Derek Retreat in Benaiah Home

This week, Engadi hosted it’s first ever retreat for boys in the Derek Program. Some of the oldest and most active boys in the program were invited to Engadi’s Benaiah Home for a three-day retreat. Six boys were able to attend the event and arrived to the house Tuesday afternoon. The retreat served several purposes, and much was accomplished during the time with the boys.

#brotherhood

#brotherhood

During the days, the young men had devotional and discipleship time together where Engadi’s Director of Discipleship, David Medina had prepared a series of messages with them during the time they were here. With a one-to-one ratio of boys to Engadi staff and volunteers, we were able to be attentive to the needs and concerns of each boy and spend precious time discipling each one.

Prayer time in the Benaiah Home

Prayer time in the Benaiah Home

 

Volunteer, Brenda Stephens teaching the young men how to give a three-point speech.

Volunteer, Brenda Stephens teaching the young men how to give a three-point speech.

Boys practiced giving three-point speeches to their peers

Boys practiced giving three-point speeches to their peers

Volunteer, Brenda Stephens also had a sequence of classes planned for the retreat with material covering, honoring God though career choices, how to choose a career, tips on giving presentations and doing job interviews, and general restaurant etiquette. The boys were attentive through each of the classes and at the end of the week were able to give presentations to their peers on their career of choice and how they planned on reaching their goal. We are very proud of the efforts they put forth through each of the classes and seeing #hope awakened in each boy.

Playing tug-of-war on the bad of the Benaiah House

Playing tug-of-war on the yard of the Benaiah House

Connor and Brooklyn handing out materials to begin a recreational activity

Connor and Brooklyn handing out materials to begin a recreational activity

Volunteers, Connor and Brooklyn headed up recreational activities throughout each day to give the boys a time to get energy out, build #brotherhood, and just be boys. The boys played a variety of games including tug-of-war, scavenger hunts, and creating contraptions for a two-story egg drop.

 

 

 

At nights, boys gathered together to watch movies in the Benaiah Home in including both Courageous and God’s Not Dead, both which almost every boy had never seen before. By the end of the two days, to say that the boys were worn out would be an understatement. Engadi is grateful for the opportunity and resources to host an event like this and deeply impact the lives of some of the boys that we have worked with the longest in Paraíso.

Settling in for the night to watch "God's Not Dead"

Settling in for the night to watch “God’s Not Dead”

#engadi

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The Derek Boys with Engadi Staff and Volunteers

Derek Group Outing to Scaled Relief Map

This week, the highest performing boys within Engadi’s Derek Group took a special outing to one of Guatemala City’s educational attractions- a scaled relief map of nations Guatemala and Belize. The map, which was created by explorer Francisco Vela at the beginning of the 20th century, is a 3D portrayal of both countries with mountains, volcanoes, cities, and rivers all labeled. It was a great way of the boys, who rarely have the opportunity to leave Guatemala City, to learn more about their nation and realize how much more there is to Guatemala than what they might be aware.

After viewing the map, the boys went to a nearby park to share a snack and just be kids! The #brotherhood spent time throwing a frisbee, playing on the playground, and of course, striking up a pickup soccer game. The boys also spent meaningful one-on-one time with the Engadi staff and interns. We are proud of each of these boys, and the commitment they have put into their discipleship groups, community service, and the Derek Group as a whole.

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Evidences of Hope- #3

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Engadi has recently initiated English classes as another way to bring #hope to Paraíso. While learning a second language may be a leisure pursuit for some, to the boys in Paraíso it could lead to new job opportunities, even some that they otherwise would have been disqualified from due to the neighborhood in which they were raised. In fact, in some careers in Guatemala, having a basic knowledge of the English language could almost double an employee’s pay.

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We have witnessed the renewed #hope and confidence these classes give the boys within the Derek Program as they strive to reach perfection in their class grades- dancing to every perfect score they get and being dissatisfied with any score below. These opportunities will allow the Derek Boys to be able to pursue their dreams, giving them even more possible breakthroughs to become Godly leaders to their families, community, nation, and church.

#engadi

Evidences of Brotherhood- #3

Through the English classes that were initiated in Paraíso last week, Engadi has been able to create an even stronger #brotherhood within the boys in the Derek Program. This #brotherhood can be seen especially between Engadi staff members and the boys during their lessons. While working on the computers, boys have a mentor with them to guide and answer questions throughout the lessons. This has strengthened the bond between the boys and their mentors, and boys can often be heard saying, “Don’t leave me,” or “I want you to sit right here while I work.” This has provided Engadi an even greater opportunity to teach, disciple, and encourage the boys and focus on their individual needs. In addition, many of the boys can be heard encouraging each other, comparing scores of their recent work, and practicing their English together. We are excited to see #brotherhood growing within the Derek Program, and are continuing to create restoration and legacy in Paraíso through providing #hope and #brotherhood to the community.

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Engadi Initiates English Classes in Paraíso

This week, Engadi piloted new typing and English classes for the boys in the Derek Program. Young men who had a desire to improve their skills in either of these areas were invited to classes led by Engadi staff members in the Engadi Transformation Center. Most of these boys do not have regular access to computers, and having even weekly classes on computers will help them gain skills that will be valuable when they begin seeking employment in the future. In addition, having knowledge of the English language can possibly augment, if not double, the salary that they are qualified to earn in many job markets in Guatemala.

More importantly, the classes give boys a time of one-on-one mentorship, encouragement, and discipleship with Engadi staff. The boys’ faces couldn’t hide their excitement and contentment to have a focused time of attention and learning with an adult they trusted.

Engadi is excited to expand the scope of the Derek Program that we are able to extend to boys in Paraíso who are motivated to succeed in spite of their current situation. These classes are scheduled to continue twice a week throughout the summer months for boys who are interested. Check back periodically for updates and photos of the classes throughout the summer!

#engadi #hope #brotherhood

Evidence of Brotherhood #2

Brayan, one of the boys within the Derek Program who lives with his mother and siblings, recently moved away from the Paraíso community due to not having a stable house to live in with the community. Brayan, however, is determined not to let this pull him away from the Derek Program. Every week he seeks out transportation to go to Paraíso several times so that he doesn’t miss out on his discipleship groups or partaking in community service with the other Derek boys. In fact, his devotion to the #brotherhood that the Derek group provides is so strong that in April, he earned perfect attendance by not missing a single Derek event that month! We are astonished by his hard work and determination to not let the current circumstances of his family hold him back from his personal hopes and dreams or spiritual growth. Way to go Brayan!

#engadi

Brayan Segura

Derek Outing to the Movies

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Last Friday, Engadi staff members, James, David, and Manuel had the opportunity to take a handful of the boys in the Derek Program who have really shown excellent performance in their work over the past several months. Fifteen boys qualified for the outing by having high attendance records at their weekly discipleship groups and community service activities, and out of those fifteen, fourteen had perfect attendance during the last period of Bible studies, setting a record since the Derek Group started last year.  Going to the movies is a special treat that few of these boys get to do often based on their socioeconomic status and limited resources within their families.  We are thrilled to see the #brotherhood growing between these boys and and celebrating their hard work through an outing to the theater.

#engadi

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Monday Discipleship Groups in Paraíso

Manuel leading Monday morning's Bible study in the Engadi Transformation Center in Paraíso

Manuel leading Monday morning’s Bible study in the Engadi Transformation Center in Paraíso

Every Monday in Paraíso, Manuel, Engadi’s Community Outreach Coordinator, leads two Bible Studies for the young men in the Derek Program. The studies offer the boys a time of Biblical teaching and Spiritual growth, as well as a time to bond and build #brotherhood between them. Since the study began in September, the boys have come to love their time together learning Biblical lessons and how they can apply them to their individual lives. 10-year-old Canche, one of the boys in the Derek Program looks forward to his small group each week, and especially loves learning new lessons from the Bible. Also, 9-year-old Anthony’s favorite part of his small group is learning new Biblical stories, his favorite so far being Noah’s Ark.

While it is wonderful to see each boy helping out in his community and focusing on his education while in the Derek Program, Engadi also focuses heavily on creating a foundation in Christ in order to give each boy a strong base from which he can continue developing in every other aspect. We are thankful for this opportunity to work closely with each of these bright young men and watch them learn and grow in their personal walks with God through this intimate discipleship group.

Weekly Discipleship classes in the Engadi Transformation Center Weekly Discipleship classes in the Engadi Transformation Center

Derek Group Takes Outing for Ice Cream

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This week, boys within the Derek Program who succeeded in having satisfactory attendance in both community service and their weekly discipleship group were treated to a trip out of Paraíso for ice cream with Engadi staff members- David, James, and Manuel. Over the past several months, the #brotherhood of young men has formed a tighter bond from within, and can regularly be found encouraging each other in attendance and work. During this outing were three boys that had achieved perfect attendance in their discipleship group and in community service for both February and March. Engadi is proud of the strides made by each individual boy within the group, and enjoys watching each grow and develop into Mighty Men of Paraíso.

#engadi

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Juanes’ Receives His Birth Record

Meet Juanes. He is a regular participant in Engadi’s Derek Program for at-risk boys living in Paraíso, a neighborhood in the northern slums of Guatemala City. Juanes has one of the highest attendance records within the Derek Program, and can regularly be found helping younger boys within the area complete their community service projects, or helping them in their discipleship groups.

Juanes’ mother makes tortillas within the community, earning little more than a few dollars a day to support their family. His father is absent from his life. In spite of being fourteen years old, Juanes has never been able to attend school due to unusual events surrounding his emergency birth in 2001 that prevented him from receiving a birth certificate. To the Guatemalan government, it is as if Juanes didn’t exist, at least until a few months ago.

Last fall, Manuel, David, and James, of Engadi Ministries, began working with Juanes and his family to locate the small public hospital where he was born, petition for a new birth certificate, and register Juanes with the national government. In October, after searching through years worth of handwritten birth records, Juanes’ file was found in a small hospital across Guatemala City, but that was just the beginning of the process.

Yesterday, after numerous trips to the capital city, visiting at least four separate public offices, and countless hours waiting in lines, Juanes received his birth certificate, and was registered with the Guatemalan government, allowing him to enroll in school, and one day apply for jobs and get married.

Juanes' mother, Gregoria Cutzal, Juanes, and Engadi's Director of Discipleship, David Medina outside Juanes home.

Juanes’ mother, Gregoria Cutzal, Juanes, and Engadi’s Director of Discipleship, David Medina outside Juanes home.

Juanes can’t wait to begin studying and learn to read and write. He has already been working one-on-one with Engadi’s Neighborhood Outreach Coordinator, Manuel Fajardo, and has learned to recognize and write letters including his full name, which was made official this winter: Juan Jose Cutzal.

What an example of #hope he is! Engadi will continue working with Juanes and his family to help him reach his full potential in Christ.

#engadi

Juanes proudly displaying his government registration which will allow him to enroll in school, apply for jobs, and one day get married.

Juanes proudly displaying his government registration which will allow him to enroll in school, apply for jobs, and one day get married.