MANY OF THEIR FAMILIES HAVE
BEEN DRAWN INTO THE LIFE OF THE
CHURCH AS THEY HAVE SEEN THE
CHURCH LIVE OUT THE WITNESS OF CHRIST’S COMPASSION.
During the next years, they realized that they wanted to extend their family to those in the surrounding San Miguel Petapa community, which is near an old squatter settlement. People in this community strug- gle to survive economically but are slowly improving their quality of life by building permanent housing. The government is also starting to establish munici- pal utilities and infrastructure, including newly paved streets and streetlights.
“I WAS TOUCHED,
AND I FELT MY HEART GROW WITH A GREAT COMPASSION FOR THAT FAMILY.”
Among many of San Miguel Petapa’s families, how- ever, both parents work manual labor jobs in Guate- mala City. Daily commutes to the city mean they are away from home long hours each day. For those who cannot find work in the city, often one or both parents leave the country hoping to make enough money to send something home for their families in Guatemala. Many children are left with their grandparents or other extended family members; some are on their own for long hours each day.
Motivated by Christ’s
call to love, the church started reaching out to these children. They began living the gospel outwardly in the commu- nity, touching people’s deep- est needs, one by one.
In the spring of 2010, Volcano Pacaya erupted and spread ash and volcanic rock over the entire com- munity. Tropical
Storm Agatha quickly followed
the eruption, causing roofs to collapse. Numerous homes as well as the church building and the Kids Club center flooded. The center became unusable. The church sprang into action—organizing clean up, providing shelter for families whose homes had been destroyed, and repairing roofs. NCM and Mexico and Central America Region Church Partnerships provided beams and metal roofing sheets for these repairs. Church members even built a room onto the church building to accommodate the Kids Club.
Ser una familia grande y feliz que ama a Cristo,
crece en Criste, sirve a Cristo, y comparte de Cristo.
To be a large, joyous family that loves Christ, grows in Christ, serves Christ, and shares about Christ.
Pequenos Esfuerzos: Small Steps Forward
The members of Casa de Oración started a Kids Club that catered to the needs of a diverse group of children. They rented a house close to the church where children could come to enjoy Bible lessons, snacks, music, dramas, crafts, and games. Older children could receive help with their homework and music lessons.
This ministry continues through the help of volunteer staff. As the children have grown into teenagers, some have started volunteering at the Kids Club—they have learned about service in the name of Christ. Now, almost 100 children come to Kids Club at least twice a week. When funding is available, the church also pro- vides backpacks, school supplies, medicine, clothes and shoes to the children who need them. Many of their families have been drawn into the life of the church as they have seen the church live out the witness of
Now, Pastor Josué Barrera hopes that the church can increase its support for children in the community by offering training for parents in education, behavior management, preventative health, and Christian values; cultural outings for kids; home visits to get to know fami- lies better and share God’s love; a library and computer lab; a bookstore with affordable school supplies; and English classes.
Aguas de Unidad: Waters of Unity
One of the greatest needs affecting both children and adults in San Miguel Petapa has been clean water. To address this
problem, the church started working with Aguas de Unidad, Internacional (also known as Healing Waters, International) in 2006. This Christian nonprofit orga- nization dedicated to helping communities get clean water helped Casa de Oración start a small clean water-processing business called Agua Para Ti (Water for You).
The church set up a water purification plant in their building and built a small kiosk near the front entrance where community members can come to purchase water. At first, many community members did not trust the cheaper water, but the church has worked hard to gain people’s confidence. Now, the church’s neighbors buy clean water at a third the cost of what they would pay elsewhere. The church also provides affordable water to the local police, hospital, school and nearly 50 other churches ministering to children and youth. The church pours the profits from this small business back into their ministry efforts.
12 NCM MAGAZINE
| Page 2
| Page 3
| Page 4
| Page 5
| Page 6
| Page 7
| Page 8
| Page 9
| Page 10
| Page 11
| Page 12
| Page 13
| Page 14
| Page 15
| Page 16
| Page 17
| Page 18
| Page 19
| Page 20
| Page 21
| Page 22
| Page 23
| Page 24
| Page 25
| Page 26
| Page 27
| Page 28
| Page 29
| Page 30
| Page 31
| Page 32