August 2016 Update
Dear friends, we rejoice to tell you that construction is officially and fully completed for Falsuri Church! Thank you for your generous support! We look back on our journey and can see God’s faithful hand. Thank God, in this construction process we always had close to our facilitator who by then was Jose Marin, and who always supported us unconditionally without measuring the time or hour or day, he was always willing to support us, something that we emphasize is that he has enough knowledge of masonry and oriented us fairly and recommendations were very useful at the time of project construction. We also had the support and confidence of brother Rodolfo Achi which was very significant for the church, because he also oversaw the construction site of Falsuri.
Thank God we had the full support of the Falsuri community leaders, they helped us with sand and allowed us to take stones from the river, and they facilitated our access to water use – in short, they were always giving their support. We know this is because we took the community leaders to see the Project in action at the mother church, and they were so excited that something so wonderful was coming to their own community.
During the implementation process the project director was always working with the committee´s members and the pastor either to make many purchases or for decision-making. In cases of hiring a third party only the committee was responsible. We are grateful that there was very good communication among all who were in charge of the project.
The project staff was in charge of painting the rooms, it was a difficult and hard work, but we are thankful in heart and bless the life of each one of those people who worked with us without measuring time.
Since the last report, “Falsuri” Church has been blessed with a greater attendance in children and youth, who learn the Word of God and slowly, the families are opening up to the Gospel. Ever since the construction was completed, we have observed tangible progress within the community. The people are more welcoming and loving now than they were before. This is mainly due to the fact that we are complying with the things we promised: supporting their children through proper nutrition, health-care and school support. We also have celebrated Children’s Day, Mother’s Day, a vigil for both mother and daughter churches, and new baptisms.
We had an opening ceremony where Compassion invited the authorities of the community, brothers of the parent church and especially the children who were the happiest when opening new environments. It was an emotional day, and many could not believe what we’ve done since September 2015. The children now enjoy the building and are enjoying their decorated, cozy, and dynamic new environment.
We have had to overcome many challenges along the way, but the main goal was to conclude the construction. We can look back now and realize that as a result of this season, we now have a brand new church and project that we pray will bless this community in more than one way. What we learned in the implementation of this project is that when God opens doors for his work, his blessing and his support always and can be seen in every activity in every step we take we could see His grace and mercy.
Most importantly, we would like to share with you our desire to continue to educate the parents and caregivers. We no longer wish to hear about caregivers mistreating their children, just like husbands mistreat their wives. We have a great struggle to eradicate the deeply rooted “machismo” within the people’s minds and hearts. (Translator’s note: machismo is the concept that dictates many aspects of Latin American male behavior, and a concept associated with a “strong masculine pride” which denigrates the characteristics associated with the feminine. It has turned into a form of male aggression and violence against women, whichever their condition or age. An accurate synonym would be “male chauvinism”, and the lack of courage in the display of manly strength; which ought to protect, provide and care for their own.)
The project is such a great blessing to us because poverty struck us hard and had many needs. We had shortage of staples, so with my wife we had to make extra efforts to provide for our children’s basic needs. When we first heard of the plans for a Compassion project in this area, we did not know if our children would be eligible or not. However, when the construction began we truly believed that it would become a great contribution to this community, especially for the families with scarce economic resources like ours. The main economic activity in this region is agriculture, mostly floriculture. Nonetheless, my family and I make a living from selling hand-made leather bracelets/wristbands. Before the project came into our lives, we earned just about enough to survive. The first great impact in my life, was that the people at the project kept their word when they told us they would build a church that would provide a healthy nutrition and school support for the children. This kind of support was just what we needed as a family. Later on, in a meeting with our community leaders and authorities, as a family we decided to provide water for the project without charging them. Water is a very scarce resource in this region, and the project and children definitely need it the most. We are thankful to be a part of this great blessing and wish to thank everyone involved in making this blessing a reality.
- Pray for the leaders at the church to be strengthened
- Pray for the families of the children and teenagers attending the project; please pray their entire families will attend church as well
- Pray the entire community comes to know the Lord as their Savior