In this update we’ll be looking at milestones in two communities, Building My Horizon, PokoMaya, and November plans for ASOSAP staff.
In mid-September, in Rosario Italia, the improved cook stove and water filter project came to a close. The last 36 families received these life altering additions to their homes! Rosario Italia, ASOSAP, and a partner church worked together to make this project possible. In total, 58 families now have these projects! We can confidently say that these families will live healthier lives and be an example to others of how to work together as a community.
This year was the last year of partnership with Mexabaj. These 7 years with them has made an impact in all aspects of their lives. A woman who was active with ASOSAP comments:
“The education has helped me in various areas of my life. If I hadn’t participated in the education sessions, I would have had a very large family by now. We wouldn’t have been able to build our new house, and would have continued in the same poverty. For these reasons, I thank you for what you have done in me. Thank you for the water tank and latrine that you donated to us. Now we have the basic services needed to cover our sanitary necessities. God bless you all, may He reward you for the work that you do in the community. You strive for change and this change is not going to happen overnight, but there are results. I am one of them.”
To thank ASOSAP and celebrate the changes accomplished and God’s goodness, a special lunch was held in the beginning of October in Mexabaj; ASOSAP staff, community members, and leaders gathered together. One woman shared that she has been involved since the beginning. At first she wasn’t expecting any changes, but their health and whole way of living improved. A community leader expressed his gratitude to ASOSAP and the families for participating. Glenda spoke and encouraged them to share what they’ve learned with their families, so that the next generation is changed and they are self-sufficient in regard to outside help. The event ended with a pastor praying over them. We also ask you to keep them in your prayers, that they would lean on God for strength and wisdom, as they step out on their own with a new vision for their community.
In mid-October, 20 Building My Horizon children and 6 ASOSAP staff members went to the pediatric ward at the San Cristobal hospital to donate hygiene packages, clothing, and toys. The children had donated money, clothes, and toys all throughout out the program to be able to do this. It was an eye opening experience for them to see the needs of the infants and young children. Through this experience, we hope that they continue to give to others and thank God for all that He has given them.
The other big event in Building My Horizon was the closing ceremony held at the end of October. 38 of the children’s parents attended. The children presented 2 of the songs that they learned. 5 children also presented what they learned in typewriting, computer science, and the Bible verses that they memorized. It was a joyful time seeing the spiritual, academic, and personal growth that they have experienced. For their hard work, they were rewarded with a diploma, special gift, and either a Bible or Bible based book.
In PokoMaya, three women received their very own sewing machines! The women saved up 50% of the cost of the sewing machine and the other 50% was met through donors, including a partner church from Canada who met these women earlier in the year. One of the recipients, Rosalía, describes well what this means to them:
“I feel very happy because I received my sewing machine. ASOSAP brought it all the way here to my community. I feel very excited, now I can work from my house and can generate an income. Thank you to the people who sponsored me in the purchase of my sewing machine. I feel very blessed for the support. There are not many people that have this generosity to help other people. I know that it isn’t easy to overcome economic conditions, but with this opportunity to make PokoMaya products and do some jobs outside of PokoMaya, I will change my quality of life. Thank you to everyone who made this project possible. The investment made in me and those who are part of PokoMaya has been well spent and will produce fruit in our lives.”
Lastly, there are upcoming events in November. Glenda, Conzuelo, and Sebastian will be travelling to the states for the annual board meeting, to present about ASOSAP, and connect in person with partners. Rebekah will be travelling home to Canada to visit with family, friends, ministry partners, and also share about ASOSAP. Alvaro and Sonia will continue working in the office. Please keep all staff in your prayers in their various activities, whether they are in Guatemala, the US, or Canada. Thank you for your love and prayers over ASOSAP!