One of the exciting projects of Cobán’s Presbyterian Complex of the North is the first-ever Presbyterian Hymnal in the Q’eqchi’ language. This undertaking was initiated last year at the request of the Q’eqchi’ participants on the complex’s oversight council. Their concern is that the official hymnal of Guatemalan Presbyterians hasn’t been updated for 52 years, is hard to find in the Q’eqchi’ region, and is unintelligible to many Q’eqchi’ Presbyterians. A commission was formed of representatives from each of the eight Q’eqchi’ presbyteries, and me in the role of facilitator. (See photo of recent meeting in Cobán) The hymnal will have a mixture of well-known traditional hymns, contemporary worship songs, and popular choruses. Commission members are striving to select music that resonates with Q’eqchi’ styles of worship, reflects the Guatemalan cultural context, and upholds Reformed theology. A scriptural reference point has been the Apostle Paul, who said, “I will sing with my spirit, but I will also sing with my mind.” (1 Corinthians 14:15) So far about 300 songs have made the cut, some of them already available in Q’eqchi’ and others that will need translation. In order for the hymnal to connect with younger church-goers, the commission has opted to use the updated form of Q’eqchi’, rather than the antiquated version that’s more familiar to older generations. We’re grateful to the First Presbyterian Church of Kingsport, Tennessee for a generous gift in support of this new hymnal. God willing, the new hymnal will be dedicated later this year.
Monthly Archives: June 2016
During the 2nd week of May, the Guatemala Mission Partnership of the Denver Presbytery put in its 3rd Living Waters for the World purification system in the Q’eqchi’ region. This time it was in Cobán, at the Presbyterian Complex of the North. Cobán’s new Presbyterian Congregation hosted the 10-member team, and the week began with Sunday worship at the unfinished Mission Center at the complex. (See photo) Then, for 3 days the Denver team partnered in the project with a committee of local church representatives and teachers from the Presbyterian La Patria Norte School. While some assembled the system (see photo of installation/operation team), others provided health and hygiene training for students at the nearby La Libertad Public School. (See photo of the education team with the hand-print banner the children made.) The Presbyterian Complex has agreed to provide free clean water for every class in the school. The installation effort culminated with a parade led by the La Patria Norte marching band (see photo), plus a ribbon-cutting and dedication ceremony (see photos). Afterwards, the Denver team returned to the communities of Bethania and Tres Rios to check on previously-installed systems, and visited 4 other communities from the Franja Transversal of the North Presbytery that are prospective project sites. (See photo of villagers from Limon Norte carrying water from the local well.) While God receives all the glory, many thanks and blessings go to team leader Loye Troxler, all the team members, and everyone from the Denver Presbytery that has supported this terrific mission endeavor.