New Team Members and Partners

In the past couple months, our team has started to come together one person at at a time. We are so excited to see what God does with all these team members.

To help us with the licensing and management we hired an architect named Louis Perdomo. With his help we are hoping to get the licenses we need to start building the retreat center as soon as possible. We are thankful for Louis and his expertise. His work has freed up Nathan to let him focus on other responsibilities while having peace of mind that the work is in trusted hands.
Please pray for wisdom and guidance for Louis as he works for our ministry and that our building licenses will go through with little to no hesitation.

At the beginning of this month we had two guys come down from San Antonio, Texas to explore ministries in Guatemala with the hopes of partnering with one of them for years to come. After a week of traveling from place to place, Jonathan and Charlie decided that Engadi Ministries best suited their interests and their hopes for the future. So as of now, we have partners in the States that we can invest in over the years and have them do the same. We are so excited to have Charlie and Jonathan as a part of our team. It has been great getting to know them so far, and we can’t wait to get to spend more time with them over the years.
Pray for Jonathan and Charlie as they continue to develop their company. Pray that God will continue to reveal His plan in their lives and in their company.

Manuel is twenty five years old, and has grown up in one of the harshest neighborhoods in Guatemala City. Nathan has known Manuel since he was just a boy and as Manuel has grown up, Nathan has seen in him a boy who desperately wants to be a mighty man. When Nathan started developing Engadi Ministries he hoped and prayed that one day he would be able to hire Manuel full time to encourage and mentor the boys in Zone 18. Though this has been on Nathan’s heart for some time now, there was never the funds to make it possible, until now. Because of our new partnership, we now have the funds to hire Manuel full time. Manuel has prayed and talked to his family and believes it is what the Lord has asked him to do. He will join us full time in a few short weeks.
Pray for Manuel’s family as they also must adjust to his new job. Pray that the Lord will bless his decision and that Manuel will find peace and joy as he joins us.

Since last October, Eric Humes has been here to help Nathan with hosting teams, organizing finances, and making the pictures for the ministry look uniform and finished. He has done a lot of work so far, and we are so thankful for him and his dedication to our ministry. His passion for Engadi is evident and we are so glad to have him on our team.
Pray for Eric as he heads back to the States in October. Pray that he will follow God’s voice and that he will end up exactly where he needs to be.

A couple of weeks ago Andrea Ewing finally made it down to work with us after years of waiting. Andrea has felt called to Guatemala since she was very young but was told she had to wait until she was eighteen to come down and work with us. Now at the age of eighteen she is here, ready, and willing to do what the Lord asks of her.
Pray for Andrea as she starts her life in Guatemala. Pray that she will adjust to the culture and language and that she will find God in a new way.

God’s Promised Land!

It has been amazing to see how God has been faithful in providing for Engadi Ministries over the past two years. Since May 2009 the boys’ home ministry has been running full steam ahead. Here is a quick run down:
May 2009 We begin to pray for 2 acres of land at $150,000 to build the boys home
May 2009 We are offered 2.25 acres of land for $150,000.
June 2009 The seller agrees to sell it to us with no money down.
Sept. 2009 I fly to the USA to raise money and interest for the land, but only return with $10,500.
Oct. 21, 2009 We sign a contract for $10,000 down and 12 months to pay the rest interest free. (The $500 paid the lawyer.)
Jan. 2010 The first team arrives to do work on the land, paving a road to access it, working by faith that we would buy it.
Feb. 2010 We resign our position at Shalom Church and move away from family and friends to be closer to the project.
May 2010 By faith, a team of architects come and design the whole property for us although we still don’t own it.
July 2010 Several teams come to help clear the land, dig foundations, and get it ready to build.
Aug. 2010 We only had about $30,000 in the bank, but trust God will provide the rest.  God raises $75,000 at just one church!
Sept. 2010 The karate Association raise about $30,000.
Oct. 8, 2010 Two weeks before the deadline we have all the money!  The land is ours!
Nov. 2010 God provides $20,000 for the taxes and legal fees to transfer the land to the ministry’s name.
Dec. 2010 We cut a road into the property and prepare to build.
There has been incredible momentum from the start. That movement hasn’t slowed down yet.
We know that God brought us to this property for a reason, He raised the funds, and He brought people into our lives to help with the ministry.  Although at times we feel that we are facing some of the greatest giants ever. God is in control. It is His land and His money. He will work out the details. We must be faithful to move forward towards each giant and not turn and run.
Pray for wisdom, resolve and the strength to move forward. Pray for God’s help as we overcome each obstacle that comes our way.

Building Obstacles and Solutions?Antigua is a highly prized tourist attraction which is protected by international law as a World Heritage site, similar to the Egyptian Pyramids or the Great Wall of China. Due to this status the building permits are very strict and hard to come by. In this process we have come across a bit of a challenge. Due to the inclination of our property we are restricted from building on it. However, there are no restrictions on moving dirt or leveling a steep hill. So we have begun the process of cutting the property so we can have flat surfaces before requesting our building permits.
Pray that we will be able to get this leveling process completed quickly.
In order to dig faster and more efficiently it would be great to have our own Backhoe. The amount of dirt to move is astronomical. What we would spend on renting one could just about pay for us to buy our own.  Pray that God provide us with the equipment we need.

The ultimate goal is to get the building license for the Antigua property.  Pray that God will provide us with the permits we need in His timing, remembering that He holds all who are in power in His hands.

Engadi II: The Refuge and The Ranch
Both in the business world as in the church world, most people wait to establish their first site before they go out to look for a second property to expand their business or to start a satellite church. In the process of figuring out what to do with our Building License challenge a friend heard of our problems. God touched his heart and he donated 3.1 acres of land in Zaragoza valued at $50,000 to the ministry! We haven’t built the first set of homes and God has already blessed us with a second property to develop. This was an incredible encouragement in a time when we asked ourselves, “what have we gotten ourselves into?” Praise God for this generous donation.
Pray for Bernal & Karin Ehlert and their two kids. Pray that God repay their generosity.
Now we need to figure out what to do with the new property. We have decided to call the Antigua land, “Engadi Refuge”, and the Zaragoza land, “Engadi Ranch”. At this point we feel the Ranch will be best suited for younger boys in Elementary or Middle School, and the Refuge is best for High School and College age boys. We are hoping to get a team of architects come to help us layout the property this Fall.
Pray for wisdom as to how each property should be used. Pray for the architects to advise us best. Pray for funds to build both properties simultaneously.

Foundation for the Guardhouse/Workshop
The first building to go up at the Refuge is the Guardhouse/Workshop.  The basement is going to be a place to store building materials, tools and such. The first floor will be a residence for our custodian/grounds keeper.  The total construction will be around $48,000. We have received $15,000 so far. We have gotten two of the walls in the basement completed and are working on the other two now.
Pray the rest of the funds will come in to complete the construction.
Pray the construction will go smoothly without any hang ups.
Pray for safety and wisdom for the employees and volunteers as we work to complete this project as quickly as possible.
May this just be a small start to all that needs to be done.
I’m reminded of Levi’s favorite VeggieTales, “Josh and the Big Wall”.  Every time I was headed to the Engadi Refuge to work on it, Levi always asked me if I was going to The Promised Land. I asked him why he called it that, and his response was, “That is our promised land.” There is a lot of work to do to take possession of this Promised Land. God has great plans and I can’t wait to see what He plans to do. Will you go with us to conquer this land?
Thanks again for your prayers and interest in Engadi Ministries.
God bless, ?Nathan & Claudia

A Road Into The Property

20 people from University of Anderson in SC. They are working on the road up to the team house.

Reaching the End of the Trail

One of my favorite things to do in the whole world is to hike volcanoes.  My favorite hike is the Santa Maria Volcano in my home town of Quetzaltenango.  You start out at about 8,000Ft and over 4 hours you climb up to nearly 13,00Ft.  At the top the view is incredible!  On a clear day you can see the 14,000ft peaks on the Mexican boarder 80 miles to the west, the smoking peak of Fuego volcano 100 miles to the east, the high mountain ridges to the north and the endless blueness of the Pacific Ocean to the south. I’ve hiked to see that view more times than I can remember.  The one problem is that after you enjoy God’s beauty, you still have to hike back down.  Although, we are nearly to the car, it seems like the last 100 yrds are always the hardest.

In a similar fashion we are at the last 100 yards in obtaining the land.  August 2009 we stood at the foot of an impossible challenge and decide to go after it.  October 8, 2010, we reached the top when we received the final donation to cover the $150,000, two weeks before the deadline, to purchase the land.  (It still amazes me, not that God could do it, but that he choose me to do it through.)  Currently, we are in the process of legalizing the purchase of the land and putting it in the ministry’s name.  Once we get the land title in the ministry’s name we can obtain the construction licensing we need for the phase.

As you may have seen in the update we recently sent, we have $16,500 so far.  We need to come up with an additional $10,000 to complete the process.  Legal fees, sales tax and registration expenses come out to be about 17.5% of the total purchase.  (The legal side of purchasing land in Guatemala is outrageous!)  Work can’t progress until we get this money.  I know you have already sacrificed, given, volunteered, worked hard and prayed for this project, but need to make a final push.

You may not have the funds personally, but you may know people that do.  Year end is quickly approaching, maybe someone you know needs an extra Tax-credit.  Maybe your church needs a place to send a special Christmas offering.  I just ask you to pray and allow God to show you what to do.  For some it may be to just pray, for others He may lay on your heart a creative way to help come up with funds, He may bring to mind someone you need to talk to, and for others He may lay a specific amount on your heart to give.  No amount of effort is too small.  Every little penny is needed. Just be available for how God leads you.

All donation are tax-deductible. You can donate to the Land Fund online or you can mail a check made out to “American Bushido-kai Karate Association”, to 1228 E 21st Place, Tulsa, OK 74114. Write “Guatemala Land Fund” on the Memo line.

We are tired, our legs are cramping, we are out of water, and just want to sit down. The end of the trail is in sight! just 100 yards away!  Let’s push through to the end. Let’s finish the trail.

Thanks for hiking with us on this incredible journey,
Nathan & Claudia

New Ministry Partners

One of the biggest challenges we have faced is the fact that we are alone in this ministry work. We know you guys are all praying for us, but I mean on a day-to-day basis. In the last month God has begun to build a team that will help accomplish the vision He is laying on our hearts.  ??First, we are in the process of developing a Board of Directors to help with administrative, legal and fundraising aspects in the ministry.
Pray for wisdom as we contact potential board members, and that God will lay a strong conviction to serve on their heart.

Secondly, God recently brought Matt & Molly Swanson into our lives.  After much prayer and talking, we (all 4 of us) believe there is a great potential for partnership. They are in the process of packing up their things in Tulsa, OK and hope to move to Guatemala in March 2011.  They have three boys: Josiah, Caleb and Noah.
Pray for them as they pack and prepare to come.

Thirdly, Kory Fain, a college student from McGregor Baptist Church in Florida, felt God telling him to take a few months off and come to Guatemala.  He will be moving down in February to help us host the many teams coming next year.
Pray for God’s provision and guidance in his life.

Finally, there is a long list of teams signing up to help out next year with the work to be done. We already have 10 teams coming between March & August.
Pray for each of the team leaders and the churches/ministries they represent, may God provide for all of their needs.

Thanks again for your prayers and interest in our ministry.

We Have the Land!

For those of you who have been praying the purchase of land, I wanted to let you know that we have reached the purchase price for the land as of October 8th! We were able to pay the land owner in full the $150,000 two weeks before it was due. God is our great provider!
Praise God for His Provision.

Our next major challenge is to come up with the sales tax, registration and legal fees needed to actually put the land in the ministry’s name.  The total cost for this is around $27,000! We already have $16,500!  We are just over $10,000 away.
Pray for the funds needed.

Recently we were offered a piece of land adjacent to ours which will help us resolve some of the issues the architects were having with the distribution of the buildings. If God provides we hope to purchase that piece as well. It would be another $50,000 to purchase this land.
Pray for wisdom and direction in this.

For now we are in the process of going through the legal loops and hops to get the title transferred. It may be a few weeks, or several months to get it all lined up. Having the legal title is important in obtaining the construction permits and other licenses in order to start building on the site.
Pray that we may find favor in the eyes of the government officials and that we may get the paperwork quickly.

Let’s Finish the Beginning

We are close to the finish line in getting the land for the Boys’ Home here in Guatemala. As of last count we are just $5,000 short of the $150,000.00 purchase price. On top of that we need around $25,000 for sales tax, registration fees, and other legal expenses. We have to have these funds by OCTOBER 21st!

Pray for the funds we need. Pray for how God may want to use you to help us reach them.

Pray, also, for the team we need to form as our Board of Directors and how we need to go about doing that. Pray for who should be on it.  We already have several candidates, and are considering a couple more.  May God send those He wants our way.

Pray for Claudia and I as we try to run a family in the middle of all of this craziness. May we find time to be together away from the stress.

Thanks again for your prayers, and let’s fight forward taking the land God has given us as a refuge for these boys. Once the land is purchased, we have a long road ahead in construction and in bringing in the boys. This is only the Beginning.

Another death in Zone 18

Rosenda Lemus and her mother, Berta de Lemus, were shot and killed near the elementary school in the Paradise neighborhood. Berta is Joel Lemus’s mother, too. Rosenda and Berta lived on the edge of the Ratonera (Literally “the Rats’ Nest”) neighborhood across from the soccer stadium we built. Rosenda leaves behind three teenage girls, Katherine 16, Valery 14, and Genesis 12 Nunfio. The girls were all in the Karate class at some point. (Joel daughter, Astrid is also part of karate class.) The girls’ father abandoned the family years ago and has never returned.

A young boy of about 10 years of age is the one that fired the shots. He did it as an initiation to get into the gang. The two women were totally unaware of the attack and didn’t provoke it in anyway.

Pray for the family through this tragic loss.
Pray for us as we minister to the family.
Pray for wisdom in finding a safe and adequate solution to help the girls for the future.
Pray for the girls’ safety and that they won’t fall victims to the gangs.

Please share this with those in your circle of friends that may know the families.

Coveting your prayers,
Nathan and Claudia