by Katie Johnson
Peter, how is it that our church has the connection with you and YWAM Antigua in Guatemala?
I’m originally from Ashford in Kent but I came to work with Ashby Youth for Christ in my gap year, then stayed for another year, and then another year working with National YFC. Whilst I was in Ashby I stayed with Judith & Ivan and was mentored by Tim Phillips – hence the connection.
So why Guatemala?
Across 2011 & 12 I took part in a mission program called The World Race, serving in 11 countries over 11 months. Month nine was Guatemala and it was there I met Andrea, who came to work with YWAM in England during the next year. We were married in August 2013, and returned to Guatemala for a year, the first half working with the ministry we met at and the second half completing YWAM’s Discipleship Training School (DTS). From there we became full-time staff with YWAM, joining a base in Malaysia and spending three years there, before returning to join staff at the YWAM base in Guatemala in 2018.
What will you be doing while you are here in the UK?
Much of our time is spent visiting supporters, churches and sharing with people about what we do, but we are also able to take time to catch up with friends & family. Andrea and I are also using this time to seek what God has next for us, does He want us to commit to YWAM Antigua for longer or does He have something else in mind for us? Please do pray with us.
And what are some of the other considerations around you staying in Guatemala?
(Andrea answers) One important thing that we need to consider is the children’s education. The life of a missionary can be very disruptive if moving regularly, so we are discussing whether to educate the children at home. That will change my role in the mission considerably. It can be very isolating to be a missionary, however as a family we have learned how to turn difficult situations into good outcomes. We involve our children as much as we can, and when it is safe, otherwise one of us stays home whilst the other goes out to do outreach.
Who is with you on the base and who supports you?
On base Bruce is our Director, and he forms the leadership team with Joe and Emma. There are then their respective spouses as well as two single members of staff making 10 of us in total at present.
We are still connected with my home church in Ashford, but also with the church I attended in Portsmouth when I was studying at university, and – of course – with Holy Trinity here in Ashby. But we also have individual supporters in a few places in the UK and North America.
As far as funding goes, all YWAMers raise 100% of their income and so rely on regular monthly gifts in order to remain in post & pay for living costs, etc. Due to inflation, growing children, and at present, fluctuating exchange rates, we are hoping to raise £100-150 a month more to cover the present shortfall.
If anyone would like to join in giving to support the mission work in Guatemala you can go to give.net/20097672 to set up regular giving or a one-off gift.
Finally, what can we pray for?
Please pray for wisdom in discerning God’s present direction over the future, for our support levels to increase, and for safe travel throughout our time here and on our way back. Thank you
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