Currently, we are involved in various areas. We continue to work with the church at Linda Vista. We have continued to cooperate with the ministry of the word, preaching and teaching in the local program. Our plans are to update the new Christians’ teaching program, better organize the local teaching and preaching program, and to help boost the current focus on evangelism.
Together with the local church at Linda Vista, in 2008 we began a new church in Cobán, Alta Verapaz, where there previously was not a church. Today, the church is growing and serving the Lord in that place, and the potential for growth is great. Darvin Alvarez is now serving in this city, together with his wife, Lily, and their four children. Linda Vista will continue to give its support financially and by sending colaborers to Cobán.
Our biggest project recently has been the establishment of the Instituto Teológico Latinoamericano or ITL (in English, Latin American Theological Institute), which has the purpose of preparing men and women for ministry. In March of 2008, ITL began with a Saturday, semi-intensive program designed to help equip those men and women who have full-time, secular employment, but who are already involved in the work of their local congregations. In developing countries, especially, a great number of those involved in the work of the church does not have access to or opportunities for higher education, so this program considers their learning abilities while still challenging them and preparing them for ministry. In April of 2009, ITL was able to begin its full-time, intensive, college-level program, based on a similar program of study as used in most of our preaching schools in the U.S. However, a unique characteristic of ITL’s full-time program is its intentional limit of students it will seek to train at one time. The reasons for this is that it allows for more personalized attention and for better opportunities to mentor and polish the student even beyond graduation from ITL. We will strive to give the best Bible education anywhere in the Latin American brotherhood, seeking fidelity to God’s word, promoting a life of integrity and urging service from a pure heart.
One other project that merits mention is a new church plant in San Cristobal, Alta Verapaz. This church was started with four of our recent graduates from ITL: Abner Ramos; Francisco Ramos and his wife, Erminia; and Wilder and Marleny Ordoñez (they have two small children, Julissa and Jose David). We are thankful that these families are faithfully proclaiming the Word of God in this place that previously had no church of Christ.
Please prayerfully consider being a part of the Lord’s work in Guatemala. The “How You Can Help” page reflects how you can become involved in our work. We hope you will help us “Teach the Central Message in Central America.”