April 2016, Cobán, Alta Verapaz, Guatemala
Greetings in Christ from Guatemala!
The tradition of missionary home assignments (“furloughs” years ago) started with the Apostles. In Acts, we find Paul returning to his sending church in Antioch after his 1st missionary journey. Ever since, missionaries have periodically headed home, interpreting their work, bolstering support networks, renewing ties to loved ones, & seeking spiritual & vocational rejuvenation.
At times people wonder when we’ll have a home assignment. For several reasons, we haven’t planned one. First, we have 2 countries of origin—the U.S. & Honduras—& we try to visit both. Second, long U.S. stays are harder to justify for us than for earlier missionaries. Technology (Skype, email, Facebook, blogs, etc.) helps keep us connected. Lengthy absences from Guatemala seriously disrupt mission work & school in Cobán, & pose big logistical & financial challenges. Our alternative is short partnership visits, which aren’t difficult thanks to easy flights between Guatemala & the U.S.This year has been stellar so fare, with a brief Jan. trip to Bacilia’s home in Honduras, & then 2 visits to the States.
In Feb. the whole family went to the Presbytery of South AL, where Philip keynoted their plenary meeting. It was exciting to be at Trinity PC, Spanish Fort PC, & Foley PC, sharing about God’s work in Guatemala. Their hospitality was overwhelming, plus we couldn’t get enough of the awesome scenery around Mobile Bay. We enjoyed a family reunion in Nashville, TN and also got to see mission partners in Middle TN Presbytery, the Outreach Foundation, & Hendersonville FPC.
In April, Philip took a 10-day trip to Virginia & Ohio, first to Williamsburg PC, then to Northminster & Sycamore PCs in Cincinnati. These dedicated congregations have long-term partnerships with Guatemalan Presbyterians, & it was inspiring to be with them. Yes, we’d love to visit your church someday. Check with Philip about possibilities at firstname.lastname@example.org. Back here, we’re eagerly preparing for groups from Colorado, Alabama, Tennessee, Virginia, Ohio, & Washington. Stay updated about upcoming activities on Philip’s blog: https://pbpres.wordpress.com.
President Jimmy Morales has held office for 3 months, & Guatemalans still wonder what kind of changes, if any, he represents. There’s been a dramatic reshuffling of political blocs in the legislature since last year’s “Guatemalan Spring,” when the 2 most powerful parties collapsed amidst massive protests & charges of high-level corruption. Please keep praying for this struggling country to keep moving toward a more just & prosperous future.
When Jesus sent his disciples out into the world, he promised, “I’ll be with you until the end of the age.” That’s a long-term partnership covenant! We’re grateful for the many ways that the Body of Christ empowers us to do his will. Your prayerful support is indispensable to our work. Financially, we’ve raised about ⅓ of what’s needed for the year’s living & ministry expenses. Please send gifts toward our work to The Antioch Partners. Write “Beisswenger Support” on the memo line & mail to: 7132 Portland Ave. S., Suite 136, Richfield, MN, 55432. To donate online, you can go to our webpage at www.theantiochpartners.org.
May every blessing come your way, including the joy of participating in Christ’s mission around the world.
Philip & Bacilia Beisswenger