by Jayna Richardson
“I am committed to this ministry because I know what it’s like to almost lose my marriage and family.” Hugo Guerrero is central to a ministry based in Panama that’s reaching many families throughout the continent of South America, but it’s a path he never would have expected his life to take. Back in 1994, he was living a fragmented life common to many Latin American businessmen—a life of success in the workforce but brokenness at home. When Hugo and his wife, Kenia, reached a low point marked by selfishness and hurt, they decided to separate.
In the cold loneliness of a hotel room, Hugo cried out to God, “If you truly exist, I want to know you.” That moment was a turning point, and from then on Hugo began to experience miracle after miracle, including the restoration of his marriage. Over the years he developed a hunger for God and a desire to help others.
Hugo became involved with Cru by helping host a series of events for businessmen. Through those Cru connections, he met Leonel Motta, the FamilyLife director of Latin America, and eventually a partnership began to form. This partnership soon turned into a strategic alliance that involved granting Hugo a license to print FamilyLife resources inexpensively in China and distribute them from Panama throughout the countries of Latin America—an initiative that solved a huge dilemma of getting biblical resources into the hands of families who desperately needed them at a price they could afford.
“When we were challenged by God to embark on this ministry, we really had no idea how far-reaching it would be,” says Hugo. Already tens of thousands of resources have been distributed to churches, organizations, and individuals throughout Latin America just in the past two years. “We are witnesses to how God brings together, and continues to add, various components of His body, achieving a powerful and efficient synergy that produces results far beyond our own perspective.”
Perhaps the best way to express the impact this has had are the testimonies from the volunteers. Noe Rodriguez from Queretaro, México, said, “These first two months of partnership with you have given us the opportunity to minister to over a hundred couples with the Art of Marriage®. Without your partnership, we couldn’t have done it. In the next few months we will be expanding to our neighboring states, and we already have those resources in stock, thanks to your partnership.”
Julio Atenas from Santiago, Chile, said, “Having the opportunity to distribute FamilyLife resources from Panama, and at a much lower cost, has allowed us to open doors with different congregations and deliver practical resources to family ministries, which are used in many ways. Many have adopted them for their yearly study plan, and others for counseling. We, as FamilyLife Chile, have created a ‘Family University’ offering seminars every two weeks on Friday nights, using HomeBuilders®, A Day to Remember, and concluding with the Art of Marriage. These seminars are attended by people from different denominations and even the unchurched.”
The full impact of this partnership will probably never be known, but one thing is clear: God is using Hugo’s printing and distribution ministry to reach families with the help and hope of the gospel. Hugo does his work at no charge to FamilyLife, and he’s quick to give all glory to God. “From the very beginning, God has made it clear to me that this is His project and not my project,” he says. “My responsibility is to obey His will and to have the courage to allow God to remove all the obstacles in my path and to not allow myself to become distracted or fearful in the face of the trials and difficult situations that may come my way.”
He admits that the work is challenging at times, but he’s learned to have faith that God can do the impossible. “As a businessman you plan your life and you set goal after goal. And to renounce my goals in order to pursue God’s goals has been a great challenge,” he says. “But I have seen the hand of God that, truly, has been covering me. And seeing all of this has given me the assurance that this is the path that God has traced out for my life.”