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