VILLA RICA – Garry and Kathy Eudy served as Foreign Mission Board (now International Mission Board) missionaries in Middle America from 1978 to 1996.
Garry explained, “We were church planters in Panama from 1978-87. We piloted an approach that utilized university and seminary students in planting churches and started ten churches.
“From 1987-96 I served as FMB associate area director of Middle America, which included Mexico, Panama, and Central America. Our ministry even extended into Canada, but during that period of time we actually lived in Guatemala,” he added.
In 1996 the Eudys returned to the States and Garry was engaged in the pastoral ministry for 15 years. He retired from Central Baptist Church in Douglasville in 2011. Prior to his retirement he had been praying, “Lord, show me the ministry You want me to have for the years ahead.
“I began to feel that He wanted me to be a good steward of the experience of having been both a missionary and a pastor. I understand what it is like to pastor and evangelize in two lands and languages. I realized I could connect pastors in the United States and their churches with believers in other countries to work together to fulfill the Great Commission. I formed E3 Volunteers Inc., to ‘Enlist, Equip, and Engage Volunteers to fulfill the Great Commission’ and got started.”
Eudy’s intention was to work in several Central American churches, but he started in Guatemala and the ministry grew so quickly he is just focusing on that country for the present time. In 2011 he began with four stateside churches partnering with four Guatemalan churches. Currently, he has 24 churches in the U.S. partnering with 24 churches there.
“I first asked pastor friends in Georgia if I could help them mobilize their members in missions,” Eudy remarked. “So far, six Georgia Baptist churches have partnered or participated with Guatemalan Baptist Convention churches. Others have their first trips calendared for next year. Rosemont Baptist in LaGrange, First Baptist in Villa Rica, and Central Baptist in Douglasville are my ‘flagship churches.’ All three of them have been going multiple times annually for four or five years.
“Along with GBC churches, about 18 other churches from Alabama and Tennessee are partnering with E3 Volunteers in Guatemala. Partnering churches are utilizing the giftedness and abilities of their members to do children’s ministry such as VBS and Day Camp. Sports clinics and retreats are great ways to reach young people.
“Volunteers do medical clinics and build small houses for extremely impoverished families. They have roofed schools and taught the Bible in public classrooms. They have done church and seminary construction projects. Personal evangelism, preaching, and training leadership are all at the heart of all trips.”
One of the most heartening developments in Guatemala is the openness of so many public school principals to the various ministry activities offered to the students by visiting church groups. Eudy elaborated, “Some want us to teach character and values, but allow us to use the Bible to do so. Others allow us to more fully share the Gospel.
“I have found that if we respect their parameters, they usually give us more freedom to share openly the second and third times we return to their schools. Sports clinics (in which we can share testimonies and give devotionals) are always welcome activities. Some volunteer mission teams have taken school administrators to do teacher workshops with the teachers while their students are being taught and encouraged by the rest of the team.”
At a recent Unite Georgia Pastors’ Luncheon at First Baptist Villa Rica, Pastor Kevin Williams stated, “Under Garry Eudy’s leadership in Guatemala the president has granted us favor. I am not just talking about the president of the Guatemalan Baptist Convention; I am talking about the president of the country.”
A call we can’t ignore
Guatemalan president Jimmy Morales, who is an evangelical Christian, has given Eudy and his E3 Volunteers an open door to minister in his country. Eudy explained, “The president and I have a mutual friend who told him about our service projects in towns and villages and suggested to him that our Baptist volunteers might be a partial answer to the financial crises the new government faces in repairing the buildings in rural schools.
“I was invited, along with a few Guatemalan Baptist leaders, to meet with the president and other cabinet members. The result of that meeting was a request to bring more volunteers and to channel as many as possible to over 200 small rural schools that are on the government’s priority list for construction projects.
“Most of these projects are replacing roofs, building kitchens and repairing bathrooms… Projects that most Georgia Baptist churches have the skill set and finances to accomplish! I believe this is a modern day ‘Macedonian call’ that we cannot afford to ignore.”
Eudy has been greatly encouraged to see the involvement of so many youth and even children from the Baptist churches in the States eagerly engaged in the mission projects encouraged by E3 Volunteers.
“It is exciting to see the next generation of missionaries having their first Great Commission experiences. They work hard and they work effectively,” Eudy stated. “And they go home forever changed in their understand of God’s will.
“But the greatest challenge has been to help people see the value of strategic local church to local church partnerships, especially in relation to partnering with Guatemalan churches that have not previously had the opportunity to have a stateside partner.
“It is not uncommon to have a Guatemalan church or Christian ministry that has several stateside church partners. However, we have some very deserving and dedicated churches that never have volunteers. It would greatly impact the spread of the Gospel if these churches had a Georgia Baptist-partnering church. I am urgently trying to make these strategic connections.”
If your church is interested in forming a mission partnership with a Guatemalan church, Garry Eudy is the man you want to help you with that project. He designs and helps churches carry out “custom” mission projects created specifically for each specific church.
Eudy commented, “If you contact me, I will learn all I can about your mission ‘assets.’ When in Guatemala I am constantly visiting pastors and churches to learn about the Gospel needs in their community. And then I just ask God to help me match up the churches. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or (678) 386-9929. Guatemala is waiting!