Our Regional Focus
Our intent is to build a sustainable response enabling local Alliance churches to transform their communities for Jesus Christ using sustainable community development responses as a vehicle. Our region is Central/South America and the Caribbean. So through responding to physical needs, we are following a Biblical mandate, while we build into the church/community leadership. As we strengthen leaders, they are able to transform their community through natural opportunities of outreach and discipleship.
Our goal for 2013 is to futher facilitate CHE leadership training to leaders in Costa Rica, Guatemala and Columbia while maintaining our involvement with several on-going projects. Click on the pictures below to see the on-going work in various countries. You can help with any and all of our projects. How can you help?
We have partnered with a lady (Cecilia) who has a tremendous heart for reaching the needy and the lost. In fact, God works through several of her adult children too. The main focus is in two communities, Guizaros and La Lidia. Feeding programs for children and relationship building with local ladies the main priorities. VBS, augmenting basic education, providing school supplies and clothes, and Christmas programs are integral responses to the local needs too. Also, we have been part of bringing and setting up beds.
Basic dignity responses. In February ’13, through your giving, 50+ kids were able to get into school. Brooks Alliance Church has provided the means to support a sewing cooperative for the ladies. Through the efforts of University Drive Alliance, we are partnering with (eMi) Engineering Ministries International to update and make more functional the community centre in Guizaros. The design team of engineers arrives in Feb of 2013. A building and land use addressing the local community needs will prove many contact points for relationship building. This is the first step to lives and families being transformed.
In Sarapiqui, the local Alliance church invests in a prison ministry. Before Christmas ’13, we visited a prison in Limon as 3 or 4 men wanted to be baptised. We saw the Spirit move through the group of 20+ men and each one was baptised that day.
Update April /2013
Too many children in school is a good problem here. At least the kids are in school. The problem is not enough textbooks and dictionaries. If you could have seen the kids faces and how happy they were to have a dictionary! We were able to outfit 20 kids with their own school books. With all of the donations from Canada, 72 kids were fully or partially outfitted enabling them to attend school.
The first steps are happening for the Guizaros community update. The engineers were there last week to mark the corners of the buildings and the process of obtaining the permits has started.
Update June /2013
The main room(building) of the community centre is almost done. The funds that were supplied were sufficient to build the main building with great security (metal doors and bars on the windows), a partial cement floor and to start supplying the kitchen. Next step, when funds allow, move the bathrooms and add 3 classrooms!!!
Cecilia and several family members were involved in a serious car accident. There were many broken bones (ribs, clavicle, arm) to Cecilia right down to her grandaughter. The most serious was her son, Gerson, who initially almost lost his left leg. God worked miracles as he left the hospital after 2 months with his leg. His heel has been removed and most of the tendons were cut. He has 6 months of home recovery including more surgeries to put pins in. He then has one year of physio to learn how to walk. As a result of learning how to pray for him, 3 children in La Lidia came to Christ as they saw their prayers answered.
We teamed up with our first work team. They were from Brooks Alberta. The vision of the leadership team for Guizaros continues to be God led. They are wanting this community centre to be used from morning till night sharing who God is through activities. In 5 days of work, the Brooks team advanced this dream with the construction of the walls and roof structure for 3 classrooms and new handicap accessible bathrooms. The ladies from Brooks spent 3 afternoons with local women to teach new sewing/quilting skills.
In the Copper Canyons of Northern Mexico, is an indigenous group called the Tarahumara. Mexican Alliance missionaries, Brenda Granados and Tomás Benecomo have been investing the last 18 years of their lives reaching out to this forgotten people. This is called Tarahumara Ministries; a ministry of Encuentro con Dios, a group of churches in Cuidad Juarez and El Paso. We Have facilitated greater opportunities to share the Gospel by providing 28 tons of emergency food aid from the support of the C&MA Canada Global Emergency Relief Fund. The 2013/14 project of the National Women’s Ministry is the building of a women’s shelter/medical clinic at Guacayvo in the Copper Canyon. In May ’13, a design team (eMi) will be arriving to plan the building. This is $10,000’s of free, professional help.
Update June 26/2013
The engineering design team arrival to the canyon has been set for the August 3-11/2013.
3-D images have been made to show the basic design. As churches in Canada donate, we are planning to break ground. Pray for the details as we organize a construction manager and look at the best way of bringing in material to such a remote location.
The physical and spiritual needs in Guatemala are great. Pastor Merari and his team from Iglesia Galilee have a huge heart for the local Mayan-based communities. A strong partnership is forming as we explore how to increase our capacities to provide sustainable answers. We have met with the national church leadership to share our vision and we are excited about the possibilities. Many local pastors have been introduced to the principles of When Helping Hurts to encourage them through CAMA Services, a partner.
Update March 28, 2013
A personal donation has been provided of several thousand $$$ to help with setting up a new school in a new community to be able to start transforming a community called Membrillal.
The small national church in Nicaragua is ripe for the transforming process of God’s healing. A couple of years ago, while translating for an Alliance Men’s work team, we develop ed a relationship with a couple. The husband wanted nothing to do with “church”. It’s amazing to see the process of God working. I was able to establish a micro business loan with Maurico working together through the local Alliance church. After 8 months, he made a decision to follow Jesus and was showing leadership potential. Within 2 years, he has become part of the church leadership team and has even preached! All from solving a problem of a physical need and allowing God to use that process to transform a life.