Wednesday, March 26, 2014

We will make it safely across... with grace.

A post from Debbie...

Here is my favorite picture in the world!
It's the one our friend John McCallum took it on the road to Chijolom.

Today was a great day! We visited the seminary classes here in Coban with the Bi-National committee... habla, habla, habla... to my joyful surprise, there attending the advance classes was Arnoldo, the man in the picture reaching for the baby! This picture was taken my very first trip to Guatemala on our first excursion. I did not know of this man at that time. He was a stranger in a foreign land.

Today I learned something new (a common event in my life right now) there are different degrees of a handshake in K'ekchi-land. If you don't know or trust someone you basically touch hands but if you trust and really care for someone you grasp far up the arm. Thinking about pictures today, I was carried back to that first time on the road to Chijolom and attempting to cross a  nasty mudslide with grace when I remember a hand reaching out (I don't remember a face because I was busy looking at my feet and where I was trying to step) and grasping my arm far up and helping me cross safely. I stress the word safely because I felt very safe and cared for and I knew I was going to be okay. Today, given that picture and location, I am pretty sure that man was Arnoldo. He represents for me Christ in all of us, reaching out to us. When people ask me why I would give up all I had to come here, this is why... because Christ is reaching out to all of us.

Theological Training for Indigenous in Cobán
(Arnoldo is in the back row second from the left)


  1. Beautiful photos, beautiful story !! I'll have to remember that handshake thing for future trips. We ( the HPC group, Roger, Gloria, Fred, myself and the 1st Pres Columbia folks continue to discuss and parse out support for education by way of the HPC program. While I'm usually impatient for the "done deal, check in the mail" this endeavor plus our recent trip has, by way of God's grace, given me an over-abundance of patience feeling that the "right thing" will happen. What a great change of growth for me, thanks be to God.
    No more 10-pound books loom on the horizon but I did get a paperback edition (scanned pages) of a turn of the 20th century history of Guatemala and may deliver that next time.
    My discussions about palm oil (not just in church) have elicited some very interesting comments and referrals to additional information.

    wishing the two of you the best


  2. I love this picture more each time I look at it. (The cards came out looking fantastic!)