The summer months have been very busy here in Guatemala, with lots of things happening—several teams visiting, our annual Youth Retreat, a quick trip to Nebraska, along with the norms of teaching classes, leading at our local church, leading discipleship groups, and routine family life. However, it’d be an injustice to sum it all up that quickly because there’s been a lot of exciting stuff going on in the BIG picture.
Our annual Youth Retreat attracted more than 60 teenagers this year. It was a fun, wet, and Spirit-filled weekend in which we were able to connect with teenagers which we work with on a weekly basis. Students from all over Guatemala were challenged, encouraged, and inspired to walk as Christ-followers by teachings from our visiting team from Oral Roberts University, as well as from our own New Generation staff and some of our discipleship teens. Six of the retreat participants were baptized and they are now plugged into discipleship groups in the areas in which they are from.
One of the most exciting things from the past few months of ministry has been in the area of discipleship groups. At New Generation, our principle goal is to make disciples that make disciples, that our teens would be a light where they live, study, work, and play. I’m excited to say that our two “oldest” groups are now walking out our end goal. One of the groups is now teen-led and working on a community project, and the other has now formed it’s own teen-led group on Saturday nights. We’ll continue supporting these teens, as well as challenging and equipping other groups to do the same.
It’s been exciting to see God at work over the past few months as He’s been growing and stretching all of us—the teenagers in our groups, our family, our staff members, and the participants on our mission’s teams. We can truly say that God is presenting so many opportunities to be used, if we only are in tune to what He is doing. Honestly, I feel like sometimes we miss more opportunities at times than we walk into; but by His grace He continues to work and ask us to participate WITH what He is doing!
Thanks for joining us on this journey!
Chad, Jami, Olivia & Kingston Bader
Physicians, nurses, and other members on our Servant Team from Traverse City, Michigan, held medical clinics and built water filters in Coyolate with Healthy Communities. So much can happen in just one week. God bless our Servant Teams!
God’s grace abounds! That was the theme this year at New Generation’s Annual Youth Retreat. Not only were the talks and devotionals on this subject fantastic, but God’s grace did abound with His presence and praise echoing throughout Campamento Divina Promesa (Camp Divine Promise). We had more than 50 participants at this year’s camp, from a wide variety of towns in and around the Antigua area. Areas such as Sumpango, Chimaltenango, Ciudad Vieja, Jocotenango, Santa Lucia Milpas Altas and Alotenango were well represented. The purpose of our annual retreat is to provide teens that we’ve interacted with within the schools in which we work, as well as our discipleship groups, an opportunity to grow spiritually while meeting students from other areas, and of course have fun while doing it!
The annual trip is a highlight of the year for both staff and students. The three-day retreat included a praise band, 2 morning devotionals, 5 teaching sessions, a rally (team contest with a variety of challenges), and a campfire. The teaching and devotional time was led primarily by our annual team from Oral Roberts University. At the conclusion of each teaching either Luis Carlos or Chad would augment by sharing as well; adding the salsa to the tacos as we call it. Students learned that God’s grace does abound in trials, temptations, moments of great joy, and moments of great despair. We love and serve a Father who cares for His children in every moment of their lives, even when they are far off. During the retreat we had 8 students make a profession of faith, a handful of believing students return to their Father, 3 baptisms, and everyone walk away spiritually refreshed.
On the last night we had a huge bonfire where students had the opportunity to share in front of others how they were impacted over the weekend long retreat. It was an enormous blessing to hear students open up about past struggles, such as drug addiction, broken homes, battling depression, and have them share how they’ve seen how God has brought them through the other side by His great grace, love, and mercy. The most emotional moment for me was when Levi from Alotenango recounted his testimony how he once was serving faithfully in children’s ministry, only to move into great depression and despair when he lost his younger brother. This loss caused Levi to both use and sell drugs in his town. However, being at the retreat reminded him of God’s presence and promises for His children. Levi in turn repented of his ways, re-dedicated his life to the Lord, and wants to begin faithfully serving again. It is moments such as these that remind us that God is at work, the fields are white to harvest, and we are laborers of a faithful Father and His grace does indeed abound.
And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work. 2 Corinthians 9:8
This past Tuesday with the help of the Mission Impact main office, the different ministry sites working with fuel efficient stoves (Healthy Communities, Vida & Esperanza School, Hechos 2:8 [Acts 2:8], Construyendo Corazones [Building Hearts] and, Appropriate Technology) got together at the A.T. workshop in Santa Maria de Jesus to share their chanllenges, standardize criteria on models of stoves, discuss new objectives for 2016 and spend time with the Lord as they make new plans.
Knowing that each leader, from each ministry site, works very hard and has little time to spare in their day, it was rewarding to see them to come participate in the event.
After all the hard work, they had a small celebration to keep in mind that it is only God who makes this possible and allows our works to bear fruit.
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