Posts Tagged With: mission

A Welcome Visit

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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Our special visitors:

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A Special Story

One of the most special parts of our training last summer was the morning worship time that was spent praying over our children. One of the things that was prayed for our kids was that God could use them as we were discerning where to go. God answered this prayer in a very special way. Although he did not tell us our assignment through our children, he did confirm it through them, in more than one way.

As we talked to Daisy throughout training, she frequently expressed the desire to go somewhere that spoke Spanish. Spanish appealed to me as well since I had some in high school/college, but language obviously wasn’t going to be our determining factor. Even so, the options before us at the time were not remotely Spanish. Once we determined our calling, we saw how God had been faithful to her desires.

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Similarly, Cub has had a growing love of soccer over the last several years. Although this is a sport played in many countries around the world, it is an especially favorite sport in almost all Latin American countries, Guatemala not excluded. He was quite excited to find out that there would be no lack of opportunities to play soccer where we are going. 

Daisy was also working on writing a story during training. She started early the first week and finished the second-to-last day. We were not allowed to read it while she was working on it. In the story, she used the names of many of the other people at training: Princess Jada, Duke Sid, etc. except for one part. The story is of our (royal) family needing to hide out for a while to escape attacks on our lives in the castle, so we escaped to the woods. In the woods was a family that took us in and hid us. Their last name was Groff.

When we read the story after the last day of training (the end of the day in which we felt the strong call to Guatemala), we asked Abby how she came up with that name. She couldn’t remember. Wherever she got it, it served as a special confirmation for us. Galen and Phyllis Groff are EMM’s Regional Representatives for Central America and also the missionaries that have been serving with the K’ekchi’ for the last 20 years! This confirmation and answer to the prayer for God to use our children is something that we treasure as we continue our journey. Not only are these all special in and of themselves, but they serve to remind us that this call is not just for Ted or for Ted and I, but for our entire family.

Please consider partnering with us so that our family can begin to fulfill this call in August. You may do so here.

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