CHAD and marlana'S Story
Meet Guatemala Country Director Chad Smith. Chad joined the World Orphans team in 2017 in order to lead a team of Guatemalan nationals, seeking to develop and grow them in the areas of leadership and spiritual growth, while strengthening pastors and local leaders to answer God's call to care for the vulnerable of society. Chad enjoys the opportunity to work with Guatemalan men and women that are followers of Jesus and live out the double love command: love God and love others. Chad works alongside a multicultural team in Guatemala—a group of Guatemalans, Bolivians, Americans, and Brazilians—and he is constantly learning from his experiences with that team as he deepens his relationship with God. Chad holds a bachelor’s degree in youth ministry from Cornerstone University of Grand Rapids, MI, and he is currently pursuing a master’s degree in global leadership from Fuller Seminary.
After a decade of work in the public sector, Chad and his family moved to Guatemala in 2008 in order to serve a two and a half year term at a children’s home. By the end of the term, Chad had learned that 85% of children living in institutional care have at least one living parent. With this knowledge, Chad began to serve with AMG International in Guatemala, where he launched the AMG Department of Protection and Restoration for children and their families facing neglect, abuse, and abandonment. From 2013-2017, Chad served as Vice President of AMG, helping to cast vision, strategize, and build a national team of leaders to help prevent, detect, intervene, and restore victims of physical and sexual abuse, abandonment, and neglect.
Chad married his bride, Marlana, in 1999, and they have five children: Emmet, Arianna, Aleia, Bella, and Sam. Emmet loves baseball and is amazing with children. Arianna is creative, helpful, and loves to read. Aleia is adventurous and enjoys being outdoors. Anabella loves to sing, do cartwheels, and be a big sister to her younger brother. Sam is an energetic boy who loves to sing, dance, and read books with his older siblings. When Chad isn’t working, you may find him bow hunting whitetail deer in Michigan, drinking Guatemalan coffee, eating Indian food, watching the 49ers and Detroit Tigers, taking pictures, or listening to music.