Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Ministry fair

The Guatemala mission partnership was one of half a dozen Crescent Hill outreach ministries on display at the church's Ministry Opportunities Fair - in the midst of stewardship season - after worship this past Sunday. Folks who frequented the outreach displays got a chance to eat the warm tostadas that Lowell brought. Ana (pictured below, next to the PC(USA) international mission co-worker display - which Amy created, which included Amanda) was around to try to connect with volunteers for the English as a foreign language teaching ministry and - since this was right next to the Guatemala display - able to respond to questions about both.

Pictured below is a part of the Guatemala display, which helped land a couple of folks who signed up to receive e-mail/information about the partnership. The display also gave information about the task force's next gathering, on Saturday, November 14.
- Perry

Mid-October gathering

Half a dozen plus Crescent Hill folks interested in Guatemala mission talked at Brad, Soni, and Kara’s In mid-October. The group had mixed feelings about possible participation in the early February PC(USA) Guatemala mission network gathering in Guatemala. Folks talked about the information the group had received from Estoreño Presbytery partners about the effects of storms on Izabal: high corn prices, damaged church buildings, broken up fields. Participants in the gathering continued on ongoing discussion about whether money transfers from Crescent Hill to Estoreño should be part of the partnership. The group decided to look into PC(USA) Presbyterian Disaster Assistance involvement in Izabal disaster relief and recovery. The group talked briefly about its display at the Sunday, October 24 after-church Ministry Opportunity Fair.

Later on during the gathering, participants brainstormed about two related ministry: the English as a foreign language teaching ministry and the Spanish-language Sunday school class. Discussed were the possibility of shifting EFL classes from James Lees Memorial Presbyterian Church to teachers’ homes and the possibility of signs and other strategies to promote the Spanish-language Sunday school class to Spanish first-language speakers, including those not currently attending Crescent Hill church.

The group spoke briefly with Pastor Gerardo and learned that the presbytery has moved some pastors, with pastors from the La Union church moving to Boqueron, and from Boqueron to Guitarra, near Livingston. Gerardo said little about disaster recovery.

The next gathering will be at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday, November 20, at Ana, Nora, and Carlos’ place, in Heuser Hall on the Presbyterian seminary campus.

-- Perry

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Join us!

Join us for a Guatemala mission partnership gathering, as we find out how our partners our surviving the flooding and global recession, take a stock of where our partnership is at this fall, and consider possible 2011 travel. We'll gather at Brad, Soni, and Kara's home at 209 Fairfax Avenue, Unit 1, in St. Matthews. Call 896-8561 for directions. See you there!

Friday, October 8, 2010

First day of class

After a long break, Crescent Hill church's Spanish class is back for fall term. Some 10 folks have signed up, and almost all - including three people new to this cycle of Ada's Spanish classes - were there. Welcome, Dawn, Motselisi, and Soni! A quick review is on tap.

-- Perry

Thursday e-mail exchange

From Perry to Rene (Thursday morning):

Recibmios su carta. No hay un edificio para la iglesia en El Chupon, y no hay suficiente dinero para haciendo los edificios de otras iglesias meiores y – para muchos hermanos y hermanas y sus familias – no hay suficiente dinero para semillas o sus campos no estan buenos para plantando. No hay suficiente comida, en general, tambien?

Estamos preocupacos por Ustedes y oramos con y para Ustedes y hablamos sobre algunas otras respuestas. Estan cosas mas o menos lo mismo esta semana?


From Rene to Perry (Thursday afternoon):

Gracias por sus oraciones. Nosotros tambien oramos por ustedes. Que Dios le bendiga.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Sept. 29 e-mail (rough English translation)

The flooding in the Polochic valley has destroyed a lot of the crops, and this is where folks in Izabal get their seed, and now that seed is very expensive. The farmland in some of Izabal is no good for planting. The church in El Chupon (pastored by Pastor Tomo) was destroyed again, and the congregation is meeting in a house. Building plans for several other churches have ground to a halt because people don't have any money.

September 29 e-mail

Double-click below to magnify this handwritten note Rene sent by e-mail - with a pitch for a response - last Wednesday (September 29):

Prayer vigil pictures

A beautiful morning and a beautiful sanctuary greeted Crescent Hill folks participating Saturday morning in a second annual prayer vigil, a custom we've adopted and adapted from our Guatemalan partners. Among those we prayed for were the people of Guatemala and PC(USA) mission co-worker Amanda Craft, in Antigua. Also on the prayer list for the week were Pastor Tomo and the El Chupon church which - it turns out - needed prayer even more than we might have imagined.

Experiments in the news

Guatemala was in the news for something other than natural disasters for the first time in a while when last week President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hilary Clinton apologized to Guatemalan President Colom and the Guatemalan people after information about a controversial 1940s study in which U.s. doctors – funded by U.S. government money – deliberately infected Guatemalan sex workers, prisoners, mental patients, and soldiers with syphilis to test whether penicillin – then newly created – would work against syphilis. The study – carried on by the same doctor who studied African American men with syphilis which he let go untreated – also smacked of studies carried on around the same time by Nazis and the Japanese partly on U.S. prisoners of war. In spite of the horrid details and President Colom and President Obama (pictured above at a meeting last year) going back and forth a little on it, the episode in a way served to underline the close relationship between the two countries.

- Perry

Network gathering

The Guatemalan Presbyterian church, the PC(USA)’s World Mission staff, and the Guatemala Mission network have planned a mission network gathering for Tuesday evening, February 1, though Friday morning, February 4, at the Presbyterian seminary in Guatemala. Crescent Hill folks have participated in several of these network gatherings – including one, two years ago, that was also in Guatemala. Among those folks who will be there will be U.S. and Guatemalan Presbyterians from congregations and presbyteries , like us, involved in U.S.-Guatemalan partnerships. Two years ago – before we had established an official partnership – we sent two people, and the Estoreño Presbytery sent two people.

The gathering organizers are expecting that U.S. Presbyterians traveling for the gathering may visit with their partners (for example, in El Estor) before or after the gathering (but Ellen and Stephanie did not so this two years ago).

We have informed our partners about this gathering, in general, but may follow up with more detail – although- as should be obvious in another re-mail – they may be preoccupied right now. More information about costs and program are supposed to be forthcoming.

-- Perry

Friday, October 1, 2010

Ready for prayer

With lots of items lent by other Crescent Hill church folks, Ada and Andrea decorated the sanctuary Friday for Saturday's prayer vigil and Sunday's communion worship service, both i connection with World Communion weekend. Highlighted in the window sills were each of the countries that Crescent Hill folks have recent connections with. Most have a flag from the country (with the name of the country written on the back) and some other kind of item or items connected with the country. The displays for countries where there are Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) long-term international mission co-workers that the church supports include pictures of the mission workers. Thanks to Ada and Andrea for all your hard work and creativity envisioning and organizing especially Saturday 9 a.m.-12 noon prayer vigil, which draws from Guatemalan and Q'eqhchi' traditions of our partner churches in Guatemala. See you at 9 - or even for a few minutes at any time between 9 and 12. Join us in praying for our friends and their neighbors in the dozen plus highlighted countries and for all people around the world.

(Above is the display for Korea, and below are displalys for Zambia (with mission worker Nancy, who was in Louisville this week, and for Guatemala (with former mission worker Ellen and current worker Amanda).)

-- Perry