Friday, February 27, 2009

The Bill Tour...

This past week, Bill from Pathways came for a visit and brought a few friends from the counsel to see what's new in Antigua. They spent a couple of days looking at more possibilities for the ministry and brainstorming for new team traffic. The great highlight for the week for me was the participation in a Bible distribution with the National Police.

After just receiving Bibles to distribute on Tuesday, Valor and Service (the Chaplain's minsitry for the Police) invited us to participate in a distribution. This particular group includes retired officers from Zone 6 in Guatemala City.

In the photo below is Bill, Mike, Norma Hasburn (Mike's Chaplain Boss) from the NPC, Al Fernandez from the Florida Baptist Association and Agent Mendoza Cabrera.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Lots of Bibles...

Nominally one and a half years ago, there was a connection made between Empower Ministries from Canada and our home church of Pathways Community Church. In short, Bibles were offered to support the ministry we have to the Police here in Antigua. Then that offer grew to include all of the members of the National Police for Guatemala. All 15,000 of them. Through a series of phonecalls and emails from Canada to Largo, FL to Antigua to Europe the design and version was determined.

Last Monday - Feburary the 23rd - the total of just short of 25,000 Bibles arrived at the Central Station for the National Civilian Police of Guatemala (NPC). The first 15,000 are custom covered specifically as Police Bibles. The additional 10,000 are intended for general public.

The plan for distribution is this. "Valor and Service" the division of the NPC that I answer to as the Chaplain for the Tourist Police of Antigua plans to visit every police station in Guatemala during the next 4 months. In addition to offering a Bible to every Police officer in Guatemala, they will then be going to the prisons of Guatemala to share the Bibles with officers that have been incarcarated and any of their friends that have interest.

This is an amazing gift to this country made to happen with the involvement of Ron and his team from Canada, Frank and his team in Europe, John, Phil and Bill in Largo, and Ana in Antigua and the Orchestration of God. Yea God!

As more news comes from the distributions be sure that I will share.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Effects beyond ourselves...

This past December members from a visiting team had the bright offer to facilitate help for the Malnutrition Center of San Juan SacatepƩquez. In short, this is what their effort has produced.

Juan Luis is a young man that has been involved with the IDC for just over a year. Through private donations to the IDC he is now a volunteer for the center. Reports coming back are very positive for his help and energy to the work.

Recently he has taken the initiative to start a garden to grow vegetables to help save expenses and teach the children responsibility and reward. With the help from other cash donations and team assitance, he has what he needs for garden preparation and seeds.

Through people seeing, giving, and going beyond themselves, incredible things can happen. As Microsoft used to say - "Where do you want to go, today?"

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Northside Baptist Visit...

This past week we were honored to welcome 6 team members from Northside Baptist Church, Syracuse, New York - the first of our teams for this year. This was primarily a scouting experience but they "gotter-done" - moving one house building another in Parramos, cutting hair at the Malnutrition Center, helping to prepare a garden for vegetables and generally being very nice people :)

Great job Northside!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

A New Year...

2008 Stats - 23 Baptisms, Average Monthly Attendance 122.

We enter the new year of 2009 with not only a new building but immediate growth as well. For reasons that can only be considered a God thing, our first month in the new building has generated and average weekly Sunday attendance of 161. We have been tracking our Wednesday and other midweek events. Including these it brings the number for a total attendance of 234. We began our new English Classes. We have shifted our timing to align with the local school system. We are running 104 students in 6 levels of classes with 20 or so more on a waiting list.

Also this month we have organized a councel for the church. There are 6 men that have agreed to serving in this capacity. It is very exciting to see the growth of not only those attending the church but also the infrastructure. Creating that much more of a stable church into the future.

God has also blessed us with advance notice of 16 teams that plan to come as our guest. In our budget preparation we calculated for about 240 people during this year. If everyone arrives as planned we will have 215 of our anticipated total.

This coming year is poised for incredible events. We are looking for God to show himself yet again.