Newsletter August 2017

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Greetings to you from Cobán in Jesus’ precious name!

Psalm 133 declares, “How good & pleasant it is when God’s people live together in harmony!” Such harmony, explains the psalm, is like the dew of Mt. Hermon falling on Mt. Zion. As it turns out, snow-capped Mt. Hermon stands at Israel’s northern limits, whereas Mt. Zion is down south, near the desert. The message seems clear. Harmonious living isn’t just a local affair. Its blessings extend from north to south, & vice versa.

Lots of “dew” has fallen upon Cobán in recent months. In April, a mission team from Toronto, Canada helped break ground for the theological training center at the Presbyterian Complex. Since then, one Presbyterian partner after another has descended, coming from Nashville, TN; Fairhope, AL; Charleston, SC; & Cincinnati, OH. They each brought a harmonious spirit, injecting enthusiasm & energy, reaching out to the needy, to children & the community as a whole. Now the training center’s 1st level is nearly finished (see photo). We’re boldly praying it can be dedicated by year’s end.centro-teologico-ago-2017.jpg

Other fantastic teams came too—from churches in Middle TN; Williamsburg, VA; & Dothan, AL—serving in partnership with churches in remote places like Sayaxché, Petén; Chajul, Quiché; & Limón Sur, Alta Verapaz. We give God thanks & glory for their passionate commitment to educational & evangelistic ministries in these places.

Hosting duties have kept everyone busy at Antioch Presbyterian Church. In addition to the mission teams, we’ve welcomed pastors & church leaders from nearby presbyteries that receive theology courses here. Among this year’s 41 students are 7 Antioch members. Philip remains as the church’s pastor, Bacilia as deaconess, & each of our children is an ambassador for Christ in his or her own way.img_20170725_144605389.jpg

Big changes are underway for Cobán’s La Patria Norte School. In its 1st decade, this excellent Presbyterian school has struggled to meet enrollment & financial goals. A new board of directors is being formed and, with generous help form several US churches, we’re ready to build classrooms at the complex. If you’re looking for a worthwhile project to support, I recommend this one whole-heartedly.

Life’s been quiet on the home front. Bacilia has a year to go for her nursing degree. Matthew, Manny & Stefi are in 9th, 6th, & 4th grades respectively at La Patria Norte. We went to Belize in July to renew visas, & took in some snorkeling while there (see photo). snorkeling-2017.jpgWe’re richly blessed to have the Antioch Partners overseeing support for our work in Guatemala. And we’re deeply grateful to you, for each of the churches and individuals that pray for us & offer the financial gifts that make it possible for us to live & serve here.

In a land torn apart by discord, Christ provides the gift of harmony. At the end of Psalm 133, we find out that through harmony “the Lord bestows his blessing, even life forevermore.” May this blessing be upon you!

 

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