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“Just Released: The Moes’ Book List!”

A Letter from Betsey and Eric Moe, serving in Guatemala

Spring 2023

Write to Betsey Moe
Write to Eric Moe
Individuals: Give online to E132192 in honor of Betsey and Eric Moe’s ministry
Congregations: Give to D500115 in honor of Betsey and Eric Moe’s ministry
Churches are asked to send donations through your congregation’s normal receiving site (this is usually your presbytery)

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Dear friends,

Greetings from Guatemala! Life here is busy with CEDEPCA Intercultural Encounters, rehearsing for the upcoming school play, connecting with friends, and getting ready for Easter.

For this edition of our newsletter, we thought we would let you in on some of the things we do to learn, relax, and go to sleep by; not to be outdone by Michelle Obama or Oprah Winfrey, we want to share our current book list with you!

When we lived in the States, we were library rather than bookstore people. We used to love taking our kids to story time and checking out big stacks of books. In Antigua, book reading looks different. Our options are limited; often we are given books by a friend passing through town. But we also like stopping by a small used bookstore called Antigua Books. We are on a first name basis with the ex-pat owner, Andy. Most of the books are in Spanish, but at least a third of the store is new and used books in English.

Antigua Books

Some of the books help us to better understand Guatemala, some help us to practice our Spanish language skills. But mostly, we just enjoy the quiet company of a good book.

On Eric’s nightstand:

The Shipping News by E. Annie Proulx

Antigua Books might not have the most current books, but it does have some gems, like this one, which won the Pulitzer Prize in 1994. It is a fictional tale of a man who moves his family to Newfoundland to start a new life. Right now, I’m enjoying getting lost in the crazy story and incredible writing.

Last Bus to Wisdom by Ivan Doig

This was a surprise find at Antigua Books—a Pacific Northwest author writing a story set in Montana. I’ve now passed it on to my in-laws and they loved it as much as I did. It’s such a fun story about independence and friendship and having your eyes opened to a larger world—things I’ve been thinking about since our move to Guatemala.

On Betsey’s nightstand:

Oscar Romero: Memories in Mosaic by Maria Lopez Vigil

This is a book given to us by Regional Liaison Leslie Vogel. Instead of a straight biography of Archbishop Romero, who was killed by death squads in El Salvador for his alliance with the poor, this is a collection of testimonies about him by people who knew him at every phase of his life. It amazes me how much he grew into the person he was; I guess I assumed he was born a noble martyr! There’s hope for all of us.

Kids’ Choice

The Death and Life of Aida Hernandez: A Border Story by Aaron Bobrow-Strain

Our son Henry gave me this book for Christmas. It’s the heartbreaking story of one woman who moved back and forth across the Arizona/Mexico border. To me, it showed how every person’s migration story is unique. Plus, this book mentioned Mark Adams, a fellow mission co-worker who lives and works in Douglas, Arizona/Agua Prieta, Sonora Mexico!

On Zoey’s shelf:

Cuentos de Buenas Noches Para Niñas Rebeldes (Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls) by Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo

This book was a beloved gift to Zoey from CEDEPCA General Coordinator Judith Castañeda who is always looking for ways to build up strong women. It’s available in both English and Spanish, but Zoey has the Spanish version. and the one-page stories about inspiring women have been perfect for her as she learns Spanish.

On Owen’s floor:

Dracula by Bram Stoker

Owen loves watching movies, and he’s a big Nicholas Cage fan. Cage has a new vampire movie coming out this summer, so Owen thought it was important to go directly to the source material and understand original vampire lore.

Honorable Mentions

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig – So good Eric read it twice! Explores regret, gratitude, and the paths a life can take.

Hope: A User’s Manual by Mary Ann McKibben Dana – Reflections on this sometimes elusive, seemingly scarce gift of God. I read an entry when I’m coming up short.

Grave Secrets by Kathy Reichs – Indiana Jones meets Sue Grafton in Guatemala.

Freeing Congregational Mission: A Practical Vision for Companionship, Cultural Humility, and Co-development by Hunter Farrell and S. Balajiedlang Khyllep

The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith (found in Zoey’s nightstand when we moved to a new place).

Migrante by Marcos Antil – One Guatemalan migrant’s first-person account.

Silence on the Mountain: Stories of Terror, Betrayal, and Forgetting in Guatemala by Daniel Wilkinson

The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling – This Harry Potter fan couldn’t pass this one up at the bookstore.

Anne Frank, The Diary of a Young GirlThis book has a whole new meaning when you’re a dad with a 12-year-old daughter.

Protestantism in Guatemala by Virginia Garrard-Burnett – A gift from Pastor Emerson Morales, former CEDEPCA staff, who thought this Presbyterian minister could use a little history.

We’d love to hear about any books you are enjoying right now. Maybe you will pick up one of the books we’ve mentioned and learn more about Guatemala, migration, inspiring women, or vampires!

Thank you so much for coming alongside us to support us, to learn about what God is doing in Guatemala, and to pray for the ministry of CEDEPCA.

Eric and Betsey

Creative_Commons-BYNCNDYou may freely reuse and distribute this article in its entirety for non-commercial purposes in any medium. Please include author attribution, photography credits, and a link to the original article. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDeratives 4.0 International License.

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