Going to Guatemala (again)

It’s been about 12 years since I’ve been to Guatemala . . . but only 6 months since Kaisa’s been there.  And now we both get to go again!


Since I started working with Impact Ministries last year, there’s been discussion of when I could go and visit.  Communicating effectively about a ministry is so much easier when you have first-hand experience 🙂 .   I missed a staff team trip over the summer, because the timing just didn’t work out for us.  Then there started to be talk of a trip for the Grand Opening celebration for the newest school . . . yes, on the site where we were on the eMi trip a dozen years ago, and in the building in which the girls’ team ran a VBS.  The timing happened to be over Kaisa’s spring break.  Kevin & Talia had different plans – but Kaisa and I are going to Guatemala!

We’ll be there for about 10 days.  Kaisa will be helping out in a classroom, while I’ll be meeting face-to-face with a bunch of wonderful people who I usually only see online.  I’ll be joining in a number of activities to give me a broad overview of what Impact Ministries all does.  We’ll also get to meet our new sponsor child and be able to stop by the class we support.  And then, of course, we’ll get to celebrate the new school in Chijulhá  (a few other from our church will be up for that celebration, too).

I’m excited, and a bit nervous.  I’ve been trying to learn a bit of Spanish, hunting down Spanish picture books at thrift stores, and am starting to get packed up.  Less than a week to go!

Will you pray for us while we’re there?  Pray that God will speak to us and through us, and that our time in Guatemala will be a blessing all around.


They’re heading to Guatemala

Have you heard?  Talia & Kaisa are preparing to go on a Mission Trip this summer!  I’m excited for them for so many reasons:


  • They’re going to serve through Impact Ministries – and I know Impact Ministries has a long term presence and a goal to both serve kids in Guatemala AND impact our kids for world missions
  • They’ll be going with their new youth group – and I’m looking forward to seeing strong relationships form
  • The work and outreach project will be in Chijulhá – Kevin & I were there on an eMi trip almost 15 years ago – and our new church here has a special ongoing relationship with the project too!

The girls have been busy fundraising and looking for prayer partners.  Would you consider partnering with them?  You can donate here by selecting “Missions – Guatemala 2017” – just also send an email to hannah@swcc.ca indicating that your donation is for “Guatemala – Talia & Kaisa” (full details here).

Here’s their prayer letters so you can read what they’re excited about:

Send us a note if you’ll be praying for them, so they can send you an update after the trip!

‘Tis the Season

. . . for Missions Fests.  With Kevin’s January trip cancelled, he’s been scheduled in for 4 of the 5 Missions conferences that eMi Canada does each year between January and March.  That’s Winnipeg, Edmonton, Fort St. John and Halifax (he just didn’t get to go along for Vancouver)!

I love going along to some of these Missions Conferences, because walking through the exhibit halls is in itself so encouraging.  There are so many ways to be involved in building the Kingdom of God!  It’s always fun to watch people walk past the Engineering Ministries International booth, glance up at our banner, and do a double take.  In Edmonton last weekend, we talked to lots of engineers & architects – and lots of parents of engineers & architects, grandparents of engineers & architects, spouses of engineers & architects . . . you get the picture.  Kevin also hosted a luncheon on “designing in the developing world” in Winnipeg, and led a seminar on “Water Treatment on the Mission Field for Dummies” in Edmonton.  He’ll present “Big Visions, Small Ministies around the World” in Fort St. John, and I’ll get to do “Intercultural Communication” in Halifax.

Ready for the Water Purification Seminar


Missions Fest is also one of the places that we connect up with past and potential client ministries, since so many ministries are there exhibiting too. While the hours are often looooong, there’s definitely a camaraderie that develops between the exhibitors and it’s definitely neat to be able to say, “Well, eMi designed the new orphanage for Impact Ministries, and the House of New Dreams for Place of Rescue, and a couple of hospitals for SIM.  We’ve got a team at the YUGO ministries site right now designing their Rosarita Centre, and Kevin’s first trip was to design a Women’s Transition Home for Transform Asia . . . “.  We’re looking forward to seeing which projects we heard about for the first time this year will eventually develop into eMi projects.

After all the Missions Fests are done, Kevin is off to Nigeria.  This is a different trip than the one that was planned in January (it sounds like that one is now scheduled for the fall.)  The April trip is specifically about infrastructure development, so Kevin and a team of civils and electricals will be working with some local engineers to design an infrastructure plan for a Christian University.  He’s excited to do a more engineering-centric project :).

students at the university

Thanks for your continued prayers, financial support, and encouragement.  While these last few months looked a bit different than we expected, we’ve certainly kept busy and we’re enjoying introducing people to eMi.


Summer Wanderings

If you’re on our email list, you should have received our summer Wiens Wanderings newsletter in your inbox yesterday.  If you didn’t, let me know – there’s a few email addresses that are bouncing these days.  And if you’re not on the list and you’d like to be, sign up here!


And . . . for those who wanted to see the article published about the girls’ trip to Haiti . . . here it is.


Hope you all have wonderful summer plans.  Talia & Kaisa are on holidays now – Talia is volunteering a bit at Camp Little Red (as a Jr Wrangler!), and Kaisa is hoping to spend some time babysitting and doing odd jobs to earn money for a big school trip next year (she’s got a lawn mowing job and a baby sitting job lined up for later today).  Kevin’s got his big race coming up later in the summer.  As a family, we’ve got a bit of camping planned, and we’ll be heading to the Okanagan at some point to spend time with both our families.  There won’t be any lack of things to do to keep us busy – and around here there’s certainly no lack of places to enjoy God’s creation!

Next Up: Mission Vision FSJ

I still feel like I’m processing so much of what happened in Haiti . . . trying to figure out what the “God Story” is that comes out of this particular trip.  But this weekend I’ll have lots of chances to tell my story and share about eMi.  It’s Mission Vision in Fort St. John . . . a community-wide Missions Conference held annually where we used to live in Northern BC.

It’ll be a full weekend!  I’m flying in Thursday night and flying home Monday morning.  And here’s what’s on the schedule so far:

Fri  – Mtg with the (new) Pastor of our sending church – lunch with a friend – sharing at the Christian School Chapel – setting up the display booth – displays open from 6:30-9 p.m.

Sat – Displays open from 9 a.m. – 7 p.m.  I’ll also be conducting two seminars . . . one on Communicating Across Cultures at 1:45 p.m. and another on using Social Media for Ministry at 4:15

Sun – I’ll be sharing in the kid’s open session, the jr high SS class, and during the service at North Peace MB Church.

So – if you’re in the area, I’d LOVE for you to drop by and chat a while!  If you’d like to see outside of these events, let me know – I’m in the process of trying to get my schedule worked out . . .   I may also be looking for a ride to the airport on  Monday morning – perhaps with a breakfast meet-up.

Pray for me next weekend, and also during this week as I prepare.  I still feel like I’m catching up at home and at the office . . . and I’m expecting Fort St. John to be fabulous, intense, and exhausting 🙂

Wrapping up Haiti

Sorry for the silence this week, but we ended up with very limited internet this week (facebook worked a bit, but WordPress didn’t). We’re back in Port au  Prince, and are getting ready to fly out tomorrow. It’s been an amazing week and everything went so smoothly. The welcome home kids had most of the week off school because of Mardi Gras, which meant that the girls and I got to spend way more time with the kids than we thought we would. Good byes were painful on both sides. The project went very smoothly and the team worked amazingly well together. We’ve got over 2500 photos to weed through and so many stories to share . . . but most of that will have to wait until we’re home. Thanks for your prayers – please continue to pray as we begin the journey home . . .