Times like these: in Sayaxché…

7 05 2012

I (Benjamin) just arrived home after an amazing week teaching in the northern department of Guatemala called Peten. It is a really rural area and is the most remote and least populated area of the country. It suffers from a lot of violence and corruption due to the dominance of drug-trafficking in the area. I was working with Israel and Lily, the directors and visionaries behind Centro Esdras, the charity I am working with in a small town called Sayaxché.

The workshop we were running was for pastors and leaders in the area. The workshop had two main themes of personal spiritual growth and growing healthy churches. I was teaching the spiritual growth module.

Pastors in Sayaxche

The time there went really well and it was such a progression from the last time I was there in November ’11. The pastors and leaders reacted positively to the material I taught. Some of the ideas and theology were really new for them… but they took to the challenge with honesty and openness.

From the point of view of my language skills, I was more relaxed when presenting which allowed my Spanish to be more fluid. This began a virtuous circle where I was able to ask better thinking questions and recount a story or two! It is amazing how some many prayers have been answered for my communication.

An important part of the workshop was spending mealtimes and breaks talking with each of the group. It was incredibly interesting to hear their stories. For example one of the pastors was illiterate so unable to read and write. It is unusual for many of them to receive new training and they spend the majority of their time working alone, so it was an encouraging time for them to be amongst peers, learning together.

Time for stories

The food was local so there was lots of rice, frijoles and maize tortillas…Over the week the the heat was extreme at times, with temperatures of about 42 degrees centigrade (or 107F). There was also time for a few power cuts as well when the fans stopped working! This is the reality of life for people here.

I was so energised by my time there. So, despite the heat and long journeys (10 hours drive each way), this time confirmed the desire and call to be here equipping, training and learning from pastors and leaders. It was such a great opportunity, it is hard to put the enormity of it all into words… but I am so thankful for times like these.

In action…

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One response

10 05 2012
Clive Bacon

Very good, glad to read this good testimony.

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