Sitting just outside the bright-yellow baby house in the treed mountains of central Guatemala, Cristy – a social worker at Impact Ministries’ Vida Children’s Home – tells the story of one of the program’s first little residents.
“She stayed in a room with one of the caregivers who was looking after her. Thank God the baby girl has grown and grown over time! She is currently stable, healthy, and almost seven months old.”
This story has a happy ending thanks to the devoted caregivers at Vida Children’s Home. These caregivers are real-life heroes, sacrificing their time and energy to care for the abandoned babies that come to the home. The home’s Director, Ericka, describes the dedication of these young women to such vulnerable children as an immense blessing.
“They are denying themselves, denying their space, their home, and their family for the babies’ blessing, for the blessing of those who are currently unprotected.”
Impact Ministries + EMI Canada: Two Ministries Partnering Together to Create Hopeful Futures
Impact Ministries is growing godly leaders in Guatemala. They have been pursuing this vision for over 20 years of ministry near Tactic, Guatemala by establishing schools, churches, and medical care. With the help of partners like EMI providing crucial design for their facilities, they are seeing people and the world restored by God.
Impact Ministries knew that to support their amazing caregivers, many of whom are former students of their schools, they needed the right facility. Without the specialized knowledge of architecture, engineering, and construction professionals on their own team, Impact Ministries trusted EMI Canada to provide master planning, building design, and infrastructure for the Vida Children’s Home.
EMI Canada’s team of architects and engineers worked together with Impact Ministries' children's home committee to design a space that accounts for the needs of both the children and their caregivers. They designed a building that ensures children will be safe and comfortable, while allowing caregivers to focus on loving and nurturing these vulnerable children with less distraction and discomfort. Cristy, who works in the home on a daily basis, describes the early impacts of EMI’s design:
“The building is appropriate; it is built exactly for the needs of the children. All the facilities that it has, the spaces that it has, how they are organized – all this helps the babies feel comfortable.”
“It also makes it easier for the caregivers to have everything easily accessible - to have enough water, space to bathe them, space to change them, accessories at hand. It doesn’t require extra work, so even time is more efficient for the caregivers.”
Ultimately, what matters in design is not what ends up on a floor plan or a rendering. What matters is how the end users interact with the space and how it serves its intended purpose.
In a ministry context, the space becomes more than the sum of its parts – it becomes a place where God’s blessing flows through the hearts and hands of the people who serve Him. It becomes a place of worship.
For the abandoned babies who will grow up in the Vida Children’s Home, nurtured by its loving caregivers, it is a place where the hope of Christ is evident without hindrance. Pastor Hector, Ericka's husband and a member of the home’s advisory council, put it this way, “It is a place of refuge where there is love, where there are people who can share that love with the most vulnerable. The home itself is a refuge. It's a place of blessing.”
More frontline ministries like Impact Ministries are reaching out to EMI Canada for our expertise. We're committed to partnering with them to bring hope to communities in need through design. As a supporter of EMI Canada, you are partnering with us to design these places of blessing.