Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Happy Holidays from Janet & Wayne

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Happy Holidays
We would like to wish and your family a very wonderful holiday season. Tis the season for new beginnings and hope for the future. Many have experienced difficult times in the past two years. It is easy to remember all the negative things that have happened and too easy to forget all the blessings that we have. Janet and I are so blessed to be able to do something different with our lives and so blessed that we have be given adequate resources to help us on our journey. But more on this later. The decision to go was clear, the getting ready and trying to plan for things at home while we will be gone is more difficult.
Moving to Guatemala
Last August Wayne celebrated his 60th birthday while in Guatemala. Janet gave him the best present ever when she made a commitment to move to Guatemala for two years. We will be working for Project Salud y Paz. Salud y Paz operates four medical/dental clinics and continues to expand. They also provide a preschool for Mayan children.
Wayne will coordinate medical and construction teams from the USA and elsewhere. There are 20-25 teams that visit for a week or more throughout the year. There are also four surgery teams that visit and work out of the two operating rooms located at the clinic at Camenchaj.
Janet will be the Preschool Director. There is currently one classroom open and one more to start in February 2010. Two more classrooms are slated to be completed and opened once construction is complete and funding is in place.
We encourage you to take a tour at the Salud y Paz website where you will find a great video that shows a lot of what happens at the school and the clinic. Just click the following link and off you go! Salud y Paz Website
What About the Boys and the House?
The questions we are most asked are: What will the boys do? and what are you going to do with your house? Ben will probably continue to study and live in Grand Rapids. He has changed majors and is now pursuing a possible nursing career. Jon is hoping to graduate in July and then find a job working with aircraft engines or at least somewhere in the field of Aeronautical Engineering. He is currently living at home and working part time at Meijers to save some money. Both boys support our decision even though it means more difficult times for them.
Our home decision has not been an easy one. We completed a financial analysis and concluded we would save money by selling the house. However there is no guarantee that we could sell it and, we will be coming home for at least a month around Christmas time every year. We also wanted to have a place that the boys could still call home.
The third most often asked question is what about guardianship for Janet's sister, Susie? A good friend who works in the field, Larry Kaiser, has agreed to be back-up guardian. That is a major help. Lots of family and friends have offered to help wherever they can and we will joyfully be taking them up on their offers.
Can We Really Learn Spanish?
One of the hardest things facing us is learning a new language. It is difficult to describe how one learns a new language latter in life other than to say it is really difficlut! What you learn one day you forget the next. Neither of us have ever done very well with languages. We spent some time this summer in Guatemala working on it. We are both taking classes at the local community college. We also have some friends who are fluent speakers and they have us over to their house once a week for a chat in Spanish. Janet seems to be in the lead right now as far as retaining what we learn. Wayne continues to struggle but keeps an optimistic outlook that somehow he will break through the wall into the next language and culture!
We have lots of learning aids and we try and speak some Spanish at home on a regular basis. Es muy dificil!
Keeping in Touch
One of the challenges of moving to another country is how to stay connected with family and friends. We also have the challenge of what to do with the mail, paying bills, etc. We have made some plans that we can share with you now. We have a new phone number that will connect you to us where ever we are. It is a Skpe number for those of you familiar with computer phones. It will connect you to us at no charge while we are in Guatemala and you can use the number right now if you wish. It doesn't cost us any additional for you to make the connection. Should there be a crisis at home, we will have the ability to forward the calls to our cell phone in Guatemala. That's right, there is good "pay as you go cell service" in most places. This number will also work while we are in the US. So, all you will need is one number!
Our new number can be used starting now. It is 269.841.4616.
There is always email and our Facebook pages. Our email addresses are: wdwiley@gmail.com and janetchichester@gmail.com. Please discontiue using our comast.net addresses. We will be canceling the comcast service this spring.
Please keep in touch with us.
Our plans are to be home twice a year. We'll have a little over a month off at Christmas and a short visit to see doctors, etc. in midyear.
Oh, by the way, we almost forgot about the mail. We have a new mailing address early next year. Please continue to use our current address until next June. Our new address is: Wayne Wiley or Janet Chichester, #302, 30 E. Columbia Ave. Suite F-1, Battle Creek, MI 49015
You Can Help
Some people have asked it they can help our work. This is by no means a fundraising newsletter. However, we will never turn down any help we can get. Here are the ways you can help and how the money can be used.
  • Give directly to Salud y Paz. You can send a check or give by credit card. All the information you need is on their website. Money can be donated directly to the overal operations or directly to the preschool. The link is listed above.
  • Donate to the Chapel Hill UMC Special Guatemala Fund. This fund has been set up by our church for our mission use. No money from this fund will be used for our living or personal expenses. We will report out how we spend this money in future newsletters. We anticipate needs arising in the community, at the clinics, or the preschool. For example, one thing we are working on is getting one of the volenteer fire departments a "jaws of life". It currently takes over two hours to get one to the scene of an accident in the more rual mountainous areas. These volunteers are a great help to the work we will be doing. Other possibilities may include an unfunded need at the clinic or a special need for a family. The address to make a donation is Chapel Hill UMC, Attention: Special Guatemala Fund, 157 Chapel Hill Drive, Battle Creek, MI 49015.
  • Funds for Living and Personal Expenses. As we said earlier, we are blessed with what we think might be adequate funds for our two years of living expenses. We expect some strain on our budget and have already experienced some changes to our assumptions which will negatively impact our finances. There is a fund through the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries Volunteers in Mission where donations can be made to help out with our personal expenses.. You can write a check to "Ă„dvance GCFA", write in memo line of the check, Advance #982465 for Wayne Wiley. Send check to Advance GCFA, P.O. Box 9068, GPO, New York, NY 10087-9068.
If You Made It This Far
If you made it this far through this newsletter we would like to thank you for your interest. Many people say what a wonderful thing we are doing. We would like you to know that we get more than we give. Our lives have been blessed every time we have given time or money to help others. We continue to grow in our faith and in our capacity to love. We ask for your prayers not only for our endeavors but also for our boys as we will not be able to be physically close to support them during the next few years.
Thank you for listening,
May God Bless You and Your Family This Holiday Season and in the Coming Year.
Janet and Wayne
Wayne Wiley & Janet Chichester • #302, 30 E. Columbia Ave., Suite F-1 • Battle Creek, MI 49015
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