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    2 December 2011

    Greetings from the Raif family from Quetzaltenango, Guatemala. In my last report I mentioned the baptism of Juana, Juana, and Lucia and requested prayers for Lucia’s 17-year-old son Miguel. Thanks to God, in October Miguel was baptized into Christ. Sadly he has since been diagnosed with liver cancer and the doctors in the capital say it is too advanced to treat with chemotherapy. All the brethren are sad by the news, but we are thankful that he made the decision to follow Christ and that he may be going home soon. We put all in the hands of God.

    I am also pleased to announce the re-birth of Wendy of San Rafael. Mardo a brother in his twenties has been studying the gospel with her and her husband on several occasions. I was privileged with the opportunity to study with her and give her a final encouragement toward obedience. Though Wendy was baptized, her husband is more hesitant. With reason, he is weary of anything associated with religion these days. I pray that Mardo, Wendy and the other brethren in San Rafael will be a good influence on him to resolve some of his doubts and lead him to Christ.

    My three week trip to Mexico in November was profitable. I visited and shared lessons with congregations in Tuxtepec, Oaxaca; in Queretaro, Queretaro; in San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato; and in various congregations in and around the capital. The lessons were well received and I had opportunity for challenging discussions with several on a personal level. Although it was time well spent, I have my doubts about the wisdom in it. Three weeks away from my wife and children was a strain on the family and on myself. Thankfully I was able to keep in contact with them throughout the trip, and no one changed the locks while I was away.

    Now that I am back in Guatemala I am trying to pick up studies where I left them in October. Both in Urbina and in Pachaj, we are continuing our studies about the work and role of elders. Thursday nights after the Bible study in Urbina, Jerónimo and I continue studies with Gloria and her sisters. With contacts to search in Urbina and Xela, with brethren to encourage in other places, with sermons and articles to write, and with personal study to teach myself, my time stays full.

    We enjoyed a visit from my in-laws, Jeff and Libby Smelser. Jeff presented several lessons in Pachaj and in Urbina that edified us and gave us plenty to consider. Amy and the baby she carries are in good health, and the rest of the children continue to be a blessing. The oldest two especially have become quite a help around the house. It is a great joy to see them growing in stature, maturity, and character.

    I pray the Lord will bless you in all you do for him. We serve a great God who is rich in mercy and love. Let us serve him with zeal and untiring obedience.

    Vaya con Dios,
    (Go with God)

    David Raif

      More photos.

    “Pues los que son de Cristo Jesús han crucificado la carne con sus pasiones y deseos.” (Gálatas 5:24)