I’m back in the U S of A, having gotten home from Guatemala in time to enjoy the 4th of July with family. Hope you had a wonderful time celebrating our nation’s birth with friends and family as well. Now that I’ve been home a week, I better get with the program and share some of the highlights from our latest trip to the jungle with a team from First Baptist Benbrook, Texas. I’d like to share one story and several pictures that capture a few snapshots of our time there.
“If you don’t stop building this church, we will burn your house down!”
Two months ago, those were the words yelled by two Catholic men to the four-family church that was meeting in one of the huts of one of those families. Without rehearsing or consulting, the church stood together as one outside the door. One of the men spoke. “If you do that, you will have to burn all of us together. We will not fight with you. However, we feel compelled by God to continue.”
Witnessing the situation, several Catholic people who knew the agitators came alongside and stood with the church. “If you are going to burn them, you will have to burn us too,” they said with conviction. “You know that our church does not teach this.” With that, the self-appointed accusers turned and went home.
Play. Story. Eat. In Action
Thankfully, since that incident, there have been no further threats. And German wanted us to share with the new believers how out of a glad and open heart, the congregation could play, share stories, and eat with people in the community to win them to Christ.
We talked about how we liked to do something fun to open us up to hear stories about one another and about God. Not knowing who was a part of the church and who wasn’t, we didn’t realize that we had engaged several outside of the church in our relay races and by the time we got to sharing our stories, about half a dozen ladies and several men joined us in our discussions.
Todd shared the biblical story Jesus told of the four different soils where gospel seed was sown. To communicate, I translated Todd’s English to Spanish. Then German translated it from Spanish to Kekchi. I was amazed at how patient the people were to listen. Fortunately, the story resonated well. Their whole existence depends on planting good seed in fertile soil to produce their crops of corn and beans and other vegetables to survive. Soon they peppered German with comments and questions. At the end when we talked about how we ride bulls of commitment to God after hearing God speak to us, we shared our commitments. The general commitment from the people was that they wanted to be fertile soil that God might use to plant seeds of faith that would sprout and multiply. They asked us to pray for them, that they would be a church of “chabil choch”—fertile soil. I made my commitment that when I got home, I would ask my prayer partners to pray that very prayer for them—that they would be fertile soil and that God would multiply mightily through them all over this mountain.
Please pray for the new church in Volcan Semux. Pray that they would joyfully multiply as they live out their faith in their village. As you see other pictures below, please pray that gospel seeds in the other places we went would find fertile soil too and that many would come to know Christ through the spiritual friendship and witness of our friends.
I made a promise that I would tell the story of this new church in Volcan Semux and invite you to pray for them. Would you pass the word on to ask for others to pray with us? If you haven’t already done so, set your phone alarm to go off at 10:02 am or pm and remember to pray Luke 10:2…that the Lord of the harvest would send forth laborers into his fields that are ready to be harvested.
Several of you have given sacrificially of late and greatly encouraged us. Thank you so much! Your continued partnership keeps us going. Keep those cards and letters coming!
By the way, next week, July 18-25, we have a team from LifeQuest Church in Belton, Missouri, heading to Guatemala to work with several of our PSE groups in the Santa Rosa de Lima region. Stay tuned for more news.
PS…check out more pics below! These guys from Benbrook were great!