26 Apr More People Reached…Thanks to the Pandemic
You don’t realize how isolating an impoverished village road is until you understand that, no matter how many times you look up, no one is coming.
After the COVID-19 lockdowns of 2020, villages across Guatemala had no source of supplies apart from what they could gather. These impoverished villages, where locals make their livings by selling what they can or traveling outside the village for work, were all but cut off under the restrictions.
“They were facing starvation because supplies were not moving,” says Maureen Hughes, Director of Programming with Paradise Bound Ministries. The ministry had been accustomed to serving villages through home building and medical clinics, hosting short-term missionary teams.
But when the pandemic hit, teams were no longer able to come and share the gospel. “We began to look for alternatives to continue the eternal impact in the villages,” Maureen described. “Once the restrictions were lifted in August 2020, our Guatemalan missionaries began what we call Daily Bread Outreaches.”
These outreaches began as a way to meet families’ basic needs of food, medicines, and supplies that had been depleted during the shut-down. “PBM purchased enough dry goods to distribute a one-month supply of food to each family within the village we were visiting. They also hosted a medical clinic during the distribution, distributing parasite pills, vitamins, and other necessary medications.”
These outreaches, rooted in compassion, have helped immeasurably with the physical needs of many. To be sure that they serve the whole person, at the end of each clinic, a pastor would present the gospel.
“The response from the villages was incredible. They were so thankful for the help, and the hope that our team brought them.”
The Daily Bread outreaches have continued, with missionaries going out every Tuesday. Now, the emphasis is not solely on sustaining each village with food and medicine, but now they are also discipling the community members.
“We are now reaching more people with the Word of God than we had in the past with our U.S. mission teams.”
Pablo Lopez, one of the pastors who ministers in the villages, puts it this way: “The difficult situation we are living in has created a need in the hearts of the people to hear the Word of God. That has fueled a desire in our own hearts to go out and sow His Word. Although we know these are challenging times, there is an urgent need to share the Gospel. The need of Christ in the villages is greater than the fear of the pandemic.”