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Among the least of these

City Dumps – its where everything that is worthless, dirty, empty, and useless goes.   You usually think of trash trucks and piles of garbage.  But in Latin America, as well as many other countries you’ll see people who make their living going through what’s been thrown out and left behind.  People of all ages, including children, searching through scraps of garbage for something good to sell or eat.  In the La Guajira region of Colombia, these city dumps are often filled with Wayuu people who see the city dump as a source of work and food.  On average, they make 8,500 pesos a day ($2.70 USD) and the minimum wage in Colombia is 24,000 pesos a day ($8 USD).  We have been praying for years for God to open up the doors for us to work with the Wayuu in the city dumps of La Guajira.  Many of the Wayuu people that live near/in city dumps are unreached.  This year, God has answered our prayers and multiplied them.  He has opened up the door for us to minister to not one, but two city dumps.

Elder Epinayu, our Colombian representative for Bread of Hope, was at the city dump of Maicao looking for some parts for a small engine he was putting together.  While at the dump, God led him to several families that he met and talked with.  He shared the gospel of Jesus Christ with them and was surprised by their interest and desire to hear about God’s message.  They invited him to come back soon to learn more about his faith.

A couple of weeks ago a team from Bread of Hope visited the landfill of Maicao, Colombia. They were overwhelmed by the great physical need that they saw.  Living literally among the trash were 12 Wayuu families. They live off daily whatever they can find in the dump.

Their physical need was great, but their desire to learn and know more about God’s love for them was greater.

We brought some food and candy for the kids. We sat down with their families and spent time getting to know them and at the very end, we prayed over them.

When we asked these families for prayer requests, someone shouted: “Pray that the trash truck comes everyday, so we can work”.

It is heartbreaking to know that the source of hope for them is a trash truck that comes only a few times at week.  Elder is visiting this community every week, using different tools to share the Gospel such as the Proclaimer and the Jesus film in Wayuu. Please pray for Elder and these families at the Maicao city dump.  Pray that they would be overwhelmed by God’s great never-ending love for them.

Why is training indigenous pastors essential for our ministry?

Training pastors and christian leaders is part of obeying the Great Commission.  As part of the supreme mandate to “make disciples” Jesus commands us to “teach them to observe all that I commanded you.” As we train Wayuu pastors and church leaders, they will be better equipped to make more disciples, teaching them what Christ has commanded. The Apostle Paul describes this model of ministry and disciple multiplication in 2 Timothy 2:2.

“what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.”

We don’t only make disciples; we make disciple-makers.

Wayuu pastors and church leaders can reach their communities better than we can.   As a ministry working overseas, we understand that the best way to spread the gospel is through local believers and christian leaders.They can overcome the cultural barriers better than we can, they know and understand their culture and communities, they speak the language and have influence among their people. What many of these christian leaders are missing is foundational biblical and practical training for their ministry. In our experience, Wayuu pastors are aware of their need for biblical training. The number one request we get from pastors in Colombia, after prayer, is for biblical and theological training.

Did you know, 85% of world’s pastors have little or no biblical training.

Well-equipped pastors is crucial to achieving our goal of reaching the Wayuu people.  It has been said that global missions is a very simple endeavor: All that is needed is a man, called of God, sent to the place where God has called him, with the right tools in his hands. In La Guajira, Colombia faithful christian leaders and pastors are willing to take the Gospel to their people, but frequently they are greatly hindered by their lack of even the most basic resources. At Bread of Hope, we believe that an essential part of our ministry is to provide these indigenous pastors with those resources that will empower them to make and multiply disciples in their communities, plant new churches and impact La Guajira region with the Gospel of Jesus Christ for His glory.

Amazon Smile Program

Do you shop on Amazon? Now you can support Bread of Hope every time you shop at Amazon.com. Simply start your shopping experience at: smile.amazon.com and select “Bread of Hope” as your preferred charity, and we will receive 0.5% of every purchase.

What is AmazonSmile and how does it work?
AmazonSmile is a new charitable program that lets customers donate to the non-profit of their choice every time they purchase something on Amazon.

It costs you (or Bread of Hope) nothing, and it’s just like shopping on Amazon normally, but you get to support our ministry.

Church planters training

 

 

Our ministry among the Wayuu people is rapidly expanding.  New communities are being reached in remote areas.  Over twenty new communities have been reached this year

We need to travel to these communities to assess their needs and provide tools and training so more people can be reached.

REDESKA, an association of Wayuu Baptist churches in Colombia, has asked Bread of Hope to help train 9 Wayuu church planters.  Honored by their request, we are planning a year-long in-depth training with these church planters.  We know that the best way to reach unreached Wayuu communities is by training and empowering these local leaders.

This December, Bread of Hope is sending a team for a month to Colombia to assess over 60 churches and provide the first level of training for these church planters. We are planning to teach a year-long curriculum.

Please keep these church planters and our Bread of Hope team in your prayers.

Lorenzo’s Testimony

Lorenzo is a passionate Wayuu follower of Christ who delights in sharing how God transformed his life.
A few years ago Lorenzo was desperately lost and depressed.  He turned to his alcohol addiction to numb his feelings of loneliness and insecurity.  Lorenzo said, “I used to believe there was no God, I was a bitter and lonely person.”  One day, Lorenzo got sick with a rare disease that doctors could not figure out.  After weeks of different treatments, the doctors finally gave up and sent him home to die. Lorenzo trying to find an alternative solution, went to several Wayuu witch doctors to find a cure, but all his attempts were unsuccessful.

Right when Lorenzo had lost all his hope in finding a solution himself, one of his closest friends shared the gospel of Jesus Christ with him.  Lorenzo heard about what Christ did on the cross, reflected on his sin, his need for a savior, and that day Lorenzo surrendered himself to Christ.  He started going to church with his friend and their community of believers prayed over him.  And by the grace of God and the power of prayer Lorenzo was saved and healed from his deadly disease. Amazed by God’s power and faithfulness, Lorenzo was eager to learn more about Him.  Our dear friend, Pastor Antonio Riveira, started a listening group at Lorenzo’s home. Lorenzo was amazed to hear God’s Word through the Proclaimer in his own language.  He wanted to listen to His word all the time and share the good news with everyone around him.  So, Lorenzo used his old push-button mobile phone to record the word of God, straight from the proclaimer.  Then, he would go to all of his friends, family, and other Wayuu communities telling them: “You have to listen to this, there is power and salvation in these words.”

Mission trip Summer 2017

On June 24th, a group of 23 people traveled from the US to La Guajira, Colombia for a week-long mission trip with Bread of Hope.  We would like to thank all of you who prayed and supported us on this trip.  Your prayers were definitely heard, and we were able to feel and see God’s presence in a way that we haven’t seen before.  God is truly building up His Kingdom among the Wayuu people. Check out a quick review of our trip below:

During the week of June 24th – July 1st:
We attended a Wayuu church service.
Witnessed four new baptisms.
Loved on Wayuu children.
Helped mix and pour concrete for a church floor.
Helped build a new church building.
Provided eyeglasses for over 150 Wayuu people.
Provided 25 water filtration systems.
Provided over 50 new haircuts.
Served over 200 hot meals.
Empowered over 20 churches with Proclaimers.

Testimonies from our mission team members:
“My time with Bread of Hope has been different than other mission experiences that I’ve had, by them really coming in and working with the community instead of coming in and taking over all the work.”
“One of the ways that I know God is at work while we’re down here is just how we’ve been united in purpose despite our language barrier we’ve been able to communicate without words and we’ve been able to communicate with our actions and it’s just evidence that God’s spirit is at work and blessing the work here with the Wayuu people.”

for more pictures click here: Mission trip PICTURES


For more information about our next mission trip click here:  Take a Trip

Or contact us at info@breadofhope.com

Hope in the Market

On the south side of Maracaibo is an open-air market, called MercaSur, where people come to buy fresh fruits, vegetables, and bulk products. A lot of restaurants and markets in the city come here to buy their produce. The families that live around the market are often low-income and struggle daily to feed their children.  Due to high inflation and scarce food supplies, many families can no longer afford multiple meals a day.  Leading them to search through scraps of fruits and vegetables for meals.

While the economic situation in Venezuela continues to deteriorate, local churches are stepping out and pouring their hearts and lives into their communities.  They have become a beacon of hope where all hope has been lost.

Our Bread of Hope local team started a literacy program and weekly bible study with the children who live near the market. They quickly realized that while many of the children loved the Bible study they were unable to attend regularly. Our staff began to see that the majority of these children are working around the market – cleaning, pushing carts, selling candy, or begging for money. They have to work to help bring food home.  Work is now their main priority.

Our local Bread of Hope representative, Alfredo, shared an idea to encourage attendance by using groceries instead of small prizes as incentives for those who came to participate in the Bible study. Attendance, participation, and scripture memorization helps each student earn points towards which they can accumulate to buy groceries for their families. Relieving them of the pressure to put work ahead of their Bible study, education, and childhood.

Now children are starting to come every week to study God’s Word, have a hot meal, and earn another opportunity to provide for their families. Currently, there are over 60 children in the program, but more are being added each week. Their parents are also now coming to the Bible study. They are curious to see what their child is learning and how they are bringing food home. Thanks to our local team and our BOH donors, we are able to exchange the hopelessness that these families face with personal value in Jesus Christ.

— The Lord says, “All you who are thirsty, come and drink.  Those of you who do not have money, come, buy and eat!  Come buy wine and milk without money and without cost.  Why spend your money on something that is not real food?  Why work for something that doesn’t really satisfy you?  Listen closely to me, and you will eat what is good; your soul will enjoy the rich food that satisfies.” — Isaiah 55:1-2

 

 

 

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The UNfinished task

“Take heed to the ministry which you have received in the Lord, that you may continually fulfill it.”
Colossians 4:17

We humans are great starters but often bad finishers. We leave unfinished symphonies, unfinished buildings, unfinished books, unfinished projects. We may not always finish what we start, but God always finishes what He startsGod doesn’t create a bird and give him half a wing. He didn’t create an unfinished flower or an unfinished star. He puts the finishing touches on everything He does and then He says, “It is good.”

God is perfect. His Kingdom is perfect, but before we enjoy eternity with Him, He gave us a task to finish. Matthew 24:14 tells us that before the end comes, the gospel has to be preached in ALL the world.

However, 2,000 years after Jesus’ death and resurrection the Christian movement, especially in the global north, has lost its sense of urgency. Affluent, comfortable, and distracted, Christians today seem to have lost the fire to change the world. The work of God’s kingdom lies unfinished, and God’s people seem to have lost their very sense of purpose in the world.

There is a direct connection between the unfinished work of God’s kingdom and our sense of feeling incomplete in our Christian faith, because there is a connection between our story and God’s story. If we are not personally engaged in God’s great mission in the world, then we have missed the very thing he created us to do. We are like birds meant to fly but living in a cage; fish meant to swim but floundering on the beach.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. God created each of us uniquely, and he created us for a purpose.

It is time to rediscover God’s vision for our world and his call upon your life. Where do we fit into this big story of God, how can we discover the role God created us to play, and what are the implications of this for our lives, our world views, our careers, and our families? We need to revisit the breathtaking truth, the urgent mission, and the profound personal significance of our Christian faith as we seek to follow the One who died that we might have life and have it to the full.

 

taken from:

http://archive.worldvisionmagazine.org/story/unfinished-business
http://ministrytodaymag.com/leadership/vision/19930-god-is-not-finished-with-us

Serving Wayuu children with special needs

Suwarala Wounmain

What do you do when God calls you to action?  You answer His call.  Last year, we were contacted by a local elementary school in Venezuela asking for help. This elementary school in Maracaibo, Venezuela has a special needs program for Wayuu children called, Suwarala Wounmain, “light of the land” in Wayuu. It is designed to help educate and support Wayuu children with autism, down syndrome, dyspraxia, speech disorders, and more.  With the socio-economic crisis going on in Venezuela right now, many of these children are skipping school.  They simply don’t have the money for meals, transportation, or their medicine.

Bread of Hope has recently started to help three local Venezuelan churches in their efforts to support Suwarala Wounmain. The main goal of this program is to help these children develop mentally, emotionally, and socially so that they can successfully integrate into society and not be limited by their disorder.
Bread of Hope will be empowering the local church to impact the lives of these children, their families, and their teachers with the gospel of Jesus Christ.
The principal of the school has given us the opportunity to spend an entire day each week with the children of the special needs program. There are 23 special needs students.  During this time, we will be sharing Bible lessons, meals, and special learning activities with both the children and their parents.  The principal has also confirmed that she would like our participation in their program to expand to the rest of their elementary school in the future.  Please support us by praying for everyone involved in this program (the local church members, the students their parents, and the school staff).

GET INVOLVED 
By donating:

$50 / month – You can support a special needs child with their education and help provide their families with groceries, medicine, and transportation to school.

After starting your donation, you will receive a thank you packet with a picture of the child you are supporting and a letter that you can write to them.

Click here to get started

Local Church Leadership Training

Have you heard about storytelling yet?  It’s a powerful way of sharing God’s word through stories, pictures, improvisation, and plays.  When you work with an oral-based culture, it is such an effective way to communicate the gospel.  From March 11th-13th we had the privilege of traveling to La Guajira, Colombia to host a leadership training for local Wayuu churches.  For this training session, we partnered with Hope and Help International’s, David and BJ Lawson.  They helped us lead an incredible time of growth and fellowship as local leaders learned about God’s Word through storytelling.

David started at the very beginning, in Genesis, telling the story of creation through pictures and drawings.  Each picture showed what was created on each of the seven days.  At the end of his lesson, he asked those in attendance to re-tell him the story of creation ensuring that they understood what was taught.  After creation, we taught about the fall of man through a play that involved our staff and the audience.  They re-created those famous scenes in the garden of Eden.  The Wayuu leaders were on the edge of their seats fascinated to hear and see about these stories in person.  At the end, we explained how Jesus Christ was God’s plan of salvation to the separation that sin had created.  That God has reconciled us through Christ.  And when we believe in Him and are in Him, our old sinful lives pass away and we are made new (2 Corinthians 5:17).

During our training, we also had the privilege of teaching local children about creation and the fall of man through storytelling and crafts. We had a wonderful time sharing God’s Word with His children.  Check out our Facebook page for all of the exciting pictures from these trainings.

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