Martha Berberian: June 2019

PRISONERS READING OUR BOOKS

Dear Friends,

TALENT SHOW. April started out with a Talent Show at Christian Academy of Guatemala where Susy (the kindergarten teacher) with her sister Lisa (the school principal), surprised everyone with their singing “Sisters”! Iván, Susy’s husband, accompanied them.

LISA IS OUR ASSISTANT. Since March Lisa is putting together the Mail chimp newsletters in English and Spanish, and is now on the Board of Doulos Foundation as Secretary, working with several others on a re-engineering of the Frederick Crowe Institute, which has been running for 30 years now, and needing a fresh focus. Lisa’s husband, Estuardo Pérez, continues in the car paint business. Their four children are still at home. Daniel continues with a clean bill of health. Andy is studying theology with Zion Christian University; of the 14 courses already completed, his favorites have been Hebrews and Hermeneutics (photo right).

BOOK TABLE. Folks love it when we have a book table at the end of church services. Our books are economical, the subjects are practical and easy to read for Guatemalans, since most don’t have the habit of reading. We have a book table once or twice a month.

PRISONERS READING. Francisco Chamorro (photo left) uses our books in several prisons in Huehuetenango area (see photo top right). It is a blessing to see folks reading books that can help them grow in the Lord. Ediciones SA-BER has the goal of transforming a life through reading a book.

Eight of our grandchildren live in Guatemala. Here I am with Susy’s four children.

CHANNEL 27. I was interviewed for Channel 27 (one of our Christian TV stations) aired May 7. I was asked about my teaching and writing, and asked to play my accordion! It seems only yesterday that at the age of 16 at a youth camp (Word of Life) I threw my stick into the fire during a consecration service and said, “Lord, send me.” God needs dedicated women today to serve Him. And if God can use a timid adolescent like me he can use anyone!

VIOLENCE PREVENTION. Our son-in-law, Ivan Monzon, was in six states in June, in the area of New York for meetings, visits, and classes for several weeks. God is using him to help churches face the problem of youth gangs, which relates directly to the dysfunctional home. He speaks to teenagers and counsels them as needed and trains counselors too.

WE STILL NEED MORE SPONSORS. Of the 60 students who needed scholarships in the Instituto Federico Crowe during last year and this, 30 have a sponsor for which we are very grateful. You are making a difference helping a teenager from the dump to leave poverty behind by getting a high school diploma. We need 30 more sponsors who can send in $35 a month, or $400 for the year. Maybe you have a friend who would like to invest in a young life in Guatemala. Francie Wilcox is church secretary at Community Church in Topeka, Kansas, and gladly forwards the funds for Guatemala Ministry.

Proverbs 3:27 “Do not withhold good from those who deserve it, when it is in your power to act.”

Thanks for being our friends and praying for us old guys.

Berberian: June 2019

WE ARE CALLED TO FILL NEEDS: News from Samuel Berberian

Dear Friend,

I want to share not only my activities but share from my heart some thoughts considering the years that are weighing on me. For many years the amount and type of activities have been my calling card for my best friends who surround me. I have been a “go-getter” for many years, but at this moment, I am more convinced than ever that the willingness to fill a need is much more important than a project that I may visualize or be interested in.

In these past few months, when I have sat down to listen to someone who came to talk to me, maybe I didn’t say much, but it is satisfying when they return and thank me for the time I spent with them and said that my words helped them very much. This doesn’t mean being passive, but being selective in doing things that need to be done. The major thing is: to please God in what we do and help our “neighbor” in what they need. I want to tell you that whenever I have given a sermon, a class, or counseled someone, you are a part of my ministry through your prayers especially. My gratitude is for your faithfulness and companionship. For example, as an illustration, we have been able to pay faithfully the quota each month to buy the building because of your collaboration, and I am sure that I can count on you for the two years left to pay. It is beautiful to walk holding on to God’s hand, but also accompanied by each of you. God bless each one.

In these past three months, the diversity of activities has been from a pastors’ retreat (photo top right), to pre-marital counseling, leading up to participating in the wedding of the young couple. I have also preached in different churches, on topics given me, perhaps one that the local leader cannot easily handle. I am glad to do it.

I gave classes in courses such as Anthropology, and another on Homiletics. I have been asked to speak on subjects such as: How to bring harmony among members of a congregation; The Christian’s testimony outside the Church; or The challenge to be productive not just active. I also taught in a men’s group a series from the Ten Commandments. I spoke in Luz de Esperanza church one Sunday; the photo top left is with the pastor and leader. Then I spoke on Father’s Day in Monte Carmelo Baptist Church (photo above).

A special blessing in recent months has been to see how our children are backing us up and being involved in what we are doing, and the vision that God has entrusted to us. Without a doubt, we need to recognize the vitality and creativeness of the younger generation, so we are grateful for their disposition to help and their activity also. Lisa is a member of the Board now (photo left). Steve and Susy have helped in various ways.

We have been asked about our personal support. We don’t have a fixed salary but are thankful for donations that come in each month, also from my speaking engagements. I have the habit of writing down every donation as it comes in, also writing down every expense. We want to be fully accountable to those who contribute to our work. Funds earmarked for the building fund or to sponsor a student of the Institute are given to those needs with receipts carefully provided.

The Frederick Crowe Institute is located at 4th Avenue 9-66, Zone 1, Guatemala City. It was bought through a 10-year bank loan with Banrural and is serving the people of Guatemala. We have been paying $2,000. each month. I don’t have words to express thanks for those of you who have helped by praying and donating. Any amount you can give is very welcome! Our home church in Topeka, Kansas handles our donations.

Berberian: August 2017

Dear Friend,
I want to share with you what God, in his mercy, has permitted us to do in the months of April, May and June. After the mini-stroke I had in January 2016, I am thankful for a 85% recovery so that I can be useful to the Lord, to whom I dedicated my life when I was 16.

Continue reading

Berberian: May 2016

AFTER MINI STROKE! News from Samuel Berberian

Instituto Federico Crowe, 4 Ave. 9-66,  Zona 1, 01001 Guatemala

Guatemala, May 31, 2016

Our dear close friends,

Near the beginning of this year we had surprises that invited us to think deeply about the years gone by, considering that they were not lived in vain and eventually sent us the “bill”! I graduated from the Buenos Aires Bible Institute in 1965 (Rev. Myron Voth gave me my diploma) and since then my life has been pretty much on “fast track” in the ministry.

Continue reading

Berberian May 2015

News from Samuel Berberian

Dear friends,
ber-2During these past three months we have seen the blessing of God in various activities. Martha and I traveled to Mexico City over Easter Week for special meetings in the Centro Cristiano Calacoaya (North of Mexico City) where God worked in the lives of many of the 3,000 who attended the three day event (Thursday through Saturday) plus the regular Sunday meetings. I had 5 conferences related to God’s order for the family, the Biblical basis for the topic which was: Machismo and Matriarch influence in Latin American society (foto top left). José L. González was the other speaker.

As to meetings in Guatemala in recent months, I led a breakfast meeting with the leadership of a Church of God Full Gospel (foto left) pastored by Rev. Juan José Pérez (foto above right) who graduated from the Frederick Crowe Institute and went on to the University to become a psychologist. His wife also graduated with us. Continue reading

Berberians: February 2015

Dear friends,
It’s hard to believe that I am 70 now, and I thank God for so many years occupied in serving the Lord, beginning with Sunday school teaching, playing my accordian in meetings, teaching ladies’ Bible studies in Beirut, and 27 years of training Christian leaders in two schools of theology in Guatemala. Since I met Sam, he asked me to type letters in English to ask for tracts for evangelism in Argentina. After we married, I wrote letters in English and Spanish, reporting on our ministry. Sam saw my interest in writing and paid for the Christian Writers Guild course where, guided by my tutor, Norman Rohrer, I practiced writing fiction and non-fiction. Before I finished the 48 lessons, I had published 3 articles in different magazines, later writing and publishing 18 books, 14 still in print. Praise the Lord! But just two in English: Mystery of Stained Glass, and Majorette to Missionary.

TRULY A BOOK CAN CHANGE YOUR LIFE!
After 32 years of publishing books in Guatemala, I continue writing, editing, correcting and motivating others to develop as writers. Ediciones SA BER (Saint Berberian Editions) has 114,000 books published, with 20 titles in the catalog and an average sale of 130 books a month. There are 8 books available on Amazon for those who don’t live in Guatemala. You can see the complete catalog at www.edicionessaber.wordpress.com I enjoy accompanying Sam to his meetings, setting up a book table in the back as a service for the folks who like to learn through reading. The picture top right was taken in an event in Quetzaltenango.

TEACHING AND PREACHING
Since May 2014 I am no longer teaching in the University, and keep busy with ocasional speaking. For example, in August I led a devocional with the staff of the Bible Society in Guatemala (foto on right). In September I participated in two filmed programs for Youtube in Spanish: Alto Mire y Reflexione. In October I led a devotional in a pre-wedding activity for a young friend of ours, and in November I had two ladies meetings in Nazareth Church (Roosevelt). In December, I spoke in a youth retreat.

EDITING THESIS
During 2014 I dedicated lots of time to advise, revise, or edit about 10 theses in the levels of B.A., Masters, and Doctorate. As a friend said “you have eagle eyes to see what no one else sees!” I consider it a blessing to help students improve their writing skills, punctuation, spelling, as well as managing quotes and footnotes correctly.

CHURCH-CLASSROOM (IGLE-AULA), IFC
Since March 2013 (when the Ministry of Education approved it) we have supervised this program which functions in 26 churches, with some 850 students studying elementary, junior or senior high. This is part of the reinsertion program for the many Guatemalans who dropped out of school and want to begin again. See picture on left.

DR. NÚÑEZ LIBRARY
In recent months I picked up donations of books and encyclopedias in Zone 11, 7, and 9. Most are textbooks that folks don’t need and want other people to be able to use them. In the Frederick Crowe Institute all is evaluated, some are selected for our library (which has 14,000 volumes), some are sent to other 3 libraries, and the discarded books are recycled as paper.

FAMILY
We have spent pleasant times with Elizabeth’s family who live in Guatemala (picture top left). With the rest the communication has been by Facebook and e-mail. Susy and Ivan (and their 4) arrived February 11 for a 3 week visit which is delightful!

Thanks for praying,
Martha (Saint) Berberian

Berberian April 2014

Dear Friends,

It is time for an update and with interesting changes as of April 1st.  Thank you for taking the time to read the newsletter. Did you like the pictures?  Feel free to forward the letter to others who might be interested in reading it.

God bless you, and thanks for praying for us.

Sam and Martha

Berberian March 2014

DOULOS FOUNDATION IN GUATEMALA
Founders: Samuel and Martha Berberian

Doulos Foundation (Fundación Doulos) is fulfilling its mission serving the Guatemalan community through education in the Frederick Crowe Institute (Instituto Federico Crowe), through investigation in the Doctor Emilio Antonio Núñez Library, and since March through what is called “Igle-Aula” – education in the churches.

BRIEF HISTORY

Doulos Foundation began in April 2006 when it was approved by the Ministry of the Interior (Agreement No. 509-2006), nevertheless, Doulos projects began in 1989 when Dr. Samuel Berberian, backed by visionary professionals, opened an institute to provide junior and senior high education for pastors and leaders of Guatemala (foto on right). A library was established at the same time for the use of the students. This became Doulos Association in 2000, and since 2006 it operates as a Foundation.

THE FREDERICK CROWE INSTITUTE

The Frederick Crowe Institute provides a solid education for the students, preparing them for the university. In 2013 there were 97 students in the week-day program (with junior and senior high); the largest class had 26 students and the smallest had 11. There were only 46 students in the Saturday program. 981 students have graduated from high school since FCI opened its doors in 1989, and 80% continue with university studies, including students in the Saturday program, because they are well prepared academically. In November 2013, 14 students graduated from the week-day program and 14 from the Saturday program. Among the graduates were Janneth Aguirre and her son, Rubén Aguirre.

THOSE WHO BENEFIT FROM THE FOUNDATION

The beneficiaries are principally the students of the Institute, who receive a high level education at low cost, which includes access to the extensive library. Also, 54 students received a scholarship, because they come from a very low income family. Each is helped according to the proven specific needs, a full scholarship for a very few, and half a scholarship for most of them. These students couldn’t have studied if a sponsor didn’t help by paying part of the tuition. Donors provide $350 per year per student ($35 a month for 10 months).

14,000 BOOKS IN OUR DOCTOR NÚÑEZ LIBRARY

Other beneficiaries of the Foundation are those who use the library (with a symbolic pay of $1.30 dollars per visit or $13 dollars per semester) having access to the 14,000 volumes, 100,000 classified articles, and DVDs of different topics. The students use the library to do homework related to reading and research. Mrs. Lesslie Ruiz has classified the books as they were donated or bought, and has guided all the process of the library since 1989. She has motivated the students to form the habit of reading, which in Guatemala is calculated at 2%.

PROJECT: EDUCATION IN THE CHURCHES (IGLE-AULA)

Doulos Foundation was authorized in March of 2013 by the Ministry of Education to begin the program of reinserting people back into the school system, through the evangelical churches of Guatemala, which are located in rural and semi-urban communities. The goal is that each evangelical church that has 25 or more members who abandoned their education, can take up their studies, by attending class one day a week in a classroom set up in the church, to study primary level in two years, junior high in two years, or senior high in one year. The church names a tutor to supervise the activity and is responsible to pay $45 dollars per month to Doulos for each group of 25 students, to cover the cost of administration and paperwork. The Manager of Doulos Foundation, Margarita Rodriguez, coordinates this project with 3 assistants. Six churches are now participating, others will join in 2014.

THE DONORS OR BENEFACTORS

During 2013, generous donors provided for the projects of the Foundation, especially for the students of low income. According to the Manager, from January to December there was an income of $9,900 dollars, an average of $825 per month. There are 75 donors, of which 35 are “active”. Most donors designated funds for scholarships, others to help with the mortgage, and others for the library, or the general fund. We thank God for each donor. Each donation is tax deductible (sent through Community Church in Topeka, Kansas).
Apart from the donation of money, many people have contributed to the Foundation with goods and services that provide a valuable contribution. The library received each month donated Spanish books, either used or new. Businesses that renew their equipment have donated the discarded equipment, and with the technical ability of Gilberto Marroquín, many things have been repaired. If the articles are not needed for the institution they are sold in the garage sale and the income designated for scholarships.

OUR BUILDING IN DOWNTOWN GUATEMALA CITY

We began renting this house in November 1993, located on 4th Avenue 9-66, of Zone 1, Guatemala City, paying $900 dollars per month. The property measures 15 by 35 meters. The classrooms are the “bedrooms”, which can fit from 15 to 26 students each. In November of 2011 a contract was signed with BanRural for a ten year loan to buy the building, paying $2,300 each month. The building has been remodeled as funds permit. Gilberto Marroquín has made the modifications under the supervision of Engineer Heri Muñoz, President of the Foundation. As God provides funds, there are projects to enlarge 3 classrooms removing the attached bathrooms (now used for storage), and building a storage unit on the roof or in some other place.

MEET THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS

During 2013, different professionals have served with dedication, to make the decisions that an institution like ours needs to make each month. At present on the Board: Engineer Heri Muñoz (foto left), President, Dr. Samuel Berberian, Vice Presidente; Arq. Eckard Schumann, treasurer; Mirna Mancio-Schumann, secretary; and the other board members: Hugo Ruiz, Martha Berberian, and Dr. Romeo Estrada. Besides the Board, we have two members of the Fiscalization Committee, Ricardo Ubico and David Castañón. They are all committed Christians.

MEET THE ADMINISTRATION AND EDUCATION STAFF

We thank God for each one who works in the Institute, doing his/her part so that all functions in harmony. On staff we have those who work in administration, others are teachers, others work in the library. Edy Joselo Martinez (foto left) is the Technical and Administrative Director of the school, and the general coordinator is Mónica Sandoval (foto right).

FINANCES

The biggest challenge that we have is to manage carefully the expenses of the institution, considering the economic limitation of many of the students, also the low amount of students in the Saturday program. This forces the administrative staff to operate at a very economic level. Our dream is for the institution to become self-supporting through student tuition.

PROJECTION FOR 2014

1. Continue paying the monthly mortgage of $2,300 with the help of generous donors, including members of the Assembly and the Board.
2. Publicize the services the Foundation offers through its three institutions, the Institute, the Library and the Church-Classroom, to extend the service to more people.
3. Promote more economic stability with more donations from generous people (within and without Guatemala) and through improved administration.
4. We continue to dream of acquiring the empty building next door to the Institute (the Stahl building) to have more space for the Institute and Library.

So, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially those of the family of faith. (Galatians 6:10). He who sows generously will harvest generously… (2 Corinthians 9:6-7)

Berberian March 2014

Great teachers spend time with their students, and point out their skills and talents. – Bruce Larson

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. 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

Exciting things happen in our institute. In the picture above 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 22 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.

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 (see photo). The grandkids are growing up so fast! Love them each one! Four grandkids live in Houston and four in Haiti. We miss them!

We have 75 new students this year, 35 who study on Thursdays (see photo), 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!

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 photo 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 photo above I am with three sweet granddaughters in Houston.

We keep in touch with family and friends via Facebook 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.

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