On Sunday morning, we went to a branch of Cristobal’s church in Puerto Barrios. Since only Luis and his family came to the cookout the night before, we figured that they would be the only ones to join us at church. To our delight just after we arrived, Julio the coach came in with his two kids. Twenty years ago I (Rob) wrestled Julio here in Guatemala on my first trip with AIA. We were the same weight. He was Greco and I was Freestyle so we just practiced together, but I remembered him as a very tough wrestler. As the music started, another group of wrestlers came in! As the songs progressed, more and more wrestlers arrived. Eventually the whole club from Friday night was there along with Luis and Julio, the coaches, and their families! We were overjoyed! We spoke with the pastor afterward and the church will now be doing weekly Bible studies with the wrestling club. It has been a major focus of our trip to connect the wrestling clubs with volunteers from AIA who we have been able to help train while we are here.
We all went to lunch after church, again just sharing life. As we talked at lunch, we learned that none of the wrestlers or coaches attends a church and that they all really enjoyed the service. Many filled out cards to be connected to learn more about the church. This was again God’s timing. After lunch we ran some small errands, met as a team, and then hung out by the pool with Julio and Luis while their children played in the pool. It was a great time of just relaxing and living life with each other as we shared stories.
We have invited both Julio and Luis to come to Ohio this fall for our International Coaches Academy. They were both very interested! It was neat for me (Rob) to see that seeds planted from 20 years ago are starting to be harvested now!
On Monday, we headed back to the City and practiced with the national team. We set up a Bible study for Tuesday with them before practice. As of now, there are 125 wrestlers in Bible study in four cities since the start of our trip!
God is continuing to make himself known to people here in Guatemala and around the world!