The Home is a non-profit organization in Guatemala and our girls are received thru the local court system. Prince of Peace is also a registered non-profit organization in the U.S. and our General Assembly(Board) is comprised of Guatemalan and U.S. Citizens. Prince of Peace operates strictly by donations from you.
How hard could it be?
Dr. Jim had practiced Internal Medicine which did not include significant care of pregnant women and children and neither of us knew any Spanish. So, we decided to put the medical practice on temporary hold for 3 months and go to Antigua, Guatemala to begin learning Spanish.
How hard could it be?
After Spanish school, we returned home and decided to close the medical practice and begin a new life in the mission field doing medical clinics. Little did we know that God had additional plans.
During the 4 ½ months of Spanish school, we became acquainted with Lana and Paul Sanders who were Directors of Prince of Peace Home for Girls (POP) in San Cristobal, a suburb of Guatemala City. The Home had just finished building a medical clinic on their premises for the poor people in the surrounding area and they were looking for a doctor to manage it. This was a good fit for everyone and Dr. Jim and Kay (a Home Economics teacher by training) began to work at the medical clinic. Then we began to receive invitations to events at Prince of Peace. Being around the girls there is to learn to love each one and we were soon spending more and more time at POP helping as we could.
The Sanders were great mentors having run a children’s home in the USA for 17 yrs. They had developed a discipline system and had made many physical and other improvements at POP during their time there. When the time came for them to permanently return to the USA, Dr. Jim and Kay assumed the role as Directors of Prince of Peace.
Looking back seven years later, the answer is that Spanish is much harder than we could have imagined. But, Dr. Jim quickly learned about treating pregnant women and children which is a large part of what he does medically in Guatemala. God has been faithful to His plan and to us every step of the way.
Wow! Isn’t He amazing? We are all so thankful for the years Dr. Jim & Mrs Kay spent at Prince of Peace and we wish them well as they return to the USA.
I struggled with the “how”. In my life it has rolled in my mind over and over. How could someone sell their home, their possessions, leave their family, friends, quit their jobs and trade everything they have known, for a third world country mountainside, surrounded extreme poverty? Even as I was looking down from 30,000 feet at nothing but the Gulf of Mexico anticipating what it would be like arriving the first time at Prince of Peace Home for Girls after a year or two of urging from a good friend, I still wondered about the “how”.
Something happened. I felt a small soft hand touch mine and squeeze. I felt the tears from a little girl on my cheek as they hugged me. I laughed like I hadn’t laughed and cried like I had not cried. Just then I realized, I was being moved, changed and challenged. You see I traveled to this mountainside, this 8 acre sanctuary and was humbled as the great creator was gently molding me like clay. It was as if scales were falling from my eyes. Finally, I was getting the “how”. When I looked into these girls eyes, heard their voices singing and laughing, I saw hope, promise, healing, I could feel their faith in God as they prayed with more conviction than I had heard in my life. When I saw them playing, studying and even doing chores, I witnessed ministry in motion. The evidence of so many that had answered the call and come before me and gave. I saw our powerful and merciful God. His power, His love, His Spirit and then I knew. I was changed.
I couldn’t put my finger on how to explain what I was feeling until Paul Sanders the director of the home then said, “Mike, what you are feeling is a Holy Discontent!” I am thankful for this place Prince of Peace and to our God that He opened doors for me to be a small part of this amazing ministry. No longer am I content with stuff or things of this world. No longer am I content with doing things or task in my own power. Ministry that can only be accomplished through His power is where I now want to be. John 15:5 reminds “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing”. I am content with my “Holy Discontent”, because just like this amazing place Prince of Peace Home for Girls, that is where God is.
Mike Eckler, Richmond, Kentucky
Can I make a difference?
Investment for the Kingdom
As a campus minister at EKU, I have prayed that the Lord would open up a door for our students to partner with a ministry on an international level. I couldn’t have been more blessed when God opened the door for us to serve with Prince of Peace.
“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father. Whatever you ask in my name, that I will do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” John 14:12-13
This verse has been a driving force and challenge for our students to take the love of the gospel to the girls at POP. The connection and brokenness for the girls at POP has been life changing for most of our students. They have come back from Guatemala changed, being transformed into a more clear image of Jesus Christ. They have come back with a desire to continue to tell people not only of the needs of the girls at POP, but to influence their culture to understand the need to help all orphans in the world.
The majority of our students that have been to POP have begun sponsoring some girls. That speaks volumes for our students, which traditionally do not have any money. They have made sponsoring a POP girl a priority and value them more important than the worldly consumerism culture in which they live. They have “got it.” They have come to understand that making an investment in a POP girl makes a difference for the Kingdom of God, which far outweighs the “things of the world.”
I can share for hours the individual lives that have been changed by serving with the POP ministry. I can tell you of brokenness from an 19 year old Eastern KY student that had never been on a plane, had never served within a ministry, and since serving at POP, now senses the Lord leading her to work with impoverished children on a global setting. POP is a wonderful ministry, and God is working in phenomenal ways on that campus, we hope to continue to connect and serve with them as long as the Lord leads us too.
There are so many different levels of impact when one serves on a team at Prince of Peace Home for Girls. There is the investment in the team, the Home, the girls, and most importantly the eternal impact.
There are countless blessings when it comes to being part of a team visiting Prince of Peace. Speaking from personal experience, the team members pack their suitcases, boxes, backpacks and handbags with treats and treasures that they feel would bring joy and blessings to the girls and staff of Prince of Peace. However, most people who have traveled to POP walk away encouraged, challenged, completely in love with the kids, the Home, staff and Guatemala itself. Countless team members had in mind they were going to bless the Guatemalan girls, but rather they walked out feeling completely overflowing with compassion, love and experienced God in a brand new and exciting way. So many team members have shared that they have a deeper relationship with Christ, confirmed their call into full-time ministry, developed a broader view of global evangelism, or even arrived at a genuine understanding of sacrificial love. Being part of a team is truly life changing.
As for the girls, although they love the trinkets and treasures, these too shall pass away. The smiles on their faces, the joy in their hearts, the excitement and anticipation that builds days and weeks before a team arrive is priceless. Paul Saunders, previous Director of Prince of Peace once described it this way, “Although the girls are sad when the teams leave, these teams have made an investment in the girls which can never be taken away. The girls feel special and loved. They have faced so many challenges and heartbreaks in their lifetime, but now they have long lasting relationships with people who care—people who will continue to invest in them long after the visit is over. We may never know the true impact on the lives of the individual girls, but it is evident they love and appreciate the teams who sacrifice their time, energy, and finances to spend precious moments with them.
Much of the investment of a team into Prince of Peace cannot be measured on any scale. Having been at POP for a 3 month trip, it is so encouraging to have a team come and serve. There are so many practical ways which a team blesses the Home by bringing specific supplies which sometimes can’t be found in Guatemala or is far too expensive when available. Teams so often bring financial blessings to the Home. God has consistently added new people and teams to home to insure the work gets done and the needs are met. It is also a great source of comfort, encouragement and joy when there is sweet fellowship with other believers or reunions of old friends at “the Home”.
In my heart the best part of being part of a team visiting Prince of Peace is in knowing you are being obedient to the Great Commission. Jesus’ last words to his disciples challenged them to go and share the Good News throughout the Earth. It is also evident all throughout Scripture that Christ had compassion for children. It is amazing to know that by giving of ourselves we are acting out the call and challenge that he has given to those of us who call him Lord. Just as so many things within His Kingdom, we give, even sacrificially, yet we are being blessed beyond what we can think or imagine. God is so gracious to call us to serve on a team at Prince of Peace Home for Girls and for that we are eternally grateful.