Dear Guatemala Mission Partners:
Greetings in the name of Jesus, with our deep appreciation for your commitment to God’s work with Presbyterians in Guatemala. Our family thanks you for the ways that you partner with indigenous churches, as well as your generous missionary support for our family through the Antioch Partners. Here’s some news from this corner of God’s vineyard:
Chajul Presbyterians: The school year got underway in January, with 28 Presbyterian scholarship recipients enrolled in middle/high school at Chajul’s Methodist school. All of them receive after-school support at the Williamsburg Enrichment Center. The Chajul church & the Central Church are striving together to organize a Presbyterian school for 2019. Meanwhile, six students, representing four Presbyterian congregations from the Chajul area, have begun theological education courses in Cobán (see photo). Excitement is growing about the June visit of their partners from Williamsburg PC.
Petén Partnership: Excitement is building around the upcoming visit in March by a delegation of partners from Middle Tennessee Presbytery. This time the focus will be in the San Juan Acul village. 24 middle & high school students from across the Petén are receiving scholarships this year (see photo of several of them). The women’s animal husbandry projects continue, as does the growing Presbyterian church in Sayaxché.
La Patria Norte School: Classes started in early January with over 200 students. Two new classrooms & restrooms were dedicated. The search continues for the site for the new campus, & we hope for a final decision very soon. Twelve young people from Antioch Church are on full scholarship. Antioch member Candy Hoenes graduated last October as valedictorian & now’s in her 1st year of medical school.
Cobán’s Presbyterian Complex: The 2nd level of the Mayan Theological Center is nearing completion (see photo). Next week we begin the 7th year of theological training for students from across the region. Last October the Presbyterian Church of Guatemala (IENPG) restructured into 4 synods, with the complex serving as headquarters of new Mayan Emanuel Synod, linking 10 presbyteries. The complex has been greatly blessed by our partners in places like Fairhope, AL, Cincinnati, OH, Charleston, SC, Kingsport, TN, & Greenville, SC.
Antioch Presbyterian Church: Started 3 ½ years ago, the church Philip pastors now has 55 active members, with an average of 75 in worship. Most are ethnically Q’eqchi’ & new to the Reformed tradition. In 2017, 24 new members joined, 12 by profession of faith. The congregation continues its ministry of hospitality, receiving international groups & nearby theological students. In November 2017, the church hosted 300 Presbyterian women from across Guatemala for their annual convention.
Our Family: Last month, Bacilia’s in her final semester of nursing school. Matthew began high school at La Patria Norte, focusing on agroforestry. He’s still the drummer for worship, & placed 3rd in hurdles in the 2017 national track meet. Manny began middle school, competes on the local soccer team & plays bass. Stefi’s in 5th grade, runs track, roller-blades, & plays keyboard. It was an incredible joy for our family to participate in a journey thru the Holy Land this past month (see photo).
Again, we’re most grateful that you’re part of the Presbyterian mission in Guatemala. May Christ’s grace fill your cup to overflowing. We can’t wait to see many of you in upcoming months. You’re always in our prayers!