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  • Writer's picturetimothy martiny

2017 Year End Report

This has been our best year ever!

Yes, I probably say that every year, but that's because it's true. In our 15 years as missionaries in Guatemala, I have seen that every year, I learn more. As a result, our programs get better and better. Our time here has allowed us to build a solid foundation. Yes, we have experienced hardships, made mistakes, and faced incredible challenges. Yet, as we persevered, constantly learning from our mistakes and striving to improve, the results have borne fruit.

Skills for Life Community Center, Level 1

Seven years ago, God brought us to Colonia Santa Fe, one of the most dangerous slums in Guatemala. I set up a computer classroom and started teaching Bible classes to students in a small school. Our program has grown from 60 kids last year to 85 this year, with more on the waiting list.

Children come in for 1 ½ hours, 3x a week. They have a Bible class and prayer followed by computer classes. They started learning how to type and are now learning graphic design, web development, and coding.

One of the top tech companies in Guatemala helped refine our programs and taught an advanced computer course to our top students. Our kids now have an excellent vision of what they can achieve and are receiving the foundation in I.T. to make it possible.

Two home groups from our local church committed to regularly serving with us and assisting in outreaches, Bible clubs, and ministry to the children and parents. They have been a tremendous blessing and have had an impact, both in the lives of those serving and those being served.

Sharie started a women's Bible study group for mothers and women in the community as part of our ministry's focus on the whole family.

Skills for Life Community Center, Level 2

We see that our program has had an incredible impact on the children's lives, and we know that if we have more time with them, we can accomplish even more. However, we are limited by the space of our tiny classroom.

We need to rent a more extensive facility to increase the time the kids spend with us from 1 ½ hours to the whole afternoon. By hiring a second teacher, we can expand the time children spend in Bible club, start math classes for kids who struggle in school and start robotics clubs for them so they are inside our center learning instead of out on the streets exposed to drugs, gangs, and violence. We need to start a nutritional program so that students are not hungry when they are learning, and we need a building with several classrooms and ample meeting space for group activities to accomplish this.

This is not a dream or something we want to do! We have spent years refining our programs, building relationships within the community, and getting our local church involved, and we are ready to expand. This is the next step of a proven ministry that is validated and works, but we need funding to grow.

Expanding to a second location

God has allowed us to partner with an existing community outreach ministry that works with an at-risk population of impoverished families. We will implement our after-school programs for vulnerable children in San Jose Pinula and start a Bible study for the mothers.

Orphanage Fundaninos

Our Skills for Life programs continue to teach the students practical skills, allowing them to explore their interests and help them develop their passions.

In our workshop, students as young as 12 produced pens, bracelets, and crafts, which they sold at a substantial profit and kept all the earnings. We focused on Christian Work ethic, the quality of their work, and learning business skills in everything we did.

The students who participated in the engineering classes learned the design and manufacturing process necessary to produce cutting boards, signs, crafts, and the 500 Christmas ornaments they made. They participated in the entrepreneurial process, had to invest their own money, and committed to working long hours in their free time to finish. Still, they received a massive payout at the end for their labor. They produced and sold over $2500 worth of products. This money belongs to them and will help them build their lives once they are of age.

In culinary arts, Sharie used the classes not just to teach cooking skills but also to demonstrate the real-life application of what they learned in school; by having them double or reduce the recipe, students were forced to think through the process of adding, multiplying, or dividing fractions.


As students age out of the orphanage, we provide continuity and community by regularly staying in touch, texting, calling, and messaging them. Share takes time to talk, pray, provide counseling, meet them for lunch, invite them to our house, or give them a place to stay when needed. We regularly receive calls from youth who have left the orphanage and need someone to pray, talk to them, or remain involved in their lives.

Our ministry to the children who age out continues to be an essential part of God's calling to serve the orphaned and fatherless. We need funds to hold retreats for the girls who have left and resources for simple things like taking them for a cup of coffee, celebrating their birthdays, or giving them bus money so they can come to visit, attend a Bible study, and go to church.

Service to those with special needs

Tim took over running a daycare for children and adults with profound multiple learning disabilities. Our caretakers and therapists work tirelessly to love each of them with the love of God, seeing them as people made in God's image and worthy of the same respect and dignity as each of us. We have been blessed to have volunteers from our local church and the U.S. come and serve alongside us.

How you can help

Our ministries are growing, and we need more significant resources. Please consider that we are not asking you to invest in hopes and dreams. These are not projects and ministries that we hope to do. These viable programs have been refined and validated and provide proven results.

We are not fly-by-night short-term missionaries serving for a few years. We are committed professionals who have embraced service with excellence to the orphaned, vulnerable, and disabled as our life's calling.

To those of you already partnering with us, will you continue to do so? To others, will you consider partnering with us for 2018 and being a part of something bigger than you and me? Will you be a part of what God is doing to impact and change the lives and hearts of the people of Guatemala so that His kingdom comes and His will is done, on earth as it is in heaven?

Sincerely, Tim and Sharie Martiny

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