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!