Monday, October 3, 2016

Trust also in me

“Simon Peter asked, “Lord, where are you going?” And Jesus replied, “You can’t go with me now, but you will follow me later.” “But why can’t I come now, Lord?” he asked. “I’m ready to die for you.” Jesus answered, “Die for me? I tell you the truth, Peter—before the rooster crows tomorrow morning, you will deny three times that you even know me. 
Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am. And you know the way to where I am going.””
John 13:36-14:4 NLT

What an incredible scripture! It's a reminder that though Peter was going to disown Jesus, there was a promise. A promise that involves forgiveness and love. I can picture it, Jesus speaking the truth about his future sin and even then He says "don't let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God." He was telling me, "Ana, trust me! Keep calm"

If you haven't heard of this guy named Brant Hansen, well it's time to get to know him. I started listening to him on a radio station and when he left the station I started following him on Facebook. He is funny, but most importantly he is a man who speaks truth about God without the glam. Well, in his own way and perspective. 

My guilt comes from not understanding God. In my last post I spoke a little about how I have been feeling and God wanted to take care of my heart. Knowing God and his love for us does not involve a sheet of rules; It involves our hearts. 

No matter how "bad" we are His love for us does not change. I saw a video of Brant talking about this reminding me of something that I need to be confident in.

One thing that I have seen throughout in church culture (even the church I go to) is how people are lifted high for their achievements. In reality the people God has chosen are not those who stand out in public. It's those who stand out due to their hearts. I love to be praise and God allows my heart to be humbled because the glory needs to go to Him. I hope that as I write about things happening in my life, it does not reflect me, but reflects Jesus' heart. If it was up to me I would stay home and watch movies, but the Spirit moves me to serve the least. 

Some may not understand why I am not serving at church teaching English. This has made me feel insecure and guilty, but I know that it was part of God's plan to move me out of the way and have someone else step up. I was tired and overworked. I was not doing what fills my soul, which is serving those who have gone through abuse or have been abandoned. I believe with all of my heart that God will use my story, my journey to help others. 

I hope that you feel super loved and cared for by God, even in times when you have made decisions to step away. God wants to reassure you that He loves you, He is good and will not let go of you no matter how far you part or what religion tells you. The bible tells us so much about His compassion and forgiveness, don't forget about that!

Take some time to watch Brant

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Flight to Mexico

I don't believe in coincidences, I believe in GODincidences.

I'm currently on a flight to California, but prior to this flight I was flying to Mexico from Guatemala. On my flight I met the sweetest lady. We talked the full 3 hours and we waited for the next flight together though we we were going our separate ways. 

We talked about love, finances, health and Jesus. We laughed about life, talked about deep rooted issues and the scriptures. She was on her way to New York to meet up with the love of her life. Her story blew my mind. It reminded me that God has a perfect love story for each one of us. His word is a love letter to us filled with sacrifice, compassion and reminders of how much he loves us. 

Forgiveness was one of our topics. She asked me if there was anything that I was holding on to. She made this association with my health. Sometimes our bodies react to our emotional state of being. It got me thinking of so many things and circumstances. I do hold on to things and allow them to hinder me. I've been feeling guilty which is a feeling that has followed me since I was a little girl. I need to ask God for healing, reconciliation and peace. 

I really needed someone like that today. I needed to be reminded of my perfect love story with my Lord. I need to get back on track and allow the Spirit who lives in my to flourish and allow it to do its work in me. 

I can't wait for December because that's when my new friend will be back in Guatemala and we can continue our deep conversations. We will be meeting in two months for coffee. I am looking forward to it. God is good all of the time and sends us people right when we need it. 

“Don’t forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it!”
Hebrews 13:2 NLT


Tuesday, September 20, 2016


Last week I started going to an Hogar that's about a mile from my house. I had been praying about it before I came back to Guatemala because I was told that one of the little boys needed me. 

My little guy, Pedro, has delays in his speech and language. He is 5 years old and I probably can understand 15% of what he says. 

The first time I went, he looked at me and started to cry. Not what I was expecting. I took that opportunity to mingle with the other children in the home. Before I left, he sat next to me for a few minutes to play with a little car. 

I encouraged the staff to talk about me everyday in hopes to spark something in him and not be in shock when I arrive a few days later. 

Our next encounter was perfection. As soon as I entered the home I saw him on the other side of the house, waving at me, asking me to go join him. There was something special that happened in me at that moment. 

This was when I was able to notice his delays as we played and looked at a book together. All of the other children were surrounding us, participating in our story time. 

This week I was able to go again and spent a little time together with Pedro. We played and looked at a few books. 

Later we joined the rest of the kids where we took a few selfies. 

God always knows what we need and what is best for us. I enjoy visiting this home and I pray that God will bless it. 

Special Guest: Ashley Harris

"36 He took a little child whom he placed among them. Taking the child in his arms, he said to them, 37 “Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me.”  Mark 9:36-37

The school year has started and there are a handful of new teachers at CAS. On the first day of orientation I met Ashley who was sitting very quietly between some of the teachers. I noticed her quiet and gentle spirit imidiately because she sat around others who were a bit more talkative. I soon found out that she had arrived the day before. By the end I introduced myself and offered my help since I had a vehicle and I too needed to buy some groceries. 

I have been reading some of her blog posts and it's evident of her love for the Lord. I wanted to host her here so you can meet her and follow her journey as she love the little first graders. She is very insightful and deep in her blog

This is her story: 

1. Background information
Born in Warner Robins Georgia to Michael and Jada Harris on February 14. My Mother, Jada Harris has worked in Christian Education for 30 years now and has made me her assistant practically since I could talk. A love and passion for international travel and work was instilled by my father who was in the Air Force and constantly bringing home fragrant gifts and exquisite stories and photos from abroad. I grew up with an older brother, a younger sister and two more younger brothers, so the more people I can have around the better. When I was in kindergarten the Gospel was presented in an Easter chapel at my school, during which I broke down and after talking with my teacher, prayed and asked God to be the Lord and Savior of my life, thanking Him for His love and payment for our sins on the cross and believing in the power of His love. Since then I have been seeking to follow Him with my life, praying that He use me to be His hands and feet bringing the love and hope of the Gospel to the world.

2. What brought you to Guatemala?
Technically who brought me to Guatemala, God absolutely. And a woman who was an administrator with my mom at Grace Brethren Christian School who has become like an adopted grandmother to me over the years. She learned of my passion for international missions and felt a call on my life like I did to serve internationally one day. Her church has been going to Guatemala since the early 1990's so in 2011, she asked if I would prayerfully consider going. Which I did and within a few months ended up on a plane to Guatemala for the first time. Looking back I'm not sure what I was expecting, though definitely not that it would change my life and my heart. That the sparkling eyes of the people of Guatemala would forever be etched on my heart and soul and that God would bring me back over and over again and now to live and serve in this country for His Glory to reach the brokenhearted with the love and hope of the Gospel.

3. Why did you decide to become a teacher?
One of my favorite quotes is "Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope." by Maya Angelou. Growing up watching my mom in Christian Education and being thrust into the circle at an early age I saw the truth in a quote by J.C. Maxwell, "A teacher is one who know the way, goes the way, and shows the way." Especially in Christian education where a teacher does not just light the way for academic pursuits but stands as a light for The Way, The Truth and The Light, the way to hope and love and eternal life. An opportunity to used of God to stand as a light for children all over the world is a beautiful blessing to me.

4. Any goals for this school year? 

 I would love to see each child blossom this year, in school and in their lives. I pray that they see the love of Christ and the hope of the Gospel through their teachers and in everything we do this year. This year I pray my students think, question, design, create, struggle, collaborate, try, solve, invent, reflect, and learn. I pray to inspire my kids and I can't wait to see how they will inspire me.

5. What do you expect to get out of this school year?

 I look forward to collaborating with other teachers at the school both in and out of work. For it has been said by Robert John Meehan, "The most valuable resource that all teachers have is each other. Without collaboration our growth is limited to our own perspectives." I pray to grow in the Grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. I am learning to trust Him more and more and step out in fearlessness when He asks me to walk on the waters. My verse for this year, prayed about and adopted in January is "Be Strong and Courageous. Do not be afraid, Do not be discouraged, For the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9 Getting a call to move to and teach in Guatemala with one week preparation time definitely was a call for me to grow in my trust of Him but I still have a ways to go and I look forward to how He works this year.

6. Favorite moment so far these past 2 weeks of school?
 About half my class ended up sick by Wednesday of this week, out with fevers and stomach bugs. It was pretty bad. The first one to get sick was a little girl who ended up being out for the last two days of the first week, which we only had three days to start so it was interesting. But she came back on Monday with a picture for me, drawn on this little slip of paper in all primary colored markers of her and I which she handed to me with a big hug and exclaimed, "Oh I Love You Miss!" Then sat down and began quietly reading.

7. Final Thoughts? 

 "Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much" Helen Keller
"Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know." Jeremiah 33:3

Here are some pictures she sent me from her volunteer work here in Guatemala. 

Thursday, September 15, 2016


"...give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus." 
1 Thessalonians 5:18

As I sit here in the dinning room, which is also my living room, I can't help but be thankful. It has been raining a lot the past couple of days and I truly enjoy the sound of rain, but the best part is when it stops and I can hear the birds chirping.

On Monday I went to an Hogar near where I live to play with little kids. My purpose is to be with one little boy and help him with his developmental delays. I feel super honored and I pray that I can help him the best that I can.

Being back to Guatemala has been great and I pray that God can continue to use me as His tool to help those in need. The funny thing is that I believe that at the end of the day I am the one helped. Isn't this sometimes the case when we give?

School started a week ago and I absolutely love it! The kids I have this year are amazing and I know that there will be a lot of growth this year. The children know how to brighten my morning and I honestly look forward every morning to get up and get ready to go to work. Please be praying for me and the children in my class. I want to show them a little glimpse of the love of Christ. 

Gracias! Here are some pictures of my classroom.

Sunday, September 4, 2016


In their hearts humans plan their course,
    but the Lord establishes their steps.
Proverbs 16:9

I have sited this scripture in a previous post and here I am sharing it again with you. I find it quite funny that many times I plan things out and they flourish in my mind and yet it does not turn out the way I had imagined. 

The past couple of months have been quite tough for me. I went through some changes in my personal life and I just could not keep a good grip on things. I relied so much on myself and didn't want to fail. Yet I was failing myself. 

I made the decision to go back to California to be with friends and family. I looked at my bank account and I only had enough money for the next meal. I remembered I had a credit card and when I finally found it, it expired the previous month. I cried. 

A dear friend messaged me and I expressed how I felt and how I desperately needed to get myself back to California. She wanted to help me. Soon after, I created a gofundme account and I had the money to buy my ticket in a bout 3 days. I cried. 

I left at the end of June and came back at the end of August. I worked at my previous employment and spent a lot of time with family and friends. 

It was a time that I needed to think things through. Why was I still in Guatemala? I had a handful of great talks with friends that lead to me digging deeper and come up with some solutions. 

I was praying for something very specific; to close doors of things that where not helping me in my relationship with God. As I continued to pray one thing that I had analyzed was the amount of time I am working versus doing things that fill me up as a person and as a christian. After a lot of prayer, I felt that it was time to not work on weekends. This was a tough decision since this meant that I would have a significant pay cut and possibly disappoint people. 

When I came back to Guatemala, I was able to meet with two of my bosses and before I was able to say anything they expressed that it would be better to have someone else teach the course since I am gone a lot. I knew, as they were talking, that this was from God and was answering my prayers. I apologized for leaving for so long (I honestly felt truly sorry that I had left the program half way), then I let them know what happened that lead to me leaving. It was not easy being vulnerable.

So here I am, back to my little house, with my cat (I went to pick her up today), looking forward to sharing with all of you the great things God is going to do this year. I already have a local orphanage who needs someone to help a little guy who is 5. He has several delays in his development. I can't wait to meet him! This is what fills my soul!

I leave you with some pictures from my visit in California.

Huntington Beach...Prayer spot
Huntington Beack...Prayer spot
My cousin's wedding. He is sooooo tall!

Some of my aunt's uncle's and cousin's

Celebrating my birthday with my niece and nephews

4th of July

Wednesday, June 15, 2016


Last year when I went to visit family in California I decided to gather the paperwork that I needed to apply for temporary residency in Guatemala. I paid a lot of money to get all the paperwork that was needed there and here in Guatemala. I have been waiting since November to get some answers. I recently bought my ticket to go back to California for a 2 month visit. Since my paperwork is in process I can't leave the country. Well, actually, I was able to leave once and I used it to go to a workshop in Honduras for Hope Worldwide. 

I have been going to immigration about once a week for the past 3 weeks and I still don't have an answer. I'm hoping to have good news sometime soon. 

I have committed to stay one more year at Christian American School. I have not figured out what I will do after that year. I have had so many things come to mind like moving to another country, but this time in South America. Then the other night as I was journaling I remembered that I wanted to get my Master's degree prior to moving to Guatemala. I'm still unsure, but I know that no matter what decision I make, It will be a good one :) 

I have one more week of work, 2 weeks until I leave. I can't wait to be with my family and work at my old job for a few weeks. Eeeeekkkkkk!! 

Here are some recent pictures of my recent trip to a department called Retahuleu. Enjoy! 

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Life to the full

I sometimes wonder, what's the point? Here I am working hard, trying to make sense of things and I still find myself almost catching the drift and then Poof, I'm back where I have started. So here I am at the same spot asking the same question...
Any how, Life is still filled with a lot of adventures and my journey is on its growth.  

The past couple of months have been fun. At work, we took the kids to the children's museum in the city. It was fun seeing them so excited to be there. 

I was venting a few week back about my mission here in Guatemala. I am having a great time teaching, but I don't think that's why I'm here. Then a few days later I received a message asking if I could go to a local orphanage to help out with the younger kids. I didn't even have to think about it. My co-worker goes with me and we are having such a great time reading books and working on their speech and language development. 

Last week I took a little break to enjoy the beautiful view in Zunil, Guatemala. We visited hot water springs and stayed the night at their cute little cabins. It was nice to get away and to think about what I should do in life. I still have not figured it out yet,  but all I know is that I need to be still and wait. 

After Zunil, we took a detour to Chichicastenango where we walked around in the local market. I got a beautiful apron. I would like to go back when I have more money in  my pocket. 

Then I worked on my garden. I still have a lot to do, but I'm getting there.

My little Sarang is getting really big and she's super playful and loving. She likes to sleep on my head so I normally don't allow her to sleep in my room during the night.

Can I ask something from you? Can you pray about what I should be doing next year? I'm not sure if I should stay in Guatemala or serve elsewhere. I would really appreciate it.

With Love, 

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Chips And Salsa

Sounds crazy, but I'm sitting here in my dining room, eating chips and salsa thinking about life. 

Thanks to God I have been able to have the basic needs at my new place. I was looking around and I thought, "these are just things, they don't define who I am." I can sell it all and start all over again elsewhere. 

I have been praying a lot about "what's next" and part of me wants to move to another country and serve and another part of me wants to go home with my family. 

The country that is the most interesting to serve at is Bolivia. I already contacted the volunteer coordinator of Hope Worldwide Bolivia. To go there it would be super expensive due to obtaining a traveling visa, flight, volunteer fee, a place to stay, eat, etc., However, the things that I would be able to do out there would be similar to what I have done in the past in California and here in Guatemala. 

A friend also contacted me about moving to Paraguay where she would be able to get me a job at a private Christian school. Well, you know me I don't just sit around. I already contacted the school and we will stay in contact since my plans are to stay here another school year. 

A lot can change, because after all of this planning I will probably end up staying in Guatemala longer or decide to move to California again. 

As for now I will eat a few more chips and call it a night. 

Oh and I got a cat. Her name is Sarang ("Love" in Korean, according to my translate app).

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

New Season

 "In their hearts humans plan their course,
    but the Lord establishes their steps"
Proverbs 16:9

Life has taken a detour and I have not figured out if I like it or not.

The year started off with a lot of decisions that needed to be taken into consideration and changes that followed. After almost 2 years of a beautiful relationship, it came to an end, but I'm hoping that soon hearts will heal and a friendship will be formed.

I moved in to my own home at the end of February and I'm loving it! It's weird living on my own, but I do believe that God will use it for good. I don't have internet or cable so I'm stuck watching movies and a lot of time for thinking. I have been trying to make it my home and working on decorating it. I have a lot to do, but I have the basics which is great.

I have been wanting to go back home to visit my family this summer, but I was left with only $100 in my savings which is not enough to buy a plane ticket. The other night I had a short break down, but I had to remind myself that God can do more than I can imagine and I will be home for the summer. 

I have decided to stay in Guatemala for one more year to serve in the ESL program as well as the school where I work. I hope to have a great 16 months of giving back :) I don't know what will be next, but I do know one thing and that's being able to continue to give back. I have had Mexico in mind, but I am open to what God has planned.