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Engadi Discussed in TEDx Talk

In recent weeks, Engadi Ministries had the privilege of being discussed during the TEDxUGA conference in Athens, GA. During Phillip and Eileen Blume’s talk titled, “Trading Selfies for Selflessness,” the ministry was featured as an example of how everyone can use their own creativity to help others.

TEDx talks are prestigious events held around the world. The events promote open communication of “ideas worth sharing,” to help communities, movements, and individuals create conversations that will further their visions. During the recent TEDxUGA conference in Athens, GA, one of Engadi’s board members, and long-time supporters of Engadi’s vision, Phillip Blume and his wife, Eileen, of Blume Photography, had the opportunity to speak openly about how they have chosen to use their creativity to make a difference in the world. We encourage you to check it out, and explore ways that you can use your OWN creativity to do what God is calling you to do!

“Phillip and Eileen Blume are award-winning photographers and socially conscious creatives who believe in the power of visual artists to change the world. They work with wedding couples worldwide and are the founders of ComeUNITY Workshops for photographers . They also invest in personal projects, such as their 2011 documentary film Lost Boys of Paradise, which screened nationwide to benefit children in third-world slums. As educators, the Blumes have been seen on CreativeLIVE and speak at many top industry events about the art and business of photography. Phillip is a contributor to Shutter Magazine (now available at all Barnes & Noble locations), and the pair live with their children in rural Georgia.”

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.

Bringing Christmas to Paraíso

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Engadi Ministries welcomed long-time partners Anderson University back to Guatemala on Saturday afternoon. We are grateful for their yearly December trip to serve with us. One tradition the team continues yearly is to bring Christmas to Paraíso with an annual children’s toy handout. This year, the team came prepared with hundreds of dolls, stuffed animals, and other toys to give to kids who likely will not receive anything else for Christmas.

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To start the afternoon off, families lined up around the block in Paraíso to wait their turn to pick out a toy. Each child was numbered while the team set up “Santa’s Workshop” in a nearby house. While the crowds of people waited, the opportunity was seized to present the Gospel message and the true Christmas story to those standing in line. People were told of Jesus’ birth, death, and resurrection to pay for their sins, and the hope that they can have through placing their faith in Him. Afterwards, a prayer was led allowing people time to pray for their children, thank God for the gifts, and surrender their lives to Him.

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The team form Anderson worked together with the boys in Engadi’s Derek Program and each child was allowed to pick out a toy or two to keep. Parents were also provided personal hygiene items such as toothpaste, floss, and deodorant while children selected toys. The children greatly enjoyed the time of fellowship with the team from Anderson University, and Santa even made time to make an appearance at the event! All in all, toys were provided to 379 children, and families were presented with the Gospel message of salvation, making for a very merry Christmas in Paraíso!

#engadi #brotherhood #hope

Anderson University provided gifts to 379 children in 2015.

Students from Anderson University spending time hanging out with children in Paraíso.

Anderson University provided toys to 379 children in 2015, and the Gospel message was shared with families at the event.

The Gospel message was shared with families at the event.

Anderson University provided gifts to 379 children in 2015.

Many of the children who came are likely to not receive Christmas gifts due to the poverty in which they live

Anderson University provided gifts to 379 children in 2015.

Children were allowed to select one or two toys each to take home.

Anderson University provided gifts to 379 children in 2015.

Anderson University provided gifts to 379 children in 2015.

Children were ushered to a nearby house by the boys within Engadi's Derek Program where they were allowed to pick out a toy for Christmas.

Children were ushered to a nearby house by the boys within Engadi’s Derek Program where they were allowed to pick out a toy for Christmas.

Children were ushered to a nearby house by the boys within Engadi's Derek Program where they were allowed to pick out a toy for Christmas. Santa even made an appearance!

Santa even and an appearance to see the children in Paraíso pick out their toys!

Anderson University hanging out with children in Paraíso before the event.

Anderson University hanging out with children in Paraíso before the event.

The Final Whistle- Camp Week Ends

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Today closed out the week of soccer camp in Paraíso hosted by Engadi Ministries. The past week has allowed children to hear Biblical messages each day, improve their soccer skills and have a constructive way to pass their time while not in school. It has been a huge success within Paraíso, and has let Engadi further assess and better meet the needs of the kids we work with.

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A concluding devotion was given by Engadi’s Director of Discipleship, David, which was followed by a scrimmage tournament for each age group. To close the week, each participant received a certificate of participation from Engadi.

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Two of the young men from within the Derek Program presented certificates of gratitude on behalf of Engadi to the weeklong volunteer coaches, Tato and Jose, who freely gave their time to help Engadi host the camp this week.

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Children were also provided bread from their coaches as they departed as it was recognized that most had not eaten breakfast in the mornings and fatigued quicker than expected during the soccer camp. Engadi is extremely thankful for the generosity and partnership from Tato, Jose, and Andy, and for their devotion to providing both hope and brotherhood to the children of Paraíso this week.

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Tomorrow starts a new week for Engadi with the team from Anderson University arriving in the afternoon. We will update with their progress throughout the week. Stay tuned!

#engadi #brotherhood #hope

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Paraíso Soccer Camp Photos

Engadi Ministries has had the opportunity to reach out to the children of Paraíso this week by hosting a sports camp in their neighborhood. Over fifty children from preschool ages through high school have attended the camp, hearing a Biblical message and improving their soccer skills with the help of coaches Tato and Jose, who have partnered with Engadi this week to reach out to Paraíso. It has been a fantastic week of creating brotherhood and bringing hope through soccer in Paraíso! Above are some highlights from the week so far-

#hope #engadi #brotherhood

Camp Week Update

Soccer Camp Sebastian

Engadi has had a great turnout this week whole hosting a free week long soccer camp for children living in Paraíso. Over fifty children have attended throughout the week, heard a Biblical message and have had the opportunity to sharpen their soccer skills while on Christmas break from school.

Sebastian Soccer Camp

Sebastian, seen in photos, lives very near the soccer field in Paraíso and has attended the camp throughout the week. He just passed his grade in school, and is striving to be a lawyer when he grows up. His favorite thing to do is play games, such as soccer, with other children in the neighborhood. Engadi continues to work in Paraíso to serve children like Sebastian, giving #hope to their dreams, and creating #brotherhood within the community.

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#engadi

Soccer Camp Kickoff!

Soccer Camp

This week, Engadi Ministries Intl. is hosting a free soccer camp for kids in Paraíso. While children are on a break from school for Christmas, many who live in Paraíso are left to the streets while parents work. As a service to the neighborhood, Engadi has initiated an annual soccer training camp to provide children with a constructive and wholesome way to fill their time.

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Engadi has partnered with two local soccer experts, Jose and Tato, who have agreed to donate their time, knowledge, and love of soccer to help train children in Paraíso. In addition, Engadi’s Director of Discipleship, David Medina provides children with a Biblical message each day to deliver #hope to Paraíso. Today’s message was about finding, strengthening and harnessing the talents that God has provided each individual. Around 45 children, ranging from preschool through high school aged boys and girls, heard todays message and were involved in the soccer training, including the boys involved in the Derek Program.

Soccer Camp

Check back throughout the week to see updates and stories of how Engadi’s camp is bringing #hope and #brotherhood to children living in Paraíso.

#engadi

Step by Step

This week, Engadi staff held a quarterly meeting to discuss ministry in Paraíso and bring together the roles of each staff member to reach out to the youth with an increased focus on the young men in the Derek Program. During the meeting, plans were finalized to host a free soccer camp for children in Paraíso next week during the end-of-the-year break from school. Staff also gathered to create personalized action plans of how we can best help individual young men within Engadi’s Derek Program.

While it is often easy to stereotype and group together all of the children living in Paraíso, in reality, each child comes from a different background, has a different story and faces different struggles. Engadi’s drive is to meet each young man where he is and walk with him through his trials. We want to be his coach, mentor, and supporter while teaching each boy to pursue Christ in all that he does. Engadi seeks to find the hopes, strengths, and dreams of each young man in order to refine them and help them flourish. Through providing #hope and #brotherhood to each of these boys, Engadi is step by step transforming the community of Paraíso.

#engadi

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Engadi Transformation Center

Today, Engadi signed a lease on its first permanent location within the community of Paraíso! Thanks to a generous start-up donation provided by Living Hope Church in Athens, Georgia, Engadi has been able to procure the Engadi Transformation Center within Paraíso to conduct ministry. The two story building is central to all ministry-related activities within the community and will allow Engadi to have a more stable and evident location within the community. Community events such as meetings, Bible studies, and future cooking classes will now have a reliable and secure area in which they can be held and people from within the community can gather. Praise God for His provision for Engadi!

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Over the next several months, we will begin conducting some repairs on the building which will improve safety and allow it to best serve the needs of the community and the ministry. We want to thank Living Hope Church and several of the upcoming teams who will be partnering to revamp the Center into a place that the community can identify as a place of #hope that will bring lasting #restoration and #legacy to the community of Paraíso.

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#engadi

November Pizza Reward

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Another month has passed, and the young men within the Derek Program are continuing to excel within the program. This month, sixteen boys attended at least 75% of all Engadi activities including weekly Bible studies and community service projects. As a reward this month, the brotherhood of boys were taken out to a pizza lunch at a restaurant where they were able to play, relax, and enjoy a delicious meal that is a rare treat for most of the boys.

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Of the sixteen who participated in this month’s reward, eight boys were additionally rewarded for having perfect attendance in the month of November, a record number since the inception of the Derek Program. These eight were rewarded with a special dessert at the lunch, which they shared until there wasn’t a morsel left.

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Engadi is extremely proud of this group of hard-working brotherhood of young men. We will continue striving to bring each of their hopes to a reality so that each individual will continue to leave a legacy within his own community.

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#hope #brotherhood #engadi