Mission Newsletter: Bob and Jan Young
August 2008

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"Esperanza Eterna"
Eternal Hope Newsletter

August, 2008

A Ministry of Bob and Jan Young
c/o McAlester Church of Christ
Mail to: 205 Ainsley Ct
Edmond, OK 73034

Website: www.bobyoungresources.com
Email: bob.young@oc.edu; bro.bobyoung@yahoo.com

We just returned from an extended mission effort, so I want to give a brief report on our most recent work, and also provide an brief overview of the evangelism and "mission" activities of the past few months. I am thankful for the opportunity to be involved in evangelism, the growth and strengthening of the church, and mission work around the world. I am grateful that I can respond to the requests I receive to help in missions, evangelism, and church development.

In December 2007, I spent a week in Honduras for Baxter graduation and the annual board meeting. During 2008 thus far, I have participated as a teacher and keynote speaker in lectureship programs at two universities, presented a special series on the book of Revelation at Stuart (OK), preached and taught at several different congregations in special efforts including a gospel meeting and missions emphasis Sunday, and helped several congregations in retreats, consultations, and leadership development. I am serving as an evaluator for the mission work at Predisan and continue to serve as an officer in the Honduras non-profit corporation, Association Amicus.

We just concluded a four-week trip to Central America during June and July. Most of this report centers on those activities. Because travel plans changed with the closure of the Tegucigalpa airport, our first stop was San Pedro Sula, Honduras where we spent the last half of the week with a campaign team doing construction, painting, children's activities, and medical missions in a local congregation and clinic. We enjoyed Wednesday night with the church as we shared special fellowship and made new friends. We assisted with some of the manual labor, played with the children, and visited the clinic. I took a survey tour of San Pedro Sula, and talked to several people about the work at Baxter.

We traveled by bus from San Pedro Sula to Copan Ruins and toured the ruins of the ancient Mayan city which mysteriously disappeared over a millennium ago. We spent the night in Copan, and completed the bus trip to Guatemala the next day. By Monday, we were ready to begin our studies. While Jan continued language school, I studied culture, history, language, the religious status of the country, economics, and politics, attempting to evaluate how we can best spread the gospel in the midst of major Indian (Mayan) influences. I also spent considerable time in the Antigua library.

The campaign group from New Jersey arrived at the end of our first week in Guatemala. Over the weekend and during the next week (our second week in Guatemala) I worked with the campaign in San Lorenzo (also enjoyed meeting a medical campaign group from Prestoncrest in Dallas). I reconnected with my good friend, Adan Benavente, a Guatemalan who preaches in Sololá, and will try to accept his invitation to visit and help that church sometime in the next year.

The San Lorenzo campaign involved many contacts and distributing invitations. There were almost 400 people present for the final campaign activity at the end of the week. Many new contacts were made, and the seed was sown. The San Lorenzo area, with San Antonio and Santa Catarina adjoining, is a beautiful area-steep hillsides, surrounding volcanoes, and wonderful people. I especially enjoyed the fact that Volcano Fuego (Fire) was puffing to display its beauty and power most of days we were there. The time is Guatemala was delightful and rewarding-the campaign effective, with good contacts.

After two weeks in Guatemala, we traveled back to Honduras by bus (15 hours) in order to be with the brothers and sisters in Tegucigalpa on Sunday. In Tegucigalpa, we stayed with Noe and Gloria Perez. We visited with two churches on Sunday, and reconnected with many brothers from the area around Tegucigalpa at a Sunday evening worship that also honored Brother Luis Garcia in his retirement from Baxter and return to Nicaragua.

Monday morning I spent on the Baxter campus, renewing friendships and sharing some time with the students and faculty. Monday noon, I met the next campaign group and traveled with them to Catacamas. Theirs was the first flight into Tegucigalpa after the airport closure due to a runway accident. Quite an occasion and much celebration! Some members of the group were pictured in the newspaper report the next day. Jan stayed in Tegucigalpa and spent the week working with the students at Baxter and helping with English classes. I had two purposes in Catacamas. One was to assist with an evaluation designed to assist with strategic planning at Predisan. The second was to help the group in the campaign at Las Casitas, teaching and preaching. I completed the evaluation work at Predisan in a day and a half (10 hours on Tuesday and a little over 4 hours on Friday). The campaign on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday was a delightful experience with good results. This was the first campaign ever at Las Casitas-we had 9 baptisms and several restorations. The church was strengthened and encouraged, especially Brother Visitation who is the primary leader. (He was named from the Bible, in that his parents considered his birth a "visitation" from the Lord.) Rather interesting to go visiting on behalf of the kingdom of God with a brother named Visitation. He has a number of family members and relatives in the community. We were well received in the community as we canvassed and knocked doors, with numerous opportunities to study the Bible. The church usually has only about 30-40 in attendance, but we were blessed by overflow crowds, people standing under the tarp and outside the tarp in the rain to hear the gospel. Including children, we may have had near 200 at the evening sessions-despite the rain. I couldn't help but marvel at how few would be present in the states if they had to walk through the mud and rain and stand in the rain to hear the gospel!

A highlight of the week for me as came one morning when Dixiana, a young lady of about 15 years, came to the hotel to help with the campaign. I recognized her immediately. Someone said to her, "Do you know Brother Bob?" She replied, "He baptized me two years ago." It is a joy to see the fruits of our labors bearing additional fruit, faithful brothers and sisters who are working to insure additional fruits from our labors.

I was very proud of the group--they connected with the children and shared special relationships with the members, despite the language barrier for most of the group. Our Honduran translators were superb. I was also very proud of the group members who endured the "thief at the cross" without letting the negative experience dampen their enthusiasm for our efforts and for helping those who so desperately need both physical and spiritual help. (Several members of the group who walked to the cross on Wednesday morning were robbed at machete point, but cool heads prevailed and there was no injury-only a loss of money and some few personal items.) In fact, our efforts are designed to help find a better way, and to avoid the kind of delinquency that is growing across many Latin American communities. The Latin Americans despise the problems and seek solutions as much or more than do we who visit.

Thank you for your prayers and concern. Thank you for your heart for missions and evangelism. Thank you for your generosity in helping us follow our God and our heart as we strengthen the cause of Christ around the world. I believe these kinds of efforts pay great dividends at home as well, and the opportunity to connect with people around the world makes us more aware of the great blessing of being part of the worldwide family of God.

We invite you to join us in God's purpose of sharing "Eternal Hope". We would be pleased to visit your congregation and make a presentation about what God is doing. Every person or congregation who participates receives regular reports and updates concerning the work being done. Checks may be made payable to Main and Oklahoma Church of Christ and marked for "Bob and Jan Young Missions". Checks may be sent either to PO Box 1004, McAlester, OK 74502 or to 205 Ainsley Ct, Edmond, OK 73034.

Our next report is scheduled for fall after a mission trip to Mexico and a trip to Ecuador in early November. One way you can keep us with us more regularly is through my blog at www.bobyoungresources.com/blog. As always, we are thankful for your continuing interest and support in what God is doing through us in the kingdom.

Que Dios le bendiga (may God bless you),
Bob and Jan

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Last updated August 1, 2008