Monday, May 21, 2018

Baptismal Service

In recent months there have been several salvation decisions made in our work area.  It has been exciting to see the work grow.  There was recently a baptism service for the new believers.  Six were baptized on that day.  The service was originally planned for the last weekend in April but at the last minute got moved to the second weekend in May.  We already had plans to be in Guatemala City that weekend and could not attend.  Even in our absence the service went on as planned.

Before we even moved to this area to begin working, another IMB couple (David and Glynis Miller) spent much time here surveying the area and paving the way for us to move here.  They had partnered the Nearar area with a Guatemalan church in Chimaltenango.  Chimaltenango is a city about five hours away.  This church sends teams over a couple of times a year to do discipleship.  They have also in the past done most all of the baptism services.  We love that the whole thing was planned by and performed by the locals.  The work here has always been a combined effort by many including the U.S. partner teams that come several times a year to assist us in sharing the Gospel.  Each of these, combined with a lot of prayer, have had a part in these coming to know the Lord. 

Here are some photos from the service.  We sent Miguel in our absence.  He helped with transportation and also took photos for us. 

The service began with Bible study and singing.

They had a good crowd.   Many came from Nearar.  Some came from Porto Suelo and a few came from  Muyurco. 

These were the six candidates for baptism.  Two of them were from Porto Suelo and four were from Nearar.




 

 

 
This past Sunday morning four of them were presented with Certificates of Baptism during our worship service in Nearar.

Pray for these new believers as they continue to be discipled and grow.  Pray that many more will follow in their footsteps and make professions of faith.  Pray for all three villages that we are targeting in this area- Nearar, Porto Suelo, and Muyurco.  Pray for us as we teach in these areas on a regular basis and share the Gospel with the people there.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Mother's Day 2018

I got to celebrate Mother's Day in Guatemala City this year.  Probably the thing I loved most about that was getting to enjoy the cooler weather.  It is always so pleasant in the Capital compared to Chiquimula.  I also enjoyed getting to eat breakfast at my favorite restaurant and getting to attend English worship.  Here are some photos from my special day.

Mother's Day photo with my boys

I got to sleep in that morning.  I did not get up until 8:00.  I do not think I have slept that late since before Cruz was born.  It was nice!  They greeted me with big hugs and a few cards and questionnaires.  I love reading their answers each year. 

We went out to breakfast at San Martin.  It is one of my favorite places to eat in Guatemala City.

I enjoyed a typical Guatemalan breakfast- scrambled eggs, salsa, black beans, fried platanos, and cheese.

Inside the kids play area they had a table set up for the kids to paint their mothers a small flower pot.  I loved that.  Both boys painted one for me. 



my new plants (that I hope I can keep alive)

I was excited to get another pair of cup and saucers from there this year.  David bought me a pair for Mother's Day last year and I love drinking out of them.  San Martin has a different pattern for Mother's Day each year.  I think I have found me something new to collect. 

my cup and saucers from 2017

Mother's Day breakfast at San Martin

After breakfast we headed to Union Church for their 11:00 traditional service.  We love visiting there when we are in Guatemala City.  We love that it is in English.  They also have a kid's class and our boys love to go.  Here they are during the worship service helping hand out flowers to all of the mothers. 

Before we made the long drive back home we stopped for lunch at KFC.  It is a family favorite.  It is also a favorite with a lot of Guatemalans.  It is always busy there every time we go.  It was so busy this day that we had to wait outside with our names on a waiting list just to get in the door.  By the time we left the line to get inside was all the way down the sidewalk.  Crazy, isn't it.

It was late afternoon by the time we got back home.  It had been a great day but we were very tired and ready to unwind.  Much to our surprise we walked in the door of our house and saw that our freezer door had not been securely shut when we left on Friday.  That meant a huge mess and a total loss of everything in it.  It was close to 100 degrees here all weekend so with the freezer door cracked open the refrigerator could not keep up.  That meant that most everything in it was ruined also.  So instead of unloading the car and getting settled back in we went right to cleaning.

As if that was not enough stress for the day once we did unload everything from the car and start putting it away I noticed something else that caught me by surprise.  While in Guatemala City I had purchased some new curtains for our dining room.  It was not until I got back home (four hours away) that I noticed that I had accidentally picked up two different patterns.  I did not notice it until I had hung them and stepped back to look.  Add that stress to the refrigerator stress and you'll know that my day was not ending so well.   

Thankfully I have two sweet little boys who saw their mama was upset and they wanted to cheer me up.  They went into the living room and used their Magic Tracks to make me a flower.  They were so proud of it and led me into the living room to show me.  They said "mama, this will make you smile."  And, it did. What a perfect way to end the day!  I love those two boys and I am so blessed to get to be their mom.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

A Little Time of Refreshment in Guatemala City

This past weekend we made a trip into Guatemala City.  We left on Friday afternoon when we finished school.  Our first stop when we arrived was at Krispy Kreme.  Their very first store in Guatemala opened back in late January of this year.  We were still in the States then but were very excited that we would be able to visit there when we returned.  This past weekend was our first chance to visit.  We were all a little giddy to get to enjoy one of our favorite treats.  We were not disappointed.  

Krispy Kreme Guatemala




I am sure this will become a regular stop on our trips into the Capital.  We do not get to go often so when we do this stop will give us something else to look forward to .


That evening we attended a graduation celebration for one of our MK's (missionary kids).  

Daniel is a 2018 high school graduate

the boys with Daniel


We enjoyed a great meal and then dessert.  Afterwards we had a time of sharing memories and encouraging words for Daniel.  We then all gathered around him and prayed.    


Daniel will spend his summer working in the States and then will begin college in the fall.  Pray for him as he makes this transition.  Pray also for his parents.  He is the youngest of four and their last one to "leave the nest".  They will be adjusting as well to a life on the mission field for the first time without children. 

We spent the night at our mission house and stayed up until after 1:00 A.M. laughing and sharing stories with the Stones.  On Saturday morning we all went out for a late breakfast together.  It was their 43rd wedding anniversary.  What a treat to get to share a meal with them on their special day.

We then spent the whole rest of the day out running errands.  I had a list of supplies I needed to pick up.  One of those stops was at Save A Lot.  It is one of my favorite stops on every trip into Guatemala City.  We always find products there that we cannot get anywhere else in the country.  Nothing excites me like finding a new food item.   This trip in they had grits and for the first time ever I was able to buy self-rising flour here. Hallelujah!  It's little things like that that keep me going. Save A Lot Guatemala is one of my favorite places.  If you live here and have not been, you need to try it out.

Another stop was at Eskala Mall to get the boys a haircut.  Cruz wanted "fire hair" (bangs that stick up).  He got it and he loves it.  It is probably the shortest his hair has ever been.

We arrived back at our mission house that evening very tired.  We all took a bath and were in the bed early.  The next day was Mother's Day.  I will share about that in my next post. 

Friday, May 11, 2018

Dia De La Madre 2018

Our Bible studies this week have centered around Mother's Day.  Mother's Day in Guatemala is May 10 and this year fell on a Thursday.   We celebrated Wednesday in Nearar and Thursday in Muyurco.

The whole service on Wednesday had a Mother's Day theme.  Different ones took turns singing and reading scripture.  Luz taught the Bible study and did a great job of sharing some examples of mothers in the Bible. I closed us out with a short testimony and some encouraging words on motherhood.  I also challenged them to be Godly examples for their children and to teach their children to follow Christ.  At the end I called all the mothers to come forward and there was a time of prayer over all of us.  It was such a sweet service and my heart was greatly blessed by it. 

celebrating Mother's Day in Nearar

After the service we served cake to everyone.

each mother was given a bookmark

I offered to take photos of all the mothers with their children.  They were very excited about it.  They will each receive a copy of the pictures.  I am sure they will treasure them.  Here are just a few of the ones I took in Nearar.  They do not smile for pictures like we do.  It is just not their culture.  They were happy though and as soon as I would take the picture they would come running over to see it.   They would be smiling and giggling the whole time. 



This young mother is a new Christian.


This is another new Christian.



Rafa and Luz are the leaders of the church and they are doing a wonderful job.

Luz with her oldest daughter. 

I love this picture of this grandmother holding her granddaughter.

Isn't he precious!

Most of our Thursday Bible study in Muyurco was normal.  David taught the adults and I taught the children.  At the end we had a special time for the mothers.  I shared again the same message as in Nearar.  All the mothers came forward and our leader there prayed over us. 

 everyone was then served a slice of cake

I took photos there too of the families that wanted them. 

this is the family that hosts us every week





 
 one last picture before we left

On the way home we stopped for supper at one of our new favorite local places, Casa Lu'.  They have a chalkboard wall and had it decorated so pretty for Mother's Day.  It was a great way to end our Guatemalan Mother's Day celebration.

It was a joy to get to celebrate with the Bible study ladies this year.  I really wanted it to be a special time for them and yet I feel like I was the one most blessed.  I am so thankful for each of them and the opportunity I get each week to know them better. 

We will be spending a little time this weekend with our mission family as we celebrate the graduation of one of our MK's.  Then I get one more time to celebrate Mother's Day on Sunday.  It has already been a joyous occasion and I know that more fun is yet to come.


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