Friday, June 28, 2013

Guatemalan convention 2013

La Paz De Dios sea con ustedes! The peace of God be with you all!

Greetings from your sister churches in Guatemala that send their love and greetings from our recent annual church convention. We had a blessed time during our two day convention! Scott Niemitalo visited us with his wife and 5 of his children, as we got together with the three local churches from Piedras Azules, Juan Ponce and Zacapa.

Our theme this year was the “Church of Christ”. During the recent months, we have been seeing a growth in people who want to get more involved in God’s work, and are more willing to take on responsibility. So the Lord led us to take this theme as our focus point for this year’s convention, to encourage the members to take on their God-given responsibilities as members of Christ’s body and part of His spiritual church. The church of Christ isn’t just a few leaders who should do the whole work, but rather every member coming together with one common purpose and every one using his or her Spirit given gifts for the benefit of the children of God (Ephesians 4:12-16), and the furthering of His kingdom.

Our time together was very blessed, as Scott and Pastor Giovanni took turns speaking on different aspects of the church, her purpose and place in this world, and her place in our lives as purchased members of Christ’s spiritual building. We started with two services Saturday afternoon, and concluded Saturday with a beautiful evening of worship and a chance for each congregation to share and give testimony of God’s goodness in their lives through song and personal testimony. The young teens and older youth all were part of various skits that reinforced the idea of the church, our lives and congregations being built on the ROCK of Christ, and the important place the church has in reaching out to the hurting and desperate with the GOOD NEWS of Jesus Christ.

Sunday we concluded with a morning service, a lunch prepared by the woman of the church, and then an afternoon closing service. All were very content and grateful for the teachings, and we pray that the seed planted will bring forth fruit, according to the Lord’s Will, and that as we work together to encourage leadership and responsibility amongst the members, our local congregations will be able to grow into a position of being very self sustaining and able to govern their own church bodies in their communities, as they have not, as of yet, gotten to that point. Please pray for growth in our members, for spiritual understanding, for God given wisdom, and for the Lord to raise up leaders in our local communities so that the Lord’s work in these areas can advance through our small congregations and the involvement of His dear children here.

I want to end by saying what a blessing it is to be able to have gatherings like this. To see the church work together to organize everything; the woman working hard to prepare the meals, the worship leaders practicing the songs, the people working with the cleaning, the young people preparing decorations and then their skits for the edification of the body, and so much more. May the Lord help us all, as His children around the world, to fight for unity, to fight for peace amongst our brethren as the Word so teaches. May Christ’s love shine so bright in and through us, that we can’t help but love, to forgive as He forgives, to reach out to others, and through this, be a beacon to this dark world. Church of Christ everywhere, wherever you are, let’s stand up and work together, take up your responsibility as a PURCHASED member of the body of Christ, and together we can be Christ’s hands and feet, reaching out to those who so desperately need the love and forgiveness our Father so freely has provided.

Ryan Ruotsala

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