Ministries in Antigua

November 2, 2009 at 6:24 pm 2 comments

Pastor Mike of Iglesia del CaminoDuring my time in Guatemala, I’ve been attending a bilingual church: Iglesia del Camino (Church of the Way). They have a good worship team and the pastor is a good leader. They have Bible studies in both languages to men, women, as well as a large-group study on Wednesday nights (a total of about 64 people–8 at each table). They also have Celebracion de Recuperacion (Celebrate Recovery) which is an outreach to people who are trying to recover from addictions such as alcohol, drugs, sex, gambling, etc. Right now the church is in transition. This month they will be moving to a bigger building that currently houses a restaurant, a school, and a church. Iglesia del Camino and its cafe will move into the church and restaurant space.

Children reading the new Bible story booksA couple of Fridays ago, two friends from church (Iris and her mother Cris) and I went to Guatemala City to buy some Bible story books for a children’s program that I’m working with here. It amazes me that children’s materials are very hard to find. I discovered on the first day at the program that they didn’t have one Bible story book or visuals of any kind. I am glad that we were able to find illustrated Bible story books at the Guatemalan Bible Society in Guatemala City. (To show that I’m not really “roughing it”, after the bookstore, we went to they Holiday Inn where Iris’s husband works for a high tech company. While there, we had a bite to eat in the restaurant. I had filet mignon with all the works for a whole lot less than I could in California. It was delicious.)

Deaf ministryIglesia del Camino also has a deaf ministry, led by Gustavo Arrellano and his assistant Shirma Alvarado Lopez. Gustavo is a deaf pastor who lives in Guatemala City. Every Wednesday, he and Shirma (who is also deaf) come to Iglesia del Camino in an outreach to the deaf people in Antigua. The day I visited the ministry there were two adults and several children in the class. The students are learning the very basics of language and are still working on the Guatemalan Sign Language alphabet (which is very different than the American Sign Language alphabet). A lot of work still needs to be done there. Gustavo asked me to see if I could find a deaf pastor in the States who might be able to come down to do some training with him and Shirma. They really want to learn how to best reach out to deaf people. Fortunately, communication should not be a problem because both Gustavo and his assistant are bilingual because they learned American Sign Language when they attended a deaf Bible school in the United States.

Judy and two of the girlsJohn and Judy Prim also have an outreach called Hope Center. It is for girls who are transitioning out of orphanages. They all have problems and would otherwise be living on the streets or in an abusive relationship with older men. It is Judy’s desire that the young women grow into mature Christians who are able to live in their own apartments, work, and influence others in positive ways. Girls soon to be welcomed at Hope CenterEach of the young women works part-time in Iglesia del Camino’s cafe so they can give back to the church and learn job skills. The ministry is one of faith. John and Judy just got back from a support-raising visit to the United States but did not get as many monthly commitments as they had expected. Even though they don’t have the money, they will be welcoming five more women into their home, trusting that God will meet their needs.


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Colorful people Beauty all around

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Maria Virula  |  December 22, 2009 at 3:34 am

    Hola Shrima,

    Yo no sé cómo escribir en español. Mi amigo traducio esto para mi. La mayoria de mi vida yo e sabido escribir ingles pero no ablar ingles.

    Yo estoy muy contenta que to estas enseñandoles a los ninos Guatemales el lenguaje de sordo. El lenguaje de sordo de es un lenguaje muy impotante. El lenguaje puro quiero decir porque no me gusta el lenguaje de sordo americano rebuelto con lenguaje diferente. Esco crea Un lenguaje Falso.

    Yo recuerdo que to sueña y ahora estas enseñandoles a los niños sordos. Yo estoy contenta que to nunca te venciste.

    Tu estas muy bienvenida para benir a Arizona y visitar. Yo ahora vivo en Arozona Por Favor nos mantenangmos en contact siempre.

    Maria Virula

    • 2. Diana Snodgrass  |  December 22, 2009 at 9:28 pm

      Hello Maria.

      I don’t believe Shirma will visit this website, but I will forward your message to her. Because you invited her to visit you, I will include your email address. I am sure she will be happy to get your message.

      Thank you.



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