March, 2022

“I waited patiently for the Lord; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry.  He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.”  Psalm 40:1-2

To our dear faithful friends and prayer warriors,

            It’s a great privilege to share with you what the Lord has done and is doing in the mission work of Guatemala. The Lord has protected our family from infirmities, and is sovereign in all things, including the pandemic the world has gone through. After a short lockdown in Guatemala, with many restrictions, we were given permission to open our churches in October of 2020. We immediately opened up, yet noticed that various pastors, missionaries and leaders in other churches were afraid to do so, and sad to say some are still closed. We took a different approach in that it was a necessity to open the churches once again that the Word of God would be proclaimed. To this very day, we have not had any problems with the virus and we also continue to utilize Facebook to transmit our services.


            Looking back, we had a wonderful Christmas program with nineteen music specials on Christmas Eve, followed by a delicious dinner. Many families, individuals, and groups prepared special Christmas music, having practiced the whole month of December. The program was a blessing to all, including a number of visitors, who heard the Gospel message.

            The Trinitarian Bible Society of London, Grand Rapids Michigan branch, paid to publish here in Guatemala, 5,000 scriptural calendars. They donated the calendars, which have portions of Bible verses each day.  In a year’s time people get a lot of Bible. In our Los Angeles Church, some of the brethren were unable, for various reasons, to distribute the calendars and tracts in their area. So on December 28th we had a group of thirteen from our Montserrat church come to assist the two brethren from the Los Angeles Church in visiting over 700 homes. We went knocking on doors and gave a calendar and tract to so many, as a gift from our church. The Montserrat Church was able to distribute over 900 calendars in their area. Other calendars were given to the pastors of our CIEF-Guatemala churches.  Some gospel workers of other cities and towns requested that we ship calendars to them so that they could distribute them in their region; they paid the freight.  Some 1,000 color calendars were also shipped from the States, with a few people donating to help with the freight expense. We explained to the people that nothing is free on this earth except the Gospel of grace and faith. Everything else has expenses, like freight.


            Praise the Lord for the formation of a new Presbytery, made up of three Bible Presbyterian Churches with three pastors and three ruling elders. On Saturday, February 19th, ten of us climbed in the van at 5 am and left Guatemala City for the city of Mazatenango. We arrived at 8 am and the ladies of the church had breakfast ready for us. The six men met all morning and by 1 pm the documents to form the Presbytery had been signed by the six representatives. We have worked in all three churches for many years, making this day special. Hal had the privilege to declare the new Presbytery an official body to carry on the work of the church as a court, and oversee the spiritual and physical aspects of the churches. The official name chosen for the Presbytery is “GRACE AND FAITH PRESBYTERY OF THE BIBLE PRESBYTERIAN FUNDAMENTALIST CHURCH OF GUATEMALA”. A delicious lunch plate, called “PEPILLAN” (a spicy stew), and was served at 2 pm. After lunch we had a thanksgiving service honoring our God for allowing the formation of this Presbytery. After saying our goodbyes, we traveled back to Guatemala City. We had talked about a Presbytery for many years, but finally God brought it to fruition and we give Him the glory. Our newly formed Presbytery needs your prayers to help the pastors, elders, deacons and the members of these churches in ministry, directed by the Holy Spirit of God, to form new preaching points and congregations that will become churches so this Presbytery can grow. 


            From our hearts, we are grateful to God that the Historic Faith, Old Paths Bible Institute reopened Tuesday, February 15th,and has seven students. Classes are held in the evenings two nights a week from 6:45 to 9 pm. We have four classes: “The Book of Joshua and Modern Religious Problems”, “The Acts of the Apostles”, “Christology the Doctrine of Christ”, and “Eschatology the Doctrine of The End Times”. This year the classes are limited and free. Lord willing, next year we will have a complete array of Bible courses with additional professors and scholarships for four students to study and live in the completed dorm of the Monserrat church. Pray that many will be helped by studying and knowing the Bible, and that some will even be called into full-time ministry of the church and missions.


            Praise the Lord that more people came into the bookstore during the past Christmas season, for the special sales on Bibles and good Christian literature.  However, after Christmas there was a drop-off of people visiting our store due to the rise of infections.  Yet we praise the Lord that because of the virus people are asking us to ship them Bibles, literature and other books by freight to their homes in the city, suburbs and also to the different regions of the country.


            We praise the Lord that the second application for civil association to the government was accepted; now CIEF-Guatemala is officially a “Non Lucrative Civil Association” with the privilege to hold property.

            Because of sickness and change of schedules, the last planned Executive Committee meeting of CIEF for February had to be cancelled. We are still working on presenting publicly, in conferences, the theme on “SACRED MUSIC IN BIBLE BELIEVING CHURCHES”. The pastors and elders of CIEF are still taking turns teaching and preaching at the CIEF Church of Chimaltenango. We pray that some of the old Pentecostal tendencies will diminish by good sound Bible teaching.


            The deacon who was shot in the barber shop by a stray bullet may not need a fourth operation. In his last exam the doctor said that the bullet wound now has a very thin skin covering the area that previously would not heal. There is no more leaking fluid, so the doctor decided to wait to see how the healing continues. The doctor is content that he is walking better than expected.  Yet, because of the injury, Brother Hector can’t lift heavy things without injury. Because Hector is not able to work yet, his family still needs financial help. His wife and two sons (ages 10 and 13) are working some to help support the family. Pray for this family.


            On Sunday February 20th Hal was preaching in the Montserrat church on “Dedication” and exhorted the brethren to dedicate their lives to the Lord and work in His service.  Six stood up slowly, one-by-one, and he asked them to come forward so he could pray for them.  Hal didn’t ask them to just raise their hands because the whole Church would have raised their hands.  Pray that they will keep their vows and dedicate fully their lives to Christ and his work.

Finally brethren, Lord willing, we may see some of you in April as we visit some churches.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Yours missionaries for Christ,
                                                                                                     The Rickers
                                                                                                                       Hal, Stephen, Juanita, Samuel and Joshua