I’ve just returned from 11 days in Guatemala, serving the Kingdom through Impact Ministries in and around Tactic. God has confirmed again that our partnership with Impact Ministries is changing lives in Guatemala, and our entire team came home with a feeling we had been blessed even more than we had been a blessing.
My heart is full in returning from Guatemala. God used our 20-person team beyond our capabilities in four amazing and beautiful ways – in a medical clinic that brought health and hope to hundreds of Guatemalans; in children’s ministry at one of the Impact Ministries’ schools, that shared Jesus’ love with the children; in an evangelism outreach in the town square of a nearby town, where seeds of the Gospel were planted; and in delivering food to the poorest families identified by the church leaders, giving them nutrition and hope.
As we delivered food to one particular older couple we were blessed beyond measure – literally. The couple blessed us over and over for being there and for making a difference in their lives and in Guatemala. We had come to pray for God to bless them, and God used them to pronounce blessing over us. It felt like receiving a blessing from an older elder, as if one could have received a blessing from the Apostle John at the end of his life, or from Moses just before he died.
We live in a culture where complaining is often the norm. The New Life Church in Tactic is teaching its members and leaders to live in gratitude for all that God is doing in their lives, and to bless others. It was all embodied in that older couple whom we visited to take large bags of rice and beans, some powdered milk and pasta and other staples, and to pray for them.
Impact Ministries is the vision of Les and Rita Peters. They moved to Guatemala from Canada 21 years ago to fulfill God’s vision for a Christian school that would train leaders who could impact Guatemala’s future. Twenty-one years later God has raised up 11 schools with over 1,700 students, all with the heart of giving the children a quality education that would prepare them for serving their community and nation, as well as rooting them in faith in Jesus Christ that changes their hearts, their lives and their eternal destinies.
Graduates from the schools are now becoming doctors and attorneys and teachers and even government officials who are making a positive impact on Tactic and on Guatemala.
Through the schools, the Lord has also raised up a church with three campuses that is winning and discipling people who are associated with the schools or who see the caring witness of Impact Ministries and are drawn to Christ. That church is alive and vibrant, and God is using it to impact Tactic and beyond.
Through the schools and through doctors and nurses on short-term teams like ours, health care clinics are bringing healing to people who have limited access to treatment and medications. It is both amazing and humbling to pray for the people who come to the clinic, and then have them pray for us, giving thanks and asking God to bless us.
Impact Ministries also runs a children’s home (see photo above) that cares for babies and toddlers who have been abandoned by their mothers or placed in the home by the government. The caregivers shower the children with love, prayer, food, clothing and shelter, and the babies respond quickly to become both healthier and happier.
Through the partnership of Gathering Point Church and Impact Ministries, the great commission is being fulfilled to the ends of the earth. It is both healthy and holy to participate in this extension of the ministry of Jesus Christ into Central America. Impact Ministries is blessing Gathering Point Church, and Gathering Point Church is blessing Impact Ministries. And it has been both a great joy and a great blessing to be a small part of that partnership for me personally.
You may not know them personally, but I would ask you to pray for Les and Rita, for Dr. Rivas, for Julio and Julie, for Juan and Oscar and Wilson, for Claudia and Hugo, and for all the ministry of Ministerios Impactos (Impact Ministries) in Guatemala. May God continue to use this partnership to strengthen and bless both them and us.