El Tineco is a farming community in the mountains of El Palmar, Quetzaltenango, and has been working with World Renew partner Vine and Branches for a number of years on a variety of programs, including sustainable agriculture, preventative health, and community organization. El Tineco has also developed a strong relationship with one of our church partners, the Christian Reformed Church of Pease, Minnesota, over the past seven years.
And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. — Galatians 6:9
David Ramírez, the director of Vine and Branches, sat down with leaders from El Tineco to talk about the changes they’ve seen during their time in these partnerships. Here are some of their observations:
To travel to our community, you drive on dirt roads that are paved only in parts. We are a community of poor families; some families have enough land to build a home and farm a small plot of land, while others only have enough land for a small space to live. The majority of families haven’t been educated and do not know how to read or write. Before Vine and Branches began working in El Tineco, we weren’t an organized community, and many community members didn’t have much hope for change.
One of the important ways our community has seen transformation since Vine and Branches began working here is in community organization. We began with the formation of a Community Development Council, a group of leaders responsible for envisioning and promoting the development of our community. This council formed various committees committed to things like working for a better road, securing safe drinking water, and addressing the needs of the school in El Tineco.
As a result of this internal community organization, today many of the families in our community have electricity and running water in their homes; the roads have been improved and paved; and a health clinic has been constructed. In addition, the majority of the families are Christian — both evangelical and Catholic — and these groups have been able to unite and work together on projects to help their community.
Now we in El Tineco are aware that there is much more to do, especially regarding preventative health and environmental care. But we are hopeful that the next generation of young people will be able to keep fighting for the development of our community because the majority of this younger generation is studying. This means that, in a few years, they will hopefully be professionals and will be able to keep improving our community.
El Tineco is thankful to God for the opportunities we’ve had to transform our community, and we would like to acknowledge the trainings and the support of Vine and Branches, World Renew, and the donors. We have not only seen progress and growing interest in these programs, but also the strengthening of people’s faith through these relationships.
We at World Renew are always encouraged when both our partners and communities are deeply committed to transformation. It can take years to see progress, and can be easy to become discouraged. Hearing stories like this one from the leaders of El Tineco is a reminder that God is really at work here, and we rejoice in this encouragement!
Please pray with us:
- We are grateful that Sadoc returned safely from his April connections tour and was able to visit the churches that support us, especially our two long-term partner churches.
- We pray for our church partners, especially Pease, Bethel, and Escalon CRC, that God would deepen their relationships here in Guatemala and continue using them for transformation both in Guatemala and in their churches at home.
- We pray for our partner organizations in Guatemala, that they would work wisely, effectively, and energetically and share their passion for transformation and their love for God with the communities they serve.
- We pray for the communities in which we work, for excitement surrounding our programs and for faithful long-term participation.
World Renew Guatemala