Updated: Mar 14
Looking back at all that God has done during the 17 years we have served in Guatemala is always amazing, but looking forward to where God is taking us is even more exciting.
We have made significant progress on many fronts as we have worked to see God’s Kingdom come, and His will done on earth as it is in heaven. Yet we don’t want to become complacent and rest our laurels of yesterday’s successes.
Philippians 3:14 calls on us to “press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
With that in mind, here is where our ministry is going in 2020.
The Cadaniño ministry exists to serve the orphaned, vulnerable, and disabled. We work to have a targeted impact in the lives of those we serve through the operation of community centers that provide services to needy people in their neighborhoods.
We want to do a few things but do them well.
There is always more need than there are resources. No one can meet everyone’s needs, and we aren’t going to try.
God has given our team a specific skill set that we can leverage to have a targeted impact that produces maximum results. We work hard to stay faithful to our calling and not fall prey to the latest fads in ministry.
Everything we do must fall under one of our existing programs of spiritual formation, educational reinforcement, and family strengthening.
Here is a breakdown of that means:
We are an organization with a Christian focus, run by disciples of Christ with the express purpose to “go into all the world and preach the Gospel” and to create disciples and followers of Christ.
Our job is to share the good news of redemption and restoration to God through the knowledge and understanding of the gift of salvation that is available to all through Jesus’ death on the cross as payment for our sins.
We strive not just to lead people to Christ, but to give them the knowledge they need, through proper study and understanding of the Bible, to be true followers and disciples of Christ.
We have a long term vision and realize that this is not something we can accomplish in a day, a week or a month or even a year.
Our students receive three hours of Bible study a week. We carefully plan classes to give them a solid foundation of God’s word. We look at this as a marathon not a sprint.
We operate under the spiritual covering of our local church. Along with our staff, we work to contextualize our classes, so they are relevant and applicable to realities in which our students live.
We also work to tailor the classes so that they applicable based on the age and maturity of the students.
George Washington Carver said that “Education is the key to unlock the golden door of freedom.”
When we look at brokenness among those we serve, we see a lack of understanding that they are even capable of doing more. When everyone you know lives in poverty, when you are surrounded by scarcity, worried about your next meal and insecure in your abilities, often, you can’t see the opportunities that lay before you.
Our educational programs go beyond teaching kids what to think and work to teach them how to think.
Statistics show that finishing high school makes a lasting difference in the earning potential of most people, yet in developing countries like Guatemala, especially amongst those we serve, doing so is a great struggle.
By providing math, reading, and writing classes, we reinforce what they learn in school, which is what can make the difference between, failing or passing a grade.
We place a particular emphasis on technology. In a technology-focused world, being computer literate is not just a good idea; it’s a requirement for many jobs.
Our programs go far beyond just computer literacy. Students are learning programming, coding, and advanced I.T. skills that will lay the foundation for a career in technology that will enable them to earn a competitive salary on a global level while working from Guatemala.
A strong family is the building block for a strong society. By providing services to families, many of which are on the brink of collapse and struggling to survive, we help lay the groundwork for a brighter future.
By offering educational support services, Bible classes, and computer classes, we not just meet the children’s direct needs, but we free up the parent’s time for other tasks vital to the success of their family.
Building relationships with the kids has led to building relationships with the parents, which is key to reaching them through our Bible classes and outreaches.
Distribution of blessing bags of food and necessities when mission teams visit also allows us to reach into people’s lives through home visitations where we can talk, pray, and share about God in a deeper way.
Going into 2020, here is how we plan to go farther in each of our programs.
Service. We want to make service a higher priority for those we serve. As God has loved us so we should love others. Service is the lifeblood of the church, and if we want God’s word to come alive in the hearts of those we serve, then we need to get them serving others.
Youth Discipleship. We need a youth pastor to pour into our kids as they become teenagers. We need to find a Guatemalan pastor who can fill this role.
Ministry to Parents. Continuing to reach into the lives of the parents of the students in our program in a more profound way, through regular outreaches and weekly Bible studies is paramount.
Church Partnership. We need to find a church for those we serve. It can be our church, a church in their community, or a new church plant. We need to find a way to funnel those we serve to a place where they can find community.
Scholastics. We will continue to improve the tutoring classes we offer students to enable them to excel in school.
IT. All students will progress through our new online digital platform that provides them with comprehensive computer skills.
Advanced learning. Students who complete our basic program will have the opportunity to take specialized IT courses online according to their interests.
Mentoring. Find mentors for students in the areas in which they wish to specialize.
Continue to build the relationships that lead to community that fosters discipleship.
Look to add a supplemental nutritional program to our centers as hungry children have a hard time learning.
Non-profit status in Guatemala. Finalize the paperwork for our local foundation.
US 501c3. Complete the process for receiving our US non-profit status.
Develop and implement tracking of the progress our students are making.
Build local awareness of the Cadaniño program in Guatemala.