A Letter from Eliane Menezes, serving in Guatemala
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It’s amazing how quickly time passes, and as time passes, our circumstances also change and take different forms. The journey called life is similar to a train or bus journey, and at each station, we stop, there is always something very fascinating to experience and goals to fulfill.
I remember when I was little in Brazil, I used to travel from my city to my grandmother’s house by train. I was always intrigued by the movement of the passengers. As soon as the train approached a station, people began to get up and prepare to get off the train, each on their own life’s journey. At the same time, other people were already anxiously waiting at the station, waiting for passengers to get off the train and then embark on their own journeys to fulfill their life purpose.
I used to observe the passenger’s motions as they got off the train and think about how their lives would be transformed when they got off the train at their destinations. In my case, if I were going to my grandmother’s house, I would be very excited and happy to return to a place where the joy of reuniting with my grandmother, my aunts and other family members would fill my face with wet kisses and warm hugs. Just thinking about this reunion, my heart was already racing, and I couldn’t wait for my time to get up and get off the train and experience this moment of sharing this breathtaking love after some time apart. Staying with my family, I did my best to enjoy every moment I spent with them. On the way back home by train, I saw the same scene again, with people getting off and boarding the train with their expectations for the trip. For my part, I couldn’t wait to get home and share my wonderful experiences and pranks with my family. It was an adventure!
I believe that when I started my trip back to the U.S. from Guatemala at the beginning of the pandemic, I hoped that God had a purpose for this trip; there was a purpose to be fulfilled. Just like I did as a child, I still feel excited imagining the transformation a trip will bring to people’s lives, and I have had the opportunity to experience a transformation in the relationship with supporters while in the U.S.
While I am in the U.S., I am dedicated to learning more about our supporters. At the beginning of my journey, there was only a list of churches, presbyteries and people who supported this ministry. However, as we interacted in different ways, I learned more about them – about you! My supporters became more engaged and interested as I shared about my ministry with the National Union of Presbyterian Women in Guatemala. We had the opportunity to communicate either via email, telephone or using a virtual platform. We had the chance to develop deep relationships by meeting in mission committee meetings, worship services or in conversations with church groups. This collaboration made all the difference in our partnership.
On my way back to Guatemala, I’ll take with me much more than a list of supporters. I’m sure I have countless siblings helping me fulfill this mission that God has called me to do.
My call to serve with the National Union of Presbyterian Women of Guatemala has been a journey of joy and fulfillment. During this pandemic, we have striven to continue our ministries by promoting virtual activities and motivating our sisters to fulfill their calling. We have learned new skills and applied them to help our sisters in Guatemala move forward with their commitments to the Kindom of God.
Given the difficult times we face, I understand that we will probably need to discern new ways of doing things in our ministries in Guatemala. However, our service moves on to the next level. Our Guatemalan siblings are also struggling to continue serving God’s ministry in a time like this. I believe that as we work together as partners in these ministries, “we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to God’s purpose for them ” (Romans 8:28).
Thanks for your prayers and support.
Please read the following letter from Sara P. Lisherness, the interim director of World Mission:
Dear partners in God’s mission,
I don’t know about you, but daily my heart grows heavier. News about the pandemic, wars, wildfires, gun violence, racism, earthquakes and hurricanes cloud my vision. It’s hard to see hope; our world is in a fog. Yet we trust that God’s light and love transcend the brokenness of this time.
God is at work transforming the world, and you, through your prayers, partnership and encouragement, are helping us share this good news. Thank you for your faithful and gracious support of our mission personnel.
How can we see through the fog? What will the church be after the pandemic? Could it be that God is doing “a new thing” and is inviting us to perceive it? Through all the uncertainty we know that God’s steadfast love and care for all creation will prevail and that God’s Spirit is at work in each of us.
We all have an integral part to play in fulfilling God’s mission. As we seek to grow together in faithfulness there are three important steps I invite you to take in supporting our shared commitments to God’s mission:
Give – Consider making a year-end financial contribution for the sending and support of our mission personnel. Your support helps mission personnel accompany global partners as together they share the light of God’s love and justice around the world. Invite your session to include support for mission personnel in its annual budget planning.
Act – Visit The Mission Yearbook for Prayer and Study to delve deeper into the work God is doing through the PC(USA) and its partners in ministry around the globe: pcusa.org/missionyearbook.
Pray – Include our mission personnel, our global partners, and our common commitments to share God’s grace, love, mercy and justice in your daily prayers.
Thank you for your faithfulness to God’s mission through the Presbyterian Church. It is my prayer that you will continue to support this work with your prayers, partnership, and financial gifts in the coming year. We hope you will join us and our partners in shining a beacon of hope throughout the world.
In the light of hope,
Sara P. Lisherness, Interim Director
Presbyterian Mission Agency
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
To give please visit https://bit.ly/PCUSAmission
You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:14-16
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Tags: guatemala, Matthew 25, National Union of Presbyterian Women
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