Monday, October 8, 2007

Go Ye Therefore ....

Having solved some technical problems with our photos, we thought to touch base with you and share a few snapshots. Last week was filled with some exciting times of evangelism on the "west coast". Some people said they were amazed that God finished the work so that we could rest in His love. A young high school man, admitting he had never really had a relationship with God, prayed to accept Jesus. We explained that heaven was as with his car, he might know about it, but he didn't have the right to enter unless the Owner gave him entrance through a relationship. Another man was brought to tears as he considered his unemployment situation and that the Lord was reaching out him in love even as he hadn't attended church for nearly 15 years. A young man with a heart for evangelism is considering Bible college extension classes and translated as another man prayed the sinner's prayer
..the fields are "white and ready for harvest ..."

Evangelism shots

Wow! that's a treehouse!

pretty dress

Cabo Rojo at night

let's dance

nice sized beetle (little Julian's hand)

Aliia's 9th birthday ... bunny named "Blackie"
the bilingual birthday party with neighborhood kids

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Where He Leads

A month has gone by since we came to Puerto Rico.

Before I can say anything about what we have encountered; I must first speak of what God has been doing in/with us. Before God fully opens our eyes to the field that is before us, He has been searching, pruning, purging, restoring and refreshing areas that so easily become mainstay in our hearts and minds. Any wonder He kept the children of Israel moving, seemingly disrupting their mindset to settle—and He calls us strangers and pilgrims, sojourners.

Sent out by the Body of Christ and now being here, I have taken some time to revisit the scriptures about our (the believer’s) calling and authority. These thoughts are not exhaustive, but consider this:

Matthew 27:50, 51 says, “Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the spirit. And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in two from the top to the bottom…” This may have been the last cadence, the crescendo in the life of Christ here on the earth but the renting of the temple veil represented the most incredible truth of our calling and authority. The Presence and place of God’s holiness was bare, for all to witness; what lay in mystery was now open for all to see. “…We are sanctified (set apart for a divine work, called) through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all; …for by one offering He hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified” (Heb. 10:10b, 14).

With this event God caused a wonderful reversal; for whereas only one, the high priest, once a year was allowed to enter the Holy of Holies now the Holy of Holies and the One within has come to us. In no way was the Holy and most Holy made common or was defiled by this event but that the common had been made holy, sanctified. Moses, take off your shoes, for the place where you stand is holy-- (Before the law was given.)We are included in the place of ministry as priests and kings of unto our God (Rev. 1:6) and have been imputed holiness. We then have a boldness (Heb. 10:19-22). What’s the difference: only under strict conditions and preparation, Esther, anyone for that matter, was allowed to go before the king—have his audience and they could have been sentenced to death for breaching these requirements (Old Testament) but we see the father running to the son and lauding him with love, bypassing all penitent and restitute requirements involved in coming back from the unclean, common things. (After the law was fulfilled.) So then holiness is not a work we can do or merit, it is what we has been ushered into our lives.

Oh that ours would be that when His presence billows in on us that we would sense the rushing in of His mercy, His love, His forgiveness, His acceptance; that we would speak as sojourners, as pilgrims that language that is from above and all would hear as the Spirit gives them ability (Acts 2:1-4). My need everyday is to reckon on His presence and be led of His Holy Spirit. He loves to make His glory known to the common people for they received Him gladly. Just as the Church from the Pentecost had commissioning power because He overshadowed them (Acts 1:8), so can we today…because He is the same, yesterday, today and forever (Heb. 13:8; Mal. 3:6)

What separates by time and distance has no bearing upon what we have in the Spirit. Our oneness in the Spirit is, in fact, made clearer by conviction to prayer, and encouragement. I have always enjoyed the thoughts that pertain to covenant relationships. These are relationships that are sustained by unrelenting love…it is this love that will not let anyone go…(Jeremiah 31:3); it is enduring, unconditional, it is eternal, it is one that provokes and desires to make company with others (Hebrews 10:24,25), it edifies.


Some very miscellaneous photos, please pray for our technical needs, including a camera, thought our cellphone pictures could be brought up, but haven't succeeded with the recent ones, sorry ...

Cabo Rojo dominoes in the plaza--tradition!!

Greater Grace Baltimore "send off"/prayer time

14 regular luggage items, 7 carry-ons

the skateboard/inline park/obstacle course

we've caught 4 tarantulas in the carport!!

speak Spanish or English? neighborhood kids trying to communicate


Our first week and a half was full of settling-in details. We made trips across the island 3 days in a row to San Juan in order to obtain and register the mini-van we shipped. We are in a city called Aguadilla, 2 hours from San Juan and 45 minutes from Mayaguez. Although it has a country feel, it is near to an airport, University, and shopping centers. We also got our homeschool year started within a week in our new home. When in San Juan, we were able to connect with one young lady we met on earlier trips and tried to track down another. We had a Sunday fellowship/meeting time with several couples from the Mayaguez area who have been eagerly awaiting a Greater Grace fellowship … it was a sweet reunion.

As I unpacked kids’ clothes, I decided to take a break to write some thoughts down. Four of the kids had been occupying themselves for over an hour with a “lizard hunt” in the gated backyard. They claimed to have spotted “iguanas” in the fruit tree they were climbing. This house, our temporary place has been a sweet blessing. I myself had only been to the San Juan area in my previous trips. My heart had said “yes” to the Caribbean after trips to more underdeveloped islands where I maintained a love/hate relationship amongst sunburns, mosquitoes, no hot water … This side of the island has more the feel of the others, but gentler: roosters wake you before sunrise and continue squalking throughout the morning, construction next door begins the loudest projects at the break of daylight, cockroaches are capable of aviation, even tarantulas!!

We brought the kids to a nearby playground and I recalled that playing with Spanish-speaking kids was a good way to encourage language acquisition. The kids were very friendly, but switched to the English they know to accommodate our kids—oh well. We had a time of soul-winning with some college students who were headed for the skate “arena” and they were full of questions about the Bible and Christianity.

We spotted a lifeless-looking scraggly dog in our gated yard and I immediately wondered whether I should give it water just to prevent its expiration on our grounds. He’s blind, but finds himself in the gate after we sent him out with a broomstick, we discovered that the owner’s brother faithfully feeds him---oops!

Joking aside, we have adjusted and enjoyed this first place, yet we are diligently seeking a more permanent home in the Mayaguez area, near the small group/Bible study that Greater Grace has maintained contact with for years. There are several couples with whom we’ve had services and evangelism has met welcome responses and salvations. Julian frequents the University campus and they welcome the opportunity to speak English with him and discuss knowing God’s plan for their lives in the midst of their professional pursuits.

We thank you all for your prayers. Please do keep in touch as it is a great encouragement from this far distance.