Guatemala (MNN) — A new church building that will double as a preschool/daycare center
will be dedicated on June 22, 2008. It is the fruit of a collaboration between Orphan
Outreach, TDM Inc. and Highview Baptist Church of Louisville, Kentucky.
The new building in the village of Pacux will shelter Iglesia Bautisia De Rabinal, which has a
congregation of about 100 people and 50 orphaned or impoverished children. It previously met under a metal roof with no walls.
The church's pastor of six years, Arnoldo Cuja Lopez, has been living in a mud brick house near the church with his wife and seven children. Arnold realized that his house would have to be torn down to make way for his dream of a new church building, but he chose not to worry and to trust in God's provision. His mentor, Mateo, mentioned his predicament to Orphan Outreach, and Arnoldo's new home will be completed this June.
Arnoldo recently received an award from Rabinal Soccer Association for his work with the youth in sports–quite an honor for a pastor to receive from a government organization. After years of hard work, he has also received his ordination.
Orphan Outreach is planning the construction of another preschool in Lemoa, Quiche, in partnership with the Methodist Church in Guatemala. A ministry trip is also being planned to the cities of Panabaj and Santiago on August 2-10, 2008.
The people of Guatemala suffer from extreme poverty and the repercussions of a 36-year civil war that ended in 1996, reports BBC News. According to UNICEF, Guatemala has more than 370,000 orphans. Many Guatemalan poor live off of large city dumps.