Our life and work here in Huehue can be difficult, heartbreaking, and discouraging. This year especially has been hard for all of us, filled with unknowns, changes, and waiting. But in the midst of the uncertainty, we have hope. We are constantly reminded that we have a lot to be thankful for.

Here’s what our office and coffee house staff, both American and Guatemalan, are thankful for this Thanksgiving:

“I’m thankful for family, and that through my job with Story I’ve come to know the Lord more and more.” - Youscella Hernandez, Head of Social Work

“God, my family, my beautiful and wonderful girlfriend, and my job.” - Levi Bareither, Advocacy and Development Coordinator (and Marta’s boyfriend)

“I’m thankful for the blessings God has given me, and for my cute American boyfriend, and for my job.” - Marta Diaz, Head Chef at Fuego Coffee House (and Levi’s girlfriend)

“I’m thankful for God and the ways that I’ve seen Him work over this past year, for my sweet husband, for my loving family and friends, and for coffee.” - Emily Massi, Communications Director

“I’m thankful to God for his faithfulness in my life. I’m thankful that He has cared for my health and has blessed me with a wonderful job that I love so much. I’m thankful for my family.” - Karen Hernandez, Head Psychologist

“My health, my family, and the spiritual growth I’ve experienced.” - Karin Mendoza, administrative assistant

“I’m thankful for God’s presence in the confusion and the waiting.” -Nicole Puglisi, teacher and support staff

“A good family, the opportunity to work with children for 30 years, and the opportunity to support families through workshops and classes.” - Rosa Rios, Community Outreach Coordinator

“Everything.” - Austyn Harrah, Business Director

“I’m thankful for life. I’m thankful for a job, what I’ve learned from the families we work with, and my own family. I am thankful for love and friendships with coworkers.” - Maria Fernanda Castillo, Social Worker, Family Services

“I’m thankful for chocolate chip cookie dough and superhero movies. I’m also thankful for a family that’s everything I want for the kids we work with, for coworkers who are compassionate and hardworking, and for friends who love me well. I’m thankful that God has a perfect plan and provides us with a peace that surpasses all understanding.” - Melanie Chandler, Director of Development

“I am thankful for a God that is present and real and good. I’m thankful for a husband that loves Jesus and a staff that loves Jesus. I’m thankful for the Lord’s provision, guidance, and vision for Story. I’m also thankful for Sour Patch Kids.” - Alycia Pinizzotto, Executive Director (and Greg’s wife)

“I’m thankful for a God who gives me confident hope in a chaotic world, peace that goes beyond my understanding, and a love that destroys fear and overcomes weakness. I’m thankful for a wife that pushes me closer to Him and a family that embodies what we desire every child we work with to be a part of.” - Greg Pinizzotto, Ministry and Discipleship Coordinator (and Alycia’s husband)

“I thank God for health and work for my family, and for the harmony we’ve experienced. I am thankful for new friendships each day, and for the Americans who work here with us and the ministry we do together. I am thankful to know my coworkers.” - Boris Gutierrez, Community Outreach Coordinator (and Dilma’s husband and Josue’s dad)

“God, family, health, schoolwork, my job at Fuego, church, friends, and spiritual growth.” - Josue Gutierrez, Barista, Fuego Coffee House (and Dilma and Boris’s son)

“I’m thankful to God for blessing my family with good health. Also for guiding our plans in unclear times. Us being my family, Story, my marriage. He has given me a new mission, me and my husband both, with each other and with this organization. Most of all, I’m thankful that He has never left us. There are terrible battles in life, hardships, times when things are unclear and scary, and I know they are from the enemy. But I am grateful that God is always victorious in His power.” - Dilma Palacios, administrator (and Boris’s wife and Josue’s mom)

We’re thankful for employees who recognize the sovereignty of the Lord and the power of the Holy Spirit.

We’re thankful for a community striving to better itself.

We’re thankful for parents who never give up and kids who never stop smiling.

We’re thankful for our partners in the States and the churches that raised us.

We’re thankful. And we hope that today, you’re thankful too.

To donate to our work serving Guatemala’s most vulnerable, click here.

Melanie Chandler