The Gift of Presence
For nearly two weeks, those of us in the Saint Paul Area Synod have been blessed by the presence of ou[...]
Our Savior’s in Stillwater and Christ the King Lutheran Church in Durango, Colo., visited our companion congregation, San Juan Bautista, in the rural area near the Mayan ruins, Zaculeu, for the first time in 2016. As our groups traveled to the Petén region two more times, our relationship grew as we shared stories, worshiped, shared meals and played with the children. In 2019, we learned that an infant with some critical health conditions had been born to a family in the Zaculeu church. Surgery would be needed to save the child’s life, and with few resources, it would be difficult to pay for the costs. The family would need to travel to have the medical care that was needed. Our Savior’s and Christ the King were able to provide those resources.
Our delegation visits came to a sudden halt in 2020 with the COVID-19 appearance. Since that time, letters have been sent from time to time to encourage members of our church and to let them know we are thinking about them, missing them and praying for them. Although we seldom receive written news, we are confident they are doing the same for us.
When major health concerns impacted two San Juan Bautista members, Pastor Karen and Diego were quick to inform us. The infant we met in the community in 2019 is now three years old and is ready for a much-needed follow-up surgery. Those of us from Our Savior’s and CTK who have traveled to Guatemala have been able to provide enough gifts to cover the surgical costs. And, when Pastor Karen and Diego gave us the news that one of the elder’s health is failing, we could quickly add him to the prayers of the church at worship each week.
More recently, we tried a Zoom call when Pastor Karen and Diego were visiting the church and could assist with the process. Finding a signal in the community was difficult and the pounding rain made it even more challenging. The signal was in and out, so mostly both sides of the conversation got to say “Hola!” and see one another’s faces and give a wave. While it was brief and a bit difficult – it was enough! Our spirits and theirs were boosted. Even though travel to this area in the future is uncertain for now, it was good for us to hear them say, “Come and see us! We are all vaccinated!”
Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, Stillwater
P.S. Click here to watch a short video made by Our Savior's to encourage our friends in Zaculeu to get vaccinated!