Hope of the Pokomchi

As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body.
– Colossians 3:12-15a (New Revised Standard Version)
From the beginning, Jesus proposed a way of being that seemed at odds with the world around him and is still at odds with the world around us. Centering on Jesus forces us to recognize the conflict between the way of life Jesus embodies and the ways of life expected by the world. Paul highlights that conflict when he teaches us to clothe ourselves in compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience in a world where behavior that is the opposite of those ideals is regularly rewarded. What looks like weakness to the world is actually the strength of Christ’s message and example because Christ’s ultimate show of weakness, being nailed to the cross, is our greatest source of strength and hope. With our hearts centered on Jesus, can we extend compassion and kindness to people with whom we disagree? With our hearts centered on Jesus, can we put the needs of others ahead of our own? With our hearts centered on Jesus, can we extend love and forgiveness to one another and create harmony with our fellow human beings?
As I think about the qualities Paul and Jesus call us to embody, my mind turns toward the Pokomchi people of Guatemala. Our church has a strong connection to the Pokomchi people, and we have been sending mission teams and financial support to Guatemala for over 20 years. My experience of the Pokomchi is that they are a beautiful people who embody the spirit of Christ in their lives. Now we, with our hearts centered on Christ, have an opportunity to clothe ourselves with kindness and compassion as we reach out in support of these people.
On November 3rd, Hurricane Eta made landfall in Nicaragua and headed north. This storm dumped torrential amounts of rain on a large part of Central America including in the Highlands of Guatemala where our ministry partners, Hope of the Pokomchi, do their work. All of this rain has caused a major humanitarian crisis as villages are flooded and hit with landslides. Right now, we know that the city of San Cristobal, and many of the outlying villages that we work in have been affected, and there are estimates that put the death toll around 200 people. It is catastrophic.
The good news is that all of the staff of Hope of the Pokomchi are safe, although some have experienced flooding in their own homes. The Skekinah Center, where teams sometimes stay when in country and where much of the ministry is based, has not been affected.
The staff of Hope of the Pokomchi is working to provide food and support for the people of their community. Many roads to the more remote villages are washed out, but they are reaching out as they are able.
We can support this ministry in two ways. First, we pray. This is the list of prayer foci that Hope of the Pokomchi has requested:
  • That the roads would become passable as soon as possible
  • That the pregnant women in the villages would get safely to the hospital in San Cristobal
  • That Hope of the Pokomchi could get much needed supplies to Queja (our partner village) and the other villages in that area
  • Guidance and strength for the village pastors and leaders who are coordinating relief efforts with Hope of the Pokomchi
  • Health, safety, stamina for our Hope of the Pokomchi staff as they carry on with this monumental task
Second, we can donate money directly to Hope of the Pokomchi so that they can buy food and supplies to distribute. You can do this through our secure giving portal and selecting Hope of the Pokomchi as the fund, or you can mail a check to FUMC McKinney at 315 N. Church St. McKinney, TX 75069 and write “Hope of the Pokomchi” in the memo of your check.
The staff and people of Hope of the Pokomchi and the Pokomchi people themselves are near and dear to our hearts. Please join us in prayer for this amazing organization that works with the beautiful Pokomchi people, and please support them financially as you are able.
Pastor Chris Rickwartz

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