Rachael Hale de Garcia and Nolo Garcia
Iglesia del Distino (Destiny Church Guatemala)
Their target population is a community called The Blessing (La Bendicion) There are about 100 dwelling places in a small area. Most dwellings have more than one family living there. Dwellings have dirt floors with wooden poles stuck in the ground surrounded by thin metal roofing sheets as both walls and the roof. None of these dwellings have running water or sewage access.
Their mission has 4 main focuses in ministry; bible school, youth group, school scholarships and weekly homework help.
Every Saturday morning, they have bible school for children where they teach hygiene, play games, sing fun songs and teach about the unconditional love of Jesus. They finish their program with a snack before they head home. This program is similar to what vacation bible school is like in the U.S.
Saturday evenings Nolo and Rachael meet with teens and young adults. They spend time with them in worship, bible reading, discussion and then eat dinner together.
This year they were able to sponsor 25 children to attend school. Most families have a hard time putting food on the table much less pay for mandatory school supplies and fees. They want to raise this next generation into educated adults that can think for themselves, end the poverty cycle in their families and know the love of Jesus.
The children in their community do not have much parental involvement so homework can be a struggle. They have two times during the day when children can come for help. Parents in our community are hit with two different problems. Parents will either work all day so are not home to help with homework or if a parent is home, their education level is more than likely less than their child’s. Nolo and Rachael provide a place where students can get help as well as use their computers for school assignments.
During the Pandemic
Their focuses have changed into 2 areas: food provisions and spiritual care.
Most families in the community have lost their jobs because of the pandemic. They are distributing over 700 lbs. of basic food staples to around 50 families all of which are living in poverty and lack food security.
Three days a week, they visit various houses to have 20-minute worship sessions. There are no formal church services now and families do not have internet access to watch services online so Nolo and Rachael are bringing church to them. They spend time singing, reading verses of the Bible and then praying for whomever needs it.