On Monday I’ll be heading southward once again, destination Guatemala. I’ve lost track of how many trips this makes in the last 3 years or so, but it’s in the neighborhood of 5 or 6. This will be the third in a series of 6 or 7 projected leadership training events for pastors and leaders in the western region of the country. On this occasion, Owen Taylor, a pastor and church planter from St. Louis and the head of the church planting team for the BGCM, will be my traveling companion and fellow conference leader. We’ll arrive on Monday night in Guatemala City, travel to Quetzaltenango on Tuesday morning, arriving in time for lunch at the hotel where the conference will take place, and then begin a series of 5 training sessions that will conclude early on Wednesday afternoon. Owen will be talking about church planting principles while I’ll be giving an overview of the COSECHA manual that Guy Muse and his team utilize in Guayaquil, Ecuador. Cosecha (for non-Spanish speakers) means “harvest” and is an acrostic that focuses on various aspects of discipleship and outreach. For the previous 2 training events, the specific topics were more clearly detailed by the leadership of the Guatemala Baptist Convention in terms of the focus of the conference. This time it’s been more general—just the basic guideline of outreach and evangelism.
We’ll wrap up the conference and head back to Guatemala City on Wednesday afternoon. Thursday will be for some sightseeing in Antigua since this is Owen’s first trip to Guatemala. He leaves to fly back home on Friday since his church meets on Saturday evenings (no they’re not 7th Day Adventists). On Friday and Saturday, I’ll be participating in a strategy planning conference for the Guatemala Baptist Convention that is facilitated by WorldconneX. After that, it’s catching a flight home on Sunday.
The one other thing I hope to accomplish on this trip is to firm up some details for a missions trip that our church will be doing next month to the same area. We’ll be assisting 4 churches in the town of Cantel in western Guatemala with some leadership training conferences for their children’s workers, conducting a joint VBS for the children of these churches, and hopefully engaging in some community outreach activities as well. We have a team of 4 from our church and a couple of ladies from St. Louis who will be joining us for that trip. My son, a doctor, and his wife, a nurse, will be participating in a medical missions trip to the same region in March.