Friday, February 22, 2008

Quick update from Guatemala

This is the first time I´ve had more than a couple of minutes to sit at a computer that had internet access since we arrived here last Saturday, and we´re being picked up in 30 mins. for a trip to Antigua for a little tourism on our last day here in Guatemala so this will be brief.

Just a word or two about the numbers of kids we worked with and the response we had in the various activities. We had a great worship service on Sunday evening out in Cantel in one of the 3 churches that we worked with this week. I found out on Saturday that I was preaching, so had the evening to put together a message. We taught Bible stories in 3 different public schools on Mon., Tues. and Weds. The enrollments for the schools were as follows: 305, 562, and 250. Our team of 5 had its hands full getting around to all of the classes between 9 and 12 or so in the mornings, but we had some assistance from some of the local church members in passing out cookies, crowd control, etc. The Lord also miraculously supplied some translators to help us when those who were scheduled to do so had conflicts. We had stopped in at a photocopy shop that we just randomly stopped at on Monday morning on the way to the first school and there found two twin brothers who had lived in New Jersey and were bilingual. They were Christians and agreed to help us for the 3 days of working in the schools and the afternoon VBS times. Our third translator was a girl probably in her early 20s who is a medical student and studies in Cuba. She was home for a break and was lined up by one of the local pastors to help.

I translated most days for Janis Mansker, our children´s minister, and we took the older children´s classes--5th and 6th graders. Janis would share some of her personal testimony, followed by a Bible story, and then gave the children an opportunity to receive Christ. We had a good response in each classroom, with only a few indicating they had no interest or had further questions. The majority either indicated on a response card we had them do that they had either prayed to receive Christ that day or that they were already previously Christians.

We conducted the afternoon VBS from 3 til 5 each of those same days in 2 of the 3 churches--2 in the church where we had services on Sunday night, and then 1 in the church where we had evening leadership training conferences for children´s workers. We had about 150 each of the first 2 days in VBS and then about 130 the third day in the other church.

About 70 people or so attended the 3 nights of training classes for children´s workers and Janis and 2 of our children´s SS teachers led out in the conferences and all did an outstanding job. There was good interaction and questions from the participants.

Well, my time is about done so I´m going to have to wrap this up for now. I´ve got some other things I´d like to share about meeting to encourage some pastors in some other areas near Cantel where we were, as well as some of the impressions of the week and the time spent with the beautiful children here, but those will have to wait until later. Thanks to all who have been praying for our trip. The Lord has really blessed our time and kept us safe and healthy as well.

I´ll post a follow-up to this one when I get back to Missouri.

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