Joe’s trip to Guatemala, May 2-8, 2015.
“My trip to Guatemala began very early on Saturday, May 2nd. I left Newark Airport at 5:50 am and arrived in Guatemala City around noon. I was met by my contact, Garry Eudy, who introduced me to our team consisting of seven pastors, two drivers, and a variety of translators. My primary responsibility was to teach local pastors the basics of counseling those in addiction to drugs and alcohol. Addiction is a huge problem in Guatemala and pastors are overwhelmed with the needs in their congregations. Here are some of the highlights of the trip:
• I was able to preach at Bethel Church, pastored by Edgar de Leon, who is interested in reaching those who suffer from alcoholism and drug addiction. I gave my testimony and then spent a little over an hour answering questions and talking with the church family. I was able to reconnect with a woman I had met three years ago when I first visited Guatemala. Her husband had been an alcoholic at the time but I was happy to hear that he has stopped drinking and is experiencing a brand new life of sobriety.
• I spent almost an entire day with three pastors, teaching them how to work with the addicted by utilizing some methods from Dr. Charles Solomon’s “spirituotherapy.” They were very attentive students, asking many questions and sharing many stories about their lives as pastors of inner city churches. Drugs and alcohol are a major problem in their neighborhoods. They were very grateful for the help, including their own copy of the Spanish “Handbook to Happiness” provided by one of our ministry partners (thank you, Kyong!).
• I visited Pastor Waldemar Morales’ new church called La Vida Nueva (meaning new life). This church is located in a very nice middle-class residential area. We personally have supported the church, so it was exciting to see the progress they are making and the growth they are experiencing.
• I visited with my friends Juan and Claudia Wurmser. Juan is a fraternity brother from Trenton State College whom I had not seen since 1975. We had a wonderful reunion and I was so thankful for our time together and for their hospitality.
My return trip included a two-hour delay in Guatemala City and a missed connection in Miami. I arrived home late on Saturday night with a sinus infection, 101 degree fever, and a host of great memories and new friendships.”
We had a wonderful time visiting a public school. I spoke to about 200 students ages 11-16 about the perils of drugs and alcohol and how they had ravaged my life. I emphasized how to make good decisions, beginning with Jesus Christ as their Savior. What a positive experience!
These women were teachers at the public school we visited:
Love Them To Life
Book sales of Beside Still Waters have been encouraging in the first few weeks since publication, including one sale on Amazon (thanks, Bob Strodel!). Our support group continues to grow and to touch lives of mothers who are desperate to help their children but have no idea what that looks like. Several women have received Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord through coming to the group or through phone conversations. Although none of us can force our children to make good choices, we can encourage moms to get healthy spiritually and physically as they walk through a terribly difficult time.
Please encourage your church to consider starting a Love Them To Life support group for mothers of addicts. It is so desperately needed in every area of our country as the epidemic of addiction continues to grow.
God blessed us with a new retractable banner to be used to highlight the ministry in places such as churches and conferences. At 80 inches high it is hard to miss!
Please continue to pray for God’s provision for our finances. XL Project is now a non-profit charity organization that depends on donations in order to get the good news out of freedom from bondage to addiction through Jesus Christ. The motto on our banner is “Reaching out to those in addiction and to those who love them.”
Support gifts can be sent to:
31A Yorktowne Pkwy
Whiting, NJ 08759
We cannot do this without your prayer support as well as your financial support as God leads you. Thank you!