Back to Agua Viva

Al Echols and I, both members of Central Church near Memphis, TN, and veterans of many visits to Agua Viva for 16 years finally were able to visit after a two- and half-year absence. Covid restrictions have made it difficult for everyone. However, despite it, all of God has been faithful and Agua Viva staff and teachers seem to be going strong. The school has opened back up to on-campus classes and some new ministries are starting to take root.

On Saturday Al and I sat in on one of Pastor Dave’s bible classes offered to pastors and lay church members in the community. Pastor Dave has been utilizing one of the former children’s Casas (Casa Ester) as a classroom for bible training. The class was well organized, and the participants were fully engaged in Pastor Dave’s passionate teaching of the Word. This is a relatively new ministry that is being developed and hopes to expand further in the future.

Visitor Speaking to students

The highlight of our visit at least for me was to address the middle school science class and comment on the various experiments that were presented during the assembly. I have been working as a middle school Science teacher in a home school organization called Veritas back in Memphis, so this event was special. The Agua Viva science teacher has done a tremendous job with these students and their experiments and presentations were very impressive. I was able to get some ideas from them to take back to my own classes. In my opening remarks, I emphasized that scientific methods are standardized and are used by seculars and Christians in the same way. The difference is the scientist’s worldview. A secular scientist starts from a position that natural and observable laws are the cause and the effect of all things. The Scientist who believes in the God of Genesis Chapter 1 knows that the First Cause of all things was the Lord God Almighty. As a scientist with a biblical worldview, everything he observes in the natural world reflects a God who created on purpose for a purpose.

While I was with the Middle School students, Al was able to sit in on Prof. Allen’s Bible class. According to Al that experience was a blessing for him He was able to share some biblical truths with the students. Our prayer is the Bible class and other discipleship opportunities in the school continue to be developed. This is an area that I think can be strengthened by teams who can bring various disciple activities for the students to participate in after school.

We also got a look at the new daycare, Jardin de la Esperanza. Tammy and Alexis gave us a tour of the facility which was the former Casa Josue. What a difference it was from the days when it housed a bunch of teenage boys! There are hopes that this ministry is a great way to help the families in the community and share the gospel with them by being the feet and hands of Jesus! Jardin de la Esperanza can also provide opportunities for teams to bring various activities that can be incorporated into the programs that the staff will be conducted at the facility.

We were only there for a few days before we left to visit another ministry that Central supports in Lake Atitlan. Before we left, we did get the opportunity to reunite with some friends who are now young adults but were children when we first met them years ago when they were living in the home. Oscar, his brother Carlos and Fernanda all now young adults blessed us with a few minutes of fellowship. We had prayer with Oscar and Carlos and were able to give Fernanda a ride back to Lake Atitlan, sparing her 3 hours on a chicken bus!

Group picture with alumna
Group picture

We also had dinner with Gama his wife and son and his brother Israel at Gamma’s house. We shared testimonies and memories of years and visits gone by with these two amazing brothers! God has touched their lives and they know it and are working for His glory as he leads.

The Bible speaks of seasons of life that we all go through. Agua Viva is now entering a new season of ministry. Let’s continue to pray and support that God will continue to use Agua Viva as a light to the community and a place where disciples are developed!

Frank Sizemore
GCM Board Directors Member