Sunday, 29 November -0001 19:00

Mission Deputies Visit Cubulco

Written by Rev. C. Pronk
As we do every year, our denominational Mission Committee sent two of Its members to Guatemala to visit our mission team in Cubulco. The purpose of such visits is to confer with the mission personnel, discuss strategy, plan for future projects, resolve conflicts if any, and of course, encouraging each other in the Lord. This year the Committee appointed pastors Pronk and VanderMeyden to this task. We left on Monday, February 9 and returned on Wednesday, February 19. We had a good visit with the Herfsts and DeSterkes as well as the Ottens who, as you know, are employed by Word and Deed/AMG.

The labours of pastor Herfst are being blessed by the Lord, especially in recent months, as there has been a remarkable expansion of the work in the mountain aldeas. There are now three small groups who regularly meet for worship in their simple buildings which have been constructed last year. There are plans for evangelizing two new areas where prospects for church planting look very promising. In addition to Santiago and Chemito, elders of the church, several other young men have been converted and are being trained as evangelists. The earlier opposition from Catholics and some Pentecostal groups is easing up somewhat, although it can Hare up again at any moment. But there definitely seems to be a growing interest in the Gospel of free grace by those who have been exposed to the superficial teachings of charismatic groups. In Cubulco itself a new church building is under construction and will be completed sometime in June, DV. In a relatively short time the Lord has done great things through pastor Herfst and his fellow workers. He is very busy and would very much like to see another missionary and/or missionary worker coming to Cubulco to assist him. May the Lord of the harvest send forth more labourers also into that part of His vineyard.

As for Gary DeSterke, his translation work is also making good progress. He is assisted by two able Achi and Spanish speaking men, Leonardo and Mateo, who are presently working on a Spanish-Achi interlinear They have almost completed the book of Genesis and are about half-way through Proverbs. This will greatly facilitate the work of translating the Old Testament into Achi.

Another interesting development worth mentioning is that the Guatemalan government has begun a literacy program in the Cubulco area with a view to teaching the Achi Indians to read and write in their own language, and guess what, they are using for readers several Bible translations which Gary and his team have produced, including Genesis 1-11. How marvelous are God's doings! He is using a secular organization CONALFA which is sponsored by UNICEF! to promote the cause of the Gospel. Among the first words the Achi will learn to spell and read are those that come from God's own Word which alone makes sinners wise unto salvation!

The families Herfst and DeSterke are doing well. The children are healthy and showing a real interest in the Gospel and the work of missions. One discouraging thing is that the DeSterkes are still waiting for the adoption papers of their youngest child, Jonathan. Apparently the birth mother is having second thoughts about giving up her son for adoption which means it is possible, although not likely, that the DeSterkes may have to surrender the child they have grown to love. The very thought of having to lose this beautiful child is a heavy burden for them. Please pray that the Lord will prevent this from happening!

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