Food, Faith, and the Good News!
It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!
Here in Guatemala, we don't get to watch the leaves turn colors. Everything remains green for the most part.
And we don't celebrate Halloween or Thanksgiving, either.
So that means... IT'S CHRISTMAS SEASON!!!
We use the extra time each season to prepare our annual Good News celebrations, the highlight of each year!
Once again, hundreds of needy children will receive a new toy, an item of need, and a special food gift to make their holiday special.
More importantly, each child and their parents will hear the GOOD NEWS of Jesus' birth, what it means for us today, and how much Jesus loves each one of them!
This year's item of need is a bundle of school supplies, possibly in a pencilcase or knapsack, depending on cost.
WHAT DOES A TYPICAL GOOD NEWS CELEBRATION LOOK LIKE?
Covid altered our ability to gather the children last season, and we have some workarounds in place again this year. But the goal is always the same: Tell the story of the Good News of Jesus' birth and how it means that Jesus loves each of our kids.
This year, children will attend in family groups, hear the message, pass through our little toy store where they will choose a toy.
They will then pass through the stationary store, tamale kitchen, and grocery, leaving with a new toy, school supplies, a traditional meal, and a food basket for home.
Our Mission and Goal
Our mission is to spread God's love through His Word, through our words, through our works, and with His help. Our goal is to help people get through acute and chronic crises by introducing (or reminding) them of the Hope and Love Jesus offers.
Even while we prepare for our Good News Celebration, our regular feeding programs continue and will continue right up to Christmas Week.
About 400 children are fed each week at our Santa Fe, La Cuchilla, and Cocales children's ministry sites.
Construction of the new kitchen in Cocales is almost complete. We are almost ready to place the custom stove, new pila, and other accessories and supplies to optimize the operation at the Cocales Youth Church.
450 Hygiene kits, consisting of toothpaste and brushes, floss, soap, gel, and hand towels were distributed during the week of International Children's Day.
Our Goodwill program continues to help struggling neighbors with groceries, medicines, and electric bills, always in tandem with prayers.
WHY DO WE LET THE CHILDREN CHOOSE A TOY?
When you're poor, you don't get a lot of choices. You take what you can afford. Or, in the case of our kids, you take whatever we decide is the best gift, whatever meal we serve, shoes we buy, or hand-me-downs from their siblings.
We introduced the toy store last year and it was a big hit. Wide eyes from the children, as well as their parents, were worth the effort.
And after our celebrations were over, we found local churches and youth programs to share our excess toys with. More Love Shared!