We, Gerry & Barb Normand, were Canadian business professionals for many years mainly in operations, logistics, sales and marketing, and leadership development.
Over the course of our travels and experiences we have witnessed slums, poverty, sickness, social injustice, and many other realities of the world we live in.
We decided several years ago to dedicate the rest of our lives exploring ways we can help make a practical, emotional and spiritual difference in the lives of people whom God loves.
I have had the pleasure of knowing brother Gerry Normand and his loving wife, Barbara, for about three years. During this time I have noticed that they really love God and His people because they are always in the disposition of sacrificing themselves to help and serve others.
Recently they have begun receiving some of the fruits of their labor in PILAS STUDENT MINISTRY. Many children and teenagers have benefitted with material and spiritual help in rural areas of Sumpango, Guatemala, C. A.
I think that anyone who could support their ministry would help the work of God in a great way, because people are really important to the Lord and to these brothers. Gerry and Barbara are seriously fighting for the Reign of God.
M. Th. Pedro González
Bible Teacher and Pastor
M. Th. Pedro González has been a servant of the Highest God for over thirty years. He has had the honor of teaching the Bible and Theology in several Guatemalan theological seminaries and biblical institutions. Señor Gonzalez’s numerous accomplishments include being dean, teacher, preacher, counselor, church founder and writer of many educational materials. The Lord has also given Señor Gonzalez the opportunity to teach in two secular universities due to his Masters Degrees in Bible and secular training.
While on vacation in 2005, we were reading Rick Warren’s Purpose Driven Life book and were inspired by “Day 36: You Were Made for a Mission. God is at work in the world, and he wants us to join him.”
The particular chapter rocked our world and was instrumental in us co-leading a one week short term mission trip in February 2006 to the impoverished indigenous village of San José el Yalú located in the municipality of Sumpango Sacatepéquez Guatemala.
Our first international serving experience ignited a flame that eventually led us to serve those who were suffering in Africa as a result of war and disease.
From June 2008 to December 2009, we lived and worked in Bunia and/or Isiro N.E. Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) with a Swiss-based Christian humanitarian relief NGO called MEDAIR.
After returning from the DRC, we felt the pull to return to Guatemala and visit the same village that kick-started our desire to serve in missions full-time. A 2010 trip turned out to be a pivotal time of charting a new direction in a new country of service.
Directing the education program for a ministry focused on integrated development enabled us to understand the need for solid education support programs for students eager to learn and change their future.
With our move to Sumpango Sacatepéquez, and the blessing of a large multi-functional facility, we sensed it was important to expand from meeting the basic needs of a student (tuition and materials) to an enhanced program. Thus the creation of Asociación PILAS Student Ministry!