Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Promoting the Institute

Today we went to a large youth meeting in Sayaxché. This is an annual meeting among all the Kekchi Baptist churches that are part of the association. These churches are scattered over the SW part of Petén.

This was the meeting where Jimmy met R (one of the students) last year. Now he got to go with us this year to share about what the institute is all about. The students have been very excited about this meeting. I think they are proud to be identified with KBI.

So we all loaded up in the Nissan and drove the 45 minutes + unpredictable time waiting on the ferry, to Sayaxché. 
{Here the ferry was already leaving, but the ramp was still down, so they told us to hurry and get on as the boat is moving... it kind of scared me.}
We have formed a praise band with the students in our church, so we planned a couple songs to share. H plays the drums, R is learning the keyboard and sings with Jimmy, P plays the rhythm thingy, who knows what that is in English, and I play the guitar. 

 Here we are singing in the car making sure we remembered all the words!
Can you tell what the song is? H is playing the rhythm thingy in the video, not P. 

When we got there, the service was in a building under construction, on the 2nd floor.
And that was the stairs/ramp we used to get up there... with 3 kids. Jimmy, Silas, and Eden are like mountain goats, but Jonah and I, who struggle with regular stairs, really struggled getting up this rickety steep ramp... like I was basically panicked, crawling on my hands and knees in my long skirt for the last part trying to keep Jonah and me alive. It was embarrassing for everyone. 
{Still not P holding the rhythm thingy}
All cultures are the same, none of them have any cellphone etiquette. Here's a sign I saw on stage, "TURN OFF YOUR PHONE".
We had 10 minutes to present KBI. We sang a song, then Jimmy spoke a bit. In the middle of what he was saying, the power went out!
I think that was strategically to our advantage since everyone immediately got quiet when the sound system wasn't blaring anymore.
 We played one more song after that. They asked us to play more, but we wanted to respect the leadership's request for just 10 minutes. I think the whole thing went well.

Here are some more photos I took before we left.
{The kitchen for the conference}
 Everyone is always so nice to our kids. Eden has gotten pretty used to it. A little girl walked by and gave her this popsicle. I think Eden secretly speaks Kekchi, because she is constantly ending up with people's food.
At least she shares with her brothers.
H's dad was there. He brought the young people from their church. This was the first time we got to meet him. I know they are close. H is the only son. They were excited to see each other, but they were playing it cool in front of so many people. I thought it was cute!
 We were thankful for this opportunity to promote the institute to so many young people at one time. Please pray that more men will be called and that more will come to be trained at the institute.

I'm very saddened to say that two weeks ago KBI had to ask one of the students to leave the institute. Jimmy and Domingo determined based on the code of conduct and the requirements for pastors in I Timothy, that due to moral failure this student was no longer fit to hold the office of pastor. The institute is to help train, disciple, and equip men to be a pastor and sadly sometimes even to weed them out for the sake of the church.

I think while losing one wounded us all, it ended up making those who remain even stronger. Each student reaffirmed how serious their callings are to them and how they want to protect themselves. As the culture here even in churches is not to take moral failures like this very seriously, we are able to start raising the bar and setting a new standard for these young pastors that will hopefully influence the generations to come.

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