Bears In Pana: Day 3

The view from our boat as we start across Lake Atitlan to San Marcos.

Our First Day in the Ministry

After a busy couple of days working to put our house in order, shop and get our bearings, we were so glad to get out in the ministry. Our meeting for field service is at 8:20am, and is pretty much like what we experience in the States. Working in the English field here though, is somewhat like working in the Chinese, Russian or other foreign language field in the States. Every so often the territory is canvased to find those that speak English. Often, a simple question is asked: "Buscamos a personas que hablan Inglés" ("We are looking for people who speak English"). After an initial visit, names are recorded, and maps are created with details and landmarks to create territories.

Today, we went to San Marcos, which is a boat ride of about 20-30 minutes, depending on stops at docks along the way. For our congregation, the territory is all of the villages around Lake Atitlan, including San Marcos, Santa Cruz, San Pedro, Santiago and Panajachel.


Not a bad way to start the day, with views like this!

Sebastian and I at the front of the boat = best view!


Getting a little closer to the volcanoes, the view changes and is still spectacular.

There are spectacular views along the way and a number of homes that look to have been built right on the edge of cliffs.

The three volcanoes around Lake Atitlan: Volcán Atitlán lies on the southern rim of the caldera, while Volcán San Pedro and Volcán Tolimán lie within the caldera. Yes they are volcanoes, but it is estimated there has been no volcanic activity for 40,000 years.
Upon arriving at San Marcos with Cathy and Liz McComas (mother and daughter), Sebastian helped set up the literature stand.

Yes, we are looking for English speaking people, but that won't stop us from witnesses to anyone that would listen. Here Liz witnesses to a man in Spanish (flawlessly to my ear). She has been here about three years and her Spanish sounds excellent.

I was able to help Sebastian show a few Caleb videos (Become Jehovah's Friend) in Kaqchikel, one of the Mayan languages spoken around Lake Atitlan. Our Kingdom Hall is home to three language congregations: Spanish, Kaqchikel and English. (Yes, my hair is a bit wind blown from the boat ride. You should have seen it after the ride back! So... either hat or haircut... or both!)

After spending some time on the dock, we broke off with two other sisters to work some territory. The main walkway up form the dock is very neat with many shops, restaurants and colorful painting like the one Sebastian is examining.


This is the main walkway to the dock at San Marcos, with all the stores and restaurants. Leiane stopped to buy a headband from a woman selling them on the side, and she struck up a conversation – the woman was fluent in Spanish, Kaqchikel and English, so I told her she was 'mi neuva amiga' (my new friend). Here, it is really about developing rapport with people, then appealing to them with the message.

After service, we stopped at one of the restaurants the sisters recommended and enjoyed a sandwich before getting back on the boat to head back home.

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