Prayers for Guatemala: Mark 1:21-28
“A man with an unclean spirit”
After serving in Guatemala for four years as a missionary, I am a witness to Jesus’ lack of authority in the lives of many human beings, including myself sometimes. Seeing institutions which have supposedly been built to support and feed the hungry as well as help those who are thirsty for justice, not function well is frustrating. In Guatemala, there are many who have heard of Jesus and many who know of his authority but who refuse to listen to him. On the contrary, they fear Jesus and for that reason they are often filled with selfishness, deception, and hypocrisy.
Lord, open our hearts and minds and fill us with your love. Give us courage so that we may continue to struggle for justice and even support those who despise us. Let your authority and power prevail against every unclean spirit that exists in every human heart and in every organizational structure. May they not be frightened by our humble work in your name but may they come to know your infinite compassion so that we may all learn to practice justice as your servants. Amen.
Mission Moment from Guatemala:
Looking back at my four year experience at Guatemalan Cultural Action (ACG), I am grateful especially for the different Maya women with whom I had the opportunity to work, especially towards the end of my ministry this past 2011. I take with me the mutual experiences shared with these women in our efforts to seek justice and equality. Despite their lack of formal education, they possess abundant wisdom. We were able to find a space where their voices, their ways of knowing and thinking were expressed and allowed. I thank each and every one of the women I met and who trusted me in working with them and who found their voices and courage to face difficult situations and who defended and believed in their own rights and values.
I also thank all our UCC and Disciples of Christ Churches who have made the ministry in Guatemala possible through every offering that has reached the most remote communities in which ACG has worked. In particular the communities who have benefited from the Healthy Stove Project which promotes not only environmental education through the idea of deforestation prevention, but also healthier lives for women and children who are the most exposed since they are the ones who spend most of the time near the traditional open fires. I celebrate and thank our congregations in their trust of me in the ministry in Guatemala as well as encourage each and every one of our congregations to continue believing and supporting constructive and inclusive projects where both men and women can come together in order to build a better tomorrow and a better world, together. May the Lord bless each and every one who makes this ministry possible.
(Prayer and Mission Moment by Gloria Vicente-Kanu)
Video Mission Moments on Guatemala:
- Interview with Vitalino Similox, Ecumenical Christian Council of Guatemala: http://globalministries.org/resources/multimedia-resources/videos/video-mission-moments/guatemala-similox.html
- Interview with Nora Coloma, Ecumenical Christian Council of Guatemala: http://globalministries.org/resources/multimedia-resources/videos/video-mission-moments/guatemala-coloma.html
Global Ministries International Partners in Guatemala:
- Conferencia de Iglesias Evangelicas de Guatemala (CIEDEG)
- El Foro Ecumenico por la Paz y la Reconciliation (FEPAZ) http://www.fepaz.comunidadccm.org/ingles/index.html
- Guatemalan Cultural Action (ACG)
- National Coordination of Widows of Guatemala http://members.tripod.com/CONAVIGUA/index.html
- Sinodo Luterano Guatemalteco
More info on Guatemala: http://globalministries.org/lac/countries/guatemala/
Global Ministries Missionary in Guatemala:
Gloria Vicente-Kanu served with Guatemalan Culture Action (ACG) as support staff on organizational and institutional development from 2007-2011.