Partners With The Rickers In Guatemala

May, 2022

Dear prayer warriors and supporters,

              Psalm 107:1-2 tells us “O give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good: for His mercy endureth for ever. Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy.” We thank the Lord for you and all He allows us to do for Him.

              On March 14 we traveled from Guatemala to Bradenton, Florida. On March 15and 16 Hal had Veterans Hospital appointments for blood work and the foot clinic for adjustments to the ankle apparatus they made for his fallen arch. After returning to Florida from our time in the northeast on April 26, Hal received another lung x-ray and was able to see his regular doctor.  The doctor had the blood work results and gave him a clean bill of health, instructing him to keep doing what he was doing for he was in good shape. On May 4the family returned to Guatemala and to the missionary work they enjoy doing. The Lord is helping them catch up on many things. On Sunday, May 8, some type of short-term virus affected Hal. As he was teaching the adult Sunday school lesson at the Montserrat church, he started feeling weak. He was able to finish administering the Lord’s Supper in the worship service, but then went home with a fever and was in bed until Tuesday. Wednesday he felt better after taking antibiotics and a special syrup to help him with heavy phlegm, and was able to return to work at the Trinitarian Bible Society. By Sunday, May15, he was able to preach at the Los Angeles Church in the morning with a Mother’s Day message, and celebrate the Lord’s Supper. That night in the Monserrat church he was able to give the same message. We praise the Lord for He is giving Hal strength again.

              While in the US, paperwork for a lawsuit was delivered to the Monserrat church accusing Stephen and Hal of speaking evil against the Roman Catholics and their church doctrine. After further review and legal opinion, it was determined that it was a fake document using the Guatemalan Public Ministry stationary. It seems their purpose was to instill fear so we would stop talking about them. We love the Catholics, but reject their unbiblical doctrine!


            The end of March through April were full of activities visiting the churches in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Maryland, reporting on the work the Lord is doing in Guatemala.  The churches treated our family royally with such kind hospitality and friendship.  We traveled in our motor home from Bradenton, Florida to Collingswood, New Jersey for our first stop.  We thank the brethren in Collingswood for allowing us to make our base of operations at the Collingswood BP church property and all their facilities, which helped us immensely. It turned out to be a good central location to visit the different churches, friends and supporters in the area. The fellowship with the saints was wonderful, and they showed interest in missions; now more people are praying for our ministry. We thank the Lord for the people He has raised up to pray and support us. After the April 24 church service, luncheon, and a PowerPoint presentation in Jackson N.J. we started our drive back to Florida as Hal had some medical appointments to attend to on Tuesday and Wednesday. We were south-bound on I-95 about 60 miles north of Richmond, Virginia, when all of a sudden the vehicle was engulfed in smoke. We were able to quickly move to the side of the road and get out of the RV with fire extinguishers in hand. As we exited we saw a few balls of fire coming from underneath the engine compartment which quickly were extinguished on their own. After determining we were no longer in danger, we gathered together and thanked the Lord for protecting us. Shortly after we prayed the firemen and State Police arrived. They checked everything and spread oil absorbing pellets as transmission fluid was all over the highway. The firemen gave us a detailed account of the call that came in to them and we quote, “RV Southbound 95 in mountains of smoke and great balls of fire”. We do not believe they saw what they expected to see when they arrived. Before the firemen left, Stephen told them that all these things had happened so that we might give them a gospel tract, that could change their eternal destiny. The firemen said, “Thank you and I hope you have a better rest of the day!” While we waited 45 minutes for a tow truck, Stephen was able to determine that the transmission filter gasket had failed and not a ruptured oil line as we thought. The failed gasket cause fluid to spray all over the hot exhaust pipe and muffler, which caused the smoke and fire. We praised the Lord that the transmission still had a little fluid left (it holds close to two gallons) and that the transmission wasn’t damaged. We were finally towed to a Wal-Mart parking lot at the next exit where we bought some supplies, oil and filter to make repairs – but the gasket did not work, so we spent the night there. Early Monday morning Stephen and the boys walked half a mile to an auto parts store to get a new filter.  Everything was cleaned up, checked out, and by 9:30 am we were able to continue our drive to Florida where we arrived safely at 2:30 am Tuesday morning. Praise the Lord Hal was able to keep the doctor’s appointment that day at the Veterans Hospital. God is always very good and supplied all our needs, and we are grateful to Him.


            Praise the Lord that in our absence many Bibles, Christian books, booklets and tracts were ordered and sent out by freight to homes in various parts of Guatemala. Word was received that the Trinitarian Bible Society of London and Grand Rapids, Michigan have completed their Revision of the Spanish Bible and they are working on publishing it. We believe it is an accurate version because they followed the Textus Receptus. There will now be four good accurate Spanish Bibles to choose from. We wish the Spanish speaking people would have only one good Bible version to choose from like the English speaking people have in the KJV.  Now, Spanish speaking people have to choose which of the four they prefer. Some will like one and some will like another.


            Praise the Lord for many pastors of the CIEF-Guatemala who take turns going to preach and teach the Word to the adults and children of the Chimaltenango church. Pastor Juan, who is sometimes absent due to heart issues, is very happy for their help.

            Deacon Hector from the church, who had a bullet wound dating back to 2020, is again awaiting a fourth operation for skin grafting as his wound reopened and is not healing. The Guatemala Social Security hospital keeps postponing the operation due to a shortage of hospital beds. Pray for his family and the financial help they still need due to Hector being out of work.

            The church needs a piano player that will help them keep the tempo when singing. When Samuel or Joshua (Hal’s grandsons) visit the church, they really make a difference in the singing with the accompaniment. 

            The executive committee men of CIEF have met various times, and among other things are preparing a conference on the important subject of “Spiritual Music in the Faithful Church”.  We have accumulated much material on this worthwhile subject. To have more time to prepare a public meeting, a date was set for August 15 (which is a holiday in Guatemala City) and is our annual Bible Conference day. This will be a free day and more people from other churches will be able to attend and learn.  Please pray that this meeting will be a blessing to many pastors, brethren and their churches.


            Praise the Lord the Bible Institute is now running smoothly again with its seven students.  We reopened May 10 after seven weeks of closure due to our mini-deputation trip. Lord willing, next year, we expect to have more professors with more courses offered.  There is a possibility that some foreign students will come and be resident students.  We have room and board facilities for four students. Please pray with us that our Lord will bless this small Bible Institute.


            As you know, the Lord has allowed the formation of a new Presbytery here, and we look forward to having its first organized meeting on Saturday, May 28, in the Montserrat church. One matter of business will be to set up a fund to purchase a used pickup truck for Pastor Vigilio Barillas of the Mazatenango BP Church and member of the Presbytery. His church is small and does not receive enough tithes to sustain their Pastor, especially during the pandemic the past couple years. In years past he had an old small pickup that he used for moving people’s belongings and transporting children to schools where he earned some money to help support himself and his wife. He would like to do that work again. The Pastor is up in age and he and his wife both have constant medical needs also. We believe we can purchase a used pickup that will help them with their needs for about US$4,500.  Would you like to help us in this worthwhile project? If so, mark your gift “GUATEMALA PASTORS PICKUP” and send it in to the Mission Board.

            May our Lord richly bless all of you for your prayers and support of the work in Guatemala.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Yours missionaries for Christ,

                                                                                                     Hal, Stephen, Juanita, Samuel and Joshua