Wednesday, September 30, 2009

First Local Missionary of the Churches of Christ

On Saturday, Sept 26th I had the priviledge to travel with a group of men from the area of Chichicastenango and Santa Cruz del Quiche to the village of Chuisiquel in the mountains above Joyobaj. Besides having an adventuresome trip sliding through the muddy hills and eventually getting stuck and unstuck in a ditch, we had a great day and a day I think marks a great step for the local churches of Christ.

These 7 men that I traveled with represent 7 church elderships who have come together for the purpose of helping younger churches grow and become more self sufficient with their own preachers and elders. These elders have seen the importance of helping other churches become more mature and more evangelistic and as a result, have been working for the last few months in defining a way that they can work together to help these younger churches. About a total of 10-15 churches have decided to dedicate funding to the employment of a part-time to full-time missionary evangelist to be sent out mostly to the area of Zacualpa and Joyobaj. As a result, they have chosen a man by the name of Martin Turquiz from Choacaman 4 (some of you may remember Martin) to work as a missionary evangelist.

The first congregation they will start working with is the congregation of Chuisiquel which is about 3 hours from Chichi and around 30 min to 1 hour from Joyobaj, depending on road conditions and the way that you go. Martin will begin by traveling to the area twice a month and I think the plan is to increase his involvement, as they know they have the funding, to other congregations in that area. For Martin, his travel may be more like 4-5 hours as he will not have direct transportation available, but he will spend a few days at a time in the area.

Some of you may also recognize some of the churches involved in this endeavor, they include Chichicastenango, Patzite, Paxot 2, Paxot 3, Xepocol, Santa Cruz del Quiche, Pacaja Xesic, Choacaman 4 and I would bet some of the Mactzul churches as well. The Mactzul churches were not present on Saturday as the men who traveled are those that have been elected and have volunteered to serve on the board of directors.

Most of the congregations in this area have elders, preachers, evangelists, etc. who dedicate their time to the local church on a volunteer basis. This has been an extra step to help support a missionary who can dedicate more time to traveling to areas farther away for the purpose of strengthening and expanding the kingdom. This is very exciting for the church and we feel honored to be able to pray and support them through encouragement. This is a 100% local funded ministry in which the only request we have had is to support this work through the assistance of the minsitries we current partner in with the churches - clinic and education.

Please join us in praying for this ministry and in particular for Martin Turquiz and the elders who make up the board of directors - Franciso Ware - Patzite, Tomas Panjoj-Chichicastenango, Anastacio Alvarez-Pacaja Xesic, Juan Canil-Paxot 3, Gaspar Chan-Xepocol, and Tomas Salvador-Xepol.

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