Good morning everybody!
Now that I have been home for a few days, I'd like to stop and say "Thanks" for your prayers for our teams in Guatemala the first couple of weeks in January. During that time, we posted a few pictures of us doing a variety of things--from a Play. Story. Eat. training, to Sam Anderson doing an Equine Therapy talk and demonstration, to participation in a rodeo, to working with a mayor's wife with over 40 women's leaders, to a meeting in a beautiful coffee plantation, to dancing with folks at a senior citizen home!
Most notable is how we saw 5 new Christian Rancher groups get started! In all our trips, I can't remember that many groups getting started in such a short span of time. In addition, we believe that we have about 27 people primed to start other groups--including women's groups, a coffee growers group, and others. Maybe in the coming days we will stop to count how many places we now have Play. Story. Eat. groups using some version of our process.
Even though we participated in several high profile events, we believe that we did some of our best work out of the spotlight--especially with our friends who are considering starting other PSE groups.
To give you a snapshot, I want to talk about two days that kind of blew my expectations. On Tuesday, January 9th, we had a first event in Moyuta. This place is located within about 15 miles of the El Salvador border. Anatoly, a young man who turned 25 years old our last day with him, had organized the meeting with Alicia, a friend of his. Both of them had attended our PSE training event January 4th at Cesar's place and were excited about getting a couple of different groups started. This particular day, we met at Anatoly's coffee plantation that his family has had for a couple of generations. Our meeting place was under a screened coffee net that shaded us and overlooked a picturesque lake where a few men were fishing and nearby some ladies were washing their clothes by hand in knee deep water.
While sipping some of the best coffee you'll ever find in the world, we had quite a diverse mix of people--from some fairly well-to-do coffee plantation owners to a couple of guys who had been homeless at one point in their lives. Most of the 25 or so in attendance were believers, but a few were not. One of those was a man named Dario, an Iranian refugee who fled Iran in 1979 when the Shah of Iran was getting ousted. Somehow he managed to get some land and learned to grow coffee in these hills and had managed to fit in. While still considering himself a Muslim, he claimed to be a God fearer and was extremely attentive to everything we did and especially loved it when we had our horseshoe throwing competition.
While a few did pray to receive Christ at the meeting, Dario didn't, but he hung around for the group picture of those who wanted to start the group. So pray for him and the others planning to continue meeting in Moyuta.
Sort of connected to this group is the cattlemen's association of Moyuta that has it's milking coop building in San Pedro Alvarado, about 100 yards from the El Salvador border. On Sunday, January 14th, we had an event with this group and their families. About 150 showed up! Cesar and I talked about how we had come to connect guys in Christian Rancher groups all over Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador. Renato, our Brazilian team member, gave his testimony. And then we did our play time. Over 30 guys had come with their horses to participate in the "riding of the rings" event. This event is extraordinarily popular in this region and drew riders from about a 20 mile radius, including about a half dozen guys from El Salvador. Local businesses had donated prizes, including a brand new saddle for the winner!
10:02 PRAYER (LUKE 10:2)
Pray for these folks starting new groups, and please pray for Cesar and me as we plan to meet with them in February to help them get their groups established.
Thank you for your faithful support. You invested close to $5000 in this one trip. And God produced amazing results. Way to go!
If you would like to know more about how PSE might benefit you or your church, let us know! We are seeing good things happening with our partnering churches as they try out some of the basic strategies we use in our missionary work.