Sunday, 29 November -0001 19:00

A Cubulco Wedding for Kathryn Herfst

Written by Rev. Herfst
It was with mixed emotions that we began our trip back to Cubulco to attend the wedding of our daughter, Kathryn, to Alejandro Ortiz, a dear friend and brother in the Lord. This would be a trip like none other.

It began, rather curiously, with the US Immigration Officer remembering that Kathryn had passed by his inspection booth only a few weeks earlier. After asking us where we were going and why, he paused and asked, ÒDid your daughter come through here about three weeks ago? I remember a young woman with a big white bag carrying her wedding dress and an even bigger smile. I wondered where her parents were?Ó Our presence confirmed KathrynÕs story and we were soon on our way.

The next morning, November 5th, found us in the National Palace where the Mission, as well as other volunteers, schools and teachers, received a medal and engraved plaque for the work done in support of literacy. It was moving to be there: listening once again to the Guatemalan National Anthem and then witnessing Pastor Everts receive the recognition on behalf of the Mission. Last year I wrote that our involvement in literacy had created something of an earthquake in linguistic circles. This award is an indication of the impact the work of the Mission and many volunteers has made on a national level. One government official commented that many organizations are involved in literacy work. ÒThe fact that the Mission was honoured in this way is an indication that the work has been outstanding,Ó he said. At the wedding I acknowledged the many people who had made this recognition possible, noting that while the Mission facilitated the work, the Achi themselves did the work.

Late Wednesday night, we arrived in Cubulco and the next few days were spent in preparation for the wedding: arranging flower baskets, decorating, and all the other last minute details. Periodically, we managed to slip out and say hello to friends and neighbours. The Bible Institute was in session the same week, so we could see the lay pastors and other students from the distant mountain communities.

On Saturday afternoon, in accordance with Guatemalan law, Kathryn and Alejandro were married by a lawyer in a civil ceremony attended by a small group of family and friends. Later that evening, a radiant Kathryn wearing her grandmotherÕs wedding gown (Mrs. Teresa. Brokking) was led up the aisle by both her parents to be given to an equally beaming groom. I was privileged to preach the wedding sermon based on Philippians1:6, and marry them before God and his people. Following the service, the Sunday school children sang and gave gifts to the couple and then tamales and cake were served to an overflowing congregation. The church was packed and even the extra chairs and benches werenÕt enough to accommodate all the well-wishers.

It was good to gather with the congregation again on the LordÕs Day and see that God has continued adding new members.

Time passed all too quickly and by Monday morning we were traveling back to Guatemala City again.

People often ask what it is like to Òleave a daughter behind in Guatemala?Ó As missionaries we have learned to say good-bye to our own parents and family. It is never ÔeasyÕ but God gives strength and grace. At the same time, as parents we are profoundly thankful that our children--daughter and son-in-law--want to serve God in spreading the gospel in Cubulco. We can then entrust them to the LORD being fully convinced that He who has begun the good work in them will perfect it until the day of Jesus Christ.

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