off to guatemala city

this evening, my daughter liesl and i fly to guatemala city, guatemala, for the Convencion Internacional de Liderazgo Juvenil. i’ll be speaking four times: a general session, two seminars, and a super-seminar on leadership and change (which i’m putting together right now). my friend junior zapata (who has come to all our conventions in argentina, and to one emergent convention in the states) is one of the primary organizers. he’s also hooking us up with a family that has a daughter around liesl’s age, so she can spend some time with a guatemalan family. should be a great trip! i think we’re expecting about 1500 attendees.

the first time we had one of these conventions in argentina it was truly revolutionary. and word from junior and our ys spanish director (lucas leys) is that this event will have the same effect in central america. there are so many counter-cultural aspects to this event (that have become normal at ys conventions in the states): a wide cross-section of speakers from varying denominational and philosophical persectives (including people who would disagree with each other), a de-mystifying of the speakers (including no VIP seating, bounderied speaking times, and other things that are not normal in the latin setting), panel discussions with opposing viewpoints, celebration of otherwise-unknown youth workers (including “affirmations” like we do in north america), an offering for another ministry (normally, offerings at events in latin america are taken for the event organizers, not for someone else), and more. these very facts have caused some influential senior pastors in guatemala to publically oppose the event.

lucas is especially stressed about this event — there are SO many unknowns and last-minute variables. please pray for the event, and, specifically, for him.

[[update: we made it here. lucas and junior picked us up at the airport at some freakish time of the morning, and we were able to get into our hotel and get back to sleep. my numbers on the event were wrong — we’d originally talked about 1500 – 2000, but, in the end, the ballroom in the hotel they found limits the event to 1200. and lucas said he’d rather start “small” and make sure it’s a great event, than to blow it out size-wise, but have a mediocre event. i’m with him on that. jaci valesquez is flying in today to be a part of the event — she gives a concert tomorrow night.]]

3 thoughts on “off to guatemala city”

  1. marko!
    thanks so much for your hospitality!
    i’ll be praying for you and liesl and the conference!…and as yack always said..”if you’re not getting in trouble, you’re not really doing youth ministry!” thanks for pushing envelopes for jesus!

  2. Guetemala is awesome. I lived there for awhile after high school doing constrction with a program called God Child Project. It is a great place to see true central american culture. Is Orange Crush still the most popular drink there. Best of luck. Peace. – Sam

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