The Guatemala-Peten Task Force meets at the Presbytery Office on the fourth Monday each month at 6:30 p.m. Contact Kathy Corlew to become involved in this ministry.
GUATEMALAN PETEN COVENANT COMMITTEE BEGINS BASICO EDUCATION SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM
The Guatemalan Task Force is seeking individuals and churches interested in sponsoring a child in the Peten Q’eqchi Presbytery of Guatemala for his/her middle school education, known there as “Basico”.
Our PQP partners have told us that education is free at the grade school level, but at middle school and high school levels, fees for books, uniforms, and transportation begin to become prohibitive, causing children to drop out and join their parents in working the fields. The average education level among the adults in the PQP is 3rd grade. Of course our partners are like parents here at home – they want better for their children.
Sponsorship of a Guatemalan student costs $365 per year, and the commitment is for 3 years. There are eight villages in the PQP, and we hope to grow this program to allow for 5 scholarships in each village. Money for a sponsorship can be sent to the Presbytery office with Guatemalan Basico education project written in the memo line. All sponsors will receive information and communication from their student in the Peten.
THEOLOGICAL TRAINING FOR PASTORS AND LAY LEADERS
The pastors and elders of the Presbiterio Q’eqchi Peten (PQP) are receiving theological education in structured, one- week sessions in cooperation with the IENPG (Guatemalan Presbyterian National Church) seminaries. Our PQP partners have expressed the amazing difference that this education has made to them and to their churches. This training is made possible by The Walton Funds and by financial assistance from the Presbytery of Middle Tennessee (PMT) to supplement secondary costs of books and transportation.
The Women in our PQP partner churches have been hard at work receiving training through partner Guatemalan Presbyterian organizations. Their training includes organizational skills, instruction and collaborative work in the Pig Project. Women from individual churches are raising pigs, chickens, and other farm animals and using the profits to fund a Presbiterial (Presbyterian Women) group. They have recently elected officers and opened a bank account.
SAYAXCHE CHURCH AND CENTER
An eighth congregation is being added to the PQP! The Sayaxche congregation is meeting and growing. Ricardo Chun, secretary for the PQP, is pastoring this congregation. The Guatemala Peten Covenant Committee (GPCC) is working, not only to support this new church development, but also to have a PQP Center established at Sayaxche. We are dreaming of computers with WiFi access and a resource center for all of the PQPresbytery.
ANNUAL MISSION TRIP
The GPCC sponsors an annual mission trip to The Peten, Guatemala. The March 2017, trip marked 16 years of continuous trips. To date, 25 PMT churches and 96 have participated in this life-enriching experience. The focus of each trip is relationship driven and grounded in our Covenant. We would love to have you join us!
For more information about the Guatemala partnership , see links below:
Philip Beisswenger’s Blog
PC(USA) Mission Co-Workers, Richard and Debbie Welch’s Blog
Guatemala in Context by Dennis Smith
Living Waters for the World in the Retalteco, Peten
Maps of Guatemala and the Peten
Pictures from trips and general information on the Peten