Hello! Thanks, everyone, for your prayers! Yesterday's election seems to have gone relatively smoothly. This is only the 4th time the nation has voted for a president since the peace accords in 1996, so it is still relatively new for many, many people.
As was predicted, no single candidate gained a majority, so there will be a run-off election on November 6. The one candidate is ex-military, and there have been stories about some of his activities back during the wars. He promises a 'mano dura' (a firm or strong hand). The other is a young (41) businessman who is trying to rally the people, especially young people, to change the country. There have been questions about some of his past, as well.
Antigua dawned sunny and warm yesterday. When I walked over to the Panadaria for my coffee at 7am, there were very few people out-and-about. As we walked to church, the city was very calm and peaceful. Part of that was likely due to the fact that alcohol sales had been suspended for the election, and so no one was stumbling home from the bars!
Dona Cristi voted at 8:30 a.m. and said everything was calm. The weather was predicted to be stormy in the afternoon, but thankfully the rains held off, so everyone who wanted to vote could do so.
Today there was news of problems in some of the country. For example, in a small community not too far from here, people attacked and robbed the vehicle carrying the completed ballots. I'm not sure what their reason was, or what happens now.
I'm praying that we don't hear more stories like this! The candidates are asking that everyone respect that process and the results, and I also praying that the calls that this is heard - by them, too!! As Dona Cristi, Sonia, and many other people of faith here continue to say, God knows, and it is in His hands.
This country, these people, these potential leaders, need our prayers. Paul admonished Timothy (and all of us!) to pray for those in authority over us. That was during the time of Nero!! We need to be praying for leaders of the nations. All of the leaders of all of the nations.
If Timothy was to pray for someone like Nero, we can surely be praying for the candidates here in Guatemala, as well as well as in the rest of the world. God knows. All things are in His hands.
Today I am rejoicing that things yesterday went much more smoothly than some had expected. I am rejoicing that so many here are hungry for change, hungry to be a part of making things better for their country.
And, I am praying that we, as believers, show our faith in the One who holds all things in His hands through our lives and our prayers. Thank you for joining me in this!