Our Guate Family

By Amelia Moore
Nashville, TN (written in Guatemala City)

A little back story if you are new to our blog: This trip is exciting for me because we are premiering our documentary film project, “Reparando.” My husband, Scott, and I have lead a team of volunteers for two and half years to produce a 70-minute feature film which highlights the vast needs in Guatemala and how Guatemalans are responding to the needs in their communities. It’s a broad story of restoration and hope through specific people. I’ve now seen the film over 50 times and it still moves me. This week we have shown it in huge theaters in Guatemala City & Antigua, a High School and a church. The viewers’ responses have overwhelmed me: young people wanting to make difference; people who are already giving want to do more; individuals that want to invest in the least, the last and the lost of society; a high school student who wants to rally her peers; a grandmother crying; missionaries that desire to show the film to their churches; and more…

Five years ago we came to Guatemala to start our family… and God has blessed us beyond our wildest dreams in this regard. We have adopted two beautiful boys (Micah & Elliot) that were born in Guatemala and beyond that God has given us many friends that we consider family as well! I have been overwhelmed by the team of people God has placed in our lives to accomplish this task in the US and in Guatemala. In the US, God brought specific people to the project every step of the way: graphic designers, financial guys, admin folks, translators, artists, cinematographers, marketing folks and more! We have been unified by a common passion. Here’s a photo of the amazing people that have joined the team for this trip which include many of our best friends from Nashville and my fun mom from Virginia. And for a few, it was their first visit to Guatemala.

Here in Guatemala our friends from EdT and Freedom Guatemala have worked hard to organize, promote and manage the events: Joel, Jonathan, Hubert, Liz, Sylvia, Gary and a team of over 20 volunteers! I have been amazed at how humbly they have all worked together. They have encountered many obstacles this week and continually they praise God for His provision. It was an extreme blessing to be served by them and to watch them all work together to make each premiere event a huge success. God has also brought into our lives a very dear friend, Cesar, who has served our team as a translator and team coordinator (on all of our Athentikos trips). Cesar also joined us in the states in September to help us with the US premiers this fall. So we have also had the honor of living with Cesar the last two months. We have been so blessed by his calming presence and fun spirit. And our boys fell in love with Cesar. He has become part of our family and we are so thankful for the time we have gotten to spend with him. It will be really, really difficult going back home without him. Here’s a photo of him with Elliot & Micah right before we left the states for our trip here (the boys stayed home).

On the second Sunday of our trip, we had honor of visiting Cesar’s home and spending a little time with HIS family. We had a fun time jumping on his brother’s po-go stick (yes, that’s correct), playing the keyboard & guitar (thanks Tyler & Scott!), drinking coffee and listening to Cesar’s father play the guitar. They are a beautiful, warm family. We had a great visit and can’t wait to visit them again.

We’ve had great time hanging out and getting to know others from the Guate team in their homes, praying, playing cards, over dinners, at church and more. We are definitely thankful that we’d had time to connect with, encourage and get to know our friends here. It’s been such a tremendous blessing to share the joy of the journey with them. Here are just a few more faces of the Guate Reparando team:

I am so thankful that we get to continue our relationships with Cesar and all our Guatemalan friends. And that our boys will grow up knowing them and their examples of passion for this beautiful country. Thank you to everyone who has worked to make this week successful and for your hearts for God and passion for Guatemala. We are blessed by your friendships and that you have become like family to us.

First Preview Event

Last night our team hosted a Preview Event, “A Vision To Inspire” to start getting the word out about our documentary project. Chris Wheeler emceed the evening and shared statistics about Guatemala, Amy Stroup and Mary Hooper sang a few songs, we played a team video highlighting our Jan trip, a Trailer for the project, a small but powerful interview from the project and then Scott & I shared our hearts and journey. Our room was decorated beautifully highlighting photos of the precious people we met (thanks Ericha, Kayla & Mary for the beautiful decorations!).  We had a variety of desserts including Tres Leches, Flan and Horchata.  60+ folks joined us to hear about the vision and purpose of this documentary. As a team we were energized and encouraged by the response. It’s been so hard to communicate to people the scope of our project, so it was fun to show and share more about it. People continually said, “We had no idea… about Guatemala… the scope of this project… your story.” We’ll be hosting a few other Vision Evenings this fall to continue to cast the vision and tell the story. Please join us if you were unable too last night!

Currently, we have a few needs to move forward with this project. First, a small crew is returning to Guatemala in August to capture some more footage. If you would like to make a financial contribution towards the trip, go to www.athentikos.com and click on “help us spread the word!” Second, we need help with financial, marketing and business items. If you are interested in joining our team, contact us at info@athentikos.com.

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On the blog here, we’ll start to share our personal journey and the vision for the project. So I’ll start at the beginning… here’s a little of what I shared last night:

In 2005, after struggling with infertility for several years, Scott and I attended an adoption conference-  it was more out of desperation than desire. Soon after, we knew we were supposed to pursue adoption, but my heart was still raw. I wasn’t excited about the option and felt bitter that it felt forced upon us. But I trusted that God would change my heart. A year later on Mother’s Day 2006, we carried an eight-month-old baby boy home from Guatemala. In the course of that year, God HAD changed my heart – I had completely fallen in love with a child and a country. I can’t image my life without either. Soon after we adopted another boy from Guatemala. So – through our four visits with the adoptions, we committed to learning about the culture in Guatemala. Before I started the adoption process, I knew very little about the country. So in effort to see more than just the touristy stuff, we made contact with an acquaintance, an American Missionary who lived in Guatemala City – Joel van Dyke. Joel and his organization provide Biblical & Theological training to Latin American volunteers who are already doing significant ministry in their communities, they have very little.

Joel passionately shared their vision for the Least, the Last and the Lost – for reaching people in hard, desperate places like the slums, the prisons, the homeless – for asking beautiful questions of people that are forgotten to much of society – for hearing their personal stories and through that connecting and sharing Christ. So through our relationship with him we learned about the deep needs in the country and the amazing work God is doing through His people there. Every time we visited, we met new people. We heard their personal stories, their vision for their communities and their hearts of hope in God’s provision. We were inspired by a country we previously knew little about … our desire became to inspire others through these stories– not just so others might be interested in Guatemala, but so they would be inspired to use their personal skills to impact the communities around them.

God Bless,

Amelia Moore