Guatemala Mission Update

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In early 2024, with God’s help and your help, we embarked on a project to make disciples of the nation of Guatemala. This is an update on that mission.

Yes, you heard me right. We want to disciple the nation of Guatemala, not just focus on a few individuals.

Why not focus on just a few individuals? Because Jesus called you and me to disciple nations:

“And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.’ Amen” (Matthew 28:18-20 NKJV).

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    When you ask the Lord to give you nations, you have to step through the doors He tells you to go through. And the Lord has opened the door to Guatemala in a supernatural way.

    Let me first say that we have vetted this project VERY carefully.

    We are working with people on the ground in Guatemala who are very well known to our ministry team. They are honest, godly, hardworking people, and we are being extremely careful about what we support and how funds are used.

    Additionally, we are working to support what the pastors on the ground want to accomplish, even in cases where group brainstorming is needed. We NEVER want to approach a mission project from the perspective that we are someone’s saviors.

    Coming into the project with the perspective that we are their saviors would set the people we are serving up to fail. Our goal is to empower people on the ground to know God and receive His blessing in their own native cultures.

    That said, here’s what we’re working on so far–with the help of veteran missionaries and consultants who have worked for decades in the poorest parts of the world:

    We are currently focusing on supporting and empowering churches and pastors in Guatemala to be transformation agents in their communities.

    Here are a few key facts to know about the heartbreaking situation in Guatemala:

    • We are partnering with local churches and pastors there, so that people are drawn to Christ. When people see the church blessing them in the name of Jesus, then they see the love of Jesus and He is known to be the Source of all blessing.
    • From a nationwide perspective, Christianity is more of a cultural (Roman Catholic) thing than it is based on a saving relationship with Jesus. Evangelism is needed everywhere, even though people would tell you they are Christians if you asked them. But their answer doesn’t reflect true salvation.
    • Guatemala has the largest economy in Central America. But, the wealth stays with the 1% (and with the cartels). Ordinary people are starving and desperate for subsistence every day.
    • Many of the precious people whom we are serving are farm laborers on other people’s farms. They do not own land; they rent their homes, and they work for almost nothing.
    • In many places, they do not have access to clean, drinkable water of their own. They have to buy it.
    • The country is heavily marked by machismo: the belief that the man owns the woman, that the woman is chattel, and that she can be treated that way. Women and girls are frequently abused in every way. Violence against women is the #1 crime in this nation. Read more about that here, from the US Agency for International Development.
    • Abject poverty is an epidemic:
      • Many of the families we are serving live in shacks, often without walls, and they may not even have a roof over their heads at all–or not enough roof to cover the whole family, so some of them live and sleep outside.
      • They may only own one outfit of clothing, and it’s the one they have on right now.
      • As mentioned above, access to clean water and sanitation is a problem. In the country where we serve many people, raw sewage runs in their yards.
      • Food insecurity is a problem everywhere.
        • Even very hardworking people are often working all day in order to be able to buy some beans to cook that night.
        • They live day to day, in fear of not being able to eat that day.
      • Many families subsist on eating black beans, and nothing but black beans, every day.
      • Corn and rice are occasionally eaten (and corn is ground into tortillas), but corn and rice are more expensive, so they are only rare treats.
      • Meat and other vegetables are generally not part of their diet; such things are too expensive. If they receive a vegetable or even a piece of roadkill (not kidding) for meat, they are grateful and happy.
    • Many of the people we serve are illiterate (unable to read).
    • The people are precious, loving, and hardworking, but they need hope. Hopelessness is a major problem.

    Here’s how we are beginning to serve these communities:

    We are focusing on HOPE and microenterprise.

    Focusing on HOPE:

    • By providing TOOLS that the local churches need in order to make disciples of Jesus in the culture.
    • By providing tools that pastors personally need (including groceries, gasoline, encouragement, prayer, training, marriage support, family counseling, inner healing sessions, and even rest) in order to preach and teach God’s Word effectively.
    • By supporting pastors as they show people the GOODNESS of God, which leads people to repentance.

    Focusing on MICROENTERPRISE:

    Microenterprise, to us, means helping people establish cottage industries that they can maintain AND GROW on an ongoing basis, using their skills, training, and physical labor.

    Raising livestock is the initial easiest pathway to microenterprise in the communities we are serving. Examples of suitable livestock include:

    • Chickens (both laying hens and roosters, for eggs and chicks) for eggs, reproduction, and eventually even meat;
    • Fish, such as tilapia, grown in backyard DIY tanks; and
    • Meat rabbits.

    Growing vegetables in small pots for family nutrition is also an opportunity. (Remember that they do not own or control land upon which to grow a family garden.)

    As of spring 2024, here is what we have been able to accomplish so far:

    • Purchasing a water tank for one of our partner churches, so church members can have access to water while at the church;
    • Assisting Pastoral Family A with missionary support. This family is pastoring two churches: one in Guatemala City and one in the (extremely poor) countryside. These churches are 3 hours’ driving time apart, and the work is grueling.
    • Providing a computer for Pastor A to use, as he has access to the internet in the city. He uses it both for personal study and for streaming the services from the city church.
    • Providing family counsel, marriage counsel, inner healing sessions, and encouragement to pastors and pastoral families who needed it.
    • Providing three solar-powered audio Bibles (RVR 1960 Spanish version) for people who cannot read.
    • Providing two acoustic guitars and two bass guitars to the churches, so they can enjoy live worship. (The pastor is a musician and holds music classes every week, and is teaching people how to play. This live worship is a huge blessing to the people attending church.)
    • Providing sets of ten laying hens, one rooster, one bag of chicken feed, AND a chicken coop to the church plus five additional impoverished families.
    • Providing one egg incubator to the pastor, which is full of eggs someone donated! They should hatch in about 2 weeks!
    • Feeding the adults and youth at both churches for special church services;
    • Providing fresh “food pantry” grocery bags for 15 families, including beans, rice, sugar, pasta, cereal, onions, tomatoes, bell peppers, carrots, and corn on the cob;
    • In March 2022, we sent a team of 4 ministers (2 of them Spanish-speaking) to assist these churches in person. They were able to preach and minister in the churches, as well as helping distribute chickens, build coops, provide counseling services to the pastoral teams we serve, and pray for the sick in the communities.

    All of these things have only been accomplished by the Spirit of God and with YOUR help! Thank you!

    The laying hens are already laying eggs, and they are doing well:

    • The families have been told to eat the eggs for the first two weeks of laying (they are young hens), and then they will let the hens sit on the eggs to hatch them.
    • The church’s chickens will all be hatched, and the chicks will go to additional needy families.

    We have 45 families that need chickens in this first phase of the project.

    And in order to reduce temptation to EAT the chickens (none eaten so far, to our knowledge), we desire to also provide fresh vegetables and beans, rice, and corn to as many families as possible during this phase.

    After these 45 families are served, we will continue with additional aspects of the project and additional communities. The goal is to transform people’s lives community by community, and thus reach the whole nation with the love and goodness of Jesus.

    The churches are a key to this, and so is keeping the pastors and their families FED and encouraged.

    The pastors are not immune to the same poverty everyone else faces. When parishioners can’t feed themselves, they don’t have much cash to tithe or offer–and the pastors have to pay the electric bill and operating expenses for the churches before they can pay themselves. There is not enough left over to live on, not even for regular groceries.

    So, if we don’t want these pastors having to do odd jobs from morning to night just to feed their families on a daily basis, these pastors really need some level of financial missionary support from the outside. They are EXTREMELY hard-working, godly people–but their work is going to require the Body of Christ to step up and BE the Body, in order to reach maximum effectiveness.

    We are also looking at how we can help the pastor’s family to establish their own side business to bring in more of the income they need, if the Lord leads that way.

    Friend, God is using YOU in a mighty way in Guatemala.

    The first pastor we are working with told us that, starting with our first conversation with him, for the first time in a long time he has HOPE. And the families that we are able to sow into there are seeing the love of Jesus firsthand, even eating the love of Jesus and letting it fill their bellies.

    Remember what Jesus said in John 6:26:

    “Jesus answered them and said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled”” (John 6:26 NKJV).

    There’s an old story about a man who walked along the beach after a storm.

    During the storm, thousands of starfish had washed up on the beach. They were still alive, but would soon die if not helped. The man walked along the beach and was picking up starfish one at a time, throwing them back into the waves.

    Another man observed the first man as he was throwing starfish, and approached him. He asked, “Why are you bothering? There are thousands of starfish on this beach. You can’t possibly make a difference.” And the first man looked at him, bent and picked up another starfish, threw it back into the waves, and said:

    “Made a difference to that one.”

    And every time we touch any person around the world, including any of these precious brothers and sisters in Guatemala, it makes a difference to that one:

    • That person is touched;
    • That person is ministered to;
    • That person is encouraged;
    • That person has an encounter with the Kingdom of God, which is righteousness, peace, joy, and power.

    And that person gets that much closer to Jesus because they see and eat the goodness of God, which leads men to repentance.

    Will you help us today?

    We need the people of God to help with the following needs:

    • Sets of chickens for 45 more families. One set of chickens and equipment (10 hens, 1 rooster, 1 bag of starter feed, 1 roll of chicken wire for a coop) costs $196 USD.
    • A water filtration system to provide clean water for the community residents.
    • “Food pantry” items each week. We can get a 100-lb bag of black beans for around $80. Even $100 or $200 would feed 15-30 families with beans, grains, AND vegetables for days.
    • Pastor A needs a few days off (a short vacation away from the city) with his wife. He has been working seven days a week without a break for a very long time, on the road much of the week and unable to see his family. He and his wife need to get away for a weekend to reonnect and recharge together.
    • Missionary support for our partner pastor missionaries in Guatemala. A living wage there for an entire family for an entire month is around $800-$1,000 USD. We aren’t providing full support, but even small amounts help the family a lot.

    We are also praying to be able to take another team back to help with more ministry, resource distribution, and microenterprise construction projects (like chicken coops and fish tanks) later this year.

    Friend, I encourage you to look at the photos above of the support we have been able to provide so far, and let your heart break for the people of God.

    Then ask the Lord what He would have YOU do. Every littlest bit counts, and every bit makes a difference not for a starfish, but for a blood-bought child of God.

    2 Comments

    1. Beth Jones says:

      This is the Way for sure to reach the needy ones everywhere. My husband and I have been desiring to and planning to (really focusing now) on doing this very thing, even in America.
      We moved to Panama some years ago for a short 11 months. Enroute we stopped and changed airlines in Guatemala City. The center of the city and near the airport was prosperous enough looking but all outlying areas were made up of shacks and thrown together huts.
      God is doing a new thing, but we must do as Holy Spirit instructs us so He can work.

    2. This is increfible your ministry is a blessing, i wish i could give more, God will bless you and your team,I hope with all the work thats been done, teaching of how to treat women will come into play from a biblical perspective andvwith Gods help, keep up the good work

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