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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

4,000 And Counting

Faithful readers of this blog will know that I'm a fan of Casas Por Cristo.  CPC is a Christian ministry that builds houses for the poor in Mexico and Guatemala.  I worked with them in August of 2007; it was a trip I enjoyed immensely.  Anyway, CPC just completed its 4,000th house!  That number is even more impressive when you consider that almost all of those homes were built in Cuidad Juarez, Mexico, which has been a veritable war zone for the past several years. 

There's a nice article about CPC and the milestone in the El Paso Times that you can read by clicking here.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

I Have An Intern, By George!

This weekend our summer intern arrived in Brownsville.  His name is George Lovegrove, and he will be working with me at the mission center.  George has just completed his first year of medical school.  In fact, he will be going with us to the DR in a couple of weeks to help with the medical clinics.  George lives in West Virginia, and is a long time friend of Mr. Roberts and family from First Baptist School.  George was looking for an opportunity to serve this summer, and maybe practice his Spanish a little (he's in the right place for that).

The summer months can be a little hairy down here, so I'm thrilled to have him.  Welcome George!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Now I Get It

We hear a lot about the national debt these days, but the numbers are so unimaginably huge that it's hard to make sense of them.  Well, I read an illustration of this today and thought I would pass it on.

All we have to do to get a better grasp of the mess we're in is take the national figures, remove 8 zeros, and pretend it is a household budget. 

So in other words, if your finances were like those of the federal government, they would look like this:

Annual income: $23,400
Money you spend each year: $35,900
New debt added to credit cards: $12,500
Outstanding balance on credit cards: $154,000
Total cuts you made to the family budget: $385.

What does this have to do with world missions?  A lot, actually.  What the federal government does affects each of us, because we all have to play by the rules that it sets, and live in the world that it creates.  When the economy is weak, as ours is, there's lots of fallout.....missionaries that don't get to the field, mission trips that aren't taken, supplies that aren't bought, financial support that isn't sent, and ministry that doesn't get done.  All because there just isn't any money with which to do it. 

If your income was really as shown above, there would be only one thing you could do to avoid financial collapse: cut spending......drastically.  So why doesn't Uncle Sam do that?  Because there are lots of people receiving those federal dollars, and few people will object to policies that they are benefiting from.  And so we continue our reckless ways, speeding toward the abyss, hoping that somehow everything will turn out alright. 

If you have a minute, you should visit the U.S. debt clock.  Prepare to have your mind blown.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Plenty Of Notice

Last night was the final night of the Perspectives class.  It was actually a celebration of sorts, with a dinner featuring lots of international dishes.  After the meal we sat around and reflected on the course, about what we had learned and what it had meant to us.

The good news: I found out last night that the course will be offered again next year in Los Fresnos.  Like this year, it'll begin in January.  I post this now in the hopes that many who wanted to take it this year, but could not, will be able to carve out some time in their schedule for it.

Exact dates TBD.  To find out more visit the Perspectives website.

Monday, May 7, 2012

The Weekend

Last Saturday night we held our second DR mission trip team meeting.  After a wonderful meal (typical DR fare), we talked for a couple of hours about preparations for the trip - nuts and bolts kind of stuff.  After over a year of planning, it's really wonderful to see this trip come together.   

On Sunday morning at FBC we presented the musical "Into All The World".  I'd never participated in (or heard, for that matter) an entire musical devoted to the theme of world missions before, but it was nice to be a part.  In song after song we were encouraged to take the message of Christ to the ends of the earth, even as He commanded us to do.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Topical Method

Tonight is the next to last class in our first semester at our Bible institute.  At this very moment my students are doing a brief Bible study on their own on a topic that I gave them.  We've been talking about Bible study methods, and now it's time to practice.  I'm so proud of them.  They've worked hard, and only missed class when they had to (I gave one student a night off to give birth.  I was big of me).

In any case, rightly dividing the word of truth is a skill, and how I wish more Christians would devote themselves to it.

Into All The World

This coming Sunday our adult and children's choir will present our spring musical entitled "Into All The World".  As you may have surmised, the theme is world missions.  This is most appropriate, given that we are in the process of adopting an unreached people group.  If you plan to be in the valley this weekend, I hope you'll consider joining us (10:45 a.m.) as we celebrate God's greatness together.