Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. James 1:27 (NIV)
As we are watching these unprecedented times in our world, we are reminded of everyone being impacted by the Covid-19 virus. We are reminded of people losing their jobs, declines in businesses, school at home, and a new “normalcy” for everyone. We are praying the curve flattens quickly and healing for each person.
How does Covid-19 impact GRACE Ministries? As of right now, 9 teams have cancelled their mission trips. A few of teams had to cancel due to the airline restrictions. GRACE Ministries rents the house to the teams in order to pay salaries, electricity, propane gas, insurance, and maintenance. The GRACE Mission house was scheduled to be occupied by 40+ teams during 2020. Each team brings an average of 25 people to minister in Guatemala. Obviously 9 cancellations will greatly impact the operational expenses for the ministry.
What will happen to the staff of GRACE Ministries during this time?
Many of you have grown to love the workers at GRACE Ministries. Teresa and Teresita serve the teams by making sure everything is cleaned on a daily basis. They are able to make extra money by cooking for a vast majority of the teams. They also sell typical items to the teams as another way to generate money.
Juan is the cutest 85 year old man. He walks to the mission house every day in order to sort the trash and tend to the blackberry patch. He has multiple health issues. He lost his son in a tragic accident a few months ago. The money he receives from GRACE is essential for his daily food. We believe his “work” gives him a purpose in his life right now. Every time I look at him, I thank God that my 80+ year old grandfathers do not have to work for the sole purpose of providing food for their families.
GRACE Ministries also pays for the salaries of 2 pastors at Iglesia JET. Pastor Walter and Pastor Adan have spent the past 2 weeks visiting families, praying with families, and delivering food to families. There are people who are hurting, worried, and looking for hope. They are committed to using this time to sharing the love of Christ.
These workers will receive a salary every week. We are trying very hard to pay them regardless of how many teams occupy the mission house. Teresa and Teresita will transition to working at the school during the next few months. Juan will continue to tend to the blackberry patch and water the plants. The pastors will continue serve the families in the community.
GRACE Ministries is so much more than just renting a house. GRACE Ministries has become a lighthouse in the community. Although teams may not occupy the house, we will continue to minister to people in need. We will continue to trust God in all things.
How can you help? In comparison to the poverty in Guatemala, all of us have been blessed financially. You live in a nice house, with a warm bed, and food in your pantry. Will you help us continue to minister to the people in Guatemala? Will you help us provide for our mission house staff, our school staff, and our children?
To give a tax-deductible to GRACE Ministries, click on the following link:
Anyone who sets himself up as “religious” by talking a good game is self-deceived. This kind of religion is hot air and only hot air. Real religion, the kind that passes muster before God the Father, is this: Reach out to the homeless and loveless in their plight, and guard against corruption from the godless world. James 1:26-27 (The Message)