El Refugio is a small church of about 40 people that has been working in the community for more than 30 years. Pastor José Luis Sical, along with his wife, Sonia Sical, have been leaders in the church for the past 13 years. Even though there are several orphans and widows in the church with many needs, the widows have a passion and desire to serve others in need. The church supports the community through a variety of outreach programs, including medical clinics, food baskets, and children’s activities.
The church is a three-story building, with a sanctuary, fellowship room, and a floor dedicated to children’s activities. With the support of the members and with other fundraising efforts, the church was able to buy a house next door. The hope is to expand the church sanctuary when they raise the funds. The church is located in Verbena, a poor, high crime area. One of the main issues is drug dealing. Many families can’t afford school fees and materials. As a result, many children do not go to school. Instead, as means of work, these children may begin selling drugs at a young age. Also, a lot of single mothers are involved in prostitution due to economic problems.
Home Based Care
Through the HBC program, each Guatemalan church will help meet the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual needs of 10-20 families caring for orphaned and vulnerable children by:
- Forming an HBC ministry team of 4-5 members (volunteers)
- Assigning ministry team members to visit each family every other week to provide ongoing support, encouragement, prayer, and monitoring of the families
- Providing full education scholarships to Christian schools, including lunch and a snack, five days per week. Additional tutoring and counseling is available for children with special needs
- Assisting with the physical needs of the families as appropriate, including helping with food baskets, clothing, and providing basic medical and dental care
- Hiring social workers to train the HBC team, provide grief counseling to children and family members, and be an ongoing resource for the church
Church Partnership Director