Pastors Retreat

Over a period of about one week I did about forty hours of driving. First I drove about six or seven hours up and back to the youth retreat. We got home Sunday night and then turned around, packed up and left on Monday for Guatemala for our pastor's retreat. That was another sixteen or so hours up and back. Then the next after we got back from Guatemala we left for Nicaragua to attend Pablo's graduation. God gave us the strength and protection. This picture was what I was looking at for hours on end.
Danilo and his family along with Roberto and his family accompanied us on our trip. Here we arrived at the Guatemala/Honduras border.
Get your passports stamped and your money exchanged.
Joseph is showing you where your bananas come from. Here is a banana field owned by Chiquita bananas near the Guatemala border.
Here was our route across Guatemala. It was about six hours from the border to Guatemala City.
Some of the sights along the way. These vendors were waving red flags to get our attention and selling grapes and grape juice.
Dan Dan was my co-pilot. I call him my "seat belt buddy".
Check out that view, just beautiful.
It was near this stretch of road that a year ago as we were traveling to the retreat a band of corrupt police officers hijacked us and took us to a deserted dirt road where they robbed us. It felt a little strange coming back through here and reliving those memories.
It was down this dirt road that they took us that fateful night. The driver plowed right over the little stick fence and gunned it up this road, I thought for sure we were going to be killed and the girls were going to be raped. Thank God neither one of those happened.
We will never forget that night. We are survivors and conquerors. I will never be able to read Psalms 23 without thinking of that night. The verses of that Psalm were running through my head directly spoken by God to my heart. One of the verses that greatly impacted me and gave me courage was the verse, "Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies..." God did just that, as I sat wondering if I was going to die, I was feasting on the fact that my sins were forgiven, Christ was my Savior, I was ready to die, my conscience was clean and my heart pure. I sure was glad I was sitting at that table.
Joseph thought it was big stuff to see where his dad almost died.
Just down the road from where we were hijacked we stopped at this Shell gas station for a bathroom break. Hannah was carrying a little backpack with all of our traveling money in it, she took it with her into the bathroom and forgot to bring it back out with her. We went on to the retreat and didn't realize that it was missing until an hour and a half later. That's when Hannah remembered she had left it in the bathroom. She felt terrible. It was most likely stolen and long gone. The owners of the retreat asked us what was wrong and said that they would try to call the gas station to see if anybody had reported the bag. Then they said that some family members were going to be traveling through there and they knew the owners of the gas station so they were going to stop and see if they could find the bag. We were praying and praying. Joseph prayed and asked God to "not allow the bag to fall into the wrong hands". The next afternoon the retreat owner walked in holding our red backpack. I couldn't believe my eyes. A lady had turned in the bag and said that she found it in the bathroom after several other people had gone in before her. God had done a miracle. I quickly opened the bag to see if our money and credit card was missing...everything was there. Not one dime was missing!! Our God is amazing! Our faith grew leaps and bounds.
Guatemala City
We had an excellent retreat. President Sid Grant was our speaker and challenged us to be better pastors. There was some really good interaction, with questions and answers.
Hannah shared a session with some of the pastor's wives on holiness. She also taught the children during several of the main sessions.
The retreat personnel are always gracious and serve excellent meals. 
Good food and fellowship.
We did some activities with the pastors that we had done with our youth. They did pretty good at the balloon stomp.
Getting ready to play a game called "landmines". Players had to walk blindfolded through a field of "mines" (paper cups) guided by their teammates yelling out directions while the opposing teams yelled out directions to confuse them and make them hit a mine. 
These kids had a lot of fun together, they became really good friends.
What a wonderful group of people, we are privileged to be part of them. Sadly many of our other pastors were not able to make it due to lack of funds and sickness. However, there were pastors there from Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras. Thank the Lord for an enriching retreat.
Our closing service was very special. Several of the pastors asked for prayer and anointing. God's presence fell upon us and many were broken before the Lord. We had come burdened and weary but God was faithful to strengthen and heal us to continue in His work.


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