TABITA – Ministry Abroad

Two adults by a whiteboard While children sit Children sitting in a circle, writing on paper pads

This account comes from the San Antonio campus of Wayland. Giovanna Lacey works in the records department. She is also involved in missions. This is her story.

The holidays are fast approaching, and every year Giovanna and her husband, Donny, celebrate with Godly service.

Giovanna is from Peru. She came to the US at 20 years old where she attended Bible College. There, she met her husband.

“We always wanted to start something like this. Love for God and serving others has always been in our hearts,” Lacey said. “Mark 21:31 is our Bible verse [Love thy neighbor as thyself].”

When Covid-19 hit Peru, it devastated many areas of the country. In 2019, the Lacey’s went on a 2-week mission trip to Piura, Peru. They met many of the locals and fell in love with the people. When they came back to the states, the Lacey’s began giving counseling lessons throughout 2020 on Zoom to the people of Piura, Peru about family and how to raise capable children.

“While we were doing the lessons, I saw the kids behind their chairs sometimes, so I asked them, would you like us to teach the children?” Lacey said. “My husband does chalk-talk ministry, drawing with the chalk and preaching, teaching Bible lessons and songs for the children.”

They called the lessons Drawing with Brother Lacey. Donny Lacey taught his lessons in English and drew in chalk while his wife translated them into Spanish. For many weeks, Giovanna taught the adult class on Friday nights and Donny taught the children on Saturdays, all via Zoom.

“I noticed in one house, a large group of children was sharing one tiny computer screen. I wanted to buy [the owner of the computer] a big TV for the children,” Lacey said. “So, we asked for some donations, and we bought a big TV for them. Even more kids came! By the end of the year, we had already like 60 kids in Drawing with Brother Lacey.”

Various churches provided donations to help aid the Lacey’s in their ministry efforts. In December of 2020, the Lacey’s traveled back to Peru to host a graduation ceremony with certificates for the 13 women who completed her lessons. Church donations, supplemented by a Go-Fund-Me, were used to buy Christmas presents for the 60 or so children in their lessons as well.

The people of Peru did not want ministry efforts to end in their neighborhood, so the 13 women who gained certificates started teaching the Bible classes themselves with the help of Brother Carlos and his wife Luz Seminario, close associates and friends of the Lacey’s. This is how TABITA Ministry began.

“They [teach] on the street. They didn’t even have a roof. They used rice bags and made a roof. Every day they put it up and put it down so they have shade,” Lacey said. “I put [the ministry] on Facebook as a group, and Peruvians started donating clothes for them and food.”

The seed the Lacey’s planted two years ago has continued to grow. The people of Piura, Peru have helped the ministry thrive, and lived under the light of the Lord’s Gospel.

“This Christmas, I’m going over there,” Lacey said. “The church has donated a lot of money for them to have presents and we are going to have a neighborhood Christmas celebration. We’ll do the manger and preach the Gospel to the whole neighborhood.”

You can watch the Lacey’s Chalk Art Ministry on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCjTcrjJlaYB1_k3Nyxetifg

If you would like more information about TABITA Ministry or would like to donate, contact Giovanna and Donny Lacey at giovannamiracle@gmail.com, on their Facebook page, or check out the TABITA Facebook page.

 

Nine adults posing in a row

Photos by TABITA Ministry