An Introduction to Guatemala Partnership
Following visits to Guatemala in 1993 by three representatives of the Presbytery of Western North Carolina (PWNC) to explore partnership possibilities and a visit in NC by Guatemalan representatives, a formal partnership covenant was signed by the three presbyteries, Sur Occidente, Suchitepéquez and Western North Carolina, in the fall of 1994. This covenant relationship has been reviewed and renewed every five years and in 2011 we are in the 17th year of our partnership. For additional information on the process of forming this partnership, please go to A Brief History of the International Partnership (through 2000).
This covenantal relationship is based on the biblical understanding that we are one people in Jesus Christ, called to mutually support one another as we share our faith, culture, and resources and encourage one another as we seek to live out of faith.
The activities of the partnership have included numerous visits by delegations from NC to Guatemala as well as visits of Guatemalan brothers and sisters to churches, communities and homes in western NC. See Delegation Visits for more information.
In addition to the covenant relationship between the three presbyteries, there are also covenant relationships between local churches in PWNC and Sur Occidente and Suchitepéquez. Church members have come to know one another through visits, prayer, expressions of concern in time of need, sharing of faith. See Church Partners for a list of partner churches and more information that is helpful to PWNC partner churches. Many of these church to church partnerships include a children’s scholarship program to help Guatemalan children attend school.
The three presbyteries are engaged in a health program which seeks to train health promoters, provide nutrition programs in the local churches in Guatemala and offer a variety of projects to support health. In 2011 the health
program entered into an extensive evaluation program, assessing the health needs of congregations and communities in Guatemala. This program will be redesigned to meet these needs.
Both the Presbyterian Women of PWNC and the youth of the PWNC are exploring ways to get to know, relate to and work with the women and youth in Sur Occidente and Suchitepéquez. There have been women’s pilgrimages to and from Guatemala. Guatemalan youth have visited in the PWNC and attended the national Youth Triennium and another youth trip to Guatemala is planned for July of 2011.
We continue in our partnership, believing that we need to live out the words “we are one people in Jesus Christ.” As in any relationship, along the way there have been and will be times of joy and deep sharing, as well as mistakes and misunderstandings. The barriers of language, culture, custom are ever with us, but the reality of a shared faith is greater than any of these barriers!
We look forward to a deepening of our relationship with sisters and brothers in Guatemala as we “are mutually encouraged by each other’s faith,” “nos animemos con la fe que compartimos.” Romans 1:12
Current News (updated 4-21-2013)
Learning About Guatemala
An Opportunity for Your Congregation
Guatemala Partnership Presentation
Visit by Guatemalan Women – April 2012
Information Sheet-Amanda Craft, Mission Co-Worker, Guatemala