No One’s Chosen Me for Anything Before
In Mana de Vida, the problem is not finding a child to sponsor, but how to choose between the many, many children who need sponsors. This trip, my eyes were drawn to a precious cutie who couldn’t have been more than 3, standing in front of a sink, washing a dish almost as big as she was.
“Her, Lord?” I wondered. But something (someone) prompted me to ask Jessica, the Director,“who needs sponsorship the most?”
Her pen traveled down a clipboard holding the names of students, and stopped. “Deborah,” she said with certainty.
“She’s 14, in the second grade. I doubt her intellectual capability will let her go higher. I don’t know what to do with Deborah. No one wants her.”
I watched Deborah over the next few hours. She wasn’t cute, was defensive and belligerent, didn’t have a great personality, didn’t appear well-liked. But I knew what God wanted me to do, so I reluctantly told Jessica, “We’ll sponsor Deborah.”
Jessica’s eyes widened, but she called Deobrah over to meet Bruce and I. When she told her, Deborah began weeping. “Why?” she demanded. “Why would you choose me? No one’s ever chosen me for anything before.”
I was crying, Bruce was crying, Jessica was crying, I suspect the angels above were crying. I was speechless, but in my heart, fierce, protective love bloomed.
“Because Jesus chose you first, and loved you first, and we love you and chose you because He did.” The Holy Spirit birthed those words, and found the perfect child to sponsor. Our love is stingy and drawn to the outwardly attractive. His is generous, and looks on the inside, to the least and the lost.
I am Free—I Can Fly Like an Eagle!
Over 65% of the population in Guatemala is living in deep poverty. More than 85% of this segment of the population is entrepreneurs.
Through our church partner, Showers of Grace, and with the help of Medical Missions Ministries (MMM), Business Partners International (BPI), a Global Outreach ministry of Perimeter Church, serves the poor through a Christ-centered economic development program.
In 2011, we deployed three teams (in May, July & September) to teach a 3-phase, 5-day program. Church members in the USA, comprised of professional men and women, teach the material to the students.
Participants in the program are pastor recommended, have an idea they believe is from God, and are to be debt free. About half of the students have already started the program.
Our 3-phase program teaches about calling, value creation, and value delivery. We then run the numbers and help the students develop a business plan. Then, we wrap up with a teaching on “Kingdom Business” with an operational focus. The students who complete all three phases graduate and qualify for a small micro loan that is to be repaid over time. Typical businesses include a hair salon, car repair, accounting, and chicken and clothing street vendors.
The graduating class of 2011 described the BPI Micro Enterprise teaching as “a treasure” and they are now free to fly! As much as we talk about the practical business applications, we also share about the calling God has placed on every believer to be salt and light in the world. We share about what a “Kingdom company” looks and tastes like to clients, to its employees, and its suppliers. The teachers share their own stories of faith in the marketplace with the students.
"to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter when you see the naked, to clothe him …" (Isaiah 58:7).
For 2012, we are planning three BPI journeys (in June, July & September). In addition to teaching in the urban city, we will begin to serve Pastor Juan Carlos and the De Esplendor Church in Palin on the outskirts of Guatemala City. His vision is to offer the Christ-centered BPI economic development program to the community of Monte Christo as a community outreach.
We now have 10 funded Kingdom companies operating in Guatemala City and hundreds more who have received the training, but did not require the micro loan to operate.
No matter where you worship, please consider joining our “committed” professional team of believers as we serve the poor and honor God in Guatemala. Contact David Pritchard at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about BPI GO Journeys in 2012 -- teams are forming now.
Dear Friends and Supporters of the Ministry,
Psalm 103:1-2 Says: “Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits”. We bless the Lord and give thanks to Him for you because you have been sent as one of the many benefits he has for our lives and for Guatemala and He told us not to forget you. You are a blessing to support this ministry either with prayers, financially, or by coming to Guatemala on a short-term trip. You have abundantly shown your love, not only for us, the Albs, but also for our whole staff, and for our beautiful Guatemala, which God has called us to transform.
Your participation is allowing us not only to reach the lost, but to influence the Church. God constantly amazes us, especially using us beyond our limits. Below are just a few of many ways God has amazed us:
a. The new training center was finished—debt free-- when logically, in our own strength we couldn’t do it.
b. For many weeks throughout the summer, we received two teams at the same time with even up to 24 people in each team. We were not sure what it would look like at the end, but His word fulfilled the purpose for which He sent it, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
c. The majority of the team members on a date with Jesus this summer were young people, for whom we have been tools to remind them about their irreplaceable role in God’s plans. Your prayers and contributions are important in raising a generation of Guatemalans and Americans who will do greater things than what we have done.
d. As we designed the new training center, Linda requested we build two rooms for training women in microenterprise, as beauticians, or as jewelers making jewelry at a low cost that they could sell, or as seamstresses, sewing custom clothing for their customers. Right after the dedication of the training center, Linda began to gather a group of women and is already training seven, to whom she is ministering spiritually, emotionally, physically and with skills they can use to bless others and themselves. She is also building a team of women from our church that will serve with her to train and serve many of the pastor’s wives in the villages.
e. The number of teams coming to Guatemala was reduced this year just for us to be ready for the expansion. Having refreshed our joy and passion for what we do, depending totally on him, hearing from him how to accommodate, distribute and use everything in the new building, learning how he planned everything when two teams from different churches were here at the same time, and planning the strategies to bring the rural pastors to a series of 3 day retreats at the new training center in order to mobilize the Church and influence their communities.
f. This year, even with only 18 teams, a total of 271 team members, we visited 72 villages, and attended to over 6,000 patients. Of all those patients some 951 were non-Christians, of which 63% asked God to be their God, Lord and Savior. We also participated in planting 8 new churches. KIM, do these numbers tie into the piece A Day in the Life of MMM????
g. And again God amazes us because for 2012 there are already 25 teams confirmed out of 41 openings!
God has chosen us to influence his Church and establish his kingdom; He wants us to show the Church how to do it and how to create opportunities for his Body to be engaged. “Imitate me as I imitate Christ.”
Your engagement with Medical Missions Ministries has been essential for what we do and we want to thank you very much for your obedience in loving us, praying for us and supporting us.
Now to God, who called us and is constantly amazing us, be the glory, for what he has done during these 24 years of ministry and for what He will do in the years to come.
Sincerely, with all our love,
Hermann and Linda Alb
Our Staff (from left to right): Ruth Herrera, Carmelita Yac, Heidy Mansilla,
Ilse Alb, Cristina Muller, Brenda Muller, Dr. Guissela Reyes, Linda Alb,
Dr. Hector Higueros, Dr. Mario Mesarina, Federico Yac, Isidro Ixtuc, Luis García,
Dietrich Alb, Hermann Alb
Medical Missions Ministries in Times Square!
Dave Polstra standing in Times Square in front of the NASDAQ MarketSite Tower, the largest video screen in the world standing at 7 stories tall.
Ministry Center Update