Saturday, September 27, 2014

Another Trip to the River

A couple of Sundays ago our church had another baptismal service. This time we all loaded up and went to a small river close to San Pancho, in an town called Nuevo San Francisco.
 It was a rainy, cold for Petén day. We had a great turnout though!
 Here are the people who have recently put their faith in Christ in our church! There were more, but these were the ones who wanted to publicly tell others they are Christians now! This is a big step.
 First there was C. He has been in our ministry since he was 8 and now he is a teenager. He put his faith in Christ after church one night... it was about time! He knows so much about the Bible by now. I was so happy!
 Then there was H. He started coming this year from the village next to the institute. He came up before youth group one night and said that he want to accept Christ. 
{H, the night he accepted Christ!}
Another friend was with him named, C and he accepted Christ too. His friend's parents wouldn't allow him to be baptized just yet. Pray!
When we went to H's house to talk to him about being baptized, his sister, A, accepted Christ! 
Her mom did not want her to be baptized yet. I'm not sure why, but maybe next time. A and H are active in our youth group. We went to H's birthday party 2 weeks ago. He has a great family. His mom attends church faithfully. Please pray that his father will start coming too!
This next family got baptized all together!
The dad's testimony was that he was the town drunk. Not anymore! He definitely has a new life now. Please pray for him and his family. The dad faithfully attends our discipleship class too.
When we went to their house for Jimmy to go over baptism with them, we saw that their house had fallen during a storm.
{The Bush family was with us!}
God clearly protected them. All 7 of them were inside the house when it fell. With all the wood beams that could have hit and killed someone, no one was hurt! I am so thankful.
 Men from the town got together and helped lift the roof back on better wood beams that the dad bought and prepared.
 The boys in this family are really close to my boys, so that is what made this baptism a little more personal for Jonah and Silas. 

The next girl, M, comes on her own to our youth group. She put her faith in Christ one night after a service where the youth team shared their testimonies. I wasn't sure she would get baptized since she was alone, but when Jimmy asked if there was anyone else who wanted to be baptized, she jetted up to the front. I was shocked, just because she is so shy, but wow, so thankful for her very real faith!
 Then, the mason who has been working at the institute has been coming to our services with the students. He decided that he wanted to be baptized too. He was already a Christian, but never has had the opportunity to be baptized! We were excited for him too!
 We all stood on the banks and sang as each one stood to identify themselves with Christ!
Afterwards we went to the church and had tacos to celebrate!
 Here is a picture of some of the Bush family. I haven't hardly any photos of them. But they were here and we enjoyed them! They helped pass out the tacos. V is in the pink helping. She is one who always helps. You know every church is the same, there are the few who always help! Her brother is in the plaid shirt above helping too. She needs to gets saved, pray! Her brother needs to get baptized.
 Jonah with his best buddy!
 We had a really special day! Please pray as God continues to work in the hearts of all of us here at San Pancho Baptist Church!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

If You're An Intern

If you're an intern in Petén you get to do all kinds of cool things like...
be brave and kill scorpions.
stay up till midnight playing Monopoly in Spanish. 
climb mountains. 
cross really high bridges.
be forced to take way too many family photos for us... I mean a lot. 
be forced to do all the jobs the missionary has put off doing because he knew interns were coming.
sit through lots of services you don't understand. 
have loads of conversations in a language you don't speak. 
 try to rig our backdoor to keep the rats out,
 then sit on our couch for 45 minutes before you realize there is a rat already inside the house... inside the couch you are sitting on.
come up with games for our youth group to go with what we are studying... 
and explain them in Spanish!
share your testimony.
host an awesome youth outreach.
makes lots of kids' crafts.
spend days and days... and days building an epic turkey coup. And yes there are finally turkeys in it...
or on it.
and make an eternal investment!
Personally I think it is a pretty great way to spend a month of your summer. I hope they thought so too!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

"I'm a Christian!"

 We had a baptismal service recently at our church. The boys have been to services like these before, but this time they paid closer attention. More so I think because of their age and also they have become closer to some of the kids at church and 2 of their friends were baptized.
Our boys know and I believe have understood the plan of Salvation for a while. We have been waiting for the Holy Spirit to work in their hearts and reveal it to them personally. Silas was talking with Jimmy about how all the people that were getting baptized were telling everyone that they were Christians now. Silas said, "Yeah, Christians like me." Jimmy replied, "No you're not, you aren't a Christian until you personally decide to ask Jesus to save you." Silas was surprised and kind of disturbed. He said, "What?! but I go to church."

 He kept talking with Jimmy about how he wanted to be a Christian too. In our kids SS class that evening in church, I had my big Salvation cross, where we go through God's plan. Silas paid extra attention and asked if we could talk about that cross in English when we got home. 
That night we talked with him some more and he said that he really wanted to ask Jesus to come into his heart and save him from his sins. He was so urgent. Well he did! Now I believe you become a Christian whenever you put your faith in Jesus' death and resurrection. Could Silas have already been at that point for some time? Absolutely, but I'm glad that he has this specific time where he verbalized that he personally decided that he wanted to be a Christ follower. 
Then all day Monday Silas kept telling Jonah that he needed to ask Jesus to save him! I think it was a Andrew going to tell Peter thing! I loved that. If it is real for you than of course you want your brother in on it too! Well, no one rushes Jonah to do anything. (He is our strong willed child, and I love his passionate personality.) Jonah said that when he was ready he would. 

So that night, during our night night routine, it was Jonah's turn to lead the prayer. He didn't tell anyone he was going to, but he asked Jesus to save him too, out loud, in front of everyone (which isn't like Jonah)! He was so happy when he opened his eyes. 
 I love his little face! We all got SO excited!  

Then we called the grandparents. Silas got on the phone and says, "Hey MaG, I'm a Christian!" Jonah and Silas were both eager to tell their grandparents the news. The funniest part though was when Silas was talking to G. He said, "G, I'm going to heaven... well not now, but one day. And I'll see Zoe!" That was G's dog that recently passed away. 
We have spent a lot of time talking about how the Holy Spirit lives inside them, which is really neat now, because I see Him at work in their hearts. They are very present and real about things having to do with God, which helps me understand better the works of the Spirit that usually get described abstractly. I want to stay as sensitive as my boys.  

I am so thankful for our Savior who has given all of us hope. He has given us a present and a future.  and so much to rejoice over together!
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