The Fantastic Group 4

Yesterday was very powerful! We witnessed 20 people giving their lives to Christ. There may have been more but those are all that came forward. The service started with the Jesus film. After that our entire team went up front and started singing “Light the Fire” and “I love you Lord”. After that Michael, Josh, Kristina, Riley and Jenna gave their testimonies. You could see that the audience was engaged with what we had to say. It was pretty neat to see how God opened the hearts and minds of the people listening. After the testimonies Hermano Jesus gave his message. It was at this point where we felt the Holy Spirit falling on this place. Some of us went out into the crowd, placed our arms on the people and prayed for them. It was so cool to see the people come forward and give their lives to Christ. It was also cool knowing that the people that we colored with, played soccer with, jumped rope with and painted nails with were at that moment changing their lives forever. We ended the service singing “Revelation 19”. Yesterday we witnessed firsthand, the grace of God.

In His Grip,
Team 4 (Josh Van Wyhe, Kevin Berens, Kristin Vanden Hoek, Tami Schichtel, Morgan Noordyke, Al Jurgens, and Ashtyn Postema)

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Praise God we have our drivers!

Thank you Prayer Warriors!

It wasn’t long before I was hearing from people that they were praying and I knew that God was going to provide…and He did! Steve Stegemen, Olivia’s dad, has his CDL license and is eager to drive the team home! Thank you Steve, Bill, Connie and Lisa for being willing to drive to Detroit to bring our team home safely. Please keep them in your prayers as they travel. Thank you once again for being such faithful prayer warriors!
In His Grip,
Kristy VanWyhe

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Prayer Warriors we need a Driver!

Good morning prayer warriors!
I trust that all of you came safely through the storms last night! All I kept thinking when the wind was rushing, the lightning flashing, rain pouring and thunder crashing & shaking my solid home, what it must be like to be in one of the corn stalk huts that those families live in, in Guatemala, during a storm like that. WOW!

Last night I received a call from Bill VanDyken who felt that God had laid it on his heart to be driven over to Detroit tonight so that he could drive the church van back and give Kevin and Al a break. I thought it was a brilliant idea the only problem we have is that in order to drive the new church shuttle bus, you must have a CDL license. My request for all of you, is to please pray about this and ask anyone you know that has a CDL license if they would be willing to drive to Detroit and pick up the team. I have no doubt that Kevin will be able to drive the team safely home, he has more energy than anyone I know & is very safe, but it would be a great relief for him to have that responsibility taken from him. He has been praying about this since he found out their flight ittinerary. They will need to be in Detroit by 11:30 pm. If you want to help please call me at 257-3882 or Bill & Lisa at 538-4219.

I will have the West Wing open around 3:30 am if you want to come and wait for them to return. Also tomorrow night is Pash, and traditionally Kevin has invited the families and prayer warriors to the first Pash after Guatemala to share in the God Sightings and stories. I would urge you to come! This team was truly made up of more than 33 people, as all of us came together through this blog praying for them. It would be powerful for the team to physically see how many were praying for them! It begins at 9 pm and I am sure it will go quite late. 🙂 Thank you once again for your prayers and support. Praise God!

In His Grip,
Kristy VanWyhe

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Ready for a new journey.

Tuesday, June 22 @ 5:15 AM

All week we have been blessed with an absolutely perfect week. Even the weather was perfect. Even though on our first building day it rained a good deal, that day it only effected the building of a house and we still got everyhting accomplished. But because it rained on our first day – we became dependant on God for even the weather and saw that God carried even that for us as he has so many times before here in Guatemala. The rest of the week, the beutiful days and nights alowed for us to accomplish great things for the kingdom. Yesterday was again one of those days.

When it rains here, the people retreat to there homes and it is nearly impossible to gather with with people. Yesterday, after going to the market we returned to the village that we built the homes for. As the team began to walk the short road back to the homes, they were met with hugs, smiles and faces full of love and gratitude.

The time was spent loving on the people that we had three days before that shared the good news of Christ and witnessed God claiming each and every heart in the families that received the homes.

This team is an amazing team. The gifted people that God has put together here is one of the greatest God sightings of all this week. After a short while the team said many tearful good byes and loaded up for one more village that team Ivanrest built for 8 years ago and one that I some how have been able to visit each time I have been here since. My heart was touched as the family I built a home for shared with a few moment of their gratitude and love and let me know that they have been and will continue to pray for me. I have never though about the fact that we not only have prayer warrious back home in the US. But many of us who have been here have prayer warriours here in Guatemala. What an incredible thing to realize the power that God has given us through talking with Him.

Last night I asked for your prayer once again as God was not finishied with this team yet. As we came to God in singing and sharing of the amazing things that God has done in our lives this week, God was once again preparing to answer your prayers once again for the people you love and care for so much. The verses that had been planned to be used last night were set aside as God put on my hear and opened his word to us with words from John 12:12.

“The hours has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. I tell you the truth. Unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me; where I am, my servant must also be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.”

Last night we were called to a cross that many of you reading this have been called to. We were called not to just a cross because we needed help last night. We were called to the cross because we needed to surrender and die to the things of this world. As the nails were pounded in the cross with names of our team atatched, the sounds of the the nails being pounded brought back images from the film that we had shown in the villages of Christ being put on the cross and having nails pounded into his hands and feet. Jesus was not forced to be nailed to this cross. He had the power of God at his fingertips and could have stopped it at any moment. But he chose to stay, because of His love for us.

God does not force us to come to the cross either. he allows us to choose to come and be set free from the wind and the waves that are constantly beating against our lives. He wants us to take his yoke and let him carry our load.

Many on this team were broken last night and will be forever changed because of their willingness to follow God’s call in their heart to come and serve and offer their bodies as living sacrifices here in guatemala. Through your prayers again, souls were made complete and lives made whole.

The journey has ended here in Guatemala but it has just began for our lives back home. As we step off the plan and enter back into the norm of life, Satan will be waiting to take our passion for God and love for others and turn them towards ourselves. Pray for us as together with you we must resit this constant pull from the world.

It has been a priveledge and an honor to serve with this team here and with you our great support team back home. I hope and pray that as you have joined this journey with us that you have aslo been touched, challenged and changed. I pray as you son, daughter, grandchild, mom, dad or friend returns that you will again be able to share in greater detail of the amazing things that happend here in the mountains of Guatemala.

Today we travel home. Since I received the flight schedule I have known that I would need to ask for your prayers one more time for this team. We arrive into Detroit at midnight tonight. We will have to get the bus, van and trailer and then head out for one more challenge. Please keep Al Jurgens and I in your prayers as we one more time need to be lifted up after an exhausting week as we drive the three hours back to Ivanrest church and to you.

I can’t thank you enough. May God bring you to a mountain in your life and restore, refresh and renew your passion for Him.

This is a beautiful end to an amazing journey. Vamos con amor de Dios. We go with God’s Love.

In His grip,

kevin van wyhe

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Last Morning in Guatemala

Monday, June 21 @ 6:30 AM

The miles seemed to peel off slowly one at a time. We had made it out of the village and past the very difficult road that even the tiniest bit of rain would have made impossible for us to pass through. Knowing that there were still several hours of travel till we made it safe to the base i knew that only prayers would bring three tired drivers and 3 vans full of precious lives back home. As I began to pray and wondered how I would be able to perfom this task that was begining to seem very difficult I had a peace come over me and I belive God let me know that there were still people back home praying for us right then and there. I knew it would be difficult but that God would get us through.

During those hours on the road I reflected on many things that had happened that day and this past week. I first reflected on the village that we had just left and how one again God hit a home run through our children as they gave their all to love these people and give them a chance to come to know Jesus Christ. I think the long and bumpy road will be the thing that many of the team will remember clearest. I can see exactly why God allowed us to minister in such a remote place. These people needed to hear the gospel and we needed to do what ever it takes and take risks to bring that Gospel to them. I believe that this difficult road will serve as a reminder in the future of the need for us to have that attitude and passion over and over again to do what ever it takes to make the good news of Jesus Christ available to those who are still lost. As we spent close to two hours digging, scraping, tossing rocks in the road, putting on chains and praying. God was giving us a beautiful lesson of what it means to work together and put our faith in God. As the team stood on the side of the road, it was as if we were watching the angels pull the two vans [one in tow with the other] over the steep mudy road. It will go down in my mind as a miracle as I am sure many others who watched this moment happen. I know if the team had to do it all over again tonight, they would.

Again as I was driving, my thoughts also turned to the village of people that had never been given the true message of Christ as not a single person there had claimed Jesus as their savior till that night. It was again a beautiful sight to see the team fill that school house with singing and testimonies of God’s mercy and joy. With hearts softened by the Holy Spirit and the Love that this team poured out, many in this village would not return to their homes empty hearted. As Hermano Jesus once again uttered my favorite words “Entra mi vida. Enta mi Corazon. Cambia me. Transforma me.” I witnessed your children and loved ones stand besides these woderful people with hands on their shoulders and tears on their cheeks as they received Christ into their hearts. What a gift God has given us to see such a harvest. God worked amazingly in both villages that we have been called to as well as the families that we built the homes for.

The miles seemed to click off a bit faster as my mind continued to wonder over things that had happend this past week. My thoughts were then turned to the team themselves. I began to have pictures of each person of our team flash infront of me, pictures of them smiling, crying, singing, playing, sharing testimonies, giving gifts, working, caring and loving. I am so proud of each person on this team. They have truly given their best this week and in doing so they have been transformed and changed as well. God is going to use this week to give purpose and meaning to many on this team who were lost and stuggling. I believe that we have not only witnessed a great harvest hear in Guatemala, but also a great harvest in this team.

It was at 2:30 AM this morning that we pulled into the mission, safe and full of stories of God’s faithfulness and power.

Today as we spend our last day hear. Please pray that God continues to move in us. We will be going to Antigua to do some shopping. Pray that we don’t get caught up in our desires to want things and focus on ourselves. As we spend time with eachother, pray that the bonds between team members would grow closer and be tightend for when we return home. As we spend one last night in worship and sharing on this mountain, pray that we would hold nothing back and offer Christ our entire lives. As we prepare to go home tomorrow -pray for safe travel. We leave tomorrow at around 7:30 for the airport and fly out around noon. We don’t arrive in Detroit until midnight and that leaves us still with a long drive home. Please pray specifically for this drive. We have been living on little sleep and we are going to need your prayers even on the smooth roads in Michigan to make it safe back home at around 4:00 in the morning.

Thanks again for the countless ways that you have all supported us and prayed for us this past week. I pray that your lives have been touched through this journey as well. I can’t wait for you to hear the stories first hand and rejoice with these team members at what God has done this week.

May we all remember the lessons God has given us and be willing to take the road less traveled in our lives as we carry a gift that needs to shared. May we truly allow our lives to be a passionate, living sacrifice for our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

It has been a pleasure serving with this wonderful team.

Hasta Luego,

In his Grip,

Kevin Van Wyhe

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Safe at the base!

From Dan: “Team Ivanrest made it safe back to the base at about 2:30AM (4:30EST) without incident and with an incredible story to tell…but that is for another day! Thank you for praying us home!”

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They are on their way!

Thank you to everyone who has been praying for our team as they tried to leave the village. At 12:04 am (about an hour & 1/2 ago) Heidi sent out an email to the Intercessors saying, “The team was able to make some progress in leaving the village, but are currently hung up in a very muddy stretch and ask for your prayers to help them pull through.”
God gave me the verses from Matthew 17:20-21 for all of us tonight.
“For truly I tell you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.”

Now at 1:12 am (est) this new email came from Heidi, “The team has made it past the muddy road and is onto the asphalt ‘highway’. Thank you for your prayers they were felt and helped greatly. They still have some distance to travel but it *should* be good roads from here on out.”

Thank you Lord for answering our prayers. Continue to protect our team as they make the rest of the way to the base.
In His Grip,
Kristy Van Wyhe

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