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WHAT’S UP

With Men in the Mirror in Guatemala and Your Mission Co-workers in Guatemala

 

Covenant friends, we have had many U.S. visitors this year and little time to stop! In January and February, we hosted three groups plus a conference where U.S. partners and Guatemalan partners came together in Guatemala. We love nothing more than to introduce visitors to our partners here in Guatemala.

As you know, from the stories of your youths’ visit, lives are changed. Last summer while visiting you, we shared the news about the Men in the Mirror “train the trainers” retreat that Brian and Pastor Kevin Frederick from N.C. organized. In February, more than 60 men came from many presbyteries around Guatemala to learn ways that they can be better men, husbands, fathers, and supporters of women in the church.

At the end of their two days, the Sinodica shared lunch with several of the participants and heard first hand from some of the men what they had learned. Several men stood up and shared that they will be more supportive of the leadership of the women in the church! Many presbyteries still will not ordain women as elders or pastors even though it is the “law” of the Presbyterian church in Guatemala.

Hamblen Park Presbyterian Church had the honor of witnessing this meeting. What follows is what Pastor Betsey Moe shared from attending this closing session:

“Our group had the privilege of attending the very end of the Men in the Mirror retreat in which a handful of men shared the insights they had learned in front of women in the Directiva (leaders of the Sinodica/Presbyterian Women) as well as in front of us— Presbyterian brothers and sisters from the U.S. We immediately felt like we were standing on holy ground as the men openly acknowledged the sin couched in machismo as well as their longing for a new way of being. That much honesty, that much energy in the room could only be attributed to the Spirit. Our group left with great hope that God is on the move! ‘There is no longer male and fe- male; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.’ ” (Gal. 3:28)

“When I walked into the meeting room I talked with several of the male Pastors and Elders I know from my Presbytery. I saw something different in their eyes. I saw changes in them that I had not seen before. I am so happy and grateful to see these changes,” said Pastora Aracely Itzep, a Maya Quiche woman and pastor to the Sinodica.

Since this meeting, one presbytery has begun introducing this curriculum to their churches. We ask for continued prayers. Machismo is alive and well in Guatemala, even in the church. Yet we all know that with God all things are possible!

Blessings to all our Covenant friends. We look forward to being with you on Sunday, June 11, to share more.

Sandi Thompson-Royer