Philip and Bacilia Beisswenger - March 2018 Update
Our family deeply appreciates your commitment to God’s work in Guatemala. Thanks for the ways that you partner with indigenous churches in Cobán and the surrounding region, as well as your generous missionary support for our family through The Antioch Partners. Here’s some news from this corner of God’s vineyard:
Antioch Presbyterian Church
Started 3½ years ago, the church Philip pastors has 55 active members, with an average of 75 in worship. Most are ethnically Q’eqchi’ and new to the Reformed tradition. In 2017 24 new members joined, 12 by profession of faith. The congregation continues its hospitality ministry, receiving international groups and nearby theological students. In November the church hosted 300 Presbyterian women from across Guatemala for their annual convention.
Cobán’s Presbyterian Complex and La Patria Norte School
Preschool through secondary classes started in early January, with over 200 students. Two new classrooms and restrooms were dedicated and the search continues for the site for the new campus. We expect a decision by next month. Twelve young people from Antioch Church are on full scholarship. Candy Hoenes graduated last October as valedictorian and is now in her first year of medical school. Meanwhile at the complex, the second level of the John Knox Theological Center nears completion (see photo below).
We recently began the seventh year of theological training, welcoming 40 indigenous students from presbyteries around Cobán. The complex is now base for the new Mayan Emanuel Synod, linking ten presbyteries. The complex has been greatly strengthened by partners in places like Fairhope, AL; Cincinnati, OH; Charleston, SC; Kingsport, TN; Greenville, SC; and Toronto, Canada.
Other Long-Term Partnerships
Facilitating mission connections is the core of our work in Guatemala. Whether a student scholarships program in Chajul, Quiché, women’s animal husbandry projects in the Petén, or church construction in rural Alta Verapaz, mission connections keep partners energized across Guatemala while providing a means to cross-cultural relationships and a way to glorify God. Excitement is building here about upcoming visits by U.S. partners.
Bacilia’s in her last semester of nursing school. Matthew began high school at La Patria Norte, focusing on agroforestry. He’s still drummer for the praise band and placed third in hurdles in the 2017 national track meet. Manny began middle school, competes on the local soccer team and plays bass. Stefi’s in 5th grade, runs track, rollerblades and plays keyboard. It was an incredible joy for our family to participate in a journey through the Holy Land this past month.
Again, we’re most grateful that you’re a part of the Presbyterian mission in Guatemala. May Christ’s grace fill your cup to overflowing. You’re always in our prayers!
Philip, Bacilia, Matthew, Manuel and Estefana Beisswenger
Read more about the Beisswenger's ministry HERE.
The Outreach Foundation is seeking $25,000 for support funds for the Beisswengers and $25,000 to assist with construction of the Mission and Training Center in Cobán.