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Thanks for visiting our website! Picture of the Month: sharing the word in Pilanqui, Ibarra, Ecuador; a view of part of the crowd, two baptisms. [Click picture to enlarge.]

Preaching in Pilanqui

Ministry is always a team effort--Jan and I have shared the work of ministry and missions for 48+ years! Countless others have encouraged us, supported us, loved us, and prayed for us. In addition to the customary "Brother Bob," I am also known as dad and papaw. My favorite breakfast is huevos fritos, frijoles, and tortillas, with a good hot sauce and a cup of quality coffee! My greatest joy in life is being part of the kingdom; my #1 priority is to advance "kingdom things" and help develop authentic "kingdom people." I seek to serve and share the good news about Jesus everywhere I go, helping people find Jesus and helping people mature in Jesus. One of the greatest blessings of my life is to be loved by countless people around the world!

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Archive for June, 2008

Antigua, Guatemala: Casa de Cony

Monday, June 30th, 2008

We are “at home” in la Casa de Cony in Antigua, Guatemala where we will spend the next two weeks.  This is our second time to stay at Cony’s house–a delightful experience with the best hostess in Antigua!  Very convenient, delicious meals, wonderful times of  sharing, and many opportunities to practice Spanish.

This morning I met Angela who will help me this week with understanding more of the Latin American culture, some of the unique aspects of the language, and the world view of the Guatemalans.  She is a native Antiguena, a nurse who has worked with several international medical and benevolent organizations.   The campaign group does not arrive until Friday, so this week I will also have some time to finish my sermons for the campaign in Honduras later in July.  [This afternoon, I have already succumbed to the temptation of the granizada de mora (a flavorful, blackberry slush).]

Always, one of the delights of my time in Antigua is the opportunity to immerse myself in the word of God in Spanish.  Last year I completed the Psalms during the two weeks I spent here–this year I have begun in Proverbs.  We appreciate all who are including us in prayer–we also are praying that our efforts might continue to bring glory to God and souls to the kingdom.

Hasta la proxima vez (until next time), que Dios le bendiga (may God bless you).  Bob and Jan

Copan: Casa de Cafe

Sunday, June 29th, 2008

entrance to Casa de Cafe

our room

I want to write today a little more about our wonderful experience at Casa de Cafe en Copan.  We arrived on Friday afternoon and were immediately greeted by Angela who graciously helped us to our accomodations and made certain we were comfortable.  A few minutes later when we were seated on the patio, Howard came out to offer us tea and coffee (the coffee is superb–as good as I have had).  Both Angela and Howard were wonderful hosts, and took time to make certain we were comfortable, to share information and insights, and to spend time visiting.  Pictured is the street entrance and the patio entrance to our room.

Saturday morning continued just as delightfully with conversations about family, history, Honduras, and various life experiences.  The breakfast with fruit plate and scrambled eggs was delicious.  The chili preserves Howard shared were like none I had ever had–hot but delicious.  Topping the whole meal was the offer of maracuya juice  (passion fruit).

We were sorry that we had scheduled only one night before traveling on to Guatemala.  We cannot imagine a more delightful experience–definitely a must do when we are in Copan again.

Copan: Casa de Cafe, Jan and Angela

Saturday, June 28th, 2008

Jan and Angela

I am writing this morning from Copan, sitting in the lobby of Casa de Cafe (a little bed and breakfast–yes it translates as the Coffee House).  Hooked up to the internet on my computer with a wireless connection in Copan, Honduras.  Incredible!  the picture is of Jan and Angela, our hostess.

The afternoon temperature yesterday when we arrived at Casa de Cafe was only about 80 degrees.  High 60s overnight, but already into the low 80s this morning with overcast skies.  Yesterday, we noticed that the sun is very hot.  We are still in Honduras, about 7 miles from the Guatemala border.  We will get on the bus today just after lunch, make the crossing, and go to Guatemala City, and then on to Antigua by late afternoon or early evening.  We are scheduled to arrive in Antigua at 7 p.m.  So…..we have another full day.

We really enjoyed touring the Copan Ruins yesterday–the mystery and magnificence of the Mayan culture and its rapid disappearance is an amazing aspect of world history.  Also, the religious practices, and the obvious parallels to Christianity are mysterious.

We had a very profitable, although brief, stay in San Pedro Sula, observing the work at “Mision del Amor”–local church with programs of daycare, clinic, and outreach.  We especially enjoyed worshiping with the church and the North American mission group that was there on Wednesday night.  On Thursday we helped some with the construction projects and made various contacts.  I was privileged to tour larger San Pedro Sula with a brother who also works as a taxi driver, so I saw much of the amazing contrast between the poor and the rich, although there is also a developing middle class.  I was able to visit with the local preacher (Carlos, one of my students at Baxter) about the ministry–providing encouragement, mentoring, and orientation.

“The Day We Fly” and “Gratitude”

Wednesday, June 25th, 2008

Very early on Wednesday morning (2 a.m.)!  We will leave the house a little before 4 a.m. to be at the airport by about 4:30 a.m.  Unless you’re a very early riser or reading this blog from another time zone or someplace halfway around the world, it will be waiting for you when you start your day.

I am grateful today–for many things.  I am grateful for health, I am grateful for the church, and I am especially grateful for the church with which I work and that they share my heart for missions.  I am grateful for the time away, and eagerly anticipate the refreshment of body and spirit that I might preach and teach with freshness and faith in the days ahead.

I am grateful for my readers–I don’t know who you are, but I know that you are scattered around the world.  I know that you have visited with me over 3000 times in the month since my new site went live, and I am grateful for your interest in the church, in ministry and in missions.  If you find help or encouragement or fresh insights in what we share, I ask you to help make others aware of this blog.

I am grateful for salvation in Christ, assured and constant, even when I struggle and fail.  I am grateful for friends, I am grateful for family.  I am grateful for God’s watchful care.  He provides–and whatever he provides will be ok.  Amen, and Amen. 

Our Grandson, Joseph

Tuesday, June 24th, 2008

We received a picture of our grandson last week–10 months old and counting. His name, Joseph Blair, is special in our family. He has my middle name and the middle name of my father. Today I am praying for him and his parents–I invite you to join me in prayer today for children and families.

“Dear Father, thank you for life, for families, and for love. Thank you for the members of our extended families. We pray for parents and children, we pray for grandparents. We ask strength for parents as they meet the great challenge of faith building. We pray for families who hurt, for those who have experienced separations and conflict. We pray for children who do not have parents. Father, be present in the our world this day, and care for the needs of the children everywhere. Help us, your people, see when you want us to be your hands for the children. In Jesus’ name.”

Church “Wellness”

Monday, June 23rd, 2008

In psychiatry, researchers study not just the manifestations and causes of mental dysfunction or illness, but also ‘wellness,’ that which helps the patient become ‘more well.’  In education and business, for students and for companies respectively, increasingly the emphasis is to explore and develop strengths rather than focusing on weaknesses. In analyzing developing countries, debt relief agencies now include positive attributes in assessments, rather than just focusing on or measuring the bad ones as in previous models.

These shifts do not suggest that one should ignore glaring weaknesses and problems inherent in whatever system you are working with. They do suggest that the focus should not be exclusively on ‘what is wrong?’ They suggest a healthy, useful place for asking ‘what is right?’  Using another medical example, doctors know that referring a patient to a pathologist does not lead to good health.

I believe we have made a parallel mistake in our assessments of churches….

Read the rest of my article on Church Wellness.

This is the week….

Sunday, June 22nd, 2008

Excitement is mounting at our house.  The suitcases are half-filled already.  The lists are being made.   Final preparations are underway–lessons and sermons polished, folders prepared, books packed.  On Wednesday we begin our summer mission exodus. 

Today I briefly outline our plans so that those of you who have promised to pray daily for us can know where we are and something of what we are doing.

  • Wednesday through Friday (June 25-27)–Wednesday we fly to San Pedro Sula.  We will join a mission team already on the ground there, have an opportunity to observe a work we have not previously visited, help where we can, and spend time with friends Jim and Mikal Frazier, Linda Henry, and Phil and Donna Waldron.
  • Friday and Saturday (June 27-28)–travel days, including a day at the Mayan ruins in Copan.  We are traveling by bus and will arrive in Antigua, Guatemala late Saturday evening.
  •  Sunday through Friday (June 29-July 4)–Sunday worship,  language school, research and writing, campaign preparations.  We meet the campaign group on Friday.
  • Saturday (July 5)–day to get acquainted with campaign group and rest.  Visit the market.
  • Sunday-Thursday (July 6-10)–worship and campaign begins, campaign during the week in Santa Catarina (Bob), continuing language school (Jan).
  • Friday (July 11)–travel day, from Antigua to Tegucigalpa, 11 hours by bus.  Late evening should find us in the home of our friends Noe and Gloria Perez in Tegucigalpa.
  • Saturday-Sunday (July 12-13)–visit with Noe and Gloria, rest, Sunday worship in Tegucigalpa.
  • Monday-Monday (July 14-21)–meet Oklahoma mission group on Monday, travel to Catacamas, Bob preaches campaign and does evangelistic work and other things as needed, visit with friends Dwight and Joanne Tomkins, assist with Predisan evaluation, travel to San Pedro Sula (9 hours by bus), return to U.S. on Monday July 21.  Jan will spend this week in Tegucigalpa with Gloria, continuing her Spanish studies and assisting as possible at Baxter.

I hope to blog regular updates during our journeyings–thank you for your prayer support and encouragement.

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