Mission Outreach Blog

2nd Mile for Mission - Then and Now: God at Work - Day 1 - The Drake House

Dedication Ceremony in 2004

Dedication Ceremony in 2004

2nd Mile for Mission
Then and Now: God at Work - Prayer Journal 2017
Day 1 - The Drake House
Meg Chapman, RPC Volunteer

I will save you and you shall be a blessing. Do not be afraid, but let your hands be strong. - Zechariah 8:13 (NRSV)

When I first met Rachel, I remember being struck by her elegant British accent, gentle spirit, and generous heart. She was a well-educated accountant from Pakistan with a close family. Her working parents had made tremendous sacrifices to ensure that all their children received formal educations and were able to support themselves. In fact, her father lived in Abu Dhabi, where he could support his family as a driver, traveling back to Pakistan for visits only 2-3 times per year.

Rachel had recently come to the States in an arranged marriage. Unfortunately, her husband had not been honest with her during their courtship, and after they were married she discovered he had a hot temper and was a violent and abusive spouse. One evening after beating her and dragging her around their apartment by her hair, he proceeded to strangle her to the point she was certain she would not survive. Her 9-month-old son, Jacob, came to her rescue, when he told his father to stop hurting his mommy. She went to the bathroom, took a picture of her swollen and battered face, and after months of living in fear, she reached out for help. Rachel and Jacob were transferred to a safe house, and she was able to sleep at night for the first time in months.

She came to The Drake House in an effort to establish her independence and transition into the role of a single mother supporting her precious son. She was quick to get a job and her strong work ethic ensured she was a highly-valued employee. Sadly, her work visa expired, her parents (caregivers for her son) returned to Pakistan to support her sister as she delivered her first child, and her driver's license expired. This confluence of events resulted in her losing her job until she was able to renew her visa, which is not a quick and seamless process. As her time at The Drake House was coming to a close, she needed to find an option quickly.

She joined me for a service at Roswell Presbyterian one Sunday, and then retreated into a time of what she referred to as 'spiritual enlightenment' for three days. The next time we connected, she had arranged to return to the safe house, where she could work and live for free. She was excited and enthused by her next step, and she was confident she could help other women who had endured similar fates. I have no doubt that Rachel's generous and gentle spirit will be a blessing to all of those she encounters. Her fortitude was tested in ways that are difficult to even contemplate, and her strong faith enabled her to overcome her situation, and she marched on. She is a peaceful warrior and a strong survivor.

God, please help us remain humble during our happiest times, and hopeful during our saddest moments, while opening our hearts to those with different backgrounds and life experiences. Enable us to comfort and show your love to them as they endure and overcome life's challenges. Help us remember that we are blessed, so that we can be a blessing to others. Amen.

2nd Mile for Mission is RPC's annual Mission Outreach giving campaign where every dollar goes out the door to directly benefit our local and global mission partners. Our goal for 2017 is $150,000. 

For more information and to make your commitment and give online, visit www.roswellpres.org/2ndmile

You can sign-up now to receive information and updates about 2nd Mile, including the daily Prayer Journal. To receive messages via text, text @rpc2ndmile to 81010 or sign-up online to receive text and/or email notifications. The daily Prayer Journal will be posted to this Mission Outreach blog and RPC's Facebook page.

2nd Mile for Mission - Then and Now: God at Work - Prayer Journal 2017

Over the past few months, I have been overjoyed to learn about the rich history of mission outreach at Roswell Presbyterian Church. It is unusual for churches to have relationships with organizations for more than 10 years, let alone, nearly 50 years! These partnerships demonstrate RPC's commitment to walk alongside others - even when the journey is long - for the common good of the community.

With RPC's focus on education, housing, and emergency relief, it can be easy to get overwhelmed with the numerous needs in our world. To avoid burnout, God has given us the gift of prayer. Indeed, God invites us to pray about all of our concerns so that the Holy Spirit can sustain our lives and ministries. That is what this Prayer Journal is all about.

As you learn more about what God is doing through RPC's Mission Partners by following along in this journal, I pray that you will give thanks for what God has done, rely upon the Holy Spirit to inspire your own engagement, and follow in the footsteps of Jesus Christ to go and serve others.

Now, let us pray...

Rev. Jeff Meyers
Senior Pastor, Roswell Presbyterian Church

2nd Mile for Mission is RPC's annual Mission Outreach giving campaign where every dollar goes out the door to directly benefit our local and global mission partners. Our goal for 2017 is $150,000. 

For more information and to make your commitment and give online, visit www.roswellpres.org/2ndmile

Day 4

Sorry we haven't been posting much lately, internet connection has been limited. But today was an interesting day! In the morning we went to the market here in Chichi, which is always a wonderful but hectic experience. You have to be very careful about even looking at things unless you're sure you want to buy them because the Guatemalan vendors are very persistent. Even our dad, a seasoned veteran of the Chichi market, made the mistake of asking a woman selling tapestries "Cuanto cuesta?" (How much does it cost?). She followed us around the whole market trying to bargain for the next 25 minutes until he finally bought one of her handmade tapestries for 100 Q, which is a little more than $10. And while we sometimes feel frustrated when we buy something just to get a vendor to leave us alone or when we see something that we bought for half the price somewhere else later, at the end of the day it's all good. We're getting "ripped off" a few cents, maybe a dollar or two, but that's a lot of money to these people, and we can assure you they'll get more out of it. In the afternoon Bruce and some of the other men went back to our latest construction site to put finishing touches on the new house. We, however, went with the rest of the kids on "Snoddy's Secret Adventure", for which we signed up before we knew what we were doing. We realized later why he didn't tell us what we were doing before we signed up... We rode in the back of Mr. Mark's and Serapio's trucks with 4 piglets who, while very cute, were NOT happy to be on the road with us. I guess nobody told them to use the bathroom before we left because we ended up sitting in some of it by the time we got to the worksite. We delivered three pigs to Pastor Tomás and his wife, who have been with us and helped us this week, and to two older women who can no longer work, with the hope that they will let it get really big and then sell it and buy another pig with some profit. We gave the last pig to the family who will be living in the new house. The family was a lot more excited for our delivery than the pig was! On the way back we got absolutely soaked in the back of the trucks, only seeking refuge for a few minutes at the shoe factory.  We're now all safe and dry at the hotel relaxing before we have to get ready to leave for Antigua. We'll be heading out in the morning. We're not sure when we'll be able to get Wifi again but we'll try to post as soon as we can in Antigua. Thank you for keeping us in your thoughts!

  • Camille and Katie

End of Day 3 - Delayed

Hey folks. Sorry we couldn't update you last night. The power was out at the hotel from 7 till past 10. However, yesterday was still a great day! The VBS groups went back to the schools they were at on Monday and stayed with the kids till 12:30. We continued the lesson we started yesterday about Jonah and the whale at Chulamal, and the kids at Chichi learned English worship songs and performed them for the rest of the school. We did some crafts with the young kids at Chulamal including making a paper horn which the kids loved. Then we ate lunch and were transported to our construction site of the day where we met some of the men. They had been there all morning! The job yesterday was to build an entire house, and on the side of a mountain no less! So let's just say the walk down and then back up was...challenging. Our entire team persevered though and we had an extremely productive day building the frame and putting up all the walls and roof. It rained for a bit which made the dirt paths and the whole ground slippery, which resulted in quite a few slips in the mud. When all the work was done for the day we rode the winding roads back to Casa del Rey. Soon after we got there it became quite a bit darker when the power went out. We ate dinner and had devotion by the lovely candlelight. The Muñoz family, who lives in Guatemala and works in the large school we are visiting today, were our honored guests for devotion last night. They work with many of the scholarship students that RPC sponsors. Even though the dark made some things difficult, you could say it brought us all closer together (meaning there was no wifi).

Keep us in your prayers and we'll keep you updated! - Camille

Pictures of Day 3

Mark backing in his truck full of playground equipment at the school in Chichi. They were so excited! Thanks to everyone who contributed.

Julianne and Olivia worked hard to nail up siding boards on the new house we built yesterday.

Pictures from Day 2

The children at the Chichi school performed several songs in English and skits in Spanish in front of our group and all the other students.

Davis, Emma, Scott, and Jonah posed for a group shot with some of the kids that live at or near the worksite today. We had tons of fun playing with them after we finished pouring the concrete.

Goodnight, and we'll update you all again tomorrow!

  • Camille and Katie Coe

End of Day 2

Alright, we're going to try to keep this rather short because we are exhausted! Today our group went to two different schools, Chulamal and Chichi; we both went to Chichi. The students put on several presentations about different topics they've been studying. Then we taught a 7th grade class together. Emma, Emily, Jonah, Caleb, Kim, Clara and others were with us at Chichi helping teach English through scripture and music to students in 6th-9th grades. After a quick lunch at school, we joined our dad Ben, Davis, Scott, John, and others at a rural home to help finish laying a concrete floor. There was a lot of sweat but a lot of smiles as we worked alongside our Guatemalan brothers and sisters. We continued to see God working in the students and in our team members throughout the day as we struggled to use Spanglish and lots of hand motions to connect with the students and members of the family whose home we were working in. Fortunately for us, smiles are universally understood! Please keep us in your prayers as we continue working and serving God this week.

Morning of Day 2

It's a beautiful, peaceful morning at Casa del Rey! I sat outside the hotel around 6:45 this morning to enjoy the cool weather and natural beauty that surrounds us here. I could hardly get through a few words of the devotional without hearing a hummingbird whir by or our close neighbors speaking in a blend of Spanish and Quiché (the local indigenous language). And I must say, it may seem that our neighbors were interrupting a quiet moment this morning, but it felt exactly the opposite. As I sat and thought about the Lord's purpose in bringing me here and his presence in this place, I couldn't help but feel that He did not want me to be alone in that moment, but was rather encouraging me to connect with our Guatemalan neighbors this week in every way I can. Our devotional this morning reads that God is in the people, whether they be people here in need or in the members of our team. Our devotional book this week is particularly special because they were written a few years ago by the late Dr. Alderman. I hope that we can all embody his friendship and enthusiasm as well as his faithfulness this week as we continue to look for how God is working in this place.

  • Katie