In February, NLAI missionaries Tony and Carrie Taylor put on a conference for pastors from the northwest corner of Guatemala, where they live and serve. The conference was led by Pastor Ed Ainsworth, and was meant to be a time of refreshing and rejuvenation for the pastors, many of whom never take a vacation.
The conference was held in Huehuetenango, a town about three hours away, to allow the pastors a separation from their congregations. Teaching times focused on calling, effective leadership, pure motives, working within a team and servanthood. Pastor Ed took questions and prayed over the pastors and their wives. It was a great time in the Holy Spirit, with many of the attendees crying out to the Lord for their churches and congregations.
From Tony and Carrie: After our translator, Peter, had agreed to help out, we told him that it would be for a pastors' conference. He later told us that his reaction was, "Oh no, not another pastors' conference about how people people should submit to their pastor. I was not excited, but I love Tony and Carrie and wanted to trust them. It has been totally amazing and such a blessing in my life. This conference has been just what I needed for what I have been going through."
Pastor Josue travels two hours one-way each week to pastor a church in the town of Buxup, and then 30 minutes further to pastor in La Laguna.
After the conference, we went to Pastor Josue's church (the first protestant one in town) and Pastor Ed shared a message. While we were at the church, Pastor Josue repeated many of the phrases that Pastor Ed had taught in the conference such as, "If you as the pastor are the smartest one at the table then you need to move to a new table."
Pastor Josue encouraged his people to step up, telling them that that they were important and that they could do things in the church. In front of his congregation, Pastor Josue told us, "I was ready to quit. I had decided I was going to just leave this church. I went to the conference and I am ready to keep on going now. Thank you."
The Taylors had been praying for Pastor Josue to stay, and God answered their prayers. They ask for continued prayer for him and other pastors in their area, where only 1-2% of people are Protestants.
Click here to see more photos from the conference.