Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy Holidays...

Greetings from La Antigua Guatemala. Our events this season were very simple and yet very blessed. It is our hope that you will experience the same. With the return of Matt and the announcement of a wedding this next year, we have a new addition to the family. Her name is Alejandra.

May God richly bless you in every way. Thank you from the entire Watkins Family, and Palomita, for visiting our blip on the web.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Caminos Café Products...

One of the many highlights for teams coming to Antigua is the ability to return back home with Antiguan Coffee. A local farm has been very good to us and is allowing us to package their coffee under a private label. This is great for fundraising or just keeping yourself awake at nights. As well we have updated our T-Shirts. Grey with Black print - White with Brown print.

So no longer do you have to wait to come here to get a good cup of coffee and something to wear. We are able to ship the coffee and shirts via DHL. This is included with the price. Yes, the price is less if you come to here to Antigua. But, if you get yourself here, I figure it is only appropriate that we discount the products since you covered the plane ticket.

Download the order form and print/fax or just email it directly to us.

Monday, December 24, 2007


Our celebration here in Antigua, was simple. We had about sixty of our people come together for a Communion and Candlelight Service. At 12pm midnight there is a fireworks celebration beyond anything that we would ever see in States. This year, Nancy, Amber and I went up onto Agua, the volcano, to see an incredible view of the fireworks display. All of the little balls of light are the big boomers ignited by each of the communities in our valley.

The cities included in this photo are Antigua, Jocotenango, San Juan Obispo, San Pedro las Huertas, San Miguel, San Bartolo, and in the farthest point, Chimaltenango.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Antigua Fire...

In a random course of event we (the city of Antigua) were treated to an early fireworks display. It is not uncommon to hear the explosions of "celebratory" events throughout the year. Christmas Eve and New years Eve are big annual events for fireworks. In preparation for this time, there is special area of the Mercado (market center) that is set up for sales of any kind of fireworks that you can imagine. Even those typically only available to licensed professionals in the States.
The exact reason is not known but at some point there was a spark that sent the entire area, about two and a half acres, up in a glorious 30 minute display of smoke and loud noise. Our home is 150 to 200 yards from the explosion. We had shreds of newspaper that landed in our yard. Reports came out that an estimated Q1,000,000 were lost.
There was a gentleman that also documented this event and posted here on youtube.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Staff Leadership Positions...

To follow-up on another Article from October. I want to introduce to you the new staffing positions the make this ministry happen.

Antonio Sandoval is our Pastor in Training. He will be starting effective January 14th. His responsibilities will be as a lay pastor for this church, attending Bible school training and help coordinate Short Term Mission team activities.

Marleni Monzon is our Administrative / Pastoral Assistant. She and her daughter Vasti began with this ministry in December of 2005.

Tonja Johnson is our Children's Ministry Coordinator. She and her husband, Rusty, are here building stoves and doing Children's Ministry in Santa Maria de Jesus.

Sonja Sandoval is our EFL Ministry Coordinator. She and her husband Antonio have been directly involved with this ministry since the beginning.

Boris Monzon is our Café Manager. He has been attending the church for the past year and a half. As well he volunteers in our Men's Ministry Soccer Team, our weekly kid's soccer training in Jocotenango and helps with his wife Jessica in the children's ministry on Sundays.

It's Official...

It is official. Our son Matt is getting married in March. It is a very blessed time for our family. In short, Ale rocks! She is a wonderful lady that truly balances Matt.

"Two worlds, Two lives, Two hearts, Joined together in Faith and Love; With the Blessing of God, it is our moment to celebrate the Love that unites us Matthew and Alejandra together, with our parents, we invite you to share with us this joyous celebration of love on our Wedding Day. Saturday, March 1, 2008, 2pm at Finca El Ahuehuete, Antigua, Guatemala."

Saturday, December 8, 2007

The Wedding...

I had the pleasure to perform my first wedding this month, Boris & Jessica. Boris is a young man that started coming to the church at the time we began here a year and a half ago. He is now the Café Manager. Jessica and her family have been actively involved with this ministry since the first day the sign was hung advertising the English Classes. It was my priviledge to see how God has worked in their relationship and unite them in marriage.

This last July Boris was baptized in our first baptism services. It was this same day my friend John Nichols mentioned that since I had completed my first baptism. Now all I needed was a funeral and a wedding to be a pastor. I ask if he was voluntering for either. It turned out that he, John, was my first funeral. And Boris it turns out was part of two of my first events as a pastor.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Politur Bible Study...

For those of you that have been with blogsite for some time, you know that we (myself and Antonio Sandoval) have been operating weekly Bible Studies for the Tourist Police of Antigua, under the authority of the Ministry of Valor and Service with the National Police. November 1, of this year we celebrated one year of ministry in the Politur Station. As well, Amber, my daughter, has been teaching English two days a week since last Februrary.
During this year we have not seen a great deal of movement in this ministry short of building relationships. The men are always invited and welcomed to join us for a cup of coffee in the cafe and if possible attend a service. Which when their schedule permits they take advantage of the offer. I have had the fortunate opportunity to visit three of them in their homes by invitation.

This past month I had several officers let me know first hand from their perspective what has been happening. They told me that they see the difference in their team since we started the studies. There are several men that have made recomitments to Christ in their churches. This past week we celebrated with the news of an officer professing faith in Christ for the first time. He was with other officers while on duty on The Volcano Agua.

This month an additional 30 men were added to the rotation of the officers. For a couple of days there was considerable concern that these new men would require the new space that we have completed and use for our chapel. But God is good. The new Chief as it turns out is a Christian. He had heard there was a pastor in the station and was very excited to see that his men had the opportunity to hear the gospel.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Que Pasa en Antigua...

As it should be with every church, it is our goal to be very intentional and very present in the community. We ventured into a new arena this month, the magazine "Que Pasa en Antigua" - (page 47). This publication is the hottest - What's Happening - information center in Antigua and is very secular in its focus. It represents all of the activity in Antigua, good, bad and indifferent. Our ad went in this month. Some of those present on Christmas Eve heard about the church through the magazine. It's a start.