by Jayna Richardson

When the Church of God denomination in Central America began looking for materials to strengthen their outreaches to families and men, they came across FamilyLife, and an effective partnership was formed. Within the last nine months, around 300 men in leadership within the Church of God in seven Central American countries have been trained by FamilyLife leaders to use FamilyLife resources in their church and community. With trained leaders now in place spanning from Panama to Belize, FamilyLife in Central America is in a position to reach many more struggling families—and they’re already starting to see God at work through this partnership.

This strategy of training church leaders throughout Central America began with Stepping Up®, FamilyLife’s video resource that empowers men through gospel-centered living to be true heroes in their families and communities.  

As men in leadership in the Church of God in seven countries (Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama) were trained to use Stepping Up for outreach, they discovered the resource was having a positive effect on their own lives and families, too.

One pastor in Panama said, “Stepping Up has helped me a lot . . . to analyze and form myself based on the Word of God, to move forward and continue believing in the promises of God in my life.”

Another attendee said, “The Stepping Up seminar has been a great blessing to my life and my family. I learned what it is to be a brave man—a man who faces challenges and difficulties in life. It has helped me to grow. I know that it has also been a blessing for many other men. I thank God for all that He has done and will continue to do.”

The men were blessed by the Stepping Up material and were excited to consider the opportunities to help spread the message of biblical manhood to others. Leaders in Honduras, Panama, and Costa Rica have already held additional events, and more outreach opportunities are planned for 2022.

“We expect 2022 to be a full year of movement for [men’s ministry],” said Orlando Madrigal, FamilyLife leader in Costa Rica.

In addition to working alongside the Church of God denomination, the Assemblies of God in Costa Rica and Honduras have also shown interest in partnering with FamilyLife and using Stepping Up. Twenty-five leaders attended a training in the fall, with more to come.

Only God knows how these church leaders and laymen throughout Central America will go on to impact their own families, churches, and communities, but one thing is certain: They are stepping up to God’s call on their lives and experiencing the blessings that come with walking in obedience to Him.