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A Big Moment for Latin American Ministries

Written by Brad Hammond, VP of Field Ministries

Our Latin American leaders from Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras gathered together at the campus in Ocotillo, Honduras, the week of August 8-12th for what we called "The Vision Workshop." The purpose of the Vision Workshop was to put all the Latin American fields on the path toward sustainability. It was a fantastic week that was incredibly well-received!

Andy Sims, Matt Termeer, Rick Scruggs*, and I have been working on the Vision Workshop since before COVID hit the world stage; so, this was a big moment for Lifeline and especially the Latin American pastors and leaders! There was teaching throughout the workshop, but the leaders spent large amounts of time creating their initial sustainability plans with the coaches and field leaders from their own countries. 

Moving toward sustainability is not for the faint of heart, but it is possible! We have adopted a saying that has become our favorite joke with our leaders there: "How do you eat an elephant? ONE BITE AT A TIME!" Darwyn Sanchez, Lifeline's leader who oversees all of our Latin American ministries, ran with that theme, and we had a lot of fun with it! We had an elephant piñata, an elephant cake (that we literally ate one bite at a time!), and an elephant hat that leaders who shared innovative and thoughtful ideas got to wear as they were cheered on by their peers.

We believe some of the greatest breakthrough moments during the week happened in the afternoons, after our morning learning sessions. Each afternoon, along with Lifeline pastors, we all did site visits to learn about and see what sustainability projects look like. 

Being able to see sustainability with their own eyes and hear how God is working in and through those projects was tremendously valuable! We visited the container outfitting project in Omoa where a shipping container has been transformed into a restaurant, and Cofradia where shipping containers are now a community and vocational center. We visited economic empowerment projects in Ocotillo. And we heard the testimonies of other Latin American leaders who are involved in sustainability projects. 

Please be in prayer for our leaders in pastors in Latin America as they roll out their plans in each of their communities. At Lifeline, we believe that creating opportunities for sustainability can be Good News for each community and also bring about greater freedom and dignity to all involved.

* Job titles:
      Andy Sims: VP, Development & Empowerment Initiatives
      Matt Termeer: Champion, Economic Empowerment Initiatives
      Rick Scruggs: VP, Lifeline Canada

Each day included learning followed by application. The leaders each worked with their coach to draft up their sustainability plan.

Visits to variety of sustainability projects spurred lots of discussion and new ideas! 

Our visit to La Plaza Tacos -- a "container outfitting project" that turned a container into a restaurant -- was so motivating. This restaurant in Omoa has become a training ground for the young women in Lifeline's girls' home to build their vocational and business skills. And... the food is INCREDIBLE!