Benaiah Home Update

Engadi Ministries is excited to announce that we are on the verge of taking three at-risk young men into the Benaiah Home. This marks a milestone of growth for the ministry, and while we are very close to welcoming all three boys into the home, there are still several things that must take place before we can do so. Here is a simplified breakdown of the primary steps to officially opening the doors of the Benaiah Home, and several ways that you can pray for Engadi as that date draws nearer.

The first step that must take place is that each boy and his parents must provide a set of legal documents that allow Engadi to care for him within the Benaiah Home. After receiving that paperwork, Engadi is then able to work with a local private school and Guatemala’s Department of Education to enroll each boy there. This educational step is a vital step since it would be counterproductive to remove a boy from his current situation without having a way to continue his education.

One of the schools in Paraíso where the boys are transferring from.

One of the schools in Paraíso where the boys are transferring from.

Engadi has chosen three boys that were slated to enter the home during the first part of 2016, and has a second three boys picked to join them in the home after a few months of acclimation. We have received the legal documents to complete the first step for each of the first three boys, and are working to have them approved by the Department of Education to transfer to our local private school. One has already been approved and is move-in ready! Due to the unique situations of each of the other two boys, we are still awaiting their approval to transfer schools which could happen any day.

Of the second set of boys chosen to move into the Benaiah Home, Engadi has begun the process to enroll them in the home to hasten the process. We are still waiting to receive the first legal documents for each of the second set of boys, but two of them have already been approved to transfer schools by the Department of Education! Praise God!

Engadi wants to specifically request prayers that Guatemala’s Department of Education would approve each of the remaining boys (two in the first set, and one in the second) to transfer to the local private school near the Benaiah Home. Pray also that the legal documentation for the second set of boys would have no hangups, and that their families are able to provide the necessary documents. Finally, we ask your prayers for each of the boys as the will soon transition into the home and also begin attending a new school. Pray that they are able to acclimate to differences in their environment with relative ease. Pray that they are able to catch up in school during the coming months as many of them have fallen behind by several grade levels or have dropped out all together to help support their families.

Engadi thanks you for your prayers, and praises God in faith for what He will do through each of the boys that comes into the Benaiah Home, and for the plans He has in store for them. We look to Him to open all of the doors, and make this chapter of Engadi a reality for His glory.

#engadi #hope #brotherhood.


Opening its doors soon- The Benaiah Home

#StartWithASmile Campaign


This week, Engadi Ministries, along with many other charitable organizations worldwide, is taking part in Amazon Smile’s #StartWithASmile campaign. The campaign seeks to raise awareness and share help Engadi and similar organizations share their stories using social media to allow readers like you to be informed on how we are changing lives, and let you know ways that you can get involved (at no extra cost to you)!

Here are two ways you can help Engadi Ministries when you #StartWithASmile:

1) You can help support Engadi financially when you do your regular Amazon shopping through Amazon Smile. Just follow the link and log in to your usual Amazon account. Make sure Engadi Ministries Intl. is your selected organization, and you all set! Do your regular Amazon shopping with the same selection, same prices, and same great service, and when you check out, Amazon will automatically donate 0.5% of the total of your eligible purchases to Engadi. It’s that simple, and costs you no extra!

2) You can also help get the word out about Engadi by sharing posts you see on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. This is one of the fastest, easiest, and best ways that you can spread the word of how Engadi is working to bring #hope and #brotherhood to Paraíso, a small impoverished community in the northern slums of Guatemala.



Beds Delivered To Benaiah Home

Imagine growing up without a bed to call your own. Perhaps your bed was a shared couch your family found in a trash heap just outside their squatter community. Maybe it was a simple bedroll of cushion spread out on a dirt floor each night. If you were lucky enough to have a mattress, it was undoubtedly several decades old, had numerous previous owners, and was shared between you, your siblings, and maybe even parents each night. This is a far too common reality for children growing up in the slums of Guatemala City such as Paraíso.

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After spending your childhood years in one of the conditions above, could you imagine if, one day, you not only had a new mattress with sheets to sleep on, but you got to call that bed “yours?” This will very soon become a reality for the boys who are coming to live in Engadi’s Benaiah House. This week, nine brand-new mattresses were delivered to the home from the local mattress factory. As we prepare to take in our first three young men to the home, please be in prayer for the transition each of the boys will make. It will certainly be difficult at times, but we pray that it would ultimately be a transition that would bring a #brotherhood to the future men of Paraíso, and foster their #hope of becoming Mighty Men in Christ.


“In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety.”
Psalm 4:8


Thank You, Asbury 2016!

The team of youth from Asbury First United Methodist Church finished up their work week by spending their last work day working on paving the road that leads to Engadi Ranch, the future site of Engadi’s complex of homes, schools, and recreational centers for at-risk boys. The team worked on one of the last sections of the road that needs work!

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Engadi wants to give a very special “thank you” to the team who accomplished so much in their week-long trip to partner with us. The team also worked on the construction of three more beds for future young men who will be admitted into the Benaiah House, as well as various electrical and roof repairs around the home. All of this was in addition to their main project of beginning work on Paraíso’s first playground constructed from recycled and repurposed tires. The team worked several days to first clean, then paint the tires, prep the playground location, and begin construction on the new play area. To see photos of their work in Paraíso, click here.

Ultimately, the team of high school seniors put in an awesome week of work with Engadi Ministries. We are grateful to them for sacrificing their last spring break of high school to help Engadi Ministries bring #hope and #brotherhood to the neighborhood of Paraíso.

201603 Asbury


TEDxUGA 2016 : Illuminate

Esteemed photographers Phillip and Eileen Blume of Blume Photography will be speaking live this Friday at the TEDxUGA event. Their talk will have a focus on Engadi Ministries, and ways that they have partnered to help bring awareness to children living in slums of Guatemala City such as Paraíso. In 2012, the Blumes wrote, directed, produced “The Lost Boys of Paradise,” a documentary film on Engadi Ministries Intl. Since then, they have also created short films as follow up pieces to their full-length film, and also continue to serve on Engadi Ministries’ Board of Directors.

Phillip Blume of Blume Photography on location in Guatemala in January, 2016.

Phillip Blume of Blume Photography on location in Guatemala in January, 2016.

The event, which will be held at the University of Georgia can be streamed online at The Blumes will be speaking at approximately 3:45 pm EST. You can catch the LIVE simulcast of the entire event from 1:00-5:00 pm EST, this Friday, March 18 at We encourage you to tune in live Friday to hear Phillip and Eileen as we are excited to hear their “ideas worth spreading.”


“Ideas have the power to educate, motivate, inspire, and illuminate. Great ideas light a fire within us, and often the biggest ideas start with the smallest of sparks: a spark of genius, a spark of imagination, or maybe even a spark of madness. The University of Georgia strives to seek out those sparks and illuminate the brilliance within us all. TEDxUGA 2016: Illuminate will bring UGA’s brightest minds into the spotlight to share their stories, experiences, and ideas worth spreading. Today’s ideas will illuminate tomorrow’s possibilities. All it takes is a single spark.”

#TEDxUGA #BlumePhotography #engadi

Playground in Paraíso

The team of youth from Asbury United Methodist Church has been hard at work in Paraíso this entire week working on a very special project- a playground for children in the community! The play area is strategically located at the top of the soccer stadium in Paraíso, and is about 1-2 blocks from four different local elementary schools.

The playground site is strategically located at the top of the soccer stadium in Paraíso, only about a block from four local elementary schools.

The playground site is strategically located at the top of the soccer stadium in Paraíso, only about 1-2 blocks from four local elementary schools.

Monday, the team worked to paint tires and level the play area which is located atop one of Guatemala City’s former landfills, so the ground was full of all sorts of debris. They followed up Tuesday by finishing painting tires, including two giant tractor tires, and beginning to set the tires into the ground. They were joined by numerous local children who were excited to finally have a playground in their very own community. Several of the boys within the Derek Program also joined the work to lend a hand to improve their neighborhood. Wednesday, the team finished up by constructing a jungle gym/mountain of stacked and secured tires.

Tires were then secured into the ground with help from local children, including many of the young men in the Derek Program.

Tires were then secured into the ground with help from local children, including many of the young men in the Derek Program.

Throughout the week, many residents expressed their gratitude and renewed #hope in their community that the new play area had brought. While most other neighborhoods in Guatemala City have a communal play area for children, residents of Paraíso conveyed that this was a wish that they had simply never been able to afford within their own neighborhood, and the government had never bothered to offer to Paraíso. Parents became emotional at the sight of the new play area slowly coming together, and children expressed their excitement at finally having a designated place in their community where they could play.

The playground still lacks a few more structures that will be finished in the coming weeks, but so far it is looking great! Thank you, Asbury youth for your hard work and determination this week to bring #restoration and leave a lasting #legacy of Christ’s love in Paraíso by bringing #hope and #brotherhood through creating one of very few safe places for children to play in Paraíso.


The team from Asbury partnered up with local children and families to work on the playground, bringing #hope and #brotherhood to Paraíso.

The team from Asbury partnered up with local children and families to work on the playground, bringing #hope and #brotherhood to Paraíso.

Spring Family Festival

Yesterday, with the help of students from Asbury, Engadi hosted its largest family festival in Paraíso to date. The festival drew people of all ages from all over Paraíso to see the fun and games. The festivities included music, bounce houses, games (such as soccer, jump rope, and parachute games), crafts, face painting, and nail painting for the women and girls. Several hundred residents were in attendance, and popsicles were provided as a refreshing treat to all who stayed until the end as well as a brief presentation of the Gospel message.

The team from Asbury will be partnering with us through the end of the week. We can’t wait to update you on the outcome of their project with recycled tires that we alluded to at the end of last week! We are thankful for their partnering efforts to bring #hope and #brotherhood to the community of Paraíso.



Video: Recent Updates and Ministry Progress, Spring 2016

Engadi Ministries wants to update you on the recent changes and strides we have made over the past six months. Check out this brief, two minute video on some of the changes you can expect to see on your next trip down to partner with Engadi Ministries in Guatemala. We praise God for what He is doing in Guatemala through Engadi to bring #hope and #brotherhood to the community of Paraíso.

Video Credit: Phillip Blume of Blume Photography and Film.


Derek Group Prepares for Asbury Team

With our largest team of the year only days away, the Engadi staff is hurriedly preparing the final details for their arrival this weekend. Meanwhile, the #brotherhood of boys in Engadi’s Derek Program are also hard at work cleaning their community and preparing for the special project that Asbury’s youth team will be working on in Paraíso. They are taking the first steps of hauling out all the trash in one of their community’s common areas and are beginning the groundwork for when the Asbury team arrives this weekend. Check out their strides forward since the beginning of the month!


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The Derek Boys did a great job clearing this part of their community a a way to bring restoration and leave a legacy in Paraíso!

The Derek Boys did a great job clearing this part of their community a a way to bring restoration and leave a legacy in Paraíso! We can’t wait to share with you the finished project with the help of the Asbury team!

We love the #hope that these boys carry for their community, and are looking forward to having a few helping hands to aid them next week in bringing restoration and legacy to Paraíso!

#engadi #hope #brotherhood

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.


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.