Saturday, January 31
Presbytery of Tropical Florida
On arriving, they found women in tears. Jim Goldsmith and Barbara Haley of Community Presbyterian in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea had traveled 40 minutes north to visit the Guatemalan-Maya Center, the congregation’s new mission partner. The women had just learned that the center’s funding was ending and that their program was in jeopardy. This office that annually assists over 18,000 Guatemalans and Mayans in Palm Beach County had empty pantries and no resources to provide.
The visitors also discovered that the portable classroom donated by a local elementary school to help the children of center clients prepare for kindergarten was barren and colorless. Though the center had two committed teachers working with children hungry to learn, the teachers lacked the educational tools they needed.
In the ensuing months, members of Community Presbyterian and other supporters transformed the center and the classroom. Their work made such a difference at the elementary school that two others with Guatemalan and Mayan students have reached out for assistance.
At the center, Goldsmith, Haley, and a host of volunteers have created a large clothes distribution area and food pantry with refrigeration. To support the center’s home child-care outreach, the congregation donated educational toys to help toddlers and their Guatemalan caregivers. The congregation also surprised the center with several hundred new pairs of shoes and socks. The mothers shed tears of gratitude; their children had never worn new shoes.
Answering a call to serve, Community Presbyterian has helped transform the Guatemalan and Mayan community in Palm Beach County. Children are better prepared for school, and families have a source of food in emergencies and a place for clothes and basic goods. Today, the center is thriving, and the school principal is pleased with the preparation and growth in the immigrant students. They are showcasing the program to the wider community.
The Presbytery of Tropical Florida is home to 46 congregations.
—Amalie A. Ash, presbytery administrator
Let us join in prayer for:
Amalie A. Ash, transitional presbyter
Albert W.“Skip” Bush Jr. , interim stated clerk
Kernie Kostrub, pastor to pastor
Shari Lowe, executive assistant
Susan Carpenter, financial administrator
Delphia Sullivan, communications specialist
Hallie Hottle, hunger action enabler
Young Adult Volunteers
Mark Blacklock, Russell Kerr, and Kelli Miller, Miami
PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff
Let us pray
Dear Lord, please hear the outcry of your children in need and provide a lighted path for them to find their way. Please empower those who serve them with the resources and energy needed to lift spirits and hearts. Amen.