The Bridge Builders Adult Short-Term Trip provides an easy entry for Wooddalers to experience cross-cultural ministry in Guatemala. The ministry is now in its 25th year of serving in the Lake Atitlan district of the Guatemalan Highlands.
The purpose of the Bridge Builders ministry is to work side by side with the believers in local churches to show the love of Jesus Christ to people in the Lake Atitlan area. We do this by establishing and maintaining relationships and through many various ministries.
Home Construction – Teams partner with local contractors and families to build home around the Lake Atitlan area. Partnering with the local churches, the goal is to not only provide the family with a physical home, but also a church home and a connection with the local pastors Over 150 homes have been completed over the years.
Medical – Doctors, nurses, dentists, dental hygienists, and helpers offer assistance to people around the lake. The goal is to provide immediate physical help and partner with the local churches in order that the people may learn about Jesus through this ministry.
Water Purification Systems and Education — Installing water filtration systems and working with local churches and schools to discuss the importance of drinking purified water has been one of our more successful efforts. Education includes verbal discussion, videos, and looking through the microscope to discuss the germs resident in water that has not been purified. Since beginning this ministry, the children are not getting sick as often from impure water.
Teaching – Teaching English as a second language has the Bridge Builder team partnering with public and private schools throughout the Lake Atitlan region. Friendships are formed and everyone’s life is touched. Schools can be concrete buildings or tin roof covered structures.
Sports Ministries – Soccer and Basketball have been utilized to engage people and build relationships. A gospel presentation is made as part of the activities. We have worked with local schools and churches to make this a fun event. The schools have enjoyed the structured skill tests we do as part of these activities.
Small Business Loans (Micro-enterprise) – Helping individuals and groups establish for-profit businesses by providing start-up loans is one of the goals of this ministry. Business training on godly principles is a primary part of this ministry. Businesses include Bead-making shops, markets (i.e., the corner store), and selling chickens, among others.
Pastor/DeaconTraining – Church leaders from the Lake Atitlan area churches and Wooddale Church discuss Kingdom building strategies, and perform short and long-term planning in order to reach people with the message of Jesus Christ in order to honor God and make more disciples.
One-on-One Home Visits – Partnering with the church leaders, small groups of Wooddalers visit our Guatemalan brothers and sisters in their homes to pray for them, encourage them in their faith, and give them hope in the midst of poverty, sickness and suffering.
Computers in the schools – The goal of the computer ministry is to provide schools and churches around the lake with computer labs, allowing students to learn valuable skills in working with technology that will one day help them to find employment. This ministry brings and installs donated computers and printers in computer labs that are constructed by the schools and churches, creating a partnership with the Guatemalans we are serving.
Alcoholism Recovery – Alcoholism is a serious problem in the villages around Lake Atitlan. This ministry meets with men, women and their families who are affected by alcoholism, prays for them and provides whatever resources and tools they can to help them escape their addiction. The alcoholism recovery ministry works with our local church partners to help end the suffering cause by alcoholism in Guatemala.