My Holy Alban-ians, I know that's probably not proper nor correct (but then neither am I), but that's how I think of you at Saint Alban Mission, Antigua. "My" because you're so close to my heart, "Holy" as you're so ensconsed in the heart of God, and "Alban-ians" because you inspire smiles so. . .
My Holy "St. Alban-ians", you've have always been generous with the youth of the Diocese of Guatemala, a couple of years ago you even hosted their retreat. Now, I'm asking you to step up again. The weekend of June 30 - July 2, the youth will gather in Quetzaltenango to study, worship, and perform service. This retreat is a little different. There will be no team building games, no t- shirt, no Bible to take home. The big investment, half the budget and all their heart will be a service project:
|Youth Retreat, diocese of Guatemala, St. Alban Mission, Antigua|
They will be building stoves for families who up to now have cooked on a wood fire on their dirt floor (Guatemalastoveproject.org). These families will breath cleaner air and avoid the catastrophic burns these fires occasionally cause.
The entire budget for the weekend is 6000 quetzales, a bit more than $800. Each stove costs 1500Q and although the recommended team is 3 people we're going to stretch that to 4. Four stoves, four teams, there's 3000Q, half the budget and all of Saturday morning. We will eat, sleep, worship and study at a retreat center at a very reasonable cost. I will be doing the Friday night talk on service. Thoughts and suggestions welcome.
Can you help? The Diocese provides minimal financial support for youth ministry. Much of the work Deacon Eddy Garcia and his wife Gabby Ortiz do comes out of their family's budget. Will you help? If you're part of of corporate worship in Antigua, please speak with Father John Smith or your senior warden Elizabeth Bell, junior warden Mary Lou Redinger, or treasurer Jeanne Shepherd and let them know how your gift could support the youth of our diocese.
I have guaranteed funds for one stove and will offer that money from my own pocket if needed. An anonymous donor has subsidized another stove. Should you feel moved to offer a donation personally I will be at church the next two Sundays and will gladly accept your kind gift. If you're out there in blog land/Anglican Commuion/other and the Holy Spirit has inspired you to give please contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
|Deacon Phyllis Manoogian|
Thank you seems inadequate for the importance of this ministry and the future of Guatemala and her church. Enjoy the photos of last April's retreat and see how valuable your support is.
God bless you.
Yours in Christ,