The days have been long but the weeks have been short. It seems almost unfathomable to believe that from this point forward, every day we spend in the field is the last day of the week we will spend there (i.e., today was Saturday, and was thus the last Saturday we will spend doing ministry in one of the two villages).
I cannot speak for everyone, nor would I desire to, the unique voice of an individual is what continues to propel our culture forward (and for this I would like to thank God, the tower of babel incident, and Youtube), but I would like to comment that Jocotan and Chanco have become homes to me. I look forward to the mornings when we cruise up to the mountain as the mist rises among us and walk from house to house trying to pull the beautiful people of Chanco alongside us into God’s truth. The hotel has become a place of rest for all of us, and today the city itself seemed like home as I walked around with the translators, laughing, skateboarding, and watching some men on dirt-bikes race around a local trail.
As the weeks have progressed however, our difficulties in navigating the spiritual waters have increased. The longer we remain in the villages the more aggressive the Catholic leaders have gotten in pursuing their flock. We are careful to state that we are less interested in church titles, and are simply sharing our love for God and His word with the people we interact with. We make it clear we are not trying to jerk people right out of their churches, but that we are concerned that many people we have talked to are confused on several points of the gospel and believe that if they simply live a “good” life they will be right with God (a problem also prevalent in America I often assure them).
This is the softest blow we can give, and we have been trying to give it precisely. But today we noticed that the Catholics had started to offer a Bible study on the soccer field directly across from the porch where our study had been meeting, at the exact same time. They also have started to hold events for the children, and very few showed up to play today, and even then only after the Catholic event had ended. It is very frustrating to feel as though there is an unspoken war between ourselves and the Catholics. It is clear that we are not dealing with a body who genuinely cares about their sheep and this breaks our hearts.
We laugh much throughout the day, and the homes we visit are still very welcoming. Please know that we share the gospel every chance we get, and please pray for us as the Catholic gears turn all around us, and against us. We need wisdom to handle the situation in love and respect. Thanks for praying, we are honored to be just one of the waves of the gospel that crashes onto the shores of Chanco. There are a few godly people here, and we are excited to see them rally together.