34 thoughts on “Dyan Vander Sluis

  1. Hello from NW Iowa. What’s your first impression of Guatemala? I’ll bet it’s quite different from the terrain of Iowa. I hope that your trip to Mexico went well. Praying that you feel God’s presence from your first footstep there until you’re home again next week. Love you, Dods. Mom Reuvers

  2. Praying for you guys! I hope you have a safe trip! Don’t worry about the kids, you left them in good hands…can’t wait to hear how things are going!

  3. Dods, sounds like you might have experienced some sickness last night, but Ryan reports that you’re doing better this morning. We’ll continue to pray for you and your team. All systems are go for Mya’s teeth work tomorrow, and Grandma Van and I will take good care of your little girl. Remember, I’ve had lots of practice with little ones and teeth issues. ;o) Love you lots, just as God does. Mom

  4. Hey girl~
    Well- quite the trip down there! Know that you guys will be in our thoughts and prayers this week as you be the hands and feet of Jesus. So excited that you have this opportunity and can’t wait to hear all about it!

  5. The computer isn’t cooperating with me so this will be shorter than I want. We made it… in 2 days instead of 1. Spent yesterday sick. Ryan took care of me and Caleb carried my bag. Feeling much better today. The roads to the base are very rough and the conditions here are such that my mind could never imagine unless my eyes had not taken in the sight of it. Tell the kids I love them…time for devotions!

  6. Just back from our trip to Sioux City with Grandma Van and Mya. God certainly had a way of working the timing out of Mya’s appointment so well. Two grandmas and one patient was the perfect combination. The funnest part of our time in the surgery center was when Mya just had her “happy juice” before surgery. She and grandma sat in the recliner and sang Sunday School songs. As the minutes ticked by, she sank into Karen’s lap deeper and deeper, and the words to the songs got more slurred and less clear. She was so brave. Details when you get home. Love you

  7. Oh, by the way, Dyan, Grandma Van, Mya, and I all have matching “bracelets”…..compliments of the surgery center.

  8. Hope you had a great day and got a lot accomplished! That 5 minute shower felt great, I bet!
    Wanted you to know that Mya bounced right back. Slept until 2:30 and has been playing and eating ever since. Can’t fill her up. Tonight she had a huge portion of mac and cheese. A few minutes ago she was playing with her dolly and singing “The BIBLE” to the top of her lungs! No worries here, our Mya is back! Have a great time! We are!

  9. Mom – I bet I paid for those bracelets! I’m glad that Mya did so well. I thought of her procedure before bed last night, but not again until noon today. I feel like a horrible mom to not have even prayed for my baby girl. It sounds like “happy medicine” has the same affect on her as it has on me. Thanks for the cute story… it made me laugh instead of cry. Today was really good. We busted our buns and got a TON of work done… NW Iowa style! Its very evident that God is here with us even though we have yet to experience a huge God moment like other teams before us have. I kjow without a doubt they are yet to come. I can’t believe the living conditions here. It breaks my heart to see what the beautiful people live in, but they are SO happy!! I am ready for devotions and bed, but just as rady to see what the Lord leads us into tomorrow. Love to all!

  10. Mya is doing well! She loved your letter and asked if she could take it to bed with her. Today she is excited to go to Seth’s program and then go to Farmer Grandpa and Grandma. Hope everything goes well today and that you will be able to dedicate some houses today. Hope you love your time as much as we did! Love Mom and Dad VS

  11. Hello my beautiful friend, Oh how you have been on my heart! I pray you are having the best experience ever!! I think it is just awesome that you and Ryan get to share this heart changing experience together. I hope you guys love it as much as Brent and I did, it has truly changed my heart. I am so sorry to hear you got ill, but so happy it was short lived. That little plane and me didn’t get along too well either 😦 I pray your travels home will be much less eventful. If you guys do get to spend some time in the orphanage, will you please cuddle my sweet Velvet and tell her I love her and give her a big smoochie from me!! It is crazy how fast that little girl stole my heart! It is awesome to hear how the group is kickin buns with building! Way to GO!! We will keep praying for dry weather so you can continue the work God has called you to do. Can’t wait to hear about everything when you get home! Luv ya bunches girl!! See you soon!!

  12. We had a good day with Brandon. He helped Uncle Lee haul corn to town. He admitted he missed his mommy and daddy, but we’ll keep him busy. Mya and Seth arrived late afternoon where we immediately went to the barn to see our three new calves. Mya feel asleep in my arms after three rocks. I think she still has some residual effects from yesterday’s surgery. Her new teeth are pretty shiny. Seth had fun at camp and wants you to know that Brook came to his program this afternoon. Busy day planned for tomorrow…..Splash Pad and time with MJ & Ken.

  13. Now for Mom’s comments…..I’ve been thinking about you a lot today, asking God to watch over you as you go about your work and your witnessing. I know you’ll be a real blessing to others and that you’ll be blessed by your experience in Gautemala. Bet those teenagers are keeping you hopping, unless they’re too tired to stay up late, that is. Can’t wait to hear about all your adventures. Praying for you 24/7. Love you, Mom

  14. Thanks for all the thoughts and prayers!! They are felt and much needed. We have completed all 5 houses in a day and a half and already have 2 dedicated. The first one went well. The second was a battle. Satan was very real, but it was obvious that God is stronger!! We got to pray over the father of a woman one of our teams built a home for. He had a stroke 6 months ago and has very limited use of his left side…arm and leg. We were told he has not even been to a doctor yet. That broke my heart. I work with stroke patients al the time and know if he was in the USA, that there could be so many things done to help him. I gve him a hug, but didn’t communicate anything because he wouldn’t know what I said. He will be on my heart for years to come. Maybe it will make me a better therapist. Time for devos and off to bed. Today was exhausting – physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Tomorrow will be tough too I’m sure. Keep the prayers coming please! Miss you all!!

  15. Hi, Dods. It’s much cooler so the kiddos will be sleeping upstairs tonight….where Papa was last night. Seth and Brandon were on the living room floor, Mya was bed with me……yippee!!! Her mouth is pain free except she still only wants soft food. She loves her new shiny teeth. Wanted to go to the Splash Pad this afternoon but it’s pretty cool so that plan might have to be scratched. MJ and Kennedy coming this evening to play. Grandma should be ready for bed when that time arrives. ;o) Sounds like I’d better find some extra time to pray during my busy day.

  16. I’m praying for your safety and that our Heavenly Father will use you to His greatest good. I know you’ll be a real witness for Him. Will love hearing about your days doing His work when I see you next. Much love from Colorado.

  17. Thinking about you guys a lot today. Spiritual warfare as you have never seen it b4! What a great God we serve, the who is the Ultimate Victor! Sometimes we need to have broken hearts to understand how blessed we are. Blessed to be a blesssing!! I know you will be a blessing to the many you meet! Pray you will never forget this experience – the flashbacks will be many! It is so quiet here without the kids! Love you and can’t wait to hear how God has worked this week! Love Mom VS

  18. Had a busy day. Groceries this morning with Mya. Papa kept the boys busy. Picked up MJ, ate dinner, and then went to the Splash Pad. Papa hung the swing so that was helpful. Kennedy arrived so I’m really busy…..and yawning. Everyone is doing well. Brandon is a big help as usual. Outdoor worship tomorrow a.m. Praying all is well with you. Think of you ALL day long. Love you. Mom

  19. The evening was a crazy one. Chores, four wheeler rides, swinging, pizza, and then baths for everyone, afterwhich no one was ready for bed except Gma and Papa. Thought we’d worn the kids out completely during the day, but they still had some go in them until 10:00 p.m. Wowser! Will do some prayer time for all of you before going to bed, but as much as I’m yawning now, I might not make it past “God bless Ryan and …………….”!*! The boys had a little meltdown for Mom and Dad after the third trip upstairs to bed tonight, but we loved them thru it. Love, Mom

  20. We’re just back to the base after a looong day of dedicating the last 3 houses. Ours was first this morning…an older couple who were both breviously believers, but recommitted their lives 100% to Christ again. We all had the chance to give them hugs after the dedication and they EACH prayed a blessing over EACH one of us individually. For a complete stranger to pray for me… no words! Our medical clinic tonight was in a slum. The lowest of the low. Jesus walked streets like that. Preached to people like them. We’ve had the chance to do it too. We had to sit and wait inour vans for over 30 minutes in a adownpour and change locations 3 times due to flooding, but the Holy Spirit was ever present and each person there gave teir heart to the Lord. Wow!! One more jecial clinic tomorrow and then our free day in the market and then we’re on r way home. Love to all!

  21. Headed to the orphanage this morning to love on the kiddos and help with cleaning. My own children were on my heart when I was trying to fall asleep last night and now again this morning. Take every opportunity to love on them for me please. Tell them I love them (Ryan too), give them hugs and kisses. Tell Brandon and Seth that some little boys their age are now wearing their baseball hats that they donated for us to bring. 🙂 Tell them that those same little boys asked God into their hearts last night too!! See you in a few days! LOVE you all!

  22. Been thinking and praying for you a lot this morning. I’m sure the trip to the orphanage will fill your heart with a lot of emotion. I know without a doubt God will bless your time with those precious children. God’s love will be shown to those kiddos thru your hugs. God loves you so much, Dods. Aunt Becky does too!!

  23. Sounds like you’re accomplishing lots for those in need and for the Lord’s kingdom. Great work! The boys and Papa went to the outdoor service this morning. Mya and I stayed home because she was coughing some. Seems to be doing better this afternoon. All our fun finally caught up with us, and we all napped a bit this afternoon. Hope we didn’t wreck bedtime for Gma Van. The kids are being really good, Dyan. Two more sleeps and you’ll get to kiss on them yourself. ;o) Safe travels home. We ALL miss you. Mom

  24. Seth: I love you and hope you’re having a good time!
    Brandon: We’re ready to catch some fire flies!
    Mya: Love you, mommy!
    Grandma Van: The switch has been made! Guess you are wrapping up things and starting to think about home. See you in 2 sleeps!!!

  25. Hey! Sounds like you are having a great time! I’m sure very exhausting in a lot of ways! I’m anxious to hear about all your stories! Enjoy your last little bit of time that you have left and we will see you soon!
    Love Ya!

  26. I think the most exhausting thing today was the 2 and a half hour van ride to go about 40 miles. Ugh!! Only a few minutes to lights out, so this will be shorter than I hoped. More souls won for Christ and the eternal kingdom today!! PTL!! I’m trying my best to journal in a notebook so I have stories to share. Singing praise songs in front of complete strangers who don’t understand a lick of the words coming out of our mouth was so fulfilling! I’m ready to be home to love on my kiddos, but a part of my heart will remain here and I can already say I’d love to come back some day. Shopping in Antigua tomorrow. Should be fun, but we’re warned it could be cangerous too … the devil will attempt to sneak back in and use selfishness to make us think of God less. Pray for safe travel home please. We’ve had our fair share of students being and getting sick. We’d like to be done with that

  27. Praying for health of hearts and bodies on your journey home! Praising God for the work he’s doing through you Dyan!

  28. Well, 1 more sleep and we’re on our way. Actually more like half a sleep. We have to wake up at 2:45 tomorrow morning to head to the airport. Hoping all our flights connect on time and we make it back to Omaha around 3:00pm tomorrow. One last meal at the base, one last devo time as a group, one last hug for the kiddos at the orphanage and one last drive on this really bumpy road. I’m a little sad to see it go, but I’m really excited to get home. There is a lot to be aware of here… don’t eat anything with your hands if they aren’t clean, use hand sanitizer, how do I say that in Spanish? and clean up after yourself. Looking forward to a hot shower for more than 5 minutes too. 🙂 See you soon, USA!! Love to all! Thank you so much for all the prayers on our behalf!!

  29. I don’t know if you’ll read this post before you leave Guatemala tomorrow morning, but I’ll send it anyway. I’ll be praying you home….every single mile. It will probably be hard to say goodbye to your new friends in Christ, but we’re sure ready to see your faces again. I’m sure you’ll be leaving your “footprints” in the lives of those you met there. Love, Mom

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