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Mark 13:36 — “If he comes suddenly, do not let him find you sleeping.”
About forty miles from where we live in Guatemala, there is a sacred Mayan worship site situated among ruins pre-dating the birth of Christ. The place is called Ixcimche’. There is a flurry of activity around this area as the Mayan calendar draws to a close. This calendar marks the total destruction of the world.
On any given day the aroma of burning carcasses fills the air. The smell comes from animal sacrifices placed on a crude stone altar erected by the priests of the indigenous people. The great hope of the ceremony’s participants is that the many gods, who will soon wreak havoc upon this area and the entire world, would be appeased and possibly spare human lives.
Scattered among the debris of fruit and vegetable offerings, bones, and singed animal fur are burning candles with images of various Catholic saints. Rosaries can be found smoldering in the coals, and images of the Virgin Mary are respectfully added to the bizarre scene which has interwoven two religions into one in the hope of escaping eternal death.
There is indeed coming a day when the world in which we live will be forever changed. It will not be because of powerless false gods or because a Mayan calendar ends. It will be because the Most High God has determined it is time to return His Son to establish His Kingdom for the people who He loves.
We do not know the day nor the hour. What we do know is that we must be in a continued state of preparedness. How can we be prepared? By tirelessly being about the work to which He has called us: serving others, giving generously, loving without fail.
How will the Lord find you when He returns? Will you be in slumber or will you be actively engaged in His ministry?
1- The kids returned from the coast after a great time and brought back a lot of coconuts. 2- Everyone enjoyed playing volleyball. 3- The kids had a bon fire. Jefersson had an earache. 4- Jefersson was in charge of the service this morning. 5- We returned. Everything was fine, and we are thankful especially for Zucy and Lito who put in extra hours and Daniel who befriended Victor.
6- The kids spent the day reading new books and playing “tennis” on our soccer field. We had pizza and map coloring as we watched the election results via internet. 7-There was supposedly a big earthquake but I didn’t feel it—at 7.8. 8- I had Skittle-toss-in-the-mouth. Zucy clobbered the kids. 9- Today there was a 6.8, and I felt that one. We are working to send food staples to those affected by the earthquake. One of our staff members went to do trauma counseling with children in the area affected as well. I took some kids to the dentist. 10- Dentist again. I have taken ten children to the dentist the past two days. Two of those had NO cavities. Among the other eight there are SUPPOSEDLY 63 cavities. Mimi made breakfast. We had a penguin party with “Happy Feet 2”, penguin gummies, and Penguinos (which are our Guatemalan ding dongs but called Penguins).
11- Steve left before the sun rose to go to Mexico to do pastor training. Yeny made coconut ice cream. We had an 80%s and up party for those who made the honor roll last time: Andrew, Gerson, Mimi and Gerson. (Brandon too but he wasn’t here!!) 12- Connie and Marsha came. Steve had meetings with the Methodist bishop in Puebla. 13- The kids are working hard with Marsha and Connie on chair snow men. Rosita has done an incredible job at translating a Bible study book. 14- I took kids to get dental X-rays. Andrew went shopping and translating for the ladies. Steve was meeting the directors of the Methodist seminary in Mexico City. 15- A missionary dentist is going to see our kids. Yay! Unsought provisions are amazing. Carlos went with Lito to the market. Steve returned.
16- The ladies cooked a Chinese meal with which we just used chop sticks. 17- Steve and Company went to pick up Brandon for a few days. 18- We had a graduation service for Dorcas. Then we did some Christmas decorating before Geovany and Wagner left. 19- Mimi and Yeny went home with a nanny for a couple of days. We found out that Daniel nor Lupita got into the school where they had tried. Kids exercised with Steve. 20- An amazing thing happened. We received an offering to get braces on several kids!!!!! Our children are so, so blessed. So, we will be doing lots of orthodontist runs. The first two got their braces on.
21- Two more have braces on. 22- Happy Thanksgiving. Lito took Brandon back. 23- Last set of braces on. It has been a blessing for me to watch the kids with their prayer partners. 24- The missionary dentist saw our kids, and he calculates less than half the cavities exist. 25- Yaquelin had her junior high closing program. Steve preached at a church in Guatemala City. The children picked names for their Christmas gift exchange.
26- Yaquelin and Dorcas have found an apartment. Carlos and I went shopping. It took 2½ hours to enroll Gabriela and Brenda into 9th grade. 27- Gerson and Rosita went to the orthodontist. We got a surprise call wondering why Lupita was not at the school—so, she did get in to the second step and goes tomorrow for two and half weeks. 28- Steve and I took Lupita to ENCA. She cried as we left her there. If she makes the next cut she is in. It is a great place academically with some of the best teachers. 29- I led a math in-service with the elementary teachers. Steve was going to go to the city but had to turn around because of protests and road blocks. 30- I finished the in-service today. Steve did make it to the city. I went to help Dorcas and Yaquelin clean their apartment. It was (and still is) filthy!!
DECEMBER—4TH-Gerson (12 years) and 22nd-Geovany (20 years)
JANUARY—27TH Phillip (13 years) and Cesia (9 years old) and 31st Abraham (12 years old)