In the area of Lake Atitlan, the local deity is Maximon, an actual wooden carved idol, who is dressed in a suit and fedora, he also wears about ten ties for some reason, I can’t stand one much less ten, but then again this idol is not alive so…
Anyway, before a person’s conversion to Christianity, most indigenous Mayans have incorporated this idol worship with their faith in Catholicism. The above mentioned picture reminds me so much of the darkness that these people are in as a result of the syncretism of their faith. I wish I could say that when a Mayan converts to Christianity that they have a full understanding of God being all they need, but unfortunately that is not the case. It seems that the Christianity (I dare not state a percentage) they engage in is just one more thing they can add to a life of faith.
Sarah and I have wonderful friends all over Guatemala who are engaged in the ministry with Mayans, and as a result have shared with us the vision God has given them. We look with anxious nervousness to the time God has set for us to be in Guatemala full time, we are presently working with churches and individuals who will partner with us to help us engage in this vision. The great thing about the vision we have been given is that God Himself has seen what the Guatemalans need in their life of faith and put that vision on our hearts.
When you think of that picture remember the spiritual darkness of all people who do not know Jesus Christ, foreign and here in the states. Pray for the missionaries that are sharing their faith and the churches who are reaching out to the lost. As missionaries, we are not bringing God to these places, and I am quoting Rob Bell here, “If love is in these places, if laughter is in these places, if joy is in these places then God is there!” We are I guess (revealing) God to them through these things. Pray for us as God prepares us to do His will.