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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 May, 2012

June Mission Report Posted

Wednesday, May 30th, 2012

Since some blog readers are not regular website visitors, let me mention that the June 2012 Mission Report (April and May activities in Chile, Uruguay, and Honduras) has been posted and is available online.

You can access the report directly at this link: June 2012 Mission Report.

Blessed! Bendecido!

Monday, May 28th, 2012

Today I am blessed. On this day as I awaken again in Honduras, I am thinking of friends, churches, and brothers and sisters in Christ in many parts of Latin America. God is good!
Many times in Latin America, the response to the question, “Como esta?” is “Bendecido.” We are blessed by God. He cares and guides and protects. The challenge is to maintain this awareness of his blessings, even in busy times or times of stress or distress.
Today as I fly back to the US, I plan to make a list of God’s blessings with special emphasis on the past two weeks I have spent in Honduras. Perhaps you can also find time today to make a list of God’s blessings in your life. My list of blessings will include many people, and will also provide me an opportunity to mention those people in prayer.
We are blessed! Bendecidos!

Memorial Day

Monday, May 28th, 2012

I remember a time when Memorial Day was Memorial Day. On Memorial Day, even though school was already out for the summer, the high school marching band marched one more time in a procession that ended at the cemetery. Memorial Day was a day for remembering. Today Memorial Day seems more about the first long weekend of summer than a day for remembering. We are rapidly losing an important part of our culture. Not only do our actions betray us, our speech betrays us. Many people do not know what Memorial Day is.

Memorial Day was originally known as Decoration Day because it was a time set aside to honor the nation’s Civil War dead by decorating their graves. It was first widely observed on May 30, 1868, to commemorate the sacrifices of Civil War soldiers, by proclamation of General John A. Logan of the Grand Army of the Republic, an organization of former sailors and soldiers. On May 5, 1868, Logan declared in General Order No. 11 that:
The 30th of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village, and hamlet churchyard in the land. In this observance no form of ceremony is prescribed, but posts and comrades will in their own way arrange such fitting services and testimonials of respect as circumstances may permit.

Today Memorial Day is a day of observances to honor those who have died in all of the nation’s wars. In 1971, Congress declared Memorial Day a national holiday to be celebrated the last Monday in May. Previously, the date of Memorial Day celebrations varied from state to state. Memorial Day has also come to be a time for remembering and decorating the graves of family members.

Memorial Day is not Veteran’s Day. Veteran’s Day is set aside to honor all veterans, living and dead, who served with the U.S. armed forces in wartime. It is celebrated each year on November 11.

Memorial Day is not “Armed Forces Day.” The purpose of Armed Forces day is to honor Americans serving in any of the five branches of the armed forces–the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, and Coast Guard. Armed Forces Day is celebrated on the third Saturday in May. Armed Forces Week begins on the second Saturday of May and ends on the third Sunday of May. Because of their unique training schedules, National Guard and Reserve units may celebrate Armed Forces Day and Armed Forces Week over any period in May.

I hope you have a pleasant and enjoyable Memorial Day. Time with family and friends is precious, and provides opportunities to remember and celebrate our shared lives. A part of our shared lives is the freedom we enjoy in our nation. I hope that your Memorial Day includes a time for remembering those who have given their lives in order that we might enjoy that freedom.

It’s Sunday Again: Sharing the Word Among God’s People

Sunday, May 27th, 2012

Another Sunday, reflecting, thinking, remembering. Another Sunday in a long series of Sundays, so long I cannot remember the beginning, now over 3000 Sundays. A lifetime of Sundays, it seems like so many, it seems like so few. Only 3000.
This is not the first Sunday I have spent in Honduras, but I do not know how many. This is not the first Sunday I have spent in Catacamas, but again I do not know the number. It doesn’t matter.
Today I will assemble with the family of God for worship and to surround the Table of the Lord. Here the Supper is called holy. I have been asked to preach. Some Sundays I wish I could listen and drink deeply and relish the renewal and recommitment of the God relationship. The task of preaching is often a distraction in my personal worship, but it is the calling and work of God. I awoke early, thinking about this day, thinking about God and his will and ways in this world.
God’s people seek God. They seek God through His Word. That is my task. Not to tell them a lot of things they do not know. My task is to make God clear, to make the Word of God clear. What is God’s unique message for his people in this place on this day. I have spent much of the last two days asking questions of those I was with, trying to understand the unique needs and challenges. I have thought about how to connect God’s word to those needs. Today, my prayer is that the word spoken might be the word needed, so that God’s people are refreshed and restored and renewed. May it be so!

Three Busy Days

Friday, May 25th, 2012

The next three days will be filled and overflowing–today and tomorrow with the seminar at EBH, Sunday with preaching and return travel to Tegucigalpa before my Monday return to the US. The EBH seminar has been shortened with only a half day on Saturday so that those attending can catch the buses to return to their homes and Sunday obligations in the churches.

I look forward to being with those who little by little are making a difference in the life of the churches in this area. God works through us, and often in spite of us. May his people become more and more like him, and glorify and bring honor to his Name!

It’s Always about the People

Thursday, May 24th, 2012

Yesterday was a good day–a day filled with opportunities to catch up on various projects, but more important, a day to renew friendships in Christ. It has been four years since I was last in Catacamas. Catacamas is growing; there are many new construction projects. I am having to reorient myself after a four-year absence. The city is hardly recognizable compared to the smaller, sleepy community I remember from my first visit 18 years ago.
Yesterday afternoon, after I arrived at San Isidro for mid-week Bible study, I was invited to share the Word of God. I described my memories of preaching the first meeting in that place, under a temporary tent which only partially protected from the rains that came, with two brothers sleeping onsite to protect the chairs and other things that were there for the tent meeting. Now there is a small but energetic congregation seeking to bring Christ to that area. I shared God’s vision for his people from Ephesians 4.
I met with brother Matamoras and I remembered early days in Catacamas and at the School of the Good Samaritan. I will preach at El Colegio on Sunday. Last night I spent time with David and Suyapa Chacon–what a hospitable couple! David is interested in the possibility of more leadership training for a network of relatively new congregations. Yesterday I visited briefly with Jorge Vargas and his family. Today I will visit at the Honduran Bible School in preparation for the leadership seminar which begins tomorrow.
There are many brothers and sisters here that I will not get to see on this trip. Pray that God’s people faithfully hold forth a vision of what it means to be a follower of Christ Jesus. Many times, we are impressed byi those places in this world that overwhelm us with natural beauty–places where we can contemplate God’s power and presence. But the presence of God is for me even better seen in the people whose lives are changed by his presence. Sometimes I need to be reminded–it’s always about the people!
Today, let us live with this concept in mind. It is not about the stuff. It is not about our feelings, our preferences, our “druthers” or our desires. It is not about things; it is not about tasks. It is not about what we have; it is not about what we do. It is not about me; it is not about us. It is about Jesus. And because Jesus loves the world so much that he gave himself, it is about the people Jesus loves, the people we can love in Jesus’ name. It’s always about the people.

Wednesday Morning: Catacamas

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012

Wednesday morning in Catacamas has dawned brisk and cool after a night of rain. My recollections of Catacamas are correct as roosters crowed for much of the night. Except for the occasional unmuffled passing vehicle or a few noisy pedestrians, it is tranquil and quiet as the city awakens…until the construction project across the street resumes at 6:30 with hammers pounding to stabilize the wood frame construction.
Today will pass according to what I call Latin Standard Time, filled with the things that God provides on a timetable unexplicable in human terms. The day will fill with good things and multiplied opportunities, but not according to the best of plans.
Life is in one sense no different in the U.S., only we are at times so occupied with the “to do” list that we miss the opportunities God puts in our path. Regardless of where we find ourselves in God’s eternal plans for advancing his kingdom, may we be awake to his will and way.

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