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Willson and Joana Arriaga Velasquez
Word of Life Guatemala offers many different ministry avenues, and I am able to participate in every area. We have 2 dramas that we present in different schools, (1) "Born Again" address the issues of drugs and AIDS; and (2) "Second Chance" that addresses abortion, suicide, and homosexuality. We also present a Children’s Show.
Every year we receive 2 or 3 medical trips that help us reach places where the people don’t have access to a doctor or hospital. We meet their physical needs, and use that as a means to share the Gospel with them.
We also have Bible Clubs (LCM), and a program for college aged young people. Currently there are 2 churches that are working specifically with the college group, and we are also overseeing the Bible Club Program in 3 churches.
At the camp property (2 hours away from the city) we run camps during November and December, where we have around 1200 teens throughout the camping season.
During the year, we have groups of Americans that come to work in construction on the property and do other activities like distributing food and bags with notebooks for the schools. Every week, I travel to the property in order to do maintenance.
Joana is involved with the ladies ministry that meets every other week at the office. There is a group of about 10-15 women that attend these bi-weekly meetings.
All of this we do with one purpose, and that is to share the gospel so that they would know the only wise God. to Him be all the glory and honor!
My name is Willson Arriaga. I was born in Guatemala City. My mother always guided me in the ways of God, and I came to know Christ when I was 12 years old. I started to get involved with Word of Life in 2009, as a collaborator. From there I had the opportunity to study in the Discipleship Training Center for three years; it was incredible to study in that place. In my first year, it was very hard for me because I was indecisive about whether I should continue in the ministry or work secularly. But as I was doing my homework in the library, reading the book of Philippians, I realized that I was seeking my own will, not God’s. In Philippians 2:21, it says, “For all seek their own, not the things which are of Christ Jesus.” After reading this verse, I understood that God was calling me to His service. I felt very unworthy and asked God, “Why me?” But understanding that He wanted me for His service, I told him that I was available. I surrendered myself completely to God- my talents, my time, my dreams…everything. I have seen how God has supported that decision, I love my work, everything that we are doing is for the glory of God, and so that many people would know the God that changes lives. I am a photographer, a musician, a tailor and I have learned how to weld also. I really like to learn new things and use them in the ministry.
I had the privilege of growing up in a Christian/ Missionary family. I was born and raised in Argentina where my parents served with Word of Life.
At the age of six, after a camp meeting, my mother explained to me my sinful condition before God and what Christ had done for me on the cross. That evening I trusted Christ as my personal Savior.
When I was thirteen years old, I was attending a Word of Life camp with my church group and I decided to dedicate my life to the Lord. I understood "that He has good works that He has prepared for me" (Eph. 2:10), and that the only way my life would count for eternity, was if I followed Him wholeheartedly.
After High school I attended the Word of Life Bible Institute in Argentina and graduated from their 3 year program in 2003. During my time there the Lord confirmed that He was calling me to full time ministry and joined the Word of Life Argentina staff in January of 2004.
I served in Argentina till April of 2012 as a administrative assistant, and was very involved with discipleship of young ladies at my local church and also at the Bible Institute.
I also had the opportunity to serve for short periods of time in a couple of other fields like Mexico, Bermuda and Puerto Rico; I had the opportunity to be involved with training Bible Club leaders, Vacation Bible Schools and summer camps.
In 2014 I began serving in the home office with the International Ministries Team, as the assistant to the Vice President and also to the Missionary Care and Development Coordinator. I loved being able to use my language skills and experience on the field as a vehicle to help me better serve our missionaries around the world. I had the opportunity to visit and help our overseas missionaries during the year by joining some of our short term trips. In 2015 I was able to travel to Bolivia with our Missions Reality team and then to Guatemala/ Belize with the Student Fusion team, and back to Guatemala in 2016. During that stage in life, God gave me the opportunity to be a part of mobilizing others to the missions field. During my trip to Guatemala in 2015 I met Willson, we were married February 25th 2017 and now serve together in Guatemala. The Lord has blessed us with our sons Evan and Caleb. We are beyond thankful to serve the Lord as a family.
Philippians 2:21 - For all seek their own, not the things which are of Christ Jesus.