Scripture Selection: Matthew 15: (10-20), 21-28
Prayers for Guatemala:
Jesus, you heard your Father in the voice of a woman whom your countrymen despised; help us to hear your voice today in the words of those considered not worthy to eat at the table; move us to share the hope of a humane world. That in the voice of the excluded, we will feel called to share our food and our hope with those who long for salvation.
Pray with your fellow Guatemalans of the Christian Ecumenical Council of Guatemala.
Vitalino Similox, Secretary General, calls for an end to the destruction of the human dignity of indigenous peoples, racism and discrimination, and for the acknowledgement of the right of indigenous peoples to self-determination.
Misael Méndez, Youth Pastoral Coordinator, implores that gangs stop involving young people in bloody violence, for an end to deaths from malnutrition and curable diseases, and to an increase in opportunities for employment, education and a dignified life.
Nora Coloma of the pastoral of women, prays for an end to the sexism that violates women, patriarchy and authoritarianism, feminicide, street harassment, and the exclusion of women in decision-making spaces.
Let us hear your voice, purify us, Oh God, from the pollution that enslaves us; touch our hearts; let us hear you, as you heard the Syrophoenician woman, in the voice of those who yearn for salvation.
Mission Stewardship Moment from Guatemala:
I want to share with you the satisfaction of the recognition given by the Guatemalan State to the General Secretary of the Ecumenical Council, Dr. Vitalino Similox. On Wednesday, August 9, 2017, National and International Day of Indigenous Peoples, the Ministry of Culture and Sports of the Government of Guatemala handed over the IXIM Order to Dr./Rev. Similox, in a solemn act in the Presidential Palace of the Guatemala government. The Guatemalan government acknowledged his contribution to culture and respect for the political, economic, and social rights of the native peoples of this country.
I feel privileged to be a part of the Christian Ecumenical Council of Guatemala with the endorsement of 3 denominations and 2 missionary bodies, the American Baptist Churches of the United States and Puerto Rico under the International Ministries, the Disciples Churches of Christ, and the United Church of Christ of the United States, under one missionary organization, the Global Ministries. A long history of companionship between Global Ministries and the Ecumenical Council precedes this recognition. Don Vitalino is grateful for this support. He says, this award makes it clear that your investment in Guatemala was worth it. Continue, do not stop your companionship with Guatemala, because already we begin to see the fruits of what the future promises.
Recent, very new, is the relationship of the International Baptist Ministries with the Christian Ecumenical Council of Guatemala; it has only been 3 months, the time that I have been in Guatemala. I am honored to witness such a genuine recognition to this leader who spoke and acted in difficult times for the native peoples of this land to enjoy the Good Living. Don Vitalino is pleased to have the International Ministries as a new partner in the mission; and invites us to be, with the CECG, main characters in the construction of hope with all that we are and all that we have.
He explains, according to the Mayan calendar December 21, 2012 was the end of a Baqtún, that is, a cycle of 5,200 years, which meant suffering, persecution, destruction and genocide for the indigenous peoples. However, the new Baqtún will, in the next 5,200 years, advance the recovery, restructuring and recreation of knowledge, cultures, worldviews, value systems and principles of indigenous people. I, as a Kaqchiquel Maya, feel called to be a protagonist of what the new age foretells. I therefore take this prize as a challenge to bring the prophecy to life, to fulfill it. I am committing my life to continue building a multinational country; a country in which the native people are not individual Indians allowed in ladino spaces, but subjects of their history, rightful people; and in which young people and women, main characters of their histories, have control of their territory, work, and culture.
We congratulate Dr. Rev. Vitalino Similox for his religious trajectory and his contribution to pluralism, and we ask that you also congratulate him on this bountiful fruit resulting from a long journey shared with the Global Ministries.
Mission Partner in Guatemala:
More information on Guatemala: http://www.globalministries.org/guatemala
Global Ministries Mission Coworker in Guatemala:
Ricardo Mayol has been appointed to serve with the Ecumenical Christian Council of Guatemala (Concejo Ecuménico Cristiano de Guatemala [CECG]). His appointment is made possible by your gifts.