The focus of our trip to Guatemala this week is to explore opportunities for Birchman Baptist Church, to partner with Orphan Outreach and expand the ministry options of the church that I attend in Fort Worth Texas. Traveling here with our missions intern Will Babler will allow us to cast a vision to our church on how to best serve those in need.
Today Julia and Cesar of Orphan Outreach showed Will and I opportunities to work with Good Shepherd Baptist Church and their school. Located near the shores of Lake Atitlan in the city oif Santiago this church does so much to minister to the community.
Good Shepherd Baptist Church partnered with Orphan Outreach to open a school for the children affected by Hurricane Stan. The students are from families living in extreme poverty, many of whom have lost everything during the tragedy.
– The school has about 200 students from preschool to 6th grade.
– These children would not be able to receive an education if it were not for the Good Shepherd Academy.
– Pastor Diego and his team lead the school.
– The church also has a church plant in Cerro de Oro, (see next post) which is a rural community just outside of Santiago. Orphan Outreach partners with the church to build homes for many of the needy families and helps them support the community. The church also is beginning community outreach to the Mayan population and local schools.
The entire program, both the school and the local church, have massive potential for growth and development. It is located about 4 hours outside of Guatemala City in one of the most beautiful places on earth. There is a great place for teams to stay overlooking a lake and volcano. There is tremendous need for support for this program and the great work they are doing in partnership with Orphan Outreach.
Orphan Outreach provides sponsorships (includes scholarships, uniforms, supplies and transportation) for 70 children affected from the mudslide devastation to attend Good Shepherd Christian Academy and hopes to sponsor 10 Good Shepherd graduates to attend middle and high school. Short-term mission teams have traveled to Santiago to work with the children at the school and provide Christmas and medical clinics for the families that live in extreme poverty in Santiago and the surrounding communities. Orphan Outreach also supports their church plant in the village of Cerro de Oro. Short-term mission teams have served there to build homes, engage in evangelism alongside the local church plant, provide food, medical care and other needs and minister to the public schools in the community.