Learn More about MST

About the Orphanage

MST is an all-girl’s orphanage in Chimaltenango, Guatemala, which is about an hour and a half southwest of Guatemala City. This private Christian organization was founded by Carol Alvarez, and her late husband Cesar in order to provide care for children abandoned.
MST presently cares for 14 girls ranging in ages from 6 to 22 years. Girls have been removed from their homes of origin by the Guatemalan legal system. MST provides a safe environment to live, learn, and grow. MST is located on a small, gated compound where the girls share dormitory-style bedrooms; take part in daily devotionals; and eat meals together in a common room. Each girl is responsible for washing her own clothes by hand, helping prepare meals, and performing daily chores around the compound.
Most of the MST girls attend school at the Education Center nearby. The Education Center is a Christian school ministry that Carol’s daughter, Vanesa, and Vanesa’s husband, Luis, launched to serve children from the local dump. Some of the older girls attend a separate Saturday-only high school program and work on their studies during the week.

Transition Home, Missionaries, and Alumni

In 2018, MST and Cornerstone Presbyterian Church (CPC) co-launched a Transition Home program on the MST property for girls who were aging out of the orphan care system, but were still in need of more life skills training. In 2019, CPC decided to work directly with MST without an intermediary organization. The MST Ministry Team has completely taken over the relational, organizational, and financial responsibilities of working with MST.
In 2021, as flights began opening up after the pandemic, CPC sent out a leadership team to interview a new missionary team. Julio and Jemima were hired following the 2021 trip. They have been wonderful models of love, marriage, and gospel truths while taking great care with the needs of all of the girls.
Also, during this trip, CPC hosted the first Alumni gathering. Relationship building and discipleship are two primary ministry objectives in reconnecting with these Alumni.

Cornerstone Involvement

CPC began a relationship with MST in 2010. CPC embarked on a journey to develop genuine and real personal relationships with the girls and staff of MST, while also providing for their physical needs. Additionally, Cornerstone began training mission team members to serve MST using a broad development model from the book When Helping Hurts, by Steven Corbett and Brian Fikkert (2009). The When Helping Hurts model strives to overcome first-world country domination patterns and emphasizes the importance of serving from a place of humility. Mission team members are also taught to have an awareness of their individual brokenness; to understand the gift of reconciliation through Jesus Christ; and to share this gift with others in their own brokenness and suffering. In 2016, a two-person CPC-MST ministry team was created to work directly with the home. This ministry team has grown over the years to eleven active members. CPC seeks now to send two, 4-10 person mission trips to MST per year in January and June. Periodic leadership trips to investigate new partnering opportunities are also conducted.

The Impact of COVID

Though COVID made its rounds, the MST girls, MST leadership, and our missionaries all recovered back to health with much wonderful support on the ground!
CPC had (and still has) a promise to these girls to keep returning. COVID was an unprecedented roadblock by which we had no legal means to do so. In the two year gap, we maintained contact the way the rest of the world did... video calls. Though it wasn't the same as going in-person, we were blessed to have people on the ground to help with virtual pizza nights and game nights in order to continue to have fun and maintain relationship with these beautiful girls.
Even after a successful 2021 visit, 2022 came with its own challenges. A January mission trip was canceled due to a holiday COVID spike. Later, this team was rescheduled to April, but the actual trip was delayed once more to May.

Contact the MST Team

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