Monday, April 21, 2014

Easter Epidemic?

This 22 year old young lady came to church and something good happened because of it.

I noticed her attending our service for a good number of Sundays in a row and I also noticed something special about her. She has a very attentive expression on her face during the preaching and nods her head and smiles when I make an point or application.

After the Easter morning message, she came forward and asked me to baptise her.

I spoke to her about having a class to explain the basics of the faith and what baptism is all about. The word got around that we were planing a baptism and then I heard two others respond "Me too!"

I didn't know that baptisms were contagious! I hope it turns out that they are!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

A Missing Dentist Makes a New Missionary

A missionary we know, Miguel Figueroa, did dentistry missionary work in the jungles of South America. I invited him to preach in our church here in Puerto Rico and we gave him a love offering to help with his work.

We heard some sad new regarding him. He was traveling along a river awhile ago and has gone missing. Some say that he was last seen with a lantern going toward the river at night. Others say that he fell in trying to get into a smaller boat. Whatever happened, enough time passed, that he was presumed dead.

A scholarship for the training of future missionaries was created in his honor and this young man, Gustavo from Bolivia, was selected to receive it.

Gustavo came and preached in our pulpit for our Good Friday service. This is same pulpit that the man whose death provided Gustavo the scholarship preached from just a few years ago.

Gustavo preached with passion, power and conviction. When I announced that he would return Sunday morning, our people said "Amen!"

It may have been in a lonely and a forgotten place that one missionary died, but his legacy lives on in a young man who has taken up the torch and boldly proclaiming the Gospel here in Latin America.

It is our honor and responsibility to train Gustavo and help him fulfil that legacy.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

When missionaries make missionaries...

Zuley Ramos was a a member of our church who originally came from Peru. She studied as one of our students and, as part of her education, had to visit a mission field and serve for one summer.  She visited Panama. Once she came back, she felt led to return and help.

Zuley presented her desire to be a missionary in various churches here on our island. She eventually raised a small amount of support and went from our field of Puerto Rico to serve in Panama.  We and other churches helped as we could.

She has done a tremendous job. Despite minimal support, she has labored on and seen some good results.

Here is a short video she made. It is a series of pictures from the field set to some typical Christian music of the country.

You won't have to understand Spanish to get the feeling that things are happening in Panama because a young lady decided to serve there as a missionary.

One of the great satisfactions we have as missionaries is when we see people who are part of our ministry become missionaries themselves. Please pray that we would continue to see blessings such as we are seeing now. From such blessings come more blessings, as they enable the life changing work of missions to continue.

Sunday, April 06, 2014

Recent Baptisms Multiply Blessing in Unexpected Ways

The great thing about our recent baptisms is that they weren't just a momentary thing. There was the decision to be baptised, a special time of teaching, the baptism itself and (in our church) the church barbecue fellowship afterwards.

This Sunday, the blessing from the baptisms were extended into our morning service.

I presented the nicest baptismal certificates I could find and made a presentation of them to those recently baptised in our church. We took pictures, said "amen" and even applauded. It was a happy day for everyone.

I found that there was a line titled "Witness"on the certificates and I asked each person that was baptised to pick which of us that they wished to sign as a witness. This added an extra nice touch, as these, our newest members, selected other members to sign as witnesses. The older members then felt honored to be chosen as the witness of record of the baptism. More smiles were seen all around after that.

The nice thing about this was how one blessing led to another, sometimes expected and sometimes not. Either way we must say "Praise the Lord!" because He blesses us more and extends His blessings more than we ever could have anticipated.