One of the tremendous blessings of the medical ministry of Caring Partners International is the ability to establish and grow relationships with our national church partners.
CPI's work with Pastor Fernando Marroquin has not only created a strong partnership with his home church in Guatemala City, Sembradores de Vida, but has now blossomed into a relationship with a U.S. church and a new church plant in Veramina, Guatemala.
Several years ago, Pastor David Schenck and members of Buckeye Baptist Church in Middletown, Ohio traveled with Caring Partners to serve with our first medical mission team in Veramina, hosted by Pastor Marroquin and Sembradores de Vida. Sembradores had begun a house church movement in the community, but no permanent church building had been established, so our Caring Partners medical clinic was housed in a local school building.
By God's grace, more than 200 individuals made a profession of faith in Jesus Christ as a result of that first medical mission outreach, and both Pastor Schenck & Pastor Marroquin had a burden - "Where will these people go to church?" Pastor Schecnk shared the burden with his home church in Ohio, and as a result, there is now a building for "Buckeye Veramina Church".
Through the years, Caring Partners has continued to minister in the community of Veramina. One outreach was to help a young boy named Moises receive a surgery to repair a dangerously large inguinal hernia. Moises' grandfather Miguel witnessed this act of love and compassion, and the Holy Spirit moved in his heart, prompting Miguel to enroll in theological studies with Sembradores de Vida. Two years ago, seventeen students enrolled in these classes. To attend, Miguel had to walk two hours from his home, then catch a ride to the seminary building. He'd wake up at 3:00 AM, before his daily work picking pineapples in the fields, and study his lessons by flashlight.
On Wednesday, February 7th, the day before our medical mission team arrived to serve in Veramina, Miguel graduated from his classes. Of the seventeen students initially enrolled, only two completed the course, and Miguel was the only graduate from Veramina!
Sembradores Church's Associate Pastor Ewald Marroquin led the entire medical mission team in a group prayer to celebrate Miguel's tremendous achievement. How thrilling for Caring Partners, Sembradores de Vida, Buckeye Baptist Church, and Buckeye Veramina to see how the Lord had assembled all the pieces of His wonderful work in Veramina, and all in His perfect timing! And during this year's clinic, 42 more souls were added to the Kingdom. We praise the Lord for His goodness.