Steve McDaniel, our International Director, recently visited one of our U.S. partner churches, Northridge Church in Pensacola, Florida. While there, he shared how the Lord is moving in Guatemala and Albania through the ministry of Living Water Adopt-A-Child (LWAAC).

He began by describing the dire circumstances of ministry in these countries in a Covid-19 world. Guatemala struggles with corruption and poverty. The vaccines are not available to most people, and people are sharing masks. All eight LWAAC church buildings in Guatemala are currently closed for in-person gatherings making it necessary to develop creative ways of reaching the people there with the hope of Jesus.

“So we’re taking the church to the people,” Steve told the congregation. “We’re going into the streets and to the neighborhoods and to the villages. We’re handing out food and groceries to families. And we’re taking the Gospel out.”

Our teams in Guatemala currently pair up and, when delivering food to families, they pray for them, serve them, and tell them about the hope of Jesus Christ. “It’s been incredible to see the numbers of people impacted by this style of ministry,” Steve marvels. “When we come out of Covid, there are some things we probably won’t go back to.” He said he looks forward to when children will be able to return to our ministry buildings physically, but also notes that “God is moving us into a different direction.”

Yet, despite all of the circumstantial challenges, the Gospel is thriving in Guatemala. Yes, there are fewer church attendees because of fewer services, but we’re reaching new people with the Good News about Jesus Christ every day. Similarly, in Albania, our churches are thriving. We currently have 800-900 children, mostly Muslims, in our program. Only about 1% of the population are Evangelical Christians, yet we just birthed a new church.

Steve pointed out that, “To break someone out of Muslim theology, it takes a move of the Spirit.” He then quoted the words of Jesus in Acts 1:8, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

Frankly, Steve said, Albanians don’t want to stay in Albania and Guatemalans don’t want to stay in Guatemala. Regardless of the state of poverty in the U.S., these foreign countries experience a level of desperation that many of us born in America can’t comprehend. Steve put it into perspective with some shocking questions.

“Have you ever been so desperate that you’d leave your children to get out? Or take three and leave three?” he asked. “This happens all the time, and they’re not bad people.”

“Part of our mission is to show them that God didn’t make a mistake by birthing them there. He has a plan for them there and unless He told them to go, they should stay,” Steve said. “We’re trying to give them hope because there’s no greater hope than Jesus.”

Steve declared, “I’m in it for the long haul in Guatemala and Albania, that’s my ‘end of the Earth.'”

Watch Steve’s full message in the recording of Northridge Church’s Sunday services.