Thursday, November 20, 2014

Support Letter

This week I am sending my support letter in place of my regular blog.

First I would like to say thank you for all of the prayers, encouraging words and support that I have received from you all. Over the last two years, I have been able to work in Guatemala with Iglesia Galilea for approximately 8 months. We have hosted about 18 teams. With them we have worked on hydroponics projects, medical clinics, constructed 7 houses and approximately 16 stoves, worked on 2 schools, and helped get a church started. Along with these team projects, I also helped as needed on various projects around the Church in San Lucas.
                In the coming year, we will have about 10 more teams beginning in January and going into November. While I was not able to work with the two teams that came in the fall this year, it is my intention to be there and work with them this year. In order for that to happen, I will not be spending nearly as much time in Illinois this year as I have in previous years. I do plan on coming back for a few weeks in late summer and then also for the holidays but gone the rest of the year. The schedule that I currently envision would have me there between 9 and 10 months in 2015.
With the teams that come this year, we will continue on construction of the Church in Membrillal, finish a couple more classrooms on the school there and continue working on the school in Zapote. We will do many more stoves and a few houses in Zapote along with two medical clinics there. We will host a Christian music festival in Santiago along with BMX and skateboarding demonstrations. The Church will hold and evangelistic outreach in San Lucas. We will also continue to work on honing and perfecting the hydroponics projects until they can be easily duplicated and successful for the average person, with inexpensive supplies and nutrients that are available to them. All of these things are done with the goal of promoting the Gospel of Jesus and making Him known in Guatemala.
You may ask what I will be doing when teams are not there. This year, I feel a pressing need to improve my Spanish. While I can get by most of the time, I am far from fluent. I desire to be able to convey the Gospel in Spanish as readily as I do in English.  In order for that to happen, I need to study and be in an immersive environment. I am not sure where but I will wind up but have been looking at schools in a couple of places about 2 to 3 hours’ drive away from San Lucas. I plan on attending one of them whenever scheduling allows. We will also be working on the Church building and property in San Lucas as we move toward construction of a new sanctuary to make room for the growing congregation there.
Because of the length of this trip, my expenses will obviously be considerably more this year than in previous years. This letter is not to cause anyone to feel compelled but only to inform.  I wanted to give you a breakdown of my anticipated expenses and ask you to pray about what role God is calling you to play if any. The one thing that I would ask of everybody though, is that you pray for success in work and study. I want to thank you in advance for that.

2015 anticipated expenses
  $1080   Spanish School $135 per week for 8 weeks                   
$1500   Airfare for 2 round trips
$  960   Living expenses for 16 weeks with teams
$  800   Living Expenses for 8 weeks of Spanish School
$2400   Living Expenses for 16 weeks with no teams
$  500   Internet
$  520   Telephone
$  365   Travel and Emergency Insurance
$  750   Personal Medical Supplies
$  550   Replacement Laptop   
Total      $9425

                This list of expenses is for basic expenses. They do not cover any extras that may arise. I have tried to be realistic but I kept my list to a minimum. I am planning on having some dental work done and would like to have transportation available. I can use the bus system but it is not always safe and the Church vehicles are not available much of the time.
                If God is putting it on your heart, you can give anytime. I am hoping to have 50% of my expenses in before I leave and the rest over the next 8 months. Please do not put my name on the check. Write Guatemala in the memo line. Monetary donations can be mailed to:

Life Church, Morris
P.O. Box 679
Morris, IL 6045

Thank you sincerely for everything

George Kresse

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Getting Prepared

As you have seen in my previous posts, I am preparing to go back to Guatemala at the end of the year and will be staying for an extended time.I am not sure exactly how long as of right now but it will be for several months, not just a few weeks. I wanted to take a little time and answer some of the questions that I am frequently asked.

  1. How do you make a living?  
    1. As of right now, I spend all of my time in ministry related activities. While I will occasionally do s small electrical job to help out friends, I do not make much of anything as a result of that. I am supported by a few people that believe the work I am doing is important enough to want me to continue it. Whether I am in Guatemala or helping out at CYC, my needs are met by people supporting me.
  2. What exactly do you do? 
    1. I pray that the purpose of everything that I do is to bring God glory and help a lost and hurting world to see the inexplicable love of Jesus in me.
    2. When I am in Morris, I spend many hours each week at CYCM. I try to be available to people that walk in the door to talk to them and share our ministry with them. I spend time with many kids through the course of a week and do what I can to let them know that Jesus loves them and that He has placed people in their lives to demonstrate that love.
    3. When I am in Guatemala, I spend much of my time working with teams that come to San Lucas to work with Iglesia Galilea. We currently are working on 2 schools, and a Church building. We build safe wood burning stoves and provide houses for those living in uninhabitable conditions. We are working on various hydroponics and aquaponics projects to help villages learn to become self sufficient for their food. We also provide support services to other Churches under the Iglesia Galilea banner in Guatemala. We have a goal of introducing communities to the love of Jesus and of helping those communities become less dependent on outside help for their daily needs.
    4. How do you know you are called?
      1. I did not have a clue what God was doing in my life. I just said yes when asked if I would go the first time. I experienced life and joy as I traveled through Mexico and to Guatemala.
      2. Matt 28 makes it clear that we all are called. Some will share the Gospel and make disciples at home. Others will go to the ends of the world. Every follower of Jesus is called to make disciples
      3. I do not believe that every Christian is called to leave their home and move to a foreign country to be a missionary. I do believe that every believer needs to occasionally go out of their comfort zone to another country to work with our brothers and sister there for the advancement of the Kingdom of God. I tell this to everybody that will listen because I believe that it is the most life changing and faith strengthening thing they can do.
    5. Are you going to move to Guatemala?
      1. It seems like I spend more time there each year and I do love it. I may move there but I want God to direct that decision. There are other places that are also in need of help and I want to be available if God calls me to one of those places also.
    6. What things can I do?
      1. Missions always needs the backing of good prayer support. Ask the Holy Spirit what He wants to do and then join your prayers in agreement to what He shows you.
      2. You can support the work of missions wherever they may be.
        1. Remember that most people in missions have no outside sources of income. They are dependent on the giving of others. God does not expect you to be a source of funding for everything that comes along. Ask Holy Spirit who you should support and for the amount. He is faithful to show you.
      3. Put together a team and go. The most encouraging thing is when family and friends come alongside and work in the field on projects that we are doing.  It is always encouraging and affirming to have people that you know and love join you in the work you are doing.
      4. When someone is back in their home area for a break or furlough, ask them what they need. Long term missionaries usually come home for a month or so each year and they have several needs, 
        1. Transportation - They do not maintain a car for such a short period of time.
        2. Airport pick ups - it is hard to ask for a ride from the airport when you have not seen someone for a long period of time.
        3. Someone to go to other Churches when they go to share their work. Even though they are home for a month, there is often supporting Churches that desire first hand updates so you may only see them once in their home or sending Church. It is always good to have a friend with when you go to a place that you are not familiar with.
        4. A place to stay. When travelling, hotels can be expensive for someone living on missions giving. people offering food and lodging can alleviate a big expense.
When you are spending money that comes from other people, it can be a very humbling thing. It helps you to understand that people love you and want to support you. It can also be difficult because you second guess much of your spending. You wonder if you can go out to eat with friends because it is not your money that you are spending. Encourage the people that you know in missions. They are not doing this to get rich but I believe God wants them to live and not walk in fear of spending a little on an occasional meal, movie or group outing.

Thank you for all the prayers, encouraging words and financial support over the years. I look forward to seeing you in Guatemala soon.

If you would like to support me and the missions of Iglesia Galilea, you can send checks to
Guatemala Mission
Life Church Morris
P.O. Box 679
Morris, IL 60450