Winter Guatemala Mission Trip Leaving Soon

2015 Team with Pastor Miguel Ángel and FamilyThe Crossing’s Winter Guatemala Mission Trip to serve with ASELSI in Chichicastenango is leaving soon. Pray for them both as they prepare to go and for the entirety of their trip.

Dates of travel: January 30 – February 6, 2016

Itinerary details:

  • Two days of travel from Columbia, MO to Chichicastenango, Guatemala.
  • First day:  Orientation to the ASELSI Mission in Chichicastenango, visit patients in the state hospital in Santa Cruz del Quiche’ and prepare for the ASELSI/Crossing Discipleship Conference which the group will help host with Pastor Miguel Ángel.
  • Second day:  Continue preparing for the discipleship conference in morning and participate in the conference in the afternoon at the ASELSI Mission with over 80 pastors from towns and villages from northern Guatemala.
  • Third day: Participate in the discipleship conference.
  • Fourth day:  Help with Clinic Day at the ASELSI mission in the morning and do home visits in the town of Choybaj in the afternoon.
  • Two days of travel from Chichicastenango, Guatemala to Columbia, MO

Team demographics:
The team is relatively small this trip and as in years past is headed up by Bill Penkethman and Chuck Worstell, who have been sharing The Navigators High Quest Discipleship Program with local Guatemalan pastors for approximately 12 years now.  Also co-leading the team this year are Michelle and Chris Woodson, four year veterans of the winter trip to the ASELSI Mission and the ASELSI/Crossing Discipleship Conference.  Other participants include Bill Penkethman’s wife, Debbie Penkethman, Bob Boone, Trent Poage and Joey  Schenz.

Target populations: Who do you hope to serve? What specific struggles and needs do they have?

The team will be serving local people in Chichicastenango, Guatemala and the surrounding towns and villages. The people of this region are some of the poorest in Central America. The focus is really on the ASELSI/Crossing Discipleship Conference, while visiting the State hospital in Santa Cruz del Quiche’, assisting at the ASELSI medical clinic, and doing home visits in Choybaj, also remain important parts of the trip.

Short term mission teams frequently have immediate impacts for the people they serve such as providing food, clean water and health care or they participate in a variety of building projects.

2015 Guatemala Discipleship Conference_A Community of BelieversAll these things are good and worthwhile, but this team hopes to have an even longer lasting impact, an impact that is eternal and reaches far beyond Chichicastenango.  The hope is to use the conference as a platform to share The Navigators Discipleship Program, known as High Quest, with local pastors and members of their churches. The basis of High Quest is to teach people how to know Christ deeply, reflect Christ authentically and share Christ intentionally.

2015 Guatemala Discipleship Conference_For the Young and OldThe Crossing’s Men of IMPACT ministry uses this same discipleship program to guide the hearts of men here in Columbia, Missouri. Chuck Worstell and Bill Pinkethman, with the help of Guatemalan Pastor Miguel Ángel, have been sharing High Quest with pastors in and around Chichicastenango for over 12 years now. During the last 3 of those years, the winter mission team has assisted with hosting a High Quest discipleship conference in Chichicastenango. This has provided a format to share the discipleship program in more detail and in a setting where pastors can interact and grow in Christ together.

2015 Guatemala Discipleship Conference Pastor Miguel ÁngelThe result of the discipleship program has been over 300 members of local Guatemalan churches intentionally growing in Christ together. Furthermore, some of those same individuals are now going out into other parts of Guatemala and Central America to share Christ with others. Through God’s will they will have eternally lasting effects on the hearts of the people of Guatemala and surrounding countries.

Main activities:

  • Visiting the State hospital in Santa Cruz del Quiche’
  • Assisting at the ASELSI medical clinic
  • Doing home visits in Choybaj
  • Assisting host and participating in the ASELSI/Crossing Discipleship Conference

Team goals:

2015 Guatemala Discipleship Conference_Crossing Team Sharing TestimoniesShare with conference participants that being a Christian is much more than going to church on Sundays but rather it means being transformed into a servant hearted disciple of Christ.  As disciples we are all called to know God better by studying his Word in the scriptures, submit to God by applying the truth of his Word to our lives and share God’s truths displayed in the Gospel by serving others with love and humility as Christ did for us.

Anticipated struggles or barriers:
There will be the usual struggles of traveling to Central America for the team to overcome such as:

  • the nauseating bus ride from Guatemala City to Chichicastenango
  • remembering to not put your toothbrush under the faucet
  • and the usual 2:00 a.m. wake up call of dogs barking
  • immediately followed by 3:00 a.m. rooster crowing.

The biggest struggle however will not come from external sources, but rather internally.  It will be the struggle of getting out of one’s own “spiritual” comfort zone.

  • This will mean leaving the security of our own church where we listen to incredible sermons each Sunday with a gourmet coffee in our hands.
  • It will mean going out into the world, sometimes in settings we rather not be in, to share God’s truths and grace ourselves rather than hearing about it from the seat of an auditorium.
  • It will mean being honest and transparent about our own short comings and the love of God despite our brokenness.
  • It will mean humbly showing others the same patience, love and grace Jesus Christ displayed for us and continues to display for us.
  • Jesus does not call us to just listen to, read and study the Word of God but to be real life witnesses of the Gospel and God’s love for mankind.

In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.  Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.  Matthew 5:16; 28:19-20

Team prayer requests:

  • That the team submits to and trusts the will of God in everything we do related to our trip and the discipleship conference.
  • That the team is bold with regards to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and that God gives us the strength and wisdom to do his will rather than ours.
  • That the participants in the discipleship conference have safe travels, are drawn closer to God and are empowered to go out into the world as witnesses of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

For more information:

Source: email interview with Chris Woodson

Photos from 2015 Winter Guatemala Team

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