Dear St. Mark,

We have seen it many times over. When times of uncertainty hit, God’s people rally around those in peril. Indeed, we are in such a time. As COVID-19 continues to cause great levels of uncertainty all over the world, St. Mark Lutheran Church, has the opportunity to  Branch Out in Love  to Our Community and the World.

I would like to invite you on a new journey as we partner with Faith Lutheran Church in Appleton, WI and Sunnyview Christian Church in Oshkosh, WI to walk alongside the people of Puerto Abajo, Guatemala and support them as they work to create sustainable change in their community. In conjunction with Children’s HopeChest ( , there are many ways we can support the work of those living in this amazing community!

First and foremost, they need our prayers!  Please pray for Mayra and Ismael Ramirez as they lead the charge and work tirelessly to serve the children and families in Puerta Abajo. 

Find Out More About the Puerta Abajo Project!

Second, they need our financial support!  By sponsoring a child from Puerta Abajo   you can empower that child and build a lasting relationship as you financially support the work being done in their community. You will have the opportunity to write letters to and receive letters from your sponsor child, creating a lasting, personal relationship. Your ongoing financial support of $45 per month will provide for emotional, environmental, educational, and medical needs of the community. St. Mark is responsible for sponsoring 10 children from Puerta Abajo so if you are interested in sponsoring a child, please contact Susan Ellefson by clicking the button below.

When this pandemic subsides and international travel is once again possible, there will be many more opportunities to grow our partnership with the community of Puerta Abajo. We will be able to join others from Faith, Appleton and Sunnyview, Oshkosh in partner visits and medical mission trips. Through these amazing experiences, we have the opportunity to learn more about Guatemala, Puerta Abajo, and, most importantly, build lasting relationships with leaders and community members!

Interested in a medical mission trip to Guatemala in 2021? Fill out this online form!


(Click on the video below to see what it's like to visit Guatemala!)

Now I invite you to prayerfully consider supporting this incredible ministry. Check out the resources below which include information on Children's HopeChest and their model of ministry and pictures from past trips to Guatemala. Also, when it is once again safe to gather and eat together, be on the look out for a Guatemalan lunch at St. Mark! But in the meantime, you can get a taste of Guatemala in your own home using the recipes provided below!

Even in these uncertain times, we have the opportunity to Brach Out in Love to serve our neighbors both in Sunnyvale and throughout the world!

In Christ,

Pastor Nick