Guatemala

More than half of the 13 million people who live in Guatemala are of indigenous heritage. The Quiché tribe is the largest of the twenty-two Indian language groups in the country. The Quiché church, like many of the evangelical churches in Latin America, continues to experience slow but constant growth, and its leaders are in great need of discipling and theological training.

The RCA works with Rutzij Tijonic, which is Quiché for "Teaching His Word," a ministry that teaches pastors of the Quiché tribe the Scriptures so they can lead the church of Jesus Christ in Guatemala. Rutzij Tijonic's three-year, three-level program of study is designed specifically for Quiché pastors, most of whom have only a second-grade education. Rutzij Tijonic runs six teaching centers in the Quiché region that teach weekly classes in three levels of Bible study. Before a student is allowed to progress to the second level of study, he or she commits to teach the first level to at least two people.

The ministry is committed to the Quiché evangelical church's leadership and to helping Indians recover pride in their language and culture, so classes are taught only in Quiché. The ministry recently expanded to include programs for children, youth, and women.

Isaías Colop-Xec

Isaías Colop-Xec is a native Guatemalan of the Quiché tribe. His contact with missionaries while earning degrees from Oklahoma State University and Dallas Theological Seminary led him to want to become a missionary himself.

He founded a ministry called Rutzij Tijonic (a Quiché phrase that means “Teaching His Word”) to enable pastors of the Quiché tribe to learn the Scriptures in their own language so they can lead the Quiché church. Isaías enjoys spending time with his wife, Ginny, and their children, Annie and David.