My family and I have been active in Guatemala at the Hope of Life Ministry for over 10 years. My wife Lori, initially went on a mission trip and fell in love with the people of Guatemala. Last Thanksgiving (2016) was my first trip, I had previously stayed home and managed our home and took care of our children.
During my first trip, my wife and I discussed moving to Guatemala. My wife felt our calling was to become a parent family for orphans in the orphanage at Hope of Life Ministries. We connected with a orphan that is nearly 18 years old who yearned to come to the United States and attend college. We began that process and learned that it was very difficult especially with an orphan and all the red tape between the two countries. After about 6 months of prayer my wife and I spoke with the founder of Hope of Life and began our walk toward fulfilling our destiny. Becoming parents of a "Transistion Home" to help prepare the orphans for the "real world" right in Guatemala.
As we spoke of this we learned that a organization had just built a home for that purpose (see the photo). We were so excited and felt confirmation that this was what God had planned for us. This past Thanksgiving we viewed the home and learned that it wasnt large enough to house my wife and I, plus our two daughters that will go with us.
We also learned of the increasing need for this service, to help place in perspective; Hope of Life gives lives dignity and rescues children and adults from poverished areas that "We" can not imagine. For example a family living in a dump, burning trash and melting plastic to recycle, making pennies a day to survive.
Hope of Life has been in existence now for nearly 20 years, with that; those children orphans are now young adults.
My wife worked in the local school system and for a small local credit union for the schools. We are working now to pay off our debt, so that we will be able to fully immerse ourselves into Gods work in Guatemala.
Since this began we have visited Guatemala, went to Ohio for training and readied ourselves for this important mission in changing the lives of orphans.
Since we first started this Give Send Go Campaign, the Hope of Life Ministries has told us that we could start our mission in the existing home. The Hope of Life is prepared to allow us to stay in a existing facility and work toward our goal while in country, thats just how bad the transistion home is needed. With the amount of orphans and our family, we will need an additional bedroom and bath so that we can have adequate use of the home.
The $22,000 will be used to help pay off our vehicle for use and transport in Guatemala as well as to assist with construction cost and sustainment while on the mission field. In the event you feel led to give, please know that 100% of your donation will go to Gods kingdom and our work for him in Guatemala.
Time is of the essense, God has the wheel rolling, lets all be obedient and make this more than a dream and make it a reality.
God has a plan for each of us, together with his Love we can make a difference.
Our home church is Bayside Community Church in Pocomoke City MD and your donation is tax deductible.
Thanks for reading this, please feel free to contact me with any question or concern.
Update #15 March 21, 2022
I am back at running the daily
activities of the household and filling in for Traci with her work with the
sponsorship program. It has been great to be able to go back out to villages, I
missed those precious faces. Teams are starting to make their way back down to
help the ministry and the people of Guatemala. And with government mandates
lifting again on tourist travel I look forward to working with even more teams
as they arrive.
Our bonus daughters are hard at
work. Angela the only one currently in school is doing the equivalent of our
junior year of high school in a hybrid of online and in-person school here on
campus. The next two weeks are a bit stressful for her because it is exam time.
Felipa has started a job working at the school here on campus and seems to
really enjoy it. She is saving to join a cosmetology program, that she will
attend on Saturdays in Zacapa. Marleni and Nora have been a huge help with the
sponsorship program while they figure out their future dreams and goals, and
how we can help to make them a reality.
If you remember, our visas are
only good for six months in country and then we must leave for a minimum of
three days. Our six months will be up at the end of May. We will use this time
to come back to the states to visit our family and friends, and restock on some
essential items that we are unable to get in Guatemala. During this time we
will be traveling cross country to visit our family, some that we have not seen
in over the 2 years that we have been here. Grandbaby Daniel will be here and
Bekah will stay with Jessica and her family helping care for him while we
continue on our visiting and return to Guatemala. We are still trying to plan
the logistics of Bekah’s return to Guatemala at the end of the summer months.
Thank you for your continued
prayers and support, we cannot continue to answer God’s calling for us here in
Guatemala without you!!
P.S. We have been on the mission
field for two years, can you believe it? It doesn’t even seem possible.
Update #14 March 21, 2022
Life as a missionary can be
challenging, but as long as you keep your focus on God no challenge is too
great. Just ask Dale, he and Traci held down the fort while Bekah and I
returned to the States to help Ashley (the oldest Trotter girl in Colorado)
with the arrival of grandbaby #3, Isla.
What a blessing it was to be there
to watch Marion and ease Ashley and Phil’s mind while they were at hospital. A
quick stop in Indiana was a wonderful chance to spend time with Jessica,
Brandon, and Zeke before grandbaby #4, Daniel, arrives later this month. While
home Bekah had the opportunity to visit Liberty University, her top college
choice for when she graduates in 2023. And we were able to spend just a few
days with our Pocomoke “Family.” Let it not go unnoticed that God has a sense
of humor because we left 80–90-degree weather to wintry weather, to include
snow everywhere we visited. Only to have us miss the cooler times here in Guatemala
and returning to the already climbing 100-degree temperatures.
While we were away Dale and Traci
continued their long days of work. For Dale that consisted of campus
maintenance and construction in the New Hope Village, the rebuilding of the
village that was destroyed by the Hurricane in November 2020. For Traci that
meant filling food bags, translating letters, and going out to villages with the
sponsorship program. All while maintaining the household.
Upon Bekah and my return, Traci
headed out to Colorado to pick up where we left off and helping her sister with
the challenges of a growing family. Traci will return with us after our visit
Dale and I were honored to be
named as Padrinos (Godparents), to our close friends’ youngest son, Liam. You
will also hear us refer to this family as our Guatemalan Family and our
Guatemalan Grandchildren since we are also their honorary grandparents. We were
excited to participate in a baby dedication service at their church in a
Bekah has been excelling in her
junior year of high school online and taking dual enrollment classes with
Liberty University. Because of her school schedule she has limited time to help
in the ministry areas but does when she can; like our once a month movie night
up at Village of Transformation, the orphanage here on campus, and filling food
bags with the sponsorship program on Saturday mornings.
Dale has completed house #13 out
of 50 in the New Hope village and has started to wire the reconstruction for the
canasta shop. The canasta shop is the building for a program founded by another
missionary family here, the McNutts. Sueno Canastas is a business that hires
and trains local young adults in the art of making baskets and totes from
recycled plastics. You can learn more about them on their website, www.hopemarket.shop . Their shop was also
destroyed in the flood from the hurricane and is now being rebuilt. And Dale is
excited to be a part of the rebuilding and ultimately helping the workers and
their families continue to grow and prosper.
Update #13 February 27, 2022
As we approach our two year anniversary we want to thank everyone that helps make this possible. Thank you for your continued prayer and support.
With your funds we completely care for the young ladies in our house and pray they will become successful citizens. Your funds not only help us sustain, but also directly provide clothing, activities, family outings, dental needs and provide for other household needs.
This year we were able to build a outdoor common area, we hope to share with you, when you visit us at Hope of Life.
This coming year we hope to continue maintenance here on campus, continue helping to outfit the homes at New Hope Village with electric needs. This is a tremendous benefit to those effected by Hurricane Eta.
Lori and the girls will continue with working in the area villages and providing much needed assistance their with monthly food bags and other needs.
Felipa has a new job at the Liberty College (High School on campus) and is doing very well.
Angela and Rebekah continue High School in the 11th grade. Thank you for helping support Rebekah who also is dual enrolled at Liberty University online.
As always thank you for your prayer, and thank you for your generous donations. God is with us! Prayers for each of you from Guatemala, see you soon!
Hot Water for Casa Transition October 6, 2021
I am sorry it has taken me so long to make this post.
As you know one of the things I was missing from home was hot water. We asked for donations to help with the cost and as always God, through you, came through with the request. Thank you!!
So after about 7 or 8 months of no hot water in our house, we now have one shower with warm water!!
It was a long and humbling process as it always is.
We along with many others were still being affected by the changes in the river after the 2 hurricanes that came through last November. And had to figure out how to get water in our house nevermind heating it. Once we got the rotoplast and pump we again had sufficient water. But knowing so many others still trying to get their water restored it was difficult to worry and ask for a luxury like heated water.
Once it seemed like most around us had water again, we continued with the process of installing a water heater. Only to find that that heated water could easily go to one shower but not throughout the house, without some major renovations and reconstruction. Needless to say, we are very thankful to have water and blessed to have the one shower now heated.
Here are some pictures to show you a glimpse of how we get our water.
Please continue to pray that our water continues to flow as we enter the dry season!
Dental check ups thanks to your donations. July 21, 2021
Enjoying a cloudy mountain view this morning as I wait for one of my bonus daughters to get some cavities filled.
Thank you for all your support! Because of you, each of our girls have now had dental appointments and have been able to get any needed work done and are sporting healthy smiles. With your continued support we will be finding an eye doctor soon for more check ups and a pair of glasses for at least one. Back in the states these are routine things here routine care is not widely used or afforded.
Please continue in your prayers and support as we continue to serve.
Special thanks to Dr Juan Carlos Villegas of Dental Point, for all your support in working with our girls and us thru this experience.
Update #10 March 15, 2021
Greetings everyone, its a beautiful day here at Hope of Life as we continue the mission that God places before us.
As many are aware, we have been working hard to determine a way to get our vehicle here to Guatemala. As you can imagine it is very difficult without a vehicle and we are thankful that due to various situations we have been able to borrow vehicles for needed supplies..
It seems that finally arrangements can be made to bring our vehicle from SonRise church in Berlin to Guatemala. Largely due to Covid we faced and continue to face many obstacles.
One obstacle is cost to bring it here. Whether it is driven or shipped, the actual cost ($1500 USD) is quite affordable, but the issue will be with tax imposed by Guatemala on vehicles. Our vehicle a 2015 Toyota Tacoma will be taxed at a 30 percent tax rate. So we will need around $8000 to be able to tag and operate it here. This is still more affordable than a new vehicle and our vehicle is much more reliable than most used vehicles in Guatemala. We are prayerful that you will pray for our effort and we know without a doubt that God will provide this funding as we continue to be obedient.
Thank you for your support and we welcome and thank you for prayer.
Update #9 January 5, 2021
All the glory to God.
A special heartfelt thank you from my family for all your prayer and support. Tonight I am especially grateful to let everyone know that with contributions we have met our goal to install a hot water system in our home. No more cold showers will be nice.
Now we begin fundraising to pay the Guatemala tax and shipping cost of our vehicle to Guatemala. As you can imagine it is very difficult without a vehicle and we have been blessed by other missionaries in the interim while they were in the USA, with use of there vehicle. But the time has come that we will need our vehicle here. One great reason, is we have now welcomed four beautiful daughters into our Transition Home. Please keep us in prayer as we answer God's call to be positive role models as we prepare them to be successful adults.
Thank you for your continued support, and especially your prayer.
We hope to see you soon either here at Hope of Life or at home.
Update #8 November 30, 2020
As Thanksgiving week comes to a close. We can’t help but see how much we have to be Thankful for!
As many know the Trotter family came home to the states for a short visit. Our first stop was to Parkway Church of God in Salisbury who had blessed the mission families here from proceeds of a fundraiser. The team Hope Rising also had changed plans due to Covid and was completing a “Stay at home” mission for Hope of Life that directly benefited us with new appliances greatly needed for our kitchen. We are so grateful and wanted to thank the church in person.
Because of the distance geographically and past weather issues, a hurricane that changed Jessica’s wedding plans in the fall of 2018, the older girls Ashley and Jessica have not seen each other in years and had not had the opportunity to meet spouses or each other’s children. What a blessing it was to bring our whole family together for about a week in Florida. While in Florida we had the opportunity to meet some wonderful people at Jessica & Brandon’s church, New Hope Church in Bradenton. While in Florida we got news that our friends and neighbors here in Guatemala had been hit hard with Hurricane Eta. Our hearts were breaking as we learned that our neighbors were being evacuated from there home and even more so when we learned that they got out just in time and had lost everything to the river that made a new path directly through the village.
Upon our return to Maryland, we visited some friends and watched as another storm was forecast toward our home in Guatemala. We felt a strong calling to return early to start assisting with rebuilding and clean up. We were blessed to meet some wonderful new friends at SonRise Church in Berlin our last Sunday in the states. SonRise adopted a village here in Guatemala and we are excited to provide updates to them on San Filipe. Simultaneously the USA was having an influx of CoVid cases and talk was rising of shutdowns by state governments. With our hearts already longing to be back home in Guatemala and do what we could to help our friends, we felt an even stronger urge to return early. Then the news mentioning that state governments had toyed with the idea of another complete closure, we felt that was an early warning and we needed to change our plans.
Leaving early meant we would miss service at our home church, Bayside Community Church in Pocomoke. We were deeply saddened to miss that service. But we were so excited to surprise some and have dinner with several. There was still a lot of you that we missed seeing and visiting with. If we missed you, we are terribly sorry and hope to catch up with you on our next visit.
We returned to Guatemala just as the second storm passed by. Roads were again washed out which led to us remaining in Guatemala City a few days before arriving back at Hope of Life.
Once back on campus we were able to take a walk and see for ourselves what others had been trying to show us in pictures. I can only tell you that by looking at the pictures you can only see a small glimpse of the destruction that Hurricane Eta left. I can’t begin to explain the devastation we are looking at on the ground. Mud ridden flat land where houses once stood and held families, a family that used to smile and wave “Hola” to us each time we went by, now homeless. Leaving no sign of anything ever having been on that land. No debris, nothing but flat sand or in some areas huge boulders, huge as in bigger than a car “huge”. It left 50 families without their homes and belongings. 24 families are still living in a neighboring village school until they can find a place to rent and regain some sort of home again. I know areas of the USA have been hit and suffered tremendously by hurricanes and fires for that matter, and my heart goes out to you if you have suffered through that. But, I have never in my life been so close to the destruction. It makes you feel ridiculously small and vulnerable, knowing that within minutes nature can come and redefine the land. I will be posting pictures, but I honestly don’t even like the pictures because you cannot see the depth and magnitude of this reality. It is nothing short of a miracle that no lives in our area were lost during all this destruction, we can only praise God for His mercies.
Since our return we have been on quarantine due to the mission sites vulnerable residence. Dale has been able to work some, but we are hoping to be back in full swing this coming week. We do not know what God has planned for us to do, but we trust that He has us here to use us in helping His people recover.
We will also be starting our ministry with the young adults from the orphanage moving in within the next couple of weeks.
Please continue to keep our ministry and family in your prayers as we move forward in God’s calling for us.
We are trying to plan for our next trip home, our six months in country will be up at the beginning of May. For those that are not familiar, we are here on tourist visas that are 90-day visas. After the first 90 days we apply for an extension of an additional 90 days, after the second 90 days we are required to leave the county for a few days and then we can return. We are using this as an opportunity to come home for a visit and our yearly doctor check-ups. After this trip we will most likely only be coming to the States yearly due to the cost (it cost us $3,000 in airfare alone to come home) and will travel somewhere closer and less costly the other time we must leave country.
We appreciate your prayer and support as we serve here in Guatemala.
Update #7 August 25, 2020
Who knows what day it is? I do know but wanted to check with you guys. :)
But seriously, how is it possible for the time/days to go by so quickly. In just a few short weeks we will have been on the mission field for 6 months. It doesn't seem possible. Have we done what we had planned? NOPE Has God used us the way He had planned? We have no doubt the answer to that question is YES.
As many of you know we arrived in Guatemala on 9 MAR 2020. Our plan was to come down, take time to settle into our new home, Transition House, once acclimated move our teens we would be caring for into our home. Share the love of the Lord with them as we help them prepare for living independently. Oh and get our truck shipped down as soon as possible. Dale was supposed to go back to the States in May for a court case and bring some of the items that didn't fit in our bags and other items we needed, back with him. You guessed it none of that has happened yet.
As we all know life as we knew it has changed everywhere. A thing called CoVid snuck in and changed everything.
We are in Guatemala, and sharing the love of Christ, but not in the way we had envisioned.
We are still living in a temporary house because our house is being used for the rotation of workers needing to be quarantined. Let me explain this a little. The workers during normal times go home to their families after a day’s work, some live far away so may stay on campus but for the majority they get off work and go home. With CoVid and our “campus” working with children and elderly that are vulnerable we have precautions in place. One of those precautions is having the works quarantine for a week before they come in contact with others. They come to work for three weeks staying on campus (no leaving campus), this includes a week of quarantine. After three weeks they return home to their families for 8 days and then come back. How many of you only get to spend 8 days a month with your families? It is hard, and by the third week you can tell how hard it is on many of them, they are missing their families. Yes, we are also not able to go off campus, but at least we have our family (except for the girls and their families back in the States) here with us. So, we are in temporary housing. We are very anxious to get into our house, set it up and make it our home and stop living out of suitcases, but it is in God's time and not ours. Some days we must remind ourselves that a little more than others. But we are remaining faithful.
What are we doing while we wait?
Dale is helping with area maintenance and electrical work. And occasionally the girls help him out.
The girls and I help three days every other week at Kelly House, home for those with disabilities. I think I may have told you before, that this is an area I have always loved but the girls didn't know if they would enjoy. I am so thankful to God for allowing us the opportunity to work in Kelly House through the Pandemic. It has shown the girls a group of people that they now have in their hearts that they may not have otherwise gotten to know. We help Sponsorship with filling food bags that go out to villages. Unfortunately, at this time we cannot go out to help deliver the food bags, they have people that stay on the outside of campus that do that. These food bags that have always been so important in so many lives are so much more important now. They are going out to some that otherwise would not have food to put on their tables. CoVid is definitely playing havoc on so many lives right now. They do not have work and they do not have a welfare system like we do. Without the support of sponsorship and volunteer organizations they do not get the help they so need. And occasionally we help in the warehouses with sorting donated items.
We are adjusting to the weather. I have grown accustom to the constant humm of a fan :) Those that know how hot natured I am, I am doing my best to live without AC. We seem to be having a long rainy season, but I am not sure since it is my first one. Most of the time the rain is only in the evening and during the night. Electric.... reminds me of growing up in Berkley, MA where we seemed to lose power a lot more than we did in Pocomoke, MD. Here when the power goes out you never know for how long. We have been truly fortunate and the longest has been only hours. But the slightest blip of power outage, means the internet goes out. Sometimes for a few minutes, sometimes for a few hours, days and even weeks. With no cellular signal in the house, this can be challenging. But we make do with what we are given. This is when we must ask for God's Grace to show our kindness through life's frustrations, especially when it interrupts Sunday Online Church Services or Meetings. So please continue to forgive us if we seem to leave you mid chat, or seem to just drop off for a day or two. We will be back and pick up where we left off. In the meantime, we will not miss our nightly family card game. See picture below.
Many have seen our post of some wildlife we have encountered. LOL Some of us, Dale (not to mention any names), handle this a little more comically than others. Those that know Dale personally know how funny his reactions to spiders, snakes, scorpions and such can be. Now think of his reaction when you wake up at 1:30 a.m. to a random cat sitting in your living room, a snake in your kitchen or ants climbing up or down from a light in the ceiling. We should have let the cat or snake stay to take care of the mouse that came in. But don't worry, we were lucky enough to have a friend with a live trap and our mousie friends are now living down the way in a field. These are just a few fun times that we get to laugh about, after the fact. No worries, most of these we did not encounter as weeklong missionaries, so you are still good to come on down… once the borders open up!!
But all in all, God has been so good to us! We have said many times that he had us get here just before the shutdowns for a reason. And we are letting Him use us as He needs. We are safe and well provided for. Are their things we would like to be doing differently, uhm yeah. It would be nice to be able to go out to the grocery store to get our own groceries. Currently we give a list and they are brought to us, so we are getting plenty of food we just can’t go out and get it ourselves. We would like to have our own mode of transportation down here. Dale is currently using whatever vehicle he can get a hold of for work on campus and we are trying to raise funds to buy a utility vehicle he can use for work. Once the borders open we will be able to get our truck down here. It would be nice to go walk the street in our little village getting to know our neighbors. I can’t wait for the day that I can go out to worship our Lord in a Church and not online. Online is very hard with an ADHD brain, just saying. But we will remain faithful that in His time we will be doing those things and so much more.
We miss teams being here to serve alongside of us and look forward to seeing you all again. May God continue to Bless you and keep you safe until the borders are opened!!
As for our visit home, our flights for September were canceled. We are bummed ☹ Now wait for the government to re-open international travel. As of now you can only fly to the United States on a repartition flight, but you cannot return until the borders reopen for tourist visas. No one knows when it will reopen. We do not know when things will reopen, but when they do… we will be home for a visit :) In the meantime, we praise God for taking such good care of us and for technology so that we can stay in touch and see our sweet grandbabies and their mommy's!!
Update #6 April 25, 2020
After a week of arriving in Guatemala, our family was placed in lock down or quarantine here at Hope of Life. We are grateful for the forward thinking of the Administration with the organization to provide safety and security to us for our medical well-being.
The same approach has been taken here with closing airport, stores etc and social distancing as in the USA. The difference is there are so many people that depend on the organization we serve for life sustaining assistance when times are normal, so I am sure you understand the devastation. Guatemala does not have the systems in place to continue assistance when others cant reach out. Churches can not operate and people are starving. We are thankful that we serve a wonderful God that sees us thru these tough times.
We have been tasked with filling food bags, preparing medical supplies and sorting valuable needed items for families in the hills of Guatemala and neighboring villages. The temperatures have averaged 104 each day, with a feel like of 111. We will soon be in the rainy season and the humidity will increase sharply.
Please pray for HOL and the missionaries here as we work to continue Gods work thru HOL without the weekly assistance of teams that were visiting.
We are prayerful that COVID will end soon and teams can return to work for Christ and fulfill the needs of these people.
Thank you for your financial support. Once we are able to be moved into our permanent home and out of the village of Safe Haven we will post photographs of our home and discuss future goals.
God is good and we are obedient to His message and desire, see ya soon!
Update #5 March 12, 2020
We have arrived at Hope of Life International in Guatemala. Please continue to pray for our mission as God begins to expose his plan to us. Every cent that you donate will be used toward this mission of insuring orphans transistion into caring, productive adults in a society that they can be successful.
Our goal is to nurture each child that comes into our care as if they were our natural children. We are eager to watch them grow and go to college, join the work force and begin there own families while instilling the love of Jesus Christ.
Please keep us in prayer, as days will not always be easy and struggles will abound. But, with the love and steadfast support of people like you, this mission will be a success!
Much love and more to follow!
In His service,
Dale, Lori, Traci Lee and Bekah
Update #4 December 11, 2019
Thank you for viewing, we appreciate all that God has done already for His mission for our family. Please pray that God will continue to move in mighty ways.
Update #3 November 25, 2018
Ok folks its getting close and here is your chance to help in a huge way, below is a link that will take you to our home in Maryland. It needs to sell so that we can take that income and put it to work for God's kingdom in Guatemala.
YOU can make it possible for my family to travel to Guatemala and "break ground" on a home that will radically change the lives of orphans forever! Thank you in advance for your donation, and most importantly thanks for praying for my family that we may answer God's call.
Update #1 March 7, 2018
... to help put this in perspective, if everyone who views this on our friends list, gave $41 (less than a tank of fuel) we could build this house and be one step closer to reality in Guatemala. So, truely every dollar counts and will go toward building this home for countless generations beyond us to benefit from!
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