Monday, April 30, 2012

Highlands Teams - Blessed for Sure!

I do not think we have taken the time to introdude some of our new team members so wanted to dedicate this blog to the team in the highlands.  We could not ask for a more spiritually minded, humble, and dedicated group of people!

This is Josue.  Josue joined us in March and for those who knew Aura, the dental assistant that went to dental school, this is her brother.  Josue is also part of the Voces Acapella singing group who travel throughout Guatemala and some of Mexico to encourage the churches through music.  We hope to see Josue in Medical School one day.

This is Sandra with Maria.  Sandra and Maria also joined us in March.  Sandra is from Guatemala City and has joined our team as a dentist.  Maria is from Xepocol and is the dental assistant.  Sandra and her family are both deeply involved with their church in Guatemala City and has some great experiences in local mission work.  We have known Maria since we moved here and have seen her grow into a mature christian woman and auxillary nurse.  She has been working in a local pharmacy for about 2 years and has been a dedicated student in the HTI monthly education classes.

This is Sandra and Maria with Maria's mom and sister.  They come from a humble home, so Maria is excited to be able to help the family more and possibly move towards getting electricity in the home.

Before we left for the US for my surgery, the staff surprised me with a ceviche lunch and a time of prayer.  In these 2 pictures we have photos of other team members:

       Marcos (orange HTI Shirt) - Dentist - active in young peoples group at church in Santa Cruz and in music ministry encouraging praise and adoration in his church.  Marcos holds a future of being a leader in his church and in christian professional leadership.  As Sandra indicated one day, he is a special kind of dentist for the care and compassion he gives his patients.

      Ruben (bearded man at end of table) - Physician - Ruben is recently married to Sandra (pink shirt to his right).  Ruben brings us an energy that is needed in every organization and in every church and also has a great future in christian professional leadership.  Ruben accepts engagements to speak at churches openly and shares the gospel with his patients.

       Enrique (top photo, Marcos has his hand on his shoulder) - Enrique started with us in February as a promoter and replacement for Gaspar who is changing his role to work as an evangelist.  Enrique comes from Panajxit where there is no church, but he attends a church in a closeby town called La Estancia.  Enrique has been a long time volunteer and active in the classes.  He has been doing home visits on his own as a volunteer since we started the clinic in Panajxit.  Everyone who has gone to his home for lunch comes back amazed at the christian service he and his wife, Luisa, provides.  He is a preacher and evangelist.

Manuel - (above center) - Manuel first came to work with us after he stated. "If you all ever need some help with a driver, please let me know as I would like to just go with you all on clinics as a volunteer.  I am impressed with the ministry and want to be involved in anyway I can.".  This sealed the deal for us.  Manuel is from Paxot 2 and is a previous businessman who brings a business way of thinking to the team and a no frills just get it done correctly attitude.  He is a preacher, teacher, church leader and fullfills a volunteer leadership role with the ABC program.

Mauri - (left side of Manuel) - Mauri comes from Chichicastenango and is the only promoter who has finished high school.  She started as a dental assistant and after 90 days or so was not excited about working around the grossness of dental every day.  She had enough confidence to bring this to us and was willing to look for another job.  Of course, that kind of courage to speak up and give up a good job, is not something someone wants to loose.  We found another position for her and now she is a office assistant, bookkeeper, promoter and part-time dental asisstant as needed.  Mauri is a leader in the childrens worship in her church and is currently attending university to become an accountant (8 years of Saturday classes to get her degree).

Martina - (right side Manuel) - Martina comes from Chucam a close community outside of Chichi. Martina works as a dental assistant with Marcos.  Martina started with a 3rd grade education a few years ago and through the adult learning system (weekend classes) is now in middle school with the goal of going to Dental School one day.  We hope to guide her along the way to secure her goal.  Martina is an oldest child and second mom to her younger brothers and sisters and a great encourager.  She is also very active in the children's ministry at the church in Chichicastenango and hoefully one day a leader in a new church in Chucam.

 Of course we would not be complete without Sheri.  Sheri's bright attitude and excitement is catching and especially a gift when it comes to education.  Sheri came to Guatemala a number of years back on a short term trip and the next thing you know she is in language school and made a number of trips in 2 years to prep herself to move here.  She came as an ICU nurse and now acts as a nurse practitioner, teacher and spiritual encouager to many, including us!

Gaspar - Behind Mauri and Martina - Gaspar is holding a candle like the others, but was the first to shine here in the area of Quiche.  The way we ran into each other is but a work of God and we are thankful each and every day of that blessing.  Gaspar is a leader in his community, an elder in the church and knows just about everyone.  Reminds us much of Don Berryhill.  Gaspar has started a movement in his church and his community in education, outreach and compassion and as a result, the church has grown, young people are finishing high school as teachers and people are finding a church family who really cares and gets involved in the lives of people in the community.  Gaspar is changing his role this year to focus more on individuals and encouragement to the local churches where we serve and is off to a good start.  He has made mulitple contacts with people through Clinica Caris and today is speaking with a family of 10 about scheduling a day for a baptism party!

Tomas - promoter - Tomas comes from Mactzul V and started with us as a volunteer promoter in his community.  Tomas is our hugger (a rarity in this culture!).  Tomas is a natural evangelist and speaks with a humble confidence to most people he meets.  Tomas is also a preacher and a recent appointed elder in his church.  Mactzul V is also a fast growing church and has doubled in size of the last few years.  Tomas's primary role will be as promoter but we will find oppurtunities to send him with Gaspar on home visits when possible. 

We are blessed to work with such a great group of people who are dedicated to serving the Lord both with HTI and leading their local churches.  God be praised.

Here is a photo of many of us together with a group from ACU a couple of years back.  Guess we need a more updated team photo.

This is a picture of what we would call our extended team.  At the end of March we had a fellowship and encouragement time with most of the local volunteers and elders from the churches where we serve.  We were able to thank them for their work in the local church, give them a commerative patch and an HTI bag and more importantly discuss the purpose and vision of the ministies partnership with the local churches. 

We planned this based on local leadership interest in coming together and Gaspar arranged everything through the church in Xepocol and presented a talk on the parable of the sower leading into a discussion on local evangelism efforts between all of those who came.  It was a good day!

Thanks for visiting us today and please keep all of these brothers and sisters in your prayers as they continue to share the gospel both in deed and talk to those we come across in our daily lives.

1 comment:

Sheri said...

What a great summary of our team. Of course, we can not forget our leadership. Lisa and Kemmel, thank you for your example, hard work and patience with us. We appreciate all you do!