February 15 was a very special day for the Chamisún community in the north of Guatemala, as the organization of the Damasco Church of the Nazarene was celebrated with 80 members in full communion.

At said celebration the church board, ministers, and pastor, Mr. Rodrigo Cuz Can, were installed. Damasco is the 108th Church of the Nazarene on the Guatemala North Verapaz District of the Church of the Nazarene.

The new church does not yet have a building, but as they work on the construction they gather in a wooden structure on the property.

Reverend Gregorio Maas Ico, pastor of the Magdalena Church of the Nazarene in Chamelco, which is the mother church, stated that the idea of planting a new church was born during the 2016 North Verapaz district assembly, in which the challenge to not be a sterile but a fruitful church was given. “We were confronted by the message to ‘Make Christlike disciples in the nations’, that grew in our conscience so that we, during an official session, planned to make an intentional evangelistic impact in the  Chamisún village, beginning with prayer and fasting…” said Pastor Gregorio.

He also said that the Roman Catholic church authorities in the village reacted with strong opposition. “Many times they interfered with evangelizing, at one point even taking away the microphone during a sermon.”

After two years of great labor and different difficulties, during which no fruit was seen and they considered putting an end to the mission, “we left it in the Lord’s hands and kept on preaching,” said Reverend Gregorio. They then decided to purchase a property and in 2018 began building a church.

That same year a leader of the Roman Catholic church, along with his family, decided to accept the Gospel. One year later the same thing occurred when Mr. Juan Tun and his family came to the feet of Christ and were baptized. “I never imagined that the one who took away my microphone while I preached would surrender his life to Christ,” said Pastor Gregorio. This enabled the spread of the gospel throughout the community, the church kept preaching, and other families joined.

Both leaders currently serve at the Chamisún Church of the Nazarene: one is the president of evangelism ministries and the other is the Nazarene Missions International president.

“We thank God for the work of Pastor Gregorio Maaz and for the vision of the whole church in establishing this mission which is now becoming an organized church,” said district superintendent Francisco Cho Si.

Source: Rev. Francisco Cho Si, district superintendent, Guatemala North Verapaz District