On a hot summer day at Chijacorral the kids had an olympiad and competed in a variety of water filled activities. A ton of fun was had by all!
Vida Chijulhá School is taking shape! From the first brick laid earlier this month, to the walls that are currently going up . . .
Can you already imagine these classrooms filled with eager students from the village of Chijulhá?
We continue to be thankful for the special relationship between Chijulhá and Living Waters Christian School, Southwest Community Church, and East Parkland Bible Church.
Here, the Living Waters team and Guatemalan students from another Vida School joined in a time of prayer and worship at the Chijulhá site after they completed their final day of Children’s Ministry in the area.
In August, a team from Southwest will also be in Chijulhá, cementing their relationship.
Please continue to pray for the people of Chijulhá, the teams that visit, and the progress of the Vida Chijulhá School.
Exciting things are happening in the clinic! Last year, we had the incredible experience of piloting the "Salud en Acción" (Health in Action) program in Chicoy, where hand-washing and tooth-brushing were implemented into the daily routine of our students. This year, we are thrilled to share that we have now expanded the program to Mocohan! Here's to preventative health!
We are excited to announce that Impact Ministries is embarking on building a new school in the community of Chijulhá (pronounced Chee – houl – haugh). The need is great to reach out further into new communities, and it is with thankful hearts that we are moving forward with plans to build this new Vida School.
In November 2016 we had the official sod turning ceremony for our Chijulhá school. You can watch the video here. Many children in Chijulá are eager to learn, but have no access to education. They are ready to have a new school in their community! This is a location where Impact Ministries has long wanted to build a school. To this end, in 2017, the construction of this new school will be well underway, and we praise God for the opportunity to reach out to more children and families! Through this new school, not only will they receive a full academic education, but they will also learn about God’s love.
As we prepare, we remember that our mission is “To train Guatemalans for leadership by teaching biblical principles in such a way that they become integrated in their lives and effect spiritual change in their society.”
We are excited as we anticipate seeing new leaders emerge in Chijulhá – leaders who will have a profound impact on their community.
The story leading up to the construction phase of Chijulhá
Southwest Community Church (SWCC), Kamloops, BC - 320 Project
SWCC has been involved with Impact Ministries since their first mission trip to Tactic in 2004. In February of 2015 as small delegation of 5 came to install solar panels on the Chisac property and the Lord began to speak specifically to these team members about the possibility of partnering with Impact Ministries in a longer term project.
Through an amazing series of events, Danica Fletcher spearheaded the initiative and in 2015, and SWCC engaged in what they called the “320 project”. The 320 project is based on Ephesians 3:20 where it says “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.”
Through the 320 Project, approximately 100 people participated by each donating $320 to the building of a new school in Guatemala. We are so grateful to Southwest Community Church for the way they have contributed to the evangelization and education in the community of Chijulhá. Thank you to all of you!
Living Waters Christian School (LWCA), Spruce Grove, AB - Sister School Project
Living Waters Christian Academy sent their first team to Tactic in March, 2001. Since then, LWCA and Impact Ministries have enjoyed the experience of ministering together through many different projects (construction projects, health initiatives, ministry and evangelism). Living Waters Christian School families know that enrolling a child in school in Canada is usually not a difficult ordeal, but through their time visiting Guatemala, they realized that in other areas of the world, it’s not always that simple. Over the last several years, the students, staff, and families at LWCA have had a growing interest in entering into a program whereby they could sponsor and support a sister school in Guatemala. Living Waters Christian Academy’s vision is to be an international training community. They believe that committing to support Guatemalan students and families in practical ways has the potential to deepen the faith and generosity of their own community. Fundraising began in May, 2016 to help build a school in Chijulhá, Guatemala. Each class at LWCA has been involved in raising funds.
“Chijulhá”, in the Pokomchi language means “”close to the place where there is water”. Along with LWCA, our prayer is that streams of living water will flow in Chijulhá through God’s people!
Here is a link to a newspaper article about the Living Waters Christian School walk-a-thon to raise funds for the Chijulhá school.
East Parkland Bible Church, Stony Plain, AB
East Parkland Bible Church generously raised funds for the Chijulhá school at their Missions Conference this fall.
East Parkland Bible Church has been partnering with Impact Ministries in a variety of ways. They sent their first short term mission team in July, 2012. This was followed by further teams and individuals coming to serve longer term in Tactic. Most recently, in Oct of 2016 a dental team, led by Dr. Rod & Betty Giebelhaus, came to serve the staff and students of Impact Ministries in Tactic.
Support a Class Program with Impact Ministries
Although we are moving forward with construction on the Chijulhá school, thanks to the three parties who have generously donated, our current greatest need is still funding to cover operating costs of our existing schools. Without meeting this need, we are unable to continue reaching out into other communities that are untouched by the Gospel. Your gift of $50/ month through the Support a Class program can make a world of a difference. One step at a time, we will move forward and see the great things God has in store, believing that the next generation of godly leaders is waiting for their opportunity to rise up and impact spiritual change in their society.
Check out the short one minute video of how a church is engaging their students in missions. You can learn more about the Support A Class program by visiting the link below.
If you would like your students at your church or school to become more engaged in missions try having them support a class of students in Guatemala!
His name was Edgar. He was one of the 20-some kids in our grade one class in Chicoy that year. He was most often dirty, but then again, they all were. His only footwear were leaky rubber boots full of holes, as they are the cheapest option. His clothes were just scraps of fabric; in fact, sometimes we could see his little bum through a hole in his pants due to the fact that he didn’t own underwear.
All of these statements are applicable to the majority of the students we had in our class that year, but there was one thing about Edgar.
He would ask me for a new pencil. EVERY.SINGLE.DAY. Yes, you got that right. EVERY.DAY. He would come up to me with just a stump of a pencil, less than an inch long, sometimes he would come empty handed, and he would ask me for a new one. Of course I would give him one! The poor kid couldn’t do his work without it. And he obviously didn’t have the option of buying his own. But it was rather confusing. Sometimes I would harp on him, asking him what had happened to the pencil I had given to him the day before, but his response was always the same. SHRUG. With his little innocent eyes would looking up at me I couldn’t do more than remind him to take care of his new pencil and let him go back to his desk.
Later that year we found out the reason.
After school hours he would head over the neighbouring public school and sell his pencil for a few cents. With that money he would hopefully be able to buy an egg to feed his family. You heard me.
For his family.
My heart breaks even now, just remembering it. How can a family live on so little as to share an egg between 3, 4, maybe even 5 people?
Stories like this one make me SO grateful for Impact Ministries. Because of Impact Ministries, Edgar received a hot breakfast every day. Because of Impact Ministries, he was able to attend school even though he didn’t have enough money for school supplies and uniform, which are requirements for Public Schools. Because of Impact Ministries, there is a way out of the cycle of poverty. Because of Impact Ministries, there is hope for a better future.
I realize that I mention Impact Ministries a lot in the previous paragraph – but I want to clarify that Impact Ministries is just a vessel that the Lord is using to love on, bless and lift up Guatemalans.
Often times, when I try to sum up my role in Impact Ministries, I find that my attempts fall flat. I am an administrative assistant. What does that even mean? I am by no means a preacher or an evangelist. But I am a part of something big. I am able to see up close what the Lord is doing, the ways that He is moving! As I create spreadsheets and draft emails, I know that I don’t need my work to be glorified or even recognised. I just need to do it all, 100% for HIM. He is doing great things here in Guatemala! I know greater things are still in store!
What a blessing and privilege it is for me to play a part, however small, in what the Lord is unfolding here!
The above blog post was written by Julie Sawatsky de Lem one of our Canadian field workers working in Guatemala. You can read more about Julie and her husband Julio's life and ministry at their website - https://julioandjulielem.wordpress.com/. If you would like to support them financially you can go to their giving page- https://connect.egiving.com/support-a-missionary-julio-julie/impact-ministries-usa
Dorothy Peters, a faithful supporter of Impact Ministries, has written a book that is dedicated to helping children with disabilities. A portion of the proceeds are being donated to Impact Ministries. We are grateful to Dorothy for her generosity!
by Dorothy Peters and Livia Wolfs (illustrations by Lynda Rogac)
“When someone has broken hands, I could drive them in a car,” answered my four-year-old, red-haired, granddaughter Livia. “When someone has broken feet, I could carry them home.”
A holy ground, take-off-my-shoes moment this was for me. “What would you like to do when you are five?” I had asked while tucking her into bed, on the night before she turned five. But instead of hearing dreams about Kindergarten or a bicycle without training wheels, God revealed his heart through this fiercely hoping little girl … “When someone cannot see, I could show them where to go … When someone has no voice, I could talk for them.”
Just like that.
The following week, during another tucking-into-bed moment, Livia asked, “Where do I find someone with broken hands?” I will write to Les and Rita at Impact Ministries in Guatemala, I told her. Livia knew that she had been in Tactic as a baby for a few months when her mom and dad served there. And Greg and I had been founding Board Members, so it was just natural.
There were currently no children without hands(!), we learned, but there was a little girl named Lesly Noemí Tut López who was deaf and mute. She had shown up one day at Colegio Cristiano Vida Purulhá (Life Christian School) and seemed determined to stay! Yet, extra resources were needed for her. This we gladly provided, doubly joyful that two little girls – one brown-haired Guatemalan and one red-haired Canadian – were finding their voice.
“Write with me,” I invited, when Livia was ten and needed to remember who she was. Slowly, over four years, her little-girl dreams grew up, reshaped and expanded as we listened to Jesus’ words: “Whatever you have done for even the littlest of these … you have done it for me” (Matt 25:34-40). Artist Lynda Rogac experimented with sketching delightful pictures of children and creatures and grownups, all playing together and helping each other. “Could she put Jesus in every picture?” Livia asked one day. “But as a bird. So my friends who are not allowed to talk about God could still read this book?” So Lynda did.
This book is dedicated to Lesly Noemí (a 2016 graduate), because this is her story, too.
But we wanted this book to bless also in more tangible ways. Therefore, 100% of the funds received by Impact Ministries in Guatemala for the book, made available to visiting teams, (suggested donation $15) is designated for the education, vocational training and job placements of Guatemalan children and young people with disabilities. Also, a portion of the proceeds of books sold in Canada is so designated. To order more copies, you are invited to visit http://TomorrowWhenImBig.com for ways to purchase. You are also welcome communicate with Dorothy at email@example.com.
May God bless you!
Dorothy M. Peters
As we stepped out of the van at Vida Chicoy school we could hear the sounds of energetic children playing in the courtyard. Rounding the gate, an explosion of cheering and firecrackers greeted us along with the kids holding each letter of WELCOME in English. More flowers than we could carry were thrust into our hands as we walked a path covered with pine needles and lined on both sides with more excited children. Another group of kids lined up for hugs and treated us to tamales and cups of cacao and pinol. Stepping into the classrooms we support, the students and teachers presented us with small gifts and told us about their students and school. An emotional and humbling reception fit for royalty. Precious faces and an experience not soon forgotten.
After spending time with the ministry, it is obvious God is working in life-changing ways through Impact Ministries in Tactic and surrounding villages. Educating the future Christian leaders of Guatemala is the primary priority but supporting churches, encouraging short term missions, feeding children, sustaining agricultural work, and providing medical and dental care to the students and their families are not far down the list. We decided to Support A Classroom because we could see the many needs that Impact is meeting and wanted to be a part of God's work in Guatemala. In particular, we wanted to support the schools through encouraging the teachers with better salaries and resources. Over the past 16 years the schools have played a huge role in improving lives and spreading the gospel. Please consider joining us in contributing to Support A Classroom. - Kevin & Lisa E.
For me, there is nothing more troubling than watching a child suffer.
The Lord said, “Let the children come….”
He is calling, because He wants to provide relief and freedom.
Humanly speaking, we don’t have capability of meeting the multitude of needs around us. BUT, the Lord wants to restore these children. He wants to heal them and break the cycles that have held the Guatemalan people in bondage for hundreds of years. He wants to intervene in situations that seem hopeless… and He wants to SHOW HIS GLORY to the world by doing the IMPOSSIBLE.
We are seeing it happen! Our former students are now carrying the Lord’s vision forward to the children. A generation of godly leaders are now taking their places in Guatemala.
Thank you for standing with us.
An exciting few weeks in the clinic! Last week, we started a pilot program in Chicoy called "Salud en Accion", where each class goes to wash their hands and brush their teeth at a certain time each day. The students, their parents, and the teachers are all excited to be a part of this preventative public health initiative. We are also thankful for Dr. Stephen Wat's support, as he spent the week here to help us launch the program!
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