In ten days 59 of our students and staff will be taking off for Operation Central America. Sarah Bancroft has created a blog for this trip. You can access it at http://operationcentralamerica.blogspot.com. Check it out.
Here is a little bit of information about where we are going, and what we’ll be doing.
About Our Ministry Locations
Campur, Guatemala – Campur, Guatemala is a community of 65,000 people located in the rainforest of Guatemala, about 1 ½ hours away from Coban, Guatemala. The Coban region is famous for its coffee. German settlers began large coffee plantations in Coban in the 1800s, and evacuated the area during World War 2. Campur is a Mayan community. The indigenous people are mostly farmers, growing cardamom, a spice that is exported to the Middle East and Scandinavia, corn, which is used for their famous tortillas, and coffee which is exported around the world. The farmers work in co-ops in order to gain the greatest income for their crops. Wooddale’s relationship with Campur began in 2004. We work with Viva Abundante Church, which is pastored by a woman named Isabelle. Isabelle is known around Campur for her heart for the people, and her sacrificial commitment to them. In the past two years OGES teams have built four homes, installed water filtration systems, provided solar powered lighting and ministered in a variety of ways amongst these beautiful people.
Siguatepeque, Honduras – Located about 40 kilometers from the famous Mayan ruins of Copan, Honduras, Siguatepeque is a thriving community of around 75,000 people. The towns around Siguatepeque are not so fortunate. Poverty rules the outlying rural areas. This year’s Operation Central America team will help construct a church building for Ministerio Christiana Canaan. This church is located in Via Cruz Grande, a community that is full of children who are too poor to go to school and many times do not have enough food to eat. Pastor Kolmar hopes that after the church has been constructed, a school can also be started and that the church can begin a strategic partnership with Compassion International. This will allow the children of the village to be fed, educated, and to hear about Christ. The church already ministers to 250 children and 90 adults on a weekly basis. This is the only church in the community. We will also be working alongside Iglesia Bethel, an established church in Siguatepeque with a strong school and long term ministry in the area. Pastor Hugo Tobar shepherds this congregation. Finally, we will be constructing bunk beds and painting a home for missionaries and pastors to use.
Copan, Honduras – This year’s R & R will take place in Copan, Honduras. We will stay at a beautiful resort with a water park, horseback riding, athletic fields, restaurants, game room, and a beautiful chapel that we’ll use for team devotions. Copan is most famous for its 1,500-year-old Mayan ruins. We’ll take a tour of the ruins and learn about the Mayan people, an amazing culture whose descendants we will be working with throughout the trip. On the tour you’ll learn about 18 Rabbits, Smoking Rabbit, Smoking Jaguar, and the other kings who ruled this Mayan community. Be prepared to be absolutely blown away!
Huehuetenango, Guatemala – Located in the Western Highlands of Guatemala, Huehuetenango is another new ministry location for the Operation Central America team. We will be partnering together with Willie Peralta, a Sepal missionary who is passionate about seeing the Mayan tribes in the area come to faith in Jesus Christ. Willie will bring together three churches to house our team and partner with us in our different ministries. Willie is actively working with Bible translators to see the Mayan people be able to have the Bible in their own language. At least six Bible translations are being worked on right now for the people in the villages that surround Huehuetenango, because each Mayan tribe speaks a unique language. The city of Huehuetenango is made up of around 75,000 people, with thousands more living in the outlying communities where many of the Mayan tribes call home. Huehuetenango is home to another set of ancient Mayan ruins, known as the Zaculeu ruins.
Antigua, Guatemala – Once the capital of all of Central America, Antigua, Guatemala is now known as one of the world’s most beautiful cities. It is unique for its well preserved Colonial architecture. The city is a menagerie of colors with each building on a street a differing shade of pastel hues. You’ll enjoy a night at the beautiful Hotel Antigua and a day of shopping for traditional Central American goods. Antigua is surrounded by dormant volcanoes and is absolutely breathtaking. You’ll meet fellow tourists from all over the world during your stay in one of the oldest cities in the western hemisphere.