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THE WILLIAM CORNELIUS VOCATIONAL TRAINING CENTRE GUATEMALA CITY

{WRITTEN BY ALAN SLATER IN 2000}


A TESTIMONY

Pauline and I have been living in Guatemala City since 1995. Much of our time has been spent in learning to speak Spanish, getting established as a ministry to the marginalized young people, helping with leadership training in a local church and acquiring a piece of land on which we plan to build the William Cornelius Vocational Training Centre. This excellent piece of land has been donated to the project by the Government of Guatemala, for which we are incredibly grateful to God and of course to the faces in the labyrinth offices of the department of education Guatemala.

With Pauline's strong secretarial skills and my recent qualification as a machinist, we set sail for South Africa in 1967, members of the Assemblies of God of Gt. Britain & Northern Ireland, in answer to the clear and prophetic call of God upon our lives to serve Him wherever He would send us, not knowing that we would continue to happily serve the Lord in Papua New Guinea and Ecuador before settling down in 1981 in Alberta, Canada, in order for our children to complete their schooling.

What a tremendous rich and colourful training ground life can be when we walk in the ways of the Lord and live according to His purposes. Taking a quick glance in life's rearview mirror, you know you've been called when you 'live' an answer to someone's prayer, finding an opportunity to help the poor or minister to the hurting, just doing your best with what you've got. Then God shows Himself at work, this is learning to trust.

It seems that nothing we do for God is an end in itself. There's always more. We are moving ever closer to Him and learning all the time. A vision, some would call it a dream, has been growing in my heart to use the practical skills I have been given as well as the spiritual. After serving at the Mill Woods Assembly in Edmonton for many years and receiving ordination through the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada, we heard of the need in Guatemala, of children coming up through the Child Care Plus schools who have to leave this happy environment for a very uncertain future. We sensed the familiar nudge of the Holy Spirit once more and after much prayer and preparation, we loaded up a school bus and began the long drive down to Guatemala City.

Living in Guatemala is interesting but serving the Lord here is awesome! God truly has His hand on the country and I believe the results will speak for themselves. During the last four years however, it has been really difficult to move official paperwork along at all. We thank the Lord that the civil war has ended yet it seems that crime is somewhat worse.

This is a land of extremes; terrible poverty with a small minority holding incredible wealth. 17% to 20% professing to be evangelical Christians with most of the rest of the population being Roman Catholics or worshippers of Mayan gods. People who live in freezing conditions atop high mountains while those by the coast live in the tropics. As the world rushes on through this high- tech age, only the privileged few appear to be able to achieve. This will not always be so. Throughout our stay here we have heard comments from those who genuinely care for us, suggesting that we should change our plans or try something different but they could not know the many, many times that the Lord has lovingly encouraged us and strengthened our faith and resolve. Powerful prophetic words directed specifically at this project from people in churches who have no idea of our work. Visions given to others who have seen a busy harvest time of souls as a result of the training centre. Others comment on our patience in hanging in for so long, while in actual fact, there are so many things to do, we don't get time to think about it in these terms.

For those who are believers and followers of Christ the Master of all that we are about and the reason why we live, it is no longer a question of faith but faithfulness.

It is true we have had our share of difficulties and obstacles to deal with but what we have invariably found, is that we have eventually found favour from the myriad of government officials because the Lord's face is towards us and His promises are sure.

So, even as in our lives, it may well be in yours, that God has been growing a vision for something big, something special and you haven't known what it might be. Take a quick check in your rearview mirror and see how God has been preparing you for involvement in some exciting aspect of the kingdom's development, then listen for some 'throne room encouragement', some prompting that could only have come from Him, then do something about it before you miss your chance to make a difference.

When you know you are called, you know you are called. When you 'hear' the need you literally hear the need. Then it isn't hard to be determined to be determined. It's simply the servant doing what his master told him to do. This then, is not hard.

If I was in charge of the mission department, I would do all I could to send both the missionaries and the missions dollars to the 10-40 window. So why am I here? See above. But wait, let me tell you why I think the results of what God is doing here in Guatemala (and for that matter, many other Latin American countries) will speak for themselves; the believers of Guatemala have a burning desire to send missionaries to the unreached people groups of he world. They want to do their share in world evangelism before Jesus comes back! But they don't have the resources to do it. Our brothers and sisters in Christ in Guatemala are very, very poor. I believe the vocational training centre will begin to change this situation.

The students are those who have been sponsored through these Christian schools. They will now have a chance to be discipled as well as trained in a career or trade. This will provide them with an ability to support the family, the church and in turn, missionaries. We have it from High Authority that through this training centre, many souls will be won for the kingdom. The results will indeed speak for themselves.

Let me suggest that you ask the Lord to make you the answer to someone's prayer. Are you a person who has been given great wealth? Ask the Lord for what reason was it given to you. Become an active part of the big picture. Have no regrets.

Many churches across Canada are rising to this joint challenge. We will be receiving our first work team in 10 days time to actually begin work on the V.T.C. and 2 weeks later a second one will arrive. A third is scheduled for the end of April. Another is planning to come in November, then another January 2001. We would like others to fill in the spaces until this great work is fulfilling its' purpose to the glory of God.

For those who would like more information as to how you might help, please contact me at slats@c.net.gt and I will be only too pleased to answer any questions you might have.

Thank you for reading this report; maybe the Lord might just prompt you to take a check into your 'rearview mirror'.

Alan & Pauline Slater.

 
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