Monday, June 15, 2015

LifePark Vision Team June 2015

We recently hosted a vision team from LifePark Church in Mount Pleasant, SC.  LifePark is a church plant of First Baptist Church in Mount Pleasant.  A few years back they began a partnership with our colleague David Miller specifically targeting the village of Chanco.  They would send four teams a year down to work in this village.  The teams consisted of members of both congregations.  When we returned from our Stateside Assignment last June the partnership was turned over to us and we began hosting them.   The interest in these teams has grown to the point where LifePark now feels the need to branch off and form its own partnership. A group of leaders from their church came down to see other areas where the need for sharing the gospel is great.  We spent the week showing them all of the villages we are currently targeting and the needs that we see in each area.  It was a great time of sharing our hearts with each other and seeing how the Lord is leading us to partner together to spread the gospel here in Eastern Guatemala.  Here is an overview of our week together-

To say my boys love having teams come down would be an understatement.  They just really, really LOVE the teams.  The attention and affection that the teams show them is just a blessing to us all.  They get extremely excited when they know the teams are coming.  Here they are looking out our window waiting for the team to arrive at our house last Monday.  When they saw them they squealed and jumped up and down.

That first afternoon we gathered around our living room and had a time of introduction.  We enjoyed some fresh baked cookies, coffee, and sharing our hearts together.  Before heading to the hotel next door for supper we took a team photo.  Here are David, Ben, me, Chad (the pastor at LifePark), Hillary (the missions coordinator at LifePark), Ben, David,  Tiffany, Josh (youth pastor at LifePark), Liz (missions coordinator at FBC), and Cruz.

The team having breakfast at the hotel in Chiquimula on Tuesday morning before heading out on a day of visiting, praying, and encouraging.  We love having a hotel right next door to where we live (and a nice one too might I add).  It made it much easier for me and the boys to be a part of the team.

Their first visit of the day was in the village of Nearar.  Here they are getting ready to hike down the mountain to visit some believers there.  That hike is brutal!  They were troopers.

the team in Nearar

hiking back up the mountain in Nearar
Ben, Hillary, Tiffany, Josh, David, Chad, and David

This is Miguel.  He was also part of the team.  He is a believer from the village of Chanco.  We hired him as a driver and translator for the week.  We are starting to see a lot of growth in him and look forward to getting to work one-on-one with him more in the future.  He has already been making some visits with David and is joining him on the weekly Sunday morning Bible studies in Nearar. 

The next stop was in the village of Muyurco.

beautiful mountain view along the way

Before ending the day they also made a visit to the Baptist church in Chiquimula to encourage the pastor there.   We are hoping that one day the church there would come alongside us and help us spread the gospel to the villages where we are working.

That evening we had Dominos pizza delivered to our house and the team joined us for supper.  After eating we had a time of praise and worship, devotion, and prayer.  We ended the evening by playing a game of Phase 10. 

getting ready for our team time on Tuesday evening

On Wednesday morning they headed out for another day of visiting.  Their first stop was in the village of Lagunetas.
The team in Lagunetas.  Dan and Noe, our Ag partners from Honduras, were also there and got to share with the team about our ag partnership.

Next up was the village of Churischan.  The man and women in the photo above are believers and are our contacts there.  They are very open, warm, and friendly to us but have yet to give us an open door to begin doing a Bible study in their home.  Would you join us in praying for that to happen?

Cruz having a blast getting to ride in Miguel's truck with the team.

The next visits were made in the village of Taxarja .  This is a new village that we are targeting.  To our knowledge there are no believers there and no evangelical work exists.

Making a visit in the village leader's home.

Cruz giving the team a "high five" as they passed by while hiking on a trail to make a visit.  That boy is a mess!

While in Taxarja they made a visit to see a lady whose house recently burned down.  She lost her 3 year old daughter in the fire.  The team was able to pray with her and encourage her. 

The last visit of the day was in Chanco to pray over Miguel's family.  The team also did some balloon art for the kids that came out to see them.

The team saying goodbye to Miguel when we returned to the hotel.

That evening we had supper at the hotel restaurant and then everyone came over to our house for the evening.  I baked a chocolate cake and made a pot of coffee.  We played Phase 10 and had the best time laughing around the table.

Phase 10 with new friends.  I loved these laid back evenings hanging out with the team!  My heart was encouraged in so many ways just by the fellowship I enjoyed with them around my table.

We traveled back into Guatemala City on Thursday morning but first had a time of devotion in the hotel lobby before loading up to go.

That afternoon we made a visit to the market in Guatemala City to let the team do a little souvenir shopping.

Guatemalan market

Cruz got a new jacket that he is so excited about.  We had planned to buy one for Ben also but they didn't make one small enough.  Cruz got the smallest size they sold and it was still a little big.

Cruz and Tiffany showing their muscles.

That evening we had supper at Nais in Guatemala City.  Here we are gathered around the table eating and enjoying the fellowship.

This is one of my favorite photos from the week.  My boys loved these people and you can tell it by looking at Ben's face here. 

our team on our last night together

After our team sharing/ prayer time we ended the night with more Phase 10 and watching Game 4 of the NBA finals at our mission house in Guatemala City.  What a fun way to end a fun week. 

We are excited about the new partnership that we are forming with LifePark.  They will be sending their first team down this fall.  We look forward to partnering with them and the good things the Lord is going to do through all of us working together. 

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