Hope in the Middle of the Storm

Happy December everyone! I have no idea how in the world it is actually December already and that it hasn’t just been one long, strange month since April. There are some days I have to stop and think about it to remember what month we’re in. But at least now, with the Christmas tree, stockings, and smell of the Christmas candle burning it keeps me centered on the fact that we are now in December. It’s kind of a relief to finally be here, although it doesn’t seem as if anything is changing soon. At least we can look back and see how sweetly faithful God has continued to be through it all, and to remember even more this month that He is Emmanuel, He is with us, He came for us.

The past month of this hurricane season has been quite intense. There was a drought our first two years here and we barely experienced any rain, let alone a hurricane. So this year, when two huge ones were threatening all of Central America our anxiety was pretty high. Honduras and Nicaragua got hit the worst, but the rains still hit hard and long here. Rivers that surround us on every side began to rise. Areas of Belize flooded and families told us waters hadn’t risen that high in over 40 years as their homes were under water. The main highways all had sections covered in water and a bridge we take weekly was under more than 35 feet of water. Downtown San Ignacio and the whole market area were also completely under water.

The devastation for many continues. Some still have not been able to move back into their houses and many farmers have lost entire crops. There’s a village near us called Calla Creek where many families are still displaced by the flood and sleeping in small village churches for refuge. A group from our church has been going out to serve them several times with groceries, warm meals, new rain boots, and we’re hoping to help them with some needs as they begin moving back into their homes. We are so grateful for all the support that has come in over the past several weeks to assist these families in their moment of crisis. As they walked us through the soggy fields, our feet squishing through mud, we could see inside their simple homes where everything was mud stained and much of their belongings were strewn about all over the fields. They have all lost a lot and we could see how much the support and assistance that has come in means to them. Thank you all so much for being a part of this!

Sometimes when there are big disasters like this it feels so overwhelming, and it’s hard to even know how to help in a way that really matters, that will help people to move forward, but we’re trusting in God to guide us as we go. On our last visit Gerson met the pastor of the church that is housing some of the families, his entire little church has converted into a shelter for about 10 families. He himself doesn’t have much, but he knew they needed to open the church. With the little he has, he has given so much. The provision and hope of God is real and even out there on that mud soaked land it is evident.

As Christmas comes nearer, hope is real, don’t miss seeing it even in the difficult and unexpected circumstances we end up wandering through.

For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the greatness of his government and peace
there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne
and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
with justice and righteousness
from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the Lord Almighty
will accomplish this.

**As this year comes to an end, if you would like to help support our ministry here in Belize with a one time gift or become of our monthly support team pleas visit our giving page by clicking on the button below.**

Digging Deeper in Discipleship

When I look back on one of the most impactful times in my spiritual life, it was with a group of friends, college grads and our pastor.  It all centered around hanging out at our pastor’s house once a week to watch a tv series.  We’d all pile into his living room, on the couches and floor, and watch the show together.  Then one night when the show ended he said, “Hey guys, let’s spend some time praying, let’s listen to the Holy Spirit.”  Week after week we did. We were growing and being discipled, learning so much more about who God was, what it meant to have an intimate relationship with Him, to trust Him, and to hear His voice.  My prayer life grew, God filled us with his His Holy Spirit, and His presence was more real than I had ever known.  It changed my walk with Him.

It takes time to grow deep relationships and discipleship moments like those.  As we began here two years ago and didn’t know anyone, moments and relationships like those were something my heart longed and hope for more than anything else.  It’s so strange to think that quarantine, separation, and a country-wide complete lockdown would be what brought us closer together as a church family and would begin to forge those relationships here.  We had been doing discipleship classes since we started, but it was hard to break in and really get to know people and see their hearts.  We would sit in a classroom at church, and God was teaching them in those moments, but we knew there were still more.  

Then the world changed, just like everywhere else, and we started having to meet over zoom instead of face-to-face.  Here life stopped, the whole country was literally quarantined, except to get groceries and essential things like medical care.  I don’t know if it was something about all of us being in this together, or maybe the vulnerability of sitting in front of your computer camera and overcoming the fear of accidently starting to talk at the same time as someone else and getting all flustered, but we really started to get to know each other.  As we shared a lesson, watched a video together, or dug into a certain Bible verse, everyone started to open their hearts, and share from the depths of their personal walk with God.  Together we began discussing God’s word, finding truth and learning what it means to be a Christ follower.  

For two months quarantine was lifted and we were able to meet in our house for a while.  As this group of people sat in our house I realized how the Holy Spirit had brought a depth and intimacy to our meetings that remind me so much of that time back in California with my pastor.  It is beautiful to see members of our church growing deeper in their faith and how evident their excitement is about the process.  We’re back on Zoom for a while now with the current regulations, but God is continuing to do a beautiful thing in the lives of those that are present.  We know that gathered with us, whether it’s in our house or over zoom, there are future pastors, church leaders, missionaries, and ones that will take the messages of God’s love and hope to this community, and we wait expectantly on what God will continue to do.  

Would you like to help us financially to be able to continue in the ministry we are doing here in Belize?  This past year has been difficult as we had been planning on being in the US for the month of June for fundraising.  With the airport closed completely for the past 6 months we were unable to do so and our budget has been affected greatly.  If you would like to help us finish this year well by partnering with us through financial support click here or feel free to contact us directly!

Want to see more pictures of life and ministry from the last few months? Click here!


Life – Ministry – Belize 2020

At the moment we aren’t allowed to meet in person with more than 10 people so we’re having a our meetings online, but for a few months over the summer we were able to meet at church with social distance.
Dropping off some children’s ministry packets with some families from the church.
With the loss of tourism, Belize’s number 1 source of income, and non-essential jobs being put on-hold for a few months there have been many families in need around the country. With the help of some members or our church and through the donations we receive from our supporters we have been able to help take care of some families several times a month.
The beginning of the school year was pretty stressful for the teachers at the Foursquare primary school. At first they were told to plan for school to open with a long list of regulations to comply with. They would half of their students in class in the morning and then after lunch the second group would come in for class. They went to a lot of work to move out desks, install hand washing stations and get things in order, and as soon as it was all set-up the government announced that schools would be closed and teacher had to begin to prepare for distant learning, with about a two weeks notice.
With all that hardwork and stress it was fun to be able to drop off some pizza, ice cream and ice cold cokes for them!
Some of the recent work at the front of the church, getting ready to build a platform.
Drop ceiling just as they were finishing up.
Baby dedications! Love seeing God grab ahold of the hearts of this sweet family!
A couple leaders have joined Gerson with preaching on Sunday mornings.
Discipleship nights are the best nights.
The kids jumped in and were so excited to help make some protein bars for some nurses.
Our church got to bless a group of nurses who were coming off shift and had to go straight into quarantine with lunch and dinner.
This is church. When WE are the church, people, individuals, the body of Christ, no-one can call the church essential or not. If we can’t be contained within the walls of a building, neither can the church. God is so big and only He can make things thrive in the midst of difficult circumstances.
A group of leaders from church got together to help us dream and plan for the future.
Our spectacular Zoom and online church set up.
Making it work!
We were a little behind most countries but the day finally arrived at the end of March when schools had to switch to distant learning. It was a struggle to switch, but we survived the end of the school year.
I can’t tell you how much this sweet little school of Ethan and Maddie’s has been a blessing to our family!
For the most part pools open and we’ve gotten to go a few times and have the pool all to ourselves. Masks are required in public, but thankfully in pool we get to take them off!
We have a lot of animals that we see running around our backyard. Big iguanas, lizzards, toads, skinks, tarantulas, owls, opossums, toucans…. but this little guy that we found one day was our favorite so far! He’s a Yucatan banded gecko.
Such a breath of fresh air after spending so much time at home.

Parks haven’t open, we’re not allowed to get together with friends, but we can escape to the beach!!
A big day for this little girl when she took her pepe’s (pacifiers) to the drug store to buy some new toys with them.
Evie turned 3!
A little freedom running along the shore is a great way to let off some quarantine stress!
First day of school for Ethan and Maddie. For now it’s distant learning. They pick up their homework in the morning to work at home and then drop it off the next day. Going to the school for 5 minutes each day is their favorite!! They get to see hi to their teacher and sometimes they run into one of their friends and get to say hi.
Evie’s first day of preschool!! Even if it was just to pick up her work to do at home, she was very excited!
Paddling around and floating over jellyfish and sting rays.
Maddie turned 6!


We traveled to the US in May for Foursquare connection.  It was the first time we have attended and it was life to our souls to step away for a moment and connect with Foursquare family.  The kids may have loved it more than we did and are constantly saying things like “remember when we were in Nashville and we got to go with the kids and….”  God spoke to us as well, ministering greatly to our spirits through the whole experience.  We also had a wonderful time of vacation in Wisconsin with family making lots of memories to hang onto from our time there.

 We wanted to share our story of some of the greatest physical transformation that has happened at the church over the past year.  The church building that we have been entrusted with has a large classroom along one side.  We tried having service in it at the beginning to keep it more intimate and tighter knit, but it was just too hot in there.  Hot, humid, and damp.  The walls were covered in mildew, it was full of lizards and spiders, the paint on the ceiling was hanging down in gigantic bubbles that would fall on our heads, and the rain water would absorb and seep through the ceiling constantly.  

The first few months it was storage, but then in November two mission teams gave us some help to get out of the rut of what that room was and got it headed in the right direction of what it could be.  It began with lots of people, scrapers and bleach to strip down all the dirt and then painting it over to make it new.  Later some friends put the most amazing sealer on the roof that also reflects the sun to keep it at least 10 degrees cooler inside.  Others helped us make diy sound boards so that sound could actually make it into people’s ears instead of bouncing back and forth between the walls in painful noise, and little by little, from the generosity of all of you as well as members of the church, we added chairs, shelves and tables, a lego table AND THEN THE DAY ARRIVED WHEN WE WERE ABLE TO GET AIR CONDITIONING INSTALLED!

God is doing amazing things in the lives of the people who come into the church here.  Deep emotional healing in a family that lost their son shortly after we arrived, physical healing, spiritual growth as we see God allowing us to teach and build a strong foundation of faith and biblical belief in the members of the church, and new people that show up and are constantly saying that they feel like God was drawing them in. 

Selfishly getting a/c might have been the greatest moment of my life here in Belize, but it is truly amazing what the implications of the whole transformation of this room really mean.  It has been our children’s ministry room for a while and with the sound boards it was incredible how much more the kids can actually hear the lesson and that the  truth about Jesus could actually make it into their sweet little ear.  Even though a/c might seem like a “luxury” or something so superficial, it literally wakes the kids up.  The heat and humidity here are intense, stronger than anything I’ve ever experienced in my life and when the kids would sit down in the classroom they were lethargic and it was hard for them to pay attention and process Bible verses, songs or the story they were hearing because of the heat.  Now they are so much more alert and responsive, and not only with them, but with the week night discipleship classes, youth group and other meetings, the difference with the a/c is like night and day.   

We are praising God in a big way for allowing us to make steps forward and creating an atmosphere where ministry is happening.  We are blessed to have new comforts of a/c and a comfortable classroom which translates to people hearing God’s word, to little kids getting to learn who Jesus is, of adults building a foundation of truth in their life that never existed before and so much more.  They might be physical changes that were made, but God is using them for his glory and to bless people’s lives, and we know that the physical change is a true reflection of the internal change happening in so many of the people here. 

We cannot wait to see what God continues to do, as we have seen the church transform from 1 family when we got here to about 15 families represented now, we hope to start working towards the day that a/c is installed in the main sanctuary, to see people turning their lives over to Christ, believers being prepared for ministry to go out and love their fellow Belizeans, and to see God’s kindom manifest in this place.  What a journey to be a part of!

If you would like to help in this journey you can use the following link to connect to our giving page. Click here to give!

Merry Christmas from Belize!

As we are getting ready to celebrate our first Christmas here in Belize we have been so grateful for the cool weather to put us in the holiday mood.  It has been an average of a chilly 74 each day this week!!  We are also extremely thankful for all the support, love and prayers from each one of you.  We have been so blessed to be able to begin to work on projects at the church, cover the cost of ministry activities and be present in the lives of the people in this community only because of the generosity and support of all of you.  Thank you!

While Maddie’s preschool class practiced their Christmas program at church I was sitting there trying to start this newsletter but was just too distracted by their little voices singing “Oh Holy Night” (now Maddie’s favorite song), so I sent Gerson a message asking for ideas.

“Vos, what have you seen God do over these last few months?  What has He been speaking to you?”  

This is his quick response that I received back on WhatsApp:

-After being here for 6 months I’ve really come to realize that things aren’t going to change or fix from one moment to the next, it’s a slow and long process.  The most important thing that I think God is calling us to do is to reflect His love and to lead others not through a leadership that is about a position of authority, but by leadership through influence and relationship.  God didn’t just bring us here to have church services and start doing a bunch of activities.  We are here to follow through with the task Jesus gives us all to go and to make disciples.  I think our main purpose here is to raise up and capacitate leaders through relationship and ministry.  God’s really used this verse to speak to me.  “For the revelation awaits an appointed time,; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger it will certainly come and will not delay.”  (Hababkuk 2:3)

-I think that God has begun to restore the testimony of the church here in this community.  Little by little they are realizing that the church didn’t disappear or shut their doors like many people had thought.  So many people walk by when I am at the church and the most common comment I hear is “Oh, I thought the church closed.”  One by one we’re getting to tell them nope, we have service on Sunday, you should come join us!

-In the past six months we have seen three families and start attending the church who had never come before, and about 10 people return who were members of the church before and now are attending regularly.  The months before we arrived there were 2 or 3 in the church and now there are about 20 people on average here worshipping God, being filled with His Spirit and hearing His word every Sunday.  As we are beginning, still learning so much, and adapting to the culture, we haven’t implemented any program or done anything to formally invite people, God is simply drawing them in and moving in their lives.

-Little by little we can see God giving us grace to earn the trust of the people here, and culturally this is not something easy to do. There are families that have let us into their problems, some horrible circumstances that they have been going through.  They are things we could never have imagined having to confront, and they have allowed us to pray with them and be there for them.   We have seen God move in their hearts and draw them near to Him in situations where they would otherwise lose all hope completely.

-We have been hanging out with the youth and young adults at our house regularly to pray and talk about what God is doing in our lives and even were able to take two of them to the Me-40 leaders conference in El Salvador.  When we got back they shared what God had done in their lives and it was a very impactful time for them.  One of them said, “This conference surpassed my expectations, I want to do so much more for God, we should be out there ministering and sharing God with people.” We know that these youth are a huge part of the foundation that God is slowly building right now, He wants to shape them into solid leaders in this church.

-In the school we get the opportunity to share each week with the kids and teachers, building relationship with them and teaching them about God’s love and truth.  It’s pretty fun seeing the trust we’re earning with kids and how excited they are when we get to the school.  They all come running up to give high-fives.

I was just remembering that a word God spoke to us over and over again as we were visiting Churches in the US was that He was sending us to restore and I think that is exactly what He is doing.  He is allowing us to restore the church, to unite and restore relationship, to restore vision.

We wish you all a Merry Christmas celebrating the awesome reality of our Savior, Immanuel, God with us.

Much Love,
Gerson and Ami Gutierrez

If you would like to give a year end gift or sign-up for monthly support please click here to go to our giving page:    Give Now

If you’d like to see more picture of the past few months you can click here: Pictures

The Past few Months in Pictures

This past week the national board and their families got together for a retreat and we were able to host them at our house for the first night.  “Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” Isaiah 49:13


We found this guy at the church one afternoon and then a few weeks later one showed up right outside our back door.  Thankfully they’re pretty harmless, although I still never want to see one inside my house!  He’s a Red-rump tarantula.

Youth night at our house, talking about our worth and how God sees us and values us.

Maddie had her first Christmas program.  She did and amazing job and loved it!

The kids are in dance and for their year end show they had a bake sale.  We made cookies and left them on the table for the young guys to sell, but Ethan stayed there the whole time convincing everyone that came by that they should buy his cookies.

We couldn’t find anywhere to visit Santa, but luckily some very special friends of ours in Madison are very close to Santa and scheduled us our own facetime call.  The kids were thrilled!!

Sunday school with one of our very favorite teachers, Myra.

First baby dedication since we’ve been here.

Some of our favorite people from Wyoming came to visit us in November and after doing lots of amazing work for us we got to celebrate Thanksgiving with them on their last day here.


Walking around San Ignacio.

The beautiful wood backdrop the team made for us.  It helps make the large space at church more intimate as we grow.

A teacher’s lunch at our house.

Belize is known for a lot of delicious food, one is BBQ.  Thankfully I didn’t do too bad making it for the teachers.

Playing some games with the youth.

A visit to Xunantunich Ruins while the mission team was here.

Ethan loves helping in everything.


The circus came to town!!! And no worries, there were no animals in the show.  This circus came over from Guatemala where it is illegal to have circus animals.  Maddie lasted 2 minutes once it started, the loud noise was just too much for her so Gerson had to wait in the car with her.  Ethan thought it was the best thing ever and was almost rolling on the ground laughing at the clowns.

She adores her ballet class.

Sunday school!

Youth movie night, I can only imagine.

Every day parents either bring lunch to drop off for the kids at lunch time, or stay and have lunch with the kids.  Sometimes I just send his lunch with him because it can be a hassle to go every day,  but I’ve really been enjoying getting to spend this time with him.


He wanted to play in the rain.

These two love going to school.


We spend a significant amount of time eating tacos.

Independence Day.


San Ignacio, Home.

Over the past 8 months  we have slept in 29 different beds throughout 5 different countries and all across the U.S.  For us as a family in this time home has been defined as “wherever we are all together.”  What a sweet and novel thing it is that we can now call this place we’ve landed home and that home can finally once again be a place, a haven, a dwelling, something familiar and constant.  I can see in my kids faces what making it to this point has done for them.  I feel it in my chest as I breathe what it means to me.  The journey was absolutely amazing as we got to spend so much invaluable time with our family and connect with friends. They were moments that we absolutely cherish!!  But we are FINALLY out of suitcases and boxes as this past week we moved into our permanent home.  We finished up all the loose ends back in Guatemala and made the last trip to move our things here to Belize, we are all in!

San Ignacio, Belize… we are HOME!

Back in May we stepped off the plane to crazy humid temperatures around 109 degrees daily (to which Ethan would tell us over and over that he was melting) and started a journey to learn about surviving without climate control.  Thankfully we seem to be winning and are doing much better these days!!

Once we were settled in here in San Ignacio we started getting to know a few of the people who had been left attending the church.  After only hearing stories or ideas of the church here we have loved getting to know faces, meeting the actual people, and building community.  We knew coming in that God had really been speaking to our hearts about focusing on intimacy and relationship as we first begin.  The first two months we have had church at our house, seeking God together, getting to know each other, and joining together in prayer.  This beginning is precious and intimate and we feel like God is telling us to just bathe in it, in His presence, to not rush past this time because He is building a strong foundation and He is present.

Tuesday night church at our house.

We have an amazing church building where we know God has great plans for His congregation.  We’ve been cleaning things out, weeding through what is there, and figuring out what things we will need like speakers, a soundboard, microphones and things like that.  We’ve been crying out to God and dreaming about the ways we will be able to use the building to help kids know their Creator, for young people to be discipled, and for long-time believers to find that there is even deeper places they can go with our God (…and to one day have air conditioning!!)  Here at the very beginning is an exciting place to stand, knowing all that God has done to get us here, and knowing that it is just a taste of how faithful and great He will prove Himself to be in the months and years to come.

Oh, and in case you were wondering… yes our house does have room for visitors!!! So we are waiting on you all to follow through with your promises to come visit!

We are covered, sustained, carried, and accompanied by so very many in this journey.  We are grateful to say the least.  Be blessed and thank you.

~Gerson and Ami

Keep scrolling down to the next post to see more pictures from out first two months.

The link to our giving page is:



Our First Two Months in Pictures

We were stressing out this day, wondering and hoping that everything was going to get there okay and get through customs. But God is so good, and was the smoothest process ever in the end!!

On Our Way!

You guys!  We are 9 hours away from boarding the plane to Belize!!  We’re kind of emotional rollercoasters right now, between excitement, anxiety, sadness, expectation, fear (just to mention a few.)  One of the little ones has been on the verge of tears all evening saying that we’re not going, that none of us are going, but then gets excited every 15 minutes and wants to pack the suitcase one more time.  Me on the other hand, I might need prayer.  At bedtime we couldn’t find pajamas, or even a t-shirt for Maddie to wear to bed.  I may have accidently packed everything and left nothing for the next two days and night.  To many things to do, too little time!!!  (Forgive me in advance for typos due to lack of sleep these past few days.)

God has had us on a crazy adventure this past year all over this side of the world and has left us completely in awe at His provision and guidance over every step.  We got to spend time with so many of you who we love so much and had the chance to learn tons from every church family we visited that we know will help us navigate ministry.  We can only imagine with wild anticipation what He has in store for us once our feet hit the ground.

This past week we had the opportunity to leave our kids with some friends for the night to be able to take a moment to get away and pray and plan for the beginning of our time in San Ignacio.  We know that God has amazing plans for this church to be intimately close to Him, that He wants to raise up true disciples and simply be present among His people in this place.  Please pray with us as we begin to walk this out.  We are very excited to get down there, meet with national leaders and begin to see how everything will start to take shape.  We will keep an updated list of prayer requests and answered prayers on the “Prayer” tab if you’d like to follow along.

We’ve spent the past month visiting the last few churches and even got to be at an amazing leadership weekend.  We’ve been getting all the last details in order, packing, vaccines, bank accounts and a huge to-do list.  We had been praying

Our First Home

for the right place to live once we get there, something short term so that once we are there we’ll be able to figure out where will be the best place to live.  Some friends of ours put us in contact with a sweet family that rents out a house and it worked out absolutely perfect that it was going to become available the same day that we arrive.  It’s in the same neighborhood as our church and close to stores and everything to make life a little easier when we’re still trying to figure out life in our new home.  It is so comforting and encouraging to see that even in this God is going before us.


We are still working on raising support and being fully funded, and are getting closer.  As we go forward after this time of furlough and transition we are humbled and in awe of all that God has done.  If would like to know how to become a part of our support family please send us an e-mail or you the donation link at the bottom of this post.

Much love- The Gutierrez Family

I’m not sure which one of the two is more excited about this garage sale find, but Ethan chose guitar lessons for once we’re in Belize. He says he can’t wait to play with Daddy at church and after learning this he wants to learn to play the microphone next.