Philip and Bacilia Beisswenger - April 2019 Update
Dear Guatemala mission partners,
The parable about the good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37) gives an excellent description of mission partnership. The Samaritan, moved by the plight of an assault victim along the road, ignores social barriers and renders first aid. Then, instead of resuming his trek to Jericho, he carries his fellow traveler to a shelter where his wounds can heal. Next, he provides resources for his new friend’s care. Incredibly, the Samaritan even promises to return to check on him and make sure the recovery is complete.
The spirit of the good Samaritan is so evident in our mission partners. Moved by the dire conditions in Guatemala, the response hasn’t been minimal or fleeting. Instead, through your partnership, we have been able to overcome barriers and walk alongside people who find themselves in a ditch along life’s pathway. Friendship and financial gifts have been offered and incredibly, mission partners keep coming back, over and over, as witnesses to the unwavering grace of God. We are thankful for the good and faithful ways that God’s people in Guatemala are being accompanied as they seek the abundant life.
Here’s some news about how mission partnerships are making a difference in Guatemala:
La Patria Norte Protestant School: The 2019 academic year began in January with a 35% increase in enrollment. Due to generous sponsorships, 80 full scholarships were awarded to needy, worthy students. Final plans are underway for the new campus. Hopefully, work will start by this summer.
Theological Education: In February Guatemala’s Presbyterian Seminary began its eighth year of classes for Mayan church leaders from across the region. A dream was fulfilled on February 26 with the dedication of the John Knox Theological Center, a facility with classrooms and sleeping quarters for up to 50 students. During the ceremony, deep appreciation was voiced for the many Presbyterians from the U.S. and Canada who generously provided construction funding and volunteers.
Antioch Presbyterian Church: Lately Philip has been busy training new church leaders and forming cell groups in homes, while Bacilia coordinates the ministry with women. Last December the church held a week-long Vacation Bible School, drawing 140 neighborhood kids. Each of them received a set of supplies to start the school year.
Recent Teams: We received two teams in March – one from Middle Tennessee that held health clinics in villages in the Petén. The other, from Toronto, Canada worked at Cobán’s Presbyterian Complex and visited churches in the Ixil area. Meanwhile, a full slate of groups is scheduled for June and July. We can’t wait to see you!
Our Month in the States: In November last year our family visited partner churches in Charleston and Greenville, SC; Williamsburg, VA; Cincinnati, Kingsport and Nashville, TN; Fairhope and Dothan, AL. At each stop we enjoyed amazing hospitality and the opportunity to share about God’s work in Guatemala. Extra bonuses for us were a harrowing drive through “Winter Storm Avery” and Thanksgiving in Nashville with Philip’s family.
Family: It was thrilling to watch Bacilia receive her nursing degree in October. Matthew’s year at Bentonville High School in Arkansas has gone well. He is part of the track team and plays drums for his youth group band. Manny and Stefi started 6th and 8th grade respectively at La Patria Norte.
In April Daniel is scheduled to return to Omaha from his deployment in Qatar. We suffered a hard blow with the death of Philip’s dad in late November 2018. A memorial service was held in Nashville to celebrate his long life of Christian ministry, social activism and devotion to family.
Recently word got out that our assignment was facing a financial shortfall. Your responses have been most encouraging.
Words can’t express our gratitude for your support as we journey together as servants of Christ.
Philip, Bacilia, Matthew, Manuel and Estefana Beisswenger
Read more about the Beisswenger’s ministry HERE.
The Outreach Foundation is seeking $25,000 for support funds for the Beisswengers and $25,000 to assist the John Knox Theological Center in Cobán ($10,000 for remaining construction, $13,000 for furnishings, and $2,000 for the travels costs of professors).
Make a gift by sending a check to The Outreach Foundation or make an online gift HERE.