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LACC

Latin America Resource
and Training Center
 

Agawam (MA) Bethany Builds at Canaan
By Rod and Sherry Boyd

Agawam at CanaanAssociate Pastor Jim Grove and eighteen other men, women and young people were anxiously watching the progress of the Portland team. In fact, the whole congregation of Bethany Assembly of God in Agawam, MA was involved. Music Pastor Ken and the Bethany choir dedicated the offerings from the performances of the singing Christmas tree to help with construction costs at Canaan Good Shepherd School. In addition, Bethany heavily supports Latin American ChildCare and has made several trips to help projects in other countries. When the team arrived they were primed and ready for action!

Agawam at CanaanThe team’s job was to finish the chapel, build restrooms, finish blocking the stairwell, paint and pour the third story floor. But the team had another “job” as well. They were committed to minister to the children, teachers and workers… and they did. Three members of the team spoke Spanish, a great help to us! Others enjoyed trying. Several of the staff commented to us how much they enjoyed the interaction with the Bethany team. A regular each day after lunch was playing soccer with the kids in the courtyard.

The team held a special chapel for the school the Friday before they left. It was powerful. They shared some Spanish songs… the children joyfully joined in. They had several dramas for the children—some fun and some more serious. The most powerful was the “Walk of Life.” Jessica shared the message that although people may call us stupid or ugly, God reminds us that we are special, made in his image. Several children came up to Jessica after the drama to encourage her. Some brought her presents that night in the closing service, wanting to encourage her. Of course, it was just a drama. But many children identified with the feelings she portrayed. It was powerful.

Agawam at CanaanThe chapel concluded with a presentation of trunk-loads of schools supplies gathered by the church for the Canaan school. Although the chapel-time concluded, the Spirit continued on. The children surrounded team members, starting with Pat (a.k.a. Stone Cold), asking for autographs. This continued for the rest of the day. We told the members of the team how they connected with the children. Although it would have been good to have done the chapel the first day, we were glad we waited until the end. Otherwise they wouldn’t have gotten any building done!

The team completed the chapel by the end of the week with a special signature touch… a cross made of glass block at the end of the chapel, on the street side. Thanks Wayne for hearing from the Lord. Many will see and God will use the cross to draw many to himself! The team also finished the restrooms and progressed nicely on the stairwell, making it safe to us. Thanks to the ladies, the whole bottom story was painted with the standard cream and navy blue colors, a signature of our schools. They also painted the teacher’s room.

Agawam at CanaanThe farewell service was held on Friday night at the school. Once again, the church and school gave a plaque to Bethany Assembly. They also gave each member a gift. Then Bethany presented the school with kitchen accessories for the “rustic” kitchen, including a new gas stove! Pastor Jim preached a message of faith to encourage the church and school. The service concluded with a time of prayer to dedicate the new chapel. God touched so many at this time. 

Some of the team returned on Saturday to pour the third story floor. It was a hot, sunny day. God stretched the three trucks of cement so that it was just enough. A special sealant was put in the concrete. It will serve as a roof for this year. Our time concluded with the team giving tools and supplies to the workers and school. We prayed together and cried together.

Thank you Pastor Cope for sending us this team. Thank you Pastor Jim for your hard work preparing the team before arriving and your leadership during, Pastor Ken (yeah… even for your jokes), Charlotte, Edda, Jim, Donna, Art, Gail, Mike, Pat, Josh, Amanda, Roland, Wayne, Tony, Rich, Franky, Heidy and Jessica. Please come back!

Agawam at CanaanPastor Julio shared with us that these two teams were a tremendous motivation for the church and school. We always pray that our teams will be a blessing. What Ana saw in her vision of faith (3 classrooms) was just a part of what He would do this year. The school also has a chapel! In addition, with the third story floor already poured, we will be ready to continue with additional classrooms on the third story for next year. Once again God has used some of his choice servants to fulfill his missionary promise… “And my God shall supply all of your needs according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Eph. 4:19).

Agawam at Canaan

Agawam at Canaan

Agawam at Canaan

Agawam at Canaan

Agawam at Canaan

Agawam at Canaan

Agawam at Canaan

Agawam at Canaan

Agawam at Canaan

Agawam at Canaan

Agawam at Canaan

Agawam at Canaan