Monday, April 18, 2016

A Clear Conscience

...and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also—not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ...   I Peter 3:21 (Photo by Tomas Chan)
Over the last week there have been 19 baptisms in the area! These are from three different churches and include youth from the ABC programs and new contacts from their communities.  One man is a patient from one of our mobile clinics that searched us out because he heard that lots of people had found help through the clinic.  

He complained of vomiting blood after a drinking binge.  But he was most concerned about not being able to quit drinking because of evil spirits tormenting him whenever he tried to quit.  We treated his medical issues and told him we knew someone who could help, arranging a time for him to visit with our evangelist Gaspar Chan.  Gaspar spent several hours visting with him and teaching him about God's mercy and plan for his Holy Spirit to change our lives. He then put him in contact with a brother from a church very close to his house--a man who had also struggled with alcoholism. 

A couple of weeks later we learned that our patient had decided to be baptized into Christ and had brought another couple to hear the message as well.  This couple was struggling with many issues and the husband had been considering suicide.  They decided to follow Jesus and were also baptized.  We are anxious to see how God works in all of these lives and uses them to bring others to salvation as well.
Mactzul Quinto celebrated 6 new births! Photo credit Tomas Marroquin

Las Cuevas church preparing to baptize nine new brothers and sisters. Photo by Tomas Chan
Gathered at the water in Las Cuevas. Photo by Tomas Chan

The church in Las Trampas praying over these new members. Photo by Gaspar Chan

Visitors on the Field

Last week we enjoyed visits from some very special folks.
Klay Bartee, a marriage and family counselor, came down to give some classes to local leaders on how to help in family crises or with people battling substance abuse. We always appreciate his godly and practical approach and his desire to minister in culturally appropriate ways. Everyone enjoyed the seminars and even stayed awake in the afternoon sessions--that says a lot!

Brother Klay after a long day of teaching. Apparently my focusing skills were a little lacking that day.
Klay and Kemmel with the ABC coordinators'  at Clinica Caris (photo by Christina Matlock)
We also hosted a young couple from our home congregation in Colorado Springs who are interested in full time foreign missions. Josh and Christina Matlock came down to take a look at the work here and to pick our brains a little. During their time here in Guatemala, they got to see Clinica Ezell during a surgical week, went out to help deliver ABC supplies, prayed with patients in clinic, participated in educational seminars for the the churches, and helped install water filters in the homes of new ABC children. During their last day out, they even got to meet the child they sponsor through the program. The Matlocks are a great couple with an evangelistic outlook and are eager to be active in kingdom work. We look forward to seeing where the Lord leads them.

Josh and Christina Matlock
Josh and Cristina meeting their ABC sponsor child and his family
Christina, Tomasa and Cesar enjoying the shade after a long morning.
Josh hauling water filter components up to an ABC home (photo by Christina Matlock)

Klay, Christina and Josh showing off their tie-down skills

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Love Story

I love a story with a good ending, so I had to share this with you.
One of our neighbors, a lady in her 50's, has had some pretty bad experiences in the husband department.  Her first husband, who drank too much, left her and her small daughter more than twenty years ago.  Her second husband who also drinks, has been in and mostly out of their lives on a regular basis as long as we have lived here.  But recently we have noticed that our neighbor has seemed happier and even dressing up lately, and we found out that her first husband had come back into her life.  We didn't think much about it and hoped for the best for her.  Well, this week I was chatting with her and she told me about her first husband coming back after all these years.  She said when husband #1 found out that their daughter was pregnant, and that her boyfriend decided he wasn't up for family life, he came back to town and went to talk to the young man and his family.  He told them about his past and the regret he has always felt for not being a part of his family's life.  He managed to convince the young man to marry his daughter and they are now living together with their new baby.  THEN, he went to our neighbor and asked her if they could get back together.  And they did!
The End (for now).
What a powerful God to be able to redeem something painful from the past and mold it into something beautiful.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Spring Break

Spring time has come and brought a migration of so many different birds to the area on their way south.  We have seen some blue birds, swallows, some little yellow-breasted guys, and heard whippoorwills at night.
This season has also brought two fun groups of college kids to our area.  The Harding University and the Lipscomb University teams came down to help us with our ABC well-child checkups and water filter replacements and Bible study activities for the kids.  These student groups are hard working and a joy to serve with.  Here are some photos from their time with us.

Harding P.A. and pre-health students

Hannah, Titus and Maggie working the line of kids-- eye checks and vital signs before their consult.

Tim at the tailgate party with the kids after clinic

Still has a some growing to do!  Ahmad taking this little fellow through the vital sign stations.

Mactzul II team after a long day of check ups.
Me and Karli at the women's health clinic

Kemmel and Enrique and Carly working pharmacy and lab
Mallory working like a pro!

Katie getting good at the vision screening

Hanging out at Mactzul I

Dane making new friends
Gary and his crew enjoying Antigua after a long week.

Ear lavages are like riding a bike.  Once you learn, you never forget how! Manuel is a good teacher.

Lipscomb University
I love your hair...

Lipscomb crew directing the re-enactment of the Good Samaritan

Three legged race.  

Noah (Alan) leading his animals
Sarah Tipton, our orthopedic P.A. making sure no one gets hurt

Lisa and Freda and their star team for the day.

Gringos vs. Zacapultecos

Dr. Clint Sweitzer and his crew enjoying some grub at Xejox

4 wheelin' with Jesus (and co-pilot Addison)

Everybody loves a selfie

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Dr. Brian Cress making sure all the kids in Mactzul VI are healthy

Clinic waiting room with Freda 

Yeah, that looks like a good idea...