Thursday, July 29, 2004

An Iguana came to our church BBQ!

What do you do when this guy shows up at your party? This wild iguana climbed under the backyard fence and came to visit our BBQ last Monday. We were not sure if we should chase him away, catch him or put him on the grill! Wilfredo, a member of my church, took off his shirt to catch this LARGE iguana, but he got away. He ran up an avocado tree and blended into the leaves up above. When I went to put the dog out at night, I confess I was a little jumpy! I saw something move and thought it was this iguana coming back, but it was only some large cane toads hopping around in the dark. They are poisonous but only if you eat them. So far, we have resisted the temptation! The iguanas are not dangerous unless cornered. They can use that long tail as a painful whip and can give nasty scratches with their large claws. We like looking at them but hope to avoid any surprise encounters. You can see his tail better in the previous posting with Tina in the background. Posted by Hello

Uninvited guest crashes our BBQ! I wrote about a lizard in church, but look at this iguana that came to our BBQ! Posted by Hello

Saturday, July 24, 2004

Meningitis Outbreak Puerto Rico! Fear of this deadly disease has caused our church to postpone our campout. The place we were going is the center of a recent outbreak. There are reports of water pollution near the beach area we were to stay at. The teenagers who caught the disease all had been in the water a few days before. Our islands health officials do not believe they caught it from swimming at a dirty beach, but just to be safe most are avoiding that area. The town is putting up a yellow flag on the beach. If 15 days pass without a bad pollution report the flag will be replaced with a green one. Even though I think canceling it is an over-reaction, we have done so.

Here is the News Story: "Citizens are urged to help stop spread of meningitis"

Friday, July 23rd, 2004. SAN JUAN (AP) The outbreak of meningitis that began in the southern region of the island is at its peak with 38 cases reported, said Health Department epidemiologist Juan Alonso on Wednesday. The outbreak is expected to affect up to 500 people. Local authorities have yet to ascertain its origin
- Local health authorities called on citizens to follow hygienic measures to prevent further spreading of a meningitis outbreak in the southern part of the island. According to the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta, meningitis is an infection of the fluid of the spinal cord and the fluid that surrounds the brain. Funguses, viruses, bacteria, or parasites may cause meningitis. People who become infected with meningitis may experience sharp headaches, fever, vomiting, stiffness of the neck area, and drowsiness. "We're recommending that people wash their hands frequently, especially after going to the bathroom or changing baby diapers. They should also wash their hands before handling food," warned Alvarado during a press conference. Meningitis is spread through saliva, mucus, and excrement. The Health Department has said a virus has caused the outbreak." Posted by Hello

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Cold Blooded Visitor!

Cold Blooded Visitor in Church! This Puerto Rico Crested Anole came for a visit to church this week. Puerto Rico is covered with these lizards. They are even on the walls of buildings in the centers of towns. This type of lizard is about 3 inches in length, not including the tail. The tail is about 150% of the body length for at total length of 7.5 inches. What makes it interesting is that they dart out from under things during the service and pounce on any bugs that are in the church. This is OK with me, except when I am preaching! When a large moth lands on a window sill, sometimes one of these guys runs down the wall and goobles it up. Then they bob their heads up and down to claim that spot as their own. I have learned to wait a moment when all this drama is going on. Whatever is said during a lizard/moth encounter is pretty much not remembered! I usually just make the event a part of my sermon and keep on preaching!

 Posted by Hello

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

How to Study During Hurricane Season

Hurricane season. A few years ago, I lost almost 500 books in a flood. Since then I have had to do a lot of my research and sermon preparation using the internet. This is the site I use the most. It has many Spanish bibles as well as Bible dictionaries and other study helps. I find, copy and paste verses into Wordpad and write my sermons using these good resources. I like, and for a lot of my in-depth study and sermon preparation. Now, if I have a computer, I have access some good tools that help me do my job here as a missionary. I still like books better, but it is good to access to a library that the hurricane cannot destroy. Posted by Hello

Monday, July 19, 2004

Happy Birthday! Sarah and Kristin turn 12! We have some missionary friends that provided plenty of little girls for the party! Posted by Hello

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Electronic Ankel Bracelet and Prayer. Tonight we are taking our Wednesday night prayer group and going to a home of a woman under house arrest. She has her dat in court tommorrow and she will have her electronic ankel device removed, either to be set free or because thejudge will sentence her to a jail term. Pray with us for her relationship with God and her current situation. She attended our church last year for a short time and has turned to us in her time of trouble. We hope we can help her and be a blessing to her extended family. Posted by Hello

Monday, July 12, 2004

Church Member Keeps a Promise

Miguel came and brought a friend! Miguel came to our house on the first day of his vacation and spent all day fixing our car! He is the Puerto Rican young man on the right in the photo. He and his partner fixed a broken mount on our transmission and a hard to get at water leak between the transmission and motor. After that he even repaired our air conditioner! He presented us with a bill for $113, which was only $40 over what it cost him for parts. I paid it and gave him a tip so he and his partner could go out to a nice restaurant with their friends or family. Miguel is a young man we are discipling. He is becoming more and more active in the church. I gave his friend a gospel tract and invited him to church. He is a little nervous about visiting a church. I hope our day together has created a friendly spirit between us that may lead to him to respond to our invitation. We sure are happy to have a working air conditioner again. It has been over two years and three repair jobs that we have endured a non-working air conditioner. Maybe it was just waiting for these guys to come along! Posted by Hello

Sunday, July 11, 2004

Church Campout! Gratitude and Car Repairs.

Church Campout!

Church attendance was low today. We usually have about 30-35, but today had only 25 people in the service. The two girls our church sent to camp gave testimonies and thanked the church for sending them. One of the girls just called and asked when they could come and finish sanding the old pews we are refinishing. They helped us the week before to earn money for camp, but wish to come finish the job out of gratitude for our help (and the pizza we will be providing!)

The ladies got together after my sermon and began speaking about having a campout for our church. Everyone agreed it was a good idea and we scheduled it for the end of July.
Our desire is to increase the level of fellowship and family feeling among our church members. I am encouraged that the idea sprang up from among the church members. I am happy when they take the initiative in planning activities for the church. I feel the church is maturing, as many Puerto Ricans will fellowship only within their family groups. It is nice that our members are beginning to feel they are members of a loving family.

Our new assistant song leader, Miguel, is coming over tomorrow at 8 am to help me fix some hard to get at water leaks in our mini-van. We ought to be disconnecting the transmission about 9. You are invited! Please pray we can find and fix the leak and that we can have some good fellowship as well.

.  Posted by Hello

Friday, July 09, 2004

A Disciple Helps his Pastor!

A few weeks ago I had a water leak between the motor and transmission that cost about three hundred dollars to fix. Another leak is coming from the same area. A young man from my church came by and took a look at it. He is willing to spend a day at my house this coming Monday to fix it for me. I expect to pay him but I don't mind helping a church member. Miguel has just begun to lead singing Sunday morning and is taking guitar lessons from me Wednesday nights before prayer meeting. He gave a testimony last month about beginning to tithe, so I know some of what we pay him will find its way back into the church. I am thankful for Miguel. Please pray that we can get the car up and running again soon. We live in the small town of Comerio up in the mountains and need a car to get to just about everywhere. Posted by Hello

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

This is NOT a hold up! Here are some hard working members of our youth group helping the church that is helping some of them go to summer camp. Posted by Hello

Monday, July 05, 2004

We send two teenage girls to summer camp

Summer Camp! We had a work party at our house to help teens get money for camp. Only two girls were going but four more came just to help! We sanded four mahogany pews and got a lot of work done. Our neighbor had a BBQ and brought over plates of food, so we got all that work done and did not even have to order a pizza! I told the youth group that they can sign their names underneath the pews they are working on when they finish. I said that when they have kids they can put them underneath the pews in church have them read their names there. They laughed at this, but they are all eager to eturn next week and finish the job. We have a great group of teens in the church. Please pray for this week at camp and the further growth of our youth group and our church. Posted by Hello

Friday, July 02, 2004

Computer crash.

Help! My computer just died! We used to have lots of computers, but I gave some to Bethany and Rachel to take to college and the twins are using some for homeschool, leaving me with the broken machine. I could really use a new computer or laptop. I am using the twin's machine to write this. They should be doing a homeshool subject but don't complain too much when I ask them to take a break. I hope I can get a replacement soon to avoid conflicts and them getting behind in their schooling or our work being hindered. Posted by Hello


I took our adult Sunday school teacher, Miguel Nieves, to visit a young lady with a problem yesterday. We took a book called "The Purpose Driven Life" and our Bibles and had a great time covering the basics of the Christian life. She cannot come to church because she is under house arrest and is wearing one of those ankle devices. She was a passenger in a car when her boyfriend ran over a person who had insulted her. The man went to jail and the court is viewing the young lady as a possible accomplice. Her court date is coming up, but in the meantime she is very open to the comfort that is found in God's word and the Christian life. The young woman has problems reading, so I will try to find her material on cassettes or CD's.

Please pray for her maturity in the Christina life and for our visits.