Axel struggles with his schoolwork – not because he isn’t smart or hard-working, but because poverty can make learning difficult. Imagine learning from home in a house made of earth and sheet metal that floods when it rains. Imagine sharing that space with many younger siblings – all of whom think the school supplies your teachers brought you look like great toys. Imagine trying to study on an empty stomach, worrying about whether you’ll have to hide the next time dad comes home. Is it any wonder that Axel sometimes neglects his studies?
Will you help us support children like Axel? This Christmas, you can double your impact while building a brighter future for children in Guatemala. Every dollar you give will be matched!
Axel’s life is tough. He can’t always attend to his school work, because, at 7, he’s often charged with taking care of younger siblings. His dad doesn’t have a permanent job, and spends too many afternoons with his buddies, drinking too much. When he returns home, Axel and his brothers and sisters have to be on their best behaviour – and sometimes they even have to find a place to hide to avoid their father’s anger.
Without a regular income, the family struggles. Sometimes, when they run out of food, Mom spends her last coins on some sweets to abate the growling in her children’s tummies. When Axel receives a food package from the school, the whole family feels blessed to be able to eat well for a few days.
School has become one of the greatest blessings of Axel’s life. For Axel, being part of the Vida School community means so much more than just an education. His school is truly a place of refuge, and Axel is learning more about the God who holds his future.
When Axel started attending school, he and his family didn’t know God. Now Axel takes joy in worshipping and singing to the Lord. His mom has started taking Axel and his siblings to church, and they no longer feel completely on their own through their struggles. They are learning to trust God with their future.
Axel’s teachers continue to pray for Axel, and to visit and support the family. They, too, are trusting God for a brighter future for Axel and his family.
Will you be part of Axel’s brighter future? Because children like Axel need us to be there for them when life is hard. Your gifts will be used for school construction – including a new classroom, computer lab and chapel in Axel’s school – as well as for educational programs. And your gifts will be matched dollar for dollar (up to $74,715!) until the end of the year. Together, we can build a brighter future for them!
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if all children were able to receive an education, feel safe and loved, and know God’s got their future? Help us build a brighter future for kids in Guatemala this holiday season!
(On Tuesday, December 7th, we’ll continue talking about poverty and building a brighter future in Guatemala with Axel’s principal at our December VidaLive event.)
We did it! For #GivingTuesday, together we raised enough to fill 43,565 plates. Or provide 605 food baskets. That’s more than double our goal! THANK YOU for helping us make sure our Vida students and their families have enough to eat!
Thank you for being such a blessing to children in Guatemala!
When Carlos and Beverly's mother received a food basket, she couldn’t help but cry. That morning, she had been so worried - she knew she didn’t have enough money to buy food for her family. So she prayed and asked God to help her. When she saw the teachers arrive with a bag of groceries, she was overwhelmed with joy and thanksgiving.
Time and time again we hear stories like this one. Will you be the answer to a mother’s prayers this #GivingTuesday? We have a #NoHungryKids goal of raising $10,000 by the end of the day.
$10,000 will provide 250 food baskets for families. Or 18,000 hot, nutritious meals for students when Beverly and Carlos are back in the classroom. Many of the children who attend Vida Schools arrive hungry, and when classes aren’t in session, their families depend on food baskets to make sure their kids have enough to eat.
All day we’ll be sharing about how you can help fight malnutrition in Guatemala. You can multiply your impact by sharing our social media posts with your friends!
You can give 18 nutritious meals for just $10. Or a food hamper for $40. Your gift to the #NoHungryKids Giving Tuesday campaign will provide meals for hungry children like Beverly and Carlos!
How many meals will you give?
#GivingTuesday is in just two weeks! Here's how you can give on Tuesday, November 30th to provide meals for hungry children in Guatemala!
Because kids like Victor need our help!
Victor and his siblings have been learning from home for most of the 2021 school year. Every morning before starting on his schoolwork, 15-year-old Victor would join his father in going out to find work. Sometimes he chopped wood to sell and sometimes he picked tomatoes to earn a few dollars to help put food on the table. But sometimes he didn’t earn anything at all. There were days when Victor and his family had nothing to eat.
But Victor and his younger siblings prayed for provision and trusted the Lord to sustain their family. Each time his mom came to pick up a food basket at Vida Mocohán school, she came with so much joy and gratitude. God used the food baskets you provided over the past year to bless Victor’s family.
Victor’s family still depends on food provided by the school to have enough to eat. Will you make sure we can provide them? $40 provides a large food basket that can sustain a family like his for about 2 weeks! And when Victor and his siblings are back in the classroom, $10 provides 18 nutritious meals to satisfy their hunger and help them learn.
You can help us meet our #NoHungryKids goal of $10,000 - that’s 250 food baskets for our school families, or 18,000 hot, nutritious meals for our students. Multiply your impact by inviting your friends and family to give too. We’ll be accepting donations for the #NoHungryKids campaign right through #GivingTuesday on November 30th.
Thank you for providing meals for kids like Victor!
“He encouraged me to think big. To look up far beyond my surroundings. To see things from God’s perspective. I thought I had, but since then I have learned that the Kingdom of God has no limits. It is beyond my imagination.”
Pastor Mynor Toc serves the Tactic congregation of the Rio de Vida Church, and also teaches Bible classes for the Junior and Senior High students at our Vida Schools. As he talks about his own faith and those who have encouraged him on the journey, it’s easy to see why he has been used so powerfully by God to raise up other young leaders in the ministry.
“He is a worshipper and spends time alone in worship with the Lord,” Les Peters explains, “He hears from God and has a wonderful way of relating what God has taught him. This closeness with the Lord makes him an ideal leader.”
Many of our leaders came to Impact as Vida students, but Mynor was already a teacher when he heard about the ministry. “I only went along to accompany my brother,” says Mynor about that first visit to Tactic from Cobán, “but I became very excited to find out what God was doing here.” Mynor accepted the school worship leader position that was offered to him. Over the years, he transitioned from being a teacher to being a vice principal, then a principal, and now a pastor with Impact Ministries. “We have seen that wherever Mynor serves, the people who serve under his care feel nurtured, encouraged, challenged, and blessed,” says Les.
Mynor is equally grateful for the discipleship he has received through Impact Ministries. “Les and Rita’s leadership has taught me to be willing to give my life to the service of the Lord,” says Mynor, “they have taught us, corrected and challenged us to seek more of the Lord.” And Mynor has shared this challenge with those he pastors and mentors. “I have seen in each of these areas the opportunity to reach out and help the youth and the brothers and sisters of the church to develop the character of Christ in their lives.”
Pastor Mynor continues to disciple those in the Rio de Vida congregation, as well as the students in his classes. “I never imagined that God wanted to use me to shepherd and take His Word to so many children, youth and adults,” he says.
Please pray for our leaders in our schools, in our churches, and throughout the ministry, both as they disciple others and as they grow their own faith beyond imagination.
(We’re inviting young adults to come to Guatemala to explore a faith beyond imagination through the new VIDA School of Discipleship. We’re also raising funds to train leaders like Mynor in sharing hope in crisis and intensive crisis intervention to even better equip them to provide spiritual care in their communities.)
Kids in much of North America have headed back to school, and we figured it was a good time to give you an update on what has been happening in our Vida Schools in Guatemala.
Some of our students have been able to be in class sometimes, others have spent much of the year learning from home. Protocols seem to change from week to week! Through it all, God has been there, and we’ve seen children and families impacted by His love shown through our Vida teachers, the sponsors of our children, and so many others who come alongside the needs in Guatemala.
Our teachers do the best they can to rise to the challenge of shifting protocols, and our students work hard despite the circumstances. Here’s some thoughts from Samuel, a Grade 3 student from Vida Purulhá School, about what learning from home is like for him:
As you pray for the students and teachers among your family and friends who are going back to school, would you also pray for the students and teachers in Guatemala? That students like Samuel would continue to be able to learn well and stay healthy!
Thank you for being a blessing to children in Guatemala!
(If you sponsor a child, now is a great time to write them a quick note to encourage them! And we still have a few students waiting for a sponsor, if you are looking for a child to come alongside during this topsy-turvy school year.)
Dr. Chris Brandenburg, our Medical Engagement Coordinator, just got back from a trip to Guatemala – Here’s his update:
I have to say, it was so exciting to be back at the Impact Ministries Clinic!
We spent time with the two local nurses recently hired to help get the clinic fully up and running again and even got to spend the week treating patients with Dr. Rivas from Guatemala. He is a Christian physician who has such an incredible heart for the poor and the Guatemalan people. We’re hoping to hire him soon to spend a week a month at the Impact Clinic treating patients and overseeing operations. He is exactly the kind of doctor that we all would want treating our patients and would represent Impact Ministries very well.
As many of you know, the medical and dental needs of the people in the Impact Ministries area of Guatemala are often beyond words. However, being there last week reminded me just how little it takes to make a huge difference in the medical and dental care provided to them.
Did you know that $35 can provide a nurse for a day for the clinic, and $85 can provide a physician? Just $60 can provide a day’s worth of medications and medical or dental supplies. In fact, $215 provides for a full day at the Impact Ministries Clinic – all the medications and supplies, along with two nurses and a doctor to provide much-needed health care alongside our medical teams. Approximately $130 can provide for the costs of a dental clinic with a volunteer dentist.
Will you help us ensure that the Impact Ministries Clinic has stable funding to continue to provide these vital health services to our Vida students and their families, our church families, and our Impact Staff? Your ongoing support will allow us to focus on better overall patient care, maintenance of care, as well as to expand our outreach into the many outlying villages that are also in extreme need of medical and dental care.
Thank you for your part in impacting body & soul through your involvement in the Impact Ministries Medical Clinic!
(We’re also starting to schedule our Medical Teams for 2022. See www.impactminusa.org/medicalmissions to schedule a team or to see our list of Open Medical Team Dates)
Have you ever wished you could drop by Guatemala for just a few minutes and see what God’s been doing there these days?
On July 29th, we we’re able to give you the opportunity to do just that! We’d like to invite you to join us “on location” at Vida Mocohán for our very first VidaLive event!
These short interactive online events will be streamed live from our various ministry locations in Guatemala – and you’ll have the opportunity to participate by asking questions of our hosts and guests.
On Thursday, July 29th, we joined Les Peters and Principal Juan Carlos in Tactic Guatemala.
Juan Carlos himself came to our school as a Junior High student – his Mom sent him to our school to remove him from the bad influences of some of his friends. Needless to say, Juan Carlos wasn’t all that keen on the idea. Long story short – he accepted the Lord and his life was completely changed. Today, he is the principal of the Vida Mocohán School, and his passion for our young people is so very evident!
If you want to hear more of Juan Carlos’ amazing story, along with what’s happening at Vida Mocohán click on the Yourtube link.
(We know that time zones are a funny thing, and not all of you were be able to attend live. Future VidaLive events will be at different times – we’re hoping to host them monthly – and we’ll be recording and posting them to our YouTube channel – click “subscribe” to be notified as they’re available.)
We’re so excited to introduce you to Dr. Chris Brandenburg and his wife Rachel, who have recently come on staff with Impact Ministries.
Rachel will be serving as our Missions Engagement Coordinator, fostering new and existing church and donor partnerships, planning our Impact Events, and representing Impact Ministries at conferences and church events. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Chris will be pioneering the role of Medical Engagement Coordinator for Impact Ministries. Our clinic has served our school children and their families for years, and we’ve welcomed medical professionals from Canada, the US, and other parts of Guatemala to provide health and dental care in our community.
Dr. Chris will be connecting with doctors, dentists, and other medical professionals as we hope to grow this area of ministry. If you’d like to learn more or contact Dr. Chris directly, feel free to email him at email@example.com.
Please pray for the Brandenburgs as they settle into their new roles on the Impact team!
Impact Ministries is all about growing godly leaders! Often, we think that only means training Guatemalans for leadership – but we grow godly leaders as we impact North American Christians for world missions too!
That’s why we’re so excited to announce the launch of the VIDA School of Discipleship!
It’s a chance for North Americans to spend 3 months in Guatemala for an incredible discipleship adventure, followed by 9 months of continued mentorship back home.
VIDA means “life” in Spanish. It’s also a beautiful acronym that summarizes the goals for the VIDA School of Discipleship:
Vision – Seeing the world as God sees it
Impact – Living life intentionally
Delight – Experiencing intimacy with Jesus
Adventure – To follow Jesus is to risk
Our VIDA participants will live in intentional community while in Guatemala, learning and exploring what stepping out for God can look like. They’ll engage in our Vida Schools, in local churches, and with the local community.
Back home, participants will live out their transformation and continue to connect with their class and their mentors via weekly phone calls and online meetings.
If you know anyone who might be interested – or if you’d just like some more info – check out www.impactminusa.org/schoolofdiscipleship. We’re currently accepting applications for the first two sessions, scheduled for January & May 2022.
Please pray with us that God will use the VIDA School of Discipleship to grow disciples who follow Jesus anywhere, anytime and at any cost!
Sign up for our e-news updates
Keep up with the latest stories and updates from the field.