Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

Sometimes we feel like the Pilgrims with the New World locals taking care of us!

We want to wish all of you a very Happy Thanksgiving, hoping that you will get to spend some time with family of friends sometime tomorrow or this weekend.  Since we live in a country that doesn't celebrate Thanksgiving Day, Thursday is a regular work day for us.  But we have plans to eat dinner with Sheri on Friday night and share some good old UnitedStatesian favorites together.  We have to confess that there will not be any turkey on our table, not because of lack of turkeys in this country, but because Kemmel is not a fan of turkey or dressing...alas we will be having ham, sweet potatoes, broccoli and rolls--yummy!   We did enjoy some pumpkin pie from a bakery in the city this weekend, after first being told that they no longer had any as the "season was over".  The girl at the counter came back and said, "we still have one!"  So, we will keep it simple on Friday and have Rice Krispie Treats which are a real treat for us as Rice Krispies and good marshmallow are only to be found in the city.
Thank you, Lord for your generous blessings in our lives and for our family and friends back home and here in our Guatemalan home who love and support us!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

'Tis the Season

It's November, which around here means church conference season.  The "conferencia" is a phenomenon something like small-town homecoming meets tent revival.  The season starts in late October and usually goes 'til February or so.  Typically they are hosted by one of the older or bigger congregations and involve 2-3 days of preaching, singing and fellowship time. There's a lot of visiting and eating going on!  We try to arrange our clinic schedule so all of our staff can attend at least one of the days with their family.  Over the last several years there have also popped up several youth conferences, kind of on a regional basis, which is great for the young folks around here.  But there has been a nationwide Con-Jovens (Youth Conference) every year on All Saints' Day.  This year it was down at the sweltering coast in Rio Bravo, Suchitepequez and a lot of our staff attended. Everyone from up here in cool country talked about how much their feet swelled and fear of Chikungunya virus from all the mosquito bites! Sounds fun!  What's funny is they always ask us if we are going to the Youth Conference.  I guess we should be flattered! But, no thanks!
This week we are helping host a men's leadership seminar with the Paxot II and III churches.  The speaker is Fernando Rosas from Mission, Texas.  He is the father-in-law of our Dr. Sara Castellanos and she and Mario are enjoying the visit with brother Fernando and his sweet wife Juanita!
Here are some pics of the various events lately.

Actual traffic out in the wee town of Mactzul VI as people arrive from far and wide to worship and fellowship. (photo credits: Iglesia de Cristo Mactzul VI)

They filled the auditorium and said they gave out 1200 meal tickets.

Soup's on!

That's a lot of tamalitos!  A tamalito is like a tamale without the filling--it's an alternative to tortillas epecially for a large crowd.  Notice the cooking pit behind.

Do you know the way to... Rio Bravo?  As they counted down the days to the Youth Conference, the coordinators would post directions and pictures of landmarks on Facebook for everyone to find their way. (photo credits: Confrasur)

Communion time at the Youth Conference.  Check out the two-man tray of cups.

Leadership conference for areas congregations.  We invite 1-2 elders or preachers from the local churches to attend. (photo credits, Gaspar Chan)

Hermano Fernando Rosas