Dear lovely family and friends,
Let’s begin by remembering who God is amid uncertain and difficult times.
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28.
Gifts from God
A soft fluttering catches the corner of my eye as a hummingbird feeds from the brightly coloured plastic flowers filled with sweet water. I can even hear the soft sound of its wings as they vibrate through the air. Every hummingbird I see is like receiving a gift from God. Their beauty and form captivate me, hence the feeder on my balcony. It is 17 March 2020, day one of Guatemala’s lockdown in light of COVID-19. I am sat at my “home office”, my balcony in full view. In these unexpected and challenging times, I rest in the truth that nothing is a shock to God and he is with us and he is working. I also take every gift as it comes, even those as simply captivating as a hummingbird.
May God grant us all his peace at this time and please pray with me for his restoration of the world.
Las chicas (the girls)
In my last link letter, I wrote about the new girls’ group I had recently started. Thank you for your prayers concerning these young girls. Leading this group has been challenging for me. I have found I am definitely more suited to working with young men, yet God has remained faithful and inspired me with new ideas to reach these girls. Understandably, building trust takes time, especially with the girls I am working with. But slowly and surely, we are having small victories. We follow a pattern of prayer to start each session and now they even ask to do this if they arrive late and we have moved on. I have found activities where they can simply be quiet and take time out being creative, and which are still really helping them. We invite, and I feel, God’s gentle Spirit rest with us at these times. I am taking this time at home to read about new ideas and art therapy to hopefully use and help our girls.
Please join me in praying for these young girls by name: Belinda, Sayda, Jocelin, Viviana, Lucy, Feliciana, Pricila, Alison P, Eva and Brenda (on the fringe we also have Karman, Ashly, Alison L, Elisa and Angelica).
Hearts in Honduras
For various reasons I ended up moving my November trip to Honduras to January, allowing me to travel with friends and enjoy sharing the experience. The purpose of the trip was to see the projects partnered with Street Kids Direct (SKD) and to meet the amazing people who run them, building relationships. The trip was a real blessing and time of inspiration for me. CMS mission partner Steve Poulson (a close friend from our time in training together) was my guide. I was able to visit several mentoring programmes, one in particular in Talanga, Proyecto Alas, and connect with other projects such as Revival Ministries in Ciudad España. Also, an impromptu visit to Roatan to meet some missionaries on the island. From playing card games with children to visiting women in jail, my time in Honduras was time well spent. Investing in others and having them invest in you, to encourage, challenge and uphold one another in Christ is so valuable. As a mission partner it felt amazing to connect with other people in missional contexts and to see their hearts for God’s mission and his people in Honduras. (Blogs about this to be uploaded soon.)
Please pray for the amazing people partnered with SKD serving in Honduras, that God will continue to guide them and bless the work of their hands.
Many of you will already be aware that I am planning on being back in the UK from late August – early Feb in order to visit my link churches and supporters, spend time with family and friends and refresh. In actual fact I booked my flights only a week ago. This is still of course my intention. When I was thinking about this time away at the end of last year I was honestly very nervous about it. Six months is a long time to be away from my life here in Guatemala and as much as I look forward to time with family, friends and supporters, saying goodbye again will not be easy. I feel like I have two lives and I live somewhere in between the two and they do not often meet. Not a bad thing, just my reality. God in his goodness has been preparing my heart with new excitement and joy as I anticipate my time in the UK. He has been revealing glimpses of the good things my time there will hold for me. I am excited to take time to step back, revaluate, reflect and spend quality time with so many amazing people who love and support me there. I anticipate God’s guidance on the next steps as I look towards my second term (of three years) here in Guatemala starting in Feb 2021.
Now, as we face COVID-19, plans are more tentative. Yet I remain confident in God’s overarching plan and his timing. Please pray for God’s hand on plans for my UK leave and for my family. It has been a long time since we were together.
At SKD Guatemala we are also looking at how we can best support our families during lockdown. Please pray as we seek God’s guidance, wisdom and peace.
Thank you for your continued support, love and prayers. My prayers are with you all too.
Love Azaria x