Friday, October 20, 2017

New Congregation-----Chicabracan


About two years ago, Favian was severely depressed.  Vicente, his friend heard about the clinic in Lemoa so he brought Favian to see if there was help available. Since that consult, many lives have been altered and the story continues to be written, as you read this today.

Before Favian visited the clinic in Lemoa, his life was the extreme of highs and lows. He associated with and was well known in several of the evangelical churches called, Principal de Paz.  He had purchased expensive instruments for worship and when the bills came due, this is when things started coming down.

Favian sold his land, left his family and traveled to The States to find enough money to pay his debts.  During the time in The States, his wife and children left him. He eventually returned to Guatemala but his previous circle of friends did not welcome him. He found he had nothing left. He had hit the bottom.

His situation overwhelmed him and he could not eat or sleep.  He was barely surviving. At Clinica Caris, he had a consult with Dr. Lisa and then met with Gaspar Chan, who is the evangelist in the Chichicastenango area for Health Talents.  Gaspar talked and prayed with Favian and made plans to visit him in Chicabracan.  

Gaspar visited Favian from 9am to 6pm, for three consecutive Wednesdays. After the third visit, Favian decided to become a Christian and to be baptized.  He wanted to let the past struggles disappear and make a fresh start.  While all of this was transforming, the instruments that Favian had purchased were stolen…….Favian’s response to this was, “They were stolen because at that time, I was not doing God’s will.  Because of that, God has allowed them to be taken.”

Favian was baptized in Lake Atitlan. He and Gaspar continued to have a close relationship and have planted a Church of Christ in Chicabracan. They continue to study with people and look to the Bible for the answers. Currently, there are twenty-two baptized members, with 14 children also attending the worship services.

Another lady in the community, is Marta, who also was associated with the Principal de Paz. She and her husband had alcohol problems so the community went to the authorities over what was happening in their home.  Their two children were removed due to violence and were placed in an orphanage. 

Marta was a self-proclaimed prophetess in the community, so Favian went to talk with her.  He told her that what she was claiming, was not God’s Will and could not be found in the Bible. They studied the scriptures together and about three weeks ago, she was baptized.  She stopped drinking, presented her baptism certificate to the authorities and now has her children back home with her.  She and her husband continue with their temporary separation.

In Febuary of 2018, Favian is moving to Guatemala City to attend BICA. BICA is a Bible Institute and he plans to study there for two years. 

He and Gaspar still have plans in the future to meet and continue to spread the gospel is Chicabracan.  

When talking to Gaspar, you know that he loves the work that he does.  He has been working in the area of Chichicastenango since 2006.  He was the first health care promoter with Health Talents, working with Kemmel and Lisa Dunham. He now spends the majority of his time evangelizing and visiting people in their homes. He often councils couples who are having marital problems. When asked how many people he has baptized during these last four years, he could roughly name forty but there is no way to number the lives that he has impacted with his Christian example.

Below, Juana, Gaspar's wife gives encouragement to Marta's two children.

This is the Chicabracan congregation.  Favian is the first man on the left and Vicente is the third man from the left.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Manuel and Medical Evalgelism

In April 20013, Health Talents started a new clinic in an area called Chicua.  We thought the clinic had great potential, being near the highway and in a good location.

On April 6th, we had seventeen patients waiting for us as we arrived. We quickly set up clinic and then prayed with everyone before starting.  
The first patient of the day was a diabetic man, in his mid-40’s and his name was Manuel. His blood sugar was out of control and he did not seek medical care on a regular basis.  We talked about diabetes and I gave him a teaching sheet to help him with his diet.  He asked how much the medicine was and I told him that it less expensive than the pharmacy’s because we were a ministry of The Church of Christ.  We talked a few minutes longer and then he said to me something that I will never, never forget.  He said, “I want to know more about this Church of Christ.” 
As soon as I returned home that afternoon, I called Gaspar to follow-up with Manuel.  The next morning, Gaspar traveled and walked almost three hours to find Manuel in Chicua. (Please remember that these small communities do not have street signs nor houses with numbers.) They studied the Bible for the remainder of that day, had dinner together that night and scheduled two more visits.

This is Medical Evangelism at work.  

On April 15th, Manuel was baptized with eight other people at Lake Atitlan. One of the other men that was baptized is a father to an epileptic child that I see monthly.  On that day, we rejoiced with the angels as those nine souls were added to the Book of Life (Rev. 3:5).

Manuel a few minutes before he was baptized.

 The baptism.

Manuel continued to struggle with the diabetes but was doing better.  From time to time, he would call me and be very upset.  He would say, “Sheri, I have fallen.  I have fallen.”  When I heard those words, I knew that he had started drinking again.  I would respond, “Manuel, we all fall.  The key is to get yourself back up, pray for forgiveness and return to the church and ask them to pray with you.  You cannot do it alone.” I then would hear from the community that Manuel was back on track.
Manuel lived a difficult life, as many people do.  On October 14, 2014, he died.  He lived a little over eighteen months after being baptized, when he was buried with Christ and washed of all of his sins.

The exciting part of this true story is, that Manuel knew he needed Christ.  He responded to the Medical Evangelism as it was presented to him. And because of this, we give God all of the glory!

We were able to help him with his medical situation and from that, we developed a good relationship with him.  It allowed doors to be opened so that we could assist him with his spiritual needs. He felt comfortable with us and trusted us.  

As I said before, to God be all of the glory!  Because of God, we have medicine to help or to heal many illnesses. Due to the death of His son, and the access to His blood, Manuel now has eternal life.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Follow-up on Daniel

A couple of months ago, I posted a story of a young boy named Daniel.  His eye had quickly became white and he had lost his vision. The mother had taken him to several different physicians but no one could give her an answer to what had happened to her child.

The ministry, Solomon's Porch contacted me about him and then we arranged for a consult with Dr. DeLeon at ASELSI. After seeing him, Dr. DeLeon wanted to proceed with an ultrasound in his office so those arrangements were made.  Two weeks later, we heard there was a malignant mass behind the eye and Daniel would need surgery to remove the mass and eye.

Today, I received word form Eugenia, the social worker with Solomon's Porch that Daniel has received his surgery and he is recovering well.  There are plans for placing a prosthesis in the near future.

Please pray for Daniel and his mom.  His mom is feeling very guilty for not getting help sooner but she tried.  I know she would appreciate your prayers for her comfort and peace and for Daniel's healing.

Thank you.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Men and Ladies Seminars

I want to introduce some friends of mine, Goyo, Sarah and Gigi. I met them several years ago when I attended Brewer Rd. Church of Christ and Goyo came to be the minister of the Spanish group there. We proceded with having tutoring classes on weekends and I took several children to camp with me when I was the camp nurse at CBC. They were here five years ago and then returned this week for three days on a study of Revelations for the men and two days on The Christian Home, for the ladies.

What a blessing they have been to many and I look foorward to catching up with them in Nasheville.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Clinic in Mactzul II

For the last two days, we have been in different communities doing our physical and dental consults with the ABC Children.  I would like to introduce you to Sandra, who use to be an ABC Child of my friend, Jeanie.  Jeanie sponsored Sandra, who lives in Mactzul V,  for many years.  She now has graduated and is working at the desk in Hotel Santo Tomas.  She has become quite a young lady and has developed self-confidence over the years. I am very excited for her and her new opportunity. 

We headed out to Mactzul I today, for our last clinic with this group.  They have been fantastic and have worked hard!

This is Gabriela that lives in Mactzul II.  She is sponsored by Jodi and has had the opportunity to meet Jodi twice.  Gabriela is doing well in school and wanted to say hi to Jodi.

Julie and Dave are with us today and they saw again, their ABC Child, Esvin.  Julie is here with Esvin and his sister.  Thank you Julie and Dave for sponsoring a child!

When Jeanie finished with all of the vital signs, she started showing the children photos that she had on her camera.  She developed instant friends!!

At the end of the day, we had seen thirty ABC Children and seventeen regular patients.  Everyone stayed busy and it was a good day.

Before we left, we had to have a photo of Dr. Jim and Dra. Aura.  They have known each other for a few years now and it is always good to have people return and to share in the work of Health Talents.

We finished the day with thirty ABC Children and seventeen regular patients.

One group shot before we close..............what a great time we had.  It is always a little sad when people come down for a few days of clinic and help us.

Ephesians 1:15-16........Therefore, because I have heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all of the saints, I never stop giving thanks for you as I mention you in my prayers.

We will remember in our prayers, those who came to help, those who came to serve and those who are our brothers and sisters in Christ.  We pray for your safe travels and that God will continue to bless you and your work, always keeping Christ the center of your life.....................until we meet again.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Another ABC Clinic in Mactzul I

This morning after breakfast, we met in the parking lot for our instructions.  I do not know what what was said but you can tell that whatever it was, it really cracked them up!  Who said that work can not be fun??

Today we split in two groups and our group headed to Mactzul I.  We quickly set up the clinic and started seeing patients.

Dr. Dave is with Julie again.  Julies is translating for Dave as they begin to see ABC Children.

This is Dr. Mike and he begins with patients who are not ABC Children so that we can see anyone that comes to the clinic.

 Enrique is back to his dental cleaning and doing a fine job!

Dr. Jim and Julie talking as they wait for the anesthesia to take effect.  Micaela is helping them today and she is Martina's sister.  Micaela does not always work with us but helps out when there is a need.

This is Aura and Martina with an ABC Child.

Jeanie continues today to do heights, weights and vital signs on the children.

Alicia doing a dental exam on an ABC Child with red dye.  The students brush first, then apply red dye.  This way, we can evaluate if the child brushes well or if there is a lot of plaque. Lidia reviews the students book and completes the information after the exam is done.

We finished the day with fifty ABC Children and six regular patients.  A very good day with safe travels, which we are always thankful for.

We enjoyed dinner and then a devotional time together.

This is the fireplace in our room.  It has been chilly so this was a special gift from a friend, Debra.  Thank you!

Tomorrow is another day and more adventures!!  We will have groups going to two different locations and continue to see ABC Children.