Next Delegation Commissioned – Ready to Travel to Guatemala

The next delegation from New Castle Presbytery will be traveling to Guatemala during the third week of January. This annual trip will continue to strengthen the relationships we have with our in-country partners. Activities will include visiting the staff at the CEDEPCA headquarters; meeting with the Board of the Association of Mam Christian Women for Development and seeing their projects throughout the countryside (microloans, family gardens, latrines); and even stopping by the workshop where the new fuel-efficient stoves are being manufactured to see them up close!

Participants received a double commissioning this past weekend – once at the Presbytery meeting on Saturday, then again at Westminster (Wilmington) on Sunday. We are also delighted to be traveling with a member from Presbytery of the James in Richmond, VA.  Please hold all travelers up in prayer for a safe and meaningful trip. And be sure to watch for a flurry of blog postings in the coming weeks. ¡Vaya con Dios!

Give the Gift of a Guatemalan Stove this holiday!

waSHh%EPRUuIIf+DJyT3egMany of us will prepare holiday feasts standing at a fancy stove-top, with double ovens and microwaves at the ready.  But for many people around the world, their cooking reality is an open fire on a dirt floor. This Christmas, please consider giving the gift of a stove to an indigenous family in Guatemala. These stoves are engineered to be fuel-efficient and cost-effective. They reduce respiratory and eye diseases caused by smoke, and save time, money, and trees.

Right now, this is the most popular product offered, with nearly 200 women on the waiting list. The full cost for each stove is $180. The recipient family must invest $40 of their own money, with a U.S. donor contributing the remaining $140. Because they spend so much less on firewood, women recoup their $40 investment in just four months.

These fuel-efficient stoves make a great gift for your loved one who has everything! To purchase a stove via New Castle Presbytery, simply use this order form or donate online.  Donations of any amount are appreciated and all are tax-deductible. We can also send you a “gift card” to present to your loved one – just let us know. Thank you!

 

It’s Official!

This Thanksgiving, we wanted to share something we are very grateful for: The Association of Mam Christian Women for Development is now an official Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) in Guatemala! After a year of diligently working with a lawyer, the Association submitted its application in early 2019 to become an NGO. We are delighted to report that their application has been approved by the government and they are now a formally registered non-profit organization. This legal status will provide the women with a greater sense of empowerment and secure their future as a formal organization.

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The Association on a video call with New Castle Presbytery to share the good news.

New Castle Presbytery has been working with the Association of Mam Christian Women for Development since 2010, and we have had a formalized partnership agreement with them since 2015. This is truly a monumental step for these women, and we recognize their courage and determination. Congratulations!

(Pictured above: Working on the application; celebrating with cake!)

CEDEPCA Representatives Visit New Castle Presbytery

Three esteemed colleagues from our partner organization CEDEPCA (the Protestant Center for Pastoral Studies in Central America) have arrived from Guatemala City and will be here for the next week: giving presentations, attending meetings, worshiping with us, and of course, having some fun!

(Pictured left to right: Nancy Carrera, Delia Leal, Judith Castañeda)

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A Photo that Makes My Heart Sing

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A photo that makes Carrie Saathoff’s heart sign — for many reasons!
I woke up yesterday morning to find this fabulous photo in my inbox. At first glance, it didn’t look particularly special, but upon further reflection, it made my heart sing – and here is why:

 

First of all, this photo was sent to me by the new part-time administrative secretary of the Association. She is young, sharp as a tack, and technologically-savvy. So she is now starting to give us real-time updates of the projects of the Association – what a gift! This photo was taken just a few days ago.

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