We met Tutor #4 one year ago when Domingo and José introduced us to him as a Kekchi pastor who let them sleep on his couch when they didn't have anywhere else to stay. We found out he lived only 30 minutes away from us and we discussed then the possibility of him teaching us Kekchi.
Tutor #4 was made by his father to drop out of school after the 3rd grade so that he could work in the fields. As a young man he surrendered to preach. Soon after getting married and taking his first church, he went back to school (starting with the 4th grade) and completed everything necessary to become an elementary teacher in the public schools here. That is an amazing accomplishment.
After pastoring a Kekchi church for 7 years, he was asked to take a failing Spanish speaking church in the town of Dolores. He was asked to do this because the church could not support a pastor and he was receiving a salary as a teacher. He had a big learning curve to change to the Spanish culture, but the church grew and he then turned it over to a local pastor. He was then asked by another church in the same town but on the other side to be their pastor, and after 2 years this church was also large enough to turn over to a local pastor. When we met he was just attending this church and waiting for God to open a new ministry opportunity.
Through our classes we became good friends with him and his family. We began the discussion of starting a Kekchi church in San Pancho and the possibility of Tutor #4 and his family helping us start that church. We did not know that at this same time he was being offered a job to go and work for a new Christian radio station that wanted to start having some Kekchi aspects, and he was also approved for a work visa to go to the States for 10 months.
He was at a crossroad in his life not knowing what God wanted him to do. Also, agreeing to go to San Pancho meant he would have to go through a lot of red tape to have his teaching job transferred. Basically he would have to find a teacher in San Pancho to switch jobs with him in Dolores (almost an hour away).
After praying with his family he knew God was leading him to go to San Pancho with us and start a church there. Last november within a week of telling us, he decided to move. The school year was out, but he had not been approved for the transfer yet. He knew God would take care of it.
He had to do a lot of running around, but the very first thing God had taken care of was that there was a teacher in San Pancho who wanted to move to Dolores to be close to his ailing parents. Just so you know, NOBODY wants to move to Dolores, so this was in itself a miracle and reaffirmation. (Dolores literally means "pains"... haha!)
The whole transfer process was not resolved until the day before classes started. Once it was finally resolved however, he found out that the Minister of Education in San Pancho was looking for somebody to teach Kekchi in all three schools in San Pancho. This would mean that Tutor #4 could teach what he loved to teach, and he would also meet all of the families from all parts of San Pancho. This has proven to be extremely valuable as we begin a Kekchi speaking church.
Tutor #4 has been a good friend to us and a hard working blessing to our ministry. Not only is he helping us start the church in San Pancho, he has identified several other villages in the areas that he would also like to start churches with us at the same time.
Oh, and those other options? He later found out that the radio station ran out of money and closed down, and the job in the States would have kept him from his family for 10 months, and after taxes and US living expenses, he would have made the same amount of money as his teaching job. I love the times you get to look back and see how specifically God led you through things.