Missionary Tim in Guatemala
Ours is a story of a missionary family coming on a short to trip to Guatemala to serve for three months, and ended up spending a lifetime here.
The story of how we came to be a missionary family serving in Guatemala is unique, to say the least. In 2002 we went on a short-term trip, we had two daughters at the time, aged 3 years and 5 months. We had planned to stay for 3 months, but after spending some time here, we felt called to full-time service and made the decision to stay.
We had little money, spoke almost no Spanish and had no support, but we stuck it out, and 15 years and four more kids later, we are still here.
For the first several years we worked with youth groups doing street evangelism, assisting with outreaches, doing food distribution and distributing humanitarian aid and working with a small orphanage in zone-7 of Guatemala City. What started out as teaching English and Bible classes to 12 girls grew into vocational training and discipleship programs for more kids as we followed them from orphanage to orphanage ending up at a large children’s home in San Jose Pinula in 2008.
As we expanded our ministry to serve more children in the orphanage we began to realize that most of the children were not orphans but had families. They had been placed there for their protection, because of abuse, negligence, and maltreatment. This led us to evaluate everything about our ministry and led us to start working in the communities where these children come from, with the belief that if these children and their families were better served in their own neighborhoods, then we would see more of them at home with their families and fewer children placed in institutions.
This led to the opening of the Cadaniño (every child) community centers, first in Colonia Santa Fe and then in San Jose Pinula. Over 150 children come three times a week for three times a day and receive an hour of Bible classes, an hour of computer classes and an hour of help educational reinforcement.
What started out as a simple missionary couple saying yes, when God called them to a life of service has grown into a ministry that is far bigger than them and which is having a profound impact in the lives of vulnerable children and families in Guatemala.