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Home Is Where Your Heart Is – Chris & Stephanie Whonsetler’s missions work in Guatemala

It is my belief that each of us are called to our own unique ministry. Some of these ministries are in our local communities, some are within the distance of a good day’s drive, and some are abroad. Although my wife and I absolutely LOVE the ministries with which we are involved in our local community, our primary ministry focus is in a few small villages in Guatemala. After our first trip to the Lake Atitlan region of Guatemala, we fell in love with the people of this beautiful country. We deeply admire the ministry team with which we work, we are fascinated with Guatemalan culture, and we cherish the relationships we’ve built with local villagers over the years.

What do we do in Guatemala? First and foremost, we make ourselves available for whatever work needs to be done. We are there to serve in whatever capacity we can! Our team works on a number of projects including construction, shoe distribution, sewing classes, basketball camps, and more. The two ministries for which my wife and I are most passionate, however, are the photography and Happy Tummies ministries.

Our Photo Ministry is centered around Jeremy Cowart’s Help-Portrait movement.  You see, the vast majority of the adult population in the villages we visit each year have never seen a printed photo of themselves! With the help of a portable Epson printer,  we are able to take individual and family portraits and print them within just a few minutes. In this way, we are able to give people an actual printed photo of themselves, for which they are extremely thankful.  It is difficult to describe the joy we feel when we are able to bring a smile to someone’s face through such a simple act as this!

Happy Tummies is a ministry Impacto launched to assist struggling families provide for their children. Five days per week, children come to Happy Tummies after school to receive a nutritious meal and tutoring. While in Guatemala, we assist with serving meals, doing crafts, and just spending quality time playing and laughing with the kids! In the past, we have also brought backpacks to give to the children filled with supplies they can use at school and at home! The afternoons we spend with these Happy Tummies kids are oftentimes the most humbling and emotion-filled times for our fellow team members, as the joy that fills the hearts of these children is overwhelmingly contagious!

How can you help support Guatemala?

The greatest support we could ever receive is prayer! There is a lot of work to be done both before we go and while we are present in Guatemala! Please pray for constant guidance that we are making the right decisions and working in the best possible way we can. Prayer will also be warmly welcomed for our spirits and health as we spend time in Guatemala. The evil one is always on the prowl, and he will do anything in his power to stop the Lord’s love from spreading. Please pray for guarded hearts and minds as we pass through troubling situations and thoughts while we are in Guatemala and even while we are at home preparing for the trip.

In addition to your thoughts and prayers, Stephanie and I are constantly fundraising! It is our goal to travel to Guatemala once a year, and so far, we have been able to maintain this goal thanks to you! Here are a few ways you can help us serve the needy hearts around Lake Atitlán:

Purchasing an item from us is a fun, easy way to support our trip and give you a beautiful reminder of the lives you helped to change!

*Please note that the cost of each item is actually a donation from you to our Guatemala missions endeavors. 100% of the profits will be put towards funding our trip. Any funding above and beyond our expenses will be donated to Impacto. Items purchased are not tax deductible. 

  • Ultimate Coffee Lover Package: A donation of $350 or more will get you the best Guatemalan coffee experience you can get at home! This package includes:
    • A fresh pound of whole bean coffee, grown on a friends family farm in Guatemala
    • A coffee mill handmade by Red Rooster Trading Company – literally THE BEST way to grind your fresh coffee beans!
    • A mug handmade by MudLOVE in Indiana- one of 6 color styles, 3 picturedWhonPhoto-GuatemalaPackage1
      • Pictured: Purple/Red, Dark Blue/Gray, Copper/Yellow
      • Not Pictured: Green/Brown, Light Blue/Light Gray, Dark Green/Gray
    • A copy of Love Deeper, a 40-page magazine of images Chris Whonsetler has taken on previous trips to Guatemala
  • Warm Drink Package: A donation of $200 or more will give you a beautiful mug and a Guatemala cultural experience
    • A mug handmade by MudLOVE in Indiana, one of 6 color styles, 3 pictured
      • Pictured: Purple/Red, Dark Blue/Gray, Copper/Yellow
      • Not Pictured: Green/Brown, Light Blue/Light Gray, Dark Green/Gray
    • A copy of Love Deeper, a 40-page magazine of images Chris Whonsetler has taken on previous trips to Guatemala
    • Set of 3 cloth bracelets, purchased on the streets of Antigua (random colors)

WhonPhoto-GuatemalaPackage1b

  • Individual Items
    • Guatemala Photo prints – Available in multiple sizes at WhonPhoto.SmugMug.com
    • Custom Beaded Bracelets – $15 Donation
    • Set of 3 Cloth Bracelets – $10 Donation
      • Delivered in random sets of colors
    • MudLOVE Mug – $30 Donation
      • Pictured above: Purple/Red, Dark Blue/Gray, Copper/Yellow
      • Not Pictured: Green/Brown, Light Blue/Light Gray, Dark Green/Gray
    • 1 lb Guatemalan Coffee – $20 Donation
      • Coffee will be picked up in Guatemala and delivered to you upon our return
    • Love Deeper magazine is currently only available in packages above
  • Payments for packages and individual items should be made directly to Chris Whonsetler through PayPal (click for link). Please also send me an email letting me know which package you would like and which mug color you would prefer!WhonPhoto-GuatemalaPackage1c
  • Tax Deductible donations of any amount are also welcome. Please make checks payable to LaOtto Wesleyan Church. PLEASE DO NOT write our names on the check. Instead, include a separate piece of paper noting that the donation is for Chris and Steph Whonsetler.
    • Mail directly to: LaOtto Wesleyan Church c/o 1510 W. Ludwig Rd. Ft. Wayne IN 46825
    • You will receive a receipt via mail or email for your records once your donation has been received

“We have this HOPE as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure”  Hebrews 6:19

Thank you so much for your time and support!!