It was C.S. Lewis who once wrote that “symbols are the natural speech of the soul, a language older and more universal than words.” With this quote in mind, we have been trying to think of a symbol or image that might function as “natural speech” capturing the “soul” of our story at Hands of Hope as we sit down to write this first newsletter of 2015.
Many of you have been a part of the Hands of Hope story since our days serving in Vietnam. Others have been woven into the story more recently as we have turned our focus towards Guatemala. Still others of you reading this newsletter are hearing about our story for the fi rst time.
It is a daunting task to try to capture the essence of a story as rich as ours in the economy of words required in a newsletter, but let us try to do so utilizing a word picture (or “visual metaphor”).
One of the most vivid images of Guatemala culture is that of the huipil—a handwoven blouse worn by indigenous Mayan women. The huipil clearly and instantly marks one’s identity as a Mayan woman and identifies which part of the country she comes from by the unique designs and colors she is wearing. Thus, the huipil speaks to an authentic identity and the responsibility that comes from stating who one is and from where one comes. We have seen this portrayed so beautifully in the grassroots leaders whom we have come alongside to support in beautiful Guatemala. Their lives and ministries, like an ornate huipil, serve as beautiful tapestries of magnificent grace bursting forth with color and unique design for all to see.
Many of you have graciously walked with us as together we have entered into relationship with some amazing grassroots leaders in Guatemala who are weaving grace into the fabric of their communities. Specifically, this has included:
- AMG Guatemala-At Risk No More
- Treasures of Grace-Tesoros de Gracia- Canalitos
- Treasures of Grace-Tesoros de Gracia- Sakerti
- City of Refuge- Cuidad de Refuigio
- Hope for Guatemala
- Vidas Plenas
We cannot thank you enough for being, with us, Hands of Hope to these incredible grassroots leaders who are Gospel artisans – weavers of Christ-centered transformation. As our story continues to unfold, we invite you to join us into the next chapter of our story.
Since our very first days in Guatemala we have consulted with, and have been guided by the Center for Transforming Mission Guatemala. (CTM). CTM was founded by Joel VanDyke, serving with Christian Reformed World Missions, and is now completely in the hands of an amazing team of Guatemala leaders. It was through CTM that we were introduced to the leaders mentioned above. Watch this informative video: http://littlewayguatemala.com/ to learn more about
CTM Guatemala uses the image of a loom upon which grassroots leaders can weave transforming grace of the gospel into their communities. A loom is certainly
needed in order for a master weaver to create works of art. However, a master weaver also needs hands with which to do the weaving upon the loom.
This is where we see the incredible synergy between the work of CTM Guatemala and Hands of Hope Int'l. As we lean more into the unfolding tapestry that is the Hands of Hope story God is weaving for his glory, we have discerned a call to develop a more formalized relationship with CTM Guatemala. The formalizing of this partnership
will simply name what has already been in place and will be the most effective way to allow us to continue to serve the ministries we have been richly blessed to
come into relationship with.