Lights for Christ Scholarships in Guatemala

Divine Savior Lutheran Church, Zacapa, Guatemala


nullThe families who live at the landfill have very limited means.  The children are often needed to help gather recyclables from the landfill to help provide an income for the family.  Education and medical care through the Lights for Christ Program is one means to help these children out of the cycle of poverty.  The home in this photo is where one of the Lights for Christ families lives.
nullThe children that live in the landfill do not have adequate nutrition or medical care.  The Lights for Christ Program provides well rounded meals for the children at the Edie Jorns Boarding School twice a day during the school year.  In cooperation with Divine Savior, Holy Cross has sent medical doctors to serve the community annually for the last three years. During their visit, the American doctors check the health of each child in the program and provide needed medicine

The Lights for Christ program developed by Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Wichita, Kansas and Divine Savior Lutheran Church in Zacapa, Guatemala will impact 12 impoverished Guatemalan children and their families who live in the Zacapa garbage dump by offering the life-saving Gospel of Christ, food and clothing, health and sanitation care, and school transportation to ‘the poorest of the poor’ with scholarships to attend Divine Savior Lutheran School. This education program covers most of their basic needs and equips these children in grades 7-12 to reach out into their community with the gospel. This request funds 90% of the projected costs for these youth to continue their education through high school. Since this scholarship program began, Guatemalan children and their families are worshiping at Divine Savior on a regular basis.

WHEREAS, Christ teaches us to make disciples of all nations; and
WHEREAS, the people who live in the municipal landfill in Zacapa, Guatemala, have very limited means to support their children spiritually and physically; and
WHEREAS, the Lights for Christ Program offers spiritual and academic education and physical substance to the children of the municipal landfill and teaches the children to reach out into the community to spread the Gospel; and
WHEREAS, donations are currently inadequate to fund the Lights for Christ Program for children in grades 7-12; therefore be it
RESOLVED, that the delegates gathered at the 2019 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League Convention in Mobile, Alabama, vote the sum of $95,000 to help fund Lights for Christ Scholarships.

nullDivine Savior Lutheran Church and Holy Cross Lutheran Church came together and initiated a program of outreach to the children of the local Zacapa landfill, which they call the Lights for Christ (Luces de Cristo) Program.  This program helps children living in the landfill by addressing their physical and spiritual needs.  The children receive an academic and Christian education at Divine Savior Lutheran School in Zacapa.  Their uniforms and books are provided by the Lights for Christ program. 
nullThe Lights for Christ Program requires children to give back to their community in many ways including visiting nursing homes, visiting the sick and participating in community service projects.  Because of the poverty of these families, the children have not had much opportunity to see life outside their small village in the landfill.  One goal of the program is to have the children be active, productive adults, and share the many blessings that God have given them.
Some of the students need special education that only the local public school can give. These children attend the public school in the morning. In the afternoon they receive tutoring and Christian education at a home in the landfill. Director Cory travels to the home to assist in this education.
Despite the conditions of the landfill in which the children live, they are lively, happy and inquisitive. As the children entered the Lights for Christ Program they were socially behind their peers and needed to learn such skills as wearing shoes, holding a pencil and using the toilet.
The primary goal of the Lights for Christ Program is to share the love of Christ with the children and their families. An indication that God it blessing this program is reflected in the baptism of eight of the children in March of 2018. Prior to the baptism, the children and their families had two months of instruction regarding the church and the importance of baptism at Divine Savior Lutheran Church.


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