We just said good-bye to a team from our home church that visited to see and learn more about our ministry here. It was a wonderful, blessed time that we are very thankful for. Some of the members shared their pictures with me, so I thought I would use them to put together a photo-post of some of the things we have been doing. (Roll-over picture to see caption, click on photo to see larger image with full caption.)
The first Sunday the team drove a couple hours to attend the village church in Checalte. Some of the ladies wore Kekchi outfits they had purchased the day before at the market (except Esther who insisted on wearing the skirt we purchased for Abby three years ago. It was a bit on the long side!) During the service, Pastor Gene shared a short sermon that Ted translated to Spanish and our friend Rigoberto translated to Kekchi. Some of the team also sang some hymns. The congregation wanted to share with us as well and sang a couple songs of their own including “I Have Decided to Follow Jesus” in English.
The ladies dressed and ready to go
Pastor Gene preaching in English with Ted translating to Spanish and Rigoberto translating to Kekchi
A couple Kekchi ladies trying to keep out of the hot sunlight
Some ladies helping Esther adjust her too-long skirt
Throughout the week we visited several villages where we have built relationships. We started the week with a coffee tour. The team learned about how coffee is grown and processed.
Another day, the team travelled a couple hours to Chisec to visit and pray for a church in the process of constructing a new building. The pastor here, Pablo, was one of the first Kekchi Mennonite believers back in the 1960s.
New friends in Chisec
We also visited Chiquixji to meet Felipe and his son Wilmar and family. Ted and I first met this family when we visited on our vision trip three years ago. We continue to be blessed by this relationship. We also visited a nearby benefício, or coffee processing facility, to see possibilities for future work.
Chatting with Felipe near their house
Learning about coffee and the many other crops Felipe grows
The little girls ❤
The processing plant
Near the end of the week we travelled to a village garden that Red Paz (Peace Network)–an organization that Ted works with quite a bit–helped to initiate. Red Paz goes into communities and works to teach helpful skills both in agriculture and in peacemaking. They are the group that has partnered with Ted and the national organization Anacafé to help teach good coffee-growing techniques to Kekchi farmers.
This visit was followed by an uphill hike to visit some friends–Federico and Marta and their two boys. They are a wonderful family that has seen many challenges in the last several years. We had a very special time of prayer with and for them and enjoyed shopping Marta’s beautiful weavings–bags, placemats, table runners, and more.
Carlos sharing about the garden project
Ladies gathering up some swiss chard to send home with us
There was a lot of climbing involved in these visits
Federico and Marta with their sons Denis and Josue
Marta demonstrating the backstrap loom
Marta working on her beautiful weavings
We ended the visit Sunday by visiting our local church in Chamelco. The team again shared in song, but the most special part came after the service and after lunch. Rigoberto’s family joined us to go down to the river and fulfill a request Abby made several months ago that we thought would have to wait until next summer.
Welcome to the family…in Guatemala
Welcome to the family…in the United States
The girls sharing a song
Although these were the scheduled events, there were many other special moments throughout the week, some captured on film and some not. We were truly blessed by this visit and praise God for everything coming together the way it did.
Our special visitors: