Beginning in 2008, Concordia students and congregation members have been traveling to Puerto Barrios, Guatemala during spring break to share Jesus and experience the joy of mission ('08, '10, '12, '14, '16, '19). The focus of the work there is children's ministry and construction. Cristo el Salvador Colegio Luterano (Christ the Savoir Lutheran School) is a ministry of Christ the Savior Lutheran Church in Puerto Barrios, led by Pastor Byron Paz. This school has grown exponentially and has added afternoon classes to reach youngsters from preschool age through high school. The Concordia group has, in the past, provided VBS to all the school children (now over 1200) but more recently has dedicated its time to the children in the neighborhood surrounding the Lutheran Community Center, which is also our construction site. This center has had its floor raised a foot and a half to avoid annual flooding, an exterior wall now completely surrounds the building and yard, the play yard has been paved and it now sports a new metal roof,
As a result of our ongoing mission work in Puerto Barrios, twenty-three children are able to attend the Lutheran School, having been matched with loving sponsors. School fees are covered, Christmas cards exchanged, and gifts are delivered by the mission team.
God has, without fail, planned these trips well in advance of our knowledge of the mission need. He was the One who assembled each particular, highly gifted crew of servants. He wanted each team to experience the joy of serving a receptive and grateful community of people, poor in possessions but SO rich in spirit. He sent the "trippers" off as mission trip participants, but in one very short week, morphed each one into a missionary for LIFE, forever in love with the people of Guatemala! Those who have traveled to Guatemala call it the land of a thousand kisses and hugs. The people we have met there are beautiful, inside and out. Love abounds in Guatemala!
Ongoing Mission in Guatemala