Reaching Out - Building Bridges
We were excited to host a group of 5 pastors from the Southwestern Ohio District of the Church of the Nazarene in March 2022. They provided 3 days of training for about 80 pastors and leaders from the district surrounding Chisec, Guatemala.
Thrive Women's Conference
We were able to partner with the US/Canada Nazarene Women's Ministry to host the first Thrive conference in Guatemala (called "Mujeres Virtuosas" by the local women). The Thrive team worked with a group of women in the Chisec Central Church of the Nazarene for a year to plan and host almost 400 local women for 3 days of inspiration, encouragement, and spiritual development in early June 2022. This was a tremendously successful event in the lives of the women in Chisec.
A second Thrive event is on the calendar for June 2023.
A growing number of youth groups have come and partnered with El Puente over the past two summers. They have helped pour concrete floors for families, helped improve the local medical clinic in Chisec, distribute food and clothing to needy widows and families, provide tutoring to local students whose education has lagged, held children's activities and VBS in at least 5 villages, and collaborated with the local Central Nazarene youth in Chisec in community evangelism and trash pickup.
It is awesome to see these passionate young people invest their time and energy in ministering to the local communities.
We are pleased to continue to partner with the Refinery Church in Columbus, Ohio, in the Life Center ministry in the community of La Planada. As part of our Education ministry focus, El Puente is privileged to partner with the Life Center ministries, combining those with our other ministry foci. For example, in La Planada, we have hosted many teams who have invested time/energy in the education activities of the Life Center, have visited many homes in the village and provided food/clothing/prayer for the families, and who have provided concrete floors to many of the homes in the community (including many of those of the children in the program). We also were very excited to provide the well and water tanks for the community, improving their access to water year-round. We believe the Life Centers + El Puente is a "1+1=3" partnership for the future of the children and community.
We were also excited to facilitate a new Life Center ministry in Chinaboquil, which began in March 2023 (sponsored currently by Springdale Church of the Nazarene and West Chester Church of the Nazarene). The Springdale team also provided a roof system in July for the new church building at Chinaboquil (the church host for the Life Center).
Plans are in formation for yet another Life Center startup in 2024.