Archive for July 18, 2016

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

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


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


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


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
Small group discussion in Josue’s “Emotionally healthy” series

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


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 


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


Some of the 60 pastors at the Sound Doctrine conference

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
We got to attend the graduation of students and staff of the 5-month YWAM discipleship training course


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