-Pastor John Lloyd of Christ Community Church in East Taunton, Massachusetts.
This is a truth that Pastor John and his congregation live and serve by. After many years of faithful partnership with World Help, they became involved in our Total Village Transformation project in 2011, armed only with compassion and the willingness to be used by God.
Their Total Village Transformation journey began when Pastor John traveled to Guatemala where he visited a village called El Arco. The needs of this community were so overwhelming—he knew God was calling Christ Community to make a difference there.
He returned home not sure where to begin. But as it turned out, he didn’t need a strategy to convince the members of his church. After sharing the vision of providing El Arco with a Total Village Transformation, the congregation supported the idea wholeheartedly, and God began to further unfold His plan.
Though they hadn’t begun any form of fundraising yet, members of Christ Community began giving toward the project almost as soon as they heard about it. They initially took a team of 28 people to see firsthand the needs in El Arco, and nearly 50 joined on a following trip to participate in the construction of their projects.
Since they began, they have provided El Arco with a clean-water well, church building, vocational school, a small home for the community’s pastor, and have implemented a feeding center. They also collect supplies throughout the year to send to the village, including Christmas for an Orphan boxes for the children.
Pastor John said he is personally thrilled to see the impact of the vocational school on the young adults of El Arco. Previously, they sought jobs in any available agriculture work—making only enough for their families to survive. They were trapped in a perpetual cycle of hunger, sickness, and despair.
Now they have opportunities to study carpentry, electricity, welding, and tailoring at El Arco’s vocational school. With practical occupations, they’re fostering new standards of industry in their community and earning healthy incomes to provide for their families.
Looking back, Pastor John said the project seemed overwhelming at first. The magnitude of the needs was staggering . . . but he knew something had to be done, and he was willing to do whatever it took to bring hope to the people of El Arco. Amid the doubts and anxiety of the project’s scale, Pastor John said he found comfort knowing that Christ Community was just a tool in God’s hand . . . and that ultimately, God had a specific plan for El Arco.
“Our compassion compared to God’s compassion is like a pea,” he explained.
Because of their willingness to get involved—despite seemingly daunting obstacles—El Arco is moving rapidly toward sustainability and permanent health. And like Pastor John and Christ Community, hundreds of individuals are getting behind the idea of transforming lives. Yet they know that every investment requires the faith to understand that we are tools in the grand scheme of eternal transformation.
Learn more about Christ Community and the transformation of El Arco by watching our full-length Total Village Transformation documentary.