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A Wayuu teacher making a difference

Amira Gonzalez is a volunteer teacher at one of our literacy groups in Maracaibo, Venezuela.  She is in charge of teaching and preparing meals for the literacy group that meets Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.  Her class has 12 students ranging from 13 to 15 years old.  Amira says that her goal is to instruct her students to not forget God’s Word.  She knows that this is the age that many students fall away from the church and get distracted by the things in the world.

Amira is constantly surprised at how the children have changed since attending the literacy group. The children, themselves, have openly shared or “testified” how they are now treating their parents differently and behaving more at home.  This has made many parents curious and willing to attend not only the literacy group, but church services as well.
Amira shares a special bond with her students.  Since she is Wayuu herself, Amira has been able to overcome a lot of language and cultural barriers to reach her students. They are encouraged and challenged in their learning and pay more attention since Amira is able to teach and share with them in Wayuu.
Amira wants to thank from the bottom of her heart all of her brothers and sisters in Christ who have donated or helped Bread of Hope in the United States.  “We thank God for your big hearts, your lives, your offerings, and your prayers” – Amira Gonzalez.

Click here to donate to this project

Sharing a Hope and Future in Christ

(Stories from the Field: Maracaibo, Venezuela)

In spite of the hardships and challenges that Venezuela is currently going through, God is still moving and God is still faithful.  The world around us may be dying, but HE NEVER CHANGES!  This month we wanted to share with you a story about how one person’s faithfulness can impact the lives of many.  This is the story of Maria.

Maria Luisa Chacon, is a Christian school teacher who has her doctorate in Education.  Maria works with one of our local church groups in Venezuela, coordinating a literacy program with children who live and work around the biggest outdoor market in Maracaibo.

It has been a blessing to have someone with her experience.  Maria has graciously donated her time training and equipping the teachers involved with this literacy program.   They started this February by assessing each student individually, to see what they needed to learn.  This isn’t lecture style learning.  Maria is passionate and dedicated to seeing that each child actually learns how to read and write.

They meet on Wednesdays and have about 70 students who come each week.  Maria’s education and years of experience have shown her that education is a science.  The best way to teach literacy is to first understand how a child learns.  Maria applies a method that relies on activating the neocortex of the brain that awakens a person’s memory and makes learning more accessible. They have created their own program using pictures and symbols to help students learn letters and sounds, the first steps of reading.

One afternoon, a child’s mother, was paying particularly close attention to her son’s notebook.  She picked up a pencil and began to write her name, amazed she told Maria that it was the first time in her life that she had ever written her name.  She didn’t understand letters.

As a goal these teachers hope to teach all 70 of these students how to read and write by June.  But this is not just for their current future, but their eternal one as well.  All of our literacy groups end by teaching each student how to read God’s Word.  They recently received a copy of the New Testament.  These teachers hope that these students will believe that Jesus Christ is their Lord and Savior and multiply the work He started in them to those around them.

Would you like to help?  Maria is asking for colorful books or notebooks that can be used to teach letters and sounds.

Sembradores – Wayuu Church Planter Training

From December 18th – 22nd, Bread of Hope hosted a church planters’ training for 9 Wayuu leaders.  This training was the just the beginning of a year-long program with these Wayuu church planters.

Our first training session centered around God’s Word.  The church planters’ intensively learned how each story in the Bible (beginning in Genesis) is connected through Jesus Christ.  Each story is a shadow of the Messiah, the redeemer, the chosen lamb…the Savior to come.

There was so much passion and excitement amongst the students.  Several times they all pleaded to skip lunch, so that they could continue learning.  They were eager to hear and learn more about the Bible.

This training meant a lot to these students and we were able to witness this during our closing gathering where we shared the Lord’s supper.  Many of them shared in tears how they were finally able to see God’s Word as one big picture.  Before training, many of them avoided teaching the Old Testament thinking that it had absolutely nothing to do with Jesus.  They thought that the Bible was made up of a bunch of little stories, but never imagined that each story was part of a greater message.  Many shared through their tears that for once everything finally made sense.

We are excited and looking forward to our future trainings with these church planters.  We know that God has great plans for them and His ministry with the Wayuu people.  Please continue to keep praying for these nine men throughout the year.

Christmas on the Frontlines

 

This Christmas Eve, Bread of Hope brought the love, joy, and hope of Christ’s birth to Wayuu families living and working in the landfill of Maicao, Colombia.  This small community of Wayuu families is unique in Colombia.  Usually, Wayuu families in Colombia live in rancherias with their family on land that has been owned for generations.  However, the Wayuu families living and working near the landfill are outcasts.  They don’t have rancherias to go to, many of them are Venezuelan and have recently immigrated to Colombia in order to escape their economic hardships.  They work hard every morning, noon, and night.  Heading to the landfill throughout the day as the trucks come to grab scrap metal, plastic bottles, and anything else they can resell for income or use as food.

Thanks to God, our donors, and prayer partners we were able to share the good news of Jesus Christ with this community of over 30 families.  We held a small Christmas Eve carnival where we painted faces, made balloons, painted nails, played soccer, colored, and shared the story of Jesus’ birth.  At the end of our day, we gave out Christmas presents to each girl and boy.  The smiles and excitement on their faces were indescribably beautiful.  Our whole purpose for spending Christmas Eve in this community was to help Stefania, their community leader, strengthen her ties with the entire community.  She will begin a Proclaimer listening group in January.  Many of the families we talked to expressed interest in learning more about God’s word.  They are looking for hope in something greater.  Please pray that they will find this hope in Jesus Christ alone.

There is power in God’s Word and it absolutely transforms the darkest and loneliest of hearts.  If you would like to help bring the hope of Jesus Christ to those who are outcast and overlooked, please visit: http://www.breadofhope.com/donate and donate today.  You can make your own personal donation to support our Proclaimer listening groups by purchasing a Proclaimer for $160.

Check out our Facebook page for all of the pictures from our visit.

 

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

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