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Couple's calling remains strong

April 8, 2015

By J. Blake Ragsdale

Roger and Vicki Grossman have served as missionaries in Quetzaltenango (Xela), Guatemala for nearly three decades. In many ways, their work to reach the indigenous Quiché people living in the Central American city has only begun.

The couple serves at Good Shepherd Ministries which is comprised of a medical clinic, training center, scholarship program, and now an orphanage which opened just six months ago.

Roger and Vicki worked closely with Baptist Children’s Homes (BCH) to help begin the new orphanage.

“This isn’t something we were looking for, but it’s undeniable that God’s hand is in it,” Roger says of the orphanage which is named Good Shepherd Children’s Home. “The partnership
we have with Baptist Children’s Homes, NC Baptist Men and Woman’s Missionary Union NC (WMU NC) is something God put together.”

The three Baptist entities united to use their expertise and resources to establish the orphanage. The Good Shepherd Children’s Home is an affiliate of BCH who provides the plan of care for the orphans and training for its childcare workers.

“BCH consistently sends down teams to work with the childcare workers,” Vicki says. “We have a great staff who are devoted Christians, but what they lack is training. BCH works closely with the orphanage’s childcare workers and director to provide the best standard of care for the children.”

Everyone’s efforts paved the way for the arrival of the orphanage’s first child last October. Only days after the orphanage received its operating license from the Guatemalan government, the Grossmans received a call that an infant girl named Enma was being admitted into care.

“To see the excitement on the childcare workers’, the director’s and Vicki’s faces was exciting and scary because it was all becoming real,” Roger explains. “Enma’s arrival
was the baptism of the Good Shepherd Children’s Home.”

The newborn was abandoned during Xela’s rainy season at an outdoor washing station called a pila. A passerby discovered her in the middle of the night when he heard the baby’s cry.

“Enma could have died from hypothermia or animals,” Vicki says. “Guatemala has a huge street population of children. We don’t know how many children there might be. There’s a big need.”

Since Enma’s arrival, Good Shepherd has served a total of nine children with seven presently living at the orphanage. A second baby was found abandoned in a car. A third, who was born prematurely, was left in a cardboard box.

Three of the children are siblings. The orphanage is licensed to serve children ages zero to five, but when government officials learned about the brother and two sisters, who are older, they knew the children’s home could help.

“The oldest is 13 years old and he has now accepted the Lord,” Vicki says. “He reads the Bible to his two little sisters who don’t know how to read.”

Evangelism is the cornerstone of the Grossman’s work. The gospel is being shared with children at the orphanage as well as Quiché villagers who come to the clinic.

“The clinic has seen more than 3,300 new patients since it opened in March 2013,” Roger says. “Everyone that comes through is prayed with. People know who we are and that we represent Christ.”

“They look at what we’re doing and see that we’re here to help,” Vicki explains. “It gives us a platform to talk about the Lord and to be an ambassador of Jesus.”

The Grossmans are also passionate about growing future missionaries and leaders. Good Shepherd’s training center and scholarship programs focus on the region’s future generation by investing in promising young Quiché leaders.

Roger and Vicki recently retired from the International Missions Board (IMB), but it’s because of their passion for the Quiché people, and children like Enma, that they have chosen to continue to serve in the country God called them to many years ago.

“Our calling today is stronger than it’s ever been,” Roger says. “It’s amazing to us how God has brought all these relationships together. It’s truly a miracle. It’s truly the Lord.”

If you would like more information about the Good Shepherd Children’s Home, or make a financial gift, email guatemala@bchfamily.org or call Keith Henry at 336-474-1215 or Brenda Gray at 336-474-1230. Give online now to make a difference.