Sunday, January 26, 2014

Pray for Guatemala, Week Six

Today I preached at Condon United Church of Christ about my trip to Guatemala.  The day was made particularly interesting as we lost power early in the service.  No microphone  - not a problem for me.  And no power point of images from previous Faith in Practice/Providence Health International.  Electrical problems aside, I hope that I was able to begin to paint a picture for my fellow congregants of the Guatemalan setting as I best understand it at this point.  I know this will be a life changing experience for each of us on the trip.

Chaplain, Sister Colleen with a patient in Reu
This week we are praying for support staff - our journalist, customs coordinator, and, well, me.  The customs coordinator has the job of getting all of our supplies documented and filed to get through customs.  No small task.  Our journalist helps to document our trip in photos, blogs, and other ways.  My role is to be a support to team members, leading them in morning and evening devotions, helping them process their experiences.  I am also the chaplain for patients and families.  Even though many will not speak Spanish, love and compassion, hopefully, will translate.  May our distinct roles be a support to our team, helping them to do their jobs with efficiency and compassion.

We are also praying for the political system of Guatemala.  As with any country's political system, it is an ever changing landscape.  Guatemala has a long way to go in healing the deep wounds of their 36-year civil war.  Last May, their former dictator José Efraín Ríos Montt, was convicted of war crimes only to have his conviction overturned by the constitutional court.  As Guatemala tries to find its path after decades of dictatorships and military rule, may we pray for justice and inclusion.  May all of Guatemala's citizens feel like they have a voice.

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