Friday, December 30, 2005

Christmas in San Diego and Los Angeles

We had a great a week visiting between San Diego and Los Angeles seeing family this Christmas season. We received gift passes to see the famous San Diego Zoo, thanks to my sister Kris, and were treated to a tour and a train ride by my dad and his wife Susan.

We are now at my sister Danas’ house in East Los Angeles till Saturday. We enjoy all the good Mexican food and feel like we are in Puerto Rico when staying here.

Saturday, New Years’ Eve, we will travel to Porterville, about 3 hours north of Los Angeles. Sunday, we will be speaking (Lord willing) at:

Henderson Avenue Baptist Church, habc@ocsnet.net1876 West Henderson, Porterville, CA 93257 , Phone: 559.781.9358

Please pray for our safe arrival and that we might be a blessing to the churches we visit as we work our way up to Tacoma, Washington

A Funeral for Grandma

My grandmother, Margaret Long of Cleveland, passed away last week. She was 94 years old. We were not able to attend the funeral, but my brother and sister stood in for us. Grandma was from an immigrant family from Yugoslavia, spoke a good number of languages, was a great cook, helped the poor and bed ridden in her community and loved us very much. We will be in the Cleveland area in about 3 months and hope to see our extended family then.

Friday, December 23, 2005

They're Back!

Bethany and Rachel flew in from Pensacola Christian College Monday! I have a sister who works at Disney Travel and she got us all free guest passes for Disney and California Adventure. We are living out of suitcases with family down here in Los Angeles area and having a great reunion with everyone. Having family all together again is the best Christmas present we could have hoped for! We are visiting my father in the San Diego area this week. We also were treated to the San Diego zoo yesterday! We appreciate the generosity of family and friends that are working well this week to give us a very special time together. Posted by Picasa

Monday, December 19, 2005

Missionary Road trip: From Long Beach, CA to Carpinteria and Oakview, CA

Tina, the Twins and I packed up Saturday and drove about 3 hours to the home of Steve and Kathy Button. Steve is the Pastor of the Carpinteria Valley Baptist church of Carpinetria, California. Tina and I had met Steve and Kathy when they lived in Martinez, CA. Once we even spent almost three weeks with them during our deputation travels many years ago. They graciously received us into their home and we enjoyed all the catching up kind of conversations we had with them. The church had a nice projection system and even a remote control device, so I was able to give our PowerPoint presentation without sitting at the computer. It was the first time we gave our presentation and put out our display, so I was a bit nervous about it, but all seemed to go well. We met a lot of friendly people and were encouraged by their generosity and good will.

Sunday afternoon we relaxed at Steve and Kathy’s house and then prepared to go to Oakview, a town near Ojai, about 15-30 min from Carpinteria. Just before we were to go, we found out that the Oakview church was having problems with their projector. Steve graciously offered to lend us their own personal projector for the day, so thanks to him we were able to give a slide show of our missionary experiences in the church at Oakview Sunday night.

The Oakview church proved very friendly and we were remembered by a good number of the people. Pastor Linn Carothers and I have some things in common (country churches, college professors, etc) and I enjoyed the time we had together, but wish we had more time to get to know each other better. That night we gave our presentation and were asked to give our testimonies, explain our call to the mission filed and share our vision for our future ministry. We had a good Q&A time as well, so the service went overtime, but everyone seemed happy and hung around for an after church fellowship. We were invited to a spaghetti dinner at the pastor's home after church and had a chance to speak to a group of teenagers that were there. When they found out that our daughters Bethany and Rachel are going to Pensacola Christian College, there was a lot of interest among the teens about why we picked that school and what was it like. We challenged the teens to consider going to a Bible College and missions as a possible life path.

The roads were clear late Sunday, so we were able to return to Long Beach in just 2 hours.

Bethany and Rachel are flying in from college to be with us Monday at 9 PM! It has been a LONG time since we have seen them! God is good and we are experiencing many blessings by meeting many good people and being able to enjoy some precious family fellowship.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Made it!

Friend, church member and shade tree mechanic Miguel assembled our car and gave us a ride in it to the airport, and we made it on time! I had my doubts if that thing would ever run again! It was a real grunt getting ready for this trip. The flu knocked me for a loop and took about 4 days out of my preparations for visiting the States. In spite of being sick, I managed to write a final, give it and get in all the grades Friday, leave Saturday and get into Los Angeles, California about 10pm. We visited with family till about 12 midnight, but because of jet lag, it was 4 AM to our tired bodies.

Just before we left, we got our first cell phone. Our number is: (787) 702-8790

The first order of business upon arrival was to buy a car. I learned how to use Kelly Blue book ( online to price and locate the cars. Then I learned how to use to get vehicle history reports on them. We narrowed in on a 1999 Honda Odyssey 7 passenger mini-van and were able to buy it. It cost $9,900, but with extended warrantee, tax, license, etc it ran about $12,000. We plan on driving it till the end of May and then leaving it for our college age daughters to use but available for us. The idea is that, instead of renting, we will have a car somewhere that we can pick up and use whenever we return to the States for meetings.

Today I hope to finish our Power Point presentation. This is my first one, and I am working with a lot of interruptions, but hopefully we will finish it before we need to show it this Sunday morning!

We will be driving to Carpinteria, California, about 3 hours North of where we are in Los Angeles (Long Beach) for a meeting here:

Carpinteria Valley Baptist Church
800 Maple Ave., Carpinteria, CA 93013
Pastor: Stephen R. Button
Phone: (805) 684-5014

Tina came down with a cold yesterday. Please pray for our health, energy, wisdom and opportunities for us to promote missions. Merry Almost Christmas!

Saturday, December 10, 2005

I Think I’m Winning…But They Keep Moving the Finishing Line!

I preached my last sermon, taught our last Bible study and went on visitation one last time this week, so I ought to be ready to leave Puerto Rico tomorrow at 3:20 PM. I spent a LOT of hours grading Bible college final exams because of a record number of students (22) taking my classes this year. I just called in the grades, so I’m finished at the school too! Hurray!

Just a few days ago a gentleman gave me a call. He wants to study Greek with me in the Spanish language, but cannot leave his work to study with us during the day. So we have begun a personal course between us. I have taught the course in lecture format before, but this time I am going to teach it by use of a Wiki (a kind of a web page), audio and video clips and email. Once we get through the class, we ought to have a nice set up for others who want to study but cannot attend regular classes. In a way, it is forcing me to take another step closer to a vision I have for our ministry: creating an online seminary in the Caribbean to help train our people.

I got news this week that I have been accepted into a Doctoral degree program. The program was set up by a network of Bible colleges and Seminaries in India, who have many students who cannot leave their jobs to attend. The resulting structure is a perfect set up for people in my situation, and most of the program can be completed online. By going through a program like this myself first, I hope to pave the way and replicate on our field the good things others have created on theirs. By God’s good grace, I hope to study and do a lot of the work on the road between our scheduled meetings.

Sometimes it is hard to know when you are finished! I do not think we will ever be finished, but I do think if we keep in the race, we will find that we are on the winning side!

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Up, Down, Up but Moving Forward!

With only a week to go before we leave for the States, our schedule was quite full and exciting. It even became more exciting when I fell ill with the flu! It basically knocked me for a loop for about 4 days.

At first, I just thought I was getting tired. I had to help about 22 of my students prepare for the final exams, so I dragged myself down to the college, taught, took a nap during chapel and then taught some more and came home and went straight to bed. Then the chills and fever came. Fortunately, I had planned ahead a bit and scheduled our deacon Wilfredo to preach that Sunday. It was my last Sunday AND my 51st birthday, so even though I was still wiped out, I went so I would not loose my last opportunity to encourage our people before our departure. I am over the fever part, and recovering, but still shy of the 100% rebound I was hoping for by now.

I will miss our church here. The people have become our friends and the simple pleasures of life on the mission field will be missed during our 5 month absence.

We will leave Puerto Rico (Lord willing) at 3:20 PM this Saturday and about 9 flight hours later be in Los Angeles. Please pray that I can make a rapid rebound from my battle with the flu, and we can all arrive in peace and safety.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

MMM..Almost Ready!

Christmas Pig on a spit is a big hit around here from now 'till Jan 6, Three Kings day. I think I know how he feels! We are in a whirl getting our home, church and Bible College set up for our absence. Also we feel the pressure of arranging meetings and getting our family ready for about 6 months of visiting churches in the US. We hope to receive a warm welcome from a caring church, even if it is in a cold climate! We are almost ready to come. Please pray for a warm welcome for our family as we travel to raise support for the missionary work here in Puerto Rico. Posted by Picasa

Monday, November 28, 2005

The College and Highschool group had a nice outing at a park in San Juan recently. But now, we are all gearing up for the end of the semester, final exams and traveling home for Christmas. Just two weeks and we will have to lock up the house for 5 months and visit our supporting churches in the States. It is not easy to focus on finishing the semester, preparing the church for our absence and making preparation for meetings many months down the road. We would appreciate your prayers for widsom and peace duirng the next few weeks! Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Home office memo: 20 factors affecting missionary giving

I got this memo from the home office about factors affecting giving in the US. Very interesting.

1. Average credit card debt per U.S. household is $8,400. Source:
2. Americans spent more on legalized gambling ($2,500 for every American) than on groceries. Source: Focus on the Family article on the US abstract reports
3. Requests for emergency shelter assistance grew an average of 19% from 2001 to 2002 in 18 major cities - the steepest rise in a decade. Of these requests, 41% were families, 41% single men, 13% single women, 5% minors. Source: USA Today
4. 70% of employees are retiring BEFORE they are 65. And 33% of retirees indicated that 90% of their income came from their Social Security retirement check of $895/month. Source: Washington Post
5. 20% of Americans have items stored in the U.S.'s 40,000 storage facilities. Source: USA Today
6. Many U.S. families (and churches) are only a couple months away from a financial crisis. Source: Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID) at the University of Michigan
7. Record 1.5 million bankruptcies in 2002 (more than the ENTIRE decade of the 1960's). Source: U.S. Courts
8. Average college student carries 4 credit cards (with UNPAID balances of $2,327).Source: Washington Post
9. Financial problems are among the most frequent contributing causes of marital stress and divorce. Source: American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers
10. 50% of new college graduates owe $10,000-$40,000 in student loans (and 1/3 were unable to make their first monthly payment 6 months after graduation). Source: Wall Street Journal
11. $10-13 trillion dollars in inheritances will be transferred to the Baby Boomer generation within the next 10-20 years. Yet, 70+% of the elderly today have NO will or trust ($0 for church/non-profits) Source: Chronicle of Philanthropy
12. 95% of Christian educational institutions (colleges, universities, seminaries and Bible colleges) offer NO personal or ministry financial curriculum. Source: Lilly Foundation Studies
13. 90% of denominations offer no available (or limited) financial teaching resources to their pastors or churches. Source: Christian Stewardship Association
14. 85% of Pastors feel unequipped and uncomfortable teaching on finances and giving. Source: Lilly Foundation Studies
15. 90% of churches have no active plan for teaching biblical financial principles. Source: Christian Stewardship Association seminar research
16. In 2000, 12% of all born again adults tithed to their local church. The percentage rose to 14% in 2001, but dropped to only 6% in 2002. This represents a 62% drop! Source:
17. There has been a 30+ year decline in the percent of income Christians give (depending on the denomination, the average giving is 1% � 3? %) Source: Empty Tomb Research
18. 20-35% of church attendee giving records are blank ($0 of recorded offerings given). Source: Christian Stewardship Association
19. In 1999, $3 billion was given to 600 Christian mission agencies. Compare this to $58 billion for soda products, $24 billion in jewelry store sales, $8 billion for movies theaters, $13 billion for chocolate products, $38 billion in vending machine sales, $11 billion for computer/video games, $7 billion for greeting cards, $23 billion for toys, $91 billion in lawn/garden industry, $23 billion for pets. Source: Empty Tomb Research
20. In the Bible there are 40 verses on "baptism," 275 verses on "prayer," 350 verses on "faith," 650 verses on "love" -- and 2,350 verses that relate specifically to finances and material possessions.
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Friday, November 18, 2005

Kristin has the Dengue Fever : ( , but is OK.

We knew she had a fever, but finally discovered it was the Dengue when her feet started itching. The classic symptom of itching comes in the middle days of the Dengue, which lasts about 10 days and is followed by a week or so of fatigue. The bad thing is that you can’t take aspirin, because the Dengue causes your blood to thin and aspirin just makes it thinner still. Kristin is taking a break from homeschool, sitting with her feet in a pail of cool water and watching some old Disney videos. I guess it’s not all bad!

We Need Someone to House Sit in the Caribbean!

We would like someone to house sit for us. From December 10, 2005 to the first week of June 2006 our house will be empty while we are in the States on furlough. If we can’t get somebody, we will have to cancel every utility, lock up the house and start it all up again in 6 months.

Our home has three bedroom, 2 bathrooms and a pool in the back yard. We are in the interior mountain region, and there is a great view from our balcony. We have lots of green jungle plants and the coqui frogs have a sweet song that we enjoy hearing at night. There is a good super market in town and you can survive even if you don’t speak Spanish.

Please think about it or pass it along to some trustworthy friend. I am sure it beats any Timeshare! We pay $375 for rent a month and about $250 for electricity, water, phone and Internet. Too much? Well, anything over basic utilities would be better for us than just closing up our home. Of course if someone could help out with the rent as well, that would be a greater help for us.

Ideally, one person will come and stay here about 6 months, help with the rent and leave when we return. If you think you would like a month or more in the Caribbean, give us a call right away!

Pastor Steve Prelgovisk
PO Box
Comerio, PR 00782

787-875-0437 (Atlantic Standard Time: EST, but 1 hour later).

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Fun can be Good for Everyone!

Here is a quote I read today that warns of the dangers of costly entertainments:

“entertainments…great preparations and costly magnificence, demanding the expenditure of endless care and trouble about things of little concern.” – Plutarch (46-120 AD)

Not to detract from Plutarch, but sometimes our entertainments enable us to succeed. My interest in computers came to the rescue of our ministry last week.

We are temporarily housebound by car problems. But we found ways to extend our ministry. I was able to teach our Bible college classes and keep in touch with our partners in the ministry by a new method. By God’s good grace, our pleasures have helped us to promote matters of great concern.

Last week I was going to miss teaching my class again. But then Ron called. Ron is a fellow missionary I work with at Puerto Rico Baptist College. We spoke about recording my class. But since I do not have a video camera, I thought it could not be done. But then I remembered we did have a little webcam and a cheap microphone. We decided to give it a shot. Without leaving home, I made a videos for both classes and emailed them to my student assistants. Friday morning I was still stuck at home, but I was also seen teaching two classes in another town at the same time!

Learning how to do a Wiki has helped. A Wiki is an internet site that a lot of people can create together at once. I can have students post their homework as web pages, correct them online and leave them there to quickly construct a new website. This way, all class work is cumulative and goes to build an online website that can teach others the same subject. I can post class video clips here as well.

We are starting to get exited about this! We made a lecture that can be seen anywhere in the world and anytime. We hope to continue this, even when we are free from our temporary captivity. We hope to have a complete course available on the internet. We are excited, because this could help us build an online Bible College and Seminary more quickly than we had imagined!

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Youth Panic to Teen Picnic

It is amazing what can be done in spite of car breakdowns, rainstorms and getting left behind. The youth group tried to have an activity, but we canceled it for lack of transportation, as our 92 Previa is being rebuilt. Then our youth leader said, "Let's do it anyway!" Then HIS CAR broke down. We cancelled the activity a SECOND time. Then at noon the next day, they scrounged up a few cars and went on their activity just as a big rainstorm began. Somehow they managed to have a great time anyway!

There was not room for the biggest guy, so he had to stay behind. I was worried that his feelings might be hurt and that we might lose Misael, a 21 year old young man who has been visiting our church. But I just spoke to him tonight and he told me that he wants to join our church! Amen!
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Tuesday, November 01, 2005

From Good and Bad, to Better AND Worse.

If you are bi-polar, it makes a big difference to you if you find yourself on the emotional South or the emotional North Pole. If you wake up and see igloos and Polar Bears, you know it will be a fine day. But if you wake up and see penguins... well, some days we would rather skip over. This week we have seen it all!

From Bad to Worse.
You can see form the photo that we are doing almost an entire engine rebuild. It is needed, so I can be philosophical about that. BUT in about 6 weeks we will be leaving this car in Puerto Rico and must buy/borrow one as soon as we get into Los Angeles, CA, Dec 10th. But, what to do? We must maintain what we have, so the expenditure must be made.

From Good to Better.
One of my church members stuffed a $100 check in my pocket Sunday morning. Then the men got together and gave us $500 towards our car repair. Another member is dedicating a lot of time to helping us with the project. So, instead of costing $2,500 to rebuild, we are maybe in the $1500 range. At least we know we have great friends! And there are few greater blessings then when a church you started rallies together and comes to your aid!

From Better to Best?
That is yet to be. We hope our Stateside friends can lend a hand. Hope to see you all shortly! Posted by Picasa

Friday, October 28, 2005

Old Guy Hug

I get impatient when I have a present to give someone! I ordered some large print bibles and had one set-aside for William Baez. He is an 80 year old who has walked to our church for the last 6 Sundays in a row. He shook my hand and smiled as he entered the church

"I have something for you!" I said. "Today I am keeping a promise I made to you. Here is a large print bible"

"For me?" He gasped. "Wow! How much is it?"

"Nothing." I replied. "Here we do not charge anybody for the Word of God."

"But I must give you something. " insisted William. "You must tell me how much it cost."

I answered;" Well, that is between you and God. It cost us about $20. But I won't take any of your money for it. If you insist, put what you want in the offering plate, but don't tell me about it. That is something private between you and the Lord."

I smiled and extended my hand, attempting to end the conversation on this note and get back to greeting the other people arriving for our morning service.

"What! You can't give me a handshake after all that!" He beamed. "Come over here and let me give you a big hug!"

And he did! Posted by Picasa

Monday, October 24, 2005

Mixed Emotions: Car Breaks, Umbrella busted, Friends Faithful

It is great to have friends who can get you out of a jam! But who wants to be in a jam!

The OIL LIGHT went bright red as my car climbed the mountain road towards home. I only needed a minute to maneuver out of the traffic, but the engine died. I felt scared for the safety of the six college students I was bringing home. I told the college girls to get out and wait for us in a safe place. The three guys and I pushed the car across the center lane of traffic and onto a safer side street.

My assistant pastor Tulio has a cell phone, so I called around for help. I stood out by the main street so our rescuers could find us. But we had a lot of wind and a rainstorm as Tropical Storm Alpha passed close by our island. My umbrella turned inside-out a few times as I fought to keep it stable in the gusty winds. I was going to deliver three of the students to help a Puerto Rican Pastor who lives higher up in the mountains. Fortunately he was able to find me and get his kids home safely. My deacon Wilfredo came and took our three and me to our house. Miguel, a church member and car repair guy, came with a friend and managed to nurse the car home, where it sits waiting for a new oil pump.

So, the important thing is that all seven of us, plus the car, got home safely. AMEN! Also, it was a blessing that it was sunny Sunday morning, as we all walked to church. It is about half a mile down hill. We made quite a parade, Tina, the twins, our three college helpers and I all walking to church! I guess if it had to happen, it was a blessing that all I had to suffer was an inside-out umbrella, getting wet and the expense of a car repair. It could have been worse!

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Car (I Hope) Fixed Just in Time

Miguel and his friend picked up a water pump and installed it in our 92 Toyota Previa this evening. A day or two of extra labor and an additional $90 appears to have solved the cars remaining problems. Tomorrow I have an three hour round trip to our Bible College and plan on returning with a van full of college kids to help us in our church planting efforts up here in the interior mountain region. Well, if the car breaks down, at least I will have company!  Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

What Bugs me is....Bugs!

Does your Baptismal Preparation List have these items?

1. Check for iguanas in the water. Remove iguana droppings.
2. Check for giant centipedes!

Well, ours does!

We found this large and dangerous insect yesterday. They are not deadly, but the pinchers are VERY powerful and they have painful venom. Fortunately, we have Poison Cane Toads in our yard to keep the numbers down!

The most noticeable wildlife is our whistling frogs, the Coquis. They are cute and musical, and (almost) make up for our more gruesome guests.

Non-Bug Bugs.
Two brothers come to church Sunday without their parents. One is in first grade and his big brother, Caesar, is in eighth. The little brother was disruptive in the service, to the point that he threw a hymnal. I used all the psychology I possessed to get him out of the service. I asked Irving, our helper from Barcelona, Spain, to preach that Sunday, so I was free to deal with the problem myself. I told Caesar that I thought we should take his brother home and explain to his mother what happened. So I took one hand, Caesar took the other, and we walked up the hill to their house.

I said to the mother, "We want to have your sons in church, and you too! But the little one is having trouble behaving today. I think the best solution would be for you to come and sit with him in church. You know best how to motivate him to behave. Please let Caesar keep coming. We will welcome you, and the little guy too, when you think he is ready"

I was a bit nervous on how the mom was going to take this.

She said, "Pastor, I know how he is. Do not worry. I will keep him home and punish him!"

I said, "It would be best, I think, if you came to church with him. I am not asking you to punish him. BUT, you are his mother, and know what is best for him!"

I think it went VERY WELL. This could have been an explosive situation. But, praise the Lord, she spoke respectfully to me AND trusted me to return to the church with her older son, Caesar. I know that God can transform an ugly bug into a butterfly. From what I saw Sunday, a transformation could be taking place in a home very near our church!
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Saturday, October 15, 2005

"You Want Me to Keep Coming to Church Don't You?"

Today I stopped and talked with an elderly man who has come to our church for five weeks in a row now. He was friendly but then he got serious.

He said; "You want me to keep coming to church, don't you?"

I replied, a bit confused, "Well, Yes! Why do you ask?"

He answered, "When we take turns reading the bible in your adult Sunday school class, and it is my turn, I can't read the verses well and I get embarrassed. Look, I need some help. Please get me a large print bible. I'll even pay for it if I have too!"

I said, "Don't worry about that! I promise you will get one!"

I just ordered 3, one for him and 2 to make available for other who may be struggling with the same problem. I would like to get 5 more. They are $20 apiece. If you would, please help us provide these for our "Senior Sheep."

What about the car? We got it back together and it runs, but it still has some problems. There is still a leak somewhere and the engine runs a bit rough. I am waiting for Miguel to come by today and take a look. Please keep us in prayer! Posted by Picasa

Friday, October 14, 2005

Back Together!

$500 can go for a lot of things, but today it went for a car repair. It was $500 well spent. I feel that way because it was a done at my house by a church member I trust, and was really only just enough to cover the cost of the parts, with some extra to enable Miguel to pay his assistant. I also got to witness to him a little today. If the car HAD to breakdown and be repaired, it really could not have happened in a better way or with better people involved.

BUT furlough is coming, airline tickets must be purchased, a car must be acquired somehow in the LA area for the beginning of our travels, etc. The $500 we spent came out of money being saved for these needs. Now there is less and we will face a greater challenge. If you can help us in the months ahead in some way, we would appreciate it very much.

During the repairs, we found 3 more bad seals and had to run for parts again. A big rain storm came over but we had a good couple of hours without rain. The engine and transmission were reinstalled, and we didn�t have any parts left over, which is always a good sign. I drove it to town and we got groceries and it seems fine. It was a short trip, so the new thermostat did not open up yet. Tomorrow will be more of an extreme test, as I will be teaching in Bayamon and returning with three college students up the mountain road that leads to our home. It is an hour and a half trip through a heavy traffic jam both ways. Pray for us!
 Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Hoping for a Better Day, Preparing for a Worse One!

SWORD. - ALBA GU BRA (Pseudonym meaning "Scotland

We don't always know the best times to plow, fight,
fix a car or take a day off ahead of time. But we do
the best we can.

Miguel came by and we were set to get the engine
reconstructed and into the car, when some torrential
rains came, the city shut the water off AND the
electricity went out. No fun fixing a car in the rain,
especially when you can't wash up afterward. So we
spent the day trying to make sure we have all the
parts. Tomorrow is "Dia de la Raza" so we will have
all day to work on it providing....all of the above
does not continue to delay. Even if it does, we will
try to make it happen.

It is still raining hard. The river is high and some
areas of town are getting flooded. We are high enough
not to worry about the flood, but plenty high enough
to get my heart pumping pretty hard when hiking home
up the hill with a bag of groceries.

Please keep us in prayer. I have missed a few days
training some nationals already, and don't want them
to get discouraged.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Miguel brought a friend along to help fix our car today and a lot of work got done today. Miguel is not charging me for his labor, but the extra guy isn't helping us just for fun, so we will need to pay him something. Posted by Picasa

Hard Work Gets Done By Working Hard

We got a lot done today. Everyone worked so hard! Posted by Picasa

Well, maybe not everybody! Posted by Picasa

We found the leak

Getting this engine in and out will run over a hundred dollars just for the seals, etc.
 Posted by Picasa

And the cause of it all is...!

We found this plug and two others eaten through with corrosion. Someone saved a few dollars a few years ago by putting in some cheap ones. Errr!

The question now is: When can we get all this put back together and running again? We are stretched a bit thin as it is between starting a church and training workers in two Bible Institutes. But prayer, hard work and help sent in a timely manner has saved us in the past. We could use your help with all the above! Posted by Picasa

Friday, October 07, 2005

Creative Car and Computer Solutions

I asked a man once, why he had left home and moved to our area. He said; "Well, my girlfriend left me and my dog died!"

Fortunately, we are not that bad off! BUT, My computer hard drive died and my car engine has sprung a leak in a very bad place!

Friday A.M. at 8, a church member (Miguel Fontanez) is coming over and will be removing the engine from our 1992 Toyota Previa. Miguel is a great blessing. He will only take payment for the parts he buys for the car. He is giving his labor for free. I have been teaching him guitar lessons for free for about six months now, and I did not plan for him to ever pay me for them. It looks like I might get paid back four or five fold for the time I have invested with him!

It still is likely to be expensive. And it is keeping me from teaching in our Bible institute in Ponce. I just might have to finish teaching some classes by correspondence if I am without a car for very long.

Why the Puppy? Well, after the hard drive died, I did not have the original operating system disks to reformat the hard drive. New ones are expensive, so I did some research and found a FREE operating system (ie: Bill Gates gets no money from it.) It is called Puppy Linux. I got a version of it called "Chubby Puppy." Thanks to Chubby Puppy, the computer that I thought had died works just fine now. Chubby Puppy can't do everything (You get what you pay for) but at least I can do email and all the basics for now, and the price is right. Now I can wait for a good deal on a Windows operating system instead of having to buy one right away out of necessity.

So Computers and Cars Have Problems, But God Has Solutions! AMEN! Posted by Picasa

Up, Up and...?

Our furlough begins this December, and that means we will get to be in the States this Christmas! Even though it is a few months away, we need to buy our tickets now before the prices start going up. Airfare will be $1080 for Tina, the twins and I from Puerto Rico to Los Angeles, California. Bethany and Rachel will join us there, flying in from Pensacola, Florida, where they are attending Pensacola Christian College. Their airfare will be about $320. That makes the tickets total about $1,400.

I hope to buy the tickets within the next few days so we can peg the price at a more economic level. If you can help, please help!

The Biggest expense is not the airfare, but getting a good car when we arrive. We will need it from Dec. 2005 till the end of May 2006. We will drive (Lord willing) from LA to Tacoma and then out to Florida. We hope to fly back to Puerto Rico from Orlando, Florida, as it has the best rates to our island. We then need to sell the car (or return it somehow if borrowed) or leave it with Bethany and Rachel to use at college. We had thought to buy a used Sienna Mini-Van, but they seem expensive. But we need a car for six that is safe enough to cross the US in winter without getting us stranded somewhere in North Dakota. We are open to borrowing, or ...? Going to Orlando in May/June of 2006? You might find a real good deal on a car, and not have to rent one when you go to Disney World! If you have any ideas about how we could do this, let us know!

I do trust the Lord. But I believe that by sharing our concerns here, God may meet our needs through some of you. God may channel a blessing through your hearts and hands to a time and place where it can make a big difference for our family and His work on the mission field. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, October 02, 2005

An OddFellow Comes to Church

We seem to be doing well this month. Church attendance is up. We are seeing results from our visitation. A man I have been after for about 6 months has come three Sundays in a row. He told me today, "I have been a Mason, and spent 30 years in the Odd Fellow lodge and was treasurer. This is the first real church I have ever been in, and I like it!"

His name is Wilson Baez. He is 80 ears old and in surprisingly good health. He walks about 3 miles every day, so I have seen him a lot around town and have struck up many conversations with him. I asked him "Why are you always walking around town?" Wilson responded, " I love visiting sick people in their homes and cheering them up."

He cheered me up today! I hope that Wilson will continue liking all he sees and hears in our church and come to know Christ as his Savior. I would like to make the rounds with Wilson and gain a new brother in the Lord and a new visitation partner for our community outreach here in Comerio, Puerto Rico. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

You Know You Are a Missionary Kid when...

Our daughters seem to be turning out rather well. Bethany and Rachel are studying at Pensacola Christian College and our twins, Sarah and Kristin, are a big help at our mission church here in Puerto Rico. Missionary kids don't have it easy.

They say you know you are an MK when...

You know what REAL coffee tastes like. Whenever anyone gets sick you say "It must be an ameba." You can't answer the question, "Where are you from?" You speak two languages, but can't spell in either. You flew before you could walk. The U.S. is a foreign country. You have a passport, but no driver's license. You have a time zone map next to your telephone. Your life story uses the phrase "Then we went to..." five times. You watch nature documentaries, and you think about how good that would be if it were fried. You think in grams, meters, and liters. You speak with authority on the quality of airline travel. National Geographic makes you homesick. You keep dreaming of a green Christmas. The nationals say, "Oh, I knew an American once..." and then ask if you know him or her. You are grateful for the speed and efficiency of the U.S. Postal Service. You realize that furlough is not a vacation. You've spoken in dozens of churches, but aren't a pastor. Furlough means that you are stuffed every night... and have to eat it all to seem polite. You stockpile mangoes. When you sing songs to yourself in a language other than English. When you mother gets excited over finding Doritos at 7-11. When on deputation you have memorized Dad's messages. When after the church service you look for a slide projector to put away. You carry Bibles in two languages to church. You send out birthday invitations in a foreign language. When your five foot tall mother is taller than most of your church members. When you go on furlough your Mom buys everything in the store. When adults want to pay you to teach them English. When the family gathers around the computer to check the E-mail. When all your clothes have been worn by someone else. When you find a seven year old picture of yourself on someone's refrigerator.
When the message on your answering machine is in two languages. When you move into a new house you take a gift to all your neighbors. When your Mom sends you out to sweep the street in front of your house. You consider parasites, dysentery, or tropical diseases to be appropriate dinner conversation. You tell people what certain gestures mean in different parts of the world. You would rather have a Land Rover Defender than a Lexus. When you complain of being too cold in the air-conditioned malls You realize what a small world it is, after all. You never take anything for granted. You know how to pack. All preaching sounds better under a corrugated tin roof. Going to the post office is the highlight of your day.
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