Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Food Distribution Project

As I mentioned in my last post we did a food distribution project over the weekend.  We were recently contacted by an IMB colleague in Guatemala City asking if we had a place in our work area that could benefit from this type of project.  He is working with a partner from Southwestern Seminary in the States.   This partner, Mike, has been down recently helping do a construction project at the Baptist Seminary in Guatemala City.  While here he heard about the recent droughts in our area and the lack of food for the locals and wanted to know if he could help.   We welcomed the opportunity to partner together.   In addition to these two men we also had a Guatemalan pastor from the Capital join us.  It was a great group of believers working together for a common cause.

They were committed to feed 50 families so we had to pick an area about that size.  We chose Tunuco Arriba because it is small, remote, and is an area we are trying hard to begin a work in.  We would love to one day plant a church there and we knew this project would help. There is no evangelical work in this village and no believers that we know of. 

It normally takes about four hours to get to us from Guatemala City.  The group left around 6:00 Friday morning heading this way.  Before they even reached the half-way point they encountered an accident in the road and it delayed them a long while waiting for it to get cleared up.  It ended up taking them 7 long hours to make the trip. 

They brought the food supplies over in a truck.  The vehicle they used was not 4x4 so we had to make arrangements on our end to get the food up the mountain to the people.  David knew this ahead of time and met with the village leaders earlier in the week and they committed to send a truck down the mountain to pick the food up and drive it back to the village.  Each family in the village paid Q15 (about $2.00) to cover the cost of the truck.  That was their donation to the project.

When meeting with the leaders David also made sure they had things organized on their end.  They had a list of every family in the village and the food was distributed in a roll call fashion.  It made things go much smoother and kept things under control.  Overall the project went very well.  The locals were happy, the group from the Capital was happy, and we feel that we further built relationships with the people from that village. 

Here are some photos from the day-
The group unloading the supplies from the truck that came up from Guatemala City into the back of the truck that the village sent down.

After arriving in the village each person from our group was given a time to give greetings and share why we were there.   Here's the pastor from Guatemala City (in the red cap) addressing the crowd.

Here are David and Mike giving a gospel presentation to the group before the distribution began.

These are true Chorti Indians.  Many of these older ladies can only speak the Chorti language.

Don't you love their colorful clothing!

giving out the food

some of the ladies lined up to receive their food

 Our group
Mike and his wife are on the left.  They are the U.S. partners.  Billy is in the middle.  He is an IMB missionary/ professor at the Baptist Seminary in Guatemala City.  The gentleman on the far right is a pastor in Guatemala City.  His wife and in-laws came over as well to help.  They all really enjoyed seeing the village life and helping the locals in our area.  Lord willing we hope to one day get to work together again with these precious folks.

They ended up bringing enough food supplies to feed 70 families.  We purchased the extra supplies to give out to other families in our area.  On Monday morning we drove up to the village of Nearar and passed out food to our Bible study families there.  
David and Ben with some of the folks from our weekly Bible study in Nearar.

me with a few of the ladies

David and Ben hiking to make a visit in the village of Nearar.  This picture makes me smile.

This is the family in the village where we used to meet separately on Sunday afternoons for Bible study.  They are the ones that due to pressure from the locals had to ask us to stop coming.  We are still visiting them, praying with them, and hoping to one day get the green light to return and teach there again.  There are lots of precious children running around that area that I would love to share God's Word with.

Would you take a few moments and look back over the faces of the people shown in these photos?  Would you pick out one or two and pray specifically for them?  Your prayers can make a difference in their lives!

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