Posted by Brad
I am so happy to be in Guatemala. What a day!
We started with a devotion at breakfast. Gale had a great insight from a devotional book. We talked about Martha and Mary. How Martha was more concerned with service. Mary chose the fellowship with Jesus. We shared how we all need to be a combination of both.
We then went to visit Viviana. She was the first woman we built a chicken coup for last year. She started with 50 chickens and had a great business going. She sold each egg for $.12 she also found that people wanted other items. So, she started selling coffee and sugar. I am so proud of her initiative! Several months ago, her chickens began to die. Very quickly, she was down to 20. We discovered that she was not feeding them enough. Food is pretty expensive. So, we talked to her, and developed a plan. We are going to buy more chickens, ensure she has a continual source of food and give it another shot. She is super excited, and so are we!!!
We then went to the local market. Sunday is a huge market day. We bought a wardrobe cabinet for our family we are building for. We also bought warm blankets and table and chairs.
After having some authentic pizza at our old standby restaurant, we went to church. It was awesome!!!
As usual, the music was fantastic. They really know how to worship!!! I then had the chance to preach. It is always fun to share a message. Chris was gracious enough to translate. It was Pastor Juan’s church’s 21st Anniversary. I told them that not only was it an Anniversary, but also a family reunion. Juan and Blanca were our first friends in Tecpan 6 trips ago. Now, I stood on that stage and looked out into a church full of friends. Faces I am so happy to see. So many smiles and hugs!!!
The most disheartening time was with Blanca’s daughters. We have poured our hearts into them. Prayed and encouraged to hold strong with dating and getting married. I looked out and saw 16-year old Sandra holding a baby. My heart sank. She is so young. She is so innocent. The only babies she should be holding is babysitting. Now, she is a mom. The second whammy was that Paula, who is 18 has a baby as well. She was not there tonight.
While I am disappointed, I am at the same time, happy for her. I hugged her just as hard…maybe even harder. I know life will be so much harder, but I pray God uses this to strengthen her. I got to hold her baby for a long time. Her son is 2-months old. She is no longer going to school. Please pray for Sandra!!!
We also had our annual dinner. I tried cutting the steak and went right through the plate to my leg. Fortunately it was a plastic knife. I never actually got to eat the steak. But, the rice and tortillas were delicious. We prayed over so many people who had health concerns. We took so many pictures. It was not goodbye. We will see them Tuesday night at worship. We will see the men at Bible study on Wednesday. We will then see the whole church again Thursday night.
We finished the night with observations from each man. Gale’s first response was, “Love”. That is what he saw up close in the faces of the people at church. He said that he opened his Bible and began to read from Revelation. It was very timely:
Rev 7:9 After this I saw a vast crowd, too great to count, from every nation and tribe and people and language, standing in front of the throne and before the Lamb. They were clothed in white robes and held palm branches in their hands.
It’s time to get some sleep. We are installing stoves and visiting families tomorrow. We are also building the foundation for the bathroom we will build for the house on Tuesday.
Thank you for your prayers. Everyone is healthy and having a great time. We miss you all and can’t wait to share stories and pictures.
Dios Te Bendiga,