Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Story of San Miguel Alto Uno

Last week we went back to the village of San Miguel Alto Uno. They invited us for a baptismal service and for the dedication of their church building.

First a little history...

*This was one of the first Kekchi villages we ever went to. Our first visit was in July 2008. We showed a film.

*Pastor/Doctor Andy was there too and held a medical clinic.

*We returned again and showed a 2nd movie.

*The youth team from Daytona held an outreach there.

*Jimmy returned by himself and showed a 3rd movie.

*The last team we had held an outreach there.
*A year and a half ago one family accepted Christ.

*A year after that Manuel and his family accepted Christ. He wants to study to be the pastor.

*Besides outreaches we have helped out with Bibles, hymnals and the sheet metal for the roof of their new church. (They built the rest of the building themselves!)

It is so wonderful to see things finally taking off now. When we got there the mission's leaders were having a meeting.
Silas spotted Domingo from across the room and went right over to him. They are buds!
Lots of the kids who were playing outside came in to see Jonah and Silas.
Jimmy signed the church charter as one of the founders.
It hadn't rained in a while which made it one of the hottest days we have experienced in Petén.
Jonah and Silas were a sweaty mess, but they still had fun!

We got to go see the building since by the time the service would start it would be dark.
They were painting the sign: Jericho Baptist Mission. Once it becomes self-supporting they will change that sign to church.
Another established church from 5 hours away sort of adopted them as their mission the month before. They brought a truck full of people to celebrate the building's dedication. They were going to spend the night and attend another celebration service the next day. All the women from the mission were preparing all the meals for the next two days.
There were two pots full of tamales wrapped in banana leaves. There are more banana leaves thrown on top to trap the steam and then wood to hold it all in there.

You want to know what was for lunch the next day?... Well these people are looking at it.
We saw a man pull up with a bull in the back of his truck. I knew his fate as soon as I saw him. Now I believe God made that bull for these people to eat, but I didn't want to watch it happen... especially with a machete. That is why this photo is taken from far away!

I thought I was spared the gruesome details and then the next day I was flipping through my iPhoto of pics of the boys playing when all of a sudden what pops on my screen?... a bull being gutted!!! James walked all the way down there, took up close photos with his fancy camera, and then dumped them on my computer. My life without knowing how they slaughter a bull in a village... yeah, I will never get that back.

After lunch we all headed to the river for a baptismal service!
The members of the mission would sing in between each baptism. The whole atmosphere was really beautiful!
14 people were baptized that day!
Domingo prayed with each person before he baptized them.
Manuel got baptized too!
After dinner they had a special service to dedicate their building.
There was a time a prayer before we entered. They asked Jimmy to cut the ribbon.
Each visiting pastor there received a piece of the ribbon.
Then they held a celebratory service thanking the Lord inside their new building!
Please pray for Jericho Baptist Mission as they continue to grow and reach the rest of their village.

CRAZY ITEM OF THE DAY: Jimmy returned Sunday afternoon for another service. (I think he just wanted to try the bull.) This village is a few hours out in the middle of nowhere. On his way home some cattle ranchers decided to tear up the dirt road in order to divert some water to another pasture and build a small bridge. Unfortunately they made the road impassable before all the supplies had arrived to build the bridge. The workers had stopped and were asking all those waiting to pass for money to help finish the bridge! Jimmy called and said that he might not be home until the next day. So we prayed that God would make a way for him to get home sooner. A few minutes later a Mennonite friend showed up on the other side of the big trench wanting to go in the opposite direction. They ended up trading vehicles and Jimmy made it home in time for lunch. We know maybe 5 people in all of Petén that own vehicles and even fewer that we would trust with ours. We get to see God work like this all the time! He takes such good care of us.
{This is a photo of that spot from the day before. We thought it was deep then!}

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