Updated: Mar 8
Time and time again, over the many years we have been working in Guatemala, we have seen God’s incredible provision for us and those we serve.
Today we dedicated a house to a precious family whom we have served for many years. The teenagers of the Santos family and their cousins have been enrolled in our after-school programs in San Jose Pinula for many years.
They are some of our most faithful students. They genuinely enjoy participating in the center’s classes and activities while participating in outreaches and service programs.
Every month they visit impoverished families, bringing care packages and teaching Bible classes to children who are in even more desperate situations than they.
It wasn’t an easy task for her. She and her husband lived in a small house, much of which was little more than tin roofing and walls built from scrap. Many of the adult children and grandchildren lived in the house, along with many chickens and cats. They sharecropped a piece of land nearby to grow corn and beans to survive.
The husband struggled with diabetes for many years, gangrene slowly eating away at his feet and toes, yet he tended to their crops faithfully as best he could until he passed away last year.
Shortly before his death, he told his wife that he was incredibly grateful to God for His goodness and faithfulness. That even though the world was in chaos with the pandemic, God was still providing them with food to eat and that she didn’t have to worry. He would always be there to care for them.
This family’s faith journey hasn’t been easy, and the mother especially had been devastated whenever she thought she might lose her husband. Her many struggles meant that trusting in God wasn’t just some fancy idea for when things are easy, but a tough choice in a hard life.
Over the years, we have become close friends with them. We have walked alongside this family, learning what it means to grieve with those who grieve and cry with those who cry.
Yet through every hardship, every trial, and every difficulty, we have constantly reiterated the truth that God loved her. He was her Father who cared for her, her children, and her grandchildren, and that He would provide for them.
Their family had many needs, and we constantly prayed for them and asked others to do the same.
Recently God came through for them in an incredible way showing that He is a faithful provider and Father to the Fatherless and demonstrating that He truly cares for His own.
A good friend from church contacted me and asked to meet at his office. He was someone who had been involved in our ministry on and off over the years.
We sat down, and he told me that God had laid it on his heart to start tithing the income from his business and use it to build houses for the needy.
He said the money for the first house was ready and asked if we could accept the donation and build the house for one of the families we serve.
Cadaniño, our ministry in Guatemala, serves vulnerable children through after-school programs through Bible classes, Academic programs, and family strengthening services. We believe that strong families are vital to the development and wellbeing of children.
In our work with the 130 families and 200 students in our programs, we come across great needs all the time. Broken lives in broken families in broken homes.
We believe that our primary calling is to help those we serve to build a personal relationship with God, discover and develop the gifts and abilities that He has given them, and use them to their greatest potential.
Over the years, we have looked at different ways to positively impact the lives of those we serve, yet with our limited staff and resources, we couldn’t do much besides commit those needs to God in prayer.
Every time Sharie would ask if there was something we could do to help improve the living conditions of those we serve, I had to answer that I didn’t see how it was possible.
Yet my inability to see how it was possible didn’t keep my wife from constantly praying with this family for God to provide them with a good home to live in.
When I told her about this offer, she said it was exactly what she had been praying for, and she knew who God had supplied the house for.
Yet having the funds to build a house and actually seeing the process through, especially in a developing country like Guatemala, are two very different things.
Though I have experience in construction and have done building projects over the years, my job running centers, fundraising, and training our staff keeps me pretty busy.
I have come to realize that it’s better to do a few things and do them well. If we spread ourselves too thin and took on too many good projects, our core ministry to those we serve would suffer.
In researching how to proceed, we contacted several ministries that provide home building services and chose to partner with the Guatemalan branch of Habitat for Humanity.
They helped us with the home visit, evaluating the family, drawing up the blueprints, overseeing the construction, and gave us a road map for how to see the project through.
This week, we presented the home to the family, and it was a truly joyful moment. We got to see God’s provision for this family in supplying them with a place to call home. The fact that in a few short months, we were able to receive the funds, find a competent organization to work with us on the project, get the building license approved, and complete the construction of the home, is nothing short of a miracle.
The impact of having a permanent house to live in is life-changing. It’s more than just the running water, indoor bathrooms, doors, and actual windows. It’s stability and security for the people who live there, knowing that whatever other challenges come their way, they will always have a roof over their heads.
It is a constant reminder of the love that God has for them and how He will always care for His own.