About Us–“The Pipeline” Timeline

2007—We take our first trip to Guatemala. With our church, we start a sponsorship program called Foreign Exchange that connects families at our church to individual boys at the orphanage we visit (Eliza Martinez). These families send sunglasses, school supplies, pictures, money for a pizza party, letters, and other personalized mementos for “their” boy each time we travel to Guate.  We want each boy know there is at least one person who is absolutely crazy about him.

2008—The blog is born.  “The Pipeline” is kind of like a personal mission. It’s our collective purpose. Ever since we got married (June 2005), we’ve been trying to figure out how our seemingly contradictory desires fit together. You can read a bit about that journey here.
Basically, the idea is that we are “The Pipeline.” Somehow we’re supposed to connect our community with the work that God is doing. So when you come back to “The Pipeline,” expect to read about what’s going on in our lives and how it relates to our vision of connecting our community and our dreams.

 2009-A lot is changing in Guatemala. “Our” orphanage, Eliza Martinez, is combined with several other orphanages in “La Ciudad de los Ninos” or “The City of the Children.” Instead of 75 teenage boys, there are now 400 or 500 babies, toddlers, pre-teens, and teenagers (boys and girls) all living together in one giant complex. It’s even more difficult to carry out our Foreign Exchange goals of making each boy feel incredibly loved.

Along with Eliza Martinez, each visit to Guate includes time with the babies and toddlers at the Buckner Baby Home. When the Buckner home closes unexpectedly, Nate and I track down two of the children, Alejandra and Daniel, and meet up with them in their new homes.


Alejandra was six when she moved to New Life Children’s Home. She is now far away from her abusive family (she has scars on her legs from where her father boiled her). She’s healing. She’s happy. We continue to sponsor her through NLCH, pray for her, and visit.


Daniel, our sweet Daniel. Daniel was moved to another fantastic orphanage, Casa Bernabe.

Some of you may know that adoptions from the U.S. to Guatemala are closed. But if they reopen, we want to adopt Daniel. Supposedly, the new system will only allow for older children or children with special needs to be adopted. Daniel is both. He is practically a teenager! He’ll be eleven in April 2013. And he has Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. He desperately wants a family. He desperately wants us to be his family. We desperately want him.


2010—Our first baby girl (aka “Big Sister,” “A,” “our big girl”) arrives and changes everything.

Kind of.

While serving as a family is different from serving as a couple, our personalities and life goals haven’t changed. God continues to allow us to stay connected to Guatemala. We travel there three times while I am pregnant. We continue to pray about living overseas but want to make the most of our time here in the Midwest.

2011—After a court hearing to have Daniel declared officially adoptable (in preparation for us one day adopting him!), his birth mother reappears. His family thought he was dead. Custody is granted to his aunt. He moves from Guatemala City to a town about four hours away, Xela.

In November, we take our tenth (TENTH!) trip to Guatemala. This is our oldest daughter’s second trip. Our primary goal is to visit Daniel in Xela. We meet his aunt; she’s amazing. We help enroll him in school and try to find a way to stay in his life and support his family. Several months later, we hear he has moved back with his mom. This arrangement isn’t as good.


News from Guate is scarce. We love Daniel and miss him like crazy.

2012—Our second baby girl (“Baby Z,” “Z,” “Little Sister”) is born in July. Again, our world is rocked.  We’re now adjusting to life with two girls. We continue to desire to serve God both here and overseas.

In need of an outlet for writing, the blog begins to include more posts about family life in the Midwest.

We hope/plan to make a trip to visit Daniel in 2013.



  1. I am loving your pipeline idea & theme. I have started mine but don’t really have much of a theme…bc life right now doesn’t have much of a recognizable theme for us. I do love your writing style, so I’ll enjoy checking in to see what’s up in your world.

  2. Nate and Rachael,

    I’m so proud of you guys. What you’re doing is inspiring and admirable. Keep up the good work and I’ll be praying for you!

    Love always,

  3. Hello –
    I’ll be visiting Guatemala next summer with a group of educators in tow for Spanish study. We’ll be spending a week in the Antigua area and a week on Atitlán. My oldest son, 23, will be part of the group. Carlos was born in Guatemala and has recently expressed an interest in visiting the orphanage where he lived until he was 4 years old. His orphanage was called Eliza Martinez which, we know, has gone through various states and locations in the last 19 years; your blog was one of the few current references to it I could find.

    Carlos would like to solicit donations from local businesses and take needed items when we head down on our trip in July. We’re wondering if you could help us make connections with Eliza Martinez personnel or another place that could use donations and maybe a couple of friendly faces to play with the kids for a day. Not much time, I realize, but maybe a day brightener. We have a full day before the rest of the group arrives: Saturday, July 18th. For donations we were thinking school supplies, clothes, shoes, toys, balls, toothbrushes, or whatever else is most needed.

    Please let me know if you can help us hook up with an organization that could use the help.
    Happy trails,
    Stacey Holeman

  4. Nate and Rachael,

    I love reading your blogs and how you are showing God’s love overseas. It is very inspiring and makes me feel blessed to know such wonderful people! I hope God blesses you in all you do.

    In Christ and with love,
    Carrie Hewitt

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