ASOSAP, like many organizations, has been affected by COVID-19. It has drastically impacted our ability to improve the well-being of the rural Pokomchi through our ministry programs. The restrictions of no meetings (of any number of people) means that many of our programs are on hold. We are not able to educate in the communities. We are currently not able to run the Pastoral Couples Conference and Theology in Diploma Program. We also had to cancel all teams as the Guatemalan border is closed to foreigners. Our doctors have been unable to come for the same reason, which means no medical outreach visits either. It has been a huge impact and it sounds grim, but there are still good things happening. We have still been able to provide health care through the health posts. Our chronic patients still receive their medications and care, just bimonthly, instead of monthly. God is in control and there are new ways we can reach out to the Pokomchi people.
“Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, ‘Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,’ but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it?…Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do.” James 2:15-16, 18
This is a key Bible verse at ASOSAP. We are excited to tell you about a new opportunity to bless the Pokomchi people that speaks to this. Poor rural families are the ones that are suffering the most because of the governmental restrictions put in place to prevent spread of the virus. Due to decreased opportunities for work, lack of public transportation, and restrictions on permitted hours of travel, the great need of these most vulnerable families is a portion of daily food. In an effort to alleviate this great need, we are starting a FOOD BANK project. And we invite you to join us to keep it going. Working together we can provide families both food for their stomachs and food for their souls.
Packages will include these essential items:
- 400g of pasta
- 400g of rice
- 2 lbs. of black beans
- 1kg of sugar
- 220g of milk
- 900g of Incaparina (nutritional supplement)
- 10 lbs. of corn (for making tortillas)
- A “Jesus Loves You” booklet with both pictures and words
The total cost per package is $13 US
We will distribute these packages to families during our visits to the health posts, as the health posts are a good link to the rural families. These packages will be given to 100 of the neediest families, especially to our chronic patients. The same families will receive a food package for 3 months. At that time, depending on donated funds and the COVID-19 situation, we could keep going.
We have seen that reaching out to others through sharing food, is not just an act of physical provision. It speaks to the heart as well.
We have a God Story to share with you that is related to this. Before the ASOSAP Food Bank was even a thought, packages of lunch foods, that were not used when the Bellingham Missions Team trip was cut short, were made up. These packages were given to encourage and support the local police who are on the frontlines in this situation and working long hours away from their families. The packages were given out and later that day a local tragedy occurred. Three police officers were doing their job, enforcing the law, and were killed by an ex-military civilian that was involved in the incident. It was a huge time of loss locally. Inside these packages was the Bible verse from Isaiah 41:10:
“So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
This message was greatly needed at that time. God ensured that they received the packages at just the right time.
We know that God can do that with these food packages too. The booklet included is translated into Pokomchi and will bring the Good News of Salvation into the homes of the families. We pray that they receive it just in their time of need and that their faith is strengthened. We are amazed at God’s timing. We hope you are uplifted by this and if you want to be involved, see below!
You can help us through praying over this project, sharing about it with others, and donating if able. Your donation of any amount will help us feed Pokomchi families. $13 US will feed one family and will greatly impact them. Donations can be made here at the website by clicking the Donate Now tab under the Help Change Lives tab. To donate by cheque, scroll down to the bottom of the Donate Now page to see the US and Canadian addresses. If you received this newsletter via email, there also is a Donate Now button and instructions for cheques in the email.
We look forward to sharing more stories with you when we are able to start this project!