A team of 17 people, 6 of whom are Regional or National leaders in the CBC, recently returned from a short-term mission trip to Guatemala where they saw God do some amazing things, leaving them able to do little except say “Praise the Lord!” Before the trip ever started, God flexed His muscles of provision by providing funds for the trip that far exceeded the normal amount they had planned for. On a usual trip, the group spends around $17,000 on materials and supplies for the projects they do. That includes buying stoves, food, Bibles, and financial aid to various ministries they work with. This year, before they left, God provided over $32,000 for these needs. That meant they were able to do much more than then what was done in the past.

There is a ministry run by Hilmar, a man who had a vision to help the children of his community. He built a ministry that provides academic and vocational training and a feeding program to the children. They were able to increase the support this year to this ministry from $1,000 to $3,000. God had a plan!

The team was also able to increase support from $1,000 to $3,000 to an orphanage for children with difficulties. Many of the children here are severely handicapped and in need of special care. At a children’s home named CASA, they were able to offer a teacher training seminar to the teachers at the home who, for the most part, have only the Guatemalan apprenticeship training and not scholastic training. This was done by Wade Armentrout and Grover Duling, both long-time educators with experience and training in education.

The Children loved the attention the group gave them and the teachers greatly appreciated the training the group provided.

The group also purchased $2500 worth of children’s Spanish Bibles. They were given to children who came to the dental clinic, but each Bible given came with Grover securing a promise from the child that they would read it daily.

Another part of the ministry was the dental team. The team saw over 400 patients while there, many of them children. One of the ways they helped comfort the children was to provide them with a stuffed animal they could hold during the procedure and then take home for continued comfort.

Here you see a little girl with her Bible and stuffed animal, and a boy finding some comfort in a scary situation, as the Dental team works with a lady who had come for help.

The Team also met with two large youth groups. They fed them double quarter pounders, played games, and then shared the gospel with them. Seen here with Grover is a girl who had rededicated her life to Christ. She sports a CBC sweatshirt one of the team members had given her.

A huge part of the group’s mission was to establish contacts with the people of the community for the local churches. One of the ways this is accomplished is for the pastor of the church to invite people of the community to come in for food and Bible distribution. Our contact, Adam Clemmons, in Guatemala, set up the program with pastors in small towns and villages, and then the pastor invited people of his community to come. Our team purchased the food and Bibles for the distributions and then bagged up food in about 20-pound bags for transportation to the church where the distribution was to take place. The group offered a gospel presentation, while in several settings, offering a special prayer for those wanting it. Many responded. Then the food was given out and the pastor was able to follow up with those who were in attendance. It is a great way for the local church to be seen as caring for their community and for the mission team to support local pastors.

The team also shared in worship at some of the churches. Some of the members of the team including CBC administrative assistant, Christy Cosner and CBC regional board member Randy Shoemaker, provided special music while Pastor Randy Cosner shared the message.

One of the last, but not least, forms of ministry that God allowed the group to do in a big way was to install 25 wood-burning cook stoves. The importance of this ministry is that it alleviates one of the biggest health hazards among the poor of Guatemala. Most of the poor cook over open fires that are unvented in their homes. They breathe the smoke that damages their lungs, liver, and kidneys. The stoves that the group installed in Jesus’ name, vent the smoke to the outside. When the family tries to thank the team for this wonderful blessing they make it clear that this is from Jesus. He provided the funds needed to buy the stoves and they are simply acting as His hands and feet to install them.

Lastly, Grover met with CBC Pastor Walter, his wife Susie, and their daughter Julie, leaders of the Miracle Fishing CBC. They discussed the need his church is trying to address as they face the wonderful problem of growth. They have reached the point where people are standing around the walls and outside the windows. They have purchased a piece of ground and have the plans in place for a new, two-story building but it will take time to raise the money to make it a reality. It would take years for the church alone to raise this money. Grover carried $1,000 from CBC National to the church with hopes to raise more to help with the project. You will hear more about this in the near future. Here he met with them to discuss the need and to encourage them not to grow discouraged. God is not limited and will provide in His way and we are excited to see God remind us that He is faithful.

The team returned in awe of all God had done in the short 10 days they were there and came home giving glory to God. They are grateful they were able to be His missionaries for the duration of the trip and look forward to the next opportunity that He gives them.