Wednesday, March 26, 2014

News from Martha (Saint) Berberian

News from Martha (Saint) Berberian
March 18, 2014
Great teachers spend time with their students, and point out their skills and talents. – Bruce Larson


PUBLISHING BOOKS IN GUATEMALA. In December we published a new edition of my book: La Mujer y Su Ministerio (the woman and her ministry), and in February a new edition of Cómo Ser Escritor (How to be a writer), just in time to use it in the Writers Seminar I coordinated for Feb. 17-19 with guest speaker Joyce K. Ellis from Minnesota, and about 30 participants (see foto). There are 18 titles in the catalog, and about 160 books are sold each month. Only two are in English: Majorette to Missionary, and Mystery of Stained Glass. Several books are available on www.Amazon.com. You can see the complete catalog on  www.edicionessaber.wordpress.com

FREDERICK CROWE INSTITUTE. Exciting things happen in our institute. In the picture are a mother and son graduating from high school in the same ceremony November 2013. Ruben studied in the weekday program while Janneth studied in the Saturday program for adults. A new academic year began mid January, and we find that 15 students from very low income families need a sponsor. We invite you to sponsor a student, giving $35 dollars a month for 10 months, thus helping a student pull himself up out of poverty. As Prov. 3:27 says: “Do not withhold good from those who deserve it, when it is in your power to act.” We are very thankful for the 10 sponsors who signed up in October. Thank you! Another exciting thing is the Ministry of Education has given us approval to open a “classroom” in every evangelical church in Guatemala that requests it, to reinsert students back into the educational system to complete elementary, junior high, and senior high. 

FAMILY. Wednesday afternoons is when I pick up Lisa’s four children at school and bring them home for lunch and fun times together for several hours before Lisa picks them up. Table tennis is a favorite. The grandkids are growing up so fast! Love them each one! Four grandkids live in Houston and four in Haiti. We miss them!
PANAMERICAN UNIVERSITY TEACHING: We have 75 new students this year, 35 who study on Thursdays (foto), and 40 who study on Saturdays. My job is to teach them how to write a formal research paper, and I have 13 classes, two hours each, to do it. One student commented that it was the third time she was taking the course but the first time she understood it!   

TRIP TO KANSAS AND TEXAS. During the week spent in Topeka, I was able to reconnect with many prayer partners from our sending church, Community Church, where we were members before leaving for Guatemala. I was able to make many visits, and share in several meetings, including Sunday morning worship (see picture with pastor Tommy Scott), with a combination missionary message and a challenge to “Get out of your rut, find a new mountain to climb” using power point for the first time, with pictures of the Saint family, who in some way got out of their routine to follow God in new adventures and challenges. I stayed with Meg Atwood, a dear friend, whose mother (age 94) we visited every day, and I would give her a daily massage which she loved. She passed away Nov. 6. In Houston I spoke at a ladies meeting in Lluvias de Gracia church Oct. 26. Then Steve delighted us by giving us boat rides on Lake Houston, bringing back memories of Word of Life Island where in 1961 I had my first formal job waitressing in the cafeteria, and my definite call to serve the Lord at a campfire meeting. In the foto I am with three sweet granddaughters in Houston.

FACEBOOK. We keep in touch with family and friends via FB where I have posted interesting items, such as when my parents, Phil and Ruth Saint, sang in trio with me years ago. I use the name Martha Berberian in case you want to look it up. The picture is the active vocano Pacaya, taken from our house.

Yours because of faith in Jesus Christ,
Martha Saint-Berberián,   

News from Samuel Berberian

News from Samuel Berberian
IFC, 4 Ave. 9-66, Zona 1, 01001 Guatemala
March 17, 2014






Time has gone by since our last letter, so I have to cover activities from Thanksgiving to Valentine’s Day. One of the things I have noticed in recent months is the need to have more flexibility for activities which had been planned one way, but as you get there, you discover that changes have to be made so we can be more useful and ready to bless the people. For example, Martha and I went to a couples meeting where we were planning to team-teach, but it was obvious that it wouldn’t function, so I landed up speaking by myself. On another occasion it was just the opposite, I was going to speak alone but they were expecting both of us to share, so we did. God has been gracious with my wife and myself, to be able to adjust to different situations, and when the meeting is over, on our way home we talk of the mercy of the the Lord to use us in several couples’ events in recent months.
On a personal basis, God lays on our heart to visit some people who are ill, never knowing that would be the last visit with that person, because in a week the Lord called her to His presence. More and more, we are experiencing leaning on the Lord and allowing Him to guide our steps in a practical way. When we look back we understand what the Lord was doing.
I am thankful for the members and Board of Doulos Foundation (see foto) who participate actively in our Frederick Crowe Institute and Dr. Núñez Library. In November we graduated another bunch of high school students, some of them in their 30s and 40s who studied on Saturdays. 40% are from very low income families and are able to study because someone was generous to help with their tuition. We are proud of our students, most of who go on to university studies. (See the picture on the left, and right.) In our computer room (see picture) several computers are almost obsolete. We were offered the chance to buy 10 computers for $130 dollars each, arriving in April. Perhaps you would like to cover the cost of one computer.
The Frederick Crowe Institute has completed 25 years, and the staff and students prepared a special program to celebrate God’s goodness on March 14th. We just praise the Lord for being faithful to us, permitting us to train many low income Guatemalans.
My Sunday column continues to appear in Prensa Libre on page 21, called “Si me permite” (if you permit me) and no matter where I go, someone will make a comment about the column, which encourages me to be careful and faithful in this opportunity. In the local church where we attend, Iglesia Nazaret Central, more than once the pastor, in his sermon, comments on what I had written.  
Since we came to Guatemala in 1977, looking back, we have been ground-breakers in matters of academics, from the most elementary level to a doctoral program, which enables the people to reach their educational goals without having to leave the country. They are getting their training without disconnecting from their families or ministry. That way they can hold positions of high responsibilities which require academics as well as leadership in what they do. Pastor Fermin Cuyuch, age 70, received his masters in theology (foto), as well as Magnolia Mendez, and others of the Panamerican University where I have been Dean of Theology for 15 years. We don’t know what the future holds but we know Who holds the future.  In the lower foto I am with two of my theology professors, Fernando Mazariegos and Ramiro Bolaños.
 
As to preaching, I have been speaking an average of three times a week, which can be a leaders meeting, an evangelistic event with a breakfast in a restaurant, or a Sunday service in a church. My goal is to help the people where their needs are, adjusting to their confession as well as the kind of program. If it is a graduation of students, a pastors’ retreat, or single young adults, I am conscious that each group is very different, that I have to know what needs they have so I can minister accordingly. When people tell me to preach whatever topic I want, I tell them no, tell me what the needs are so I know what to preach. I can often face the local needs easier than the local leaders.
Psalm 110:3 Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauty of holiness.
Thanks for your prayers, that is your greatest gift,
Dr. Samuel Berberian                My cell phone: (502) 5202 4763 

For a tax deductible receipt, write your check to Community Church, 1819 SW 21 Street, Topeka, Kansas 66604, with a note “for Berberian projects”. Thank you.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

News from Martha (Saint) Berberian

News from Martha (Saint) Berberian
September 25, 2013
 When you expect great things for yourself or others, you are setting forces in motion that work toward producing those great thinga. – Bruce Larson
Dear friends,
Since moving from Topeka, Kansas to Guatemala in 1977, God has given us abundant ministry, most of it related to training national leaders and pastors. My part has been in teaching and preparing course material, which developed into a small publishing ministry, with 100,000 books published since 1983.
As to our family, we have three children, each of them happily married, and with four children each. Steve and family live in Houston, Texas (he is a medical doctor). Susy and family live in Haiti, where her husband works with American Friends Service Committee. Lisa and family live in Guatemala; her husband is a businessman and she teaches at Christian Academy of Guatemala where her children go to school. Our three children got together in July in Guatemala (in the foto the children are Susy’s).    
MINISTRY OF TEACHING. Teaching twice a week in the School of Theology brings a sense of fulfillment, investing in the ministry of the students. Ricardo Perez is a Baptist pastor and is 83 years old! (front left in foto). His wife studies with him. Sam is the Dean of theology at Universidad Panamericana. These students study on Saturdays; the other group studies on Thursdays. Now in the third trimester, I am teaching the course Education and Development, with a total of 55 students in two groups. My goal is to develop solid Christian educators, using my book: The Education of the child, the youth and the adult. I use my kitchen table to correct papers, with pictures of my students propped up in front of me.        
PUBLISHING BOOKS IN GUATEMALA. I dedicate barely a fourth of my time to writing, publishing and distributing books. Right now there are 18 titles in the catalog, and about 160 books are sold each month. Only two are in English: Majorette to Missionary, and Mystery of Stained Glass. Several books are available on www.Amazon.com. You can see the complete catalog on  www.edicionessaber.wordpress.com
FREDERICK CROWE INSTITUTE. We established this school in 1989 when we found out that 60% of the pastors in Guatemala have not completed high school. Many pastors have graduated and gone on to the university. This year we have 143 students, 97 teenagers in the weekday program, and 46 adults in the Saturday program. 40% need a sponsor because they are from extreme low income families. We invite you to sponsor a student, giving $35 dollars a month for 10 months, thus helping a student to pull himself up out of poverty. As Prov. 3:27 says: “Do not withhold good from those who deserve it, when it is in your power to act.”
Jesus said to him: “All things are possible to him who believes.” Thank you for your gifts and prayers that make our ministry possible.
Yours because of Calvary,
Martha Saint-Berberián,   BerberiansInGuatemala@gmail.com         www.BerberiansInGuatemala.blogspot.com

News from Samuel Berberian

News from Samuel Berberian
IFC, 4 Ave. 9-66, Zona 1, 01001 Guatemala
September 25, 2013
Dear Friends,
During these past few months, in the midst of all kinds of stress and problem solving, the Lord has brought encouragement through the positive reception of the column that comes out every Sunday in our largest newspaper, Prensa Libre, called “Si me permite” (If you permit me), where I share my deep concerns about issues of Guatemala. Evidently many are reading the column because of the letters sent to my inbox, or people stopping me on the street to comment on a point they read. I never dreamed of being a columnist, but God opened this door to bless others.  
DR. NÚÑEZ LIBRARY. On the other hand, these months have kept our librarian, Lesslie, busy classifying the books donated to the library, but worried at where to put them. We need 8-10 metal shelves for some 3,000 books now stored in boxes. Apart from our students, sometimes researchers come from other universities, such as one from Boston, collecting information for his doctoral dissertation. He was fascinated with the quantity of information in our library that has over 14,000 volumes (it began with my own library of 1,500 volumes). Both the Library and the Federick Crowe Institute are under the supervision of the Doulos Foundation, legally recognized in Guatemala as a non-profit organization.
FREDERICK CROWE INSTITUTE. The Instituto Federico Crowe (IFC) has been a pioneer in the education of the adult, not just teaching the basics, but preparing the students for the university. With so much poverty and illiteracy in Guatemala, education plus knowing Christ is the key to erradicating poverty. We have seen with satisfaction adults in their 30s and 40s complete high school studying on Saturdays, and continue on in the university. When a pastor or church leader stretches himself intellectually to reach new levels of reading and thinking, his congregation is the first to benefit and helps it to grow.   
MEETINGS IN CHURCHES. During the past few months I have had an average of six meetings a month, in different zones of the capital city, as well as occasional trips to the interior, and to Mexico City in May. I usually ask that I be assigned a topic because I believe that we need to help the churches where they need it. Some topics I never considered before and it led me to study it deeply, and share it with God’s grace.
PANAMERICAN UNIVERSITY. The Universidad Panamericana has 9 schools, 2,000 teachers and more than 16,000 students in 90 extensions. As Dean of Theology, we are thankful to the Lord for the 141 students in Guatemala City. A recent survey affirms that 50% of the students are between 31 and 50 years of age; 23% are between 18 and 30 years, and 26% are older than 51. 62% are men and 38% are women. Surprisingly enough, 11% are already professionals (dentists,  psychologists, engineers, and others). The students represent a diversity of churches and denominations, from traditional lines, to charismatic or Pentecostal groups. (In the picture top right I am with my two daughters.)
A LOOK TO THE FUTURE. From here to the end of the year, there are challenges for which we cry out to God for His help and guidance, so that we can carry out the work we have ahead. I am thankful for your prayers and your support so that the ministry God has given us will not be just another lap around the same mountain, but advancing in the grace of God, helping the people around us so they will not be conformists either. I thank God for my Board of Directors of Doulos Foundation (see the picture on the right) who dream with me for a better Guatemala. We invite you to be a part of this dream.
Your brother in Christ,
Dr. Samuel Berberian                My cell phone: (502) 5202 4763 
For a tax deductible receipt, write your check to Community Church, 1819 SW 21 Street, Topeka, Kansas 66604, with a note “for Berberian projects”. Thank you!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Newsletter from Martha (Saint) Berberian

Newsletter from Martha (Saint) Berberian
Guatemala, April 29, 2013
If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go with others.  
PANAMERICAN UNIVERSITY. I have been teaching various courses to theology students since 1977; it is a blessing to invest in the lives of my students. Year by year God sends us new students who choose to study theology to enrich their ministry in their churches. This year we have 70 students signed up in first year; half study on Saturdays at Naranjo Campus and the other half study Thursdays at Central Campus.  In 3 months they learn to research and write an excellent monography through the course Techniques of Research. We use my book Tesis en 3 Meses (Thesis in 3 months) whose principles serve for either long or short research papers.   
EDICIONES SA-BER – a book can change your life. Ediciones SA BER was founded in 1983 to provide inspiration and edification on different topics, including textbooks. In 2012, over 1,800 books were sold, published by my small editorial. There are 20 titles in the catalog at present, and the favorite book continues to be Cómo Predicar, (How to Preach) very useful for beginning preachers. Other popular books are: Enseñando con Eficacia (Teaching Efficiently) and La Mujer y Su Ministerio (The Woman and Her Ministry). I admit that I am not good at promotion and distribution; I need to
work on that. We have 5 books available on  www.Amazon.com. They are: Tesis en 3 Meses, Hombre Integral, Mega Iglesias en Guatemala, Principios para una Familia Integral and Federico Crowe-Precursor Valiente. The books are at the shipping center run by LetraViva Books in Miami directed by  Gladys Amador-Ortiz, where there are 1,500 titles produced by ten Latinamerican editorials. You can see the catalog in quetzales and dollars at:  
www.edicionessaber.wordpress.com
FAMILY. We thank God for each of our three children (Esteban, Elizabeth and Susy) and their spouses. Each family has four children, so we have 12 grandchildren, between 12 months and 23 years. In the picture, Marcos, the youngest grandchild, gets a bath in the sink in Haiti. We traveled to Haiti in February with Sam to participate in Ivan and Susy’s ministry. I shared in a ladies’ meeting: “5 tips for women with husbands in leadership”.
HOLD UP AT THE FREDERICK CROWE INSTITUTE. In the picture to the left are the students using the 26 computers donated in March 2012. One Saturday in November  six men entered with guns. Sam’s head was covered with a black plastic bag, everyone was forced to lie down on the floor, while the computers and other valuables were stolen. God is providing new and used computers through generous people. Classes began January 15, and there is a nice group of 97 students in the week-day program, and also 46 adults in the Saturday program. Brother Heri Muñoz, President of Doulos Foundation, provided a metal gate at the entry, with electric lock, to enhance the security.
When Jesus was anointed at Bethany, many criticized the woman, but Jesus said: “She did what she could” Mark 14:8. This is what Jesus Christ asks of us today: to do what we can with the means He has given to each one.   

With much love,
Martha Saint- Berberian    BerberiansInGuatemala@gmail.com

News from Samuel Berberian

News from Samuel Berberian
Apartado Postal 1602, 01901 Guatemala
Dear friends,                                                                               April 29, 2013
Writing to you once again, we cannot but look back to see what has been done, to ask ourselves if we have pleased the Lord, being useful to those the Lord has called us to serve. Beyond our regular activities and the preaching in the churches, we see that the Lord has called us to a diversity of ministries, requiring us to be flexible.   
Haiti. In February we were invited with my wife to Haiti where we had several meetings in a Spanish church (see the picture), and two more in a church where it was necessary to translate the message from Spanish to Creole. It was an interesting and valuable experience. Puerto Príncipe is still recovering from the earthquake of 2010.
Panamerican University. This year has begun with new challenges, including the restructuring of some of the programs in the School of Theology, and evaluating how to manage our age, opportunities, and training leaders who will eventually take our place. Well, we will not be in this work forever, but we need to be faithful until the time the Lord indicates that changes need to take place. On the 14th of March I was given recognition for the 15 years as Dean of Theology. On the left is Mynor Herrera, President of the university and on the right is Saúl Sosa, Director of the Bible Society of Guatemala. Last year we had 185 students studying theology: pastors, leaders, professionals, and others desirous of serving the Lord.     
Frederick Crowe Institute. The high school graduation was November 10. Some of our best students are from very low income families; they are able to study because a donor provided a scholarship ($250 per year). Our library continues to grow, with 14,000 volumes classified by Lesslie Ruiz, our librarian. As to the building, since now it is ours, we are doing some modifications with minimal expense. We thank every friend who is helping to pay the monthly mortgage of $2,100. We invite you to be a part of this vital project (institute and library) that blesses so many people, especially during these next three years until the Institute can be self-supporting.
We have been in Guatemala since 1977 and continue to work with all the evangelical churches, especially in the training of their leaders. You are a part of what has been accomplished through your prayers and gifts, permitting many nationals to be trained.   
I preached not long ago from Jeremiah 35:1-19, about the Racabites, who did what was correct, not necessarily what they liked. The Scripture promises that God will supply our “needs” not our “wants”, but in today’s society we are bombarded with self-pleasing spending. God shows us a different way. May we make decisions that glorify the Lord.   
Your brother in Christ,
Dr. Samuel Berberian      Samuel.berberian@gmail.com                     www.BerberiansInGuatemala.blogspot.com
For an income tax receipt, write your check to C.M.M. (Christ’s Mandate for Missions), P.O. Box 7705, Charlotte, North Carolina, 28241 (Jorge and Ana Marie Parrott direct this ministry). Please designate your gift for scholarship, building, library or other. Thank you!

Update from Martha (Saint) Berberian

  Update from Martha (Saint) Berberian
January 2013
If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.
God has permitted Sam and me to serve the Lord full time in Guatemala for 35 years. My ministry has focused on teaching, writing and publishing. For example, in October I coordinated three one-day-seminars for writers with our guest teacher, Joyce Ellis, from Minnesota, with 25-35 participants each day. Joyce and I prepared a total of 65 pages of handouts; to be honest, we hardly slept those days, but the joy on the faces of the participants made it worth it all when they got their diploma. Each participant dreams of writing articles, their autobiography, or maybe a book.

WRITING, PUBLISHING AND EDITING. I have been writing teaching material since 1980. Most of my books grew out of my courses, though my newest book, Mega Iglesias en Guatemala (Mega Churches in Guatemala), published in June, came from personal research. With 70 pages, it describes 14 mega evangelical churches in the greater Guatemala City area. I admit that I am a good writer, a better editor, but a bad distributor, especially outside Guatemala. I usually take a box of books when we visit churches. The people are glad to have the books brought to them instead of having to go to a bookstore. They especially like the low prices and practical topics. I will try to place some of my books on Amazon.com by March. Please pray for this new venture. www.edicionessaber.wordpress.com
MINISTRY OF TEACHING. We finished the third trimester Dec. 1st at the Panamerican University School of Theology. I have taught two or three classes a week all year with 20-30 students in each class. It is a blessing to invest in the lives of students. And now I am taking a course, learning how to teach virtually using BlackBoard, not easy for me, but challenging.  We need to be innovative and creative. Yes, I’m the one who takes all the pictures, and do some filming too, of my students, Sam’s preaching, trips. Love it! A valuable ministry tool too.
FAMILY. Grandchild number 12, Marcos, was born in April to Susy and Ivan, joining his two sisters and one brother (see picture of the 4 kids in bed). Since May they are living in Haiti with much to do with social and spiritual ministry. Lisa and Estuardo’s children have grown up; Andy (18) and Martin (15) are taller than us now; Daniel is 13 and Natalia is 7. They come to Grandma's one afternoon a week. Steve and Elaine’s children are also growing up (in Houston). We are thankful for each of our three children, their spouses, and all twelve grandchildren, and one great grandchild too, Kristina and Mark’s son, Ryan Samuel.
HOLD UP AT THE FREDERICK CROWE INSTITUTE. In the picture on the left are the students using the 26 computers donated last March. Saturday afternoon, November 24, two young men came in asking to sign up to study. Sam showed them around, they left, and ten minutes later six fellows came in with guns. Sam’s face was covered with a black plastic bag. He and other staff members were forced to lay face down while all the computers and other valuables were taken during the next 30 minutes. The necessary statements were given to the police but it is doubtful that the things will be recuperated. So the old computers were taken out, others have been donated, so now there are 15. May God cause the thieves to return the merchandise, or provide in some way so the students can have their computer classroom set up when classes begin January 15. 
When Jesus was anointed at Bethany, many criticized the woman but Jesus said: “She did what she could” Mark 14:8.That’s just what Jesus asks us to do today: to do what we can with the means He has given to each of us.

With much love,