Acts 17:11b; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.
“I remember that when I was a kid we used to walk 10 miles through the snow to school...” Do you remember those claims from the old-timers? I do remember walking a couple of miles to school when we missed our ride. My main motivation was fear of punishment if I missed school, so I trudged on. What has amazed our teachers in the Bible programs in Guatemala is that there are actually men and women walking two to three hours just to study the Bible! What drives them? It is a passionate desire to understand the Word of God!
This dedication made a deep impact on the last two short-term mission teams that we had working with us in Chel, Guatemala this past January and February. In January’s Bible Program training the students learned from Pastor Rocky of Oversea Chinese Mission the historical reliability of the Word of God. They were challenged in February by Pastor Ro of Living Faith Community Church of Queens, New York as he taught the the truth about sexuality. The training from both these partnering/supporting churches was well received. We are thrilled that these two pastors took the time out of their busy ministries to strengthen their brothers and sisters in Guatemala, and at the same time, found themselves strengthened and encouraged.
Please pray for the students in our current sessions of the Bible training program. We thank you for your continued support and prayers that uphold this ministry of strengthening the local church and communities of rural Guatemala.
Pictured below are Pastor Rocky from Oversea Chinese Mission and Pastor Ro from Living Faith Community Church Teaching and Preaching.
Biblical education is the foundation of all aspects of our ministry in Guatemala. God’s Word is the light that guides us down the path of life. We need God’s Word to give us context to all other knowledge and decisions. Medical education enables first responders from the local church to address the immediate physical suffering of the community supported by regular visits of volunteer professionals. School Education prepares the future generation by giving young people the opportunity to complete their education. Regular training for pastors and leaders strengthens the the church and builds community.
We have achieved a significant milestone toward addressing these opportunities with the mountain community of Chel and towns within a three hour walk. We have begun construction on the “Viala Training Center” dedicated to Biblical education, medical care and training, and the Run:Hope education initiative. With the help of two teams from the U.S., the perimeter walls have been built and the medical clinic portion has begun.
Following are some pictures starting off the school year in the education program. Please keep our teachers and students in prayer.
The future of any community is found in the young. In Guatemala we have Biblical programs to teach the leaders and we have Biblical programs to prepare adults to teach children. In addition we have youth ministry to train the future leaders of the communities. These youth have accepted Christ and have the desire to serve God in their church and their community. These young people are the future leaders who armed with Biblical principals will be the foundation of change. We are privileged to be serving them and their churches providing Biblical teaching and discipleship. Pray for these young people!
This past weekend we were privileged to have Pastor Rocky Chan of Oversea Chinese Mission in New York City serving with our team in Guatemala. The purpose of the trip was to learn more about the ministry and to participate in the Bible programs in two rural communities.
It was a memorable few days of ministry. After 10 hours of travel by pickup truck they arrived at Chiguatal. During the trip they learned that the wife of our host pastor had gone to be with the Lord and so Pastor Rocky was asked to share at her funeral. The next day they traveled to La Taña in Zona Reina where Pastor Rocky taught from the book of Genesis on Creation. That evening he spoke again in the local church.
Partnership with our supporting churches is a key part of the HBM ministry. Having Pastor Rocky participate firsthand in the Bible training program and to share personally in the life of one of our pastors deepens and strengthens both our ministry in Guatemala and our supporting church. Those who attended the teaching and the services were deeply appreciative and encouraged and, in turn, Pastor Rocky was enriched in his understanding of the work and in his vision of ministry partnerships.
We thank God for Pastor Rocky’s heart for missions and for all our supporting churches who faithfuly uphold this ministry by your prayers and support. Please pray as another supporting church sends a team later this month to the town of Chel for help in building a training center in this central community and uses some experienced bilingual teachers to encourage the English classes in the local school.
The HBM Team
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.
Once a month, this 60 year old pastor, accompanied by his two children walks approximately 10 km from his village to the center of Playa Grande, Ixcan, Quiche. His name is Pedro Pù Chic and he is the pastor of the church "Evangelical mission, Prince of Peace" of the Virginia village. This village is located in one of the largest and hottest of the municipalities of Quiche.
Pastor Pedro holds the study of the Bible in great esteem. God has put in his heart that he must study more so that he can more effectivley teach his congregation. As you can imagine, living in the rural areas of Guatemala does not make this easy.
The daily life of Pastor Pedro includes working daily in the fields to earn enough money to support his family. But though he is getting older it has not stopped Pastor Pedro from continuing his theological preparation. He attends the Biblical Leadership program with AGAPE (partner of H.O.P.E.) once a month. Pastor Pedro and his children sleep on the floor of the host church so that he can save money and be able to attend both days of the training. To travel back each day is not feasible because of time, safety and expense.
Because of the war Pastor Pedro has had few opportunities for a formal education. Since his native language is Ixil he will ask his children to assist him when he does not undertsand some of the Spanish teaching. They also assist him with his notebook so that he does miss any details. .
We are honored to partner with this man who has pastored his church for more than 15 years. Pastor Pedro is an example of the passion to learn more of God’s Word. We are thilled to be able to teach the Word to him and other leaders. Please keep Pastor Pedro and the village of Virginia in prayer this week.
This is our first customer!
Last week our team in Guatemala got together and held a two day yard sale with all of the proceeds going toward our Run:Hope teacher conference this coming June. It was exciting to see the team come together with a unified focus so that we can help provide a quality education to places far outside the reach of government middle and high school education. This conference is integral to our strategy for improving education and building a partnership among teachers for three large rural communities.
As we were preparing for the yard sale we had to sort through items that had been sitting around our house and offices for a number of years. Many of these were connected with special memories, but reminders of God’s faithfulness and provision each step of the way! We were able to reorganize, raise some funds for our conference, and work together as a team to be wise stewards of all the resources God has provided.
The ministry in the rural areas of Guatemala can be difficult. We need your continued prayers and support! We are committed to do what it takes to bring Biblical, medical and middle school education to our partner communities so that they can reach their own neightbors and students with hope based on the foundation Jesus Christ.
Thank you for your prayers and partnership.
The HBM Team
Highlights from our traditional Hope/Agape gathering. We fearlessly traversed the garden in wise-man garb, sang Christmas carols and laughed our way through the annual gift exchange. Happy New Year and Happy Kings Day everyone!
1. Luz y Vida (Light and Life) celebrated their sixth graduation ceremony: This year’s class was large with 26 students graduating from sixth grade. See more photos on their Facebook page here. In the words of Director Carlos Pérez: “Light and Life today is an active institution with clear goals that function in harmony with its educational purpose. [It is] an institution that profoundly values what has been accomplished through the years and pushes itself to respond in an effective way to the new challenges it faces.”
One of the three schools we partner with in Quiché is Light and Life (Luz y Vida). Check out this clip from their band’s community performance for Independence Day.
Colegio Luz y Vida is a K-6th school in Salquil Grande providing a bilingual education (Ixil & Spanish) rooted in Christian principles, respect for Ixil culture, and community engagement. The school seeks to change students’ lives so they will live in service to their communities.