The past two days have been excellent and I haven’t had a chance to post until now.
Day 2 I brought a message simply entitled “Missions – The Time” and talked with the kids about “divine appointments” and how God often works through his messengers to reach a particular hearer of the Gospel through the leading of the Holy Spirit and the power of His Word. The kids enjoyed the real-life examples I was able to share with them. Both Bethie and I were blessed to spend some time with our hosts who are also ministry partners with us during midday and throughout the evening too.
Day 3 (today/Wednesday) I shared “Missions – The Need” with the kids. I explained the religious situation in Mexico and the story of the “Virgin of Guadalupe.” They were very attentive today as well as yesterday and Monday. Both days the high school/college aged counselors also commented positively on the messages/presentations. I’ve shared some video clips and many, many photo images with them on the PowerPoint.
Day 4 (Thursday) I’ll be sharing “Missions – The Cost.” Today’s theme was a tough one to share in many respects, and tomorrow’s won’t be any easier. Following Jesus is not an easy course in life. He told us to take up our cross and follow Him…every day. Increasingly, the world is a world of persecution for believers. This is a difficult thing to share with 10 to 12 year-old kids. Pray for me and for this final session.
Our hosts would like us to give an invitation to respond to the missions challenge. I am not exactly sure what that will look like but it won’t be any sort of pressure-filled event. “Who wants to sign up for a life threatened by persecution and suffering!…Anyone? Anyone at all?” Well…it isn’t quite that bad but you know, that’s really close to the “bottom-line” of missions and really of being a follower of Jesus regardless of vocation. I pray we’re up to the task ourselves.
Tomorrow, we’ll conclude our time here and will be heading to Pontiac, Illinois right after my final message and missions challenge to the kids. This was a last minute plan to visit our friends from Pontiac Bible Church who came to San Juan del Rio on two separate missions teams in the summer of 2008. We’re excited to get to see at least the associate pastor, Jeff W., from those teams. The senior pastor left for Colorado with his family for a vacation just a few days ago so we’re sorry we’ll miss him. We found out that one of the outstanding high school (now college) youth from that team is heading to the Philippines in a few days and is still lacking some support so we hope to leave a gift for her need while there. It’s neat how the Lord worked that out.
Earlier this afternoon I took Beth to a local dentist to have a look at a tooth that lost half a filling a couple months ago and needs a crown. Unfortunately, one visit isn’t enough to fix it permanently but he did replace the filling. He said she needs to be able to have an impression made in one visit and the crown could then be made about 2 weeks later. We’ve also discovered that the dentists we’ve tried using in Mexico never seem to do this. They put in what would be considered temporary crowns in the U.S. So, we’re trying to figure out when and where in the USA we might be in a place long enough to get this kind of work done. We’re not really sure at this point. The temporary filling should last from 6 to 12 months so we have a little time but our opportunities are slim it seems. I have a couple of bad teeth but am not sure how I’ll ever get them worked on properly. Today’s cost was just $152. Ouch! We’re thankful for what probably is the best care she could hope for at this point.
Thanks for your prayers. This has been an awesome three days here so far. Tonight there is a bon-fire and testimony time. I’ve not heard all of their Bible chapels from the other speaker. I enjoyed what I heard from his messages. May God continue working in the hearts and lives of these kids!
(sorry I don’t have any photos to share…Beth has been helping all day in the kitchen with the cooking and other preparations so she hasn’t been able to take photos during the sessions…most of which have been done with the lights off and the projector running so it would be difficult to even take a photo under those conditions)
WORTHLESS TIDBIT: I had the unfortunate privilege of ridding the farm house of a horrid stench from a rotting raccoon corpse…moved it with a shovel. I’ll spare you the imagery and I definitely did NOT take a photo…and you’re welcome for that. 🙂