By God’s grace, the Presbyterian mission continues to consolidate in Cobán, and recently has reached a few important mileposts. In mid-July, the indigenous theological training program, after 3½ years in various rented facilities, moved to the nearly-finished mission center at the Presbyterian Complex. Accommodations are rather austere for now, with two restrooms and showers for 50 people, and students sleeping on the floor on foam mattresses. For meals, they walked five blocks over to the site of the church. Far from of complaining, however, students are happy that at last Presbyterians have a place of their own (see photo).
Great progress was made at the Complex over the summer, thanks in large part to the terrific PC(USA) work teams that came to pitch-in. At the end of July, the Cobán Presbyterian Church decided the time had come to relocate there. After a sentimental final service at the rented house where the church started, everything was hauled over to the mission center. People quickly adjusted to the new, roomier surroundings and, before long, the youth had cleared off a soccer field, complete with bamboo goalposts.
On the last weekend of August, the church marked its 2nd anniversary. On Friday we held a bonfire at the Complex grounds (see photo), roasting hotdogs, corn-on-the-cob, and marshmallows, and sipping hot chocolate. There was singing around the burning embers, and I recounted the story of the epic contest at Mt. Carmel between Elijah and the prophets of Baal (scripture’s most famous bonfire, I claimed). On Saturday night the youth led the service, with a drama about Jesus being our best friend, a choreographed praise dance (see photo), and inspirational music by guest artists. Afterwards, we all feasted on Honduran-style tamales.
The celebration culminated on Sunday with a service of thanksgiving. The sanctuary was decorated with balloons and big pacaya branches. Special music was provided by the youth band, children’s Sunday school (see photo), and women’s choir. Pastor Isaías García, Permanent Secretary of the IENPG, was our guest speaker, preaching on “Characteristics of a Dynamic Church.” The women’s society’s first set of officers also was installed, and the new kitchen was dedicated. Afterwards, everyone lined up for Q’eqchi’-style chicken soup (see photo).
Yes, God’s work in through Presbyterians has come a long way. As we praise God, we’re getting ready for the next stages at the Complex—building a Christian training center and guest house, and the campus for the La Patria Norte School, which remains at its leased quarters for now. Please keep us in your prayers as we move forward!