A great need that we have seen throughout Guatemala is the lack of Biblical training for the pastors in both rural and urban areas. Many of the pastors have the heart and desire to lead churches, but they can only do so much with the Biblical knowledge that they have. Last year through a meeting set up by Bob Smith, who traveled to El Faro last year with his family on a short-‐term mission trip, we were able to meet an amazing organization that is doing big things around the world. Global Action, among many other things, has an amazing pastors training program is in 4 countries around the world. After visiting El Faro to give a presentation, El Faro knew that this was a match made in heaven. We have a total of 30 people involved in the 11-‐month program including local pastors from the villages, pastors from Livingston, and many of the El Faro missionaries and staff. It is an intense bible training that includes bible interpretation, old and new testament, as well as how to write a sermon and other great lectures that help train and equip for the Kield. Each month all the students come to El Faro where they have a 3-‐day intense workshop lead by a teacher that travels to Guatemala from different parts of the world. Being such a diverse group of students, it is amazing to see how God is using this opportunity to build community and also understanding among each person involved. The program lasts a total of eight months and we are already seeing a huge difference going into our third month. Please keep each person involved in your prayers as they grow in the Bible and understanding in order to strengthen their ministry.
El Faro Soccer Academy The El Faro Soccer Academy has taken a new turn this year with many new amazing things happening. This year we have a new coach, Brittany, and she has completely taken over the girls side of the academy. Brittany and Gavin were married in August of last year and came down together with a joint mission and heart to strengthen the academy and work even more with the kids involved. “We're implementing more structure and formal training this year so that we begin to walk and talk the culture of soccer” says Gavin. There is more structure and now each student in the academy has their own pair of soccer cleats. This is a little hard to maintain with their feet always growing, but so far everyone has cleats and socks and is now so excited to play not having to worry about their feet getting stepped on or slipping. “In addition”, says Gavin, “we have new balls and practice jerseys that are helping us look the part of a team.” The younger boys academy consists of 35 players and the older boys practice once a week and roughly 15-‐20 of them. The younger girls academy consists of 15-‐25 girls, depending on the day and the older girls academy consists of 15-‐20 girls and they practice once a week as well. Gavin and Brittany have also started training two young kids from the village who show much potential in soccer. “Kike and Santiago is such a new labor of love for me. They both posses extraordinary talent and natural love for the game.” The purpose is to grow them into faith-‐Killed players and provide them with the opportunity to receive one-‐on-‐one mentorship, professional level training, and attention. The academy includes physical training, bible devotions, nutrition and dietary instructions, body development, academic requirements, and lots of footwork and ball work. There are tons of challenges with not having materials needed and each player learns differently, but so far a huge success with Santiago and kike as they are pushing each other and hungry for more. Besides soccer, Gavin and Brittany have team activities throughout the month usually consisting of swimming in the ocean or watching a movie with snacks. This year they also had the Kirst team sleepover. This was an amazing experience and so much fun. For many of the kids it was their Kirst time spending the night away from home. There were a variety of activities planned throughout the event. Some of the activities included a water balloon Kight, scavenger hunt, swimming, video games, and a movie. “It was an emotional experience for me tucking all the kids in to bed at night. I realized how much love I have for each and every one of them. My heart was overKlowing with love.” The camp was a lot of fun and is something we plan on doing twice a year. It was a great bonding experience for all of the kids and we look forward to the next one. Goals moving forward for the soccer academy are getting shorts for all of the students and also shin guards to complete the uniforms. Gavin and Brittany would also like to get more training materials to help the kids try new things and push their bodies and skills. This summer we are looking forward to Kilm training session and individuals training for the players to learn to see the complete Kield during games and learn through video how and where they can improve with the ball.
Maranatha Medical Team Maranatha Chapel is a small church from the outside with a huge heart for missions on the inside. Their impact worldwide is evident through the number of missionaries and projects they support around the world as well as the diverse cultures that make up the church. El Faro is truly honored to be able to host them each February as we team together to provide medical care to the villages around El Faro. This year was their eighth consecutive year doing this medical trip, but as always, it was unique in many different ways. Fifty people from the states traveled to Guatemala where they teamed up with an additional Kifty Guatemalan volunteers, doctors, and missionaries to stay at El Faro as a base and go out into different villages to set up medical clinics. The clinics are set up as the following: -‐Patients line up to be seen by a nurse in triage who marks down what medical needs they have to designate which doctor to go to. -‐After triage, each patient will pass through a tent to receive both vitamins and a parasite pill. Many patients going through triage show a concern for their children who have worms, so this is a important tent to help ease the parents concerns. -‐Next the patients are led to the doctor they were assigned to according to their needs. This year we had an amazing group of doctors including dentists, general medicine, pediatrics, optometry, and dermatology. -‐After visiting with their doctor, the patients drop off their prescription at the pharmacy and are sent to the spiritual clinic while their prescription gets Killed. -‐At the spiritual clinic each person and family has a chance to receive prayer and learn more about God. It is a beautiful opportunity for people also to talk about their personal problems with people they can trust and who care for them. We also have a photo session where families are able to take a photo together and then take the printed photo home. For many this is the only photo that they have of themselves and we have seen how people go home to hang them in their houses. Another very important place is the children’s ministry tent. There are always a multitude of kids that while their parents get seen get very antsy. The children’s tent is always full of songs, laughter, story telling, and lots of other activities to keep the children busy and having a good time.
To see more pictures of the Maranatha Medical Trip, please click HERE
In addition, we have special tents set up for additional activities. The beauty salon is a place where women and children go in to get not only to receive a lice treatment, but also a chance to get pampered. Each person get their hair washed, the lice treatment, their nails done, and then once the lice treatment is washed out, they get their hair down complete with ribbons, bows, and Klowers. The Kirst day we traveled to a village that we went to the year before. Creek Chino. It is a forgotten village as it is located next to a very popular tourist site, Livingston. There is much poverty and a huge need for medical attention and we knew that we needed to return. The second day we took on a challenge to actually set up a medical clinic in the large town of Livingston, only accessible by water. This was a challenge because being such a large tourist attraction there are lots of people and they only have one small medical clinic that is very limited in what they can treat and provide. We set up clinic in a public boys school and at the end of that day we had seen a total of 800 people. The third day we traveled to the village of San Miguelito and we ended the medical trip like always with a clinic at El Faro. In just four days we saw a total of 2300 people, the most we have been able to see in one medical trip. We are so thankful for all of the doctors and volunteers who took time off to help those who are sometimes forgotten in Guatemala. Lives were not only changed physically, but also eternally.
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Fort Hill Eye Surgery Team When we had our medical team in February from Maranatha, optometrist Dr. Dario Aldana was hard at work for two reasons. Firstly, there are always a lot of patients that need their eyes checked for glasses. And secondly, Dr. Dario was searching for candidates for an eye surgery team that he was planning for March in El Faro. Cataracts and Pterigons are common eye problems here in Guatemala that have an operable solution. Many people in our area of Guatemala don’t have the means to afford a surgery and sadly lose their sight completely. Just because someone has lost sight, however, doesn’t mean that they still can’t receive the operation. This was the third eye surgery team at El Faro and we couldn’t have been more blessed by such a wonderful group. Dr. Dario, Dr. Bob, his wife, Susan, Mary, Mayra, Brittni, Cindy, and Larry made up the incredible team this year and God was able to move through each one to touch the lives of so many people. The doctors do not charge for the operations and bring down donated medicine and surgery equipment. Located in one of the apartments in a dorm here at El Faro. 8-‐10 patients are seen on a daily basis and then spend the night with a family member at our facilities. The following morning the patients are awoken by huge smiles from the team members as they take off the bandages to see the improvement and to give the follow-‐up instructions. On the last day of surgeries, a woman showed up who was deaf, mute, and now blind due to cataracts. She communicated through touch with her son and she knew she was going to receive an operation for her eyes. The team was scared not knowing how she would respond to the initial injection to begin to numb the eye. She didn’t move an inch and laid down calmly allowing the doctor to prepare her for surgery. The next morning when she was having her bandages removed there wasn’t a dry eye in the room as she looked at the doctor and began to sign to her son that she could see. Being quite the personality, she pointed to her other eye to tell the doctor that she was ready for her next operation. Many of the patients had lost jobs and had spent years conKined to their houses. As the walked to the dock by themselves, all of them had a new sense of pride and a new hope that they didn’t have when they Kirst arrived to El Faro. We are so thankful for this beautiful team of such talented people who helped change the lives of so many.
To see more pictures of the eye surgery team, please click HERE
Medical Mission Group Many of the people in Guatemala that have operable disabilities never have the chance to receive a surgery that can ultimately change their life. El Faro had the chance to partner with our wonderful friends from Medical Mission Group this past month for our fourth surgery team. From our Kirst mission with them, our relationship with the Children’s Hospital has been wonderful thanks to our dear friend Dr. Velasquez. Dr. Velasquez is one of the head surgeons at the hosptial and the staff graciously opens up their doors to us each trip to use their facilities and nurses, something that very few places would allow. We had patients travel from far and wide just to have the opportunity to see if they could qualify for an operation. One group of three families traveled two days to El Faro after hearing about the free operations and all three of their children had the chance to be operated. The Kirst day of screenings gives the doctors a chance to see what type of cases there are and also to help build the weekly schedule. This year we had cleft lips and pallets, hernias, masses and cysts, burns, and gallbladders that needed removal. Throughout the wonderful team of surgeons, nurses, and volunteers worked diligently on the many patients that came through their operating doors. Some of the MMG doctors had been here before and it was nice being able to work with them again. As for the rest, it was nice getting to meet new people and see their gifts and action. One special case included a young boy named Axel. He is 12 years old and had a mass on his face since he was young. Now a teenager, his facial problem has begun to affect him in his studies and self esteem. He was a wonderful boy to be around and the doctors were able to operated to reduce his facial mass. Because he was one of the patients that traveled from so far, he spent the last night at El Faro with his family and the doctors. Because of the way he touched so many lives, all of the surgery team pitched in to buy him a playstation, which they gave to him on the last night. At the end of the week the team had performed 58 procedures on 45 patients. El Faro is so thankful for the wonderful team at MMG and the partnership that we have.
To see more pictures of the Medical Mission Surgery Team, please click HERE
Misión El Faro Guatemala www.misionelfaro.org
Samuel Gomez: Camps & Retreats email@example.com Keith Brutout: International Service Teams firstname.lastname@example.org Meagan Ephraim: Volunteer Program