The Central American Lutheran Mission Society (CALMS) helps Mt. Olive facilitate trips to Guatemala and has been doing so for several years.
Mt. Olive is working in the mountains of southeast Guatemala. We have been successful in planning and successfully building a medical clinic in Capucalito, Guatemala. We have started the next construction project to help build the first Special Needs classroom, in any public school, in La Union, Guatemala.
If you have questions, please contact Larry Turnipseed at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 512-924-9661 or pick up a brochure in the Narthex the next time you are at church.
We invite you to come along on our next mission (adventure) trip (May 2017) and ask for your support.Learn more about the 2017 Mission Trip: Guatemala
Mt. Olive has been working with our partners in the tiny mountain village of Capucalito in the southeast corner of Guatemala for close to four years. We have been fortunate in that small amount of time to have met and made so many friends there and have enjoyed a great relationship and amazing support from everyone.
A good portion of every trip is relation building in nature and we were privileged to be able to visit every home on our last trip there. We talked to every family, prayed with them and provided each one with their own Spanish language Bible. It’s important to get to know the people we will be working with and find out what their lives are like and what we can do to help. It is also important for them to meet and get to know us.
You see, we don’t want our mission teams to be seen as a resource for handouts. People are our most important resource and our most important mission so it is imperative for us to find out as much about the people we are working with and what we can do to help them achieve their goals. We want to help them help themselves as much as possible.
In the Spring of 2016 we dedicated a regional medical clinic in Capucalito made possible by generous donations from the Mt. Olive family.
But we asked something from the village too. They purchased and donated the property for the clinic and provided more than $6,000 in volunteer labor from the men in the village. This also gave them the opportunity to work side by side with professional block layers and gain valuable firsthand knowledge that has led to a new vocation for several men in the village. The Minister of Health for the State of Zacapa told us this clinic is the first of its kind in rural Guatemala and the Government is using it as a model for all future clinic construction in the country.
One small act of giving and caring by our members is changing the way a whole country sees providing health care in the future.
Special Needs Education:
In the Spring of 2017 we will dedicate the first suite of classrooms specifically dedicated to the needs of special education children in rural Guatemala. We met with the Director of Education for La Union, Guatemala in October, 2016 on the day construction started. He was very excited and said they had to come up with all new accounting codes for the project because no one had ever built classrooms just for special ed kids before. Mt. Olive joined with several other churches, individuals and companies to make this possible and construction is scheduled to be completed in April, 2017. What started out as a small suite of classrooms in a little village in Guatemala may have lasting effects on the way a whole country sees and treats their special needs children.
Concordia Austin is working with the Central American Lutheran Mission Society (CALMS) to make sure local teachers receive the help and continuing education they need. Future mission trips with experienced U.S. educators have been planned to give the teachers in La Union a resource that will make their work there more productive. We are helping them to help themselves.
In 2015 our mission team brought donated computers to Capucalito and gave them their first computer lab. The team worked closely with the students and teachers of the Basico (7th, 8th and 9th grades) for several days to give them some computer basics. You can imagine how excited the students were and how much they wanted to learn. There are very few televisions in Capucalito, no paved streets, no entertainment except for the mandatory soccer field you find in most Guatemalan villages and towns, no internet and very few cell phones. As a matter of fact, the cell phone signal comes from Honduras so it can be very expensive, especially to the locals. A little experience with computers will give the students going on to high school and beyond an advantage that most rural students don’t have.
In talking with the people in the village we noticed a lack of pictures in their humble homes. On one of our trips we had a photographer take family photos. A local business was able to develop them overnight and we were able to give them an 8x10 framed portrait the next day. As you can imagine, it was quite a hit. We only took a few pictures our first day but when the word got out about what we were doing, our team was stopped everywhere we went with people dressed in their Sunday finest.
Mt Olive is considering mission opportunities in Northern Mexico and we hope to have more information for you real soon.