Sunday, February 23, 2014

Church Growth Secret: Ladies with Notebooks

I notice that when ladies come to church with notebooks things start to change and the church grows.

The last few banquets we had were thought of and planned by our ladies. We had at least two visitors from that.

Last week they started a Friday Morning Women's Bible Study. Today in church they gave a testimony about speaking to an ex church member and about their plan on visiting her and helping her with some issues.

This morning, they took over a room in the church and made it into a makeshift nursery and asked me for about $50 for a table cloth and a small rug. I gave them $100 and told them to make it nice.

I have found that the best way to grow a work is to find people who are excited about serving the Lord and then giving them as much encouragement as possible.

Sometimes a pastor needs to know when to say "No," this is true. But it is also true that saying "Yes" to the right people at the right time can be the beginning of a great time of advancement.

I am glad that we have the kind of people that I can say "yes" to and that our church can enjoy the fruit that results from their good work.

I am thinking that next year we might just buy all of the ladies notebooks for Christmas!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Black Hearted Mariners, and Little Girls too, Have Something to Sing About.

We learned a new song (lyrics below) today together with our Sunday school kids. It is about how Jesus is a great Captain and how he can salvage the blackest hearted mariner who surrenders to Him.
Catchy tune too.

Here are the Lyrics to "YO TENGO UN BARCO" (I have a boat)

  Am                                   E

           Dm                    Am
                    E                  Am   -A

                 Am             E
               E7           Am   -A

       Dm                Am
               E            Am

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

We Need Help with a Short Summer Furlough. Can You Help?

Can you help this Summer for a visit to Washington State, Idaho or Montana?

We are planning a visit to Eastern Washington the early part of this coming July for a missionary meeting. We need help with airfare, hospitality and also help in filling out our schedule with more missionary meetings. We have June open and mid-to the end of July available.

Tina and I hope to visit old friends, make some new ones and also share our ministry in reaching US Latinos through the back door of Puerto Rico. Our ministry may dove tail well with churches wishing help in a similar outreach.

Please let us know if we can spend the night, borrow a car, preach in your church or help you with your personal ministry in any way.

May God Bless You and Yours,

Steve and Tina Prelgovisk
3315 Calle 31
Sierra Bayamon
Bayamon, PR 00961 USA

Monday, February 17, 2014

Prayer Letter: Click, Download, Print, Share & Pray.

Scroll down to the bottom of the post and you will see a download button.
Or you may read it online here: Prelgovisk Prayer letter Jan-Feb 2014

Sunday, February 16, 2014

How We Saved the Chocolate Exchange

My wife Tina is in Pensacola, Florida helping our daughter Rachel with her recovery, following the birth of her 5th child. This is great for them, but it made for a lonely Valentine's day here in Puerto Rico.

It was anything but lonely today.

I drove 3 college kids up to the church and we got an early start, setting things up. But the electricity was out! Not an auspicious beginning.

I called up the Sunday school classes that were in the church basement and we had them work quietly in the foyer area so they could use the light. We missed the coffee, but survived this depravation and soldiered on.

We made plans earlier for a chocolate exchange, but postponed it and took our chocolates with us to a family style restaurant, where we ate a great meal together.

The food was definitely all Puerto Rican. I had Mofongo and Shrimp. Mofongo is a dish made of mashed, plantain bananas and is baked with chunks of deep fried pork skin inside it. Our deacon Luis across from me was eating a soup that was a bit strange looking. I found out why. It was pigs feet stewed in a brown gravy. Despite how it sounds, it was great. Definitely Puerto Rican comfort food.

We brought all of the chocolate from the church to the restaurant with us. Everyone got out the chocolate they brought. Some had just one candy bar, others a whole box of Valentine candy, while others came with bags of "Fun Size" variety pack candy bars.

The ladies made slips of paper and wrote all the names of the people with chocolates. We each drew names and waited till every person had a slip. Then the first person who drew the name stood up and said something nice about the person they had drawn, without revealing the name. Then they would walk around the table, and we would have to wait to see who got the present.

We had a lot of laughter and attracted a bit of positive attention in the restaurant, which was unplanned, but a great testimony for our church.

We had about 27 in church Sunday morning, but more than 30 came to the restaurant with us. It was nice to have a chance to have a good time of fun, food and fellowship with our church family and maybe some of the latecomers will be joining us in the future as full fledged members.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Who is happy now?

Some friends of mine confessed to not becoming missionaries because they would miss their "comforts." 

I thought of that this February, while checking out our banana tree in the back yard.  

I thought of it again when I saw all the posts about blizzards. 

And then I smiled.

Sunday, February 09, 2014

From Goats to Sheep

I read a passage where those who neglect acts of kindness toward others are called "Goats" while those who do them are called "Sheep."

We had an unexpected "sheep" kind of week.

A poor man that attends our church told me how he was cold at night and was shivering during a bout of illness. He mentioned that he only had one bed sheet and had difficulty staying warm at night. Tina overheard our conversation.

When we were alone, She said, "We have a blanket in storage that isn't being used. I would like to give that to Mike."

The next Saturday when I was giving devotions to our small AWANA club, I saw him out front of the church and invited him in. I gave him the blanket and a small amount of money for some medicine, we shared some food and he went on his way.

Sunday morning he was at church bright and early and eager to share something. Before we started Sunday school, he came forward and asked to say something.

Mike's hands trembled as he spoke, "I want to thank Tina for her gift of a blanket."

He turned towards my wife and said, "Tina, I was cold and sick and you gave me a blanket. Thank you."

I had goosebumps when I heard those words, because they brought to mind these words:

"Matt 2533 And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. 34 Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; 36 was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me....40 And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’"

I am grateful to my sympathetic wife, an unexpected opportunity, and a thankful, needy individual that we were able to hear words like this, expressed in a public way, in our church on a Sunday morning. 

I am also glad that we have a God who is the kind of God who cares about things like this. What a privilege to belong to His flock!

Monday, February 03, 2014

High Tech is Fun, But It's the People That Make the Difference.

"Missions is about People: Here are mine" Steve Prelgovisk, Puerto Rico
I was a guest speaker at a large church a while ago and got to see a few other missionary presentations.
I was surprised at what the people around me said about two of them. They lauded the high tech presentation and spoke well about the "sharp" missionary who made it. Later they spoke poorly of the other missionary because of lack of "professionalism" in his video.

I saw something entirely different.

The "slick" video had only the missionary, his family and a few props. The "poor presentation" was full of people and showed the missionary interacting with hundreds of people during the week.

My take-a-way was this: One missionary was good at reaching people for Christ and the other was good at learning film making. I would rather support a missionary that has people skills than tech skills because missions is about people.

Technology is great, but it can never take the place of a missionary with an open Bible in a persons house, presenting the gospel. If that isn't happening, missions isn't happening.

Saturday, February 01, 2014

Teaching the Bible Somewhere Every Single Day

Some of our bests results in teaching the Bible come from other days in the week, not just on Sundays.

Saturdays: The Little girls in the 2 min video below are in one of our AWANA classes (A Kid's Bible Club) that we are giving Saturdays between 10 an 11:30 AM. You don't have to speak Spanish to see they are learning and enjoying it.

Monday through Friday Mornings: At a Christian school near where I live, I give devotions to 7th graders 3 morning a week and I also teach a Bible class to 9th graders twice a week. We also have a chapel on Thursdays. I took a "selfie" with some of the kids behind me.

Tuesday Night: I am a Civil Air Patrol Chaplain.

Wednesday Night: Prayer Meeting

Sundays: We teach and preach the Word on Sundays in a church we are planting in Puerto Rico, but it doesn't have to stop on Sundays! I love the fact that we have the privilege to share the Word of God that can change lives here in Puerto Rico every day of the week.

The little girls learned these verses: John 3:16,  1 John 4:14, Romans 1:16, and 1 Cor 15:3