Tag Archives: Community Bible study

ACJU launches new faith community for youth

Exciting things were happening in the ACJU Deportivo project last month! The project has impacted these youth to such a degree that several responded to an invitation to create their own small faith community in collaboration with the Comunidad Mosaico project. Staff expected to launch the group with 5 to 6 key youth leaders, but 11 ACJU participants showed up to the first meeting. In addition to creating a space where youth can re-think and rebuild their relationship with the Lord, ACJU staff will also use this time to work on developing them as leaders who will have a positive impact on other youth, their families, and the community at large.

This fledgling faith community met for the first time on October 25, and will continue to meet every other Saturday for the time being. The 11 youth who attended all committed to continue their attendance, and the idea is that over time more ACJU Deportivo participants will join in.

One of the primary topics of discussion was the importance of youth leadership. The youth talked about how important it is to change your way of thinking and not give in to peer pressure. They also discussed how important it is to follow your dreams, even if people put you down or criticize you, so that you can have a fuller, more dignified life. Some of the youth shared their dreams, along with some of the obstacles they are facing.

bible study 2One gratifying moment occurred when some of the youth expressed their desire to reproduce some of what ACJU Deportivo is doing with the project, working with youth and forming soccer schools, so that other youth from slum communities don’t fall into using drugs, alcohol and violence and are motivated to continue their education. One young man of 18 said, “I dream about being a professional soccer player. However, if that doesn’t happen for one reason or another, my other dream is to work with youth and create a soccer school like what you are doing. I want to help so that less youth get caught up in drugs.”

Another youth, 20 years old, said “I really like soccer, and I don’t know because of my age if I could think about playing professionally, but I know I want to coach youth, help them and create a project like the one you are doing here.”

At ConeXión Mosaico, we look at the lives of our participants from a holistic perspective. We do not just seek to share the Good News of spiritual liberation, while neglecting the very real issues impacting urban slum dweller’s lives. By creating youth leaders who are motivated to serve others and make positive changes in their community, we believe that people can live more dignified, abundant lives on earth here and now.


Citizen committees have a powerful impact on their community

In 2013, 8 Citizen Committees were formed in San José Palmas and in those committees 24 community leaders participated in leadership training and received regular mentoring. These emerging leaders mobilized others in their community, and altogether 310 slum residents participated in implementing 10 community improvement projects that positively impacted the lives of 1,930 people.

3One of these community improvement projects involved building a new elementary school classroom using eco-friendly, bio-construction techniques. Successfully carrying out small projects like the classroom was an important step for the San José Palmas community. Practically speaking, the improved learning environment has a tangible impact on the well-being of the students. However, parents were also able to see in a very concrete way that, working together, they had the power to substantially improve their environment. The early successes of these smaller projects paved the way for even more ambitious community projects later on.

9) Apertura de la calle LluviaOne of these larger-scale projects was a sewer project. Inadequate wastewater disposal is a major public health issue. When it isn’t properly disposed of, sewage contaminates the environment and causes serious health complications. Therefore three citizen committees, working together and in collaboration with the municipal water company, installed wastewater drainage systems on six neighborhood streets. As the project was being carried out, there were several occasions when problems and disagreements came up. However, Project Fortaleza held conflict resolution and leadership development meetings where members learned how to resolve their differences peaceably. This has helped them to build and strengthen bonds of trust, solidarity and teamwork between each other.

As social cohesion has grown in San José Palmas, we’ve been able to start a new Community Bible Study. That’s always our vision and goal, namely that people may get to know the living God who so desires to see their lives and communities transformed. Since its inception, at the end of 2013, the study has continuously grown. By now 30 people regularly attend.