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A Wedding in Guatemala


Some months ago Andrea and Alphonso asked me to officiate their wedding.  If you  follow us, you have heard of the Tejeda-Harris family.  I believe 12 years ago on MedEquip Missions second trip to Guatemala with a biomed tech (Todd Poor), Vine International vice president in Guatemala then was Dennis and Doris Rice.  While we were racing around the country, Dennis Rice was flattening his ear with his phone arranging for an ultrasound machine that just happened to be on a Vine Container to be off loaded and transported to a crises pregnancy center in zone 13 Guatemala City.  Todd on our final day in Guatemala plugged the machine in and put it through its paces.  The lady that initiated the request was Andrea’s older sister Lucia.  Lucia and a group of young ladies had set up a counseling center and were very successful in intervening and preventing abortions.  Lucia told us that women who see and ultrasound photo of their child were about 60% more likely to NOT abort.  The most startling statistic she told me that day still runs through my mind.  When the man that sired the child sees an ultrasound photo the save rate approaches 100%…it seems he understands he has become a mini-creator and no one is going to harm what he has created.

In the course of the day Dennis Rice found out about the Tejeda Harris family business and a partnership was born.  Lucia, Andrea, Sonia, and Sonia Mejor (mom) in a brief period of time became family.  They are a Guatemalan face to the ministry in our dealings with customs, companies that ship containers in Guatemala, truck drivers, etc.  They wade through the constantly changing regulations and keep us from making expensive mistakes.  Words can not express the sense we have that God brought us together.  Both families feel blessed and that is obvious when you see us get together.  Sonia the younger sister is now married and just last week confirmed she is pregnant.  I answered the phone to, “You are going to be our American Grandad!”  What a blessing.  Still it was a surprise when Poncho (knickname for Alfonso) and Andrea asked me to officiate their wedding.  The only question I had was, “is it legal for a gringo missionary/pastor to do so in Guatemala?”  When they assured me it was so, the answer was yes.  Of course Dennis Rice learned and passed this pearl of wisdom on to me – when Andrea asks you to do something= DO IT!

Weddings in Guatemala – hmmm – There are two weddings, one done ‘legally’ before a judge or lawyer sometime before the ‘church’ wedding.  Often this is done the weekend before the church sanctioned wedding.  There are nuances of differences in how they do their wedding party; no practice ceremony the night before with a big rehearsal dinner was one that made me a little nervous.  But the wedding was beautiful.  November is usually the beginning of the dry season – whoever God’s secretary of weather forgot to send the memo.  It was raining all morning at our house.  Cindy and I got there 2 and a half hours early and  it was a heavy mist.  Some of you had joined us in prayer for this outdoor wedding and the clouds parted and blue sky came in time to dry the seats.

Now a word about photographs…  One cannot be the photographer AND pastor, so these photos are of the grounds and some of the lead up to the actual ceremony.  Cindy got a couple of Andrea and her mother walking the aisle and a couple of the ceremony itself.   Andrea was a beautiful bride.  She made a request that Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 be used in the ceremony with an emphasis on 4:12b (ASV …a threefold cord is not quickly broken. )  Poncho and Andrea braided two white cords and one purple cord together during the ceremony.  For communion the bread was a three strand braided loaf.  One final note about the photos linked here: for some of the men that follow this blog – the International Harvester pickup truck that Poncho restored is some real eye candy.  Todd Poor, Jim Moore, David Bennett y’all can quit drooling now.
In the midst of this past week Vine International launched a new website (linked here).  The web site is crisp, clean in appearance.  There is a tab about the story/history of Vine that you can click your cursor on and watch Woody pack 20 years of history in 5 minutes.  If you know Woody – THAT is an amazing feat.  Check it out.  It is our step into the information age and the social media.  There are ways to give to Vine or to sponsor a container if you church or company would choose to do so.

Thank  you for your support.

In Christ,

Dennis and Cindy McCutcheon

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