Missions Blog

Jan 4

Barrera Bulletin – Please Pray for an Upcoming Pastoral Training Time

Each month our dear friends and partners in Christ, Carol and Rodrigo Barrera, Wycliffe missionaries to the Rabinal Achi of Central Gautemala, send us a Bulletin full of rich stories and thoughtful updates.  Below is this months installment:

Barrera Bulletin – End of 2013, Beginning of 2014 

Report on our first two weeks back in San Miguel 

Rodrigo and I have been eating tamales, enjoying the cool weather (highs in the 70’s, lows in the 60’s).  We have welcomed droves of visitors, renewing long friendships and getting caught up on what has been happening in each other’s lives. We have also been meeting some of the new friends Rodrigo had been chatting with via Facebook while we were away from Guatemala for almost six months.  A number of our guests have been very interested in hearing about our trip to the other side of the world, which has brought up questions about Islam and Christianity in different parts of the world.

It has been heart-warming to hear people here say that they missed us, that they need us and that they prayed for us while we were gone.  In the future, however, we will probably be splitting our time between our home here in Guatemala and our home in Wyoming, for family and health reasons.  We are seeking God’s direction as to how to work that out.

We had a good conversation with the team leader of the Achí OT translation project on their progress and goals.  Once the holidays are past, I want to see how I might plug into that again at some level–not as a translator, but in an advisory role.

We have had several good conversations with one of the translators for the Achí New Testament, cheering him on as he faithfully presents God’s Word through a weekly radio program, church visits and friendships in a large Achí city over the mountains.

We are also trying to get the word out about how to access the Achí New Testament (written and oral) on computers and I-phones, which so many of the young people here have.  Two came to visit just last night from another town, and were very interested in this.

Rodrigo has been investigating interest here in a home water filter system that is being promoted by a group of men he met in Cheyenne. This organization has had a lot of success in India, and is exploring the possibility of starting a similar program here. The idea is for local people to learn how to make, maintain and spread the system with available materials and people.

Rodrigo started up again his Monday weekly meeting with a group of a dozen or so pastors, and also his get-togethers with about a dozen adolescents.

He has also been stirring up interest among young musicians here to cooperate in workshops and presentations here with some music leaders from the Desert Springs Church (hereafter DSC) in Albuquerque.

Rodrigo and I take turns relating to our many visitors.  With several of our visitors, I have suggested that we look at Christmas passages from the first chapter of John in Achí.  With one family, the teenage boy and his older sister did the reading with his the mother following along, and a younger cousin listening.  We prayed about some serious needs in their families.

With our helpers and two of their children, I have instigated Advent devotionals in Spanish and Achí, helping them also learn these words in English: hope, peace, joy, love.  Health: Since getting settled in after our months of travel (16 flights and a 5-day road trip), I have been spending an hour or two daily on my scoliosis routines and wearing the new brace I got in California.  Getting my bones, muscles and organs used to new positions causes soreness and some spasms, but I think in the long run I am going in the right direction.

Here is the schedule for those of you who want to follow us in prayer for the upcoming retreat for pastoral couples, sponsored by DSC:

  • Saturday, Jan. 4 – Rodrigo brings DSC folk from capital to our house in San Miguel.
  • Sunday, Jan. 5 – We meet up with the small group leaders at the mountain retreat center for orientation.
  • Monday, Jan. 6 – Pastors and pastors’ wives arrive at retreat center by bus.  All day conference with two joint sessions and two small group sessions (some for women, some for men), then communion and foot washing in the evening.
  • Tuesday, Jan. 7 – Joint and small group sessions, concluding at 3 PM and returning to our homes.
  • Wednesday, Jan. 8 – Guatemalan and DSC leaders meet in the morning to discuss long term pastoral training. Rodrigo takes one DSC speaker back to the capital.
  • Thursday, Jan. 9 – Planning meetings for water committee, Community Health Evangelism team and micro-loan team.
  • Friday, Jan. 10 – Planning for May teams (music, medical, dental and physical therapy).  DSC leaders back to the capital to catch their flight on Saturday morning.

The biggest request is for God to speak to all of us, especially the pastoral couples.

Along with that, we ask prayer for the health and safety of all who are traveling and attending.

Through your prayers and communication with us by mail, YOU are an important part of everything that is done in this ministry.

With gratitude to God and to you all, Carol, for Rodrigo, too

PS We have a post office box where we can receive letters in the capital, but we only check it about once a month:

Rodrigo and Carol Barrera, Apartado 54, Guatemala City, 01011, Guatemala.  (Any mail sent to our Wyoming address while we are here, will be saved for us to read the next time we go to the USA. That could be as early as February, depending on when we get an appointment.)

For those of you who support us financially, we have been asked by our organization to pass on these instructions for you:

Wycliffe accepts tax-deductible contributions by mail or at wycliffe.org. If by mail, please include a separate note indicating, “Preference for the Wycliffe ministry of Rodrigo and Carol Barrera, Account #210519” and send to:  Wycliffe Bible Translators PO Box 628200 Orlando, FL 32862-8200  Or if you prefer to give online you can go to:  http://www.wycliffe.org/Partnership.aspx?mid=A3095E