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Worship with the Wayuu

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Worship is an active, spontaneous response to the revelation of God and His character.  God is still very much alive today!  Our response to the glimpses of His power and might we experience is called worship.
During my time here in La Guajira, I have carefully observed how the Wayuu worship God, their intimacy with Him, and the depths of their spirituality.
One of the things that has surprised me the most is how genuine they are in their worship of God, especially during their times of praise at services.  It’s clear that they enjoy singing and rejoicing in the Lord as a community of brothers and sisters in Christ.  They don’t worry about keeping tune, clapping on beat, or looking foolish by raising their hands.  When they worship there are true, heartfelt smiles on their faces. When they worship there is surrender as hands are raised, hearts are humbled, and those who are still learning give their all to keep up. One can truly see the presence of the Holy Spirit in this place.

It’s common for Wayuu churches to have prayer vigils since it is much cooler at night than during the day.  People travel from communities far away and dedicate several hours to worship, to listen to testimonies, to share Gods word, and to encourage each other putting aside their many troubles and worries.  They spend several hours in corporate worship with God.

When I see this image of pure, Christ-centered worship, it’s hard for me to not think about how we worship corporately and personally.  Today, a lot of our worship is less about Christ and more about us and our needs and demands.  Nowadays, we rely on our technology and expertise to make a spectacular performance for our enjoyment and attention.  It becomes perfectly normal to believe that worship is something that is enjoyed best in an environment that is perfectly rehearsed, coordinated, and controlled through every moment and every song.  But personally, I believe that worship doesn’t look like that.  I believe worship has to be led first by the Holy Spirit.  Not for what we can orchestrate and perfect.  There has to be room for the Holy Spirit to lead us.  We don’t need the production or the show.  Christ is enough, He alone deserves all the glory and praise.  I’m truly grateful that I have been able to experience worship among my Wayuu brothers and sisters.

May God continue to use my time with the Wayuu to bring us closer to Him.
Hebert Rincon

Local Pastors, the heart of our ministry

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Local pastors are the heart of our ministry in Bread of Hope.  They are the ones working each and every day in their communities reaching the Wayuu people for Christ.  When our mission teams leave, they are the ones responsible for overseeing the discipleship process in new Wayuu believers.  One of our most inspiring local pastors in Colombia is Jesualdo Gouriyu.  Jesualdo is a passionate Wayuu servant of God who loves to see his own people come into God’s Kingdom.  He is married to his wife Delia and together they have 4 beautiful children.

Jesualdo became a disciple of Christ in 2005.  He was at the lowest point of his life struggling with drug and alcohol addiction.  One night he received a vision from God and immediately ran to a pastor and asked for prayer, a week later he surrendered himself to Christ.  Now, Jesualdo is currently the pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Manaure, Colombia.  He has been the pastor there for 2 ½ years.  A few months ago our local staff gave him a Proclaimer during one of their mission trips.  Pastor Jesualdo really cherished this gift and was using this same Proclaimer in 8 different Wayuu communities.  He would carefully plan out his week to visit 1 or 2 different communities each day.  These communities are very far apart and pastor Jesualdo would often travel by foot up to 4-7 miles to visit them in a very arid environment with temperatures easily reaching over 100°F.  In these communities, people normally stay inside their homes during the day because of the extreme temperatures and the severe drought in their region.  This hasn’t stopped pastor Jesualdo.  He doesn’t make excuses.  He will give everything to see His people come to Christ.  This past March we were able to visit with Pastor Jesualdo and bring Proclaimers for each one of the communities his church is currently working with.  These gifts were gold to him and his church.  Pastor Jesualdo continues visiting each one of the groups and they are growing and multiplying.  Two more groups have been added since we visited him in March.  God is doing remarkable and powerful things through the faith of Jesualdo.

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Serving our Wayuu brothers and sisters

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On April 2nd, our local staff and 8 volunteers in Maracaibo, Venezuela traveled to Amatunao, Colombia to spend their Easter weekend sharing God’s love with the Wayuu. Amatunao is a small Wayuu community about 8 hours away from Maracaibo by car. The Wayuu there live in the middle of a deserted, dry landscape in a region with many physical, spiritual, and emotional needs. Our team traveled there with the intention to share and model God’s message of hope and salvation for them by having an eye clinic, giving haircuts, playing in a street carnival, and giving Bible training. The eye clinic and haircuts meant so much to the Wayuu in Amatunao. Many of them go without haircuts and corrective lenses because they could never afford them. By entering their communities and providing for a simple, physical need we are able to model Christ’s love and break down some of those cultural barriers that keep them from hearing His Word.

Our network of local churches to reach the Wayuu in Colombia continues to grow and expand as our ministry opportunities have multiplied. During this trip, we were able to connect with 16 pastors from different communities throughout the Wayuu region in Colombia. Please pray that through these connections with new churches, new listening groups will form. Our goal is to have our listening groups in Colombia multiply from 8 to 40 by the end of this year. Reaching approximately 3,000 Wayuu brothers and sisters so that they will hear God’s Word, believe, and forever be transformed by Jesus Christ.

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Venezuela and Colombia Mission Trip Summary

 

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On February 28th, we had the opportunity to travel to Colombia for the first time with our local Venezuelan staff.  It was such a privilege to meet those whom we have heard and prayed over for so long.  We were amazed by the warm welcome we received from the Wayuu in Colombia.  After traveling by car for several hours, we finally arrived at our destination to find our Wayuu family singing and praising God.  Their welcome was a glimpse of heaven as each and every one present came by to greet us with a warm embrace.

Their heart and desire to serve God is truly inspiring.  Pastor Jesualdo Gouriyu is our main contact in Colombia.  A few months ago our local staff gave him a Proclaimer during one of their mission trips.  Pastor Jesualdo was using this same Proclaimer in 8 different communities.  While this may not seem like a big deal these communities are very far apart.  Pastor Jesualdo would travel each day to a different community and some days he would have to travel to more than one.  He often traveled by foot.  Thanks to your donations and support we were able to bring a Proclaimer for each one of the communities as well as a bicycle for Pastor Jesualdo.  During our trip, we visited these eight communities to deliver a Proclaimer to their leader.  We’ll never forget the look on their faces when we handed them their own Proclaimer.  It was as if we had given them a case of pure gold.  God’s word is such a treasure to them and the Proclaimer effectively communicates the gospel in a way that overcomes their educational and cultural barriers.  Many of the Wayuu in this region cannot read, so the only way they can know God’s word is by hearing.

Thanks to all of your generous support we were able to buy all of the Proclaimers we needed to meet our goal this year for listening groups. 

While in Colombia we saw many additional opportunities for ministry.  The region we were in has a great physical need for water.  It hasn’t rained in this area for two years.  Furthermore, their access to potable water is very limited.  People travel miles to purchase their daily ration of water and that’s if they’re able to afford it.  We are currently working on a project to help supply potable water to families in this region.  Please pray for wisdom and direction as we move forward in faith.

 

Pray also for our team as we start to prepare future mission trips to Colombia.  Above all, please keep Pastor Jesualdo and his team in your prayers as they use the Proclaimers to multiply God’s kingdom among the Wayuu.

Important Announcement from Bread of Hope

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A few weeks ago we received word that the Venezuelan government had passed new measures demanding tourist visas for all US visitors. Unfortunately, the requirements for the visa are very extensive for American citizens. In addition to the normal requirements they will have to provide: a proof of residency, a proof of home ownership (or lease), proof of any additional properties they have in the US, copies of their most recent bank statements, and a letter from their current employer. Each applicant is required to apply in person at a Venezuelan consulate three months before the time of their intended travel. The embassy and consulates are only open M-F and the closest ones are in Washington, DC and New Orleans.

Because of these requirements and the short amount of time we have to comply with them, we have decided to cancel our mission trips for this year. All payments that have already been made for the trip will be reimbursed. However, we are still planning to have the mission trip on a local level with our Venezuelan staff.

While we are saddened that we won’t be able to serve alongside our brothers and sisters in Venezuela this year, we know that God is working all things for His glory. We are already making plans for a mission trip to Colombia in 2016.
Please know that even though we may not be hosting teams this year, it doesn’t mean that our ministry’s work has stopped. We are working every day in both Venezuela and Colombia spreading God’s Kingdom among the Wayuu. We have an amazing local staff and group of volunteers who pour out their hearts in service. One of our literacy teachers shared this beautiful truth during our most recent trip, “Once you decide to obey God there are no obstacles, only opportunities.”
We believe that these circumstances will only be opportunities for our ministry. Opportunities for our local staff and volunteers to continue to grow and take ownership of the work in Venezuela and Colombia. While the mission trip may be cancelled for us, it is still on for our local staff and group of volunteers. They will be working two weeks this summer in our place to reach the Wayuu communities through construction projects, carnivals, feedings, eye clinics, and evangelism. This is a huge step forward for us. Our desire has always been to create a disciple-making network among the churches and the Wayuu in Venezuela that overflows into Colombia. This is a great opportunity for our local churches to multiply themselves. Now more than ever, the Wayuu in Colombia and Venezuela need our prayers and financial support.

Prayer Requests

Our local staff and team of volunteers as they prepare for their work this summer: Pray for provision for construction projects, feedings, eye clinics, and carnivals. Pray for the disciples that will rise up as a result of their work in these communities.
Our ministry in Colombia: Pray for the pastors and their congregations as they continue to grow closer to Christ. Pray for provision of biblical training and resources that they need in order to reach the Wayuu effectively. Pray for guidance and leadership for the 2016 mission trip to Colombia.

Radical Giving

The humility and faith of an amazing 14-year-old girl. 

IMG_9134Our hearts have been touched this past month by a generous donation from a young teenager named Sydney.  It’s not every day that you hear stories about teenagers making a difference and we wanted to share this one.  Sydney came to know about Bread of Hope through her father.  He is a good friend of the Kreikemeiers’ and has been active in the ministry since the very beginning.  Over the years she’s heard many stories about the Wayuu people and their daily struggle living in severe poverty.

So when her birthday was approaching a couple of weeks ago, Sydney thought about what she wanted and realized that she had everything she could possibly need.  She remembered those stories about the Wayuu and decided to encourage her family and friends to make her gifts in the form of donations to Bread of Hope.  How many 14-year-olds do you know that would donate their birthday gifts to charity?  Sydney’s example of sacrifice and commitment is very humbling to us.  How can someone so young understand that it is more blessed to give than to receive?

Through this act of obedience Bread of Hope was able to raise over $700 which will be used to buy Proclaimers for the Wayuu people in Venezuela and Colombia.  Thanks to Sydney hundreds of Wayuu will have the opportunity to hear God’s Word and enter His Kingdom.

Reaching the Wayuu

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Good news! Faith Comes by Hearing has agreed to match Bread of Hope Proclaimer for Proclaimer. Every proclaimer Bread of Hope purchases FCBH will match it.

Your $150.00 donation for 1 proclaimer, will now provide 2 devices that will reach 100 people with the word of God.
For more information about the proclaimer
click here: The Proclaimer

 

The official language of the Wayuu people in Venezuela and Colombia is Wayuunaiki.  Traditionally, the church has tried to reach the Wayuu by sharing the gospel with them in Spanish which has caused confusion and misinterpretation of God’s Word.  It’s always better to share the gospel in a nation’s heart language.  Transformation occurs when there is true understanding of the message.
Our desire at Bread of Hope is to equip and empower native churches with resources to reach their Wayuu communities. We want them to be able to do this effectively making sure that they are adapted to their language and culture.  The Proclaimer is our best outreach tool.

Hearing God’s Word in their own language is such a powerful experience for the Wayuu.  Last October, our local staff in Venezuela went on a mission trip to the Wayuu regions in Colombia.  They were amazed to see the effectiveness of the Proclaimer among the Wayuu they had just met.  For many of them, it was their first time to hear God’s Word spoken in their own language.  They were mesmerized and walked miles to sit and hear the Word spoken through the Proclaimer.

Currently, we have 11 listening groups reaching 600 people.  One of our goals this year is to reach 5,000 people through our Proclaimer groups.  God is doing amazing things for the Wayuu and thanks to Him and your support we will be able to meet and exceed our goals for 2015.

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Please help us multiply God’s Kingdom among the Wayuu by making a donation to Bread of Hope. 

To make a donation please visit our website below.  All donations are tax-deductible.

2015 Summer Mission Trips

 

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2015 SUMMER MISSION TRIPS

Exchanging hopelessness for personal value in Jesus Christ

Are you or your family looking to grow deeper in your relationship with God?  If so, we would love for you to join us on a mission trip with Bread of Hope next summer.

For the past 5 years, we’ve had families and individuals come to Maracaibo, Venezuela to serve the unreached Wayuu people through Bread of Hope.  We allow God to use our mission trips as a way for Him to speak truth into our lives, so that we can grow and see the world as He does.

Our mission trips are Christ-focused and family-friendly.    We encourage you to bring your entire family on this trip.  We have seen first-hand how these trips have helped transform families in the way that they love, serve, and give.  With our eyes focused on Him and His kingdom, we can achieve great things.  Come with us this summer and be a part of what God is doing with the Wayuu people.

DATES:
Week 1
May 30 – June 6
Week 2
June 6 – June 13

Watch:
Last Summer Mission trip video

Click here for more information:

2015 Mission Trip Opportunities

 

Exploratory trip

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Exploratory trip- La Guajira, Colombia

La Guajira, a desert land known by its inhabitants as the “Wayuu Nation” is a land without borders.  There is no Colombian Guajira or Venezuelan Guajira it is all one nation.

This summer our local staff members in Maracaibo went on an exploratory trip to Colombia to meet with other local pastors and churches about working with Bread of Hope. It was truly an eye-opening experience as we learned more about the Wayuu culture and the great physical and spiritual needs that they have in Colombia.  There were several places and experiences that really touched our hearts and we would like to share a few of them with you.

In the Guajira desert, the temperature is between 105 – 115 degrees Fahrenheit.  There are cacti and “Rancherias” small settlements where the Wayuu people live with their families.  These “Rancherias” are made out of wood sticks and a tin roof.  Many families often use asbestos for their roof, which many of you know is a prohibited material in most parts of the world because it causes cancer.

You would think in 115 degree weather that water would not be a luxury, but a necessity.  However, for the Wayuu living in these “Rancherias” water is every bit of a luxury good.  An average day of work for someone in this region is 15,000 pesos, which is about $7.  For those who live in larger towns a whole barrel of water, about 25 gallons, is 20,000 pesos or $10. For those that live in the “rancherias” the price doubles.  Many families cannot afford a constant supply of water.  It’s not common to see people walking around the “Rancherias” during the day. People would rather stay at home resting so that they don’t get thirsty.

After the Guajira desert, we got to Manaure, a city on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean known for its salt mines.  In Manaure, we were welcomed by Pastor Juan Nafer. He is the pastor of Manaure First Baptist Church.  The church was founded in 1975 by the Colombian Baptist Convention in alliance with North American ministries. The temple looks deteriorated, due to the sea salt which corrodes the metal and most buildings in the area. Planting trees seems like something out of a fairy tale because the land’s high salt content is not suitable for any type of agriculture.  Therefore, most children have only seen fruit trees in their text books.

We also met with another Pastor, Fidel Epiayu and talked with him about Bread of Hope sharing our vision and our work with local churches.  He expressed to us the importance and the need that these communities have for training.  Pastor Fidel attends a school program for Bible translators in Peru twice a year and is in charge of Bible revisions for the Old Testament.

Pastor Fidel is very similar to Pastor Jose in Maracaibo.  They share the same vision and passion for the Wayuu. This is one of our favorite quotes from him:

“We don’t want pesos or bolivares, we want training in order to connect with people through projects that not only feed the spirit but also give the Wayuu people a reason to live so that they don’t have to perish without knowing their value”

This church is part of an organization that has 49 churches throughout La Guajira.  They are working on starting a project to build an elementary school in their region.

After talking with Pastor Fidel, we have agreed to help with chorological bible study training and we are going to start alliances with churches in the area assisting them in starting community development programs.

Results:

– We contacted 3 churches that will soon receive chronological Bible training.

– One of these churches has 49 churches in its network (Samaria Church).

– One has 6 other churches and missions in its network (Ebenezer Baptist Church).

We are very excited about the doors that God is opening for Bread of Hope in Colombia.

We ask that you continue to support us in prayer as we move in obedience to reach the Wayuu for God’s glory.

 

Prayer Requests:

–          Please pray for the pastors and churches that we met on our trip.  Pray that God will guide us and lead us to build strong relationships in order to meet the deep needs that are found in their communities.

–          Please pray for a lady from one of these churches.  She is going through a hardship in her family.  Her husband’s life is in danger.  Her husband is a Christian and we do ask that you pray for his protection.

–          Please continue to pray for Pastor Jose and his family as they are grieving the loss of his Father.  Please pray for strength and peace as they go through this difficult time together.

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