God has been working is so many ways this year. What a blessing to say that we can’t begin to share all of them, but we’ll share some of the highlights from each month!
“I’ve been a widow for 15 years. Since my husband passed away, my life has been difficult. I have a son to take care of and I have struggled day by day to sustain us. My son was young when his father passed away and he didn’t have the opportunity to get to know him or learn from him. I’ve had to work in the fields and show my son how to do this work. In the community education sessions, I learned how to improve my spiritual life and have control over my emotions. Before I kept myself at a distance from others. I was very quiet, and didn’t socialize with anyone. I kept myself busy with my work. Since participating in the education, I socialize with the other women. The education has helped me greatly. I feel more at peace and happy. I learned how to be a fighter, a woman who keeps fighting in this life.” Community Education Participant
Education in our two partner villages re-started after not being able to educate last year due to COVID. We also started education in New Queja as we’ve been coming alongside them and the women showed great interest in this. In total 84 women and 5 men participated, which benefits a total of 324 people! Villagers are educated in health and the Bible, especially in how to take care of themselves and family, and how to be in relationship with God, their spouse, children, and neighbors. This education transforms lives and whole communities!
After having to put this program on hold last year, it started up again! What a great joy for the pastors to strengthen their knowledge and ability in spreading the Gospel to those in their churches and community. They have applied what they learned. Little by little they have seen God moving and families coming to know Christ!
Post Disaster Relief in New Queja (March):
The outpouring of love to these villages after a destructive landslide has been amazing! Through your support, we built a house for a widower and his orphaned children and installed a stove for them. This family has a smoke-free home where they can go about their daily lives with dignity. Also 15 latrines were built for families there. They now have a hygienic and protected place where they can use the bathroom.
Equally important was the emotional and spiritual support given to these families.
Three-year-old Frander was born with a condition that meant he couldn’t defecate normally and had to have a colostomy. Since his birth we fought for him to have surgery to repair his colon. Through your support, he had this life changing surgery. He is doing amazing!
This month we also started the DonorSee application process and posted our first project.
This was a month jam-packed with good news.
- We officially became DonorSee partners. This has been a new and exciting way to reach out to the Pokomchi people.
- Twenty Pastors graduated from the Diploma in Theology program. They are now well equipped to serve their churches.
- We re-started the Pastoral Couples Conference. One Pastor spoke on the impact of this program:
“The relationship of trust that has been constructed between myself and ASOSAP has strengthened my marriage and ministry. Before, my wife and I were going through a difficult time. The conference helped restore our marriage. Our communication is much stronger. We are able to have constant communication with each other, especially about how we handle our marriage and ministry. We have acquired knowledge about how to counsel couples in our church who are struggling in their marriage.”
We were able to have in-person English, Bible, and Computer classes with the children. Last year it was only at-home learning and this year it was a combination of both.
We also continued the partnership in New Queja. 24 bed frames, 12 table/chair sets, and 3 improved stoves were given to families in need.
Last year it wasn’t safe to have medical outreach in light of COVID. This year with the arrival of the vaccine, Dr. Michael came and we were successfully able to hold clinics with the chronic patients.
We also started the post disaster nutrition project which provides 50 malnourished New Queja children with supplementation.
Through the partnership with DonorSee, a pastor saw a urologist and received treatment for a severe urinary tract infection. He can now continue in ministry.
A chronic patient was able to have cataract removal surgery. Now she can see well to walk and do her daily activities.
This month we had the first sexual health education sessions with the aim of reducing teen pregnancies. This education was a long time planned and finally came to be. It was well received and we hope to continue the education. We look forward to seeing teens continuing in school instead of starting a family when young.
This education was a blessing to the parents. They learned more about how to live with and understand their children, according to biblical principles.
Last year we weren’t able to travel. This year we travelled to California to attend the year-end board meeting and build relationship with a new church. We also went to Oklahoma to build upon a long-term partnership with a church there. It was a wonderful time of connection in both places.
We had our last session of this 3-year pilot project to improve the dental health of 50 children. Now we will analyze the results of this project and decide what is the next move.
We hope you can say as well, “What a year!” Together we can celebrate God’s goodness. Next year we have a lot to look forward to also. For example, an expanded Medical Outreach in January with general, pediatric, and dentals clinics. Also we are planning to continue the post disaster nutrition project for another 6 months so that these children can recover from malnutrition. In addition, if you’d like to come on a team next year, we are welcoming teams and would love to have you here again!
We thank you for your ongoing love and partnership. Please keep these and other 2022 plans in your prayers.