Celebrating Easter in Latin America by Luis Yon
“Semana Santa” (Holy Week) Is celebrated in all Latin American countries. This year it will be from March 28 to April 4, Easter Sunday. I loved Semana Santa when I was a kid living in Guatemala.
In Guatemala, every day of Holy Week is a fantastic time to remember the resurrection of Jesus. Streets are covered with colorful carpets made of flowers and colored sawdust. Many Churches have vigils and share a meal celebrating Jesus’ Rise.
Icthus groups in Honduras organize evangelism outings during the Easter weekend. Kids share the Gospel in the streets using “Wordless Books” they make in Icthus!
Easter Sunday is the culmination of an entire week of traditions and celebrations in Latin America.
I like to remember that the gift of salvation is within our reach, only because Jesus paid the highest price with His life. Join me in rejoicing this Easter and let us share the gift of Jesus!
Children and their Families Coming to Christ
Sarleidy and her son Andres (age 11) live in Cartagena, Colombia. A few years ago, she went through a divorce. “I was angry; my heart was filled with a grudge. Andres was angry all the time. He was unruly and would not listen.” Sarleidy says.
Then Andres was invited to an Icthus group. With time he became less angry. He started making friends and obeying at home. Sarleidy noticed that he talked a lot about God, too.
Inspired by the changes in Andres, Sarleidy became interested in church. There she found a loving family and gave her life to Christ! She said, “Everything in my son’s life changed. I promised God I would serve Him, and I decided to teach children.”
Sarleidy is now a Sunday School teacher, and Andres is one of her students!
Frequently, salvation comes to families because their kids are in Icthus. Your help in providing Icthus can have a bigger impact than you can imagine.
Meet Icthus Padrinos Mel and Ruth Ely
Have you wondered what it means for a child to have a “Padrino”? Padrino means GodParent in Spanish. A Padrino gives monthly to Icthus. Perhaps Mel & Ruth’s testimony will help you understand why they are Padrinos.
Mel and Ruth visited Guatemala on the 25th anniversary of Icthus in 1989. They saw things they’d never seen before - military guards everywhere and malnourished kids living at the dump. It made them wonder if those kids had any hope for the future.
The Ely’s also saw the impact of their Icthus gifts. “Icthus kids were so polite and kind,” said Ruth, because of what they learned in Icthus. Mel met a former Icthus kid, “That kid grew up to become a leader at the National Palace; that was impressive to see!” He shared.
What does it mean for a child to have a Padrino? It means a loving environment to grow and get off the streets. Also, encouragement to become a leader ready to serve wherever God calls them. Mel & Ruth, as Padrinos, have the satisfaction of helping more kids by giving monthly.
That is why Padrinos are essential! If you aren’t a Padrino, please consider becoming one.
The word "Padrino” is an endearing Spanish term for "God Parent" or "Sponsor." Padrinos give monthly. By donating monthly more children receive Icthus. For example, for $15 a month, you help ½ of an Icthus group. For $30 a month, you can help one whole Icthus kids’ group (average 15 to 25 kids).
The Gift of Easter
When you see a decorated egg, what’s your first thought? It’s probably, Easter!
Why is that? Because for centuries, the egg has been a symbol of Jesus Christ’s resurrection. The shell represents Jesus’ tomb that was broken open. The tradition of decorating hard-boiled eggs and hiding them in the garden as a treasure hunt helps children and all of us remember the New Life we have because Christ rose.
Children in poor communities in Latin America have few opportunities to receive Christian guidance. They, like all children, need to hear the Easter message and know that God loves them.
Would you give an Easter gift of Icthus so that a child can know the Easter Message and develop Christian character? Your gift will also impact families. Many parents are drawn to the church because their children are in Icthus.
Before Easter, consider helping one or more children have this New Life by giving them Icthus. Your Easter gift will change lives. The cost is so little, just $18 for a year of Icthus, but the impact is great.
Your Easter gift can be a single gift, or you can give monthly as a Padrino.
Lord bless you and thank you,
PS: If you are going to receive a stimulus check and are considering how to use it, please remember children who need Icthus.
What Icthus Amigos say:
"Icthus makes a difference in the lives of kids."
"When children's behavior and outlook on life changes for good, parents are drawn to find out the reason. Countless families have committed their lives to Christ through Icthus in many different countries. Now it is starting in Africa and soon we may see it spread all over the world.
Truly a vision of God."
"Icthus is changing kids' lives and their families all over the world! God is using this ministry in amazing ways. Join in and help with your donations to touch even more lives!!!"
"Icthus is a complete discipleship program for Kids. Many have grown into leadership in Icthus and their community . It is truly God inspired and continues to be blessed by Him."
Click HERE to learn how to leave a Legacy Gift to Icthus.