Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Tabitha Ministry

I’d like to introduce you to a special person and a wonderful ministry she has in Guatemala City. Carol Bercian is the partnership liaison for the Guatemala Baptist Convention and handles the logistics for volunteer teams coming into the country to work on various projects. As you are aware if you’ve read my previous posts, the Baptist General Convention of Missouri has an ongoing partnership with the Guatemala Baptist Convention and thus we have worked closely with Carol on each of our trips. Alabama Baptists also have a partnership with Guatemala, and being much larger than our convention, they keep Carol busy with trip arrangements for many mission groups that they send.

Carol has also directed the children’s work of the Guatemala Convention and has a wonderful heart for ministry. One of the projects she has assisted with is a daycare center that is located near the city dump in Guatemala City. Around 70 children are receiving an education and two meals a day through this important ministry.

In the process of working with the children there, Carol became aware of the desperate plight of many of these children’s mothers. Most earn a living by scrounging through the refuse at the dump, looking for items they can resell or even scavenging for food among what is discarded there. Many come from a background of drugs, glue sniffing, and prostitution. Carol began a ministry among these women and many have come to Christ as Savior and have received discipleship training from Carol. Though their life situation is still very difficult and tenuous, a real transformation is occurring among many of them. Carol has acquired sewing machines and the ladies are making colorful bags with some of the bright fabrics that Guatemala is noted for producing. This has provided them with a source of income and given them an escape from their former life of prostitution.

I’ve been able to visit the daycare center on a couple of trips to Guatemala City, including going there with a team from our church back in February. As a result of seeing Carol’s ministry there, our children’s minister proposed that this year’s VBS offering go to assist the Tabitha Ministry that Carol has among these women. I’m delighted to share that the boys and girls raised a little more than $700 with their penny offerings to help with this ministry on the edges of the city dump in Guatemala City. As the Lord prompts you to do so, please say a prayer for Carol and her vital work with these ladies and their children.

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