Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Welcome back!


A dozen plus people waited for as long as three hours Saturday night to greet four of us upon our return to Louisville, as I plane was twice delayed. Many had contributed money or prayed during the week or given us rides to or from the airport to help make the trip possible.

-- Perry

August prayer schedule

Crescent Hill folks will pray in August with:

- Sunday, August 1, and during the week thereafter: Nueva Amanacer church and its worshipers

- Sunday, August 8, and during the week thereafter: Q’eqchi’ Estoreño, Izabal Presbytery Executive Committee, President Fidel Juc, and other committee members

- Sunday, August 15, and during the week thereafter: Q’eqchi’ Estoreño, Izabal Presbytery presbyter-wide Presbyterian Women’s organization, President Maria Coc Tial, and other officers

- Sunday, August 22, and during the week thereafter: Q’eqchi’ Estoreño, Izabal Presbytery presbyter-wide youth and young adult organization, President Armando Chub, and officers

- Sunday, August 29, and during the week thereafter: Peniel church in Boqueron, Pastor Fidel Juc and spouse Jesus, and members, deacons, and elders

El Compromiso de la Iglesia Crescent Hill

Una nota: Este compromiso, y el compromiso del Presbiterio Estoreño, está basado sobre los versículos en Romanos 1:8-12 y las tres palabras claves que el Pastor Fidel vio en esto versículos – llegar, conocer y animar.

Con la ayuda de Dios, nosotros y nosotras, la Iglesia Presbiteriana Crescent Hill, entramos al compañerismo con el Presbiterio Estoreño de la Iglesia Evangélica Nacional Presbiteriana de Guatemala, con la meta común de aprender lo que significa ser y vivir compañerismo.

Comprometimos:

Visitar -
-por comunicación en seguida por medio de correo electrónico y teléfono
-por visitas de delegaciones cuando es posible

Conocer unos a otras –
-compartir noticias y información y peticiones por oración
-estudiar a la Biblia juntos a pesar de estamos en distintos lugar
-aprender Español
-aprender sobre la cultura de Guatemala y específico, la cultura de los Q’eqchís
-aprender más de la Iglesia Evangélica Nacional Presbiteriana de Guatemala

Animar nuestros hermanas u hermanos -
-orar cada domingo por una iglesia local del Presbiterio Estoreño y su pastor, o por un grupo particular
-participar en vigilias de oración
-proveer maestros para talleres en el Presbiterio de Estoreño
-contar a otras personas de nuestro presbiterio sobre nuestro compañerismo y las posibilidades que otras puedan participar (involucrarse)

También discutimos la importancia de revisar el compromiso después de 3 años, en 2012.

Crescent Hill church's commitments

With God’s help, we, Crescent Hill Presbyterian Church, enter into partnership with Estoreño Presbytery of Guatemala, with the common goal of learning what it means to be in partnership.
We will:

Visit, by
-being in regular communication by e-mail and phone
-visiting in person when possible

Learning/get to know one another, by:
-sharing news and information and prayer concerns
-doing Bible study together even when in different places
-learning Spanish and about the Guatemalan and Q’eqchi’ cultures and the IENPG

Encourage our sisters and brothers, by:
-praying every Sunday for a particular church and its pastor (or a particular group)
-holding prayer vigils
-providing teachers for workshops
-telling others in our presbytery about our partnership and possibilities for their involvement

We also discussed reviewing the partnership after three years (in 2012).

Commitment

Commitment

From Pastor Gerardo Pop Ich

The Presbytery of Estoreño and Crescent Hill Presbyterian Church

How can we come to know one another in partnership? Through communication by telephone, through writing emails, and prayers each Sunday. We have dreams to make personal visits but we do not know when; we can only plan and put dates on the calendar.

How can we know one another? Though written information about our churches and their ministries, and when we are together, when brothers and sisters from Crescent Hill come to visit members of the Presbytery of Estoreño.

How can we encourage one another? As we share experiences as we understand God commands us to do.

We continue praying asking that God would reveal his understanding to both groups.

From Pastor Fidel Juc:

Our commitment

To arrive. To arrive is a goal of a dream for the future together. To practice is partnership.

To know. To encourage one another: To encourage the American brothers and sisters through prayer, so that we are in communication with God and sharing the Word of God between the American brothers and the Presbytery of Q’eqchi’ Estrogeno.


Note: This commitment - and Crescent Hill church's commitment - is based on the verses in Romans 1 and the three words that Pastor Fidel saw in those verses – to arrive, to know, to encourage.

Compromiso

From Pastor Gerardo:

Compromiso:

El Presbiterio Estoreño, con la Iglesia Crescent Hill.

Como podemos llegar para conocer en compañerismo? A través de la comunicación por vía telefónica, y por escrito se envía por correo electrónico, con la oración cada Domingo. Tenemos sueños llegar personal, pero no sabemos cuando; sola planificamos y calendarizar.

Como podemos a conocer? Por medio de los informes por escrito, y cuando nos juntamos en cuanta vienen a los hermanos y hermanas miembros Crescent Hill; miembro del presbiterio Estoreño.

En qué manera podemos animar? Con las experiencia compartido en las entendimiento del mandato de Dios

Seguir orando para que Dios revelaran sus entendimiento, amos grupo.


From Pastor Fidel:

Temo compromiso

Llegar: Llegar de una meta de un sueño para el futuro juntos. Practicar es compañerismo.

Conocer: Conocerlo aelios compañerismo

Animarlos: Animarlos a los hermanos y hermanas Americano por media de la oración, para que estamos en comunicación con Dios y compartiendo la palabra de Dios. Entre los hermanos de americanos y como presbiterio El Estoreño.

Informes

Iglesia Evangelica Presbiteriana Nacional Presbiteriana de Guatemala

Presbiterio Q’eqchi’ Estoreño Izabal cede. Barrio el Centro El Estor Izabal

Iglesia Presbiteriana Arca de Noe”

Fecha:

Los dias diez de Julio 2010.

Presidente del presbyterio: Fidel Juc
Secretario ejecutivo: Gerardo Ich Pop
Presidente de Educacion Cristiana: Pablo Sacul Chub


Sello

Antecedentes:

1 Presbiterio Q’eqchi’ Estoreño, Izabal, es un nuevo Presbiterio se organize 08 de febrero de 2008. Gerografica o el area el presbiterio una tercera parte del municipio de El Estor, Izabal, en el Jurisdiccion de Livingston y todo transversal del norte. Pero lamentablemente no tiene suficiente recurso humano. Tanto materials y economicos, financier donde vivimos en una extrema poberza, no hay Fuentes de trabajo ni cultivo de product basicos porque no hay donde toda la madre tierra han ocupado por los finqueros, se meten Ganado en toda la buena tierra y tambien estamos sufriendo por los costos alto en el Mercado de nuestro pais.
2 La politica de nuestra nacion, nosh an metido mucho no hay ninguna solucion con el gobierno, solo para sacar un document nos cobra demasiado, pore so ahora la gente Indigena maya, se siente muy apretado no hay donde salir, solo nos consolamos en la mano de Dios Viviente.

3 La Iglesia Evangelica
Hay muchos individualism, divisionismo hay mucha competencia por los hermanos pentecostes no es como antes, en el Cristianismo anterriores se busca u solo camino, una sola doctrina. Si no estmos bien capacitodos nos afecta bastante se necesita fortalecer bien nuestra presbteriana en el area Q’eqchi’

No. 5. Nombres de las Iglesias
1 Arca de Noe, Barrio El Centro, El Estor, Izabal
2 Familia de Noe, Barrio El Sinai, El Estor, Izabal
3 Altar de noe, Barrio Los Cerritos , El Estor, Izabal
4 Espiritu Santo, Barrio San Marcos, El Estor, Izabal
5 Iglesia Peniel, Aldea Boqueron, El Estor, Izabal
6 Monte Sinai, San Carlos El Porvenir, Puerto Barrios, Izabal
7 Hijo del Dios Viviente, Aldea La Guitarra, Livingston, Izabal
8 Puerto del Cielo, La Union, El Estor, Izabal
9 Lirio de los Valles, Barrio San Jorge, El Estor, Izabal
10 El Buen Samaritano, Nuevo Amanacer, El Estor, Izabal
11 Jesus Es la Puerta, Barrio El Chupon, El Estor, Izabal

No. 1 Presbiterio Q’eqchi’ Estoreño,Izabal,
Iglesia Evangelica Presbiteriana de Guatemala

No. 2 Proyecto
Para preparacion de lideres generales
Ancianos, Diacanos, Jovenes, Mueres, y ni ños
Pastores y obreros
Renovacion y ciruclaction la casa presbiteriana (Centro)

Objetivos generales:

Para realizar un servicio material y spiritual y para saber que es un lider en la comunidad indigena Q’eqchi’ Maya, y cmo server la gente no son evanelicos todavia y fortalecer el Reino de Dios y las actividades y cultura maya en cada Iglesia Evangelica indedominaciones si no hay lideres preparadas no hay desarrollo, no hay crecimiento integral porque la preparacion es una luz, es un arma en un instrument Espiritual y material.

Objetivos especificos:

Para preparer ancianos por cada Iglesia por 11 iglesias – 33 ancianos, 7 mujeres por cada iglesia – por que Iglesias – 18 diaconos, pastores y obreros, (14),400 niños y niñas, 40 ni os por cada iglesia (400). Y 22 mastros de escuela Dominical , 2 maestros por cada iglesia.


Infomes Presbiterial Q’eqchi’ Estoreño Izabal

1 La Union Sinodica presbteriana Nacio hace a o pero para la presbiterial Estoreño No! Visita para motivarla alas Hermanas Sociedades de saludarlo y animarla en la Obra de Dios.

2 La Comicion mobro para la declaracion presbiterial, nos dijeron en la Convention de sinodica resibiran una Cantidad de Ayuda Economica Q.1,500.00 pero la respresentante nos decian que no hay Fondo para entregarlo pero llegaremos Saludaria a Ustedes el El Estor en el mes de Febrero, y no llegaron.

La Presbiterial saco un Censo de Cuantas hermanas y lo trajo la hermana Presidenta.

3 Diagnostica, La presbterial se califica que hay 15% saben escribir y leer y con ortografia, 20% leen y escriben sin Ese a a Otro y a otra persona en alguna Casa de Educacion, de done necesita a apollaria las hermanas.

4 Tambien Estudio Biblica par alas seis Sociedades de Señoras la que forma un Presbiterial, lo cual nosotros emos tenida una Oportunidad de la Cacacitacion en Biblias, para saber que significacan; a los Puntos y como un Hayitas, el saltfila, el admiracion, Interrogacion, Comilla y et cetera.

Luego enseñar la Diviciones de la Biblias Grandes; des pues los 5 diviciones del Antigua Testamento, y el Nuevo Testamento, para que las hermanas conceran la Biblia.

5 Pensamos Abrir 6 Centros de Alfabetizacion par alas Sociedades en; Eben-zer en Arca de Noe, Sarai Altar de Noe, la Hija del Rey en Espiritu Santo, Seguidora de Cristo Familias de Noe, Exmirna Boqueron, La Esperanza Monte Sinai.

6 Creemos que Dios nos ba a ayurdarla y lo tocaron sus Corazones alos donante Nacionales y e Internacionales por que el el dueño de la Obra, Administramos.

Agradecemos sus Obcervaciones y ver nuestra nesecidades en nuestra presbterial Estore o.

Attentamente: Marta Rey (?), Secretaria; Maria Coc Tial, Presidenta.

El Estor, Izabal, 8 de Julio 2,010


Presupuesto General

A Capacitacion de ancianos 33 ancianos costo de cada taller Q 2475.00
B Taller de los Diaconos costo por 4 talleres Q 10,800.00
C Costo de 3 talleres para mujeres, 63 mujeres Q 28,380.00
D Costo de 3 talleres para 63 jovenes Q 28,380
E Costo de 4 talleres para pastores y obreros Q 6,300.0
Preparacion de 22 maeostros de escuela Dominical Q 39,900.00
Material Didactico Q 6,000.00

Total presupuesto Q 279,360.00

Partnership foundations

The scripture our Guatemalan partners and we brought to worship and Bible study set the tone for a fruitful dialogue about the meaning of partnership, in general, and the future of our partnership, in particular. The scripture Pastor Gerardo Pop read as part of the Sunday afternoon worship that the Guatemalans planned was, I believe, Acts 2:42-4 about the early church, after Pentecost (later in Chapter 2, after the part of the chapter we did parallel Bible study on, about Pentecost):

They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

During our few days together, Pastor Gerardo sometimes saw the early church in Acts as a metaphor for our partnership. He stressed sharing, but acknowledged that this sharing, for us, might be sharing of experiences more than of possessions and goods. Note that this scripture also discusses teaching and learning, fellowship, prayer, and wondrous events.

In the Sunday afternoon Bible study they planned (and in subsequent comments by Ellen, including during Wednesday night worship), Pastor Jane and Ellen focused instead on Romans 2:8-13:

First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is being reported all over the world. God, whom I serve with my whole heart in preaching the gospel of his Son, is my witness how constantly I remember you in my prayers at all times; and I pray that now at least by God’s will the way may be opened for me to come to you.

I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make your strong —that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith. I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, that I planned many times to come to you (but have been prevented from doing so until now) in order that I might have a harvest among you, just as I have had among the other Gentiles.

It was not one of us, but Gerardo’s colleague, Pastor Fidel Juc, the president of the presbytery, who succinctly summarized the key points of this scripture, as: (1) to arrive; (2) to get to know; and (3) to encourage. Although these words themselves are open to plenty of interpretation, I imagined this as: visiting, getting to know each other, learning, and encouraging. Fidel also interpreted arriving as striving towards a common goal, which hinted at a more project-oriented focus.

Scripture—as interpreted by, among others, Gerardo, Fidel, Jane, and Ellen—was key to our developing understanding of partnership. In words to us, to the Guatemalans at he and Gloria’s home, and to the wider group, Roger laid out an overlapping, if slightly different, vision of partnership. The Presbyterians of Estore o Presbytery and Crescent Hill folks are incomplete without each other. We need each other to fill holes in ourselves. And we both need each other to save our eternal souls. When issues of sharing economic resources came up, Roger apparently stressed to the Guatemalans: they need you for their salvation, just as you need them for yours. So Roger—like Lowell, earlier on—gave a somewhat spiritual slant to the understanding of partnership.

Building on our earlier discussions in the mission partnership Sunday school and in the presbytery executive committee, this gave us plenty to think about in Coban and—now—in Louisville and El Estor.

-- Perry

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Dinner at Frida's


For our last night in Antigua and in Guatemala in general, hotel staff suggested several restaurants for dinner (our Thursday night dinner was not great), and we wound up at the most affordable - and hippest! We were the oldest people in there. It was a Frida Kahlo (the Mexican artist)-themed restaurant, with pictures of Kahlo and very good Mexican food. We let loose a little bit. On the group's behalf, Jane thanked me, with an apropos Guatemala T-shirt.


And we thanked Ellen for her planning, translation, and insightful thoughts she had shared with us during the month before trip with a necklace. Ellen - who had told the Guatemalans she felt caught between U.S. and Guatemalan culture - said helping facilitate our trip and our partnership was a role she cherished all the more, in her official retirement.


Claudia helped Ellen wtih the necklace.




Ellen seemed pleased, while Andrea looked on.



A lone man, a Pacific Northwest schoolteacher named Mike, waiting outside for a seat, had joined us at the last moment. Mike was interesting, and talked mainly with Jane and Lowell.



Mike also gave us some half a dozen lychees, a porcupine-ish red fruit, that I was one of those who tried.



Helping top off the evening - besides the dancing that the women did on the way home - was our waiter, Sergio, who posed here with Claudia and Andrea.



-- Perry

Thanks!


A number of Guatemalans - other than our partners - helped us for extended periods of time - during our trip. Danilo (above right) drove us in a van from the Guatemala City airport to the Instituto in Coban on Saturday, and from the Instituto to the Hotel Carmen (and an unscheduled stop along the way) on Thursday. Danilo stayed with Lowell and me in the hotel Thursday, and then left for the Coban area, where he lives, at 5 a.m. Danilo told us he is one test away from passing all of the Guatemala bar exam. He plans to practice law in Coban. Pictured below are three Instituto dining hall workers, who cooked and cleaned up and supplied agua pura for our water bottles. To Andrea's right is Carlos (aka Charlie, who sprinkled some English into his speech. Between Andrea and Claudia (from their right to their left) are sisters Trut and Romelia. They permitted Andrea and Claudia to make and cook tortillas with them a couple of different afternoons, and also went along with various schedule changes (including last-minute requests for refracciones). The head person, David, was also helpful. Lowell and I talked just as much with Edwin, also on the staff, who unfortunately I did not get a picture of.



Libny, daughter of Roberto, nephew of Carlos, and cousin of Ana, greeted us at the Hotel Carmen Thursday afternoon, tolerated our mediocre Spanish for a while, and then helped me out numerous times as I had questions about the Macs in the hotel mini-office center. Half of the time I was there Libny was Facebooking. I was sure she was one of Ana's Facebook friends who had commented after Ana dropped the bad news - just about a week before - that she was staying put in the United States, instead of going on the trip.



Libny was the day clerk, and Nery (pictured below) was the night clerk. Like Libny, Nery went above and beyond the call of duty, rushing out to photocopy some materials for us and heading out on a field trip to show me where an Internet cafe with a printer was. Nery was also the recipient of Lowell's generosity. Lowell had bought a hat in the market, and then decided it wasn't for him, and then thought of giving to Nery, who we thought looked great in it (from early Saturday morning, soon before our departure).



-- Perry

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Other old friends


Presbyterian mission worker Roger Marriott (pictured above) played a critical role in helping us plan the mission trip, helped pick us up Saturday, and accompanied us on several excusions. He also helped persuade the Guatemalans to go to Semuc Champey and then mediated between us when the Guatemalans went over to Gloria and his house Tuesday to talk about the partnership. Several Crescent Hill folks had met Roger at an Amigos de K'ekchi' meeting in Nashville, and I saw him at a similar event in Cincinnati last year. Stephanie had first met Gloria at the Guatemala Mission Network Gathering at lake Amatitlan in the fall of 2008. Stephanie and I had had dinner with Roger and Gloria (pictured below) here in Louisville a couple of years ago: Gloria joined us a couple of times and helped keep track of trip finances. Roger and Gloria may return to Tennessee in a couple of years. She is finishing a graduate degree

Delia Leal (pictured below), a Nazarene pastor in Coban, participated in Coban, participated in last year's International Peacemakers program, speaking across the country, including at Crescent Hill church. A good speaker, she got straight down to business, talking about the status of women in that part of Guatemala and the threat the drug traffickers, who now control much of the city. A couple of the Guatemalan men fidgeted during the discussion, and I had a slightly different attitude as I walked across the city subsequently. During a discussion that followed, Pastor Gerardo said Leal's description of Coban did not sound like El Estor. But Pastor Fidel admitted that a couple of people had turned up dead near his town of Boqueron, and no one seemed to know what had happened (or done anything?).



One of the Marriotts' peers, Karla Koll (pictured below), a professor involved in a theological education program in Guatemala City (in which Delia Leal is also involved), joined us in Antigua for Thursday dinner and Friday breakfast. Karla had spoken with a Crescent Hill dinner audience this past spring and had been at the Guatemala Mission Network Gathering with Stephanie and Gloria. Friday Karla updated us a little about changes in the Guatemalan evangelical Presbyterian church. Another education program colleague, Dennis Smith, who spoked at Crescent hill last fall, is headed to South America, where he will serve as a Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) regional liaison, working under Maria.



Another PC(USA) mission worker, Amanda Craft (pictured below), lives in Antigua with her son, Ethan Alejandro. She helped us arrange lodging and transportation in Antigua. She met us for dinner Thursday and stopped by Friday afternoon. Pictured with Amanda is Ellen Dozier, a former mission worker colleague of most of those picture above and Amanda's predecessor. Although Ellen worshiped with Crescent Hill for a year and we considered her part of our team, she actually lives in North Carolina now. Ellen helped plan the trip and translated and facilitated most of the group discussions. She said that, like the rest of us, she's been excited to be part of the trip and partnership and told the Guatemalans that, as someone who lived in Guatemala for about a decade, she feels torn between her U.S. and Guatemalan identity.
-- Perry


Estoreño partners


Pastor Jose Domingo (pictured above), pastors the Espiritu Santo church, the last church we visited during the 2007 and 2009 visits. We met his wife, Amelia, and a number of some eight kids of theirs during previous visits. Below is Armando, president of the presbytery's youth and young adult organization and a member of El Estor's Arca de Noe church, the largest in the presbytery. Stephanie and I talked with Armando at some length during the 2007 visit, and he has contacted us periodically in the past. I believe he is an unemployed, unmarried school teacher.


Maria (pictured below) is the president of the presbytery's Presbyterian Women organization. I believe I remember greeting her in the Arca de Noe church's kitchen during the 2007 and 2009 trips. Her youngest of three children, Freddie, was one of the two children on the trip, but I somehow failed to get a good picture of him. Maria spoke up during activities occasionally, and a couple of times appeared to chastise the Estoreño men in Q'eqchi'.

Fidel Juc (pictured below), pastor of the Peniel church in Boqueron, is also president of the presbytery. I remember his wife, Jesus, more from the 2007 trip. It's hard to get a picture of him smiling. He and Pastor Antonio (aka Tomo: an old friend of Roger and Ellen who now pastors the mission church at Chupon, west of El Estor, whom I got no decent picture of) were occasionally quiet. Even though Fidel was quiet, he also sometimes sat a little apart from the other Q'eqchi' men, and so I got to talk with him several times during meals.


Pictured below is the youngest part of the mission team, Marta, another Presbyterian Women officer, who brought her youngest of two, Jerson (also pictured below). Marta was very quiet and only spoke up a couple of times when we were doing some kind of round robin. Jerson was ill during their Coban stay. He woke up most mornings at 4 a.m. crying. Marta, Maria, Ellen, Claudia, and I all went to the outside of the low-end public hospital in Coban to seek treatment, but Marta decided to take him to the clinic in El Estor upon their return. I believe Marta is a member of El Estor's Altar de Noe church, pastored by the most prominent person from our 2007 visit who was not in Coban this time, Pastor Raul Contreras. Also missing were a couple of other people who apparently planned to go - mainly elders and deacons - including the presbytery's treasurer (Roberto?).


The most prominent person on the Estoreño delegation was the Arca de Noe church, who we call every month or two: Gerardo Pop Ich. The secretary of the prebytery and advisor to Presbyterian Women and the youth organiation, Gerardo (pictured below with Roger) was the most powerful person in the room with both of the teams were in there.



-- Perry

Friday, July 16, 2010

Excursions


During four of our days in Coban, the two mission teams - together - visited a tourist-oriented coffee plantation, a Presbyterian K-12 private school, a museum of Mayan artifacts, and a waterfall area. We did lots of walking and even some climbing.

-- Perry














Images of partnership


As part of a partnership-renewing activity, each of the adults wrote words and/or drew pictures about their vision of the future of the Crescent Hill-Estorene partnership. Pictured above is one of the visions of one of the Guatemalans, who seemed to envision additional, similar retreats, perhaps even in Coban. Visions below include Andrea's vision of a future Louisville-bound trip by representatives of the presbytery, Jose Domingo's vision of our partnership as analogously similar to the Trinity, and Gerardo's vision of our partnership as part of or synonymous with Christ's mission in the World.

-- Perry