Kingdom Building in San Juan de Dios
In November of 2013 we visited the community of San Juan de Dios, Petén, Guatemala with pastor Vicente Manzanares and his wife Yessenia, to determine if there was a need for an evangelical church plant. After much time and prayer on behalf of pastor Vicente, it was determined that the location was in great need of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We began praying about the next steps and looking for a piece of land to buy with the intention of building a church, a pastoral home, and a storage building. There were times when the next step looked very far a way and uncertain, but God did not fail us or forsake us. He has shown us the steps to take and done so in His timing.
World Reach Missions, Inc. was able to purchase a piece of land in the center of the community near the public school. It is the perfect piece of ground for ministry! We have since cleared the land, backfilled the low areas, built a fence, and built an open shelter. Looking back on those achievements, I can honestly say they have been rewarding. However, we knew for the church plant to take root it would require the full-time presence of a pastor on the property. In April, World Reach Missions took a step of faith and began planning the construction of a storage building on the property. This building would serve two purposes; it immediately could be used as temporary housing and later it could serve as a storage building, once a pastoral home was built.
In April, we left Guatemala City and drove eight hours to the department of Petén, where we would met with pastor Vicente and pastor Antonio to begin the process of setting the forms and pouring 3.5 cubic yards of concrete by hand. April and May are the hottest months of the year in Petén, Guatemala; the average temperature ranged between 102-103 degrees. At the time I thought it was one of the most miserable things I had ever done, but looking back on it I can say it was well worth the effort.
We allowed plenty of time for the concrete to dry (actually for me to recover). Three months later on July 27th, with the help of a short-term mission team, we began the construction of a building that would serve as a temporary house. A week later pastor Vicente and his family were able to move in and begin the process of establishing themselves in the community.
We are thankful and humbled by the support of our ministry partners who gave to this construction project. In April, after we poured the cement, there was not enough finances available to finish the building, but through the obedience of God’s people to give financially we were able to complete the construction of the building.
“Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass.” I Thessalonians 5:24
Please continue to pray for pastor Vicente and Yessenia as they transition the work in San Juan de Dios from a children’s ministry to a church plant that will effectively reach the community for Christ.
For more photos of the project in San Juan de Dios, ‘click here‘.
World Reach Missions would like to give praise to our heavenly Father for allowing us to be part of His plan to reach the lost. Also, we want to thank everyone who helped make this a successful construction project. Our construction team Chris Cox, Kelly Murphy, Vicente Manzanares, and Antonio Perez. My fellow missionaries, Randall Darby, who gave his time, ideas and plans to build the building, and Jim DeHart, who gave his time and advice along the way.
To God be the glory and may His kingdom ever increase.