In the Finca Naranja section of Cocales is a simple home nestled among the non-descript and dusty rows of cement homes and businesses.
Pastor Feliciano struggles to make ends meet with a small mechanics business. When we visit, he’ll often drop what he is doing to help someone repair a tire or make a small repair on their way to the market.
The family lives among a collection of old car parts Feliciano rehabilitated over the years and tools that look like they belong in a museum.
He also has an assortment of wheeled devices he put together from bicycle and wagon scraps for the children of the neighborhood to enjoy. It took me almost a year to realize which children were actually his from among the dozens we’ve met on our trips to Cocales.
The way the children keep showing up, you would think this was the house in the neighborhood with the rich parents and the best snacks and toys.
The reality is that Feliciano does not even own a refrigerator and they have known too many days where the next meal was a mystery until it materialized.
But whatever they have, they will share it with anyone who comes by.
What they have most, is faith and undying love for Jesus Christ.
Over the years, discussions about Jesus and the Bible led to more formal discussions. Then, Feliciano started a small church. He attended a seminary and became a certified minister and pastor in Guatemala.
His words to the children were especially poignant. Soon, his sons Brian, Jose, and Jordi started making instruments to go with a shaky keyboard and formed a worship team.
Soon, the children in services outnumbered the adults. At some point, the sons shepherded the children to a separate celebration of music and Bible study.
Today, about 50 children come by every Sunday morning to fill what used to be the mechanics’ office and now serves as a church. The grown-ups come each evening to what officially became part of the Ciudad de Refugio Evangelical Church group a couple of years ago.
The church is growing, but unlike churches I’ve belonged to with massive expansion plans and fund drives, Pastor Feliciano started socking money away months ago to buy enough paint to brighten the interior and put the Ciudad de Refugio name on the exterior.
When we heard about this, we decided we had to help out. Feliciano and his sons now have a brighter environment that does justice to the delivery of God’s Light to La Naranja.
New chairs, lights, Bibles, and children’s activity books were all part of the effort. Soon, they might need to start a real expansion fund drive. We look forward to being a part of that, too.
MEANWHILE…. elsewhere around Guatemala
So far, our BOOT OUT INFECTIONS drive let us purchase about 225 pairs of new Guatemalan-made rain boots and socks for the children in Pamamus and Cocales.
Our ministry in Pamamus remains dedicated to spreading God’s love and also keeping kids in school by enhancing their school experience. Working with the teachers at the community school, we’re providing audio-visual equipment and sports equipment, along with boots, books, and some inspiring Words for the children we hope will make them want to finish their education- the most-obvious way out of their poverty cycle.
Feeding the children
Over 250 children signed up to be part of our children’s ministries in the capital city. The children receive vitamin-fortified meals once or twice a week, and a Bible lesson complete with videos and activities.
We saw a few families leave the area this year in the face of increased gang activity. More importantly, we’ve seen more than a few putting an effort into protecting the children and confronting the dangers with Faith and strength.
The feeding program gives the children a place to feel safe to express their fears and concerns. It gives us a chance to hear what is happening and how it affects their lives.
Our women’s ministry at La Cuchilla is especially active in working with families at risk. Whether it is food, medicine, prayer, or a simple hug, the women are working the neighborhood with encouragement and support.
We can use your assistance
We are encouraged by the support we receive from our friends in the United States, Europe, and right here in Guatemala.
We count on additional prayer support and financial backing in 2019. God has put it in our hearts to grow the programs and reach out farther and stronger with his Hope and Love.
Feel free to explore this website for details on what we do and how you can help. Your donations allow us to spread the Word and give children and their parents moments that offer a brief respite from the harsh reality of life in Guatemala.
It doesn’t sound like much, but moments like that change lives when people know they happened because Jesus loves them and tells us to love them, too.
THANK YOU FOR SUPPORTING OUR FAMILY!
We would love to give everything we have to the children of Guatemala, but we have to feed our own baby sometimes, too.
We received enough pledges to keep food on the table in 2019, but we exhausted our reserves last year. Anyone raising a child knows how scary that can be.
If you would like to help us build an emergency fund or get a start on 2020 with either a one-time or monthly donation to the missionary family, please go to our donate page and note “family” in the comments section or use this link to donate to our crowd-funding family appeal THANK YOU!!!
Thank you for your continued prayers, inquiries, and support
– Pat & Yesenia
Our dream is to end our feeding program someday because no one needs it anymore.
WANT TO HELP? PLEASE VISIT OUR DONOR PAGE TO SEE HOW!