Posted on July 19, 2023 Not Without A Witness
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Talita Cumi Girls’ Clubs

Reviewing the past year with Talita Cumi Girls’ Clubs, we see how God has blessed us beyond our imagination.

The mentors and coordinators in Costa Rica celebrated the end of the year with a special weekend away and have already begun the second year with ninety-seven girls enrolled.

The country coordinator in Costa Rica gave a report to the annual meeting of the Baptist Women’s Union of Latin America (UFBAL – La Unión Femenil Bautista de América Latina) and was then asked to contribute an article about the program to their monthly magazine.

Please continue to pray that this recognition will open doors in more countries to open Talita Cumi Clubs. As we write we have invitations from the border region in south Texas, and from Venezuela.

a typical Girls’ Club activity.

Starting from square one, Talita Cumi meets real needs.

Throughout the COVID-19 lockdown, girls living in vulnerable communities throughout Latin America were left without access to adequate academic instruction and support. Many of our girls were just beginning to read when the pandemic hit. After two years without access to books too many of our girls are two years behind in reading skills. Unfortunately, many of them have regressed and need to begin learning to read again, starting from square one.

We recognize that education is the best hope our young girls living in poverty have to change their lives and their communities. Without it, they are completely vulnerable to those waiting to exploit them.

In response, we have asked Global Servant Sarah McCurdy to develop a seminar that will teach our mentors to teach our girls to read. This project will provide instructional materials for the mentors, and we have compiled a list of books that we hope to provide as a mini-library for each club.

We want to give 100 books in Spanish to each of our groups. Each library will cost approximately $300.00. We hope to provide 50 libraries that can be used by Talita Cumi girls and other children in the community over the next three years.

This would be a wonderful Christmas project for your small groups or Sunday Schools this year! Please look at the IM website for more information on this project. It will be posted soon. Or feel free to contact us if you have any further questions…

We are so thankful for your generous gifts that support this ministry and allow us to meet needs as they arise.

We were recently able to finance eight bicycles that are being used in Nicaragua by Talita Cumi girls to go to and from school.

These girls walked more than an hour each way to school and your generous gifts support their education in every way.

Rainwater Harvesting – Water for All Project

Our partners in the Fraternidad de Iglesias Bautistas de Cuba (FIBAC) invited Dwight to come and work with them on designing projects to use rainwater for strategic uses.

Thanks to Area Director Adalia Gutierrez and World Relief officer Lisa Rothenberger, we received a grant to begin rainwater harvesting demonstration projects in Cuba.

Dwight traveled there this year and met with Waldemar Murguido and Tony Santana of FIBAC. We assessed needs and places, beginning with the Evangelical Seminary of Matanzas and a rural camp used by the convention for youth, retreats, and meetings.

The seminary has a large market garden that provides vegetables not only for the students and faculty, but also for the surrounding community. Like everywhere, they deal with a rainy season and a dry season. The rainwater harvesting system will improve supply of water during the dry season, since they grow produce year-round.

The Evangelical Seminary in Matanzas, Cuba has an extensive market garden.

At the camp, they have vegetable gardens, and horses, chickens, and pigs. A well they have used in the past is in disrepair, and unusable. We are designing a simple structure easier to collect rainwater from than existing structures, and they will use the water for washing hands, as well. We plan to connect the water system to an existing simple water purification system installed by another organization.

All the rainwater systems the Water for All Project provides are simple demonstration projects to share an idea that everyone can adapt in their own places, ultimately with their own resources.  They are carried out in partnership with local community leaders.

Our work is in areas where existing watersheds are contaminated, or degraded by extractive industries (mining, the bottled water industry) and where water must be trucked in or carried in by hand.

Most of the systems are in schools and community centers, mainly to provide water for washing hands and the bathrooms.

 Total rainwater harvesting systems installed, in Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador:    10

 Rainwater harvesting systems currently in design, training, or installation stages:   9

Apostles of Rainwater Harvesting

 “…yet he has not left himself without a witness in doing good, giving you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons and filling you with food and your hearts with joy.”

(Acts 14:17 NRSV)

That’s an excerpt from an effective evangelistic sermon in which Paul points to the grace and abundance of rainwater, evidence of God’s goodness and source of joy.

So, I’ve taken recently to calling a community of leaders in a rural Guatemalan village, “apostles of rainwater harvesting.”

Juan, Johny, and Carlos from Guatemala, serving neighbors in El Salvador.

They’ve trained four neighboring villages in the design and installation of simple rainwater systems for schools, with three more in the works.

Recently, my colleague, Ricardo Mayol, arranged for them to travel to El Salvador, and do the same for a community that was struggling to understand the system and begin installation.

This is the idea, to take the vision of “every person with their own water system” and running with it.

It’s part of the good news of the Kingdom of God, “on earth as it is in heaven.