Happy Mom, Happy Home

Mom’s Retreat

As you know a lot of the women here are beaten down, abused, neglected and never taken into account. Many of them are single moms with lots of kids doing all she can to get ahead.  No one ever encourages them or focuses on them.  We’ve felt the burden to do something.  Engadi’s primary ministry is to the boys, but we wanted to encourage the moms for their part in raising them.

Newspring Church blew us away with their generosity.  They started off with an amazing time of worship, in Spanish!  Sandra Medina, David’s wife, shared God’s word from her heart.  Several of the ladies gave their lives to Jesus for the first time.









We then spent the afternoon pampering the moms with Nail polish, Hair Station, Handcrafting, where some activities that helped to see withered faces turned into shiny princess. About 30 moms where pampered and loved. 


Starting off the New Year with Adventure

It can feel like the start of the year is a big, bad, wolf chasing you down with its mouth open full of sharp teeth.  With the assorted challenges awaiting ahead this kind of image was pounding in the minds and hearts of the boys we work with.  Engadi had the chance to spend those first few days of the New Year praying with them and spending time in God’s Word. 

“Keep your eyes straight ahead; ignore all sideshow distractions. Watch your step and the road will stretch out smooth before you. Look neither right nor left; leave evil in the dust”.

Proverbs 4:25-27 (The Message)

Our starting point was to seek God’s direction.  With the help of a well know App this verse of the Scripture got a new meaning in the lives of the Derek Boys  “Where do you find yourself today?”, we asked them. “Where do you want to go? Do you even know what is waiting ahead of you?”  We turned to God’s Word to find the answers for all of them. 

A men’s team from The Avenue Church in Waxahachie TX were eager to participate in a fun day for the Derek Boys.  They taught the boys how to build a trebuchet and proceeded to launch pumpkins.  Fun was had by all!

In keeping with the theme of facing every challenge head on the team and the boys went to an Extreme Game Park. Something totally new for the Derek Boys. There where several stations and challenges to conquer.  Every station had something to teach, a life lesson to be applied to real life events.  We used those stations to let them know that God will be there to help us in every obstacle that comes our way.  It was lots of fun! 

They had seen climbing walls and bungee jumps only on TV, but this was in real life… oh that was extreme!  Although skating doesn’t sound that extreme, none of them had had the chance to try it before.   With just a little practice they had a whole afternoon of fun.

What a blessing to invest in their lives and start the year off right! 



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.



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”



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.


Evidences of Hope- #3


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.


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.


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.


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!


Brayan Segura

Derek Outing to the Movies

201604 theater

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.


201604 theater 201604 theater

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