daughter, you’re Mine. I will always be faithful.” 

My friends there is hope, and joy, and peace, if you just trust your Saviour, the pain will all cease. 

So this is my prayer one of hope and thanksgiving, may our lives reflect God’s holy living. 

The Lord is loving and always good, this was something I never fully understood. 

His grace and mercy are from above, and He will always be with me for He says, 

“I WILL LOVE.” 

-Hannah Elizabeth Evans

Friday, July 28, 2017

Buenos días friends and family!

Thanks be to God for another great week here in Tactic, Guatemala. What I have learned from the past couple of days is really investing in the lives of my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. Without a doubt God puts people into our lives for purposes, to help us grow in our relationship with Christ our Savior. One of the biggest things that hit me especially tonight while chatting with the girls was the statement, 

“No matter what you do, God will not love you any less.” 

That was really powerful to me knowing that whatever trials I have been through, whatever temptations I have faced, God will always love me and I will always be His child. My victories are not my own, they are His and the glory goes to Him and Him alone. I must live my life with His agenda. Not with what I would want to do or would rather do, say, or think, but what God wants. Because I know that God’s will is perfect and pure. Even during the good times, when life seems to be so great and my relationship with God is so close, I still need to depend on Him just as much as during a trial. My testimony is one that displays the power and love of God. It is nothing to be ashamed about, rather it is something that  I should give glory to Christ and the  I work that He accomplished in the Cross. He will not let go of His children. He loves us so dearly. Will I love Him back? 

With love in Christ,

Hannah 

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Dear friends,

I apologize for my lack of posting. I had hoped I would post each day, but God laid it on my heart to not diary about each day, but to post when I felt convicted to share something He has taught me. Man has the past week been crazy. First, I was in the hospital be side I passed out and needed a CT scan and an EEG of my brain. Praise God I am ok though. But while at the hospital, I learned that we do live such a short life. With each and every moment am I using for the Lord. It really hit me while there that I hadn’t been using all of my time to better the kingdom of God and give Him the glory. Compared to the eternal fellowship we get with Christ, this life is incredibly short. We only get one life on Earth, and it is so crucially important to know that if we’re walking with the Lord and following His will, we will be able to give every little moment all the glory to God. How amazing is that that we can be on this Earth for a short 75 or so years and give Him glory each and every day? How can you better serve your King? How can you better glorify your God and Saviour? 

With love to all,

Hannah E.E. 

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Dear friends,

I apologize greatly for not posting! My week has taken a turn for the crazy busy. I officially started teaching English, so I get up at 4:45 every morning and usually don’t get to bed around 10:30. I will not do a recap of my week, as that would take too much time. However, I will write my highlights and what I’ve learned spiritually this past week. Monday and Tuesday I help out in the Prepatorio class, which is the equivalent to US first grade. It made me smile when all of the children would give me hugs, and smile at me with their genuine, big grins. It reminded me of the joy of Christ. The joy that He can put within His children and how that joy can be manifested and have such power in something as small as a child. 

For our heart shall rejoice in Him, because we have trusted in His holy name. Psalm 33:21

We began teaching in our own schools yesterday. I was surprisingly not terribly nervous. God gave me the confidence to speak and teach (which, to be perfectly clear I have never done before) and it was really the first time for me that I was completely fluent. I felt like I was speaking Spanish and not having to think about it. The amazing thing, is that I’ve only been here for a week!!! I am very excited and looking forward to seeing how the Lord continues to use me and the other girls. Once we get into the groove of things, it should be a little bit less stressful as we will have a consistent schedule for the rest of our time here in Guatemala.

Last night was prayer meeting and it stuck out to me as I was sitting there talking to my Father that He is  powerful God. And not only does He have power, He has this love that surpasses anything on this world. That reminded me that the things of above and the things of God are far more valuable than anything on this Earth. Nothing on this Earth can supply the joy the kids have, the passion the pastors share, and the love the people show. They don’t have much materially. Many of them have basically nothing, yet they are so happy. We ask ourselves in the United States, why am I unhappy? Is it my job? My age? My relationship status? My social class? The question we should be asking ourselves is actually, how can I better glorify my God today? How can I reach the unsaved? Where can I bring God the most glory? 

Where God places you, it is the safest place for you. You know that God’s hand will protect you. You might get killed or hurt or persecuted where you are, but under the arm of Christ our Savior we are in the safest place. 

Blessings to you all,

Hannah 

Friday,July 14,2017 

Hello and good morning! 

Today will most likely be a shorter post. The activity for the morning was going and visitng the schools where we will be teaching. They are the schools in the outlying area of Alta Verapaz, sowe had todrive about 30 minutes to get to the farthest away school. Sister Rita took us to our schools so that we could meet the directors (principals) and know where we will be teaching. The farthest school and our first stop was Emma’s school. It was Nueva Vida. My school is about 5 minutes closer and it is Purulhlar. (I think that is about how you spell it) I to meet the director. He is very nice and I am excited to teach! Our next school we visited was Moquan. (still no idea how to spell it.) That was Amy’s school. And last, yet the closest school was Sara’s at Chicoy. 

When we returned to Tactic, we stopped at some shops and bought supplies for the English Immersion class. When we returned to the ministry, we practiced our music for a little bit and then had lunch at Sister Rita’s and Brother Les’ house. Pretty directly after that we went to Chijacorral to teach the English Immersion class to the children of the school and ministry staff. We sang songs, taught them Psalm 23:1, and did a craft game. During our break, I played soccer with some of the little boys! It was a lot of fun! The class lasted 2 hours! when we got back to our casita, we had about an hour before supper, so Sara and I went for a walk around the property before heading down. A new team had arrived, so we got to meet their members. They are another medical team and will be working in the clinic. 

Us girls had to run because we had cell group. Basically that is small groups based on geographical location. It was really neat because we read through Luke 9-13 in Spanish and discussed it in our partners. There was a time of prayer and a time of worship. It was a wonderful time spiritually and well as relational. When we returned to the ministry, the power was actually off, so it was a good excuse to go to bed early. 

Until Tomorrow! 

Hannah 

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Buen Dia! 

This morning we were supposed to get up and have breakfast at 6:00 this morning because we were supposed to have started our teaching this morning, however, the demonstration is still up so the road is still closed. After a nice breakfast, we washed the dishes (dishes are done on a rotational basis between the different teams that are at the ministry. It allows the cooks to have something to eat, as well as it is our way of sharing and showing our gratitude to their work.) Since we were not teaching, we headed to Rita and Les’s house to practice on their piano and work on our pieces we will be playing at the evangelism event on Sunday afternoon. I was very thankful for a relaxed morning to organize stuff for our music teaching as well as plan for the advanced english classes, AKA English immersion (as I will be calling it). A guy who works for Rita and Les, Alex, who is also an active youth in the youth ministries for the ministry, picked up lunch from the dining room down the road and brought it to us. We had a lovely lunch with Rita before heading to Chijacorral to teach music. I have the same students, except a 9 year old boy named Alfonso started piano with me. My cello students are advancing pretty well, and I actually just aquired a new one this afternoon. I am grateful for this opportunity that I get to share music with others! Especially since they are older. 

After music teaching, we headed back to the ministry and had a wonderful home cooked supper. Usually tonight is cell groups. That basically means small groups/prayer groups based on geographical location. However, the cell group in which we will be participating in actually conducts their meetings on Fridays. So, we stayed down in the dining hall and practiced some more for Sunday. We were practicing “Here I am to Worship” and Claudia’s (the cook) daughter came and joined us and sung the song in Spanish. It was so fun! She will now be joining us on Sunday to sing with us at the evangelism event. 

We had to wait for the other groups to return before we could go up the hill, so we sat and had a time to share our favorite and hardest parts of the week. It was a wonderful time to just be open about everything. Afterwards we prayed about everything and I could just feel the stress leaving me, knowing that God is in control and that no matter what happens He must get the glory. We can’t do anything. Any of what we have been thrown in to can we do on our own. However, with Christ ALL things are possible. Praise God for His promises. 

In Christ Always, 

Hannah E. E. 

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Buen Dia! 

Good morning! Today was long, but surprisingly not so busy. This morning I got up extra early and took a walk down the hill and around the ministry’s property. It is quite extensive with its own woodworking shop, greenhouse, crops, and a stone making place. I can’t beginto describe the beauty of the land and how lush and green and gorgeous it was.  

Originally on our schedule, Rita was going to take us four girls to our outlying schools we will be teaching in and introduce us to the other teachers and to the principals. However, there was a demonstration on the road. Basically, what that means is that people burn tires all over the road, so no one can get through, they call the press, the press comes out, questions the people and figures out what’s going on, writes their story, and then leaves. However, we weren’t sure when the roads would be opened up again. I believe right now they may not open again until Thursday afternoon. Thus, we changed our plans and headed to Coban with Wilson, the main music guy, and bought 3 violins. The only violin at the school was a tiny violin and a cello with a broken string. In order for us to be able to teach music well, we needed more instruments, so off we went to Coban (the nearest “big” city) and went to at least 5 different music shops and bought three student violins. They were actually quite cheap. About 500 Quetzal which totals to about $70 USD for not bad violins. Praise God we got a deal on two of them and for the ministry, they are very nice instruments. 

Once we returned, we downed a very quick lunch, printed out some music to help us when teaching music that afternoon, and headed over to the Chijacorral school to teach music again. We will be teaching music 3 times a weekin the afternoons. I have 1 piano student and 3 cello students. However, I was so thankful my lessons went extraordinarily well. My first student is David. He is about 19 years old and also plays violin, piano, saxaphone, clarinet, and trumpet. He uses his skill to minister in the ministry’s church, Rio de Vida. We were actually able to communicate quite well and had some engaging and funny conversations. My second student was Carla. She was the cello student from before (oops,I got her name wrong the first blog post) and she is 20 years old. A very sweet young gal, she was so eager to learn cello. It wonderful to get to know her now that she wasn’t in a lesson with someone else, and I can’t wait to develope a friendship with her. 

When we finished our lessons, we returned to the ministiry compound and had supper before heading over to the church, Rio de Vida, for prayer group. I was expecting a group of people getting together and sharing prayer requests and then praying for one another. However,it was something totally different and way more impactful. For about an hour, the people who came and just prayed. Many prayed out loud, some sang their prayers. But basically it was a time to pour out our hearts to Christ openly. I believe that is the kind of prayer that every believer needs. Our lives are so busy, yet prayer is the way we can communicate with God. Without a doubt, I would highly encourage setting aside an hour each week to just pray. To simply listen and fellowship with God. I believe that is what our faith is about. It’s about the open and ashamed fellowship with Christ our Savior. 

We returned to our casita around 8 in the evening. The girls and I got asked to play for an evangelism outreach that will happen on Sunday afternoon somewhere in Alta Verapaz (the province/city where we are). So, we all practiced a song for almost 2 hours before heading to bed for a good night’s sleep. P.S. Apologies if my blog posts aren’t very organized or have good spelling/grammar. I usually write my posts late at night or early in the morning and don’t have time to check my writing. 

Until tomorrow, 

Hannah 

Tuesday, July 11, 2017 

Hello my dear friends! I hope life is continuing to treat you well and that Christ is doing amazing things. Even though we have only been here a couple of days, the hand of God is ever present and always here. The reassurance is amazing! We started this morning with a quick devotional, just the four girls. That time was a wonderful time to just focus our minds on Christ before starting a busy day. Breakfast was light and quick before we headed out to a school in Tactic called Chijacorral. The schools that Impact Ministries has opened up usually have elementary in the morning and some schools have middle school/ high school in the afternoons. We joined the elementary kids in their devotional that they have every single morning. Because the schools are Christian based, there is a daily devotional and we had the wonderful opportunity to join them in their worship. Just watching them worship so unashamedely and openly was really humbling for me. It gave me a great reminder that God doesn’t matter what we look like, or our status in life, or our education or even our age. He only cares that we love Him with our whole hearts and minds and that we give Him the glory. 

After the devotional, Rita took us four girls to meet the principal at the school. In addition to teaching 5,6, and 7 grades, we will also be teacher’s aides in preschooland kindergarten classes. The four of us are spread out between two of the ministries biggest schools in Tactic, Chijacorral and Chamche. Lunch was brief but extremely good! All of the homemade food is fantastic and so extraordinarily filling. We joined the staff team (basically a team of the people who run the ministry from Canada) at a middleschool/highschool devotional. It was at Purulal which will actually be my school where I will be teaching English. Much like the little kid’s devotional, it was very heartfelt and open. What struck me was that when they pray, they pray out loud and almost sing their prayers to the Lord. It is really quite humbling. 

After the devotional, we went to Chicoy Sinkhole. It was and still is used for the witchcraft practices in Guatemala. I will say that Satan is very real and is at work in this world. While it might be more obvious in Guatemala, he is still in the United States. We must always be ready to fight our spiritual battle. It was a 500 foot climb up the side of a mountain, and then a very slippery and muddy walk down about 150 feet into this cave. The name comes from Poqomchi (the dialect of the people in Tactic) which means Monkey Mouth. It was very sobering being down there, however, our driver Hugo told us a great reminder. No matter how much evil we may be surrounded with, the name of the Lord God our Savior is so much stronger and powerful than anything. We sang three hymns and had a time of prayer before heading back up to the surface. It’s amazing because when Impact Ministries was first established 70% of the population was either “Catholic” or believed in witchcraft. Today the numbers are flipped and the ever growing evangelical Christians are increasing. What a huge blessing and testimony! 

Covered in mud, we headed back to the ministry base and cleaned up a bit before heading to supper. The meal was filling, and very delicious. We were not quite finished with the day, however. We went off to Liz’s house, the lady who writes the English teaching curriculum, and got ideas to teach our classes and basically 8 complete lessons plans. What a blessing! I am very excited to work with her. It was relatively late when we returned to our casita, and we pretty much went straight to bed. 

Cheers to all and always continue to live for Christ, giving Him the glory. 

In Christ, 

Hannah E.E. 

Pictures 

Hola mis amigos! 

I have taken quite a few pictures, however I have limited wifi and am not sure how many pictures I will be able to upload. When I do, however, will post them with descriptions going along with them so you can hopefully get an idea of what Guatemala and the ministry is like. If I could, I would take pictures of everything and send it, however, there is so much that I simply couldn’t. So a few photos will have to suffice. I believe things like this can only be experienced through being there live and not through pictures. 

Blessings, 

Hannah 

Monday, July 10, 2017

Buenas Dias!

To begin with, I apologize for the delayed posts. I do not have wifi at the compound, only at Les and Rita’s house, so I was unable to post until I got the password. If you need to get in contact with me, I can text and if you’re reading this blog, you most likely have my contact information to do so. If you don’t, do not hesitate to drop your information off on the ‘contact’ page on my blog and I will try and connect with you as soon as possible.

Today was a lovely day in Guatemala. We were blessed with absolutely gorgeous weather! I thank God for His wonderful creation and the amazing things He creates for our pleasure and joy. The variety of plants that God has created on this earth is overwhelming and just demonstrates the awesomeness of our savior Jesus Christ. We woke up bright and early at 6:30 this morning. I felt quite rested, although I could have gotten more sleep even after 10 hours of sleep. The girls and I got dressed and ready for the day and had a short time of prayer before heading down the hill to the guest house/dining room. There we met some of the other teams (i.e. the medical team) and had a wonderful breakfast of french toast and fruit. All the food is prepared by Hugo and his wife Claudia. Interestingly, Les and Rita do not hire people unless they are Christians, so it’s amazing that even the garden workers and cooks and staff are all brothers and sisters in Christ. It’s amazing to see how going to a different country, with a different language and culture, may be different and strange and new, however, our bond that we have within Christ is so powerful and impactful. I have more in common with these Guatemalans than I do with people in Coloardo and I believe that’s a beautiful thing about the Gospel. How it can unite people so firmly!

After breakfast, we were invited to attend the staff meeting. Now, it wasn’t a normal boring staff meeting. Becuase this ministry is actually based in Canada, one of the teams that is down here is actually part of the Canadian staff. This staff meeting was different because we were able to hear the Guatemalan staff’s testimonies and how they got involved in the ministry. Their stories were incredible and seeing God work in their lives to bring them not only to Christ but also to this ministry and seeing the work of God’s hand throughout the entire place is simply incredible. Directly afterwards we went to Les and Rita’s house and had a lunch of grilled cheese and home-grown tomato soup. Yes we’re in Guatemala, but we got a wonderful taste of home 🙂

After lunch, we got dressed for our first day of teaching! Although we weren’t teaching English, we were  teaching music for three hours. This is a ministry that we will be bringing to the kids three times a week for six weeks! I am excited to share music with them! We were driven by Wilson, a Guatemalan who doesn’t speak any English. Already being able to talk with some staff I have noticed my understanding and my speaking to be getting better. Upon arrival at the school in Tactic, we were taken to the music teacher. I believe his name was Alec, but I can’t remember quite straight. He showed us the minimal instruments they had and the names of the students we will be teaching. All of us girls play some instrument or other. I play and teach violin and piano and I had heard there was a cello, so when I was at home I thought, why not plink around on one. I had borrowed a friends’ and can play some pretty basic stuff. However, it seems in Guatemala maybe actually means yes. So…..since I was the only one of our group that remotely sorta knew how to play, I was assigned to teach ALL of the cello students. That was my first real shock of, wow, I’m actually teaching and I’m teaching something I have no idea how to play as well as in a different language that I can speak intermediately. My first student, however, was a young girl who played piano. Our lesson went really great and I could tell that while our communication wasn’t the greatest, she just wanted to learn how to play piano. Afterwards came my hour and a half of cello lessons. I had a boy who was about 15 or so and he could play some actual songs. My biggest challenge wasn’t teaching the cello, I was surprised at how well I could actually teach it and that was a a reminder that God is always near and always with me and Sara and I had prayed before we taught as we were getting really nervous, it was the the fact that they don’t think in ABCDEFG notes. They have been taught in Do, Re, Mi, Fa, So, La, Si (Ti). That was a big learning curve for me, but David (my first cello student) was very forgiving and kind at my probably many blunders. After that I had two students at one time. They were older as well, probably my age or even maybe older. The girls’ name was Natia and I don’t remember the guys’ name. (oops…) Anyway, they were more advanced than I ever expected. To be honest, they were probably better than me. However, we just learned some hymns (Yes, I did play along and was amazed at how well I could play, considering I have had no lessons.) After our lessons, we had a quick deprief with Wilson and the music teacher (in Spanish of courfse) and then headed back to the ministry.

Once there, we basically went straight to supper in the didning room. It was a quiet evening, so we went back to our rooms and hadan orientation meeting with Julie (her husband Julio is in charge of hospitality) and a couple other people from a different team. For about an hour after the orientation, the girls and I had a lovely fellowship time just talking with each other. Then we went to bed. I am ready for another full day! Praise God everything went smoothly today.

Hasta Luego,

In Christ Always,
||Ana||