Summervilles' Testimony

After moving to the San Bernardino Mountains of Southern California in 1993, we started attending Calvary Chapel of Lake Arrowhead. At the time, CCLA supported a missionary in Mexico by the name of Luke Everett. Luke's parents founded a school for the Deaf of Mexico called Rancho Sordo Mudo where Luke worked as the director and his brother Eddie as the administrator. Every year CCLA would organize short term mission trips for helping the school. It was in 1995 that I (Greg) started to participate in these work weekends. Later, Jeanette and the kids joined the work trips. We all enjoyed our once or twice a year weekends at RSM.

It was in the year 2002, that Luke's wife Josefina suffered a brain aneurysm. Our daughter Elizabeth went down to the Ranch to assist Josefina with her recovery and physical therapy. She was there for about 6 weeks and fell in love with the students and staff. Two years later, Elizabeth started teaching the kindergarten class at the Ranch and taught there for two years over the course of the following three years. During that time, we were living in Alpine, east San Diego County, and would travel to RSM to visit Elizabeth. We worked on various construction/tile projects and enjoyed working with the deaf children and the wonderful staff.

Howard and Janet Grobestein were part of the staff at that time. We began to love and admire them both. Howard and I would talk about their desire to go to Guatemala and start a mission work for the Deaf in that country. In the beginning of 2008, Howard and Janet asked Jeanette and I to accompany them to Guatemala as missionaries to the Deaf. We believed that God was leading us in that direction. Our motto at the time was "We will march in that direction and if God keeps opening the doors, we will keep marching".

Our first support letter was mailed on September 22, 2009, and by Christmas we had the necessary support to move our family to Guatemala, to assist Howard and Janet with the ministry for the Deaf. We rented our house in Twin Peaks to a wonderful family and they moved in on January 15th. That day, we received a phone call from Howard saying that they would not be moving to Guatemala. Howard had a physical examination and the doctor found a problem that needed further testing. He was calling to inform us that he and Janet would not be joining us in Guatemala. This was shocking news but we were convinced that God wanted us in Guatemala, so we continued with our plans to move.

Howard is quite well and ministering with Janet in Mexico at Rancho Sordo Mudo. The Lord is opening doors for them and expanding the ministry of RSM. They have started a training program for young deaf adults and are willing to share their training materials and experience with us. It is very clear that this was God’s plan in the first place. We would have never considered moving to Guatemala to work with the Deaf had it not been for Howard and Janet. Their passion to help the Deaf has inspired us and we appreciate them greatly.

The mini van was packed as full as it could be, saving space for seven people, Jeanette and I, along with five of our eight children: Hannah, Lydia, Joshua, Luke and Julia. On January 29th, we left on our trip and arrived in Antigua, Guatemala on the 4th of February and began Spanish language school on Monday the 8th. While studying Spanish for 12 weeks, we were also learning Guatemalan Sign Language from our Deaf pastor, Gustavo Orellana. On April 30th, we moved into a house in San Cristobal just on the outskirts of Guatemala City, which was near our church, Iglesia Cristiana El Manantial.

After two years in San Cristobal, we moved to Jutiapa to assist Jonathan and Aura Pappa in their school for the Deaf. Life in the more rural setting of Jutiapa is quite different but we love it. There are classes in our home on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. Every other Saturday is our "Compañerismo" (Deaf Fellowship) where deaf people from ages 14 to 70 come and enjoy games, eat a delicious meal and receive a Bible teaching from God's Word. Jeanette keeps busy writing curriculum and of course homeschooling Julia. Jonathan and I (Greg) share in the teaching and preaching every Sunday at church in our home/ministry center.

Thanks for reading.