Sunday, November 26, 2006

Blessings of a family...

On November 19th of this year, our oldest son Matt, celebrated his 21st birthday. This in itself is a new experience in that our oldest is now a legal adult. Be that as it may, the events of his b-day were non-inclusive of the "celebration". Tonight, we had the celebration.

30 or so people from the church and beyond, that had been invited by word of mouth or email, came to the house. And what a party it was. Matt "took out" the Chicken Little Piñata in two swings. No one else had a chance to take a whack at the wire and paper mache artwork (these really are an art form). On the second smack the candy went flying. All throughout the garden area. That is definitely going to help with the ants. :) Chicken Little very quickly looked like a bad result from the processing plant.

I have to tell you Guatemalans know how to party. New friends and church family help to pass Matt to his next stage of his life. In the middle of this, Nancy and I were on the upper terrace admiring the view of the mountains and moonlight, and looking down into the house and yard and saw a house full laughter and joy and the music of life. God gave us the family gathering that we hope we would have had while in the states.

It is interesting that just this morning I was wondering if we were really connecting with folks in the church. The simple blessings like this make life so rich and full. The blessings of a family in Guatemala.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

A day of Thanksgiving in Guatamala...

In our english classes, we not only give the practical help of learning english, but also we share the gospel and exchange cultural ideas. This current english class is no exception. Our enrollment this class period is 100 students, with classes in the afternoon for youth and evening classes in the afternoon. Since Thanksgiving Day landed on our class schedule we took the opportunity use this day as an opportunity to share the gospel and help folks think about what they are thankful for.

It was quite the event for the church. We fed a total of 85 people plus teaching staff. Each of the classes gave a presentation. Our primary teachers are Heather, Katie, and Amber. Heather's class gave a praise song in Spanish and English with musical support.
The place was packed, the gospel was shared, there is much to be thankful for. Relationships continue to build and God is good.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

It was just to meet the Director of the Precinct...

This past week my Pastor and boss, Bill Losasso from our Clearwater Campus, and a good friend of Pathways, Gio, from the National Baseball Leagues Chaplancy program, came to Antigua. We wanted to explore what possibilities existed for the Iglesia del Camino (IDC) and/or Pathways (PCC) as a whole assist the National Police of Guatemala in their Chaplaincy program. We met with the Secretary of the Office of Service and Valor, Norma Hasburn, and two of her assistants. This meeting went well with ideas begin discussed of methods used by the baseball league and such that could assist the Guatemalan Chaplains.

During this time we also discussed what would be required IDC to begin working with the local police officers in Antigua. A very clear path was laid out. A process that required about a month or so of paperwork and then we could get active.

Immediately after this meeting we were introduced to representatives from the International Chaplains ministry. They were telling of how they had just left one of the local precincts that was fervently praying that God would provide a pastor to come and minister to them. In passing I mentioned my interest for working with the police officers. They quickly recommended go over to meet the Director of the Precinct so that when the paper work was finished we would be that much closer.

All parties concerned arrive at the Precinct for the Tourist Police of Guatemala in Antigua. This is an elite unit whose sole purpose is to serve and protect areas of the city and functions with tourists. Very soon after our arrival I am being introduced to the individuals in leadership. A few individuals were making presentations and I was hearing all of this through Gio as my translator. Then all of the sudden Gio stops translating and looks to me and says, "Your life is about to change." He then explained that in the middle of these introductions Norma Hasburn announces that this precinct is now under the spiritual authority of Iglesia del Camino and her Pastor Mike Watkins.

Then a prayer time began in the middle of the meeting, outside in front of the precinct, with officers kneeling before God. This is one of the many images that have been etched in my mind. God is doing amazing things. How lucky I am to be His witness. If the Lord allows this will be the location for a Saturday morning children's (7-12) fútball (soccer) league.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

A workday in San Lorenzo...

We have been working on a house in San Lorenzo. This is a "suburb" of Pastores. Best laid plans often have glitches and the team that was scheduled to complete this home in September stepped out at the last minute. Looking for other teams to help move more fill dirt and sand to a difficult work site, we invited our church, Iglesia del Camino.

What a day it was. 20 people both national and international made this day happen. We were able to complete moving the sand required for the floor and pour almost half of the cement floor. This was a huge step for many of our congregation. Which when you consider this represented almost 1/4 of our regular attendance, this was a remarkable day for not only the family which will be living in the house, but our church family as well.