Medical Update

I wanna say thank you to everyone who has supported me financially and prayerfully! Yesterday, I had my doctor’s appointment, and everything went better than I had even prayed for. All of the financial needs for yesterday were raised, praise God! I will be speaking briefly at my home church, Calvary Chapel Houston tomorrow. And I will be flying back to my new home, La Esperanza, Guatemala on Monday, April 11th!

Before I end this post, I would like to share about another family who is raising funds to go on a mission trip this summer. Cynthia Harmonson, her two kids, and her niece are raising funds and praying for the short-term mission trip to Guatemala with Calvary Houston this July. I know this family from my time of being a youth leader shortly before I left for Guatemala. I might be a little biased, but I know this family and the people of Guatemala would benefit if they had a chance to go on the trip this summer. The kids are great, and I know my family back home and I would love to welcome the Harmonson’s to La Esperanza! So, please be praying for them, and if God puts it on your heart, please donate to them at the following link:
https://www.youcaring.com/cynthia-harmonson-and-kids-531541

Again, thank you for your continued prayers and support. God Bless!

Brief Time Back

I am sorry for the lack of updates! For those of you who don’t know, I am in Houston for a brief time to raise funds and get more of my medicine. Some have asked, and no, I cannot get that medicine in Guatemala, and I have also checked in Mexico, and I have not been able to find it. So, yes, this is my only option to get my meds. Since I do not have insurance, I was applying for a program through the county, and I have had many issues with it. My next option is to just pay out of pocket for my doctor’s visit and labs. One of my pastor’s wives has set up a youcaring page to help me pay for my medical costs. This is it if you want a little more info and/or want to help towards it:
https://www.youcaring.com/sheila-pursell-546928
After only two days, God has put it on people’s hearts to donate $1,100! (Thank you so much to everyone who has helped me out up to this point!!) My goal is $1,500 to pay for everything. I am so thankful and blessed to see how God continues to take care of me. Also, thankfully, I was able to get an appointment this week! It will be tomorrow afternoon. Please be praying that the doctor would be willing to write a prescription for the amount of meds that I need to take back with me.

In my time here, I am also raising funds for my time in Guatemala. If God has placed it on your heart to support me monthly, or in any other way back in Houston let me know. I will be speaking briefly at Calvary Chapel Houston this Sunday, and will be taking up names and email addresses then if you would like to get a more personal update more often than what I update here. I will also have more information then if you are interested in supporting me monthly.

Thank you everyone for your continued support and prayers! God bless!

Yesterday, we started our second full week of classes at the school, Calvary Christian Academy, that Capilla Calvario opened up here in La Esperanza. For those of you who don’t know, I am the English teacher for the school. The Guatemalan school year is January until about November. So, I asked Pastor Jeff, “Does that mean I’m committing to an extra year?” He said, “You’re just committing.” Now, when people ask me when I’m coming home, my honest answer is, “I have no idea.” I will be coming home to go to a doctor, get the medicine that I need, and to fund raise occasionally. Only God knows when I will be coming home to stay, if I ever do come back for good.

  
Psalm 37:4 “Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.”

I saw the offer of teaching English at Calvary Christian Academy as God offering me the desire of my heart. My desire since about November has been to stay here in Guatemala longer. Now I get to do so because I have the privilege to teach here. 

The funny thing is that, English has always been my least favorite subject in school, and I’ve always disliked the classroom setting. But God led me to first, School of Ministry, and now a teacher, in the very subject I’ve liked the least. God uses the least qualified so that HIS power will show through the under qualified, yet willing vessels. Kind of funny how God works, huh?

 I love the ministries and the people here, and I am still involved in the same things as before. The church, and the people inside of the church are growing. I am so blessed to be here and to be apart of these people’s lives. 

If you are interested in having a more regular and personal update, please either message me on fb, or email me at sepursell93@icloud com. As I am here, I need your continued prayers for good health, wisdom, and please be praying for the ministry here. Also, since I will be staying here longer, I will need continued financial support. So, please pray about supporting me monthly, or however much you can, and if God leads you, I will need help with my plane tickets to come back and get my meds. If God leads you to help me financially, you can either send money to Calvary Chapel Houston with a note saying “for Sheila’s Guatemalan missions,” or you can send it directly to my Paypal. My username is sepursell93@icloud.com if you want to help me out through Paypal. Thank you to everyone who has been praying for me and who has supported me financially!

New Creations

Buenos días! So I have been asked to stay longer in Guatemala. At first I didn’t want to. Because I wanted nothing more than to come home, but now I want nothing more to stay here longer. Even after my mind changing about wanting to stay here longer, I still had the issue of getting my medicine. The thing is, I have to take medicine every day of my life, or I die after three weeks or so. I went to a doctor here in Guatemala and they said I can get one of the meds I need here, but the other one I can’t get here. And to go back to the states it’s not as simple as going to the pharmacy to get them. I have to go to expensive doctors to get a prescription. And then wait for the prescription to be filled. Originally, I brought enough medicine to be here until like 3 weeks after I was scheduled to leave… But two weeks ago, I decided to count my pills. I actually have enough to stay exactly 100 extra days. I believe that’s from God. I thought of when He multiplied bread and fish for the people, and I believe that’s what He did for me. I think it’s from God, knowing I have time for exactly 100 more days! Pretty cool, huh? 
So I wanna share why I would like to stay longer outside of God providing the main necessity for me. First, I have had the privilege of being apart of leading a discipleship group here. There are 4 girls that I get to disciple. This has been the biggest blessing about being here. I have gotten to see them grow so much. One cool thing is that I have gotten to see fruit from my time in School of Ministry. The time that Pastor Dan, Mrs. Angela, and all of the other teachers have poured into me is now being used here in Guatemala. I know knowledge can puff up, but it’s also good to know more about God, and I have the chance to teach my girls more about Him and even just the basics of Christianity. And I get to love on them and be apart of their lives. I’m not ready for that time with them to be over. This is the most important thing I’ve ever had the opportunity to be apart of, even though I don’t deserve it. I believe God’s giving me an opportunity to spend more time with them. Of course I’m apart of other ministries here, but really, this is why I believe I’m here.

      
Another reason is this. When the team from Houston was here, and I was having to say bye to everybody, Mrs. Jenn (one of my past youth leaders) told me, “you’re not the same person as you were in Houston.” And you know what? I have seen so much growth in my life, and honestly, I don’t want to leave until all of the obvious junk is out of my life. I’ve had a chance to embrace the new creation God has made me to be, and I want that to continue.
I’m writing this to you to first ask for prayer. Prayer that God would continue to use me in these girls lives and wherever else He wants me to be used here. Also, prayer about wisdom if I should come back even after my extra 100 days is up. Second, I’m making a request for funds. To be able to stay here I have to have at least $200 to change my plane ticket to a different day. $375 for 3 more months of rent. And at least $315 for the basic groceries for those three months. That’s before I do anything extra with my girls like go out to coffee with them or go eat with them. So I’m needing $900-1200 to stay here. So if it’s on your heart to help me out financially either in a one time donation or a monthly donation please let me know.
Love you guys! In Calvary (like Calvary hill! Not the church haha) love, 

Sheila

Hello! I wanna start out by saying, thank you to everyone for your prayers up to this point. It is an awesome privilege to get to see God work here, in me, and through these people’s lives here.
A new thing that I meant to mention in my last blog post, but realized I missed it, is our discipleship group. For just over a month now, the church has been doing discipleship groups in place of Wednesday night services. Each group that meets consists of 2-6 people. All of the discipleship groups are going over the basics of Christianity and a reading plan together. It is a 9-week program. Laura and I wanted to lead a group with four of the girls who attend the youth group here. It turns out that 3 of the 4 girls speak English and are able to translate for us and the girl who does not speak English. We have been meeting for 5 weeks now, and the girls have been a sweet blessing to us! Please be praying that we would all be able to effectively pour into each other’s lives with the time Laura and I have remaining here.
A couple of Wednesdays ago was our last day of After School Program. It was very bittersweet. Yes, I was supposed to teach English, and I did, and I loved to see when the kids got it. But mainly, I loved just getting to know and love on the kids. We got to play, talk, and even at times pray for the kids. On our last day, there was one girl who hugged me, like six different times, and they weren’t short times. She seemed very sad that this would be our last time having the After School Program. I didn’t know I had an impact on this girl in any way. We just interacted inside of my classroom, and occasionally a little bit during the lunch times. I didn’t have any separate meaningful conversations with this girl, I just loved on her the ways I could while teaching English, just like all the other kids. This was a time that I realized, even if what you are doing you think may be kind of mundane and not impactful, if you are doing it in love, it could make a huge difference in someone’s life. With the After School Program, teaching English, feeding these kids, or even teaching them a Bible lesson is not the goal of this outreach, the goal of this outreach is to love these kids who attend. So WHEREver you are in life, whatever you are doing, do it in love and unto Christ, and it will be glorifying to Christ and maybe it will positively impact someone’s life and give them a glimpse of who Christ is.
This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says: “Only in returning to me and resting in me will you be saved. In quietness and confidence is your strength.” Isaiah 30:15a&b
With that said, I want to take this opportunity to encourage you where you are at today, especially if you want to be used for God’s purposes. God may be calling you to another country, and if so, go. But if He is calling you to be in America, be there, and be there with a purpose. In the recent months of my quiet time, I have realized the spiritually poor state that America is in. I know Isaiah was not written to America, but to Israel, but as you read it you can see just the similarities of the spiritual states between the two countries. Isaiah 30:10 says, “They tell the seers, “Stop seeing visions!” They tell the prophets, “Don’t tell us what is right. Tell us nice things. Tell us lies. Forget all this gloom. Get off your narrow path. Stop telling us about your ‘Holy One of Israel.’”” Sound familiar? These were things that were happening before God allowed Israel to fall. Brothers and sisters, just because America is not a third world country and just because there is not actual war on the grounds of America, it does not mean that America is in any less need of Christ than other countries in the world. Yes, most of America has heard about Jesus, but how many Americans have actually gotten to experience His love? I don’t know, but make sure that one more person experiences His love today. The US needs a revival just as much as the rest of this world, be a part of that revival.
“The Great Commission says make disciples of all nations. Have we even made them in our own nation? Come on Christians! Missions exist because worship doesn’t. We’re ambassadors. Let’s go!” – Send Me, Lecrae

Hi everyone! I’m sorry that this is my first blog post, especially tothose of you who I told I would update it often (Mandy and Mrs. Kyla 😉 ). I just haven’t really been sure what to say or what to share, but I’m just gonna start writing and sharing what I’ve been doing, what the team has been doing, and what God has been teaching me while here.

The day that Pastor Jeff and Brandon picked me up from the airport, while we were on our five hour drive home, Jeff asked me if I would be willing to teach English at the After School Program starting “tomorrow” at the time. I was really nervous, but I told him, “Yes, if that’s what you need from me!” I was nervous mainly because even though I speak English, I don’t know it that well, much less where to begin teaching it. It was always my least favorite subject in school; I was always a math and science kind of girl. I think it’s kind of funny that sometimes God will put us in our least favorite areas. In this case, I believe God put me in my least favorite place to show His strength. Since my first mission trip, to Scotland, this has been a consistently reoccurring verse in my life.. “But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weakness, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:9-10. English, and teaching in front of classrooms are both weaknesses of mine. Which is amazing, because now I have to totally rely on the Lord to make the teachings well. I’ve spent a lot more time in prayer just because of the English class. The first couple of weeks were kind of rough when it came to the English classes. But now, it’s coming together better. I’m hoping to have a curriculum written out for the whole school year before I leave. Please be praying that I would be disciplined enough to do it, and to be able to do it well. My favorite thing about the After School Program though, is getting to know the kids. Even though there is a language barrier, some of the kids have been patient enough to sit there and talk with me, asking people to translate when we just can’t understand each other.

Another outreach that we do on a regular basis here is to the Women’s shelter. All the women here have either been sexually abused or trafficked. We team up with some other missionaries here in the area. The leader of the outreach puts together a teaching and comes up with a craft for the outreach to the shelter. We go every two Saturdays. My first Saturday going, they had me in helping with the craft. They told us that we would first have the mothers doing the craft. When they had the group of girls split up and the mothers come with us, I was shocked. Girls from 12-18 came with us. This saddened me greatly, but also I got so mad. I thought, “You can’t call this a woman’s shelter, this is a GIRLS’ shelter.” It’s shocking to see a room full of girls, 50 girls at the least, and to know that each one of them have been sexually abused in some way. It’s the hardest outreach, but it’s the one that I like the most. I’ve been able to get to know some of the girls and even lead some to Christ. And even the ones that I don’t get to know, I am grateful that I even get to be a part of this outreach, and that we have an opportunity to share the Word of God and to just love on these girls.

About two weeks before I got here, the church bought a school. They have been working on the construction on it since before I got here. The school will open up when the new school year starts in January. Some of the funds have been provided. But please be in prayer for the remaining funds of the school. (And let me know if you feel led to help support this school financially!)

Another big thing that has happened here is the opening of the restaurant. We have two chefs here on our mission team. One of them trained in France and mastered in multiple cuisines. (I’m eating his food as I write this, yumm!) Opening weekend was last week, and we had the opportunity to serve some of the service men and women and the mayor on our opening night. The profits from the restaurant will be to help offset some of the costs of the school. At the same time, the restaurant is a ministry. When people come in, some of us have the opportunity to talk with them and be a light to them. One of the pastors visiting on opening weekend gave a devo right before our opening night. First, he started with, Acts 2:42, “All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, fellowship, breaking of bread, and to prayer.” We have done all of that, including the breaking of bread to a small extent with occasional home fellowship. But now, we get to do the breaking of bread to an even bigger extent with having the restaurant open every weekend. Then he moved on to teaching over Acts 6. This is where 7 men, full of the Holy Spirit were chosen to wait the tables. This pastor was encouraging us and telling us that helping this restaurant was not mundane work, even if you were just waiting tables. This WILL have an impact on the Kingdom of God. Do you know how these waiters in Acts 6 impacted the Kingdom? Well, one of the waiters chosen to be one of the first waiters was Stephen. If you remember, Stephen was the first martyr for Jesus Christ. Knowing this fact alone, you can tell that being a waiter was not mundane, “non-spiritual” work. So, it’s just so cool to see how privileged we are to have the opportunity to work in the church’s restaurant. Even on the days that we just have a few customers, we have sweet fellowship between the few staff working at the time. So just remember, however small the work may seem, don’t give up, because God can use even the small things mightily.

So, I really wanna get this posted, though I have more to tell you. So for now, this is all, but I will share more later on! Love you guys, and thank you for your prayers!

Passion for Missions

In July of 2012 I went on a mission trip to Scotland with the youth group at Calvary Houston. While there, we put on free concerts for the youth of Motherwell, Scotland, and we street evangelized. While there, one of the most important events of my life happened. This was the first place where I got to personally lead someone to Christ.

As one of my friends and I were witnessing in the square in Motherwell, he pointed at a man and said, “let’s go talk to him.” I said, “No, let’s go talk to those women first.” As my friend was talking to the women, the guy that my friend previously pointed at came up to me and tapped me on my shoulder. He asked, “What church do you go to?” I was taken aback. I explained to him that I’m from Houston Texas, but that there was a Calvary just down the road. He shared a little bit about his life and just financial and health issues and how he wanted to get himself and his kids in a church. After this, I shared the Gospel with him and his kids. When I asked if they wanted to accept Christ as their Lord and Savior, they excitedly and immediately said yes. God privileged me in allowing me to lead this man and his precious children to Christ. This happened perfectly, because if I had said yes to talking to the man originally, I think there would be some pride in leading these people to Christ. Since I said no to talking to him at first, I know it’s all because of Jesus that I got to lead them to salvation.

Ever since this amazing experience, I have had a passion for missions. God is leading me to do long-term missions. In July of this year, 2015, I will be leaving for Guatemala to serve at the Calvary in La Esperanza. I will be helping with the after school program there where we will play with the kids and teach them the Bible and English, and help them with their homework. I will also be participating home fellowships and street evangelism. I am so very excited to see God work throughout this trip and the events leading up to it. Please be praying that God will continue to prepare my heart for this trip and for financial provision.

I look forward to sharing what I get to see God do!

In Christ’s Love,

Sheila