(Medellin, Colombia – September 12, 2023) In the picturesque surroundings of Ave Maria Convent, nestled amidst the lush greenery of Medellín, Colombia, something truly remarkable unfolded. It was the culmination of a vision that had been brewing for years, a grand symphony of hearts and minds converging on the global stage of finance, faith, and fellowship. It was Compass Catholic’s first international summit, September 8-10, 2023, an event years in the making, drawing together nearly 70 volunteers and individuals whose lives have been profoundly touched by this unique ministry.
One by one, participants filed into the serene setting, a place that exudes a spiritual aura. It was a momentous occasion, an opportunity for individuals from diverse corners of the world to share their experiences, forge new friendships, and unite under the banner of Compass Catholic. As they gathered, one couldn’t help but feel the palpable excitement, the electric charge in the air, as if the very essence of Ave Maria Convent had been infused with the spirit of Compass Catholic’s mission.
As attendees settled into their seats, a video message began to play, a heartfelt greeting from Compass Catholic Ministries’ founders, Jon & Evelyn Beam. “Greetings to the Compass Catholic Family, Summit attendees, and faithful friends from near and far,” began Jon, his wife Evelyn by his side. He recounted their financial struggles in 1987, how their introduction to the Bible study reshaped their understanding of money and possessions, and the subsequent transformation in their lives. Their journey, intertwined with scriptures, led them to become proponents of stewardship, emphasizing God’s priority in one’s earnings, spendings, savings, and giving. Evelyn chimed in, sharing the deep friendships they formed with those they shared their financial epiphanies with in the late ’80s and ’90s.
The message resonated with the theme of the summit, touching upon the unique challenges of propagating the Compass message across diverse cultural, economic, and political landscapes. Drawing parallels between the 12 apostles Jesus sent out and the current Compass community, Jon & Evelyn stressed the potential of their small group in disseminating their teachings globally. Jon’s prayer was poignant: “Just as you can’t pray one “Our Father” and think you don’t have to pray anymore, you can’t take a study like Compass and think that you have your finances under control. What you learned has to be lived every day. And the Good News needs to be spread.”
Among the luminaries present was Lee Menendez, a member of the board of directors who had been intimately involved with Compass Catholic for decades. Her journey, like many others, had begun with a quest for financial wisdom interwoven with spirituality. “I was introduced to the biblical study almost 20 years ago and have been looking for information out there to bring it to my parish, to teach them how to handle their finances,” she said. Lee’s path ultimately led her to Compass Catholic, where she discovered that the Bible had profound insights into money and possessions. It was a revelation that not only transformed her personal finances but also deepened her faith.
Eva Cordova, the coordinator of Latin American efforts for Compass Catholic, organized the gathering with her team. Her radiant enthusiasm was palpable as she shared the significance of the summit. Originally planned to celebrate five years of ministry in Latin America in 2020, the pandemic had thwarted those plans. Now, in 2023, the dream had materialized, bringing together all the countries that had been working tirelessly to spread Compass Catholic’s message. “This is the first time that we are together as one family,” Eva Cordova noted with heartfelt sincerity.
The summit was a rich tapestry of shared experiences and profound revelations. Participants from diverse backgrounds, cultures, and walks of life found themselves unified by a singular purpose – to explore the intersection of faith and finance, to unlock the timeless wisdom buried within the Bible’s pages, and to share it with the world.
Wilmer Duran, hailing from Costa Rica, spoke of his transformative journey through Compass Catholic. “We have been free of debt,” he declared, “and it’s all thanks to Compass.” Wilmer’s testimony mirrored that of countless others who had broken the shackles of financial burden through Compass Catholic’s teachings.
Jorge Arboleda, a facilitator and promoter of Compass Catholic programs, emphasized the profound impact the ministry had on him and those he worked with. For him, it was about more than just financial management; it was a holistic transformation of lives. “Too many people have come back to God through this course,” he mused, reflecting on the broader spiritual dimension of Compass Catholic’s mission.
For Carmen Victoria Pardo, a member of Compass Catholic hailing from Venezuela and residing in Miami, the ministry was a conduit to a closer connection with God. She described Compass Catholic as a bridge to a more fulfilling, faith-infused life, remarking that it was like “a compass for your finances, and also for your soul.”
The summit wasn’t just about personal testimonies and faith renewal; it was also an opportunity for participants to learn from one another. It was a moment where individuals exchanged ideas, strategies, and stories of triumph over financial struggles. As Eva Cordova explained, it was a chance to “create a community that is being done online but now we gather here, for everybody.”
The event also bore testament to the resilience of Compass Catholic, its tireless facilitators, and the unwavering commitment of its volunteers. Pamela Diaz, who serves as the Latin America coordinator alongside Eva Cordova, highlighted the transformative role of the ministry. It wasn’t just about financial management, she said, but about helping individuals find a more authentic and fulfilling way of living that aligns with God’s teachings.
In the majestic backdrop of Ave Maria Convent, Compass Catholic’s international summit was not merely a gathering; it was an embodiment of faith, hope, and transformation. Participants left with their spirits uplifted, their financial perspectives altered, and their hearts brimming with a newfound sense of purpose. As the sun dipped below the horizon, casting a golden glow on the verdant surroundings, it was evident that Compass Catholic’s mission, like the setting sun, had left an indelible mark on the lives it had touched. In the embrace of Ave Maria Convent, under the watchful eyes of the Virgin Mary and Saint Joseph, Compass Catholic’s first international summit had truly been a spiritual journey of a lifetime, a beacon of light illuminating the path to financial and spiritual freedom.