The Guatemala Partnership of New Castle Presbytery has just exploded in the last two years….in a good way! There is new energy from churches, new excitement from individuals, and new commitment from the Presbytery. We launched a website, increased our financial support tenfold, and formalized our partnerships in Guatemala. There are now 12 churches within the Presbytery involved—with more in the wings—and more and more individual members have traveled with us to see God’s work up close.
I find myself waking up each morning, and within seconds, suddenly remembering the ongoing situation we are facing. The impact of COVID-19 on those of us here in the United States is unprecedented: lives lost, jobs vanished, plans put on hold. As the virus spreads, I fear for what the people of Guatemala might face. The reality that could unfold there may be even more dire.
As of this writing, there are just 70 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Guatemala. That number is certain to climb. The Guatemalan government has taken this emergency seriously, closing borders, enforcing curfews, and declaring a country-wide stay-at-home order.
As a result, daily life in Guatemala has changed significantly. Read more
Many 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.
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.
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!
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!