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Thursday, August 30, 2012

This Shouldn't Take Long

Check out this article for a good chuckle.

My Friend Justo

Click to enlarge
While our mission team was in the Dominican Republic in June, we were usually accompanied by a Word of Life missionary named Justo.  I met Justo and his wife Anilsa last year on my trip there, and it didn't take long for me to grow to love them.

Justo works primarily with young people, traveling each week to several cities around the DR.  Then there's the occasional mission team.  It's often thankless work, but he does it with a joyful and generous heart. 

Like many missionaries, Justo and Anilsa are fully dependent on the financial support of God's people.  That's never easy, much less in this economy.  I know he would appreciate your prayers.

(Here is Justo's August prayer letter. If you'll go down to the 4th paragraph, and you'll see a veiled reference to our trip.)

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Fall Discipleship

It's time to reveal our upcoming discipleship training schedule for this Fall.  Notice the two Spanish language options.

There is a strong emphasis on family this semester.  If you are in the area we invite you to plug in somewhere.

Here are the classes:

1. The Resolution for Men.
2. The Resolution for Women.
3. Principios Basicos (mujeres)
4. La Familia: Una InstituciĆ³n Divina (todos son bienvenidos).
5. Beginners Spanish
6. ESL (English) for all levels.
7. Prayer/Outreach Group.

Partner Connect

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Last night I "attended" the online missions class sponsored by the IMB.  This series of classes is called Partner Connect, and focuses on the American peoples.  The class last night was a good introductory session on the lostness of man in general, and the state of the evangelical church in particular.  While there are many faithful believers in Latin America, there remains a number of unreached people groups there.  Throw in some tradition, mix it with a little syncretism, and you've got a worldview that is hard to penetrate.

You can still sign up for upcoming sessions by clicking here.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Missions Training

If you would like to know more about Christian missions, and have an hour a week to spare, you should check out this link.  Starting tomorrow there will be free missions training offered online every Tuesday evening from 8 - 9 EDT. 

A Promise Kept

Saturday was a big day for one lucky little boy.  He was the winner of the grand prize from our Vacation Bible School.  The prize was a plane ride (in keeping with our aviation theme), so we "settled up" Saturday morning.  The boy and pilot flew over to South Padre Island and back; the trip lasted about 30 minutes.  I can tell you.....he was still beaming 20 minutes after touchdown.                                            
Now, what in the world will we do for next year?

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Old Testament Survey

On September 6th we resume our Bible Institute classes (English and Spanish).  Preregistration is strongly encouraged (so that we can order the books).  The course this time will be Old Testament Survey.  If you or someone you know is interested in going deeper, please get in touch with us.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


"When you come to a fork in the road, take it."  Yogi Berra 

It's time to announce the next step in our UUPG search.  This fall we are going to be meeting once a month to discuss, in depth, what exactly it means to adopt such a group.  To help us do this, we will be using a workbook called "Your FOCUS on The World".  It's a step-by-step guide to help us realize maximum global impact, and to avoid the pitfalls that we'll face along the way.

So, who is invited?  Any member of First Baptist Church who will commit to doing 3 things:

1) buying the workbook;
2) attending all the sessions;
3) studying the material before the meeting, and coming prepared to discuss it.

The dates for said meetings are.........September 22, October 20, and November 17; we'll meet from 9 a.m. to 12 each time.

If you want a sneak peek of the material, you can click here.


We resume our English classes here at FBC on September 9th.  If you live in the valley, please help us get the word out.  We teach beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels, and the only cost is for a workbook.  Prospective students can call the church office for more info:            (956) 542-5334.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


I started this blog when I moved to Brownsville almost 2½ years ago as an simple way to keep family and friends up to date with my mission work.  From time to time, though, I have used this space to pass on information about other individuals/ministries that I'm familiar with.  We're all on the same team, no?

This morning I learned of an exciting opportunity for To Every Tribe Ministries.  Rather than try to summarize, I'll just refer you to this blog where it's all laid out.  If you've been looking for an opportunity to help some good folks, here it is.

Speaking of good folks........a quick update on April Kujawa (see my post from June 26).  April has arrived in Ecuador.  After a few days to get adjusted she'll begin her teaching duties at the Nate Saint Memorial School.  What an exciting opportunity for her;  I know she'll do well there.  Let's keep her in our prayers.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Summer 2012

Last week we hosted a group of 10 from Lane Prarie Baptist Church.  This church sent a team last year, helping a local pastor with a remodeling project.  This year, under a new leader, the team came to conduct VBS in 2 different locations.  In the first location things went alright, but the second ended up being a dud.  This was something of a surprise, since we had another VBS there just a few weeks ago, and the participation was great.  Turns out that another church was sending vans over there each evening to pick up kids for their VBS!  Not to be defeated, the group decided to spend their time instead doing some painting and whatnot at a local pastor's house.  You can see this group in the photo (standing on the porch they built); Pastor Blanco and wife Olivia are in the front.  Many thanks to LPBC for all they did.

As this week (and our summer program) drew to a close, I found myself a feeling a little pensive.  As always, this summer was filled to the brim with activities of all sorts.  The teams we hosted were wonderful, and every single one was complete pleasure to work with.  And though I don't take credit for what they accomplished, it is gratifying to know that I played a part in connecting ministry teams with opportunities.  Things got built, friendships were made, and lives were changed.  And that's not a bad way to spend a summer.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Catch Up

I'm way behind on my posting, so let's get cracking........

During the week of July 15 we held our annual VBS.  I'm not sure what I was expecting, but it turned out great.  The kids were seemed glad to be here, and the leaders were enthusiastic and positive.   

That same week we had a team from Criswell College with us.  This is a tradition for them, and we always look forward to seeing them each year.  Besides helping in VBS, they always are involved in some type of community outreach/ministry.  This year they were working with our college minister, as he prepares for the launch of our new church plant.  It was a very good Criswell team this year.  Many thanks to Professor B.B. Alvarez for his help in putting all this together.

During this same time we also had a team from San Antonio who were conducting their own VBS in a local trailer park.  This excites me, because we haven't worked in that community much.  The response was great....they were ministering to over 50 kids each night, and the parents seemed pleased to see the team there.

The week of July 22nd was the busiest all summer at the HMC.  We had 2 teams staying with us, totaling about 65 people.  Our friends from Village Parkway Baptist Church were back at Riverside Park again this year.  Another team from Houston was working with Pastor Roberto Blanco west of town.  This was a new community for us, and the reception was great.  Pastor Roberto is a good man, and is doing a good job at their new church near Olmito.  It was a pleasure to send one of our work teams to him.  They all worked hard, and did a great job.

As I mentioned in my last post, last week I was in Georgia to attend the Send North America conference.  There were over 2,200 people present, learning about church planting and related topics.  The main sessions were really good, IMHO, and the worship was inspiring and deeply moving.  There's a good article about it here.

That brings us to this week, and there are a couple of things I need to report.  Yesterday in our morning worship service we were happy to host Les and Saralee Tilka.  The Tilkas have served as missionaries in the Philippines for several years; they are stateside at the moment on furlough.  Les brought the morning message, and Saralee and son Brad sang a couple of songs.

Finally, this week we are hosting a small but enthusiastic group from Lane Prairie Baptist Church.  They are our last team for the summer.  They'll be conducting 2 Vacation Bible Schools this week, along with some construction work.  Pray for them as they minister.