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Jul 18

Barrera Bulletin – April – June Trip to Guatemala

2016 | by Clint | Category: Field Updates,Global,Prayer,Rabinal Achi,Trips

Here is the Barreras’ report about their wonderful and busy two-month stay back in Guatemala:

While in Guatemala we celebrated our 42nd anniversary and the 40th of our good friends David and Maria
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Some statistics from our log of visitors: For the two months in Guatemala, we had 564 visitors and served 367 meals to visitors plus uncounted snacks. The record number of visitors for one day was 25. The longest stretch of visitors in one day went from 8AM to 9PM. In my human strength, I am not up to interacting with so many people in such concentrated form, but I can honestly say that I felt buoyed up by God’s grace to be able to receive people with a genuine interest in their lives. I wrote down each person’s name, sometimes with a note on how I can pray specifically or them. I plan to continue praying for them, even though we are now back in the U.S. for a while. I had expected that we would be renewing ties with our many Achi friends, but I hadn’t expected the privilege of making a number of new friends, several of whom visited us over and over, sharing a lot about their lives. This provided opportunities to read Scripture and pray together.

Reading the Psalms in Achi with Noe

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Medical Outreach: It was our privilege to accompany medical teams to three towns. The teams consist of people from New Mexico, Guatemala City and from the Achi area. Rodrigo set up a blue tooth projection of the dramatized audio Achi New Testament for patients to listen to while waiting tor their turns. One day I worked with two young men praying (in Spanish and/or Achi) with each patient before the doctors saw them. Another day I just circulated among the patients chatting with them. That was so much fun! Many are surprised when they find out I can speak Achi.

Medical Clinic in San Francisco

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Truth Project: You may remember that last February Rodrigo was invited to show a video from the Truth Project to a class of prospective lawyers at a local university. This time he wasn’t able to do that again because the teacher who received him before had transferred to a university in another city. But he went ahead and invited the students and some other friends to have the class at our house. Each week we showed a different video and then had a discussion time afterwards. Many expressed appreciation for what they learned, saying it gave them a new perspective on God, themselves and the world.

Truth Project Discussion Group

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Emotionally Healthy Ministry: Rodrigo’s supervisor connected him with a young pastor in another Mayan area of Guatemala, who is being trained to hold teaching sessions that challenge leaders to examine in the light of Scripture cultural and family “messages” that influence them negatively, perhaps unconsciously causing them to act in destructive ways. The goal is to identify one’s “shadows” and transform the messages that motivate us to Biblical ones. Josué traveled hours over bad roads to give presentations at our house to twelve or so leaders from different churches. His teachings resonated with all of us who participated. We feel we just got a taste of this beneficial approach, and hope that Josué can continue to hold more such sessions in San Miguel in the future.

Josué giving a presentation on emotionally healthy ministry
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Small group discussion in Josue’s “Emotionally healthy” series
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Old Testament Translation Team: I continued to work on making editorial suggestions for Psalms 101-150 during the times we didn’t have visitors. This last third of Psalms will be checked by an international consultant in August. I really enjoy this work which I do whether in the U.S. or Guatemala, but the frosting on the cake this trip was being able to make several visits to the four Achi members of the translation team in their new offices, joining them in their morning devotional time. I even got to attend a graduation for the sixth class that has taken the Achi writing and reading course.

Visiting the Achi Old Testament translation team

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Community Health Evangelism: We were thrilled be able to visit with Dr. Pineda and his wife and see first hand their program in action. They have been working in several Achi towns for a number of years. This is an integrated ministry that combines teaching Bible principles and working with local community committees to sponsor health clinics, small business loans and water projects. In a recent letter, Dr. Pineda told how his Achi assistant Dany helped orally translate the teaching into Achi. In their classes they are using the New Testament in Achi as a local resource.

Local Achi with Sawyer Water Filter 

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Pastoral training sessions: Two of these training events that last two days are held each year, sponsored by the Desert Springs Church in Albuquerque. They have formed close relationships with the people in the Achi area, as well as with a co-operating church from Guatemala City. The topic this time was “Sound Doctrine”, with an emphasis on how that impacts our relationship with God, our worship, our church unity and our individual lives. Over sixty pastors participated, not just listening to the presentations, but having lively discussions in the small group sessions and in the general Question and Answer times. The small group leaders had been preparing for this for months, under the leadership of Eder in San Miguel.

Breakfast with pastors

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Some of the 60 pastors at the Sound Doctrine conference
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Achi missionary friends: We were thrilled to get first hand reports from Hector Hernandez on his trip to Europe and the Middle East, from Marvin Ac after his two years in Mexico, and meet the YWAM students who finished up their five-month training while we were there. We saw them off on their outreach to Puerto Barrios in Guatemala, Honduras and Panama–plus witnessing their graduation and the 10-year anniversary of YWAM in San Miguel.

Welcoming Marvin home after two years in Vera Cruz, Mexico, and Hector after his trip to Europe and the Middle East
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We got to attend the graduation of students and staff of the 5-month YWAM discipleship training course
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What’s ahead?

1) Continuing with my part in the Achi Old Testament project. I have more time to do that when we are in our Cheyenne home than in Guatemala. However, God willing–and I mean that seriously–we hope to make more such trips to Guatemala.

2) Rodrigo continues in daily communication with friends in Guatemala through social media. He plans to audit another course from the School of Biblical Counseling. He really benefited from the previous course he took.

3) A July family reunion in Cheyenne with the families of our son here in Cheyenne and our daughter in the Middle East! It has been two years since we have seen our daughter and her family.

4) Appointments for Carol with the dentist, eye doctor (to see if it is time for me to have cataract surgery), dermatologist (follow-up on a mole with abnormal cells) and a specialist in shoulders (to see if I am going to need surgery following my fall last October).

Now back in Cheyenne with our family here
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Jun 5

A Note from the Guatemala Medical Team

2016 | by Clint | Category: Field Updates,Global,Prayer,Rabinal Achi,Trips
Alaina and Amie are two TEAM nurses from the States working in Guatemala City with Iglesia Reforma and have come along as part of our Medical team.  Alaina writes of their experience helping a dear friend of many at DSC after a long day of clinics (50+ patients seen by our team):

Gods timing is perfect.
Walking home from dinner Friday night, belly’s full from Maria’s delicious home cooked Guatemalan meals, Dr. Jacobo said he had to do a home visit. After hearing that his patient was a mother who recently delivered a premature baby, we decided to all go with him. Little did this new mother know but God was not only sending to her a wonderful Doctor, but also a pediatric nurse and neonatal nurse. Thanks be to God, the baby was not having respiratory issues and seemed quite healthy despite the fact that she had not been eating well. The mother was experiencing severe discomfort with feeding and was in tears from pain and lack of sleep. So for the next two hours, we spent time educating the mother and her sister on care for a premature baby, care for herself, how to handle her discomfort and feed her little baby. What a time of God’s grace! For me, he allowed me to spend time with the people I am most passionate about helping, moms and premature babies. After living here in Guatemala for six months, I had not been able to experience this kind of work much. As for the mother, some much needed education, reassurance and love. We spent a time of tearful prayer together, asking God to provide healing, growth, peace and rest. It was a little piece of heaven in that little dirt-floored room, gathered around each other, bringing our hearts to God.

Jun 5

Guatemala Team Update 2016

Here is a field update of all the work happening in Guatemala through the locals and the Medical Team

Pastor Marcelino at Nazarene Buena Vista9MedTeam16On Thursday, we were able to give Pastor Marcelino a MacArthur study bible, a book from the gospel coalition packing hope program, as well as an bible stick and mobile speaker with the Achi New Testament on it. Pray that God’s word bears fruit in Buena Vista because of its proclamation of the gospel in word and the affirmation of the gospel in deed. Pastor Marcelino attends our pastors trainings and is looking forward to the next one coming in under two weeks.

Thursday’s Medical Clinic at Buena Vista6MedTeam167MedTeam16MedTeam164MedTeam163MedTeam16

On Friday, the Medical Team heading to San Francisco to hold medical clinics there for the day.

Greetings from Achi land!  Today we wanted to write to give an overview of a typical medical clinic day in pastor David’s Baptist church in San Francisco: Iglesia Bautista La Luz Del Mundo. Thank you all for praying for us while we serve alongside the Achi for Jesus!22MedTeam16

 After a bumpy 30-45 minute ride to the church, including crossing one river (yes, crossing it without a bridge, crossing it), we hustle to set up the private consultation rooms and the pharmacy. Pastor David greets the first patients then prays with clinic workers and patients asking God to use this service to bring glory to His name and to help those who are hurting. Ultimately, we long to point those who don’t know Jesus to His compassion and grace in the cross.
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Patients wait on the porch of the church in the shade listening to the New Testament in Achi as it plays from a faith comes by hearing bible stick. Nurse Elena, from Iglesia Reforma, takes vital signs along with Pastor David’s son-in-law, Polo.
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After all of the vitals are taken, each patient sees Dr. Brent and Nurse Amie or Nurse Jacque, or Dr. Jacobo and Dr. Mark. This is not Dr. Marks first time to Guatemala for medical missions but it is his first time to Achi land. Mark was able to use his specialty in cardiology along with an ultra sound machine which is new to our clinics. Just yesterday Mark was able to use it to diagnose a heart condition for a small child. We are especially thankful to his practice for donating the machine so that it can be used long term here in Guatemala! 66MedTeam16
While waiting to see a doctor or waiting for their prescription, patients spend time with pastor David or one of the younger believers. Pastor David offers counsel, prayer, and of course the gospel. 1010MedTeam161212MedTeam16
In between tasks and patients each of us find time to greet folks, make friends with the children by drawing, playing, or reading the Jesus Storybook Bible. Rodrigo spends time counseling young believers, like Carlos, who has recently come to fully embrace his sinfulness and the gospel that saves him from it. Carlos helped last year in our clinics. He began studying the Bible with Eder and others this past year and is scheduled to be baptized this coming Sunday! Our hope is to attend and celebrate the gospel with them.
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It is such a blessing to see God at work across cultural, linguistic, and geographic boundaries. Love takes many forms when expressed across these boundaries in the name of Jesus and we pray God gets the glory. Over the next few days, we will be tested with fatigue and likely some rising culture stress. Our voices may not be able to communicate all that we want to say, but thankfully the Achi believers are here with us on the front lines, relationally to share Jesus and give comfort from God’s word.  Even among newly established friendships, the unity the gospel brings to his people is clear. Jornadas (clinics) can only help push back the affects of the fall temporarily.  Our deepest hope is that God will use the Good News of His Son’s life, death, and resurrection to solve the eternal problem caused by sin and death and the fall.