We are excited to share what the Lord is doing in Guatemala! This past month we have witnessed the favor of God in such a mighty way and we have felt the prayers of our brothers and sisters as we stepped out to do the work that God laid before us. This has been a long process but we know that everything happens in God’s perfect timing. We are truly grateful for God’s faithfulness and for all who have supported us through prayer, words of encouragement, and finances.
Building and fostering relationships with pastors in red zone areas is at the core of Asociación Civil Fe y Esperanza (ASOFE), known to you as Faith & Hope Guatemala. This is what we refer to as “Phase 1.” The Lord has given us the honor to connect with some incredible pastors from some of the most dangerous areas in Guatemala City. The impoverished neighborhoods where they pastor are over-run by violence, turf wars, and heavy gang activity. These pastors are the humblest, most passionate, and hard working men we have ever had the privilege to know. They face danger every day as they go out into their communities to prayer walk and evangelize.
Pastor E is one of the pastors who ministers in La Limonada. He suffers from stage four renal failure and receives dialysis treatments three times a week but that hasn’t slowed him down one bit. He and his wife hit the streets to pray for their city and have personally visited and taken the gospel to every single home in their community.
As we prayed and ministered with them in their neighborhoods, we got to know their hearts and the struggles they face and the Lord is giving us the honor to minister and encourage them. We have had the opportunity to bless their ministries by providing school supplies, computers, school uniforms, and guitars for a small music school at one of the churches. We have also provided sewing machines and helped to start a sewing program for mothers of at-risk youth in La Limonada. We’ve sponsored youth retreats and provided the food for community outreaches. We are so honored to partner with them and their work for the Kingdom! The Lord is bringing unity among these churches and creating a brotherhood among the pastors!
We had our first official volunteers meeting for the Center of Hope on Friday, February 22nd. About 55 people came to worship, pray, and plan for the opening of the center. These are the volunteers you have been praying and believing with us for and it has been awesome to see God’s faithfulness in providing laborers for the work in Guatemala! Glory to God! We had an incredible time of worship, shared about the vision, organized the volunteers and assigned coordinators for each group. The following weeks we met with each group to get to know them and plan the curriculum for the classes that they would be teaching.
The Lord has blessed us with some incredible people. You can see the excitement on their faces and they are thanking us for giving them the opportunity to serve the Lord with us! This just blows us away. We are the ones who are grateful for their willingness to serve; we are the ones who are thankful for the “yes” in their hearts to transform Guatemala one youth at a time! We praise the Lord for such passionate, enthusiastic people that are giving us ideas and teaching us along the way. We have been emphasizing that Faith & Hope is a family and that this mission and these youths belong to them. They are the hands and feet of Jesus and they are ASOFE. They are pumped and can’t wait for opening day.
Finally, as we get closer to the grand opening of Center of Hope, it has been such a joy to finally see the faces of the young men and women that we will have the privilege of serving. Being able to hug them and speak to them made it real. This dream is really happening and God is bringing it all together right before our eyes. We were wrecked by the hearts of these kids and we were able to see the small trees in fertile soil that God had been showing us. We got to love on them and share the vision that God gave us for the Center of Hope over McDonald’s burgers and ice cream, a rare treat that these guys were so grateful for. They are excited to begin their journey at the center of Hope and are encouraged by their pastors who are just as thrilled as we are to see God touch the lives of their youth.
We are so honored to sow into the hearts of youth like Jeremy. Jeremy is only 14 years old, and yet he is mature beyond his years and full of zeal to transform Guatemala. His dream is to become a politician in Guatemala because he wants to influence his country for the better to care for kids living in poverty. Jeremy lives in one of the poorest, most dangerous “red zone” districts and yet he looks beyond his own difficult living condition and sees the needs of people who are even less fortunate than him. What an honor God gives us to help fulfill his dreams!