FOOD and FAITH FOR ALL OF
We now manage the Ciudad de Refugio feeding program in La Cuchilla. Twice a week, we provide a hot, healthy meal for 150 children and some of their families.
For some, it is the only hot food they get all week. For many, it is the only vegetables and vitamins they’ll see. For all of the kids, it is a place to gather and feel safe for a while.
But it is not enough to feed the kids. We need to nourish their lives, too. The feeding program provides us with a draw to our Children’s Ministry.
The children receive a weekly Bible lesson at the program. When we can, the lesson is tied into a health, social, or environmental lesson for the children.
Hygiene, bullying, social media issues, littering, and authority, are examples of topics covered in the past year.
We recently purchased books that will provide the outline of continuing Faith-related conversations and activities through 2019.
The Children’s Ministry hosts celebrations for Children’s Day, Independence Day, and Christmas. Special visitors and other events pepper the schedule.
La Cuchilla also serves as the base of our Women’s Ministry. Yesenia leads a group of women from the church and mothers of the feeding program children. They meet regularly to listen to a speaker and share news and concerns about life.
We affiliated the program with Mothers of Pre-Schoolers (MOPS), an organization of Christian women in the United States with a strong presence in Guatemala. They provide materials and events for the mothers to attend.
The group has evolved from a social outlet to a true spiritual presence in the community. Recently, the group visited families affected by illness, violence, and other matters. They prayed with the families and bring a small amount of food to share.
Where We Work:
La Cuchilla, Guatemala City
La Cuchilla is sometimes referred to as the “neighborhood nobody wants.” It is situated just inside the border of Guatemala City unless you ask the government of Guatemala City. They will tell you it is part of Villa Hermosa.
As a result, there is no school, security, and little attention paid to the area.
This is a neighborhood produced by the Civil War. Most of the families here were squatters escaping the genocide in the mountains.
Over the years, temporary shelters of tin and wood have been steadily replaced by cinderblock homes and businesses. But too many of our kids still live within tin walls with limited water and electricity.
La Isla, Santa Fe- a suburb of Guatemala City
La Isla in Santa Fe was formed by the 1976 earthquake and a series of subsequent sinkholes and mudslides. Surrounded by sheer cliffs, it is accessible only by a one-lane bridge behind an industrial section of Santa Fe.
When we first came here, it consisted of dirt roads and houses precariously close to the edges of the island. One of the mothers showed us how lifting a small piece of wood in the corner of her home revealed a 100-foot drop to the neighborhood below.
Since then, the city has paved their roads and a Canadian mission rebuilt many of the houses. But the people are still among the poorest of the city. A public school placed on the site closed because the parents couldn’t afford books, uniforms, or even shoes for the kids.