Wow, a week has passed, and what a week! God is at work and we are hanging on, trying to keep up with Him!
Monday was a usual work day, full of writing lessons, comparing notes, and making plans. Tuesday was not so "usual." That day we all went to town (Punta Gorda) met up with the pastor from Big Falls (Bro. Andres, who went to Bible school in Guatemala and knows the turf), and got on a boat headed to Guatemala. The trip across the sea is in a skiff with an outboard motor. It takes one hour and twenty minutes, and provides a delightful opportunity to experience stomach falling experiences when the skiff comes down from the top of a wave. Thankfully the Caribbean is pretty sheltered and the sea was fairly calm the day we went so it was not too bad. When we arrived in Guatemala and went through immigration, we boarded a bus headed toward Guatemala City. After several hours of travel, we switched to a bus headed toward Coban. Another couple of hours passed before we reached Rancho, where we got off the bus and switched to a van taxi. Elvina and I did not fair too badly as we were in the front seat, but Bro. Andres and Clifford experienced the sardine effect: Guatemalans have a wonderful talent for turning a 18 passenger van into a 30+ passenger van! We changed vehicles one more time before finally arriving at our destination: Coban.
I have been to Coban two other times to pick up Bibles, but this was Clifford and Elvina’s first time. Guatemala has such a different climate and terrain than Belize, and the people are live quite differently than Belize, so it was fascinating watching Clifford and Elvina’s responses to all of it. One major climatic difference was that it was drizzly the whole time and cold (well, for us wimpy warm weather Belizeans)!
We stayed with some gracious relatives of Bro. Andres and had a lovely visit. They lived halfway up a hill, producing quite the hike up the long flight of steps! The next morning was still cold and drizzly, so a bath with frigid water was an energizing experience!
The day went well, although the Bibles cost twice as much as we had been told on the phone, so we bought fewer. We couldn’t make it back the same day, but we retraced our steps to the port city, where we spent the night and travelled back to Belize on Thursday.
Today was our first workshop day! We had 70 people show up, and we only had 40 registered, so we had to scramble a little. We were so blessed by the turnout and the excitement about the classes. Several of the pastors came and took classes, while others were there just to observe. One young man came all the way from Guatemala to attend the workshops! We didn’t expect to go international so quickly (actually wasn’t in the plans at all). God is good to stretch us. Clifford taught music, Elvina taught computer, and I taught, English, Bible, and New Testament History. Clifford and Elvina will teach Bible next week, but we had to tweak the schedule a little this week. It was a slight challenge teaching English Grammar, since most of the people spoke some English, and were ready for grammar, while two of the people spoke no English at all, I will have to work on a better plan.
This next week we will have a team here and will have to juggle hosting a couple of meetings, preparing for the team, and doing our regular work with Bible study writing/translation, preparing for the workshop next Saturday (which promises to be even bigger than this week), and continuing to prepare for the Maya recording. We covet your prayers for wisdom, strength, and financial provision.
We are so blessed to be in the service of our King!