Sunday, 29 November -0001 18:42

Teenagers Eager to Study the Word

Written by Mary Overduin
Since about half June the rain has started and most of the time I am no longer able to go on my early morning walks. We are very thankful for the rain. One really does learn to appreciated it in countries like these, and the mud and inconvenience do not really seem to bother anyone.

This time I would like to tell you about a class I started with two young girls from our church. They are daughters of Froilan and Rosa. Rev. Herfst has been doing individual Bible studies with Froilan right from the beginning and Rosa was the fist one with whom I had Bible studies. They have six children, of which five are still living at home. There are four boys and two girls. The two girls are teenagers. Eulalia is 14 years old and Box (pronounced Bosh) is 15 years old. They are really the only ones of this age in our church. During the Easter break there were many activities for youth in the other evangelical churches, as well as in the Roman Catholic church. It was at that time that I realized we really had nothing for this age group. On Sundays Rev. Herfst teaches an adult Sunday School class while I teach the Sunday School for the children. They really do not fit in either one of these groups.

As I generally visit with Box about a half hour each day to practice a bit of Achi conversation, I asked her if she and her sister were interested in a Bible study class with me. They were very eager!

We started in the beginning of May. They come every Tuesday evening from 7 p.m. to 8.30 p.m. We start with prayer and singing. We sing both Spanish and Achi songs. Then we work on a few Catechism (Compendium) questions. I have them learn two or three questions each week. This was totally new for them and it took a while, but now they are learning them quite well. This class is all in Spanish. I am learning the answers as well, as it is good practice for my Spanish. For the Bible study part I gave them a choice of several topics: a Bible book, different biblical themes or persons, or doctrines of the Bible. They chose to first study doctrines. Some of the topics we have already studied are: God, the Bible, creation, man before and after the fall, and we are presently starting with Jesus, His divine and human natures. Thankfully, there was a booklet in the library in Spanish which is quite helpful and I also received a small booklet which discusses doctrines of the Bible in a simple way for young people. Last week I gave them their first test, mostly just to see if they are understanding it. On the whole they did not do badly. Eulalia finds it much easier to learn and memorize than Box. This is not always easy for Box and she tends to have a bit of an inferiority complex, so I try to emphasize that the most important thing is that we understand and do our best. At the end we sing some more and close with prayer. Then we have refreshments. I always try to have something special, like pie or cake. If there is still time, they like to look at my photo books. One week I showed them my cross stitching work, which they liked very much, so I bought two small kits for them in Guatemala City. They looked like they would be easy, but in reality they turned out to be quite difficult. This week they were just practising the stitches.

I found out from Connie Otten that you can buy pieces of material here in Cubulco(!) with a simple cross stitch design on them, so Connie and I went to look and I was able to buy some. This will be much easier for them, at least to learn. They were quite excited when I gave it to them and started right away. Although Eulalia had some trouble with the practice cross stitches, she seems to be doing alright now. As it is already quite dark at 8.30 I always bring them home. I take my bike and they take turns riding it. Frequently, especially if they are a little late, Rosa will be standing on the road on the lookout! They only live several blocks away from my house. Now, with the rain and mud, we sometimes have to take a detour, as the road past my house gets quite muddy.

All three of us are really enjoying this time together. Please pray for them that they may understand what they learn and that they may have true saving faith.

Since a few weeks ago I am now also having the same lessons with Juliana. You may remember that she is the young woman who lives in an aldea about two to two and a half-hours away from Cubulco. She comes to my house for Bible study every other Saturday afternoon. We had started with the course that Rev. Herfst is also teaching at the Bible School, but it turned out that this Bible course is just too difficult for her.

For your interest, the photo in the Mission News insert in the May Messenger of the Achi mother preparing the tortillas, is a photo of Rosa.

As I write this letter I still do not have my visa. Please continue to pray for this.

May the Lord bless and keep you all.

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