Monday, September 30, 2013

Our Daughter & Son-in-Law: Rescue Mission Missionaries to an Island Next Door, St Croix

My daughter Bethany and her husband Abe work in St. Croix, US Virgin Islands, just 90 miles east of us. Abe and Bethany work with the youth at Southgate Baptist, but also are involved in an After-School program and also help feed the poor though a mission outreach run by their church.

I visited and preached there. The island is much smaller than Puerto Rico and the culture and language is different. They even drive on the opposite side of the road! So be careful if you visit. That activity was a bit unnerving for me!

It is good to see Baptist churches reaching out to the poor in a loving, yet intelligent way. Light House Missions is doing a great job and they are doing it right.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Baptism, BBQ and More

I baptized a young 8 year old today, who is just a few inches shorter than I am. At first, I felt bad that we have to use an above ground pool for our baptisms. 

Not anymore. 

We follow our baptisms with a song, a prayer, a church BBQ and a time of fellowship. When the neighbors peek over the fence to see what we are doing, it becomes a time of public testimony as well.

Baptisms like this gives our church hope for the future. The food is great too!

Friday, September 20, 2013

A One Minute Missionary Method You Can Use

Some Christians think that evangelism and missions should be done by the professionals. But really, every believer should do and can do something to extend the Kingdom of God.

Here is a really simple thing you can try:

On Friday, when leaving work or school, don't say "Have a good week-end!'

Try this instead: "Have a good Sunday!"

It leaves people puzzled for a minute but then they realize you are encouraging them to go church. I get smiles and rolled-eyes, but most take it in a friendly way. I even had a few take me up on my invitation to come along the next Sunday and enjoy it with me.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Longevity in the Ministry of Missions: Blessing or Not?

Sometimes a missionary works as part of a team and for one reason or another, important members of the team drop out or other wise leave and all of the work falls into the lap of the person who remains on the field.

 So, what to do? You could ...

1. Resent being "trapped"in a ministry, become bitter and quit, or

2. Give that ministry 100% of your best efforts and determine to serve God there, believing that God often puts us in difficult places so that we can make a difference for His glory and for the increase of His kingdom.

Our many years on the field have given us some insights. I personally believe that longevity on the mission field is a great blessing. In our first few terms, we used to think that we were Americans who worked in Puerto Rico, but who would leave when the job was done. We were relieved to leave and longed for "real food" and the company of people like ourselves.

Now, after 20 years on the field, we feel that Puerto Rico is our home and that the people we are reaching are people we love. We plan to continue reaching them for Christ because we do love them and know that Christ has the power to give them a better life. They are our friends, our neighbors, and some may soon become members of our family.

We are happy now that we have the opportunity and liberty to reach these people we care about with something that we know that can help them. What could be more exciting and satisfying than to see the souls saved and the lives of those you love transformed?

So, is being on the mission field a long time a blessing or not? It is a blessing, and the longer we serve as missionaries on the field, the bigger that blessing becomes.

Saturday, September 07, 2013

Our First AWANA Meeting

AWANA is a program for teaching the Bible to kids in a fun and life changing way.  We are trying to adapt it and put it into practice down here in Puerto Rico. Today was our first meeting. We had three kids and five adults teaching them! I know, that small number makes it sounds sad, but really we all had a lot of fun. If this first Saturday is any indication, I think our church is going to get really excited about reaching kids and have fun doing it.