Working Through the Local Church
In Guatemala, 24 different ethnic groups each have their own language and culture. Because the church is an integral part of a community, church and center staff members understand the needs of the local people and what works best to meet those needs in the context of their unique culture. Churches also have credibility in their communities, which is vital for launching any new program.
Local churches have the God-given responsibility of affecting their communities for Christ, but in Guatemala they are limited by a lack of resources. Compassion’s support, combined with the church’s understanding of the needs of local children, is an ideal partnership that is changing the country, one child at a time.
How Compassion Works in Guatemala
Compassion’s work in Guatemala began in 1976. Currently, more than 39,400 children participate in 183 child development centers.
Compassion partners with local churches, helping them provide Guatemalan children with a long-term program of physical, educational, socio-emotional and spiritual development. Through this partnership between Compassion and local churches, children in need have the opportunity to rise above their circumstances and become all that God has created them to be.
The Role of a Partnership Facilitator
Partnership Facilitators play an important role in the alliance between Compassion and the local church. They are charged with nurturing that relationship to ensure that assisted children receive what they need to grow into healthy, responsible Christian adults.
Juan Díaz has been a Partnership Facilitator for Compassion Guatemala for seven years. Under his care are 11 local churches that operate Compassion centers. Juan enjoys his time at each partner church, training and encouraging staff. He also enjoys visiting children’s homes to hear what parents have to say about Compassion’s effect on their children’s lives.
“I think of Compassion as a blessing and opportunity to help others,” says Juan. “We get to support families, the community, the church and the children.”