Hard Work Instead of the Beach

Asbury Spring Break Mission Trip

1 John 2:14 I have written to you who are God’s children because you know the Father. I have written to you who are mature in the faith because you know Christ, who existed from the beginning.I have written to you who are young in the faith because you are strong. God’s word lives in your hearts, and you have won your battle with the evil one. 

The high school seniors from Asbury United Methodist church in Tulsa, Ok decided to consecrate their lives for Jesus and serve Him with all of their strength. A Group 68 teenagers  and leaders looked like a mighty army.  They chose to spend their Spring Break not at the beach nor at their homes playing some video games, but behind a wheelbarrow carrying gravel and sand, building up a sweat as they served the Paraíso Neighborhood.

Sunday we started the week off with a Family Festival.  It allowed the team the chance to get into the neighborhood and interact with the kids.  Some unwanted neighbors have moved into the area and the team took time to pray.  

Engadi is assisting one of the local public school by building 4 more classrooms so they will have room for more students. Our desire and out goal is to impact the community as a whole.  Asbury’s team poured the second floor concrete slab on the second of four classrooms we are building in the Paraíso Neighborhood’s public schools.  They also poured the foundation for the third classroom. 


Thursday before taking time to go enjoy Lake Atitlan the team did a prayer walk around the soccer field. They prayed for Engadi’s leadership, its provision, protection from evil and future for the kids of the Paraíso Neighborhood.  God is working in amazing ways! 



What a blessing to see these young people pour their lives into the community.  Thank you for coming and being a part of Engadi! Come back soon!

Engadi Back to School

Schools are a bridge to the community.  The Paraíso Neighborhood has four elementary schools with different levels of need.  By investing in the children we are helping them grow towards a brighter future. The academic school year in Guatemala starts in January and ends in October. Whether it be a single parent or there are multiple siblings, sometimes up to 8 kids in school, buying supplies for the kids is always a challenge. 

Engadi has developed a School Supply Program to help bring relief to these families.  Every year we reached between 50 to 60 families that represents about 120 kids that receive their school supplies bag. As more families hear about how our School Supply Program work more families want to get involved.  The numbers are constantly growing.

Having the supplies you need to learn is something many time we take for granted.  Putting these items in their hands at the beginning of they year can greatly impact their lives. 

Thank you to everyone that donated throughout the year! 

How does the program work?

Engadi invites parents to sign up at the beginning of the school year for the School Supply Program so they may obtain the benefit for the next school year. With the With this Program we hope to achieve three main aspects of our ministry within the community: 

  • Community Transformation: When parents sign up for the program they commit to work 20 hours of Community Service within the school their kids attend, or within their neighborhood. 
  • Family Transformation: Parents, also, have to attend four out of twelve Bible based value classes offered at the Engadi Center.  These classes help them learn how to be better parents and spouses.
  • Poverty Transformation: We don’t want to just give things away which can create dependency.  We want the families to buy into their own community. Requiring parents to complete 20 hours of Community Service and attending the 4 value classes they feel a part of the transformation in their own community.  They also become a living example to their kids.

Get Involved 

Here is a suggested list of school supplies you can collect along with your church, organization, or mission team Here is a suggested list of school supplies you can collect along with your church, organization, or mission team 

Student Supplies

Spiral Notebooks with Graph, Lined, Double-lined, and Blank pages.

Elmer’s Glue: Small Bottles or Glue Sticks


#2 Pencils

Pencil Sharpeners

Kids Scissors

Pens (Red, Black & Blue)


Color Pencils (Box of 12)

Crayons (Small individual boxes)

Color Markers (Box of 12)

Colored Paper

Geometric Rulers

Teacher Supplies

Hole Punch



Whiteboard Markers & Erasers

Permanent Markers

Adult Scissors

Reward Stickers

Manila Folders with clamps

Tape – Masking & Clear

3-Ring Binders

Modeling Clay

Post-it Notes


Loose leaf paper – Blank and lined

Scientific calculator

The Hidden Work of Trenching

Newspring Church, Anderson, SC

Spirit of Service, that is a good way to describe the the personality of every Newspring team member. On Monday morning they started by giving ESL conversational classes at the GIF English Academy.  GIF comes to the Engadi Center every week to teach English to our Derek Boys. 

Guatemala is known for its volcanoes.  Over the years the ash from those volcanos has mixed with the clay in the ground to form an extremely hard soil called, “talpetate”.  This team had the privilege of digging trenches for the sewer and water lines.  After a hard week of work we laid the pipe and filled in the hole.  It would seem as if they had done no work.  

Just like the work done in the trenches, Jesus is at work deep inside the Derek boys in ways that we may not see, yet.  We must lay pipes to bring the Living Water into their lives and flush the filth out. 

Another part of the team helped build some retaining walls to secure the backside of Classroom 1.  Little by little this project is coming together.  Their help in the construction project at the school is vital for the continued progress in the months to come. 


Thank you for working so hard: 

Haley Banfield

Supervising the job-site

Jake Beaty

Justin Brock

Kelly Broome

Mark Cornell

Glenn Dannelly

Molly Dannelly

Gabriella Lacouture

Sarah Meeks

James Walker

Sydney Wortham

Charisse Reichenbach

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. 


Testosterone, Ropes Course & Hard work

Avenue Men’s Team

This title sounds like a squad of special forces! In fact, they are SPECIAL FORCES.  They are spearheading all the projects we have this year at Engadi


Our friends from Avenue Church in Waxahachie TX sent their brave and always willing Men’s Team.  This time they took on the challenge of the pouring an over 750ft2 concrete slab for one of the classrooms we are building in the Paraíso Neighborhood’s public schools.  Once you start pouring a slab you can’t stop.  Nine men, a concrete mixer, a pulley, lots of buckets and some Derek Boys worked hard to get the job done before the sun went down.  At 4:30 PM MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!!  Incredible!  The contractor stood in awe of how quickly the job finished with so few hands working.  NO question about it, once again the Avenue Men’s Team has set the bar very high.  Thank you for your investment in the kids of Zone 18!



To unwind and relax the team took a day trip to the Fuente Georginas Hot Springs near Quetzaltenango.  Well worth the drive! 


Special Thanks to :

1. Mark Miller

2. Justin Burns

3. Dwayne Whitten

4. Paul Burton

5. Dale Sigler

6. Tim Gilmore

7. Corey Navarro

8. Josh Tompkins 

9. Will Oliver

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! 



2017 Engadi Year-End Update | Hope Overcomes Poverty & Violence

This year felt chaotic to many people around the world. Confusion. Division. Fear. Did you feel the same way?

With that feeling in mind, try for a moment to imagine the oppressive sense of chaos, confusion, and fear that a child living in Zone 18 of Guatemala City endures. We’ve been heartbroken this year as we’ve seen illness, death, a boy lured in by a gang, and other seeming victories for the Enemy.

It’s overwhelming, isn’t it? Yet…

…we have SEEN the hope and victory that is in Jesus Christ! We’ve had the joy of sharing His hope in 2017.

  • 6 young men in our Derek Program follow Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior this year!
  • Our school sponsorships allowed 3 young men to attend high school outside the neighborhood (there are no high schools in the area)
  • Over 40 families enrolled in Family Values classes at our renovated Community Center
  • We organized medical clinics, which saw over 170 patients

The victory is His! I’m asking, if you have any room left, please consider loving on Engadi today for #YearEndGiving. Even one dollar will make a difference! (Click here for a convenient one-time gift. Or give monthly.)

Speaking to you plainly, the work here is difficult. But it is more important and more fulfilling than we can adequately express! We will not give up on these boys as long as we’re able to fight on with your support and God’s grace. In 2018, we’re prayerfully preparing to:

  • sponsor another 13 boys’ high school education outside the neighborhood
  • complete construction on new school classrooms inside the Paradise neighborhood, connecting with dozens of new students and training faculty to improve local education
  • expand our outreach inside the “Ratonera” (the Rat’s Nest), an especially dark part of Zone 18 which God is finally allowing us to access to reach new families and young men
  • continue to increase our medical outreach through specialized teams and systems

Would you consider making a donation of any amount you are able today?

Nathan Hardeman & the Engadi Board
Engadi Ministries Intl.
*Registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization

Enter Paradise | story No.2 “Tony”

His name is Ántoni. But you can call him “Tony.”

He was supposed to be one of the lucky ones. Unlike the overwhelming majority in Paradise’s virtually fatherless culture, Tony and his four siblings had a father who cared for them. Then he was killed. One fateful night four years ago, a drunk driver careened into him, and he was gone. Tony’s mother, Iris, was left to raise her children by herself. It was a dark, hopeless time.

Today, the grief is still palpable as Iris speaks and tears run down her face. But there is hope. She and her children live in a safer, cinderblock home built by volunteers. With Engadi’s support, Tony and his siblings (three sisters and a young brother) will be able to continue their education. Tony has excelled in school. And despite his family’s inability to afford books and supplies required for attendance, Engadi has seen him through to know — he is preparing to graduate and plans to attend university, where he will pursue a business degree.

Look into his eyes now, and you’ll see hope. Like so many of the boys in Zone 18 “Paradise,” there is huge potential here. In spite of giant obstacles and traumas, boys here are motivated and want to get ahead. Engadi is passionate about keeping that hope alive in boys’ hearts, to make the “impossible” a reality for them in a place where joining a gang and dying by age 24 is the norm. If the boys in this community can change, the impact on families and the entire community will be immeasurable!

The new Engadi Transformation Center (seen under construction in this video) is now a lighthouse in Paradise. Here 32 boys, including Tony, meet in safety to learn ethics and study the Bible, gain extra tutoring in their studies, and will gain access to the world outside the slum via a computer lab (coming soon as support is raised). It also serves as “headquarters” for the Derek Group’s community projects, through which the boys (with a huge amount of pride!) rebuild, paint, clean, and improve their own community in many ways!

Tony’s final year of high school and preparation for college will cost approximately $3,000. If you’d like to learn more about how to sponsor Tony, another boy, or upcoming projects including the Engadi Transformation Center computer lab, please contact Engadi at hello@engadiministries.org, or donate as you’re able right now.

Tony is a leader among his peers. We’re excited to introduce you soon to another boy (now a grown man and product of Engadi’s long-term work in Paradise) whose changed life is impacting Paradise remarkably. We will also be taking you behind the scenes into the public schools, where Engadi is strategically partnering to transform teachers’  and students’ lives from the inside out.

Please pray for Engadi’s school partnerships, and for the 32 boys now part of Engadi’s “Derek” group, where they experience hope and brotherhood.

The neediest boys in the Derek program are also candidates to enter the Benaiah House — Engadi’s boys home located in the hills outside Guatemala City, where they can enjoy a safe family life (under the care of house parents), guidance and counseling for traumas, and education catered to their special needs.

Thank you for supporting Engadi. Please watch for (and share!) more of these stories, as we introduce you to more real boys of Paradise soon…




**How can I share this story for the most impact possible? We’re answering that crucial question in our short video clip here. Watch now!…


Enter Paradise | story No.1: “Juanes”

He goes by “Juanes.”

He’s now 15 years old, but until today he has never been to school. It’s a common story. For one thing, 72 percent of the slum’s population has no access to education. (Police don’t even enter here after dark. In this “fatherless” culture, gangs appear to many boys as their only “family” — their only viable path to “survival.” The average recruit joins a gang at 13 years old. From there, his life expectancy nosedives to just 24 years. Murders. Drugs. Disease.

Juanes never met his father. The man — one of several involved in his mother’s life — died from cirrhosis of the liver in this community plagued by sickness.

There is one school within reach of the tin shack where Juanes lives — where he lives packed in alongside his mother, seven brothers and sisters, and several young nephews. Two of Juanes’ younger sisters attend the school. However, Juanes never received a birth certificate; so he was never allowed to register. As far as the system was concerned, it’s as if he didn’t exist.

You would have loved seeing Juanes’ face light up when Nathan Hardeman, Engadi’s co-founder and director, finally located an official form that confirmed Juanes’ birth. Just one more step toward hope for his brighter future!

Please pray for the 32 boys now part of Engadi’s “Derek” group, where they experience hope and brotherhood going together in weekly Bible studies, “gang up” to improve their community through ongoing service projects, and benefit from academic guidance in the new Engadi Transformation Center. (More about this exciting development to come!)

The neediest boys in the Derek program are also candidates to enter the Benaiah House — Engadi’s boys home located in the hills outside Guatemala City, where they can enjoy a safe family life (under the care of house parents), guidance and counseling for traumas, and education catered to their special needs. Juanes just returned from a weekend retreat at Benaiah House, a transitional experience designed to help some boys adapt to the possibility of a new life here.

Thank you for supporting Engadi. Please watch for (and share!) more of these stories, as we introduce you to more real boys of Paradise soon…




**How can I share this story for the most impact possible? We’re answering that crucial question in our short video clip here. Watch it now…


Enter Paradise | a story series (Intro)

Thank you for your commitment to “Enter Paradise” and help us share the stories of these amazing young men! More to come SOON…

Click the VIDEO BELOW to watch an introduction.

If you would like to receive the Enter Paradise story series, too, make sure to sign up for the Engadi Newsletter (right column of this page). Then watch your inbox. Thank you!