The past 3 weeks have included trips to Retalhuleu, Quetzaltenango, and Coban for visits to schools and churches. Last week I had a 2-day visit with the Polochic Q’eqchi’ Presbytery in the Alta Verapáz Department. It’s the largest of eight Q’eqchi’ presbyteries, with 42 churches and congregations. It was good to see that crews are paving the road to La Tinta, where the presbytery’s plenary took place. Part of my job was to discuss plans for their partnership with the Inland Northwest Presbytery in the U.S. I preached at the evening and morning services, and also administered Holy Communion. They were thrilled to receive communion sets for five Poqomchí congregations (see photo of presentation.)
Back in Guatemala City, our 3 kids attended a 3-day children’s church camp on the outskirts of Guatemala City. They had a ball swimming, learning songs, skits, and games about how Jesus is our “lifeguard.” I got back in time to watch Manuel win a dance contest during the closing ceremony (see photo).
Soon after returning from La Tinta, I joined a 3–day mission team to the Ixil triangle in northern Quiché Department. Guatemala City’s Central Presbyterian Church, the organizer of the trip, invited me to serve as the team pastor. Part of our team held a worship service along the Poyocá River outside Chajul on Saturday morning in Chajul that included twelve baptisms and the Lord’s Supper (see photos). In the afternoon we joined the rest of the team in San Juan Cotzal to help with a pediatric clinic and children’s ministry (see photo). I was asked to pray with patients after they saw the doctor and before they received medications. That evening several of us met with church elders to discuss plans to build a temple and an upcoming visit by a youth group from their partner church in Williamsburg, Virginia.
On Sunday morning at the church in Chajul, I preached again and officiated at a wedding. After the service, we joined the newlyweds, their families, and a host of well-wishers for a wedding procession to the bride’s home for a celebration (see photo). It’s a gift to be invited to the special moments in the lives of God’s people, and it’s a joy to imagine that in some way these simple visits around Guatemala might serve to enlarge Christ’s kingdom.