Partners With The Rickers In Guatemala

March, 2024

“Grace to you, and peace, from God our father and the Lord Jesus Christ. I thank my God, making mention of thee always in my prayers, Hearing of thy love and faith, which thou hast toward the Lord Jesus, and towards all saints”. Philemon 3-5

Dear brethren in the Lord,

            We want to thank God for believers like you, who pray for us and the ministry He has called us to fulfill in Guatemala.  We have been friends for so many years and we thank you for your sacrifice in financial support and your helpful prayers to keep us going in the wonderful labor of love in the Lord Jesus, King of Kings.

Vacation Bible School for Montserrat Church

            In the first part of last December, we had the second VBS for the Montserrat Church.  We didn’t have as many children as last year, but we had more parents come to the closing exercise where they received a color calendar for their attendance.  Each class sang and gave a good presentation of what they learned.  Bible verses were studied, catechisms were given, and Bible stories were explained.  The Lord supplied the teachers, who dedicated their time in the service of the Lord. We are most happy that some of the children thanked the Lord in prayer at the counseling sessions, thanking Jesus for dying on the cross for their sins.

Christmas Programs

            Praise the Lord for the two Christmas Programs held on Sunday December 24th at the Montserrat and Los Angeles Churches. Adults, young people, and children participated with hymns, duets, trios, quartets, scripture readings and instrumental specials.  All together there were 23 individual items in the program, after which a delicious Christmas meal was served including the traditional hot fruit punch.  On December 30th we had the social night, followed by a very special prayer time to end the year.

5,000 Scriptural Calendars Were Distributed

            Praise the Lord as we received colored calendars, “Words of Life”, from the Trinitarian Bible Society of London and Grand Rapids Michigan. They were given to individuals and our church brethren. In December and January, we started giving out these calendars in the three churches area (Montserrat, Los Angeles, and Chimaltenango).  We will still distribute more in some of the villages surrounding the Los Angeles Church.  Other churches in other towns also received the calendars to freely distribute.  Most of these churches and individuals from Guatemala gave donations and offerings to help pay for the printing, which was about $1645. Currently, we only have $290 left to pay to close out this project. The picture above is Juanita (left) and other members of the distribution team.

Mazatenango BP Church

            Pray for Pastor Vigilio and his wife, who have had some health issues. The Presbytery pickup loaned to him has been put to good use. The truck has been a blessing in supplementing their income which is needed due to the lack of funds from their church.

CIEF Guatemala (Confederation of Evangelical Fundamentalist Churches)

            The meeting was held January 6th at the TBS office, to plan their yearly schedule.  The pastors of CIEF are planning special services for their individual churches as well as the regular Bible Conference on August 15th (a city holiday) and a Reformation Sunday program on October 27th.  CIEF wants to be strong in evangelism and the defense of the Faith once delivered unto the saints. 

Grace and Faith Presbytery of Guatemala

            Nine of us left at 4:45am Saturday, February 24th, and headed for Mazatenango for our semiannual Presbytery meeting.  The picture on the front is part of the group. We had wonderful fellowship, a message, and Presbytery business, as well as the various committees giving their reports (Judicial, Spiritual Life, Evangelism) and a committee for examining the session minutes books of each church. All made for a good business meeting. We returned to the capital late that afternoon after a happy journey.  Presbytery meets twice a year, except last year when we met only once due to the political unrest in the country.

Politics in Guatemala

            The new leftist President, Bernardo Arevalo, was installed on January 14th.  There was no uproar or revolution.  Before his installation he gave his work program, which included many new social works and programs that will be very costly (meaning more taxes). He will not control the congress, so we must wait and see what happens.

Chimaltenango Church

            We praise the Lord that Deacon Hector continues with therapy, is walking much better and his wife and son are working. Also, they now have running water that comes during the night every other day for about two hours. They can fill a cistern and have water daily. Recently, he slept at our home. The following day he had a hospital appointment to speak to the doctors about his hernia. We told you in times past that the doctors wanted him to wait three or four months and then see if they could operate. The problem is that the operation will affect the spine in some way. So, he must still wait.

Hal’s Physical Health

            Stephen was teasing me (Hal), saying that they had some medical appointments coming up and had to travel to the US because the Veterans Hospital wanted to do some special exams to see why I was living so long!  We were in Florida from January 23rd to February 9th to see my doctor for explanation of the exams I had last October.  The small mass in the lower right lung, the prostate issue, the bladder issue, and the small stomach hernia were nothing to worry about because there’s nothing that can be done. No more operations at almost 101! The doctor said to go home, keep doing what you’re doing, keep up your normal checkups and none of these issues will be what takes you out of this world; it will be something different that will come up later! He said I could take a certain medication cream for my knees, hip, and arm muscles that wouldn’t be dangerous to my kidneys. While I was there, I received a new light-weight foldable walker for travel that works well in tight quarters. So, the conclusion is that I will keep working until the Lord comes or calls me home. We will keep you updated.

            The Lord bless you spiritually and physically as you serve Him. Thank you for being partners with the Rickers in the Lord’s work in Guatemala; keep praying for us!

                                                                                                        Yours missionaries for Christ,

                                                                                                     Hal, Stephen, Juanita, Samuel and Joshua