I realize that we are already finishing out the first quarter of 2019, and it is quite late to be publishing this, but due to illness and busyness of life I am just now getting this report into a blog format for our followers, supporters, and interested parties to be able to read. I do hope that it is an encouragement for you, as it has been for me and for the Board of Directors of Abogar International Ministries! Thank you to those who support us with you prayers and with your generous donations! If others would like to join in financial support, please visit abogarim.org/support to sign up today! Blessings to you all!
2018 PRESIDENT’S YEAR END REPORT
2018 was another year of God’s faithfulness and presence to carry Abogar International Ministries forward. The Lord has blessed the activities, work, and ministry of Abogar greatly this year; as we work on behalf of children who are orphaned and/or homeless, and youth at risk throughout Latin America. It is with great praise and adoration to God that I, Jesse Rivers, serving as President of the Board of Directors for Abogar International Ministries, submit this 2018 President’s Year End Report.
Since Abogar’s beginning on March 1st, 2012 there have been many trials and triumphs, valleys and victories, opposition and opportunities. 2018 was no exception to this truth. We choose to praise God through them all, knowing that He is faithful to bring to completion that which He has begun in us, and in Abogar.
I have resided in Guatemala for the majority of 2018, working to raise up leadership and a board of directors for Abogar’s Guatemalan branch; Asociación Abogar Guatemala (AboGua). While I have continued to be surprised and disappointed by some cultural challenges of commitment and calling to God’s heart for these precious children by many Guatemalans, I remain hopeful and prayerful that 2019 will be the year that we legally formalize Asociación Abogar Guatemala.
Throughout 2018 I also have been focused on fostering and developing our relationships and commitments with our established partnerships, as well as with new ones. Noteworthy is our longstanding relationship with Yesenia Gonzalez, who serves voluntarily as the Supervisor of our Vidas Nuevas En Villa Nueva ministry. On June 1st we signed a 6 month contract for Yesenia to also fill the role of Assistant to the Director (ADD – Asistente Del Director), as we were blessed with a donation for her first year of service. In January, 2019 we will sign a second 6 month contract for Yesenia to continue in the position of the ADD, and we look forward to seeing how God will use her to help us move AboGua forward in 2019
Through also networking and reaching out to some new communities and new individuals, it has become starkly apparent that Abogar is in need of acquiring a location that is specifically solely for the use of Abogar, for the continuation of our ministry outreach, for growth and advancement of community development, family strengthening, and advocacy for the children of need; as well as to be able to have a visible and tangible location and presence for Asociación Abogar Guatemala. We have been doing research to develop a specific Capital Campaign challenge to raise funding for such a property, and look forward to truly launching the campaign in 2019.
Our two main ministry outputs, our Vidas Nuevas En Villa Nueva and our partnership with Special Kids School, have been maintained throughout 2018, and we are very pleased with the growth and developments we have witnessed in each. God has been using Abogar to be a blessing in the lives of ~100 children this year, and we look forward to impacting even more lives of precious children in 2019. It is exciting that we shall be able to use the same location, Iglesia Ministerios Nueva Creacion, to continue our Vidas Nuevas ministry for all of 2019.
One of my roles as President of the board, and as CEO/Founder of the organization, is to ensure that fundraising is successfully happening. 2018 was a phenomenal year in this specific aspect, as we received both our largest monthly donor, and our largest single gift donor! Between the two alone we received $22,000. We also were able to break six-digit figures for the first time ever, raising $104,117.48. This amount included the amount that we have raised in our Help For Brenda Campaign, and was sufficient for us to also be able to raise our 2018 annual budget, which was a first for the organization. It also allowed me to be paid in full in my role as CEO of the organization, provide funding for our Assistant to the Director in Guatemala, Yesenia, and provide funding for three salaries for three teachers at the Special Kids School. The funding also provided for all administrative, logistical, and ministry expenses that we encountered in 2018. For this great success I am incredibly pleased, and praising God for His provision and guidance.
In 2018 we have had the opportunity to share food, bibles, gifts, love, and truth with many children. We have encouraged community development and family strengthening, while also advocating for and blessing the children. We also were able to participate with, and even lead, some teams in the volcano relief efforts that were needed, after the very deadly and traumatic eruption of Volcano Fuego on June 3rd, 2018. Due to this tragic eruption, we also entered into an unplanned opportunity to fight on behalf of a newly widowed woman, Brenda, and her three now fatherless children. Through a concentrated campaign, we successfully raised funding to help Brenda to retain her property and have a space to provide home to herself and her children! Praise God!
2018 held many victories and advances for Abogar, and I praise God for that! As 2018 has come to an end, and 2019 is off to a great start, I am pleased with the growth and triumphs that Abogar has experienced this past year! I also am very aware of challenges that face our organization as we move forward. As we move into 2019, we must consider where and how we can grow and improve Abogar. It will be important to focus ourselves on strategic planning to achieve our goals, as well as to intentionally develop a team that can help to strengthen the organization, and keep the ministry moving forward.
- 6th Annual Board of Directors Retreat (January, 2018 – San Diego, California)
- 12 Board Meetings
- ~ 4,879 views on abogarim.org (-828 views as last year)
- 1,571 viewers on abogarim.org (-326 viewers from last year)
- 47 Countries had viewers come to our site (-1 from last year)
- 22 New Posts/Pages (-2 posts compared to last year)
- 150+ Speaking opportunities (formal and informal)
- 1 Assistant to the Director – Guatemala
- 879 Likes on Abogar’s Facebook (+87 since last year)
- 3,001 followers of Abogar’s Blog (+231 since last year)
- ~80 children introduced to Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord
- ~28 (25-32) average attendance of kids at Vidas Nuevas
- 5-8 volunteers (increased from last year which helps with dividing the
- bible lesson into three groups of the smallest, middle and biggest kids)
- 52 kids attended the last event of Vidas Nuevas
- 34 meetings of the Vidas Nuevas Ministry
- 8 visits to Special Kids School (less than last year)
- Abogar lead 4 volcano relief teams to help children and hurting families after Volcano Fuego had a major eruption on June 3rd. The teams were organized through connections with the Assembly of God church in Antigua, volunteers from Jesse’s church… Ministerios Nuevo Creacion, and volunteers from AboGua’s Vidas Nuevas’ ministry.
For those who have read this whole blog/report, I hope that you find yourselves encouraged and excited for Abogar’s progress and forward movement. We still encounter many challenges, but knowing that God’s hand of favor and blessing is with us truly helps us to move in perseverance to fight for the precious children of Latin America! Thank you again to each of you who join us in our work with your prayers and financial support! Rich blessings to you all!