Archive for February 24, 2014


Feb 24

Barrera Bulletin – February 2014

See below for the February updates from our dear friends and missionary partners Carol and Rodrigo Barrera.

Barrera Bulletin – February 2014 

Scoliosis update 

In spite of some wicked weather (snow, ice and fog) in the USA at the time of my follow-up appointment with the scoliosis doctor, I was able to get to Denver from Guatemala and the doctor was able to get to Denver from California.  I was relieved that my check-up actually took place, because the next time this doctor will be in Denver isn’t until May.  The doctor was able to adjust my brace.  We discussed a better way for my brace to be stabilized so that it doesn’t creep up during the day.  He answer a list of questions I had about the best way to do the exercises.  “Exercises” is a little bit of a misleading term if it makes you imagine me jumping up and down burning calories.  Actually, it involves me getting into some contorted positions that rotate my twisted spine in the correct direction, and then trying to do asymmetrical breathing into the flattened areas of my back (left lung and lower right back).  This takes a lot of concentration and the help of stationary bars, a balance ball, bean bags, foam pillows, a stool, the cuff of a blood pressure machine, mirrors (for me to check if the right muscles are moving), long sticks and stretch bands.  I have to go at this very carefully, so that I don’t send my muscles into painful spasms and pinch nerves.    Many times during the day I try to adjust my position while standing, sitting or lying down.  The end result is to help me improve my posture, holding myself in a way that counteracts the bad positions I am used to.

We took ten days getting to Cheyenne, with stop offs in Mexico City and Laredo.  In those cities we were able to reconnect with four of Rodrigo’s siblings, some nieces and nephews, and his mother, who just turned 85.  Her short term memory is failing, but she recognized us and really enjoyed reminiscing about times past.

Hector Hernandez, an Achí missionary we have known from his childhood days, went with us to Mexico City.

Mail Attachment-1    Mail AttachmentMail Attachment-2

He and Rodrigo spoke at a small, but vibrant church that has a lot of new Christians, many of them young professionals.  Hector stayed on for three weeks, attending a training event sponsored by Haggai Institute, speaking in churches, giving practical help in a building project and doing some personal discipling.  He returned to Guatemala with a burden for Mexico and a desire to keep helping churches and young people reach the lost of their own area and around the world.

Mayan OT project

Mail Attachment-3

Achí Old Testament translators: Elías (far left), Esther (black sweater) and Misael (far right)

This month all of the teams from the different Mayan languages met in Guatemala City for the first of several workshops this year on Hebrew poetry, in preparation for translating the poetic passages of the Old Testament.  There will be several more poetry workshops this year, and I am hoping I can attend one of those with the group.  Meanwhile, I am reading the power points, papers and lecture notes from the workshop in session.

The Achí Old Testament team has drafted Genesis through Esther, of which books the first four have gone through extensive revision and checking.  The book of Deuteronomy is now in the consultant checking stage, and that is where I am plugging in.  From here in Cheyenne I am currently reading through Deuteronomy in Achí with an editor’s eye, noting places where I have questions or suggestions.  Here in Cheyenne, I actually have a more quiet and peaceful place to work without the many visitors and interruptions that we have when in Guatemala.  But I am looking forward to seeing our Achí friends face to face later this year.  That leads me to the next topic.

Time Splitting 

Because of health and family needs, our supervisors have agreed to let us try splitting our time between the US and Guatemala this year.  We don’t have the exact schedule worked out yet, but it looks like we may be back in Guatemala in April, staying through part of June.  In July Rodrigo may be going back to Guatemala to host a visiting team from my home church in California.  In September, both Rodrigo and I will be back in Guatemala, possibly staying through October.  It is challenging financially to maintain two homes, two cars, two sets of insurances, plus travel back and forth, but it is what we need to do at this time.  Even while in the US, we will be very involved in the Achí work through Internet and phone calls, checking the Achí Old Testament translation and keeping tabs on projects and encouraging the ones we have had the privilege to mentor over the years, who are now in positions of leadership or launching out into their own ministries.  While this migratory status is hard, the good part is that we have wonderful friends in both places, who welcome us back and who feel sad when we leave–as do we! When I am in Guatemala, I am happy and want to stay there.  When I am in the US, I am happy to live and work here and be near family.  I would have to say that Rodrigo is happy in Cheyenne, but happier in Guatemala.

Mail Attachment-4Rodrigo stirred up interest in home water filters while we were in Guatemala in January.  The chairman of the organization promoting these is a friend of our in Cheyenne.  Rodrigo will be meeting with that group here later this month.

I am writing this on Valentine’s Day, and thinking how much we value and appreciate your prayers and support in getting God’s Word to the Achí in their heart language.

Carol, for Rodrigo, too

Contact Information:

When we are in the US: Rodrigo and Carol Barrera, 1520 E. 18th St., Cheyenne, WY 82001 Phone: cell (307) 214-8666, home (307) 514-1756

When we are in Guatemala: Rodrigo and Carol Barrera, Apartado 54, 01011 Guatemala City, GUATEMALA

Mail will be held for us at either of the above addresses, if we are not there.

Financial Support: Wycliffe Bible Translators PO Box 628200 Orlando, FL 32862-8200