Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Visiting Churches

During our furlough to Canada we had the privilege to visit a number of churches and promote the work that is being done in Guatemala. We did presentations in four different churches one of which had never had a  Guatemalan mission presentation done, and two others who had a presentation done more than 10 years ago.
The first church we visited was the ORC/URC church in Edmonton, Alberta. I had contacted the church a month or so before going to Canada and they were excited to have us. We had been there some 10 years earlier and although many people were gone because of holidays most of the people present stayed after the service for the presentation. After church we had the privilege of being invited over to the house of Anthony Tuininga and his family for lunch. This was nice as it allowed us to make a personal connection with some people in the church. The church in Edmonton has been supporting the work for many years and we are grateful for their faithful giving.
free-reformed-churchThe next presentation we did was in the Chilliwack FRC which is our home church. We initially were supposed to do the presentation several weeks earlier at a potluck dinner, but the weather was very warm and the sun was bright so it was decided to postpone it for a few weeks. We held it at the church where we could enjoy the A/C. The interest of the church was good, the feedback was positive and we are thankful for the support that our home church gives us while on the field on furlough.
The third presentation we did was at the Langley FRC. This was a surprise and last minute one as we received an email from Pastor Aicken asking whether we could do a presentation there on a Sunday. Since we only had 2 Sundays left, he made arrangements for the following Sunday. He told us that he had never seen a presentation of the work in the 18 years that he has known about it and the church had not been visited for at least 10 years. We had the blessing of worshiping with the Langley church and we really enjoyed the worship service partly because the church consists of members who are from different cultural backgrounds. Again the church received us well and it was nice to see the interest they have in mission work.
Finally, we visited the URC Church of New Westminster. I was not aware of this church until the beginning of 2013 when we received a post card from the ladies society. I found out that this church has been supporting the work for many years, but that they never had anyone do a presentation of the work. Although it was a Friday evening and several families were gone on holidays a good number of people showed up and it was nice to meet these people and see the interest that they have in the work. I was able to have dinner with Pastor Gary Zekveld and his young family and also after the presentation there were refreshments at the home of one of the members were there was more time to talk about the work that God is doing in Cubulco.
We are thankful for the churches that support the work and are grateful when were have the opportunity to present the work that God is doing in Guatemala. We strongly feel that the promotion of missions is an important part of our work so that people and churches will stay informed, committed, and passionate. We are grateful that in our church circles sufficient time is given to be able to talk about the work. When we speak with other missionaries many say that they are often only given 5-10 minutes in a service. This is not a lot of time! In our case we were given 45 minutes to an hour to present the work and then time afterwards for questions. This allowed for time to be able to go into more detail on the work and explain also some of the history, joys and challenges of working in Guatemala so that people have a better overall understanding.

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