Sunday, 29 November -0001 19:00

A New Reformed Church in Chihueza

Written by Rev. E. Everts
On Thursday, August 7th, the consistory of the Reformed Church of Cubulco made a visit to the brothers and sisters in the aldea of Chihuez‡. They had invited us for a meeting in which they wanted to choose a name for their newly constructed church building and to make plans for the inauguration of the church.
It was about five years ago that the brothers (obreros) of the Reformed Church of Cubulco had led campaigns to evangelize the southwest region of the Cubulco area. The brothers had a hard time. Because the people were strong in their religion, a mixture of pagan and Roman Catholic beliefs, there was a lot of opposition. But the Lord gave them His strength to continue the work and He blessed their testimony to the hearts of some people who did show interest in the Gospel.

One of the first persons who became involved with this evangelization work was Jer—nimo PŽrez Ram’rez of Chihuez‡. In his house they started Bible studies on a regular basis supported by the obreros of the Cubulco church. Other family members became interested and started attending the meetings. In this way the group of Chihuez‡ grew larger and stronger through the years. At the same time a desire grew to have a church building.

This group of believers in Chihuez‡ distinguished itself in their more independent way of organizing their own church life. When a worker of Cubulco is not present, they still have their meetings. When all the men are working on the finca (sugar plantations), as they usually have to do for some weeks or months, there is a woman who leads a meditation with the women and the children.

This relative independency also implies that it was not always self-evident that they would continue their relationship with us. The brothers sometimes were somewhat vague about this. Occasionally, we noticed that members were visiting other churches when they were staying in the village of Cubulco. There is also a certain amount of influence of the Pentecostal churches, for instance in the worship services, which we see also in churches in the other aldeas. The Pentecostal movement has largely spearheaded the history of the evangelistic missions in Guatemala. It is part of our continuing struggle to teach the people to think and practice the Reformed way.

So, when the Chihuez‡ members came to the consistory with the petition for a church building we discussed this concern too. Brother Jer—nimo and the others explained clearly that they wanted to be a part of the Reformed church. They talked with much respect about the way in which the Lord had brought our ways together and how they had been blessed by the Reformed teaching.

When we discussed the building of the church, they mentioned that they had collected an amount of money and how they planned to do the construction work. They made a petition to the Free Reformed mission for the balance, but it was not as much as we had expected.

Sometimes their way of thinking is difficult to understand. For example, a year ago they bought an amplifier for their future church, with a capacity quite a bit larger than we have in our church in Cubulco. And in the area of Chihuez‡, high on the mountain, electricity is not even available, although they probably will get it in the near future.

Anyway, the brothers and sisters do have a zeal to seek the Lord, and they are willing to give their time and energy for His service. So, they had begun to make adobe (bricks of clay) for the construction of their church building. But the work was not without trouble. When they had built the walls, but not yet constructed the roof, it started raining. The result was that one of the walls felt down. It was difficult to reconstruct the wall. Another aspect is that the majority of the brothers have to work on the finca from time to time to earn some money for the necessities of the family. But they succeeded in constructing the building as you can see on the pictures.

Last Thursday we had a special meeting to decide about the name of the church. Because the church is on a high place we thought about the name of a mountain in the Bible. But after some discussion, the members who were present decided that the name of the church should be ÒIglesia Reformada Jesus, el buen PastorÓ (ÒReformed Church Ð Jesus, the Good Shepherd, John 10:11Ó).

This name expresses the desire of the church-members of Chihuez‡. They want to follow Jesus Christ, because we need Him as our Saviour because it is good to be under His care. We hope and pray that the brothers and sisters, with their children will be strengthened more and more in their walk with Him. He gives his Word and His Spirit to guide his flock.

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