by Kevin Squires | Senior Director of Church Partnerships “Some people come into our lives and quickly go. Some people move our souls to dance. They awaken us to a new understanding with the passing whisper of their wisdom. Some people make the sky more beautiful to gaze upon. They stay in our lives for awhile, leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never, ever the same.” - Flavia Weedn
It’s no surprise that God created man to be interdependent, for He knew that no man could live as an island. To ensure this harmony, His very Spirit blazes trails for us to follow that daily intersect with others ‘for such a time as this.’ Sometimes, those moments go unnoticed; other times, they leave footprints on our hearts.
Recently, I led a group of American church leaders to Guatemala to promote church partnership-driven orphan care. The program, administered through an innovative, four-way partnership between World Orphans, AMG Guatemala, Guatemalan churches, and US churches, is designed to provide opportunities for churches from different backgrounds to “do life together” while serving the needs of orphaned and vulnerable children.
We met Pastor Eli and his wife Nancy who started a church in their home and have about 50 members, mostly widows and orphans. Born in Nicaragua, Eli lost his father at a young age and was forced to move to Guatemala so he could be raised by his extended family. Growing up in a vulnerable environment, Eli developed a heart for at-risk families and was determined to go into ministry to help lead the vulnerable to Christ. He started a ministry for single moms, focused on trauma and grief counseling. Today, nearly everyone in his church is involved in the program, and they frequently visit other families in need, delivering food baskets and telling stories of the love of Christ. Recently, through the World Orphans/AMG church partnership program, Pastor Eli partnered with a church in Michigan to care for more orphaned and vulnerable children, giving them the food, counseling, discipleship, and care that is so desperately needed in the impoverished areas of Guatemala City.
We also met Pastor Rudy. He recently took over as lead pastor at Iglesia Cristiana and immediately began reaching out to the orphaned and vulnerable youth in his community. With a heart to do more and a track record to show his genuine passion for orphan care, World Orphans is currently looking for a US church to partner with him and his church.
With the footprints of Pastor Eli and Pastor Rudy on our heart, World Orphans is actively looking for US churches to partner with our Guatemala churches. Currently, Pastor Rudy’s church is available for partnership, as well as four more churches in the Zone 18 district of Guatemala City, known as an area torn apart by gangs, drugs, and prostitution.
Are you ready to answer the call to defend the orphan? Contact us today at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the Church Partnership section on our website for more information and open your church to a life-changing experience.