Monday, September 27, 2010

Settling In...

Well, the traveling has slowed down and we are acclimating. No international trips in September, although we did attend the funeral of Sandy’s brother-in-law in Albuquerque, NM and we had the opportunity to visit kids and grandkids in August/ September.

On Sunday we joined Trinity Baptist Church in Southaven, MS ( The pastor here, Chad Everson, went to school with Vance Pitman, our pastor at Hope Baptist Church in Las Vegas! Sandy and I have already spoken with a number of people at Trinity about our ministry, Training pastors International (TPI) and they definitely want to get connected with what we are doing in Central and South America. Please pray for this relationship to grow!

As I write this, Sandy is off to the 3rd week of Bible Study Fellowship (BSF). The past couple weeks have been difficult for her since her red blood cell count had dropped again; we are taking steps to get it back where it should be, but that takes time. Two weeks ago her blood test showed she was still NEGATIVE for the virus so she is on track to finish treatment in January 2011 – just 3 ½ months away. This is another area we need prayer!

Thanks to the internet in general, and Facebook in particular, I am able to maintain contact with some of the TPI teachers in other countries. 35 minutes this morning with Jorge in Paraguay, 20 minutes with Reinaldo last week (also in Paraguay), and on… what a great way to keep up with what’s going on, and practice my Spanish at the same time.

¡Dios les bendiga! (God bless ya’ll!)

Thursday, September 2, 2010

You will be My witness...

If you're reading this blog, I know you are familiar with the passage: You will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. Like most of you, I had always viewed this as telling my story, what I know, in these places. Last week I learned a new way to see this passage.

I was with Maximo and Reinaldo from Paraguay, and Luis from Argentina, Friday afternoon as we finished our 4 1/2 hour drive to Cruce LiberaciĆ³n in Paraguay (past the HUGE anthills); we were going to be teaching the TPI course on Evangelism to a group of pastors and church leaders in this area.

After arriving, we learned a 14-year old girl was suffering from depression, anxiety, sleeplessness, blackouts and convulsions. Turns out her cousin had recently committed suicide and they had been very close. This girl, with her family, had been trying to sleep in the church as a last resort (none in her family were Christians).

Maximo and I went to talk with her. As we started, her eyes became glazed over and she passed out. Her family rushed her (seated in her lawn chair) into the church where a group of pastors and church leaders prayed for her. They were mostly Pentecostal and it was very loud. Maximo and I stayed outside and prayed for her. She regained consciousness but was still depressed and anxious.

Just before the Saturday evening church service, we learned she had been "healed". She was no longer depressed, had been able to sleep that night, and felt better than she had in months. PLUS she, her father and uncle accepted Jesus as their Savior that afternoon. They had gone home to get the rest of the family for the church service. Luis preached on Jesus healing the son of the Capernaum official (John 4:46-53). Just as with that man, the rest of the girl's family was saved that night, 12 in all came to accept Jesus as their Savior.

Sunday as we were leaving, we stopped at the girl's house for a visit and the whole family was there. After exchanging greetings, they asked me to say a few words (gotta get used to that as the token Gringo). I spoke to them about John 1:12, and as believers we are all one family: no cousins, no uncles, but all are brothers and sisters with one father. We then spent time visiting with the family, explaining how to read the bible, and playing with the kids (I did most of the playing!). By the time we left, a large group had gathered in the street in front of the house.

I witnessed this event, and more, in the "ends of the earth" and it is now my responsibility to report it. Where are you witnessing God at work? What have you seen God do in your life and the lives of others? How are you being a witness for what you have seen Him do?