23 November 2013
During the day, we showed the Jesus video in Nepali, from the back of one of the trucks. The people gathered and watched it over and over. At night, the big screen was brought out and the Jesus Video was the social event of the year for a village without much ( any) technology. Now we are praying that the words they heard and the truths they learned will take root in their hearts, that they will be drawn to the Lord and to the little church in their village.
We have 6 children in our sponsorship program from this village. The children must walk for hours to get from their homes to the place to meet me for the annual Allow gathering. I always feel badly about it, but there is nothing that can be done. I need to meet every child at least once a year-- for accountability. If they come, then I know that they are getting their money. If they are still in school, then we know how the great part of their sponsorship money is being spent. I need to get a new photo and progress report each year and we also give them each a Christmas bag. This year, the bag will contain a new T-shirt, Bible, warm hat, school notebooks, a Christmas craft, toothbrush and toothpaste, soap, candy and hopefully a letter from their sponsor.
The building team made the trip to Nepal to begin the next phase of the Maranatha Project. The second floor of the children's home is started. When it is complete, we can double the number of children and we can separate boys and girls on different floors. This ministry is growing. The next building team trip will be in May 2014.
08 September 2013
Every country where we work has its own special beauty, but I find myself gasping at the Lord's amazing handiwork in Nicaragua. The island of Ometepe was formed by volcanoes which are still active. Volcanic ash still forms a cloud at the top of the volcano and falls all over the island. It takes more than an hour to reach the island by motorized boat. How did the original people come and WHY did they make the crossing? But they did and today a thriving community populates the little island. We spent a few days teaching the pastors and a separate class just for the wives. Our team visited homes during the day and preaching in a different village church every evening. We distributed Bibles. We hope that we left some bit of c blessing and knowledge for these beautiful people who serve the Lord on the island.
In the capital city of Managua, our Belen Home grows and thrives. The children have mved to anew home since our last visit. It has more space and more yard. These young ones are growing up well grounded in the faith that we hope they will carry back to their families as they move into adulthood.
30 May 2013
The Maranatha children are also an investment in the future. We want to build and bless each of their personal lives. We are providing safety, good food, education, Bible training and ministry experience of all kinds. We are looking towards the day when the Lord will use each precious life for His work and His glory. We hope the children will spread out, returning to the villages, teaching the Word, leading worship and following the Lord as beautiful examples of lives dedicated to Him. We want to add a second floor to Maranatha to complete the project, to accommodate the number of children originally envisioned and to provide separate floors for boys and girls. We are praying for this project and trusting the Lord to provide for it as He has all things thus far.
29 March 2013
20 March 2013
10 February 2013
See his website at: eastwestproductions.com
07 February 2013
The poorest country in the western hemisphere is still recovering from the 2010 earthquake and 2012 hurricane. Immediately after the disasters, big organizations came in and distributed tents and food and medicine. Most of that has ended now, but the suffering continues. The big aid organizations did not see Tania's children's home. They lost their house in the earthquake, but somehow obtained a little piece of land. A fairly solid, but very small house was quickly raised-- concrete walls and a tin roof. Now 15 children and one mother with her baby live in one room. Though few possession were evident and water for any purpose has to be carried for a ways-- the children were clean and reasonably dressed. None seemed to be unusually thin. Their hair and eyes held the brightness that is quickly lost when nutrition is poor. Their living standard was incredibly low, but the house father was at least feeding and clothing them. My first thought was that Allow could not be the donor for a home as poor as this one. Our children in other countries live very simply, but not as low a standard as this one.
I offered my hands to pick up Tania, the little girl in the photo. Not only did she accept and let me take her, but she grabbed me around the neck and held me tightly. In that moment, the decision was made. I would return to the US and do what I could to make her life and that of the others better. The man responsible for these children is a fellow believer struggling in amazingly difficult circumstances and the Lord has placed them in front of my eyes-- and in my arms. I do not know Tania's story. The information on the children has not come from Haiti yet. I know that she is an orphan-- but she is with people who care for her. I know that she lives in a crowded room-- but she is safe. Her clothing was torn, but it was clean.
Haiti was mostly what I expected-- hot, poor, chaotic, dirty, busy and somewhat dangerous. But the people are very dear. The Lord has a people called out for His name from this little country. They mostly walk where they go. They eat rice and beans. They carry their water. They speak French and Creole. I hope we can help these children by meeting some needs, providing some education, seeing to their discipleship and watch them grow into grounded witnesses for our Lord. It means more recruiting for sponsors. It means more trips to Haiti. It means more paper work. It means more obligations. We are going to do it. And we already love it.
15 January 2013
It was a special joy to see these photos come from Nepal in January 2013. These are village pastors from two separate areas in Nepal. One is so high up in the mountains that it takes most of a hard driving day to get to the meeting place by jeep. None of the pastors have a jeep. They walk-- and for some of them it is a vertical climb of two or more days a fact which causes one to swallow hard when tempted to complain of the jeep ride. Of course, many Americans and other foreigners come to Nepal to climb the mountains for fun. But even among committed believers, how many would make the climb in the dead of winter to sit on the floor in an unheated church to receive Bible training? And these men are not full time pastors, though they would like to be. Every one of them farms to feed his family. The other training area is in the terai-- that is the flat land near Nepal's border with India. We have been working with that group for years longer than the mountain group. Most of the faces are very familiar to me. I know their families and I know their ministries. We sponsor at least one child for almost all of them (which is true for the mountain group too). We are grateful for a variety of ministries in Nepal-- children's homes, church building project, medical clinics, Jesus Video outreach, slum ministry as well as the pastor training. My favorite ministry is usually the one I am working on at the moment. But seeing this training module complete and the certificates awarded....is really, really special. God's Word will multiply in the lives of those who heard it-- and these leaders will spread out through some still unreached areas of a little country that I love-- and more people will be reached and discipled for the Lord.