Missions Blog

Jun 9

Achi May 2012 Trip in Review – Pastors’ Conference Summary

2012 | by Clint | Category: Field Updates,Global,Rabinal Achi,Trips

Below are some reflections from Marvin G. who attended the DSC-Achi Pastors’ Conference on May 25th and 26th along with a handful of others from DSC.  This was the beginning of the May 2012 Mission Trip to Guatemala, and since they did not have good internet connection the entire time, we will be giving testimony via this blog to what God did in and through this (as well as the medical, physical therapy, and water planning components of the trip) in retrospect.  Please celebrate with us what God is doing to, in, and through DSC as we partner with the Rabinal Achi to reach the Rabinal Achi and beyond, with the gospel.

Click here if you’d like to see accompanying pictures of the 2012 DSC-Achi Pastors’ Conference.

From Marvin G. (who is actually still in Achi Land on mission with the young adult team from DSC):

Our days have been incredibly packed for the last week and more. The Barrera’s and I packed light and headed up to the mountains above Salama on the way to Cobán Thursday last week (May 24). Our church, Desert Springs, was hosting a pastors conference at the Posada del Quetzal and we were arriving early to see that all was ready and prepared; and it was. It was an incredibly lush setting, green, ferns of many types, huge tree ferns, tall trees with mossy bark; a jungle paradise.

That afternoon a van arrived delivering the first contingent from Desert Springs; Bart Faris, DSC’s Community Health Evangelism (CHE) coordinator for the Achi Partnership, who grew up in Latin America and is totally bilingual; Tim Ragsdale, one of DSC’s elders; Greg Schneeberger, our former youth pastor that will be leaving for a position in California soon and is also bilingual; and my three young adults, Sophia Edwards, Brian Whippo, and Rachel Breidenbach. It was really great seeing everybody and I think it was Sophie that just about immediately pinned me with my new Guatemalan name, Abuelito Loco. Also arriving in the van was Tania, a charming young Christian lady from Mexico that was going to be our interpreter, when necessary, for the young adult team for the next five weeks.

The following day, the Rabinal Achi pastors began to arrive. After lunch and some time to get reacquainted with old friends and new friends, we started the conference. The Desert Springs contingent of three taught, and on Saturday we continued with testimonies and a session taught by Francisco Benefield, the preaching pastor of Casa Libertad in Guatemala City. The testimonies were powerful. A wife (names withheld for security) gave her testimony about their time in North Africa, ministering for twenty years until her husband was kicked out and forbidden to return. She is from El Salvador and her husband is a water engineer from Guatemala. They are now back in Guatemala, but their heart remains in the North Africa and they are now awaiting word as to whether they can go to live in another country of that region.

Our own Sophia gave her testimony about how cancer has impacted her family and how they have come to see God more real in their lives. She also explained that the reason her hair was cut off was that there was a little girl that was bald due to chemotherapy and she donated all her hair for a wig for the little girl. Also often during the retreat, Brian would get up at the end of breaks and be joined by the other young adults, both North American and Achi and lead everyone in song, Achi and Spanish songs. After a few sessions, the pastors named the group Las Piedras Vivas (The Living Rocks, see Luke 19:40 and 1 Peter 2:5). This was the second pastors retreat I have been able to go to and once again I was blessed.

I will continue to, Lord willing, over the next few weeks, post stories from this latest trip so that we can rejoice with the team for what God did and is still doing in and through this partnership.