He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most high shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty…He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in Him will I trust…Thou shalt not be afraid…there shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling…For He shall give His angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways!
Praise the Lord from whom all blessings flow! He is with us at all times to keep and bless His obedient people! We give Him praise for His keeping power. We look to Him for all things, and He never fails! What a blessing it is to enjoy the love and warmth in the hollow of His hand. We are thankful that He has protected us and our families and all of you in the States during this pandemic experience and we hope none of you have had the virus.
(everything was turned upside-down in the last few months, as we all know!)
- Our March CIEF-Guatemala Round-Table Discussion and Conference, which was to be held in La Gomera, one of the pacific coastal towns.
- The May 1st Sunday School picnic that everyone looked forward to each year. (Poor kids)
- All our church services. Our last service, in both churches, was Sunday, March 15th. Due to the corona virus, the President of Guatemala had given permission for assemblies under 100. But by March 16th he changed his mind and canceled ALL PUBLIC MEETINGS regardless of number. He ordered a daily curfew, which stated: “Lockdown 4 p.m. until 4 a.m.” Later, he changed the time to 5 p.m. until 4 a.m., and soon made many more changes. So, now curfew is at 6 p.m. until 5 a.m., but only Monday through Friday. Saturday and Sunday remain complete lockdowns. June 1st started well with a good change, no more complete lockdowns on weekends, just 6 p.m. to 5 a.m. every day, and all subject to change, of course. Evelyn said she was going to call the president, and beg him to change the schedule to something simpler because her 94 year-old brain cannot keep it together. She could not remember 4 until 6, 5 until 5, 4 until 4, or walk with her walker, go in the car, bus or plane!
- Our “Historic Faith Old Paths Bible Institute” was canceled from the very beginning of the lockdown on March 16th. We had hoped that it could reopen in May, but it was not allowed. Pray we will soon be able to open again together with our Montserrat and Los Angeles Churches.
- Our Trinitarian Bible Society and Book Store had to be closed March 17th and was opened recently when the President allowed the strip malls to reopen. Our Bible Society sold three Bibles since its reopening.
- Our beautiful “Words of Life” colored calendars did not come this year from Bolivia, where the Trinitarian Bible Society of London prints them. We assume that they were either lost or stolen. We were only able to give out the black and white “Golden Thoughts” calendars in the two Guatemala City church areas and we were not able to go and distribute any up in the hills and villages outside of the city.
Praise the Lord for Victories
- Since the brethren of our congregations cannot go to a service, Stephen and Juanita made weekly rounds taking Bible sermons, Sunday School lessons, prayer lists, and other spiritual printed materials to the homes of those who do not have today’s technology at hand. This enabled them to have worship time in their own homes with their families. Those who use today’s technology receive the same materials by email, WhatsApp, and can also log into our virtual church services via “SBtrinitariaguatemala” on Facebook and “joshua andrew ricker huamantinco” on YouTube, each Sunday at 10:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. If you understand Spanish, you can join us as well. There have been good responses from those of our churches and others in Guatemala, in Central and South America, and even from other parts of the world. Our desire is to follow up on some of those contacts. We, as a family also have our Thursday night prayer meeting at home.
- During these uncertain and changing times some of the brethren from our churches and other churches of CIEF-Guatemala, have lost their jobs and their families are suffering hardships. Both the Montserrat and Los Angeles churches together, along with funds that came from the IBPFM, have been able to help the needy with food packages and medicine and will continue to do so as needed.
- From Evelyn: “Yes, here I am, and doing well for 94 on June 7! I really can’t believe it! Praise His name. On February 18th my left knee was successfully operated on, as I had fallen and fractured my knee cap. Anesthetized from the waist down, I was aware of the doctor’s conversations during the surgery! Two days in the hospital, and then I went home. The doctor came to the house when it was time for the stitches to be removed. One month later, I had another x-ray, and Stephen emailed it to the doctor. The doctor said that it was ‘excellent…beautiful!’ I haven’t seen the doctor since! The President of Guatemala does not want the elderly to go outside if at all possible, so I (since my operation) have been out of the house three times (once to get the x-ray, and twice when we could go to the church with just the family to broadcast the virtual church service). On one of the church visits I didn’t go in the front entrance, and I went in the side door with stairs! A bicycle fell over on me, and gave me a gash in the right arm! Later on I felt the bike had hit me a little on the one side of my wounded knee! Lord, here I am again….help me please! Well, I am fine again! He answered our prayers. Thank you so much. I continue here in the house, and use the walker sometimes. Keep praying, please. Love you so much!”
May our heavenly Father be with all of us, protecting and keeping each one for His glory. His coming is so eminent, and may many more be ready to meet Him!
Lovingly, and waiting to see Christ face to face,
Hal, Evelyn, Stephen, Juanita, Samuel, and Joshua