I hardly know where to start to tell you of the blessing the team that just returned from Guatemala experienced during our short-term mission trip. The team included six leaders from the Covenant Brethren Church. During the trip, we made contact with a local church that wants to apply for membership in the Covenant Brethren Church denomination. Of course, this will be a process, and nothing is sure until the application is reviewed by the Ministry Committee and the Executive Board. The very fact that they are asking is exciting and points to the possibility of the CBC expanding into Central America.
The team had many ministries. We hosted two game nights with about 130 youth in total, playing games, grilling double quarter pounders and sharing in worship and devotions led by Randy Shoemaker. Five youth expressed a desire to come to Christ. One girl came to be prayed for after struggling with suicidal thoughts. She left that night praising God and in the arms of her youth leaders who promised to continue to offer her support.
During the day, our dental team saw about 500 people. They did fillings, extractions, and cleanings. Their equipment had to be hauled in the back of a pick-up or on top of an SUV to some of the most remote mountain villages we have ever been to. At the same time, the rest of the team passed out 500 fifteen-pound bags of food and Bibles to various groups of people. These groups were organized by local pastors in different locations, one of which was extremely remote. It required crossing four creeks and a river while traveling down roads that were not much better than traveling in creek beds. The trip was almost five hours.
During these stops, we installed wood burning cook stoves, twenty-four in all, that were vented with a flue pipe. That is very important because when people don’t have anything like this, they cook in a smokey room over an open fire, breathing in the smoke. Over time the smoke wrecks their kidneys, lungs, and livers causing sickness and death even for the children.
At each site the Gospel was shared by different CBC preachers through an interpreter. People with health issues were prayed for and God was glorified.
On Sunday morning, Scott Kinnick and Grover Duling preached at the request of the church to share what CBC is all about. This came about because the local missionary, Adam Clemons, informed this church, which was already looking for a denomination to connect with, about what CBC stands for. Therefore, this meeting was arranged.
After the worship service, they were asked to pray for a young woman who is currently pregnant but had previously lost a child. We prayed for pastors, teenagers, and church leaders.
During one time of amazing prayer, Grover felt led to call people to prayer in a special way. We knelt and prayed over ground, laying hands on that ground which is to be the future site of the church seeking CBC membership. It was a very moving moment for all the CBC leaders present.
Each night the team met for devotions and to review the day. We laughed and cried and praised the Lord. It is impossible to share all that happened in those ten days. We saw God move, changing lives, expanding His work, and bringing joy where there had been despair. All of these things and the beautiful views we were privileged to see reminded us that God is AMAZING. It was a privilege to be a part of what He wanted to do.