Sunday, 29 November -0001 19:00

Letter From Mary

Written by Mary Overduin
The following excerpts are from a recent report of Mary Overduin, missionary worker in Cubulco, Guatemala.'
LadiesÕ Bible Study Class
Since the beginning of the hear our Bible study class meets in the afternoon. This allows for both Martha and Jackie to also attend, as they home-school their children in the morning. The attendance is usually between eight to twelve women, as both Jackie and Martha take along the women who work for them.

We start with singing--usually quite a few songsÑas the women really enjoy it. After the Bible study we have now started to teach the women how to knit. We had also shown them crocheting, but they all preferred to start with knitting. There is a lot of laughter, as they still make many mistakes! Next week we hope to show them the purl stitch and when they are able to do both the knit and purl stitches we will start to teach them how to knit a sweater.

Besides helping them to learn to knit this activity provides for a time of fellowship together and helps to promote unity.

Visiting the Sick and Elderly
There are three women who regularly come to visit me, asking for food. One of them is Pauline. She came weekly. I found it very difficult to communicate with her, partly because it is difficult to understand her and because she simply does not listen. Discussing the matter once with John and Connie Otten, we decided it would be an idea to let her listen to the Achi Bible tapes. This turned out to be a good idea. She enjoys it very much and always asks for morel. Several months ago she became too ill to come, so, together with Lydia, I went to visit her at her house. She lives about twenty-five minutes walking (climbing) from Cubulco, together with one of her daughters and family. When we arrived she was laying on the dirt floor in the kitchen; she was very ill. We really advised her to go to the hospital, but she was very reluctant coming up with many excuses. The main problem, however, was that she was afraid. Someone she knew had recently gone to a hospital and had died shortly thereafter! However, three days later she did go. She received medication but quit taking it after one day, as she said that the medication made her sick to her stomach.

After the first visit I asked Rosa to come with me weekly. Rosa works for me and is a member of our church. Many other members of RosaÕs family also come along with us often, like her husband Froilan, when he is not working, and her children. One time even her mother-in-law of 78 years old came with us. We take the cassette recorder along and pray, sing and listen to the Bible reading. Pauline appreciates it. Presently she is doing somewhat better. Pauline is not a Christian and does not attend any church, but she is showing more interest in the Word of God. Recently, when she went to stay at the home of another daughter, she came by to tell us since she did not want to miss our visit. She has asked to have a service at her house. Rev. Herfst and Santiago will visit her. So far she has always refused to come to church. Please do pray for her.

Besides visiting Pauline, we visit two other women who live along the same road. One is Maria, the mother of Abelino (the gardener here at the mission compound). She is about 84 years old and cannot walk. She lives by herself in a house very close to Abelino. When we visit her she is always sitting on a mat in front of her one-room home. Maria is a Christian and loves to sing along when we sing the Achi hymns.

The third woman we visit is the mother of Alejandro, who used to be the translator for Rev. Herfst on Sundays. Since her daughter (Sabina) and family moved far away in connection with work, she is very lonely. She too is a Christian.

It is a joy to make these weekly visits. When I am unable to go, Rosa will go by herself with some of her family. Rosa cannot read, but the Bible reading is done on the tape and the children can read the hymns; besides, they know most of them by memory.

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