Send Natalie to Guatemala

For: Natalie Gillaspy
Dallas, TX
Organizer: CEIBA VIDA International
$13,650
of $24,000 goal.
Raised by 55 donors
56% Complete
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The Story

Dear Friends,

First of all, I would like to thank you for your support for my ministry and missionary work over the past several years. Many of you may remember my trips to San Raymundo, Guatemala, where I served at Morning Glory Christian Academy alongside the director and founder Lori Nij. Lori is an alum of Dallas Christian College and has been in Guatemala for over 30 years with her family, raising up future generations with a desire to see lives eternally impacted in the name of and with the love of Christ.

As you may know, my dream has always been to be involved in international children’s ministry and serve in cross cultural missions. I now see that dream coming to fruition and am excited to announce that I will be moving to San Raymundo, Guatemala, in January of 2017 working as a missionary under CEIBA VIDA International.

CEIBA VIDA is a new and growing organization focused on bringing community development and restoration around the world. As the first missionary of CEIBA VIDA, I will have the opportunity to help grow the strategic partnership our organization has with Lori and Morning Glory. I will have the honor of shadowing her and will be helping to assist her ministry in facilitating short-term groups, administrative tasks, and helping with a new sports program. Specifically, my time at Morning Glory will be spent learning from a team and a woman who have been involved in Guatemalan education at a level of excellence for the last 15 years. Through learning from her and her impact in this country, CEIBA VIDA hopes to be able to replicate this extremely effective model in other parts of the country in the years to come with the blessing of Lori Nij, our inspiration and mentor in missions.

I have committed to serve one year in Guatemala with CEIBA VIDA to help put these plans in motion. This is a big step towards long term missional ministry and serving on the field full time. In the past, my needs have been limited to one time donations. As my ministry endeavors develop, I am needing a new kind or support. I am required to raise $24,000 for the year of 2017 or about $2000 per month to cover my salary and ministry expenses. Alongside one time donations, I also need people who will join in this ministry with me, and support me on a monthly basis financially and through prayer. I know God has called me to international ministry and I know that He has placed a passion in my heart to teach children of all ages about Him. I am still seeking His plan, taking this first step, and will go as God leads to determine if I will serve in Guatemala for more than one year or not.

This is an exciting opportunity and it will be a learning experience for my ministry. I cannot wait to see what God has in store! If you have further questions, please feel free to email me directly at natmariemissions@gmail.com.

Thank you for your support in my life and in the work of His kingdom!

Blessings,
Natalie Gillaspy
Guatemala Field Coordinator
CEIBA VIDA International

Note: As a new organization, CEIBA VIDA's online giving platform and 501(c)3 Status is in process. Temporarily, CEIBA VIDA is operating as a project of Kiros Ministries, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. At this time, online donations for Natalie will be collected through YouCaring and will not be tax-deductible. If you wish to make a donation at this time that is tax-deductible, please mail a check to the following address made out to Kiros Ministries with Natalie Gillaspy in the memo line:
Kiros Ministries
P.O. Box 244
Fayetteville, TN 37334
(If you previously sent a check to the former address listed, your donation was received. We have switched to this mailing address to allow donations to be processed more effectively and timely. Thank you!)

CEIBA VIDA's website and social media accounts will be launching soon, so please keep an eye out for all things CEIBA VIDA! We are excited to share with you more about our vision, strategy, and projects in the works. 

Fundraiser Updates

Posted on March 24, 2017

Posted on March 24, 2017

Hello everyone!

This is my second full month in Guatemala. After spending a month in Antigua at language school and meeting many new friends, I was excited to be back in San Raymundo and get settled in for the year ahead. Since being back in San Raymundo, I’ve been working at Morning Glory Christian Academy serving under Director Lori Nij, our partner and ministry mentor. So far I’ve learned a great deal! I’ve had the opportunity to sit in and observe various classes at several different grade levels and learn a little bit about the different leadership styles of each teacher. This has also been a great way for me to continue learning and practicing Spanish. The teachers and the students alike are very patient and helpful when I pronounce words wrong or can’t think of the word I want to use to finish my sentence.

One class in particular has quickly stolen my heart; Quinto Primaria or fifth grade. According to Lori, last year this class was quite unruly and the teacher could not gain any control during the school year. So Lori did what any good director would do, and hired a new, more strict fifth grade teacher, Miss Karla. So far, she has been able to keep the rowdy class under control. One of the punishments for the boys when they misbehave -- aka won’t stop shouting, fighting, or just being plain disruptive -- is to do squats! I found this to be perfectly entertaining until the day Karla looked at me and said, “Natalie, whenever you talk in English, you’re going to do squats!” I now find myself constantly on guard around Karla, or any of the students from her class, when I feel like an English word is about to escape my lips! I do find this class to be extremely helpful to my Spanish learning. Not only do they force me (literally) to use my Spanish, but they also let me listen and partake to learn new words during class.

Another achievement for this month is I’ve been able to teach Bible class several times. Although I am not able to teach the way I would like to yet due to my Spanish limitations, I am so thankful for the experience and chance to grow. I trust that God allows me to communicate what I need to at the time.

Lastly, as spring has just happened upon us American groups are beginning to arrive! We recently had the pleasure of hosting Dallas Christian College and it was a great learning experience for me to see short term groups from the perspective of a “long term” missionary. It was lovely to have them and to watch God work through language barriers, fears and sickness. Unfortunately, DCC brought the flu to Guatemala with them and I’ve spent the last week recovering from it!

That sums up this past month! It’s been challenging yet rewarding and I’m excited to tackle April and find new areas where I can serve! Please continue to keep me, the CEIBA VIDA team and all those working in San Raymundo in your prayers and thank you all for your support.

Blessings,

Natalie

Posted on February 19, 2017

Posted on February 19, 2017

Greeting from Guatemala everyone!

I just wanted to give you a quick update on how things are going for me so far in
Guatemala. I’ve been in country for a little over one month now and I am loving it! This first month
has been spent learning about the Guatemalan culture, beginning to learn my way around San
Raymundo, and most importantly, learning Spanish in Antigua. I am tasked with spending the
entire month of February in Antigua to attend language school so I can gain a working proficiency in the language.


I am three weeks into classes and have found them to be extremely helpful.
Antigua Plaza Spanish School is designed to be hands on, with a one on one teaching style --
meaning every teacher only has one student. My teacher’s name is Brenda. She’s very sweet and
answers all my questions thoroughly. I wake up every morning excited to get to school and learn
more Spanish!


A huge part of language school is immersion. Antigua Plaza, and many other Spanish academies in
Antigua, place students in a homestay for the duration of their classes. The families who house
students will only speak to students in Spanish. I am staying in the home of Rafael and Violeta. Two
of their four sons live at home as well. There are five other students from my school staying in the
home and various other guests who are just passing through. Meals are included in the homestay
and this family has a reputation around the school for preparing some of the best food in town! I
have very much enjoyed spending time with this family and appreciate their efforts to help me
learn Spanish. I have also very much enjoyed getting to know the other students in the house. We
all get along very well and often study together in the afternoons at cafés around the city.


Overall, my first month has been fantastic! I am grateful that I have the opportunity to spend this
time learning the language of Guatemala. I’m excited to see what the coming months have in
store! Thank you so much for your prayer and continued support of me and CEIBA VIDA
International. I wouldn’t be here without you!

Blessings,

Natalie G.

PRAYER REQUEST
My current prayer requests are that God help me to truly master Spanish and that He continue to provide funding to finish out the year working here in Guatemala.

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