Saturday, July 25, 2009

Time with Cody Kargus' team...

Last night, several of the SCCLC youth joined Cody's team for games and fellowship. It was a great time of hanging-out and Cody gave us a great spiritual challenge!
On Monday evening, the team of 36 will join me at my place for dinner and sharing. We've also invited the SCCLC youth back to enjoy some fellowship as well. Pray that it's a great evening together. Also, please continue to pray for the team as they minister in orphanages and churches in the area.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Senior Class Get-together...

Last night, 5 of the up-and-coming senior class came over to have dinner and a Bible study. Most of the class of 20 are not here in Bolivia or at least not in Santa Cruz, but those that are here wanted to have the chance to fellowship and requested a Bible study. I was very happy to oblige and enjoyed our time over dinner and then a study in Matthew 16.

The discussion focus was on our perception and how that many times affects our attitude and how we see God working in situations. Christ saw things from God's point of view and his disciples had a hard time getting connected with that. The challenge for me, and I pray these students, is to open up to seeing things from His point of view and back off from the small picture we see and allow God to reveal the big picture.

We also talked about our priorities for their senior year, and life in general; about what's really important. Finally, we closed with prayer for the year to come as they lifted up their classmates, the school and God's leading throughout.

At school, I'm still helping to oversee much of the construction going on. We're only 3 weeks away from classes beginning and there's still much to do. Here at the house, I've been working on my office, going through paperwork and getting to the new calendar for the year as well as other projects in preparation for the new year.

Next Wednesday, Cody Kargus will arrive with a team of 31 students who will be doing ministry as well as a discipleship "course". I will be available to help out and look forward to the times together. We will be incorporating events with our "kids" too, so it should be a busy, but fun, couple of weeks.

Thanks for all your prayers!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Staff Retreat & getting some youth together...

Right after my trip to the States, I was getting things in line for our annual missionary staff retreat. This is an opportunity for the missionary staff to get together, take a short break from ministry and be personally challenged spiritually. We were privileged to have special speaker Tommy Anderson and his wife Laverne come all the way from Ireland to minister to our group. The Lord used his messages and their open lives to bless each of us.

Our last session together was communion. Tommy led this special time of worship and prayer.

My role, as retreat director, was to coordinate all the activities, meals (I didn't cook), accommodations, etc. I also led one of our sessions entitled "Jesus Did it Anyway" based on a book by Kent Keith.

On of our Bolivian missionaries currently on educational leave at Asbury Seminay, Kelly Langdoc, came back to Bolivia to help with retreat by leading music and the youth sessions. It was great to have her back and we really appreciated her ministry to us. Kaylynn Lampen, one of our "MK's" helped by accompanying Kelly for the singing.

Laura Boyce, a missionary with South Amercia Mission, joined us at the retreat to lead the children's program. The kids had a great time and were always excited about going to their "classes."

It was a great week and I believe the Lord really blessed our time. Since it's winter, the weather can get a bit cold, but we had a very mild week.

Since retreat, I've been working at the house, getting things in order for the new school year. I also participated in our mission board meeting on Monday and have been at the school a few times to help oversee much of the work going on there.

Thursday afternoon, three of the graduates came over to visit over lunch. We had a great time of fellowhip and it was good to catch up on how things are going for them. They will all be leaving over the next several weeks to head to college. The transitions continue, but it's been exciting to see how God will be using these young lives.

Friday night, a dozen of the youth came over to eat pizza and hang out. Many of the young people are traveling over break, so they've had a hard time getting together. We enjoyed the fellowship and the games.

"Summer" (it's winter here) break from classes is a great time to get caught up and even ahead on some the plans for the coming school year. Pray that I will be able to get as much done as possible before Cody Kargus' team arrives on July 22. I'm looking forward to working with this team as much as possible, but will continue prepare at school and here at the house to be ready for our first day of classes on August 10.


Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Taking a Short Break ... Vacation ...

During the last week of school and the first week after classes, I had the privilege of having a former student and friend, David Lotz, as a house guest. He was able to visit his friends and also helped me a ton with preparations for all the closing events at school. I left the same day as David, May 30, to head to the US for a few weeks of vacation. I was able to use the time to spend with family, visit with friends, have a brief meeting at the mission, speak in one of my supporting churches and visit another.

The end of the year is always an extremely busy time and emotionally, as well as physically draining. This short break was a great way to recoup and get refreshed for another year of ministry. Below are a few pictures from the time there:

My aunt and uncle, John & Gail, spent a week with us. We were able to hang out a lot and spend some quality time together. Isaac, my nephew, turned 3 in May and he's developed quite a personality. He was fun to get to know a little more and even took to uncle John.
Brook, my niece, turned 5 the week I arrived. She's quite a character as well. We had fun and she did her best to try to keep me in line.
Cindy Haren, her niece and nephew, Ashley & Bryant, and I had the privilege to spend the day in Northern Kentucky at the Creation Museum. It was a great experience. I learned a lot and was able to find quite a few resources. Ken Ham, the museum's founder, gave a presentation that day and it was a very challenging session.
My family: Steve, Warren, Diane, me & David

As always, it's a great joy to spend time with my family. My brothers, parents and I were able to meet for lunch just prior to my departure. Throughout my time in the States, we had several opportunities to catch up and be together. My sisters-in-law, sorry they aren't pictured here, Nina and Karla are fantastic hosts and always make me feel so much at home!

I had three former students and good friends, Nathan, David & Kyle, come to visit during my time there. They try to keep me young, so their visits were great fun. My family seems to always enjoy when the young people come through. It gives them a chance to find out the scoop on my life here in Bolivia!

It was a great time of rest and renewal. When I arrived back in Santa Cruz I hit the ground running, but my time away gave me the energy I needed!