Saturday, December 12, 2015

Puerto Rico Declared "Out of Cash"

The CNN article and video below has our governor declaring that Puerto Rico is out of cash and will likely default on its financial obligations early in 2016.

What does this mean to us?

On a daily level, life is pretty much the same. But unemployment and hard times do effect our missionary church and the people we minister to.

Hopefully, many will seek something better than material security in these troubled times.

Pray with us that we may minister effectively to those who fear for their future. We know God will provide for his children. We hope that many might be added to His family in the years ahead.

Congress is trying to get Puerto Rico out of its 'death spiral'

Sunday, December 06, 2015

How Puerto Ricans Avoid Going Totally Insane

Today, I renewed my driver's license here in Puerto Rico. The gruelling experience was made more bearable by an agreeable surprise.

Long waits and large crowds in government offices are not much fun anywhere. But here in Puerto Rico, the crowds seem larger and the waiting times longer.  After 3 hours, my patience was wearing thin.

Then this guy came in.

A street musician totally entertained us with one song after another, with a short pause in between for a poem and a joke.

Here is my loose translation of one of them:

"Love is blind, we are often taught,
But remember friend, the neighbors are not."

Thank-you Puerto Rican Government employees for not chasing him out of the building. I guess you too needed that breath of fresh air to keep your sanity.

The instrument is the Puerto Rican cuatro. It has 5 pairs of strings and a sweet ringing tone. 

Monday, November 23, 2015

Multiplying Missions the Fun Way

One of my favorite parts of the Church planting work here in Puerto Rico is preparing young people for the ministry.  I teach college students during the week, and during the weekends some of them work with us at our church. We go on visitation together and I allow them teach, preach and help with the music during some of our services. 

It is a lot of fun to work with college kids. I find their faith, enthusiasm and positive outlook encouraging.  We also feel blessed to be able to multiply the effectiveness of our missionary work through the help that we receive from them. I hope they are learning things from us that will multiply their effectiveness as well in their service for the Lord.

Sunday, October 04, 2015

Soul Winning Day and the Empty Hearted Man

I invited the students of Puerto Baptist College to come to our church and help us evangelize in the neighborhood around us. About 22 students came and participated in this "Soul-Winning Day."

About 16 persons made some kind of profession of faith, and of those, 4 came to a special service that we held that same night.

One man, David Figueroa, told us that he had an "empty heart" that he was trying to fill with all kinds of things, but could never find anything to fill it.  

His yearning reminded me of what St. Augustine said of the human heart: 

"Thou hast made us for thyself, and our heart is restless until it finds its rest in thee.”

David has been back twice since then. A grandmother and her granddaughter came also. The granddaughter brought two friends since, and one of them has made a decision for Christ.

We are very happy about all of this. 

Please pray for these new people in our church, that they will continue, and that we might minister to them effectively for the Lord.

Sunday, September 06, 2015

Iguanas are on the Menu Here in Puerto Rico

We see very large iguanas here all the time, and often, unfortunately, as road kill on the freeway. They used to be a food item here and that idea is making a comeback.

I know people who say that iguana meat is very good, but so far have I resisted the temptation to try it myself. The large tails are supposed to be the main part of the feast.

They look too ugly to eat, but I guess turkeys aren't winning any beauty contests either.

They may end up on a plate here, but at least that would be better than the condition I see them in on our roadways.

Fine Dining May Solve Puerto Rico's Invasive Iguana Problem

Monday, August 31, 2015

Tina Gets a Compliment

My hard working wife Tina got a nice compliment here in Puerto Rico. I know she is amazing. It is nice when others get to see what I notice every day. Here is what a fellow worker said about her:

"I am so thankful for and proud of my partner in crime and shopping buddy, Tina Prelgovisk. This lady is incredible!

With shoulder and wrist issues that would put anyone else out of spirits, she pushes through.

We literally pray for sales and try so hard to be thrifty with the college's weekly groceries.

Last week, Tina and I hit a gold mine...120 lbs of chicken for $40= 30 cents a lb! We were able to buy ahead and come out on top this week by being careful.

She is a modern-day virtuous woman: "She is like the merchants' ships; she bringeth her food from afar.She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens.She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard.She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms.She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night...She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness...Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates." (Proverbs 31:14-18,27,31)

Thanks Tina Prelgovisk, for being such a great example and for teaching me to value a good work ethic. Love you!"

Noel Ring heart emoticon Noel RingNoel

Thursday, August 20, 2015

A request for an odd weather prayer.

It is an odd sensation to hear about a hurricane zeroing in on your location and feel: "Finally! it's about time!"

With the water rationing in effect and the reservoirs so low, the rain the hurricane brings is badly needed. Of course, we would rather have the rain without the storm, but at this stage, most would welcome the rain no matter in what form it appears.

Please pray for our safety. I usually ask for pray for the hurricane to miss us, but not this time. 

Saturday, August 08, 2015

Water Rationing Challenging for a Baptist Missionary

There is a severe drought in Puerto Rico now and water rationing is mandatory. Being a Baptist makes it more challenging.

Before the Drought
The water rationing is progressively getting more onerous. We thought it was bad when we had water every other day. Now we have water two days off and one day on. Next week it will go to three days off and one day on.

Drinking water we can buy, but flushing toilets, showers and washing clothes prove to be a bigger challenge. We might not get thirsty in our home, but our home can certainly get stinky.

My wife Tina is faced with the challenge of cooking for our Bible college. Preparing meals for 50 during water outages is what she will be facing when the students return. She is going to work this coming Monday. Our Bible college kids will also face dorm life and limited water during this time.

After the Drought, During Rationing
Water rationing can be a problem for a Baptist who wants to have a Baptist baptistery. We like to have enough water on hand for baptisms of the complete submersion type. Before the drought began,  the above ground pool we use for baptisms and as a cistern was damaged and developed a leak.  We have acquired the liner and things we need to repair it, but with the water rationing in place, we have chosen to leave it empty.

Additionally, here is a $250 fine for what the Government considers as non-essential use of water. I doubt the Government would consider Baptist practises essential usage, especially if the Baptistry/cistern looks like an outdoor pool.

Please remember us during this time of shortages and rationing. Your prayers and encouragement are the refreshment that we need.

Puerto Ricans Learn How to Live Without Water Amid Punishing Drought

Monday, July 27, 2015

Tina Not a Fan of Lizards in Her Fan

Sunday morning Tina suddenly stopped playing a hymn, unplugged the tower fan by her piano and quickly moved to the back of the church and handed it to one of the men.

She said, "I turned the fan on and heard a horrible noise. I can see a little lizard hand sticking out the vent. Please get him out, but after I leave. I do not want to see it or hear about how it looked."

One of our deacons said, "We got him out. About that little hand that was sticking out, well, he was waving goodby."

We really don't mind the lizards too much in church, because they eat the many bugs that breed here in the tropics. But when a lizard catches a big insect and munches it down, it does kind of divert attention from the sermon. I usually have to wait for him to finish his lunch or make it part of the sermon before I can regain everybody's attention.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Small but important harvests

Tina showed me the affect the drought is having on our small back yard garden. The banana tree usually gives a more respectable showing than the sad little bunch it is bearing this year.

Our church is experiencing a dip in attendance as well. But we do have some good news to report. We sent a young 9th grade girl to camp this summer and she gave a great testimony Sunday morning,

But then something better happened, she came to Wednesday night prayer meeting and prayed with the adults. She also said that an number of the kids at camp formed a special group that send each other messages during the day for spiritual encouragement.

In this dry season, this young lady's spiritual progress has been a spring of refreshment for our church.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Red Flame Flower Trees of Puerto Rico

On our way to church, my wife Tina and I drive past beautiful flowering trees whose branches gracefully arch over the mountain roadway. They are called "Flamboyant"  or "Flame trees"  (Delonix regia).

Tina picked one of these flowers Sunday morning and showed it to me. I was surprised. I have always liked the flaming red color of these trees, but I didn't know the flowers were so intricate and beautiful. They remind me of orchids.

They are very popular here and are the national flower of Puerto Rico. They are planted everywhere.

Since we never have winter or autumn in the tropics, we miss seeing the beautiful colors of Fall. But living here in the Caribbean,  we do get to see some nice red foliage, thanks to the Flamboyant tree.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Showing Puerto Ricans Some Christian Love

"But the stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God." Lev 19:34

More Puerto Ricans than ever before are moving to the States. We are reaching as many as we can here on the island of Puerto Rico, before they come your way.

Please give us a hand by supporting us here so we can reach more.

It is our hope that the Puerto Ricans that do move to the US may find good churches and be ministered to.

Please let us know if we can help you reach those who move into your area.

The more you help, the more we can do.

Puerto Rico's losses are not just economic, but in people, too

Thursday, July 02, 2015

Segmenting Our Home to Stretch Our Support

We had an idea that saves money, is ecologically beneficial and promotes family unity.

We divided up our home.

The price of electricity in Puerto Rico is very high. But when the temperature and humidity are both high, air-conditioning is not thought of as a luxury, but as a necessity. Using it helps our health and preserves our possessions.

We remembered that when we lived in the cold north, we would heat just a portion of the house to save on the heating bill. We applied that same thinking here in Puerto Rico for the reverse of that problem.

We put up some interior doors that segment our house and allow us to air-condition just one smaller area at a time. This keeps us cooler for less money and also motivates us to share the same room more often.

The interior doors also have the added benefit of buffering the noise from one end of the house, where we have the piano, so we can have a quieter evening at the other end, where we have our front room and dining area.

So, even though the doors were an expense, they are paying for themselves and giving us additional benefits, not the least of which is helping stretch our missionary support so that we can remain on the field.

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Update on "Tract Day"

Last week I discovered that there are gospel tracts that can be embeded on our church's web page and shared by our church members electronically.

Here is an example: 

What do you think?

Sometimes we promote a special "Tract Day" in our church.  Of course, we promote the giving of tracts every day. But this new method allows tracts to be sent out electronically allowing our church members to share them in emails, blog posts and on social media.

By the way, I still think that having a "Tract Day" is still a good idea. Here is a post I published a few years ago about how to do it:


About once a year we have a "Tract Day."

I order a "Sampler Pack" or assortment of gospel tracts from a couple of places and bring them to the church. During our Sunday school class,  I put the people in small groups and give each group a pile of tracts. I ask them to each read a couple and evaluate them on:

1. Clarity in communicating the Gospel

2. Was it really good, mildly interesting, OK, dull or offensive?"

3. Would it be something they would feel good about giving to someone? 

I have the groups come together and I ask a spokesperson from each group to give a quick review on their experience and share which were their favorite tracts.  I ask which ones we should order. 

I say "I am going to order our favorite tracts, but I want them all passed out. Who will pass out a tract if I order them?"

I place the order, and when they come in, I make a big deal about it. 
We have a scheduled Saturday as "Tract Blitz Day." We try and have every member come and pass out tracts for about 2 hours. Then we have a lunch at the church and share our experiences of what happened. 

The following Sunday, I ask them to give testimonies and praise their efforts in evangelism. We encourage and motivate each other to do more evangelism this way. 

I find that our church is more likely to pass out tracts they have read and got exited about then they would if we just had a few that we picked and put out for them to take. It works!

Friday, June 26, 2015

Thieves Strip Our Girl's Dorm of Copper Plumbing

Thieves broke into our Bible College the other night and stripped out all the copper plumbing in the girls' dorm. Thankfully, no girls were sleeping there when the robbery occurred

Apparently that is a big thing down here, now that scrap copper is paying over $2.50 a pound. One of our church members had his house stripped of copper plumbing while he and his wife were asleep in their home and they never heard a thing. In concrete houses, most of the plumbing runs across the roof and down the outside of the walls, so it is easily accessible to thieves.

Please pray for our Puerto Rico Baptist College.

Other needs that we have:

  • Replacing the copper plumbing with non-copper plumbing
  • Repair of a large commercial size refrigerator that we use in our kitchen
  • Repair of the 15 passenger van we use for the College.
  • Funds to support students. 

Students pay $300 a month for room, board and tuition. Students are required to work in local churches during the weekends. Our church takes two students every semester. They help us and we try to help them. Funds that we receive for the students are paid to them through the church and so the financial support helps both the student and the Bible college, as well as our church that benefits from their help.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

What Makes California Say, "At Least We're Not Puerto Rico."

We have a drought here in Puerto Rico that is getting severe. They are shutting off the water to our homes for 24 hours every other day. There are fines for non-essential use of water.

I wonder,  will the Government consider filling a baptistry as an essential or nonessential use of water? There is a $750 fine for non-residential misuse of water.

If they impose that, I suppose we can always baptize in the ocean. The only problem there is, sometimes a large wave comes and baptizes everybody before we are ready.

Either way, we will continue doing the Lord's work, the Lord's way.

Be Thankful, California. At Least You're Not Puerto Rico.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Taking our work up a notch, techwise

Just a few years ago, many of the people in our church had no computers or access to the Internet. Now, I see them whip out iPhones and large Galaxy smart phones to share Facebook posts and favorite Youtube videos.

I figured it was about time that we got a web page for our Puerto Rican church. We have passed out a lot of gospel tracts and invited many people to our church, leaving directions on how to find us.  With the new web site, now tech savvy Puerto Ricans can find us.

I found a simple and inexpensive solution. A fellow missionary, Jeremy Markle, told me about Weebly, a hosting site that offers a drag and drop web building site. I was able to build a simple site in just a few hours today. The price is OK, $4 a month for a hosted domain name. I signed up for a year.

I hope this site will be an encouragement to our people and a portal that will bring us into contact with more, local Puerto Rican, who we can help and who in turn can help our church.

Iglesia Bautista de Comerio

Monday, June 15, 2015

Tidal Wave of Puerto Ricans Coming Your Way

The wave of immigration from Puerto Rico to the US has just become a tidal wave. We are here in Puerto Rico trying to reach them before they reach you.

There is a mass exodus of Puerto Ricans leaving the island for greener economic pastures. They aren't dispersing into the surrounding Caribbean nations or Latin American countries.

Puerto Ricans are all naturally born US citizens and can enter the US at any time, just like anybody from American Samoa or the US Virgin Islands would, without any passport.

What happens on the mission field, doesn't always stay on the mission field.

About 4 million Puerto Rican were in the US and another 4 million were content to remain here on the island. Now, it looks like a lot more will be moving to join friends and family residing in the US.

What is done on the mission field will affect those living in the States.

Will the Puerto Ricans entering the US be Christians or not? What will they be packing in their suitcases? What kind of neighbors will they be? We are working here on the island to make a difference, changing the nature of that stream entering the US.

Please help us make that difference by supporting our ministry. You may contact our mission agency here and they will tell you how to do it.

Continental Baptist Missions,, (616) 863-2226
11650 Northland Drive NE, Rockford, MI 49341

Puerto Rico's terrible economy is causing a population exodus

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Why What is Happening in Puerto Rico May Touch Every American

I read two good summary articles about how the economic crisis in Puerto Rico is connected to US politics and economics.

The first one is a good overview, while the second speaks more about the economic impacts that it might have on America.

Why Every American Should Care About Puerto Rico's Austerity Crisis

If you thought bailing out Detroit hurt the American economy, then what is happening now in Puerto Rico should get your attention. This is an older article, but if anything, the situation has gotten worse since it was written.

Puerto Rico, with at least $70 billion in debt, confronts a rising economic misery

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Tearing Down and Building Up

Bedroom Bathroom Door Now an  Exit
We decided to fix the bathroom and carport roof at the same time. Even though it is expensive for us, doing both projects at once will save on the cost of demolition, carting away the debris and it also enables us to pour the cement for both projects at the same time. So, although the cost of doing two projects is great ($23,000), doing them together reduces the cost by about $3,000.

Tina is a very good at stretching our missionary budget to cover our needs. She also has good taste and does a lot of construction work herself. But this project is beyond both our budget and our skill level. We are having a contractor do the cement work and Tina is picking out the tile and other things.

Please pray with us and help us if you would.

Where Our Bathroom Used to Be
I know that praying for a missionary's bathroom and carport seems like an odd request, but we have to live somewhere to do the work here.

Having a bathroom that is not falling off of the house and a carport that isn't falling on our heads are things that we hope to have soon.
Carport with Forms, Ready for Concrete

Sunday, May 03, 2015

Please Help Heal Our Missionary Home

Tina and I have been under stress about our home lately. I feel we have a good attitude about all the bad news that has recently beset us, but it takes prayer, a lot of conversation and the emotional support of our friends to keeps us in the good attitude zone.

Here is what is happening:

We were told by a contractor that we trust, that our basic home was in good condition.The problem is with the carport and the bathroom that were added later. The bathroom has a bad foundation, while the carport roof has a cement roof that was made from poor quality cement.

It looks like the owners used sand from a local beach, and this is certainly cheaper than buying it, but it is poor quality and salty. This made our rebar rust and spread like a cancer through the carport, endangering us with falling chunks of concrete.
Bathroom Crack: big as a brush handle

So, inspite of the fact that our bathroom is falling of off the southeast end of our house, the collapsing roof of our carport on the northwest side of our home has become our new priority.

What does this mean financially?

The demolition and reconstruction of the concrete carport is $16,000. The low-ball quote for the bathroom is for $10,000. That is $26,000 that we don't have. So where should we start and what should we do?

Prayer to God and communicating with our friends and supporters are the first steps. Next, we had to consider our health and safety.

We have begun the demolition of the carport, to remove the danger of falling concrete on our heads.

We have decided to do nothing about the bathroom until it becomes unusable. Although the cracks are so big that I can see daylight through them and put a pencil in them, the plumbing still works and that is a blessing.

At least the core of our home was built well. It was just the shoddy construction of the later additions that are causing the problems.

Our house was built on a firm foundation, but those who came later and made additions, did not put those additions on the same foundation.

I think there is a lesson for us in this. It isn't enough that we build on the correct foundation, we must not make any additions or extensions that are not supported by that same foundation.

We need your prayers, emotional and financial support. Please consider giving an extra offering, a special prayer or an encouraging word (or all three!) soon.

You can contact our mission agency here:

Peeping Tom Bathtub & Shower?
May God Bless You and Yours
(Dios Les Bendiga)

Steve Prelgovisk
CBM, Puerto Rico

Thursday, April 23, 2015

We Reach Them Before They Reach You

The more people we reach for Christ on the mission field, the better it is for America.

Soon, 1 in 7 Americans will be foreign born, says the Center for Immigration Studies.

Our Mission field of Puerto Rico is contributing greatly to that trend. There are now more Puerto Ricans living in the States than in all of Puerto Rico. More continue to immigrate.

I am happy to say that many people that have been reached for Christ here are in that immigrant stream. We praise God that the missionary work here has affected not only our island, but also is having an affect on our homeland.

Immigrant Population to Hit Highest Percentage Ever in 8 Years

Friday, April 17, 2015

I need a new phone

This is my phone. 

It is ok for talking and texting, but it is getting old and has no GPS. I would like to upgrade, but can't afford it. If you have upgraded and still have a previous version smartphone, not too terribly old, please consider passing it on to a missionary who would appreciate it.

Our current carrier is Sprint, but we have all the major carriers here in Puerto RIco. There is even 4G LTE service here. The function I am looking for the most is a phone with GPS that I can use on visitation and our missionary travels. 

I have checked on the "Free Phone" deals that many well meaning friends have sent me, but upon going through all the steps to get one, I discovered that some of them cost about twice the cost of a phone that you can purchase yourself. 

So, please consider sending us a phone to help us out down here. While it would be nice to have anything from an iPhone 5s or a Galaxy Note 3 or higher, anything better than what you see above would be greatly appreciated.

We are in the USA mailing system, so we can get regular mail. Our mailing address here is:

Steve and Tina Prelgovisk
33-15 CALLE 31
BAYAMON, PR 00961-4365 USA

Saturday, April 04, 2015

Our Prayer Letter: Please Print and Share it.

I have embedded a PDF of our latest prayer letter here in this post. Please download and print it out to share with others in church or with whoever is willing to pray for and help a missionary.

  Prelgovisk Prayer Letter-Spring 2015

...and then don't forget to pray yourself!

Monday, March 30, 2015

Our Bathroom is Trying to Leave Home!

Did you ever pay a lot of money to someone to fix  problem and they just made it worse?

This is our sad story:

We paid $250 to a plumber/contractor to fix our bathroom drainage problem. Our Puerto Rican house has a tub and shower that drained through a 2 inch pipe directly onto the ground right outside of the bathroom.

I was afraid that flowing water against the bathroom walls would erode the foundation and cause the bathroom to settle and pull away from the house.

But sadly, it was after the "fix"that the real problems began. The plumber did tie the drainage into the sewer system, but in the process of "fixing" the problem he made it worse.  He did some ditching on two sides of the bathroom and removed material but did not adequately replace it. We also think that the ground may have dried up and shrunk away from the house, lowering the foundation.

Now it appears that the entire bathroom is trying to separate itself from our bedroom.

What to do? I am not educated in this field, so I don't even know what the options are. I called the plumber and he is supposed to come back and look at the damage. I am pessimistic that he will take responsibility for the problem and fix it for free. I guess I need to know what can be done and then find someone who is both trustworthy and skillful enough to make the repairs.

Please pray for us:

For Peace of mind-our anxiety level is pretty high on this one.
For Wisdom-To find a way to truly fix the problem.
For Our Finances-We need the funds to fix the problem.
UPDATE. The Contractor pointed out to us that the previous owner of the home did not put in a supported foundation, so the add-on bathroom is sitting on a cement pad that was just poured onto the ground. He, not having x-ray vision, feels that it is not his fault that our bathroom is sinking, even though the work done seems to have accelerated it.

OPTIONS.  We suggested digging under the cement slab and jacking it up or creating a foundation alongside of the wall and tying the walls into it, but the contractor said this could not be done.  The bathroom was extended to an extremely close proximity to our neighbors concrete wall, leaving little or no room to make an excavation.  So, until we can think of anything better, that leaves us with these two options:

1. Do nothing. We were counseled that the expense of fixing the problem was so great that it would be better to let the bathroom settle and then fill in the cracks with hydraulic cement. If this works, we saved a lot of money.

2. Do everything. Demolish the bathroom and build it back correctly. Estimated cost $12,000.

I just got a second opinion from the father of one of our church members who does construction work. He says that the he agrees that the bathroom will have to be demolished and rebuilt correctly, but that he can make it bigger and better for $10,000. We like the second opinion more than the first, but we still don't have the funds to do this. 

I have asked the contractor and others for more options. But since we currently don't have the resources for complete demolition and rebuild or any alternative, actionable ideas, we are following a prayerful wait-and see approach.

This is tough on us emotionally, but there comes a point where you have done everything you can do and need to trust in God with the results. That is where we are now.

Please pray for our home, family and our ministry here in Puerto Rico.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

The Colmado: Convenience Store, Puerto Rican Style

Today, I went to a little convenience store across the street from our church to get some supplies for our Communion Service tomorrow. These stores are called "Colmados." They are usually small Mom and Pop stores, crammed from floor to ceiling with everything that the Mom and Pop imagine that you might need.

Today. I found this entire pig draped over the bare counter with the additional photogenic display of a trickle of blood that reached the floor in front of the counter.

I have lived here long enough that none of this surprised me. In fact, the only thing that really struck me was that the pig had blue eyes. I never knew they came in different colors.

Anyway, I thought I would share with you a slice of everyday missionary life from down here in Puerto Rico.

It really isn't so bad. In fact, the end product of it all is extremely tasty.

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Puerto Rico's Current Economic Situation: It Ain't Pretty

Puerto Rico is on its way to following Detroit's economic path, according to Robert Finger, an
investment analyst who has analysed Puerto Rico's economic status in his role as an economic adviser to his investment community.

I have embedded the article below.

My take away is this:

1. Puerto Rico is likely to follow the Detroit model and default on its bonds and other debts.

2. Government interference and over taxation is making starting or maintaining a small business extremely difficult.

3. People and businesses are leaving the island in droves. The more they squeeze the taxpayers, the fewer taxpayers there are left to squeeze.

This is bad for Puerto Rico. But maybe some Puerto Ricans will look to God for help in this time of economic need.

Puerto Rico: Paradise Lost

Monday, February 23, 2015

TV episode of Puerto Rican food.

"Bizarre Foods" Puerto Rico
A lot of people ask about the food here. About a year ago, the food channel did a "Bizarre Foods Puerto Rico" episode.

These foods are common here, so they don't seem bizarre to me any more.

I never did try the salt-cod ice cream. I think I will let that one pass.

Anyway, below is show if you want to see it.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Strange Product Advertising in Puerto Rico

Some product sell well here in Puerto Rico, but it is hard for me to imagine my friends in the States getting too excited about them.

This is a product called 

Yep. Snail slime.

I hope I have an enlightened mind and am not too much a victim of culture shock, but some products down here just lack a certain appeal to me.

Another product that makes me wonder is a famous cookie brand here on the island...

The negative associations that some words have in English does not carry over into Spanish, so it makes for some interesting shopping experiences.

The Day When We Didn't Just Watch the News, We WERE the News....

Monday, we marched on the capitol. Here are some pictures and videos (below) of the event.

Why did we do it?

The Government of Puerto Rico recently, and quietly, eliminated a law that protects Christian schools from government control over their curricula. This was done just in time to push a pro-homosexual curriculum into all the public and private schools.

Not only were they going to require us to use a specific book, but the control was to be "trans-curriculum."

The idea behind this is to integrate homosexuality into ALL the subjects, in ALL the grades, even down to Kindergarten. This would mean that even the word problems in a math book would become "integrated." Expect to see math questions like this "Suzy's father has a new boyfriend. They are planning their wedding. If they saved 15% ...etc."

Well, we decided we didn't want to be forced to teach this agenda or use these books. Even if they were good books teaching good things, we don't approve of the Government's attempt to control our Christian schools.

So we made plans to go to the capitol and make our voices heard.

Fortunately, we weren't alone. We marched on the capitol and had over 100 thousand concerned citizens march with us. Most were Christians. But even the non-Christian groups didn't appreciate the Government forcing them to teach someone else's agenda.

After the protest the governor backed down on the church control issue, but actually increased his rhetoric on the materials they will be acquiring for the public schools.

Even though the protest was a greater success than we expected, we will have to keep an eye on the government. They made a law before to protect our Church schools and then decided to not keep it. It appears that that saying "The price of freedom is eternal vigilance." is a true one.

1. A lot more people came than we expected. Here is a short video clip I took of our efforts to get there.

2. I ask people why they are going.

3. The Protest was loud and very Puerto Rican. This is just a raw, unedited clip I took, but it will give you an idea of the crowd size and energy of the protest.

4. We were in good company. In this picture, Tina and I were among the 100 thousand that gathered in front of our capitol building and stood against the governments incursion on our religious liberty.

Where we heard? Yes. The governor is trying to spin the event by saying that church people were told by their pastors to come to a rally and that the church members really didn't know why they were there. All I can say is, I know why I was there. Everyone I talked to knew why they were there. I walked with those who stood against the government forcing church schools to carry out its political and social agenda.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Why I am Marching in a Protest Tomorrow

The government of Puerto Rico has decided it is no longer bound by a law that has protected Christian schools from government intrusion for many years. They also have decided to push a curriculum that is pro homosexual, under the guise of "anti-bullying,"into every school on the island.

What else can we do but protest against this? If the government is successful in its agenda, the Christian schools will be required to present a specific curriculum and a particular book. 

WARNING: offensive picture below, included only as an example of what we are up against. 

If you are offended by the pictures below, remember, they are being distributed to schools to be taught in ELEMENTARY SCHOOL and will be required to be taught in ALL schools here, even CHRISTIAN SCHOOLS.

Saturday, February 07, 2015

Making it Work

Hustling to get ready for a Pastor's Fellowship at our home today, we had the challenge of moving 12
chairs and 2 six foot tables from the Bible College to our home.

We had available our 4'10" intern Cynthia and our 2010 Honda Fit to make it happen.

I had my doubts.

I said, "I don't think we can do it. But if we can do it all in one trip, I am so going to take a picture of this and post it on Facebook."

Being a man of my word, here it is.

We appreciate Cynthia and the rest of you that help us in our missionary work down here in Puerto Rico.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Saying "NO" to something good, so "YES" can be said to something better.

This last year I was involved in the Civil Air Patrol. I enjoyed the experience of rubbing shoulders with the 14 or so pilots in our Senior Squadron. However, the leadership was only allowing me 15 minutes of devotional time once every two months.

I appreciate the opportunity to minister to that group, but attending 8 weeks of meetings and keeping all my qualifications current was a pretty hefty price for those few promised minutes of ministry.

I have learned from Michael Hyatt (former president of Nelson Publishing) and others that I need to say "No" to the good, to be able to say "Yes" to what is better.

Why You Should Flush 90% of Your To-Do List Down the Toilet

There is nothing better than serving the Lord through the local church. Next comes our Bible College and Christian school that provide training for our church members and leaders for the churches we start. And then there is camp...

It is easy to spread one's self too thin, especially when there are so few others doing the work of missions.

I still have my CAP uniform hanging in the closet, but I think that I will leave it there until I can be convinced that a ministry there would yield more opportunities for growing our church that it appears to yield now.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

A Blessing We Can Drive

We have been a one car family for a while now. We also had no plans to get a second car until we had enough in our saving account to acquire one. Sadly, that appeared to be sometime in the far off future.

But a crisis arose. The carpool that I was using to get around became unavailable and we were left in a difficult position.

But because of financial gifts from some churches, family and friends, we got within reach of getting a car for Tina. And we did just that. She went out and found a bargain on a 2008 Yaris.

She is a happy camper now and so am I. 

We are now able to do our multiple ministries with much more freedom. 

Although we did not have to go into debt to get the car, we did drain our savings down just about nothing. While we live by faith, we also try and follow the good council we have received, which was that we should have at least one month of missionary and personal expenses in savings as a buffer. 

That isn't there anymore.

We praise the Lord and thank you all for making this blessing possible. Please remember that we need your ongoing support and prayers to keep the work going down here in Puerto Rico, USA.

Why I Am a Multi-Blogger

I originally began this blog because a church that supports our missionary work was not receiving the prayer letters and missionary updates that we sent out.

I began posting our prayer letter here, then I would send out the paper prayer letter and also send them the prayer letter as an email attachment.

It worked.

Since then, I have discovered other uses for blogs and have become a "Multi-blogger."

Why am I multi-blogging?

I used to just send out emails and Facebook posts of things I wanted to share, but it was always hard to regather all of those sent out pictures and thoughts that were intermixed into past email lists and Facebook posts. So, I decided to just start a blog for each category of things that I share and to send out those links in emails and to Facebook.

In this way, I could always go right to my specific blog on a topic and see all the information in one spot. Also, it allows me to share the lighter material I come across on my blogs that deal with less serious topics, than say this blog, which is dedicated to sharing our missionary work with churches that are serious about missions.

But if you would like to see what else I am doing, here is the list of my other blogs:

1. "Mini Meditations" This is usually a very short comment on a thought provoking photo or topic.
2. "Animal Relationships" I post here when I see animals in situations that bring to mind lessons that may benefit others.
3. "Health Humor Central" I have been to the doctor and in hospital enough to enjoy humor at their expense.
4. "Kennedy Adoption Journal" My daughter and her husband are trying to adopt a child and they post to this blog that I set up for them.
5. "Ideas 4 Camp" Ideas for camps, but also for special schools projects, church activities and VBS programs.
6. "Extra Credit Science" I teach in a Bible College and students often ask for ideas for extra credit. I post the one's that I think of here. The camp ideas that are also good for teaching science I put here.
7. "Feeding Your Blog" I just started this one. I plan to write about the problems I solve when blogging and put them here so that they will be in in a place that I can remember to look at when I forget how I solved that problem the last time.

"9 reasons NOT to move to the Caribbean."

I just read this article by Amanda Walkins, a freelance writer currently based in Roatan, Honduras. Although she lives in Honduras, what she says about her part of the Caribbean is pretty much true where we live in Puerto Rico.

Although she gives the negatives, if you scan to the end of the article, she gives the same 9 items a positive twist. That's what we do in our own minds to adjust to living down here.

"9 Definitive Reasons Why You Should NOT Move to the Caribbean"

Living on an island in the Caribbean, surrounded by jungle-covered hills and picture-perfect beaches sounds like a dream. Wake up, enjoy a cup of coffee and fresh fruit picked from the trees around your house, walk along the beach and maybe go for a swim to cool off from the sun's warmth. This is paradise. This is a dream come true.
But this might not really be the dream life for everyone. Here are 9 reasons why you shouldn't pick up and move to a Caribbean island.
1. The heat can be unbearable.
Of course, you realize that the temperatures in the Caribbean stay high year-round. But have you accounted for the humidity? The mold never ends. Your hair will be a constant disaster. Your sweat will sweat. There truly is no way to adequately prepare your body for the onslaught of late summer heat in the Caribbean.
2. The bugs. Oh, the bugs!
The bugs in the Caribbean are literally everywhere. You can kill millions of mosquitos, and you know what? There are still millions more. There are sand fleas and cockroaches, spiders and ants. Mind your step outside so you don't end up crossing paths with leaf-cutter ants. They'll cover your foot so quickly you won't even notice. And .... do those bites hurt!
Tarantulas. They are everywhere!
3. The infrastructure may be lacking.
Potholes as big as canyons, constant power outages, slow internet when the power is actually on...the list goes on. Let's not even discuss the red tape you'll encounter for legal, judicial and financial matters! There's a reason everything runs on "island time" in the Caribbean: You need an excuse for what seems like purely insane waiting and running around for such simple tasks as cashing a check.
4. Island life is like small-town living. Everyone knows everyone and everything.
If you haven't lived in a small town before, beware. Islands are small communities and in small communities there are no secrets. The only reliably efficient system on an island is the rumor mill, constantly feeding through fabricated lies and gossip.
5. Acquiring things can be difficult on an island.
Sometimes boats get delayed so the grocery store looks post-apocalyptic. Sometimes you pay an exorbitant fee to ship large items from the States, yet they still don't arrive for months on end.

This letter was sent in February 2013, arrived at my local post office on the island on March 6, 2013, and was "lost" until October 22...of the next YEAR.

6. There are stray dogs and cats everywhere.
The islands have a serious problem with stray animals -- there is no denying that. They will be in the road, they will beg for food at the restaurants and they will relieve themselves wherever the mood strikes. Sometimes they're aggressive, other times they're skittish, but you can't really tell until you're up close and personal.
7. Tourists. Tourists everywhere!
They come in droves, they take over your beautiful beaches and your favorite bars. They ask inane questions and you will become convinced that they actually check their intelligence at the door when they leave home. You cannot escape them.
8. Storms happen, and they can be gravely serious.
Hurricane season is no joke in the Caribbean, with many home-owners and business-owners holding their breath for months each summer. If you move to an island prone to being hit by hurricanes and tropical storms, don't try to pretend you're smarter than the local construction workers who are building your home to withstand those storms.
9. Island life can be isolating.
You Americans and Canadians are used to space. Sprawling space. You can drive for hours and days and still never run out of road. Islands are small and your options become much more limited. You might feel trapped and separated from the rest of the world. You certainly won't know what's happening in the news because nobody watches it. You won't have the latest gadgets everyone back home is talking about. You won't see the newest films in theaters, nor catch the new TV series as it actually airs. You will be behind in everything. And you will look out into the never-ending sea and realize how small you truly are.
If you've read all these reasons and think that island life sounds horrible, you most certainly should not move to the Caribbean. Take a vacation and then go back.
Come for a week, take your sunset photos, and head on home.
If, however, you've read these reasons and found a positive aspect to each and every one of them, then you do truly belong here. After all...
  1. Humidity is great for your skin and it sure beats sweating while shoveling snow!
  2. Geckos eat bugs, and they also make for adorable little companions running around your front porch and windows.
  3. "Island time" forces you to reflect and relax, an idea that could benefit many North Americans these days.
  4. Small town life means you stop and chat with everyone on the street, everyone is looking out for each other, and sometimes, you do just want to go where everybody knows your name.
  5. Making things difficult to acquire means you question how much you really need them. And usually the answer is that you simply don't.
  6. You can take in a stray animal and honor Bob Barker's request to spay and neuter your pets. This helps to end the cycle of more strays on the streets while also making your life richer. I can attest to that with my own former street dog, Lina.
  7. 2015-01-20-StreetdogadoptedinRoatan.jpg
    Every island girl loves a hammock!
  8. Tourists bring income into the local economy. And besides, they provide constant entertainment!
  9. Stormy island weather is incredible to watch, as long as you're safe.
  10. Isolation can be liberating. You have time and space to reconnect with yourself and loved ones.
If you -- like me -- can see the positives hidden in challenges and difficulties, then you will absolutely love life in the Caribbean. If you can laugh at yourself and embrace change, you will find paradise. Just be honest with yourself before taking the leap!

Amanda Walkins is a freelance writer currently based in Roatan, Honduras. She blogs about her accidental expat life at