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Guatemalan leaders say Alabamians have given them ‘hope for future’comment (0)

January 4, 2007

One of the things that Jorge Morales hoped would come from his country’s partnership with Alabama Baptists was encouragement for pastors and leaders to have a better vision for Guatemala.

And now a year into the partnership, that vision is becoming more crystal clear all the time, he says.

Morales, president of the Convention of Baptist Churches of Guatemala, met with leaders from the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions in late November to assess how the partnership has worked so far and its potential for the future. The partnership, which Alabama Baptists voted on at the 2005 state convention annual meeting, runs from 2006 through 2008.

For various reasons beyond Guatemala Baptists’ control, large-scale Baptist work in the nation had been at a standstill for several years — but not anymore, Morales said.

"The partnership with Alabama has encouraged us and given us hope for future work in Guatemala and has created an opportunity for development of work that would not have taken place otherwise," Morales said.

Carol Marie Berian Diagut, coordinator of the partnership in Guatemala, said the integration of Alabama Baptist teams’ evangelistic work with projects such as medical missions has helped the spiritual and physical health of the nation’s Baptist churches.

"If we have better health, we have a better desire to work for God, so this is helpful for us," Diagut said. "When you come, we learn from you and you learn from us. This relationship is the most important thing about our partnership."

Morales agreed, noting also that the relationship impacts Guatemala’s churches tremendously.

"I would like to express my gratitude to the Alabama Baptist family for their confidence and love," Morales said. "We look forward to giving back to you in the future what you have given to us." (TAB)


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