Twenty-three at-risk kids in Coban, Guatemala, began studying this year thanks to an outreach from the From The Community Mission of the Church of the Nazarene.
It all began eight years at the LAZARUS cafeteria, which is a program the mission developed to offer food to local homeless people Monday through Saturday. The way the ministry is organized gives everyone a chance to participate. Each family volunteers to donate, cook and serve the food one day a week. Pastor Guillermo Giron noted that everyone in the family participates, “because a personal relationship in Christian love is the best and most special gift we want to give to the people we serve.”
In 2018, the Lord guided the church to include something for children and youth in poverty, children of single mothers and those in vulnerable conditions. Twenty-three children and adolescents between the ages of 1 and 17 began to receive food. Once the church members got to know them, they realized that none of them attended school. They encouraged them to beginning studying the following year, and both the children and their mothers agreed.
The church has been able to sign up 19 of the children for school at various levels. They are in preschool, elementary school and night elementary for those who are not an appropriate age to attend the regular elementary school. Each family in the church bought school supplies. Every child received a backpack and the supplies required by their particular school. The church is currently working to provide the necessary school uniforms.
The next steps in the process the church has planned are: 1) open a daycare for the smallest children, 2) offer reading classes to the mothers, and 3) offer occupational training and trade workshops so that the mothers will have more options to generate income to use to care for their families.
“The whole congregation has offered their talents, knowledge, time and best efforts in Christian love. Our good Shepherd has been confirming each step to make this vision possible. What a pleasure it is to work with and for the Lord!” said Pastor Giron.
Source: Guillermo Giron, pastor of the From the Community Mission of the Church of the Nazarene