Saturday, August 26, 2006

Parents Prayer Alert: Nasty Ernesto May Visit

A very bad looking storm skirted us to the south and we are grateful. BUT it appears headed right for where our daughters are attending school, Pensacola, Florida.

We used to worry and pray about hurricanes after they passed us by. Now we follow them for a week afterwards to make sure our daughters get the prayer coverage they need. We invite you to say a prayer for their safety.

Friday, August 25, 2006

How to Make a Rain Sandwich

Hurricane Debbie is above our island and soon-to-be hurricane Ernesto is passing just below us.
(Keep an eye on Ernesto, looks like it could get big and nasty).

We probably won't go on door to door visitation with our college students tomorrow because of the tropical storms. Not much wind, but they pull a tremendous amount of rain over us as they pass by.

We have lots of project though to keep us busy, like sanding the old refrigerator, and refinishing the last two pews we bought to match the eight we have finished and are in the church. We may declare it music day and practice a couple of specials for Sunday as well. All that stuff you save for a rainy day is what is on the schedule for tomorrow.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Good News for Tina

Tina responded well to the physical therapy for her Carpal Tunnel pain. The Doctor says she doesn’t need the surgery and can stop the bi-weekly therapy sessions.

She will go back in a month and abide by some guidelines, but nothing drastic.

He did suggest some light weight lifting to strengthen her back and shoulders, so we started that today with a dumbbell set Tina got for me last Father’s day.

When she bought it, she didn’t have any idea she would be using it herself!

(Book cover courtesy of:

A Bus and a Refrigerator

Our old church shuttle bus needed a carburetor we could not find on the island, but we found a new missionary, Tim Schmitt, here who knows how to rebuild them.

Our town has very narrow streets and the shuttle bus was impractical here anyway, so we decided to let him have it as a missionary gift to his work. The bus was given to us and only has cost us about $400 so far, mostly in permits and registration. Pastor Tim suggested that his church was likely to cover that cost for us.

I would rather see that bus being used for the Lord than sitting around here, so putting it into the hands of a specially gifted-mechanic missionary seemed the right thing to do.

The rusty old refrigerator at the church broke down last week. We decided to give our own refrigerator to the church and get ourselves a replacement for it. Saturday we hope to sand and repaint the fridge we are donating so the church will have a nice looking appliance in the kitchen. Here in the humid tropics they rust quickly, so a little elbow grease is what we will be applying to it before we move it in.

Here is an article I came across on spending and being spent for God:

I will very gladly spend and be spent for you; though the more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved. - 2 Corinthians 12:15 KJV

It was Paul’s delight to spend his life for God’s interests in other people, and he did not care what it cost. But before we will serve, we stop to ponder our personal and financial concerns—

What if God wants me to go over there? And what about my salary? What is the climate like there? Who will take care of me? A person must consider all these things.

All that is an indication that we have reservations about serving God.

But the apostle Paul had no conditions or reservations. Paul focused his life on Jesus Christ’s idea of a New Testament saint; that is, not one who merely proclaims the gospel, but one who becomes broken bread and poured-out wine in the hands of Jesus Christ for the sake of others.

Oswald Chambers (

Sunday, August 20, 2006

More Important Than Buildings

We love our students! We do not seek students to build our Bible College, but have as our goal to build students up through the ministry of our school. But when there are more than we have room for, should we turn them away? I hope it will not ever come to that. A piece of land and room to build may be what it takes to house and train all these the Lord has entrusted to our care.

We are encouraged that such high quality young people have dedicated themselves to work in the church and Christian schools and that they have come here to Puerto Rico Baptist College to go out well equipped for the task. May their tribe increase and may we have the facilities to cope with the increase!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Good Problems, but Better Solutions Needed!

Our college started this week and I taught my first groups of students Monday. There is good new and bad news.

The good news: Hurray, all our foreign students got visas and can attend!

The bad: But we didn’t think they all would get them and now our dormitories are packed out with college kids! I was going to spend one night a week at the college in the guest room, but now we had to convert it into a dorm room.

What to do? The first thing that I like to point out is that this is a GOOD PROBLEM. But it does need a solution. Tina and I will be taking in three college kids for the week-ends to help out at church. Other pastors are doing the same, so the kids do get some break from crowded dorm rooms. But what we really need is a new campus!

Last week Tina and I went looking for a solution and found a great situation. A local University contract employee has a site for sale that (miracle of miracles) is already being used as a college dormitory for 75 students and has all the government permits for such use. It has 3 buildings, a large lot to build on and a parking lot along with 11 bathrooms and 9 kitchens. All we need is the money and we can move in. They are asking $825,000 for it. Most commercial real estate is available for a 20% down, so about $160,000 would move us in.

I know it is a lot of money. But it really is a great opportunity. The Apostle Paul said: Phil. 4:12 I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

We know about suffering need. But we are instructed to know how to handle both need and abundance. A plan must be made when the work abounds, a plan based on not what we can do in our own strength but based on what God is capable of providing.

Consider, please, if God might be moving you to be part of the solution to this need. Smaller needs we do have, ranging from the price of a postage stamp to the investment needed for a new campus. Let us know if you can help. There is a way, a place and a need for you to make a difference.

Slide Show of the Property:

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Busy Quiet

Some days are exciting on the mission field and full of activity. Other days, fewer than I would like, are set aside for needed study and preparation. Today I must review a 1080 page book on American History written in Spanish and develop lesson plans and a reading schedule for my students. Classes start next week.

Tina is going into physical therapy to try and aleviate her carpal tunnel problem without surgery. We thought she might have it in both hands. But the doctor says it is just in one hand and in that hand it is moderate. It is a borderline case that might benifit from exercise, so we are trying that first. What concerned us was that one of her hand muscles was seen to have atrophied a small amount. Please pray with us for her helping hands to get the help they need.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Measure of Peace Needed

Our landlord's wife came over yesterday with a real estate person and a tape measure. We ran around and straightened up the place and then they proceeded to take the measurements. It turns out that our landlord and his wife are getting a divorce. They were measuring our home to get an estimation of its worth so that it could be included among the assets to be divided.

Needless to say we had a lot to think about after they left. Will they sell the house and make it necessary for us to move? Should we start looking around for a new place? I think we ought to stay here until the last minute because it is a nice house, in a good place, and at a low rent for the area. But at the same time, it does make us a bit nervous and we are paying more attention to For Sale and For Rent signs than before.

We could buy the place ourselves, but it is a wooden home and banks in Puerto Rico only loan money on cement structures. $75,000 is what we would need to stay put here. We were looking for a new site for our church in the long run. Maybe this is the push we need to scout around more seriously for some church property that could also be used as a parsonage. That way our rent/payments could be used to advance the work here.

In any case, we wish to be good stewards of the funds entrusted us, so for the present we are staying put. With your prayers, it is possible that our measure of peace could extend past what the measuring tape of a realtor can measure!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Hurricane Chris Close

Hurricane Chris is close enough that a lot of people want to stay close to home today and tomorrow just in case it jogs over a bit and gets us. It is expected to just give us lots of rain and 25 mph winds from its skirts as it passes by tonight. It may reach the Florida key area by Monday.