Hope of the Pokomchi or ASOSAP is a nationally registered non-governmental organization operating in Guatemala. Bill and Linda Brierly of Clearwater founded the ministry. ASOSAP stands for Asociacion Sacombal Pokon in the Pokon language of Guatemala. The Pokomchi are of Mayan descent and are one of 23 indigenous groups in Guatemala.
After having volunteered with several organizations, Bill and Linda decided to found their own mission in order to focus on what they believed were sustainable projects enabling the villagers to become more self-reliant and self-supporting.
Besides offering Bible studies and health education, they are involved with infrastructure projects such as building latrines, improved wood cook stoves, and rainwater collection tanks.
They recently returned from yet another trip to Guatemala where they co-hosted a team from Salt Spring Island.
Hope of the Pokomchi is a non-denominational ministry motivated by the love of Christ and funded through donations. They partner with villages in the area. A team is then sent to facilitate projects. Team members are responsible for their own transportation to Guatemala; they are also actively involved with fundraising to help complete the designated projects.
Since establishing their mission Bill and Linda have trained several young Pokomchi people who now run the whole program in Guatemala. They plan on spending six months of the year in Guatemala, three months in the spring and three months in the fall.
Teams continue to arrive and they expect five teams between September and November of this year. They have also instituted Vision Teams. These tours of duty last only six days and are designed for folks who don't have that much time or other resources to donate.
Bill and Linda are always looking for more volunteers. Several people from Clearwater have already participated. Hazel Wadlegger and Jean Nelson have donated their time and energy to these projects. Jean has travelled to Guatemala three times to work with the Pokomchi.
On December 3rd of this year, Bill and Linda will be hosting Mayan Madness, a family-oriented, fun-filled event. It will be an opportunity for Clearwaterans to learn about the Pokomchi of Guatemala and the work that Bill and Linda are involved with through their ministry. The event will double as a fundraiser for Clearwater's Food Bank and for the nursing school in Guatemala.