Mission - Resources - Stories

A Mission at the Guatemala Highlands

This a story of a mission started in July 2002 in a departmental capital named Sololá.  That area is predominantly Mayan and the language spoken by the peoples is Zutuhil.

The whole story began with a call made by some Christians, not committed to a particular Christian denomination, to the Anglican Church in the area (not in that town).   They requested pastoral assistance because they felt that they were in the process of loosing their faith because of the strong work of the Mayan religion followers amongst them.   They made their call to the nearest Roman Catholic parish but they were neither interested nor ready for calling an evangelical group.  So they approached in the Anglican Church.

A couple of weeks after they called the Anglican Church, a group of 12 representatives of the community plus the priest in charge of the work in the area, paid a visit to the bishop some 250 kilometres away from their home town.  During the visit, the bishop questioned their reasons for calling on the Anglican Church to accept the challenge to do mission with them.  Very briefly the bishop explained to them the living process of becoming Anglican, which he explained was not to accept a number of belief but to share a common life and hope in Jesus Christ as Saviour.  He told them that it might require a long process of learning and living together the faith, and after that, the next step would be communicating to others the good news of salvation.

They accepted the terms set by the bishop and designed an educational programme and a date to be received as faithful Anglicans (about a 9 months process).  The whole process was left in the hands of the priest in charge of the area and four lay readers from the nearby mission.  Nine months later the community invited the bishop to receive the people (in most cases to be confirmed) into the Church.  That day the bishop received and confirmed 60 adult people and officially commissioned them to evangelisation and outreach ministries.

One month later the leaders of the newly Anglican community came to see the bishop to request the status of an organised mission within the Diocese.  The bishop accepted them and heard their plans for mission and evangelism.  The plan consisted of the establishment of two new congregations in the near area .

This story is just one example of many other such instances happening in the diocese of Guatemala.

Communion in Mission 2006
The Rt Revd Armando Guerra-Soria, Sept 2003