Archive for January 7, 2014

Jan 7

Rabinal Achi Pastors and Wives Retreat

2014 | by Clint | Category: Field Updates,Global,Rabinal Achi,Trips

Nineteen Achi pastors and their wives joined us at a mountain retreat center for one night and two days.  The goals were to give them a break from stresses of ministry as well as  a chance to both reconnect with each other.  Our hope was that as they refocused spiritually on the Lord together, they could also increase their awareness of and love for one another.

The retreat consisted of four teachings.  The first two were focused on gospel indicatives (truths about God’s grace toward us) and two were focused on marriage imperatives (commands to obey in light of the gospel).  Monday night was also a special time of each pastor and wife washing each others feet and serving each other the Lord’s supper.

This morning (Tuesday) we had a brief scare just before Nathan Sherman, DSC Youth and Family Minister, was about to teach.  He began to feel dizzy and ill.  God sustained him and even helped him teach two enthusiastic hours before crashing in bed most of the afternoon.  Please do pray for him as he felt bad enough to need some medication from our friend and partner Dr. Jacobo.  Nathan was already up again this evening with enough gusto to watch some national championship football game highlights.  God is good through inter-muscular injections.

As part of the retreat, a group of DSC women pulled together a gift basket for each of the wives that attended.  The baskets included an Achi Bible stick (audio version of the Bible in their native tongue – many of the wives cannot read for themselves), a hand written note of encouragement, a kitchen towel, soaps, lotions, and a picture frame for posting a picture of them and their husbands together in their house.

Here are some of the testimonies given at the end of the retreat:

One of the pastors said “We are so thankful, first to God and then to Desert Springs Church for coming so far away from their families to teach us.  We know that since God has taught us, we must now go and teach our people the things we have learned.”

One pastor’s wife said “My husband has been serving for 6 years and in all of those years I’ve never been invited to participate in anything like this. Gods been working in me these two days.  Even since the beginning of the conference I’ve felt God challenging me about where my hope is, and how it must be fixed on Jesus alone.”

During and in between sessions, there was a small group of younger women there to pamper the wives with pedicures and manicures.  Though they enjoyed the extra attention, at one point, we overheard a wife say “I don’t want to go get pampered, I want to finish hearing this teaching.”  She ended up going but sending back a friend to report back what had been taught.

We are so thankful that God has been and is still working among these pastors and their wives and families to grow, spread, and show the gospel in this land.  Please pray that God’s Word and Spirit will fill these men and women and that He will mobilize them all the more to impact this people and culture for God’s glory.

Tomorrow we meet with a few of the pastors to talk about long term pastoral training needs.  And then Thursday we will meet with a weaving co-operative that DSC has loaned money to for a few years now.  Our goal is to see some of the fruit God is creating through Community Health Evangelism (CHE) projects.  We will also meet with a water committee tomorrow to hear about their needs and possible projects we can support in 2014 and beyond.


A hike to the catarata during an afternoon break


Rodrigo Barrera leading by example as he washes his brides feet after 39 years of marriage. Gringo and Achi husbands take notes.


David and Maria Ixcopal following the Barreras example by serving one another.


Carol Barrera, Janette Pineda, and Esther Larios praying over three of the pastors wives who have been feeling ill.


Two Achi pastors (Rudy Larios and Faustino Tolon)  pray over Nathan before he teaches a second time on Tuesday.


The Achi pastors and their wives listening to the teaching.