Stories - Guatemala - Sunday Sabbath - Day 2


Guatemala - Sunday Sabbath - Day 2

Tracy (for the team) | Oct 21, 2015

On Sunday morning our team attended church at Vida Real Iglesia Christiana - Punto Escuintla. This location of Vida Real meets on the campus of Mana de Vida (I'm excited to share more on Mana de Vida in my next post!) I've had the opportunity to worship God at church services in Guatemala three times and I love the cross-cultural yet familiar experience.


Several of the songs were the same ones we sing at our home church, Perimeter. The music remained unchanged, yet the words were in Spanish. Sometimes I tried to sing the Spanish words from the lyrics projected on screens, while at other times I sang the English lyrics I knew by heart. I loved that the congregation sang with gusto, drowning out the "joyful noise" I was making. 


Other songs were new to me and I attempted to decipher their meaning. While I have never taken Spanish, I think I got something out of the new songs, too. It certainly helped that my multi-lingual friend Johnna whispered some translations to me! I believe one of the new songs was saying:


You are with me

You will not abandon me

You are in me

You will fight my battles


I "translated" another song's main point as: May my heart reflect your love.


Yes! God is with us, won't abandon us, and I pray my heart and yours reflect His love!


We watched the sermon in video format from another Vida Real location. The network of churches is in the middle of a sermon series with the theme 3-5-7 Strategia: 3 Deseos, 5 Prospositos, 7 Montes.


The series teaches:


 - The 3 central desires of the heart are glory, honor, and power.


 - The 5 purposes of the chruch are discipleship, adoration, community, evangelism, and service.


 - The 7 areas of church influence are government, communication, family, religion, media, education, and business.


They even had a board game available to purchase to learn these lessons at home. I thought that was a very creative teaching tool! TG purchased one for her sponsor children to play at home.


This week's sermon focused on one of the five purposes of the church - service. 


Some points made by pastor Rony Madrid:


 - The church is the hope of the world because it transforms selfish hearts into hearts that want to serve others. We are born imperfect. God is the only one who changes hearts and our relationship with him changes us. God sent His son Jesus as an example to us. The Bible says that Jesus came not to be served but to serve.


 - Following Jesus means serving like Jesus served.
For example, Jesus washed the disciples' feet to serve them. The pastor noted that Jesus even washed the feet of his betrayer, Judas. He didn't pick and choose only the "good people". We should follow His example.


 - Pastor Madrid said that being a leader means being a servant - but that doesn't mean it is a negative thing to have a good job or advance in the world. It means that if you have power you shoul duse your influence in service to others.


 - The church is the hope of the world because it provides people who are loving, transparent, able, and trustworthy - and these people are equipped to be servants. Those of influence, such as the Biblical examples of Daniel and Esther, used their power to serve their community. 


 - In conclusion, Pastor Madrid said to let your light shine in dark places! Serve not to win your salvation but to please God and to be a servant leader.


After church we had the provilege of witnessing 3 baptisms. (I hope it is not irreverent to say that Carrie Underwood's "Something in the Water" was playing in my mind!)


Here's a picture:



Later we went on a lunch outing with Jessica, the Director of Mana de Vida, Kellie, the Director of the Child Protection and Restoration Project, and their families. It was a casual time to find out more about these initiatives and also get to know these women and their families. We had a fun afternoon together.


After dinner at our lodging, we met in D'Ann's room to assemble the teacher empowerment bags for the staff of Mana de Vida. You may have wondered in my earlier blog post why we had so much luggage. Well, we packed our bags full of purchased and donated items that our partners in Guatemala said were needed. The teachers' bags included many items that could be used in their classrooms, such as small dry erase boards, hand sanitizer, packs of hand wipes, reward stickers for the students, markers, etc. In addition, they included some items to encourage and bless the teachers, such as lip balm. We had a fun time working in assembly-line fashion while laughing and sharing our experiences.


Next post: Mana de Vide. After that: Child Protection and Restoration project. I can't wait to tell you all about them!