The first 6 people who were baptized April 11th are from a family whose two oldest sons (Armando and Marco) came to live in the boys' home here about 3 years ago. Armando and Marco were saved after they came to live here; they have now started a mission in their village about an hour away from San Cristóbal. It was a blessing to see their Daddy and Mama and 4 younger brothers be baptized! Here is their story:
Armando (with his baby brother, the one smiling) and Marco Antonio (the one on the far left), standing behind his Mama, holding the towels. Here they are actually watching Daddy get baptized, and Mama is waiting to be baptized.
Andrew (my husband) and I went to visit their village and the mission being started a couple of weeks ago. That family is SO poor! (They have 8 children. The youngest is 2.) My heart was really touched. They barely had enough to feed us, but they are SO happy! (I have been getting a bag of clothes together to send to them for the children. They have one little girl who is 4 years old so I will give the dresses that my Deborah has out-grown to her.) When we went to camp with the boys last week (Armando, Marco Antonio, Juan Carlos, and Julio), Andrew and I watched them. Well bless your heart, they were in "heaven" there compared to what accommodations they have at home! I told Andrew, "These boys sure won't complain about the camp food or their camp bed! They even get to use a bathroom here!"
Armando and Marco Antonio's family is very musically talented. They told us about when they were only about 10 and 12 years old, they belonged to a singing group that an adult cousin of theirs organized. He said they were invited to parties and special events all the time to sing, and they were paid for their time. Their dad got saved around that time...some Presbyterians won him and his wife to the Lord, I think--and Marco Antonio said that was right when they began getting invitations even to sing and play in Guatemala! He said for a couple of Indian boys, that was big money! Their dad told them they had to stop playing and singing with that group. Well, they didn't want to because they liked earning money. So their dad said, "You either drop out of the group or you have to leave home." So they dropped out of the group.
About 3 years later, Armando came to live in the boys' home here; he got saved soon after that, and then went home and won Marco Antonio to the Lord, who about one year later also came to live here. Those boys are so sweet! Marco Antonio plays the guitar so beautifully! My brother Tommy said in December, "That boy rides circles around me." Now that is a compliment, coming from Tommy who plays more than 30 instruments!
Anyway, they use their talents for the Lord now. They have formed a singing group with some of the other boys here in the church, and my, they sound good together! They are now being invited to Christian events all over to sing. The Lord is blessing their decision to give their talents to Him!
Isn't that just a wonderful story?! Juan Carlos, their younger brother who was baptized, will be leaving home soon to come to San Cristóbal to study, Lord willing, and will become a part of our church. He is just about as musically talented on the guitar as is Marco Antonio.
Youth meeting here just dismissed, and I can hear Marco Antonio playing his guitar out in the church building. It sounds so beautiful!
P.S. I forgot to take our camera that day that we went to La Floresta (where the mission has been started in these boys' village); but Andrew has a camera on his cell phone. Well, we were just fixing to start the service, and a donkey walked right in to church. Bless your heart, he was coming to the service! It was so funny! You know how here they greet with a kiss on the cheek? Andrew told the preacher that day, "Ah, look, Bro. Rodolfo. He wants you to greet him with a kiss! Now don't offend your members! You'd better greet him!" Ahh!!! We are all rolling! It was SO funny! (Andrew got some pictures of that donkey in the church!)