Greetings from Bruno and Kathleen in Guatemala, Central America where we support our Latin American partners in Bolivia, Cuba, the DR, El Salvador, and Guatemala. Like in most of the world today, many of our partner churches are struggling as their communities deal with hunger, lack of employment, inadequate health care, poor access to quality education, and corruption.
This has been especially evident in Cuba where in addition to a financial crisis, people are living without access to food, and medicine, and with an antiquated and ineffective power grid which regularly leaves communities throughout the whole country without power. The difficult living situation in Cuba has led to mass migration – legally and illegally, often an indication that people see no future for themselves and their families. I have heard from women church leaders that there are few women of childbearing age left, as only the very brave would risk pregnancy in today’s Cuba. During my recent time in September with our partner FIBAC, the lack of youth and young families was evident in the church where the few people I saw were mostly older women and some men.
However, some of our church partners are flourishing during these times as people seek hope and community. Here in Guatemala, we recently visited three Q’eqchi Associations in northern Guatemala. This area of our partner, the CIBG, is the fastest-growing part of the Baptist church. We are privileged to accompany the leaders with training and encouragement, helping enthusiastic, mostly younger, church leaders to grow in their understanding of the Gospel and effective community engagement.
We are thankful that CBM has been invited to participate in the lives and mission of our church partners in LA. Our partner churches know their communities and their culture, and God has given them resources to be a part of his work to bring hope and healing. It is our privilege as CBM to join them in this work.
We are also very thankful that God has called more people to join CBM’s work, specifically to come and serve in our region. Most recently Kathryn Scott from NB and this past year Byron Valesquez from Guatemala City. We know that God uses those who step out in faith and show up each day to follow him.
We are also grateful for you, our Canadian church supporters who give financially, pray regularly and are now planning to travel to our region, bringing young people and families to experience life and faith with their global partners.
Thank you for joining us today as we pray.