My year got off to a running start with a quick visit to Guatemala City on the Jan. 7. I flew to Guatemala to visit our new Buckner Family Hope Center in San Jose de Pinula close to Guatemala City.
Our work in Guatemala, under the leadership of Carlos Colón, has flourished dramatically. Through a series of divine interventions, the Lord led Carlos and his team to find a new location for a Family Hope Center in the Pinula area. I had the privilege of walking onto the campus for the first time in early January for a back-to-school event. Several Buckner volunteers and donors took a trip there to conduct back-to-school activities where they were serving hundreds of elementary age students through Bible stories, singing, hygiene seminars, and recreation.
The campus is probably one of the most beautiful locations of all 26 sites we have in Texas and in six countries outside the United States.
Wow! I saw open green spaces for children to run and play, very nice buildings that have been repurposed, lots of room for expansion, and a very engaged staff. Children were running, playing with their siblings while their parents watched. It was a scene out of a storybook about the way families should enjoy each other like on a day at the park.
At the end of my very short visit, Carlos planned for me to help him launch a new social media campaign on Facebook and a new Facebook page called “Buckner América Latina y El Caribe” found at https://www.facebook.com/BucknerLatino/. This campaign unites all our work in Latin America and in the Caribbean. In the last year, Carlos has led his team to grow his Facebook followers to over 100,000 with over 600 volunteers and churches in Guatemala.
He convinced me to record several videos in Spanish for our Facebook page called “Buckner America Latina y el Caribe.” Feel free to look up this new page on Facebook. Over the next few weeks, my video announcements will be featured on this Facebook page. I invite you to go there and like the page, share the page, and enjoy our Spanish segments.
Dr. Daniel R. Sánchez, my Field Advisor in the Doctor of Ministry in Missiology program at Southwestern Seminary, was visiting Guatemala recently. He met with the President and First Lady of Guatemala. During the conversation, he presented her with a Bible and ask if she had any prayer requests. The First Lady requested prayer for “wisdom for how to serve the vulnerable children of her country and to give thanks for the work of Buckner in Guatemala, under the able leadership of Carlos Colón. Dr. Sanchez acknowledges Buckner and mentioned that he knew the President and CEO, and they both marveled at the small world we live in.
Buckner is building strong families in Guatemala and throughout Latin America and the Caribbean because we know strong families provide healthy family environments for children, they build strong communities, and they help a nation thrive. Take a moment to pray for the nation of Guatemala, for her people, her prosperity, for Buckner staff serving there, and for thousands of vulnerable children who need a place to call home.