Friday, December 19, 2014

Into the Water

Those who could from our congregation hiked up the hill to the founding church where we presented four for baptism.  Mother and son, as well as mother and daughter were baptized that day.  God is so good to allow us the privilege of helping these believers profess their faith on front of a bigger congregation.  Great job, Saira, Deriam, Madai and Daniela.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Great talk

On Sunday Gerardo gave his message.  It was well thought out and clear just as he had practiced several days before.  My youngest daughter said, “Dad, it was easy to follow, and to write down the main points.  I believe that is what a message is all about.  Now it’s up to us to put it into practice.  Great job, Gerardo!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Practice makes perfect

A week ago, several of the men got together to listen to a sermon that was to be given the following Sunday by Gerardo.  He had spent several weeks preparing it and gave it to a select group to get their feedback.  He did a great job, and was very clear in giving his supporting points to his sermon on the value of suffering.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

What did we do?

Last week, our local staff – Tracey, Maria and I – sat down to fill out an evaluation of how we perceived our progress this year.  I enjoyed hearing about all that we had accomplished together with the congregation, as well as how we can do it all better.  It was inspiring.

I did the same at the founding church the day before, listening to the leaders in a larger church.  One of the questions that struck me, and it must have been God that inspired me to write my answer was this…

In one sentence, define how you felt during this year of service.
My answer was, “I feel motivated by the participation of the congregation to stretch themselves in new areas of their lives.”  God is so amazing!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Praying for Safety

Christmas season isn’t only a time to to give gifts, but to enjoy the birth of Jesus.  The pastor of the founding church encouraged us as staff to pray for the missionaries in the country during this time of the year.  He cited that aside from being a dangerous time of the year with people out of work, and a rise in robberies and personal assaults, kidnappings are also up.  And the kidnappers see foreigners as an easy target.  So we prayed for the safety of the missionaries that we know in the area, that God would keep them from harm.  I needed to hear that!  And I need to continue to pray that for others…

Friday, December 12, 2014

Men don’t Cry!

This was a statement one of our men made during Sunday’s service.  “Men don’t cry… unless their wives leave them, then they can’t stop” was the comment by a single dad.  During our men’s meeting a space opened up for the men to share struggles, and one of the guys realized for the first time the reason why he should be attending the men’s meeting – to share what he can’t share anywhere else.  This was the first time I’d seen a deeper movement of God’s spirit touch their lives.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Rewards are Great!

For all the hard work done by the youth over the past month: they created our very first “Family Festival” for the kids with fair-style games; they took care of the little kids while the parents attended our Parenting Seminar; and they organized and ran our youth conference and music on the last Saturday of the month; we rewarded them.
We took them all to the movies on Saturday to watch: “Big Hero 6.”  It was a big laugh, and all of our youth enjoyed the outing.  Those who turned into me their first 6 lessons on 1 John (we’ve been studying 1 John in youth group) got their ticket for free.