Ericka has her hands full. She has 3 boys under the age of 7 – her youngest was born in January. She’s also the superintendent overseeing all our Vida schools. And she’s a pastor’s wife. Life is busy.
And yet, Ericka and her husband Hector are expanding their ministry, rather than slowing down. In December, they moved their family into the newly-constructed Vida Children’s Home. They’ve been appointed directors of the children’s home, and they’ll be there to welcome the babies and be our first house parents.
Please continue to pray as this dream becomes reality – and pray for Ericka and Hector as they navigate decreasing some of their current workload so that they can take on this new role at the Vida Children’s Home.
“We have seen the faithfulness of the Lord in difficult situations both in our marriage, each of us in our own families and in the areas where God in His immense mercy has given us the opportunity to serve and bless the people in our care.”
What a wonderful gift of family they will provide to the abandoned babies who will come to call this their home! We hope to be able to welcome the first babies in 2018.
Ericka has already been training two people to work alongside her a assistant superintendents so that they can succeed her in this role. Hector now has leaders in place for 13 departments in the church, so that his load has been distributed to a whole group of upcoming leaders. We’re seeing leaders trained and stepping up – allowing Hector and Ericka to focus on their new responsibilities at the Vida Children’s Home!
Want to support the Vida Children’s Home? Pray for the start-up process or donate here.
Many years ago, while Elmer Poou – one of our original students – was still in elementary school, Impact Ministries acquired a piece of land in Chijulhá.
Impact Ministries had big plans for Chijulhá, but God had even bigger plans for the ministry, so for a dozen or so years, the land at Chijulhá grew produce, while Elmer grew up.
Last year, Impact Ministries started construction on Vida Chijulhá – and Elmer, who was now a Vida teacher, had recently become principal of Vida Chicoy.
Last week, students arrived for the first day of school at Vida Chijulhá. They were welcomed by Vida Chijulhá’s first principal: Elmer Poou.
“The first day of classes at Chijulhá was full of emotions” says Elmer. “Not only was it the first day of classes for the children, it was also the beginning of a new project to bless many lives.”
Even though it was cold and foggy, the children arrived with their parents. “You could see the parents were nervous, wanting to know what the school devotional would be like”
The kids were excited, and the parents – well, they were soon reassured. “You could see on their faces the joy as they heard the worship to our God. And much more importantly, they could know that their children would learn to worship and glorify Him every day.”
Thank you to each of you who helped make the dream of a school in Chijulhá a reality! We’ll be celebrating the Grand Opening of Vida Chijulhá in March, but until then, the kids will be learning – and worshipping – every day!
* want to impact classes like this one? Check out our support a class program.
Have you ever felt like you were playing musical chairs? Trying to get everyone into the right seats isn’t always easy! That’s definitely the case when you’re trying to get students into school seats in Guatemala.
We’re working on some exciting new changes in our Vida Mocohan and Vida Chicoy schools. You see, we found out that over half of our 2017 students registered at Vida Chicoy were actually walking from Mocohan. So, for the 2018 school year, we are merging the Chicoy elementary school with the Mocohan elementary school. There is room for them all, and this allows us to be fiscally responsible in a community that now also has a public elementary school.
This merge opens the way for some exciting new initiatives next year: with a bit more musical chairs, we’re hoping to launch an enhanced Jr. High program in Chicoy in 2019! We’re delighted with the possibilities and look forward to sharing them as they develop.
This is Alba – her favorite color is green, she likes to play with dolls, and her favorite Bible Story is Daniel & the Lion’s Den. In many ways, she’s like any other 6-year-old.
But Alba hasn’t had it easy. Abandoned by her mother, she lives with her grandparents. Their home has a dirt floor and an outhouse, and they cook over firewood. Alba didn’t go to school last year because the money simply wasn’t there. As a descendant of the Qeqchi tribe, Alba could have easily become another statistic of poverty-stricken, indigenous girls who don’t get a chance at an education.
You’re building a brighter future for kids like Alba! This year, Alba graduated from grade 1. Her favorite subject is math, she’s made some friends, she likes singing in school – and when she grows up, she wants to be a teacher!
Our build a brighter future campaign for school construction and educational programs makes it possible for kids like Alba to go to school!
(And, until the end of the year, your donation will be matched, thanks to $75,000 of matching funds!)
Still looking for a few last minute gifts? Our Christmas Gift Catalog features seven gifts that you can give to make an Impact – with no wait times, no missed deliveries, and no trip to the mall needed
Today, we’re going to look more closely at the impact you can make through a gift of health. It’s an ideal gift for any nurses or doctors on your Christmas list – or, for that matter – for anyone with a heart for those who are hurting.
Whether it’s the treatment of injuries and common illnesses, training in healthy living, or opportunities to pray to the Great Physician, the gift of health impacts both body & soul.
Our clinic reaches out to our students and their families, our staff members, families from our churches, as well as other Q’eqchi and Poqomchi people in the surrounding villages who otherwise would not be able to afford much-needed medical care.
What can your gift of health provide in Guatemala? You’ve seen a couple examples in our gift catalog, but here are some more:
Do you have a computer in your home? in your workplace? in your classroom?
Needless to say, most of our Vida students don’t go home to houses filled with technology – yet, like everywhere, more and more jobs in Guatemala require digital proficiency.
“Many of the children who study in our schools have not had contact with a computer, let alone have a computer at home,” says Impact Ministries Guatemala IT Director, Norman.
Vida Chijacorral has been incorporating computers into the high school English program – teaching two marketable skills, the English Language and Computer Literacy.
“The project has been very good,” says Norman, “students are very interested in their English class, and of course, have a more extensive contact with technology. I feel excited to give that group that opportunity!”
More recently, a donation of computers has allowed Vida Chijacorral to introduce the technology to their upper elementary students. “It was a special moment to be able to see the children each with a laptop in their hands,” Norman tells us “and, since then, the interest to learn.”
Impact Ministries is hoping to expand the computer program at Vida schools. Check out our Christmas Gift Catalog to see how you can help span the digital divide – $250 can put a computer into a Vida classroom!
The complications of bringing computers across borders – and the need to have some consistency when teaching – prevents us from accepting most computer donations, although if you are a business with a bulk donation of laptops, we invite you to contact us.
What does it mean to build a brighter future for children in Guatemala? Let me tell you about 15-year-old Zoila, who wants “to help needy children, providing love, and to fulfill the purpose that God has for my life.”
Zoila now has goals for her future – to graduate from high school, to get into college to get a career, to help her parents, to help in the ministry of her church, and to follow God always.
Zoila has transformed from a child who had to repeat grade 2 because she didn’t complete her homework, into a teenager with an admirable attitude and good performance in her studies.
“Academically, she is an outstanding student” says her teacher, “and she seems to take pretty good advantage of everything they are giving her.”
Like many of our students, Zoila comes from a low-income family. Her father earns low wages at the quarry, and her mother works odd jobs such as buying vegetables to resell at the market, and taking in washing. But they are doing the best that they can by their four daughters, all of whom have graduated from elementary school and have been studying in the high school program at Vida Chijacorral.
In a country where girls often have to drop out to help their impoverished families, having Vida schools and educational programs allows girls like Zoila to stay in school, and to see a future for themselves.
Until the end of the year, donations to our Build a Brighter Future Campaign will be matched dollar for dollar! Will you help build a brighter future for students like Zoila?
Today, we’ve been raising #GivingTuesday funds for meals for our Vida students – and we’d like to share a taste of Guatemala with you. If you watched the #NoHungryKids Video this morning, you would have seen our kids enjoying platefuls of “Tactic Tacos”
The recipe for “Tactic Tacos” is a favorite in our schools and we’ve shared it below – scaled down to family size
Impact Ministries schools start each day with a meal – because kids with full tummies simply learn better, and because some of our students don’t get regular meals at home. Can you believe we can feed our kids for an average of 40¢ a meal?
Today, for #GivingTuesday, we’re running our #NoHungryKids campaign. How many meals will you provide?
4 cloves of garlic
4 stalks of celery
1 chili pepper
1 large onion
4 large carrots
1 lb ground beef
salt & pepper
1/2 c – 1 c beef stock (or 1-2 tsp of beef bullion dissolved in water)
thyme & a couple of bay leaves
Mince the garlic and finely chop up the celery, chili pepper and onion. Finely grate the carrots, melding together the carrot juice with the grated carrots.
Put a couple of teaspoons of vegetable oil in a pan. Once it heats up, start by adding the minced garlic.
Shortly after, add the chopped celery, chili pepper and onion.
When the veggies are cooked, add the ground beef. Season it with salt and pepper and cook until browned.
After this, stir in your grated carrots, and add your beef stock, thyme and bay leaves. Cover this and leave it to simmer until the carrots are tender. (Note that the liquid should be cooked off prior to serving)
Serve on top of tacos and garnish with a granulated dry cheese like Parmesan cheese.
Don’t forget to donate to our #NoHungryKids campaign, so that we can continue serving nutritious meals like this to our students! And hey – if you try out our Tactic Tacos, be sure to share a photo and hashtag it #NoHungryKids!
You’re scouting the sales for #BlackFriday and strategizing for #CyberMonday . . . but have you planned for #GivingTuesday?
#GivingTuesday is a global day of giving back – a chance to join with others around the world to make an impact and to kick off your Christmas giving season.
Save the Date, because this year on Tuesday, November 28th, Impact Ministries has a #NoHungryKids goal of providing 40,000 meals for Vida students – and we need your help to reach it!
In Guatemala, many families struggle to put food on the table. The meal our children get at school might be the only one they get all day.
It only takes 40¢ to provide a meal to a Vida student. And on #GivingTuesday, your donation will be DOUBLED. That means $10 provides 50 meals! Will you give hope to children in Guatemala in the form of hot, nutritious meals? How many meals will you give?
(Watch our facebook and instagram for updates on #NoHungryKids)
It’s 60 days until Christmas . . . are you making a list and checking it twice?
If you’re looking for something a bit different than chocolates and bath soaps – if you’re looking for gifts that make an impact – Impact Ministries has got you covered!
Impact Ministries has just launched our Christmas Catalog with gifts that will continue giving long after the wrapping paper is recycled.
Perhaps a teacher you know would love the gift of learning resources – $35 can buy a textbook to provide quality education for a Vida student.
Perhaps your neighbour with the beautiful garden would appreciate a gift that grows – $25 can buy local seeds that grow into a harvest that keeps Vida students strong and healthy.
Perhaps your techie nephew would love the gift of technology – $250 can buy a computer in Guatemala, helping our students span the digital divide.
Check out all 7 of our gifts at www.impactminusa.org/christmas-catalog.html and make an impact this Christmas!
And . . . when you select your gift at www.impactminusa.org/christmas-gifts, you’ll be provided with a downloadable gift card featuring our cute Vida angels! Just print & deliver (or print & send).
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