We love our church family here, and the wonderful way they do things "Guatemalan".
They have accepted us just as anybody else, not treating us differently, or 'special' because we're North Americans, or 'missionaries'. When we started attending Pueblo de Dios, we told them we just wanted to attend, not be expected to do much for awhile. We needed time to fit in, we needed time to learn more Spanish, and just how things are done here. Many times in churches here, when a North American or missionary becomes part of the church, they are looked to for answers to everything, to be in charge of things and to lead. There is an attitude toward North Americans in situations like that of "they can do anything, and know what should be done".
Our church was so gracious, they gave us time to just fit in, and they loved us just like anyone else there.
We have gradually become more involved, and the church is growing! We have had a few groups come and work in the church, and that has really made our church come together in a lot of ways. I am helping lead the youth group, and when I started we had 4 youth each week, now we average between 15 - 20, and are seeing changes taking place in our youth!
I have become more involved in some leadership, and am gradually being asked to do more.
Sandi has been involved with a womens bible study that meets weekly and we have hosted a few church functions in our home.
Then, just recently our church leadership has been preparing to form a new board. We need a "Board of Directors" to replace our "Board of Service" for some legal reasons to resolve some long standing issues and get everything back under the "official" direction of the church. They asked me if I would be willing to serve and if they could put my name on the ballot with 3 others for position of Tesorero (Treasurer). I said yes, and so they put me on the ballot.
You gotta love the way they do things here...They asked me on Thursday and Saturday we had a congregational meeting to elect a new board! After a lengthy explanation of the procedures for choosing a board and how to vote, each member of the church over 18 and baptised, was given a ballot and a.........CRAYON!
We had plenty of pencils, but no sharpener it appears. So...improvise! I LOVE IT!
Anyway, when the dust settled (or crayon shavings) out of 29 ballots cast I received 25 votes, so am now the new Tesorero for Pueblo de Dios.
Fortunately, the previous Tesorera will now be the Pro-Tesorera (vice-treasurer) and will help me a lot. I do not know the tax system or how church finances work here in Guatemala. (Not that I know much of that in the USA either)
Of all the jobs I could have in a church, being the treasurer is probably not the one I would seek, however, they have asked me to do this and I consider it a privilege to serve our brothers and sisters at Pueblo de Dios is this way. They have shown great love for us, and great confidence in us and we consider it an honor and a blessing to be members of Pueblo de Dios!