International Ministries

Reed, J.D. and Rhonda - International Ministries The latest from JD and Rhonda Reed https://internationalministries.org/teams/371-reed-j-d-and-rhonda.rss Finding My Way <p class="MsoNormal">In some ways, the last year has been a huge challenge for me. <span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp;</span>It has nothing to do with culture or language or church systems or Bolivia.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>Due to meningitis almost 15 years ago, I have progressive hearing loss. <span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp;</span>This has been a source of frustration for me over the years, but never more than that. <span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp;</span>It was very frustrating at first, and almost cost me my ministry at one point, but I learned to cope quite well with the help of some wonderful audiologists, great friends and family support.<o:p></o:p></p><p class="MsoNormal"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p><p class="MsoNormal">This past summer, while we were still on home assignment, things began to take a nosedive. Suddenly there was talk of surgery (which now isn’t an option), additional technology, the learning of sign language and more.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>Like the loss of a close friend, I have experienced levels of mourning that have come as a result.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>At times, all is fine and other times I feel like I am in garbage compactor #3263827 on the first Death Star (shameless Star Wars reference)!<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp;&nbsp; </span><o:p></o:p></p><p class="MsoNormal"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p><p class="MsoNormal"><i style="mso-bidi-font-style:normal">DISCLAIMER: This post isn’t meant to illicit sympathy, but to be transparent and honest about a struggle occurring on the field.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>I am not asking for prayers of healing or money for surgery. <span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp;</span>It is just a part of the story.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>Keep reading … it gets better.<o:p></o:p></i></p><p class="MsoNormal"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p><p class="MsoNormal">This weekend I was asked by our ministry partner to travel to the Bolivian city of Tarija and speak at the annual national women’s crusade. <span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp;</span>I was going to promote two theological education programs to encourage people to continue growing in their faith.<o:p></o:p></p><p class="MsoNormal"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p><p class="MsoNormal">When I got there, everything was muddled.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>I couldn’t understand the pastor leading worship; the music was distorted and garbled.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>He called me up front and when I got there, I responded incorrectly because I thought I was supposed to do one thing when he asked me to do another.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>We laughed and went on, but inside I was checking out.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>Not sure what was going on, I understood the leader to say we would be having the sermon next.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>I panicked.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>Was I supposed to preach?<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>Did I misunderstand?<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>I began to frantically look for an old sermon I could use.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>I prayed for God to open my eyes to the message he had for the people.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>After the song, the pastor prayed and invited the speaker up to the front.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>I shifted in my pew and realized another couple had arisen and started to move.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>As the wife stepped into the aisle, I saw her husband and I became instantly confused.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span><o:p></o:p></p><p class="MsoNormal"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p><p class="MsoNormal">They walked up to the podium and he began to search for the edges of the pulpit with his hands to find the location of the microphone stand to grab the mic.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>As his wife sat down, he adjusted his sunglasses and began to speak.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>I was transfixed as I listened to the pastor speak of the love of God, a God who we couldn’t see, but who is with us on our best days and our worst days.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>He spoke of how a life without God was a life wasted and even if things aren’t as we planned them, we must trust He is in control of everything.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>With every sentence, my heart softened and I realized that my prayer was answered and God was opening my eyes.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>It wasn’t until it was over I realized I had understood every word! <span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp;</span>It was a gift.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>That hasn’t happened for a long time. Then I looked down at my bible and realized that for a while now, this pastor hadn’t seen these words for himself, but he knew the passage by heart.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>He may have been blind, but his heart and mind were still working just fine, and through him I was reminded of what happens when you finally give God your challenges.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span><o:p></o:p></p><p class="MsoNormal"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p><p class="MsoNormal">After the service, I talked to them and shared with him and his wife (a long-retired missionary who grew up in California) about how they had blessed me.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>We shared our stories of loss with each other, we laughed and we cried together and I thanked him for a life lived with grace and love.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>He quickly stopped me and reminded me that I was seeing him at the twilight of what has been a long journey filled with both grief and joy.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>We talked for a while more about their lives together and as we were getting ready to walk away, he gently smiled and grabbed my arm … <o:p></o:p></p><p class="MsoNormal"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p><p class="MsoNormal">“Don’t worry, pastor,” he said gently, “You will find your way back.”<o:p></o:p></p><p class="MsoNormal"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p><p class="MsoNormal">As we parted, I was struck by the profound realization that in mourning through this last year, all I needed to do was step back and remember what my high school Sunday School teacher once taught me, “It isn’t about the speed with which you travel to God, just that you are on the journey.”<o:p></o:p></p><p class="MsoNormal"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p><p class="MsoNormal">I may be currently walking on an uncomfortable path, but if I just keep walking, God will help me find my way. &nbsp;He always has before, why wouldn't he again?</p><p> <!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <o:OfficeDocumentSettings> 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mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;} </style> <![endif]--> <!--StartFragment--> <!--EndFragment--></p><p class="MsoNormal"><i>“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” Matthew 5:4</i><o:p></o:p></p> Mon, 22 May 2017 12:33:17 -0400 https://internationalministries.org/read/65204-finding-my-way https://internationalministries.org/read/65204-finding-my-way So, What's The Point? <style> <!-- /* Font Definitions */ @font-face {font-family:"Cambria Math"; panose-1:2 4 5 3 5 4 6 3 2 4; mso-font-charset:0; mso-generic-font-family:auto; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:-536870145 1107305727 0 0 415 0;} @font-face {font-family:Calibri; panose-1:2 15 5 2 2 2 4 3 2 4; mso-font-charset:0; mso-generic-font-family:auto; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:-536870145 1073786111 1 0 415 0;} /* Style Definitions */ p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal {mso-style-unhide:no; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:""; margin:0in; margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:Calibri; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;} .MsoChpDefault {mso-style-type:export-only; mso-default-props:yes; font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:Calibri; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;} @page WordSection1 {size:8.5in 11.0in; margin:1.0in 1.0in 1.0in 1.0in; mso-header-margin:.5in; mso-footer-margin:.5in; mso-paper-source:0;} div.WordSection1 {page:WordSection1;} --> </style> <p class="MsoNormal">So what’s the point of doing Short-term mission trips?</p> <p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Just this morning, in a meeting with a pastor here in Cochabamba, Bolivia we were talking about their church.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>Through the course of the story and telling us how hard his church had worked on a specific project and how God had intervened on their behalf, he paused.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>He then said (I am paraphrasing here) that he was also very thankful for the partnership he has with us and the volunteer mission teams that we brought down to help them in their project.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>He went on to say that without their help and support the project would have never made it this far.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal">As missionaries that host 10-12 teams annually, I can tell you stories like this one where churches and ministries have been changed because of the work of volunteers and volunteer short-term mission teams.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>You know something else…when I am talking to them they rarely mention the project.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal">I think the secret to a short-term mission team making an impact on the project isn’t focusing on the work, but the people who are doing it.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>Right after the pastor thanked me for my time and support, he began to do some "name dropping".<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>He spoke of the pastor that came and prayed with him when they first arrived at the site and asked God to protect his family in their ministry.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>He spoke about the nurse who was with the team and helped bandage and comfort &nbsp;his church members before thinking of the needs of the team.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>He smiled when he talked about the older lady who wasn’t able to do hard labor, but spent hours playing with the children at the work site and trying to communicate with their grandmothers.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal">In this moment, my heart was full because that is exactly the point of hosting these teams.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span><br></p><p class="MsoNormal"><br></p><p class="MsoNormal">Relationships.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span><br></p><p class="MsoNormal">Connections.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span><br></p><p class="MsoNormal">Transformation.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span><br></p><p class="MsoNormal"><br></p><p class="MsoNormal">Are the projects important?<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>Of course they are, but what is more important are the friendships that form around a common faith in Jesus Christ and played out within a common project.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>Personally, I don’t really concern myself with whether the job gets all the way done when a volunteer team is here.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>Honestly, they rarely do.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>What is much more important to me is the encouragement that they receive by the presence of these volunteers who would give of their time and money to come and get to know them personally.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal">To be fair, not every team clicks like this, but when they don’t it is a rarity.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>Generally when a team comes with a plan to “change the world” what happens is they fall in love with a people, work takes second place and they end up receiving much more than they gave.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>Mutual faith.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>Mutual respect.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>A new friend and a little bit of hope to carry you through.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal">That, my friends, is the point of Short-term missions.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p> Thu, 08 Sep 2016 07:01:16 -0400 https://internationalministries.org/read/63065-so-what-s-the-point- https://internationalministries.org/read/63065-so-what-s-the-point- Reed All About It - Spring 2016 Newsletter <meta name="twitter:image:src" content="https://gallery.mailchimp.com/2c694daf66bab32ab458f5b43/images/c9c0b6a3-d677-4627-8062-3eddc412b84f.jpg"><meta name="twitter:description" content="What is going on with the Reed family as their US assignment comes to a close? 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exactly;-ms-text-size-adjust: 100%;-webkit-text-size-adjust: 100%;background-color: #FAFAFA;border-top: 0;border-bottom: 0;padding-top: 9px;padding-bottom: 9px;"><table border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" width="100%" class="mcnTextBlock" style="min-width: 100%;border-collapse: collapse;mso-table-lspace: 0pt;mso-table-rspace: 0pt;-ms-text-size-adjust: 100%;-webkit-text-size-adjust: 100%;"><tbody class="mcnTextBlockOuter"><tr><td valign="top" class="mcnTextBlockInner" style="padding-top: 9px;mso-line-height-rule: exactly;-ms-text-size-adjust: 100%;-webkit-text-size-adjust: 100%;"><table align="left" border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" style="max-width: 390px;border-collapse: collapse;mso-table-lspace: 0pt;mso-table-rspace: 0pt;-ms-text-size-adjust: 100%;-webkit-text-size-adjust: 100%;" width="100%" class="mcnTextContentContainer"><tbody><tr><td valign="top" class="mcnTextContent" style="padding-top: 0;padding-left: 18px;padding-bottom: 9px;padding-right: 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</tbody></table> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table></td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top" id="templateUpperBody" style="mso-line-height-rule: exactly;-ms-text-size-adjust: 100%;-webkit-text-size-adjust: 100%;background-color: #FFFFFF;border-top: 0;border-bottom: 0;padding-top: 0;padding-bottom: 0;"><table border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" width="100%" class="mcnTextBlock" style="min-width: 100%;border-collapse: collapse;mso-table-lspace: 0pt;mso-table-rspace: 0pt;-ms-text-size-adjust: 100%;-webkit-text-size-adjust: 100%;"> <tbody class="mcnTextBlockOuter"> <tr> <td valign="top" class="mcnTextBlockInner" style="padding-top: 9px;mso-line-height-rule: exactly;-ms-text-size-adjust: 100%;-webkit-text-size-adjust: 100%;"> <!--[if mso]> <table align="left" border="0" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0" width="100%" style="width:100%;"> <tr> <![endif]--> <!--[if mso]> <td valign="top" width="600" style="width:600px;"> <![endif]--> <table align="left" border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" style="max-width: 100%;min-width: 100%;border-collapse: collapse;mso-table-lspace: 0pt;mso-table-rspace: 0pt;-ms-text-size-adjust: 100%;-webkit-text-size-adjust: 100%;" width="100%" class="mcnTextContentContainer"> <tbody><tr> <td valign="top" class="mcnTextContent" style="padding-top: 0;padding-right: 18px;padding-bottom: 9px;padding-left: 18px;mso-line-height-rule: exactly;-ms-text-size-adjust: 100%;-webkit-text-size-adjust: 100%;word-break: break-word;color: #202020;font-family: Helvetica;font-size: 16px;line-height: 150%;text-align: left;"> <h1 style="display: block;margin: 0;padding: 0;color: #202020;font-family: Helvetica;font-size: 26px;font-style: normal;font-weight: bold;line-height: 125%;letter-spacing: normal;text-align: left;">Reed All About It - Spring 2016</h1> <p style="margin: 10px 0;padding: 0;mso-line-height-rule: exactly;-ms-text-size-adjust: 100%;-webkit-text-size-adjust: 100%;color: #202020;font-family: Helvetica;font-size: 16px;line-height: 150%;text-align: left;">It has been a busy but full 8 months for us as we have been back in the US for our home assignment year, but it has definitely been a blessing to visit so many of you and your churches and share how God is working in Bolivia. &nbsp;Here is a quick update from us</p> </td> </tr> </tbody></table> <!--[if mso]> </td> <![endif]--> <!--[if mso]> </tr> </table> <![endif]--> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table><table border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" width="100%" class="mcnTextBlock" style="min-width: 100%;border-collapse: collapse;mso-table-lspace: 0pt;mso-table-rspace: 0pt;-ms-text-size-adjust: 100%;-webkit-text-size-adjust: 100%;"> <tbody class="mcnTextBlockOuter"> <tr> <td valign="top" class="mcnTextBlockInner" style="padding-top: 9px;mso-line-height-rule: exactly;-ms-text-size-adjust: 100%;-webkit-text-size-adjust: 100%;"> <!--[if mso]> <table align="left" border="0" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0" width="100%" style="width:100%;"> <tr> <![endif]--> <!--[if mso]> <td valign="top" width="600" style="width:600px;"> <![endif]--> <table align="left" border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" style="max-width: 100%;min-width: 100%;border-collapse: collapse;mso-table-lspace: 0pt;mso-table-rspace: 0pt;-ms-text-size-adjust: 100%;-webkit-text-size-adjust: 100%;" width="100%" class="mcnTextContentContainer"> <tbody><tr> <td valign="top" class="mcnTextContent" style="padding-top: 0;padding-right: 18px;padding-bottom: 9px;padding-left: 18px;mso-line-height-rule: exactly;-ms-text-size-adjust: 100%;-webkit-text-size-adjust: 100%;word-break: break-word;color: #202020;font-family: Helvetica;font-size: 16px;line-height: 150%;text-align: left;"> <h2 class="null" style="display: block;margin: 0;padding: 0;color: #202020;font-family: Helvetica;font-size: 22px;font-style: normal;font-weight: bold;line-height: 125%;letter-spacing: normal;text-align: left;">Family Update<br> <em><strong><span style="font-size:16px">Grace Working in Mexico for 6 Weeks</span></strong></em></h2> As I am writing this newsletter, our oldest daughter, Grace has just arrived in Puebla, Mexico, where she will be helping with short term teams and translation. She will be working with our friends and colleagues, Keith and Debbie Myers during her time there. &nbsp;They will be hosting short-term teams and working in villages to support the ministry of the Myers family. &nbsp;Pray for her as she shares in the ministry, translates for teams and meets new people (and is away from family for six weeks). &nbsp;&nbsp;<br> <br> <em><strong><span style="font-size:15px">Rhonda and J.D. continuing their education</span></strong></em><br> We are pleased to let our missionary family know that Rhonda has just completed her first year of her Master's Degree in Global Public Health Nursing at Cedarville University. &nbsp;At the end of the year, as a recognition of her hard work, Cedarville recognized her and gave her a small institutional scholarship as a result of her hard work. &nbsp;J.D. has begun working on his Doctorate of Ministry (D.Min.) in Contextual Theology at Northern Theological Seminary as well. &nbsp;Please be in prayer for them as they work on their studies as they return to Bolivia. </td> </tr> </tbody></table> <!--[if mso]> </td> <![endif]--> <!--[if mso]> </tr> </table> <![endif]--> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table><table border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" width="100%" class="mcnDividerBlock" style="min-width: 100%;border-collapse: collapse;mso-table-lspace: 0pt;mso-table-rspace: 0pt;-ms-text-size-adjust: 100%;-webkit-text-size-adjust: 100%;table-layout: fixed !important;"> <tbody class="mcnDividerBlockOuter"> <tr> <td class="mcnDividerBlockInner" style="min-width: 100%;padding: 18px;mso-line-height-rule: exactly;-ms-text-size-adjust: 100%;-webkit-text-size-adjust: 100%;"> <table class="mcnDividerContent" border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" width="100%" style="min-width: 100%;border-top-width: 2px;border-top-style: solid;border-top-color: #EAEAEA;border-collapse: collapse;mso-table-lspace: 0pt;mso-table-rspace: 0pt;-ms-text-size-adjust: 100%;-webkit-text-size-adjust: 100%;"> <tbody><tr> <td style="mso-line-height-rule: exactly;-ms-text-size-adjust: 100%;-webkit-text-size-adjust: 100%;"> <span></span> </td> </tr> </tbody></table> <!-- <td class="mcnDividerBlockInner" style="padding: 18px;"> <hr class="mcnDividerContent" style="border-bottom-color:none; border-left-color:none; border-right-color:none; border-bottom-width:0; border-left-width:0; border-right-width:0; margin-top:0; margin-right:0; margin-bottom:0; margin-left:0;" /> --> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table><table border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" width="100%" class="mcnImageCardBlock" style="border-collapse: collapse;mso-table-lspace: 0pt;mso-table-rspace: 0pt;-ms-text-size-adjust: 100%;-webkit-text-size-adjust: 100%;"> <tbody class="mcnImageCardBlockOuter"> <tr> <td class="mcnImageCardBlockInner" valign="top" style="padding-top: 9px;padding-right: 18px;padding-bottom: 9px;padding-left: 18px;mso-line-height-rule: exactly;-ms-text-size-adjust: 100%;-webkit-text-size-adjust: 100%;"> <table align="right" border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="mcnImageCardBottomContent" width="100%" style="background-color: #9E9696;border-collapse: collapse;mso-table-lspace: 0pt;mso-table-rspace: 0pt;-ms-text-size-adjust: 100%;-webkit-text-size-adjust: 100%;"> <tbody><tr> <td class="mcnImageCardBottomImageContent" align="left" valign="top" style="padding-top: 0px;padding-right: 0px;padding-bottom: 0;padding-left: 0px;mso-line-height-rule: exactly;-ms-text-size-adjust: 100%;-webkit-text-size-adjust: 100%;"> <a href="http://www.internationalministries.org" title="" class="" target="_blank" style="mso-line-height-rule: exactly;-ms-text-size-adjust: 100%;-webkit-text-size-adjust: 100%;"> <img alt="" src="https://gallery.mailchimp.com/2c694daf66bab32ab458f5b43/images/7cbf993b-116d-4447-8a83-ea5f2b1b0387.png" width="515" style="max-width: 515px;border: 0;height: auto;outline: none;text-decoration: none;-ms-interpolation-mode: bicubic;vertical-align: bottom;" class="mcnImage"> </a> </td> </tr> <tr> <td class="mcnTextContent" valign="top" style="padding: 9px 18px;color: #F2F2F2;font-family: Helvetica;font-size: 14px;font-weight: normal;text-align: center;mso-line-height-rule: exactly;-ms-text-size-adjust: 100%;-webkit-text-size-adjust: 100%;word-break: break-word;line-height: 150%;" width="546"> Are you registered yet? &nbsp;Join us for a week of celebrating what God is doing around the world through the work of IM. &nbsp;Get more information at the link in the calendar below </td> </tr> </tbody></table> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table><table border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" width="100%" class="mcnImageCardBlock" style="border-collapse: collapse;mso-table-lspace: 0pt;mso-table-rspace: 0pt;-ms-text-size-adjust: 100%;-webkit-text-size-adjust: 100%;"> <tbody class="mcnImageCardBlockOuter"> <tr> <td class="mcnImageCardBlockInner" valign="top" style="padding-top: 9px;padding-right: 18px;padding-bottom: 9px;padding-left: 18px;mso-line-height-rule: exactly;-ms-text-size-adjust: 100%;-webkit-text-size-adjust: 100%;"> <table align="left" border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="mcnImageCardBottomContent" width="100%" style="background-color: #404040;border-collapse: collapse;mso-table-lspace: 0pt;mso-table-rspace: 0pt;-ms-text-size-adjust: 100%;-webkit-text-size-adjust: 100%;"> <tbody><tr> <td class="mcnImageCardBottomImageContent" align="left" valign="top" style="padding-top: 0px;padding-right: 0px;padding-bottom: 0;padding-left: 0px;mso-line-height-rule: exactly;-ms-text-size-adjust: 100%;-webkit-text-size-adjust: 100%;"> <img alt="" src="https://gallery.mailchimp.com/2c694daf66bab32ab458f5b43/images/2757bfea-3cc3-494b-be63-ede4120f8547.png" width="564" style="max-width: 600px;border: 0;height: auto;outline: none;text-decoration: none;-ms-interpolation-mode: bicubic;vertical-align: bottom;" class="mcnImage"> </td> </tr> <tr> <td class="mcnTextContent" valign="top" style="padding: 9px 18px;color: #F2F2F2;font-family: Helvetica;font-size: 14px;font-weight: normal;text-align: center;mso-line-height-rule: exactly;-ms-text-size-adjust: 100%;-webkit-text-size-adjust: 100%;word-break: break-word;line-height: 150%;" width="546"> Help the House of Hope get a new ministry vehicle! &nbsp;For more information on how you can help us meet this immediate need of the House of Hope, <a href="http://internationalministries.org/projects/219" target="_blank" style="mso-line-height-rule: exactly;-ms-text-size-adjust: 100%;-webkit-text-size-adjust: 100%;color: #2BAADF;font-weight: normal;text-decoration: underline;">click here</a> </td> </tr> </tbody></table> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table><table border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" width="100%" class="mcnTextBlock" style="min-width: 100%;border-collapse: collapse;mso-table-lspace: 0pt;mso-table-rspace: 0pt;-ms-text-size-adjust: 100%;-webkit-text-size-adjust: 100%;"> <tbody class="mcnTextBlockOuter"> <tr> <td valign="top" class="mcnTextBlockInner" style="padding-top: 9px;mso-line-height-rule: exactly;-ms-text-size-adjust: 100%;-webkit-text-size-adjust: 100%;"> <!--[if mso]> <table align="left" border="0" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0" width="100%" style="width:100%;"> <tr> <![endif]--> <!--[if mso]> <td valign="top" width="600" style="width:600px;"> <![endif]--> <table align="left" border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" style="max-width: 100%;min-width: 100%;border-collapse: collapse;mso-table-lspace: 0pt;mso-table-rspace: 0pt;-ms-text-size-adjust: 100%;-webkit-text-size-adjust: 100%;" width="100%" class="mcnTextContentContainer"> <tbody><tr> <td valign="top" class="mcnTextContent" style="padding-top: 0;padding-right: 18px;padding-bottom: 9px;padding-left: 18px;mso-line-height-rule: exactly;-ms-text-size-adjust: 100%;-webkit-text-size-adjust: 100%;word-break: break-word;color: #202020;font-family: Helvetica;font-size: 16px;line-height: 150%;text-align: left;"> <h2 class="null" style="display: block;margin: 0;padding: 0;color: #202020;font-family: Helvetica;font-size: 22px;font-style: normal;font-weight: bold;line-height: 125%;letter-spacing: normal;text-align: left;">Some Quick Updates from the House of Hope...</h2> <span style="font-size:18px"><strong><em>Update on Boris Cárdenas, House of Hope leader:</em></strong></span><br> A few weeks back, one of our main leaders at the House of Hope became very ill. &nbsp;Boris Cárdenas, who partners with his wife, Dr. Claudia Dávila to head the mobile medical ministry, contracted Fornier's gangrene and became gravely ill. &nbsp;After his first round of procedures and massive doses of medicine, his condition has greatly improved and he has been sent home to begin his rehabilitation. &nbsp;Both Boris and Dr. Claudia are so very grateful for your prayers for them as they dealt with his condition. Please continue in prayer for Boris and Claudia as he begins his rehab.<br> <br> <strong><em><span style="font-size:18px">Floor going in at Mount Sinaí Congregation!</span></em></strong><br> The new congregation of Mount Sinaí in the village of Alto Buena Vista is a ministry that just celebrated 2 years of ministry. &nbsp;In this very poor community, this church began as a children's ministry and through this vibrant community outreach has grown to over 200 people! &nbsp;With the help of teams from West Virginia and Georgia, we were able to join with them and build a building so their church would have a place. &nbsp;Praise the Lord they will be dedicating this building in June! &nbsp;They even were able to finally install a cement floor completing the inside. &nbsp;God is truly blessing this ministry, but there is much more to do! </td> </tr> </tbody></table> <!--[if mso]> </td> <![endif]--> <!--[if mso]> </tr> </table> <![endif]--> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table><table border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" width="100%" class="mcnImageCardBlock" style="border-collapse: collapse;mso-table-lspace: 0pt;mso-table-rspace: 0pt;-ms-text-size-adjust: 100%;-webkit-text-size-adjust: 100%;"> <tbody class="mcnImageCardBlockOuter"> <tr> <td class="mcnImageCardBlockInner" valign="top" style="padding-top: 9px;padding-right: 18px;padding-bottom: 9px;padding-left: 18px;mso-line-height-rule: exactly;-ms-text-size-adjust: 100%;-webkit-text-size-adjust: 100%;"> <table align="right" border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="mcnImageCardBottomContent" width="100%" style="background-color: #404040;border-collapse: collapse;mso-table-lspace: 0pt;mso-table-rspace: 0pt;-ms-text-size-adjust: 100%;-webkit-text-size-adjust: 100%;"> <tbody><tr> <td class="mcnImageCardBottomImageContent" align="left" valign="top" style="padding-top: 0px;padding-right: 0px;padding-bottom: 0;padding-left: 0px;mso-line-height-rule: exactly;-ms-text-size-adjust: 100%;-webkit-text-size-adjust: 100%;"> <img alt="" src="https://gallery.mailchimp.com/2c694daf66bab32ab458f5b43/images/3c8d0c32-35af-4fab-9514-bc1321a796d2.jpg" width="480" style="max-width: 480px;border: 0;height: auto;outline: none;text-decoration: none;-ms-interpolation-mode: bicubic;vertical-align: bottom;" class="mcnImage"> </td> </tr> <tr> <td class="mcnTextContent" valign="top" style="padding: 9px 18px;color: #F2F2F2;font-family: Helvetica;font-size: 14px;font-weight: normal;text-align: center;mso-line-height-rule: exactly;-ms-text-size-adjust: 100%;-webkit-text-size-adjust: 100%;word-break: break-word;line-height: 150%;" width="546"> Church members pouring the cement floor at <em>Congregación Monte Sinaí</em> as they prepare to dedicate their new building! </td> </tr> </tbody></table> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table><table border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" width="100%" class="mcnImageCardBlock" style="border-collapse: collapse;mso-table-lspace: 0pt;mso-table-rspace: 0pt;-ms-text-size-adjust: 100%;-webkit-text-size-adjust: 100%;"> <tbody class="mcnImageCardBlockOuter"> <tr> <td class="mcnImageCardBlockInner" valign="top" style="padding-top: 9px;padding-right: 18px;padding-bottom: 9px;padding-left: 18px;mso-line-height-rule: exactly;-ms-text-size-adjust: 100%;-webkit-text-size-adjust: 100%;"> <table align="left" border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="mcnImageCardBottomContent" width="100%" style="background-color: #404040;border-collapse: collapse;mso-table-lspace: 0pt;mso-table-rspace: 0pt;-ms-text-size-adjust: 100%;-webkit-text-size-adjust: 100%;"> <tbody><tr> <td class="mcnImageCardBottomImageContent" align="left" valign="top" style="padding-top: 0px;padding-right: 0px;padding-bottom: 0;padding-left: 0px;mso-line-height-rule: exactly;-ms-text-size-adjust: 100%;-webkit-text-size-adjust: 100%;"> <img alt="" src="https://gallery.mailchimp.com/2c694daf66bab32ab458f5b43/images/3f4cad60-5edd-4e78-b8f5-1660394aa399.jpg" width="564" style="max-width: 2048px;border: 0;height: auto;outline: none;text-decoration: none;-ms-interpolation-mode: bicubic;vertical-align: bottom;" class="mcnImage"> </td> </tr> <tr> <td class="mcnTextContent" valign="top" style="padding: 9px 18px;color: #F2F2F2;font-family: Helvetica;font-size: 14px;font-weight: normal;text-align: center;mso-line-height-rule: exactly;-ms-text-size-adjust: 100%;-webkit-text-size-adjust: 100%;word-break: break-word;line-height: 150%;" width="546"> Dr. Claudia Dávila doing medical assessments on children at <em>Congregación Monte Sinaí</em> </td> </tr> </tbody></table> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table><table border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" width="100%" class="mcnBoxedTextBlock" style="min-width: 100%;border-collapse: collapse;mso-table-lspace: 0pt;mso-table-rspace: 0pt;-ms-text-size-adjust: 100%;-webkit-text-size-adjust: 100%;"> <!--[if gte mso 9]> <table align="center" border="0" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0" width="100%"> <![endif]--> <tbody class="mcnBoxedTextBlockOuter"> <tr> <td valign="top" class="mcnBoxedTextBlockInner" style="mso-line-height-rule: exactly;-ms-text-size-adjust: 100%;-webkit-text-size-adjust: 100%;"> <!--[if gte mso 9]> <td align="center" valign="top" "> <![endif]--> <table align="left" border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" width="100%" style="min-width: 100%;border-collapse: collapse;mso-table-lspace: 0pt;mso-table-rspace: 0pt;-ms-text-size-adjust: 100%;-webkit-text-size-adjust: 100%;" class="mcnBoxedTextContentContainer"> <tbody><tr> <td style="padding-top: 9px;padding-left: 18px;padding-bottom: 9px;padding-right: 18px;mso-line-height-rule: exactly;-ms-text-size-adjust: 100%;-webkit-text-size-adjust: 100%;"> <table border="0" cellpadding="18" cellspacing="0" class="mcnTextContentContainer" width="100%" style="min-width: 100% !important;background-color: #404040;border-collapse: collapse;mso-table-lspace: 0pt;mso-table-rspace: 0pt;-ms-text-size-adjust: 100%;-webkit-text-size-adjust: 100%;"> <tbody><tr> <td valign="top" class="mcnTextContent" style="color: #F2F2F2;font-family: Helvetica;font-size: 14px;font-weight: normal;text-align: center;mso-line-height-rule: exactly;-ms-text-size-adjust: 100%;-webkit-text-size-adjust: 100%;word-break: break-word;line-height: 150%;"> <h2 class="null" style="text-align: left;display: block;margin: 0;padding: 0;color: #202020;font-family: Helvetica;font-size: 22px;font-style: normal;font-weight: bold;line-height: 125%;letter-spacing: normal;"><span style="color:#FFD700">Where you can find us:</span></h2> <div style="text-align: left;">It has sure been a whirlwind time on our first home assignment so far (see map below). &nbsp;Are we visiting a church or event close to you? &nbsp;Come and see us!<br> <br> June 5 - Fifth Avenue Baptist Church, Huntington, WV (morning worship)<br> June 5 - First Baptist Church of Beckley, WV (evening worship)<br> June 12 - Emmanuel Baptist Church, Charleston, WV (morning worship)<br> July 1-3 - <a href="http://www.cvent.com/events/world-mission-conference/event-summary-a135b767fe544214b89babfa5e9dcb25.aspx" target="_blank" style="mso-line-height-rule: exactly;-ms-text-size-adjust: 100%;-webkit-text-size-adjust: 100%;color: #2BAADF;font-weight: normal;text-decoration: underline;">Hear The Call Retreat</a>, Green Lake Conference Center, Green Lake, WI<br> July 4-9 - <a href="http://www.cvent.com/events/world-mission-conference/event-summary-a135b767fe544214b89babfa5e9dcb25.aspx" target="_blank" style="mso-line-height-rule: exactly;-ms-text-size-adjust: 100%;-webkit-text-size-adjust: 100%;color: #2BAADF;font-weight: normal;text-decoration: underline;">World Mission Conference</a>, GLCC, Green Lake, WI<br> July 10-16 - Jr. High II Camp, Camp Cowen, Cowen, WV</div> </td> </tr> </tbody></table> </td> </tr> </tbody></table> <!--[if gte mso 9]> </td> <![endif]--> <!--[if gte mso 9]> </tr> </table> <![endif]--> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table><table border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" width="100%" class="mcnTextBlock" style="min-width: 100%;border-collapse: collapse;mso-table-lspace: 0pt;mso-table-rspace: 0pt;-ms-text-size-adjust: 100%;-webkit-text-size-adjust: 100%;"> <tbody class="mcnTextBlockOuter"> <tr> <td valign="top" class="mcnTextBlockInner" style="padding-top: 9px;mso-line-height-rule: exactly;-ms-text-size-adjust: 100%;-webkit-text-size-adjust: 100%;"> <!--[if mso]> <table align="left" border="0" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0" width="100%" style="width:100%;"> <tr> <![endif]--> <!--[if mso]> <td valign="top" width="600" style="width:600px;"> <![endif]--> <table align="left" border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" style="max-width: 100%;min-width: 100%;border-collapse: collapse;mso-table-lspace: 0pt;mso-table-rspace: 0pt;-ms-text-size-adjust: 100%;-webkit-text-size-adjust: 100%;" width="100%" class="mcnTextContentContainer"> <tbody><tr> <td valign="top" class="mcnTextContent" style="padding-top: 0;padding-right: 18px;padding-bottom: 9px;padding-left: 18px;mso-line-height-rule: exactly;-ms-text-size-adjust: 100%;-webkit-text-size-adjust: 100%;word-break: break-word;color: #202020;font-family: Helvetica;font-size: 16px;line-height: 150%;text-align: left;"> <span style="color:#008000"><span style="font-family:comic sans ms,marker felt-thin,arial,sans-serif"><span style="font-size:12px"><em>Where have we been this year? The stars on the map below show our travels this year. &nbsp;We are so grateful to have spent time with so many friends and partners in ministry!</em></span></span></span> </td> </tr> </tbody></table> <!--[if mso]> </td> <![endif]--> <!--[if mso]> </tr> </table> <![endif]--> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table><table border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" width="100%" class="mcnImageBlock" style="min-width: 100%;border-collapse: collapse;mso-table-lspace: 0pt;mso-table-rspace: 0pt;-ms-text-size-adjust: 100%;-webkit-text-size-adjust: 100%;"> <tbody class="mcnImageBlockOuter"> <tr> <td valign="top" style="padding: 9px;mso-line-height-rule: exactly;-ms-text-size-adjust: 100%;-webkit-text-size-adjust: 100%;" class="mcnImageBlockInner"> <table align="left" width="100%" border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="mcnImageContentContainer" style="min-width: 100%;border-collapse: collapse;mso-table-lspace: 0pt;mso-table-rspace: 0pt;-ms-text-size-adjust: 100%;-webkit-text-size-adjust: 100%;"> <tbody><tr> <td class="mcnImageContent" valign="top" style="padding-right: 9px;padding-left: 9px;padding-top: 0;padding-bottom: 0;text-align: center;mso-line-height-rule: exactly;-ms-text-size-adjust: 100%;-webkit-text-size-adjust: 100%;"> <img align="center" alt="" src="https://gallery.mailchimp.com/2c694daf66bab32ab458f5b43/images/0ba270aa-dfd9-4a7b-8311-a4b432014ae0.png" width="564" style="max-width: 665px;padding-bottom: 0;display: inline !important;vertical-align: bottom;border: 0;height: auto;outline: none;text-decoration: none;-ms-interpolation-mode: bicubic;" class="mcnImage"> </td> </tr> </tbody></table></td></tr></tbody></table><br></td></tr></tbody></table></td></tr></tbody></table> </center> Thu, 02 Jun 2016 03:25:13 -0400 https://internationalministries.org/read/62252-reed-all-about-it-spring-2016-newsletter https://internationalministries.org/read/62252-reed-all-about-it-spring-2016-newsletter What Does Discipleship Look Like? <p> <style> <!-- /* Font Definitions */ @font-face {font-family:"Cambria Math"; panose-1:2 4 5 3 5 4 6 3 2 4; mso-font-charset:0; mso-generic-font-family:auto; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:-536870145 1107305727 0 0 415 0;} @font-face {font-family:Calibri; panose-1:2 15 5 2 2 2 4 3 2 4; mso-font-charset:0; mso-generic-font-family:auto; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:-536870145 1073786111 1 0 415 0;} /* Style Definitions */ p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal {mso-style-unhide:no; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:""; margin:0in; margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:Calibri; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;} .MsoChpDefault {mso-style-type:export-only; mso-default-props:yes; font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:Calibri; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;} @page WordSection1 {size:8.5in 11.0in; margin:1.0in 1.0in 1.0in 1.0in; mso-header-margin:.5in; mso-footer-margin:.5in; mso-paper-source:0;} div.WordSection1 {page:WordSection1;} --> </style> </p><p class="MsoNormal">Today, discipleship looks like a High School Diploma.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Sitting in the gym of Emmanuel Christian School (Colegio Evangélical Emanúel) with a torrential downpour crowding out the sound system, I couldn’t help but reflect.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>The ministry of the House of Hope began in Cochabamba, Bolivia just over ten years ago.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>It was then that I met this energetic and talkative little girl named Liezbeth. She was full of life and full of questions for all of the members of the teams we brought.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>She would say, “How you call this?” and point to everything. <span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp;</span>You could see her curiosity growing almost by the minute.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Over the years, many short-term teams have come and gon and she has been in the middle of them all – watching, learning and growing up.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>At first, she was just a pleasant distraction for the teams far from their own children and grandchildren. but soon she was beginning to contribute to the ministry.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>After she started going to school, she added extra afternoon English Classes so she could learn proper English.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>More teams came down and that gave her a real-time learning lab!<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>She would practice phrases as she helped with translation for the teams and joined them in their work and their nightly bible studies.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>She continued to watch and be encouraged by the people that God brought her way.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal">In time, her mom married a wonderful man name Richard (Ricardo) and soon came two little sisters.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>Some kids would change their approach here and the ensuing competition for attention would begin, but not in this family.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>She stepped right in to help her mom, especially when her friends from North America would come.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>She was sister and a caregiver all at once.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>Her faith was strengthened as she watched her mother grow into a strong leader and role model for not only the teams that came down, but all of the ministries that they worked with.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>Soon a series of events would thrust her mom into the lead role of the ministry and she watched her blossom.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>She was there as God began to use her mom to touch people’s lives and she saw how the world could be better if we let God do his work in this world.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>She began to follow her lead and to teach English on the weekends as a ministry that gave her opportunities to share the gospel to youth and adults alike.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal">She grew very active in her youth ministry and in the church.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>She became one of the chief translators for teams when they came down so that they would hear the word of God preached and hear the testimony of the missionaries and share them with the ministries they were working with.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>God was molding her through them as well.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>He was using pastors, doctors, nurses, farmers, construction workers, and many more to show her his love and she in turn was giving that love to others every chance she could.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Now I am sitting here watching this beautiful young lady walk down the graduation aisle with her mother and all one can do is smile when you see such a confident, young woman who is ready to take the world by storm.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>In face, she has been doing just that for years.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>She will begin preparing next week for pre-med training so that she can now come and join the ministry as an official partner (even though she already was one) and continue to make a difference in the lives of the poor and displaced around Cochabamba.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>She is truly a product of how God has for over a decade used short-term mission teams to encourage and empower people around the world to be more like Him.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>She is what discipleship really looks like.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal">They say her name, Liezbeth Dabne Salvatierra Flores, and she grabs the diploma with confidence.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>She turns and hugs her mom with gusto and hands it to her as if she is saying thank you for everything.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>She strides onto the stage and takes her place among her friends, but she has no equal there.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>She takes her place boldly, laughing with friends, excited for the day, but in her eyes she is looking to the future. She is poised to make a difference for the Kingdom.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Congratulations, Liezbeth!<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>You are a shining light to us all.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b><u>This</u> </b>is what discipleship looks like.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p><i> <span style="font-size:12.0pt;font-family:Calibri;mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:Calibri;mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-hansi-theme-font: minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family:&quot;Times New Roman&quot;;mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi; mso-ansi-language:EN-US;mso-fareast-language:EN-US;mso-bidi-language:AR-SA">Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity. (1 Tim 4.12, NIV)</span> </i> Mon, 14 Dec 2015 09:46:01 -0500 https://internationalministries.org/read/60662-what-does-discipleship-look-like- https://internationalministries.org/read/60662-what-does-discipleship-look-like- Unity “Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, being diligent to preserve the <b><u>unity</u></b> of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” (Ephesians 4.1-3, emphasis added)&nbsp; <div><br></div><div>A moment of unity can be a transcendent thing. It is one of those things that when you experience it in it’s pure form it will change you. It is a moment you are not likely to forget as it gives us a brief taste of what heaven will be like. I had the opportunity to experience it in two very different places recently.&nbsp; </div><div><br></div><div>First, recently the group of 13 churches that I work with here in Santa Cruz had their first mission fair entitled Koinonia 2015. It was a day meant to bring all of the churches together and celebrate their common vision for the work of God in Santa Cruz and celebrate their shared ministry in Christ. It was a hard day to put together, and 2 days before the event we had to suddenly find a new venue because the first place we rented decided that they were going to go with a different group.&nbsp;</div><div><br></div><div>(Note: one thing about unity in Christ…often times the world won’t understand it and either intentionally or unintentionally oppose it)&nbsp;</div><div><br></div><div>Ultimately, we found another location and the day went off without a hitch. Churches set up colorful display tables and joined together in sharing the things that they do in ministry for the city. Our theme for the day was "Working Together For One More", speaking to the shared vision to keep reaching out for one more person. We should always be joining together to reach one more person for Christ! A group of churches came together, and even in their differences in context and ministry, they shared in what God was doing around them. It was hopefully the first of many similar celebrations.&nbsp; </div><div><br></div><div>Then, just a short time later we hosted the women’s soccer team from Malone University to do soccer clinics and share in different ministries in Santa Cruz and Cochabamba. This week had many moments that were profound, but none so much as one evening at our home church in Santa Cruz. You see, one of their outreach ministries is to Brazillian University students that come to Santa Cruz so that they can study for less money. I talked with our pastor and asked if the team could come to the church and do a kids clinic and he told me that would be great as long as they could play a game with the Brazillian ladies team.&nbsp;</div><div><br></div><div>The day came and after 12 hours of teaching clinics and working they showed up all wearing yellow and Malone U. was in red. They sized each other up and went at it. For over an hour an intense, physical and determined game ensued. It was a war, but as the game went on something happened. With every fall, the other team rushed to lend a hand. With every goal, both teams erupted in applause, and with every clever move, laughter filled the room. Was it intense, yes! Was it fun to watch, yes! Was there animosity or anger…actually it was the opposite.&nbsp;</div><div><br></div><div>At the end of the game the two teams came together with hugs and tears for in their competition they connected. They were connected by the love of sport and a shared faith in Christ. As they circled together and prayed in English, Spanish and Portuguese, tears were shed and barriers were broken. You see, even in conflict if we focus on God there can be unity. Unity can cross cultures. &nbsp;Unity can cross language barriers. &nbsp;Our unity in our common heritage as children of the Most High God brings us together and gives us peace!&nbsp;</div><div><br></div><div>When they got back on the bus to go home after fifteen hours of working, the air was electric. Upon realizing that their shared love of God overcame their barriers, the girls from Malone understood what God meant in Psalm 133.1. It wasn’t just another verse to them any more. On that day, it became a reality. May the love of Christ bring unity in your relationships, your family and in your churches and surpass any struggle you may encounter and give you peace.&nbsp;</div><div><br></div><div>“Behold, how good and how pleasant it is For brothers to dwell together in unity!” (Psalm 133.1)<br></div> Wed, 27 May 2015 01:09:05 -0400 https://internationalministries.org/read/58615-unity https://internationalministries.org/read/58615-unity Dios Es Siempre Fiel / God Is Always Faithful <p class="MsoNormal">Life has been surprising for our family the last couple of months.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>J.D. and I have been traveling to Cochabamba frequently to help with the transition of the House of Hope.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>Pray as we start the long process of helping the House of Hope ministry obtain their status as a foundation here in Bolivia.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>Also, pray for the directors, Carmen Flores and her husband Richard Achu.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>This transition has been a challenging one for them and their three kids.</p><p class="MsoNormal">Grace and I (Rhonda) had the honor to work with our colleague, Global Missionary Kristy Engel and 2 other volunteers from the US.&nbsp; They came down to volunteer with a group of Bolivian doctors and participate in medical clinics in different ministry around Cochabamba.&nbsp; I worked with the medical side of things and Grace was a translator for us.&nbsp; Grace did a wonderful job as an official translator with her first mission team.</p><p class="MsoNormal"><o:p></o:p></p><p class="MsoNormal">With the changes in the House of Hope, I will be phasing out my volunteering at the kid’s school as soon as possible so I can begin focusing my time solely on the ministry of the House of Hope.&nbsp; J.D. continues his work with the pastors here in Santa Cruz and also to set up the new national School of Leaders program in the different departments throughout the country.&nbsp; New groups are forming as we speak and we are hoping to have over 250 students by March that are enrolled in the program.&nbsp; Please take a moment and pray for God to raise up leaders and pastors here in Bolivia.</p><h2>Other prayer requests:</h2><p class="MsoNormal"><o:p></o:p></p><p class="MsoNormal"></p><ul><li>The visa processes in Bolivia have just gone through some significant changes.&nbsp; Pray for our family as we navigate those changes.<br></li><li>Our family is in the process of preparing for our year-long US/PR assignment.&nbsp; While we are excited about that opportunity, pray that we finish out this year well in preparation for a year away.<br></li><li>Because of our increased travel needs between Santa Cruz and Cochabamba that we weren’t expecting we need to raise money for this travel.&nbsp; Please pray that God would provide this extra support.<br></li><li>Funds for the School of Leaders project to educate pastors and leaders.&nbsp; 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https://internationalministries.org/read/57223-dios-es-siempre-fiel-god-is-always-faithful Trust <p class="MsoNormal"><i style="mso-bidi-font-style:normal">May the Lord answer you in the day of trouble!?May the name of the God of Jacob set you <span style="mso-bidi-font-style:italic">securely</span> on high!<b><span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span></b>May He send you help from the sanctuary?And support you from Zion! (Psalm 20.1-2)</i>&nbsp;</p><p class="MsoNormal">Trust.&nbsp;</p><p class="MsoNormal">Sitting in an airport on the way back to the US, the prayer book opens and this week’s theme is trust.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>Honestly, its something we all struggle with at times.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>But in reality, to be a missionary you are basically in the trust “business”.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>You trust in God to lead you to a place of service. It’s not just where he wants you, but where you will thrive and be a contributor to the Kingdom work that he is already doing there.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>You have a great sense of trust in those back home who have felt a call of God to partner with you in that work and to maintain their support so you can continue in it.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>Really, trust is kind of our thing.</p><p class="MsoNormal">If that is the case, then why is it that trust is often the first thing we question?</p><p class="MsoNormal">Usually when we write these journals, we take great care to share great stories about how God is moving in the lives of the people we work with.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>That is a great thing, but this type of ministry can get rough.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp;</span></p><p class="MsoNormal">Days spent in long lines, dealing with culture issues, the challenge of raising kids alone, etc.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp;</span></p><p class="MsoNormal">Not only that, one of the things that we have observed over the past few years are the numbers of people that lost their way on the trust issue and made some, let’s say less than “journal-worthy” decisions.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>They aren’t bad people.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>They are called by God to do his work, but have just decided to trust themselves more than him for a time.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>What’s sad is the way that we, the people of God sabotage our own participation with God all because a lack of trust in His will.</p><p class="MsoNormal">Before you read into this, there is no bomb about to be dropped here that our family is struggling or that because of some unhealthy situation, we are leaving God’s work.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>We are in a great place right now as a family. <span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp;</span>We have just watched a large number of our friends struggle with this in the past year.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>It has been brutal at times to witness. <span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp;</span>So what do we do?<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>We pray.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>We put the trust issue back in the hands of the one that can truly give us peace.<o:p></o:p></p><p class="MsoNormal">Here are some other things that come to mind about trust that you can pray for (if you’re so inclined).</p><p class="MsoNormal"></p><ul><li>In this moment, J.D. is traveling to the US for 2 weeks to raise support for the School of Leaders Project, that is in the process of beginning to train over 250 people to be pastors and leaders.&nbsp; We need to trust God to provide the resources needed for the travel and the program itself.<br></li><li>We have kids.&nbsp; We need to trust God to show us how to raise them well and teach them to follow him completely.<br></li><li>We know a number of situations over the last 2 years where missionaries (in multiple mission agencies) have been pulled off of the field for various reasons, and some who are currently in the middle of very difficult and painful situations.&nbsp; These are our friends. Pray that they would trust God to show them the way out of the storms they are in.<br></li><li>Pray for us.&nbsp; Pray that our trust in God stays strong and that we look to him to guide us with everything from our personal faith to the work we are called to here in Bolivia.&nbsp;</li></ul><p></p><p class="MsoNormal">We stand strong as we trust in the one who has given us eternal life, because…</p><p class="MsoNormal"><i>Now I know that the Lord saves His anointed; He will answer him from His holy heaven?With the saving strength of His right hand.<b><span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span></b>Some [trust] in chariots and some in horses,?But we will boast in the name of the Lord, our God. 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style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>This project is one that uses videos to instruct pastors and leaders about what it means to be a leader.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>They go through three one-year leadership certificate programs that in the end, with a little extra work, can replace all but one year of their seminary degree (equivalent to a bachelor’s degree).<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>The pilot groups in Santa Cruz cover 4 churches and a pastors group that have around 45 students.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>Currently, the students are in the project phase of their first year.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>They are preparing an education project for their churches.</p><p class="MsoNormal">As of September, J.D. (with Rhonda’s support and help) has begun to take the classes to 8 more cities and when they have all begun they will be in over 30 churches with around 300 students.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>Because of the overwhelming interest in this program, we are having to be creative in getting the video lessons to the churches.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>We are using USB drives, microSD chips for smart phones, internet courses, DVDs and when those won’t work, those students receive a tablet.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp;</span></p><p class="MsoNormal">We have also recruited and trained 6 Area Directors who will work more directly with the churches in their areas and three times in the next year, J.D. will travel to the main cities of the regions and do workshops for the churches on various themes.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>He will also provide encouragement and accountability to the groups as the National Director of this program.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span><o:p></o:p></p><p class="MsoNormal">I bet you are wondering how you can help to provide training for pastors that want to participate in the School of Leaders.&nbsp; There are many ways.&nbsp;</p><p class="MsoListParagraphCxSpFirst" style="text-indent:-.25in;mso-list:l0 level1 lfo1"></p><ul><li><span style="text-indent: -0.25in;">With a simple $100 gift, you can provide the technology needed for a pastor or leader to study the bible, theology, leadership and pastoral studies for 3 years.</span><span style="text-indent: -0.25in;">&nbsp; </span><span style="text-indent: -0.25in;">This goes a long way for pastors who don’t have the resources to go to seminary.</span><br></li><li><span style="text-indent: -0.25in;">With a gift of $50 you can purchase 5 USB drives or microSD cards that 5 students with technology can use as well.</span><span style="text-indent: -0.25in;">&nbsp; </span><span style="text-indent: -0.25in;">Normally these will give the students ½ of the year’s resources needed for their courses.</span><br></li><li><span style="text-indent: -0.25in;">For a gift of $200 you can sponsor one of the 21 trips in Bolivia that J.D. will be making to encourage, assist and work with groups and provide workshops to the churches. 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mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:Cambria; mso-ascii-font-family:Cambria; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Cambria; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;} </style> <![endif]--> <!--StartFragment--> <span style="font-size:12.0pt;font-family:Cambria;mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:&quot;?? ??&quot;;mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family:&quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;mso-ansi-language:EN-US;mso-fareast-language: EN-US;mso-bidi-language:AR-SA">The cities included in the program now are: Santa Cruz, Cochabamba, Tarija, Sucre, Potosi, region of North Potosi, Oruro, Trinidad and possibly Yacuiba (on the Argentine border).&nbsp;&nbsp;</span></p><p><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Cambria;">Will you partner with us in this vital work for the health and vitality of the church in Bolivia?</span>&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;<br></p> Mon, 29 Sep 2014 07:08:37 -0400 https://internationalministries.org/read/55731-update-bolivia-school-of-leaders-project-goes-national https://internationalministries.org/read/55731-update-bolivia-school-of-leaders-project-goes-national God Is At Work All Around Us <p style="margin: 0px;"><b style="font-family: Helvetica; font-size: 16px;"><br></b></p><p style="margin: 0px;"><b style="font-family: Helvetica; font-size: 16px;">UPDATE (April 7, 2014)</b><br></p><p style="margin: 0px;"><font face="Helvetica"><span style="font-size: 11px;">In March, a family mission team from Emmanuel Baptist Church in Parkersburg, WV came to work in Santa Cruz (see below). &nbsp;They came down for the week of spring break and did a great work in Iglesia Bautista El Redentor (Redeemer Baptist Church). &nbsp;This church is in one of the most densely packed neighborhoods in Santa Cruz. &nbsp;They came and began raising the walls on a gymnasium (laid over 2,500 bricks in just over 20 hours), painted the pastor’s house, sanctuary and a few auxiliary rooms and also conducted a VBS that had over 65 kids on their last night. &nbsp;Their work was extensive, but their encouragement for the people of this small little church was monumental! &nbsp;Thank you so much Emmanuel Baptist Church Mission Team. &nbsp;You rock!&nbsp;</span></font></p><hr><br><p style="margin: 0px;"><span style="font-family: Helvetica; font-size: 11px; letter-spacing: 0px;">God is working in Santa Cruz, Bolivia!</span></p><p style="margin: 0px; font-size: 11px; font-family: Helvetica; min-height: 13px;"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px"></span><br></p><p style="margin: 0px; font-size: 11px; font-family: Helvetica;"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">Life has been busy here in the first quarter of the year in Santa Cruz, Bolivia.&nbsp; Many things are happening and lots more are coming here is a recap and a look ahead.</span></p><p style="margin: 0px; font-size: 11px; font-family: Helvetica; min-height: 13px;"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px"></span><br></p><p style="margin: 0px; font-size: 16px; font-family: Helvetica;"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px"><b>RECAP</b></span></p><p style="margin: 0px; font-size: 11px; font-family: Helvetica; min-height: 13px;"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px"></span><br></p><p style="margin: 0px; font-size: 11px; font-family: Helvetica;"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">Rhonda is working in her second year as a school nurse and administrator at our kid’s school, The Santa Cruz Christian Learning Center.&nbsp; Even though the school is owned by another mission, and was originally created for missionary kids in the 1970’s, it now has a population that is 81% Bolivian students and only 19% Expatriates.&nbsp;</span></p><p style="margin: 0px; font-size: 11px; font-family: Helvetica; min-height: 13px;"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px"></span><br></p><p style="margin: 0px; font-size: 11px; font-family: Helvetica;"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">We have seen God’s grace moving throughout the school this year and that continued at the end of last month (Feb. 2104) in our annual camps.&nbsp; Every year we have a Jr. High Camp and a Sr. High Camp.&nbsp; We were privileged to have the convener of our Missionary Partnership Team, Bill Morlan come and be the speaker.&nbsp; The week was wonderful and by the end of the week over half of the students had re-committed themselves to following God’s will.&nbsp; We also had 3 students accept Christ as their Lord and Savior through the process.</span></p><p style="margin: 0px; font-size: 11px; font-family: Helvetica; min-height: 13px;"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px"></span><br></p><p style="margin: 0px; font-size: 11px; font-family: Helvetica;"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">One of the students was Esteban.&nbsp; Esteban is new to the school this year and came from La Paz.&nbsp; While he was there, he was involved with some very hard groups and had a number of struggles.&nbsp; All this year he has been the schools “outspoken atheist” but at camp he began searching and in the end determined that being a part of God’s family was what he wanted to do!&nbsp; Praise God for his grace and letting Rhonda, Bill and many of kids be a part of helping to guide him into a relationship with God. &nbsp;</span></p><p style="margin: 0px; font-size: 11px; font-family: Helvetica; min-height: 13px;"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px"></span><br></p><p style="margin: 0px; font-size: 11px; font-family: Helvetica;"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">J.D. has been working at maintaining the School of Leaders Project (<i>Proyecto de la Escuela de Líderes).&nbsp;</i> We currently have just under 50 students here in the department of Santa Cruz and are looking forward to completing the first year of studies in May.&nbsp; This is good timing, because in September we are partnering with the Seminary in Cochabamba and this program is going to be moving to 5 or 6 other cities in the country to help train pastors and leaders so that God’s work can expand into innovative and creative new ministries and churches that now could better meet the needs in the cities.&nbsp; This will mean more travel, more relationship building and growing leaders.&nbsp; God is good!</span></p><p style="margin: 0px; font-size: 11px; font-family: Helvetica; min-height: 13px;"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px"></span><br></p><p style="margin: 0px; font-size: 11px; font-family: Helvetica;"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">J.D. has also been preaching in various churches and working with the ministry of the Regional Pastor’s Union.&nbsp; One of the emphases he has just begun this month is working with pastors in a focus group as we look at Urban Ministry.&nbsp; What does it mean for us here in Santa Cruz?&nbsp; If 80%-85% of the people in the country live in a city and we live in the largest one, we need to develop a theology and vision for what Urban ministry needs to look like in our context.&nbsp; In our first session with 14 pastors and leaders, we asked some important questions, like, “What is the culture of Santa Cruz?” and “What is the culture of our churches?”&nbsp; As we continue our prayer is that God will give us a vision for how to best transform our City for Christ. &nbsp;</span></p><p style="margin: 0px; font-size: 11px; font-family: Helvetica; min-height: 13px;"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px"></span><br></p><p style="margin: 0px; font-size: 11px; font-family: Helvetica;"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">Finally, J.D. has begun teaching a Church History course at the Baptist Theological Seminary here in Santa Cruz, which is a satellite campus of the main seminary in Cochabamba.&nbsp; A lot is going on.&nbsp; We are just happy to be a part of following God’s leading here in Bolivia.</span></p><p style="margin: 0px; font-size: 11px; font-family: Helvetica; min-height: 13px;"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px"></span><br></p><p style="margin: 0px; font-size: 11px; font-family: Helvetica; min-height: 13px;"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px"></span><br></p><p style="margin: 0px; font-size: 16px; font-family: Helvetica;"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px"><b>LOOKING AHEAD</b></span></p><p style="margin: 0px; font-size: 11px; font-family: Helvetica; min-height: 13px;"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px"></span><br></p><p style="margin: 0px; font-size: 11px; font-family: Helvetica;"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">This Spring is gearing up to be a busy one for us as we are look toward this summer’s celebration of our 200th anniversary of mission work around the world. &nbsp;</span></p><p style="margin: 0px; font-size: 11px; font-family: Helvetica; min-height: 13px;"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px"></span><br></p><p style="margin: 0px; font-size: 11px; font-family: Helvetica;"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">We will be hosting a mission team from Emmanuel Baptist Church in Parkersburg, WV later this month (March) as they are traveling here to help construct walls on a sanctuary/gymnasium for Iglesia Bautista El Redentor in the Barrio of Plan 3000 here in Santa Cruz.&nbsp; While they are here they will also be doing a Vacation Bible School for the church as well.&nbsp; Please pray for this team of 22 that they work to make a lasting impact on the ministries of this small congregation. <b>(*see update above)</b></span></p><p style="margin: 0px; font-size: 11px; font-family: Helvetica; min-height: 13px;"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px"></span><br></p><p style="margin: 0px; font-size: 11px; font-family: Helvetica;"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">In April, fellow Missionary Mylinda Baits will be joining us here in Santa Cruz and Cochabamba for a week of assessment and education about how we can help to fight in the war against human trafficking.&nbsp; As the cities here in Bolivia grow so fast, one of the challenges is that the human trafficking industry is growing quickly as well.&nbsp; We are hoping that this time will help us to think about how the church here in Bolivia can begin to tackle this problem in a more focussed manner.</span></p><p style="margin: 0px; font-size: 11px; font-family: Helvetica; min-height: 13px;"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px"></span><br></p><p style="margin: 0px; font-size: 11px; font-family: Helvetica;"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">In May, we will be receiving a group from the Rocky Mountain Region that will be coming for a quick trip to investigate ways that we can partner together to help continue to train and develop leaders for the church and its ministries so that we can make a difference here in the heart of South America. &nbsp;</span></p><p style="margin: 0px; font-size: 11px; font-family: Helvetica; min-height: 13px;"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px"></span><br></p><p style="margin: 0px; font-size: 11px; font-family: Helvetica;"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">Also, our family will be coming back to the states in June and July to spend time with family and supporters.&nbsp; We would love to have a chance to spend some time with you during these days and at the World Mission Conference as well.&nbsp; If you would like to try and schedule a time with us while we are here, you could contact us directly at:</span></p><p style="margin: 0px; font-size: 11px; font-family: Helvetica; min-height: 13px;"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px"></span><br></p><p style="margin: 0px; font-size: 11px; font-family: Helvetica;"><span style="text-decoration: underline ; letter-spacing: 0.0px"><a href="mailto:jd.reed@internationalministries.org">jd.reed@internationalministries.org</a></span></p><p style="margin: 0px; font-size: 11px; font-family: Helvetica;"><span style="text-decoration: underline ; letter-spacing: 0.0px"><a href="mailto:rhonda.reed@internationalministries.org">rhonda.reed@internationalministries.org</a></span></p><p style="margin: 0px; font-size: 11px; font-family: Helvetica;"><span style="text-decoration: underline ; letter-spacing: 0.0px"><a href="mailto:jdreedjr1@me.com">jdreedjr1@me.com</a></span></p><p style="margin: 0px; font-size: 11px; font-family: Helvetica; min-height: 13px;"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px"></span><br></p><p style="margin: 0px; font-size: 11px; font-family: Helvetica;"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">You could also contact our MPT convener, Bill Morlan, as well at:</span></p><p style="margin: 0px; font-size: 11px; font-family: Helvetica; min-height: 13px;"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px"></span><br></p><p style="margin: 0px; font-size: 11px; font-family: Helvetica;"><span style="text-decoration: underline ; letter-spacing: 0.0px"><a href="mailto:bill@gassawaybaptist.net">bill@gassawaybaptist.net</a></span></p><p style="margin: 0px; font-size: 11px; font-family: Helvetica; min-height: 13px;"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px"></span><br></p><p style="margin: 0px; font-size: 11px; font-family: Helvetica;"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">We thank you all for your support and prayers for our family and the work that God is doing in and through the churches here in Bolivia.&nbsp; May his richest blessings surround you and his grace abound in your lives.</span></p><p style="margin: 0px; font-size: 11px; font-family: Helvetica; min-height: 13px;"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px"></span><br></p><p> </p><p style="margin: 0px; font-size: 11px; font-family: Helvetica;"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">“Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.” - Jeremiah 29.7</span></p> Fri, 14 Mar 2014 02:55:18 -0400 https://internationalministries.org/read/53013-god-is-at-work-all-around-us https://internationalministries.org/read/53013-god-is-at-work-all-around-us When We're Discouraged, God Is Our Encourager <p></p><h3><span style="font-weight: normal; ">Sooo.....<br></span></h3><h3><span style="font-weight: normal; ">My plan was to be traveling back home for 3 weeks to visit churches, friends and attend the WVBC Annual Meetings. For about a month, our family had been in the process of applying for our next round of residency visas. &nbsp;That means that immigration had our passports.&nbsp; I needed mine to travel back home.&nbsp;&nbsp;</span></h3><h3><span style="font-weight: normal; ">I went to our lawyer and had the paperwork drawn up to "borrow" my passport so I could travel.&nbsp; I submitted the paperwork and was told to return on September 19th (Thursday) to retrieve my passport. &nbsp;That seemed like plenty of time because I wasn't leaving until the 1st of October. &nbsp;So I went and I waited in line all morning and was told my passport was still in La Paz.&nbsp; I went back Friday...nothing. &nbsp;It was closed over the weekend, Monday and Tuesday were holidays.&nbsp; I went Wednesday and Thursday...nothing. &nbsp;After being there all day Thursday, I was told they would call on Friday and let me know if I could have my passport, but that it was still in La Paz. &nbsp;</span><span style="font-weight: normal; ">I went home defeated and told J.D. that I needed to call WV and let them know I would not be coming.&nbsp; He, the eternal optimist, said we just need to wait and pray.&nbsp; I never received a call on Friday morning.&nbsp;&nbsp;</span></h3><h3><span style="font-weight: normal; ">I called J.D. and he said he knew of one more person he could call. This man is a lawyer that he met at our kid's school. &nbsp;He called him, and after corresponding a few times he said he would see what he could do.</span></h3><h3><span style="font-weight: normal; ">The lawyer called back at 4:00pm and said he had just talked to a high level official and my passport would be in Santa Cruz for me to pick up on Monday afternoon.&nbsp; I was flying out Monday night. &nbsp;It wasn't the best, but it meant I didn't have to reschedule my trip.</span></h3><h3><span style="font-weight: normal; ">Five minutes later he called back and said, "You must have God's cell phone number. &nbsp;I misunderstood when I talked to him earlier. &nbsp;The official is on a plane to Santa Cruz right now and he has your passport in his pocket.&nbsp; He will drop it off at immigration. &nbsp;Be there in one hour."</span></h3><h3><span style="font-weight: normal; ">J.D. and I jumped in the car and drove downtown.&nbsp; We waited in all the lines until we got to the window to pick up my passport.&nbsp; The man in the window, who had seen me everyday for over a week saw me and said, "Who are you?" He reached and</span><span style="font-weight: normal; ">&nbsp;handed me my passport.&nbsp; I gave it to J.D. so I could sign for it.&nbsp; J.D. opened it and saw that my visa hadn't been suspended; it had been approved.&nbsp; I did not have to put it back in immigration when I got back.&nbsp;</span></h3><h3><span style="font-weight: normal; ">I was getting so frustrated waiting.&nbsp; Paperwork here can take a long time and is a test of patience.&nbsp; However, even in my discouragement and frustration, God showed me that He is my encourager. &nbsp;What a great lesson.</span></h3><h3 style="text-align: center; "><i><span style="font-weight: normal; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255); ">May the God who gives endurance and&nbsp;</span><span style="background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255); ">encouragement</span><span style="font-weight: normal; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255); ">&nbsp;give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had. (Romans 15.5)</span></i></h3><p></p> Sun, 03 Nov 2013 01:49:51 -0500 https://internationalministries.org/read/51183-when-we-re-discouraged-god-is-our-encourager https://internationalministries.org/read/51183-when-we-re-discouraged-god-is-our-encourager "Stay Right There!" <p> <!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <o:OfficeDocumentSettings> <o:AllowPNG/> </o:OfficeDocumentSettings> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:TrackMoves>false</w:TrackMoves> <w:TrackFormatting/> <w:PunctuationKerning/> <w:DrawingGridHorizontalSpacing>18 pt</w:DrawingGridHorizontalSpacing> <w:DrawingGridVerticalSpacing>18 pt</w:DrawingGridVerticalSpacing> <w:DisplayHorizontalDrawingGridEvery>0</w:DisplayHorizontalDrawingGridEvery> <w:DisplayVerticalDrawingGridEvery>0</w:DisplayVerticalDrawingGridEvery> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas/> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables/> <w:DontGrowAutofit/> <w:DontAutofitConstrainedTables/> <w:DontVertAlignInTxbx/> </w:Compatibility> </w:WordDocument> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:LatentStyles DefLockedState="false" LatentStyleCount="276"> </w:LatentStyles> </xml><![endif]--> <!--[if gte mso 10]> <style> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ascii-font-family:Cambria; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast; mso-hansi-font-family:Cambria; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;} </style> <![endif]--> <!--StartFragment--> </p><p class="MsoNormal">Last week, I (J.D.) travelled to a community on the outskirts of the Southeast side of the city called Barrio Plan 3000.&nbsp; This odd named barrio was an experiment by the local and state government.&nbsp; In the early 1980’s a flood of the River Piraí, left over 3,000 families homeless and struggling to survive on the outskirts of the city.&nbsp; The government found and developed this area for them so that they could start a new life back and get back to normal.&nbsp; </p> <p class="MsoNormal">What started out as a good idea became an interesting experiment in helping people, and now it has turned into a very dark and hard place.&nbsp; This barrio now has over 330,000 residents with no labor force to sustain it. &nbsp;It is the most densely populated community in the city and one of the most dangerous. The attitude there is survival.&nbsp; Because of their desperation, many people have turned to those things that can make them a fast living so that they can survive.&nbsp; This has made Plan 3000 &nbsp;the most feared and dangerous parts of the city.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">As a beacon of light in this dark part of the world, there are three tiny Baptist churches, one of which is Iglesia Bautista Vida y Fe (Faith and Life Baptist Church).&nbsp; Pastor Juan Carlos invited me to the church so we could begin another leadership group.&nbsp; At the time of this writing, this is our 5<sup>th</sup> group of 7 that has yielded 47 total students so far.&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal">When we got there.&nbsp; The atmosphere was light, and people were excited about the opportunity to learn and grow.&nbsp; As we finished my part of the evening and it was time to bring out the coffee (at 10:00pm) and talk and eat together.&nbsp; The pastor looked at me and in broken English said, “Stay right there!”</p> <p class="MsoNormal">He proceeded to share with the church about our conversation in the car about how I sometimes get frustrated with my abilities in Spanish.&nbsp; He then told me that the church wanted to commit to pray for me and my frustrations every day. Since I am supporting them, they want to support me. &nbsp;</p><p class="MsoNormal">They began to pray.&nbsp; They prayed that my mind be open.&nbsp; They prayed that my ability to speak would match my enthusiasm to help and work in churches.&nbsp; They prayed for my family…for more opportunities…for diligence as I continue to work on Spanish…for everything.&nbsp; I was speechless.&nbsp; All I could say was thank you.&nbsp; As I was getting ready to leave, I told the pastor that if his reaction to me was how their church does ministry, they will make a huge difference in their community.&nbsp; The words of an old Dottie Rambo song, rang clear in my mind as I drove home that night....<br></p> <p class="MsoNormal">“He looked beyond my faults and saw my need.”</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Cambria; ">Gracias a Dios!</span>&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p></p> Sun, 07 Apr 2013 20:00:00 -0400 https://internationalministries.org/read/47646-stay-right-there- https://internationalministries.org/read/47646-stay-right-there- Project Update: Seminary in a Box <p> <!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <o:OfficeDocumentSettings> <o:AllowPNG/> </o:OfficeDocumentSettings> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:TrackMoves>false</w:TrackMoves> <w:TrackFormatting/> <w:PunctuationKerning/> <w:DrawingGridHorizontalSpacing>18 pt</w:DrawingGridHorizontalSpacing> <w:DrawingGridVerticalSpacing>18 pt</w:DrawingGridVerticalSpacing> <w:DisplayHorizontalDrawingGridEvery>0</w:DisplayHorizontalDrawingGridEvery> <w:DisplayVerticalDrawingGridEvery>0</w:DisplayVerticalDrawingGridEvery> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas/> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables/> <w:DontGrowAutofit/> <w:DontAutofitConstrainedTables/> <w:DontVertAlignInTxbx/> </w:Compatibility> </w:WordDocument> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:LatentStyles DefLockedState="false" LatentStyleCount="276"> </w:LatentStyles> </xml><![endif]--> <!--[if gte mso 10]> <style> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ascii-font-family:Cambria; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast; mso-hansi-font-family:Cambria; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;} </style> <![endif]--> <!--StartFragment--> </p><p class="MsoNormal">As we wrote in our last journal, we were going to begin the training for our new project here in Bolivia called <i>La Escuela de Líderes</i> (The School of Leaders).&nbsp; This program is designed around three one-year certificates that are sponsored by the Seminary in Santa Cruz to help educate pastors who can’t go to seminary.&nbsp; There is one catch, they have to bring along 3-7 of the leaders in their church to take the course with them.&nbsp; This project is designed to help develop and strengthen the pastors, leaders and churches in the Department of Santa Cruz&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal">(If you would like to find out more information about this program, please go to the <a href="http://www.internationalministries.org/projects/87">project page</a>.)</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Just recently, I (J.D.) headed out the front door with my “Seminary in a box.”&nbsp; I traveled to three churches and trained them on how to use the technology and participate in the program.&nbsp; My first stop was a small town about 1 hour north of SC called Montero.&nbsp; Montero is known for their motorcycles, but deep in the heart is this little but growing church named <i>La Iglesia Bautista Del Gran Rey</i> whose Pastor, Daniel Sanchez, has big dreams.&nbsp; Pastor Daniel had lined up a group of 8 people, including himself, to begin the program.&nbsp; When I got there they were eagerly awaiting their first group meeting.&nbsp; Over the course of the training, we explained the technology, walked through the program and answered questions.&nbsp; After about an hour, they were ready to fly on their own.&nbsp; We took our group picture and the classes began.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">I jumped in the car and headed another hour west to the small town of Yapacani.&nbsp; There we began the setup session for two churches, <i>La Iglesia Bautista Los Segadores</i> (The Harvesters Baptist Church) and <i>La Iglesia Evangelica Bautista Dios Es Amor</i> (God Is Love Evangelical Baptist Church).&nbsp; The pastor of Dios Es Amor is Freddy Gutierrez, who is the Association Director of Leadership Development and Education.&nbsp; Together we instructed the people on the program and how to use the technology.&nbsp; One of the deacons of <i>Los Segadores</i> was so excited for the program because he could take the tablet to his farm and use it while working.&nbsp; He said he might even watch the videos while he is milking the cows!&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal">In one day we began the course with about 21 students in 3 churches.&nbsp; At current count, between now and May, we will probably add about 4-5 more churches, and a likely grand total of over 50 students.&nbsp; There will be groups all over the department with leaders being trained in the Bible and theology.&nbsp; This time next year, we will be starting the second phase of our training: Strategic Leadership Development.&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Through the support of churches and individuals we have raised all of the money for the tablets to date, but have many more that need to be distributed.&nbsp; Please pray about how you can be a part of this program.&nbsp; Pray about the possibility of giving to help a pastor or church leader receive quality theological education and put it into practice in their local congregation.&nbsp; If you would like to participate you can give to this project on <a href="http://www.internationalministries.org/projects/87">it’s web page</a>.</p> <!--EndFragment--><p></p> Sun, 10 Feb 2013 17:50:10 -0500 https://internationalministries.org/read/46813-project-update-seminary-in-a-box https://internationalministries.org/read/46813-project-update-seminary-in-a-box Humbled and Excited <p> <!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <o:OfficeDocumentSettings> <o:AllowPNG/> </o:OfficeDocumentSettings> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:TrackMoves>false</w:TrackMoves> <w:TrackFormatting/> <w:PunctuationKerning/> <w:DrawingGridHorizontalSpacing>18 pt</w:DrawingGridHorizontalSpacing> <w:DrawingGridVerticalSpacing>18 pt</w:DrawingGridVerticalSpacing> <w:DisplayHorizontalDrawingGridEvery>0</w:DisplayHorizontalDrawingGridEvery> <w:DisplayVerticalDrawingGridEvery>0</w:DisplayVerticalDrawingGridEvery> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas/> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables/> <w:DontGrowAutofit/> <w:DontAutofitConstrainedTables/> <w:DontVertAlignInTxbx/> </w:Compatibility> </w:WordDocument> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:LatentStyles DefLockedState="false" LatentStyleCount="276"> </w:LatentStyles> </xml><![endif]--> <!--[if gte mso 10]> <style> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ascii-font-family:Cambria; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast; mso-hansi-font-family:Cambria; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;} </style> <![endif]--> <!--StartFragment--> </p><p class="MsoNormal"><u>Humbled.</u><br></p> <p class="MsoNormal">This past Sunday, I drove to a small town called Gran Paititi to preach at the mission church<i> Iglesia Evangelica Bautista Dios con Nosotros</i> (God With Us Evangelical Baptist Church).&nbsp; When I arrived about 10 minutes early I pulled up to kids running around and playing.&nbsp; I later learned they were a part of a popular children’s evangelism and discipleship program from the United States that involves scripture memorization, games and teaching.&nbsp; I come to find out that it begins at 10:30, and preaching usually isn’t until about 2pm.&nbsp; Fortunately for me they then told me that they changed it around so they could have lunch with me and we would be starting the preaching much earlier.&nbsp; I was relieved.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">We walked in and Pastor Marcos stepped up to the mic and led all of the kids and adults in some great worship music to get them all “into the mood” so they would be ready to hear God’s word.&nbsp; As we sang, I tried to run it all through in my head, but as the music played, the words of the songs and the words on my notes seemed to jumble together and I kind of got lost somewhere.&nbsp; In about 3 seconds Pastor Marcos gestured to me and it was my turn.&nbsp; I prayed for God to lift the fog and help me to understand this beautifully frustrating language (it seems to be a common prayer for me these days).&nbsp; I stumbled and muddled through my sermon which to me seemed painful.&nbsp; At the closing AMEN, Pastor Marcos came to me and said something like…”Stay here, I want our church to pray for you.”</p> <p class="MsoNormal">I guess you can take that two ways.&nbsp; The first thing that came to my mind was, “Oh my goodness, what did I say?”&nbsp; That was followed with, “No, I don’t think I said anything offensive.”&nbsp; This conversation continued in my head for what felt like about 10 minutes, but was more like 2.5 seconds probably.&nbsp; And then it happened.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Marcos began to pray.&nbsp; He thanked God for my willingness to be there and for the obvious time I put into the sermon.&nbsp; He thanked God for our family and our sacrifices to be a part of the life of the church in Bolivia.&nbsp; He prayed for our kids that they would find good friends and for our family back home that we couldn’t be around because we were here.&nbsp; Then he closed with a simple sentence that wrecked me.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">“Bless them Lord, they have been such a blessing to us.”</p> <p class="MsoNormal">God’s amazing love poured out to me by a young pastor’s prayer humbled me.&nbsp; I thanked God for allowing me to see that it isn’t important how broken my Spanish is, but how broken I am and how willing I am to let God fill me with his strength in challenging situations.&nbsp; I was definitely humbled.</p><p class="MsoNormal"><u>Excited.</u></p> <p class="MsoNormal">We are excited to let you know that Pastor Marcos’ church in Paititi along with two churches in Yapacani, and one in Montero will be beginning the School of Leaders project this week.&nbsp; I leave tomorrow to train those four churches on how to use technology to earn a certificate from the Seminary here in Santa Cruz.&nbsp; We officially have begun our quest to help resource and train leaders and pastors here in the <i>Asocación del Oriente</i> and the <i>Unión Bautista Boliviana. </i>&nbsp;Thank you so much for your partnership to help us.&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal">We have bought and distributed 20 tablets as of this week and we have at least 4 other churches that will begin the program in the coming months.&nbsp; Our goal for this program was 40 students, and it looks like we will meet and surpass that number.&nbsp; Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!</p> <p class="MsoNormal">If you would like more information on this program or if you would like to provide a scholarship for a pastor to receive theological education, please <a href="http://www.internationalministries.org/projects/87">click here</a> for more information.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">We are excited to begin to see leaders grow and develop.&nbsp; We are excited to see what God will do through them in the coming years.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <!--EndFragment--><p></p> Tue, 29 Jan 2013 21:35:54 -0500 https://internationalministries.org/read/46596-humbled-and-excited https://internationalministries.org/read/46596-humbled-and-excited Another Chapter Begins... <p> <!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <o:OfficeDocumentSettings> <o:AllowPNG/> </o:OfficeDocumentSettings> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:TrackMoves>false</w:TrackMoves> <w:TrackFormatting/> <w:PunctuationKerning/> <w:DrawingGridHorizontalSpacing>18 pt</w:DrawingGridHorizontalSpacing> <w:DrawingGridVerticalSpacing>18 pt</w:DrawingGridVerticalSpacing> <w:DisplayHorizontalDrawingGridEvery>0</w:DisplayHorizontalDrawingGridEvery> <w:DisplayVerticalDrawingGridEvery>0</w:DisplayVerticalDrawingGridEvery> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas/> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables/> <w:DontGrowAutofit/> <w:DontAutofitConstrainedTables/> <w:DontVertAlignInTxbx/> </w:Compatibility> </w:WordDocument> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:LatentStyles DefLockedState="false" LatentStyleCount="276"> </w:LatentStyles> </xml><![endif]--> <!--[if gte mso 10]> <style> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ascii-font-family:Cambria; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast; mso-hansi-font-family:Cambria; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;} </style> <![endif]--> <!--StartFragment--> </p><p class="MsoNormal">I write today sitting in the office of La Iglesia del Buen Pastor (pictured) in the middle of Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia.&nbsp; Rhonda, the kids and I have been here for just over 2 weeks now and we are adjusting to life in Bolivia.&nbsp; Most of you recall that we have been in Costa Rica for a year and after a brief visit back home, we finally got on the plane for Bolivia.&nbsp; From the moment we arrived we have been blessed to meet great people who have helped us begin our life here.&nbsp; <o:p></o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal">The leader of the Baptist Association here in Santa Cruz, Joel Valencia and his wife, Sandra, have called and taken us many places to help us establish life here in the city.&nbsp; The Pastor of this great church, Pastor Wilfredo Garcia, has also become a wonderful friend and has been a great help to us.&nbsp; We have met countless people at church and pastors from other churches, and we are excited to begin our work with them to continue to build the Kingdom of God.&nbsp; God is doing a great work here in the Santa Cruz Baptist Association and in the Bolivian Baptist Union.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">The kids start to school in a few days at the Santa Cruz Christian Learning Center and they are excited to get back into a normal routine.&nbsp; We have rented a home, and with every day we speak better and learn more about this wonderful culture and people.&nbsp; There is much to do, but in the midst of it all we wanted to write and let you know we were doing fine and to say thank you for the support and for your prayers.&nbsp; We will write again soon, but know we are filled with joy and love every time we think of the individuals and churches that have made it possible for us to partner with God and do his work in South America.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><h4>A New Member of the Team!</h4><p class="MsoNormal">As you may or may not remember, American Baptist Foreign Mission Society (ABFMS) missionaries all have a group of individual supporters called the MPT (Missionary Partnership Team). &nbsp;This team of people are the people in the US charged with supporting and representing us while we are on the field. &nbsp;On our MPT there is a team leader, a team pastor, a financial person, a support for our kids, two leadership specialists, and a person for prayer. &nbsp;Our new prayer warrior is Carmen Boso. &nbsp;Carmen lives in Summersville, WV and is one of the Spanish teachers at Nicholas County High School. &nbsp;Carmen is married to Lee who is the Youth Pastor at FBC Summersville and together they have one daughter, Nina. &nbsp;They are long-time family friends. &nbsp;We are excited to have Carmen on the team and look forward to working with her. &nbsp;If you would like to know specific ways that you could pray, please email her at carmenboso@gmail.com</p><p class="MsoNormal"><br></p> <!--EndFragment--><p></p> Fri, 10 Aug 2012 07:00:00 -0400 https://internationalministries.org/read/44245-another-chapter-begins- https://internationalministries.org/read/44245-another-chapter-begins- How Driving in Costa Rica Helped Us Understand Missiology <p> <!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <o:OfficeDocumentSettings> <o:AllowPNG/> </o:OfficeDocumentSettings> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:TrackMoves>false</w:TrackMoves> <w:TrackFormatting/> <w:PunctuationKerning/> <w:DrawingGridHorizontalSpacing>18 pt</w:DrawingGridHorizontalSpacing> <w:DrawingGridVerticalSpacing>18 pt</w:DrawingGridVerticalSpacing> <w:DisplayHorizontalDrawingGridEvery>0</w:DisplayHorizontalDrawingGridEvery> <w:DisplayVerticalDrawingGridEvery>0</w:DisplayVerticalDrawingGridEvery> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas/> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables/> <w:DontGrowAutofit/> <w:DontAutofitConstrainedTables/> <w:DontVertAlignInTxbx/> </w:Compatibility> </w:WordDocument> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:LatentStyles DefLockedState="false" LatentStyleCount="276"> </w:LatentStyles> </xml><![endif]--> <!--[if gte mso 10]> <style> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ascii-font-family:Cambria; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast; mso-hansi-font-family:Cambria; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;} </style> <![endif]--> <!--StartFragment--> </p><p class="MsoNormal">Our year here in Costa Rica learning Spanish is quickly coming to an end.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes">&nbsp; </span>At the time of the writing of this journal entry we have just 5 weeks before we head home for a visit with family and then off to Bolivia to begin our work.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes">&nbsp; </span>Our time has been an amazing learning and growing experience for our family.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes">&nbsp; </span>We have made some life long friends in colleagues that will be serving God all around the Spanish speaking world.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">One of the joys of my (J.D.) time here is running.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes">&nbsp; </span>It is a great way for me to clear my head and get to see the city. <span style="mso-spacerun: yes">&nbsp;</span>While I was running recently, God hit me with a kind of a random thought…</p> <p class="MsoNormal">If you want to understand how missions works (a.k.a. missiology) all you have to do is observe Latin American driving.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Let me expound.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Before I do…even though I am talking from the context of a missionary preparing to live in Latin America, this applies to us all because we are all called of God to be “on mission” for His Kingdom.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes">&nbsp; </span>Don’t try and disqualify yourself because you aren’t living in the 10-40 window.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight:normal">Directions:</b> Driving in Latin America, depending on the country, can be a very scary experience.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes">&nbsp; </span>You are in a culture that is foreign to you in language, custom and action.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes">&nbsp; </span>You are trying to navigate in a culture that street signs are unlikely and the addresses are something like, “go to the third tree on the right, and take the first left, go 100 meters and then turn right and it is the 4<sup>th</sup> green house on the left.”<span style="mso-spacerun: yes">&nbsp; </span>Sometimes you have to stop and ask for help…sometimes you have to explore.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes">&nbsp; </span>It requires two important things…focus and faith.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes">&nbsp; </span>Focus for the road and making sure you are in the right place and faith in the person that gave you the directions in the first place.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal">When it comes to being “on mission” (which we all are…not just missionaries) we will often find ourselves in challenging situations that we are unaccustomed to and the act and have many different customs.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes">&nbsp; </span>It sometimes seems like finding the calling of God on your life is like driving on a highway without street signs.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes">&nbsp; </span>Maybe it is to be a Sunday School teacher, maybe a pastor.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes">&nbsp; </span>Maybe God is calling you to be a Christian influence as a plumber.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes">&nbsp; </span>In the world around you, when you receive the direction it takes focus on what the calling is and faith in the one who called. Remember Jeremiah 29.11&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal">“’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future…”</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight:normal">Familiarity:</b> I have been driving for well over 20 years, but as I came to Latin America I very quickly realized that people don’t drive in the same ways as people in North America.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes">&nbsp; </span>The horn isn’t a voice of anger but information and location (okay, sometimes in anger too).<span style="mso-spacerun: yes">&nbsp; </span>If you need to merge into traffic, you don’t put on your turn signal, you put the bumper of your car halfway out into traffic and wait for someone to stop and let you in.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes">&nbsp; </span>If you are said person on the main road and someone wants to merge, you don’t beep to let them know it is okay to merge, you flash your lights.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes">&nbsp; </span>Hitting the horn would be rude.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes">&nbsp; </span>When you are on the road, stopped or moving, it is customary for motorcycles to weave in, out and beside cars.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes">&nbsp; </span>Things are definitely different.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes">&nbsp; </span>You have to learn how to drive in the rhythm of the traffic without losing your driving “values”.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">When entering another person’s world, if one tries to do things the way they did them at home (or in their home culture) they will quickly become disillusioned.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes">&nbsp; </span>They will try to impose their value system on their host culture without any consideration of why that culture operates the way it does.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes">&nbsp; </span>Not only that but sometimes when people enter another culture they try to dictate how that culture acts, which if not handled with the utmost respect and delicacy can have horrible ramifications for the Kingdom of God.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes">&nbsp; </span>You need to figure how to maneuver successfully in that culture without losing your own identity.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes">&nbsp; </span>All of that at the same time as you try to find the best in the culture you are learning about and use it to help show them the love and grace of Christ.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes">&nbsp; </span>Never imposing.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes">&nbsp; </span>Always watching…observing…ready for the right time to begin a dialogue about the risen Christ!<span style="mso-spacerun: yes">&nbsp; </span>Observe but don’t conquer, that is God’s job.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">“…in all these things we are more than conquerors <b style="mso-bidi-font-weight:normal"><i style="mso-bidi-font-style:normal">through Him</i></b> who loved us.” (Romans 8:31)</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight:normal">Mis-assumption:</b> When a seasoned driver leaves for another country, knowing that they will be driving, many things are assumed.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes">&nbsp; </span>When the plane hits the ground in a third-world country, the arriving driver is wondering if they will have modern cars or if there are lines on the road.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes">&nbsp; </span>There are a host of assumptions that come up...</p> <p class="MsoNormal">“Do they understand the proper way to give the right of way?”</p> <p class="MsoNormal">“I bet I will there will be so many more car wrecks because of the inexperienced/reckless drivers.”</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Whatever the assumptions the driver has, &nbsp;they are usually meant put them in a superior position to their host. &nbsp;One thing that I noticed in my experience was that my personal assumptions about the driving climate were largely wrong and many people are very good drivers within the “traffic” context of their country.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes">&nbsp; </span>How these people navigate without getting lost when there are no street signs on the road is beyond me.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes">&nbsp; </span>The reality is they were just fine drivers before I ever got to this country and that had <u><b>nothing</b></u> to do with me.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal">The romantic notion of missions is that when a missionary or a mission team gets to their host country, they are "bringing Christ" to the country.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes">&nbsp; </span>Even though the planet is God’s planet and not our own, deep down sometimes we assume that we are the only agent of God’s grace to these "God-forsaken" people.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes">&nbsp; </span>The reality when the group hits the ground is that quickly they observe and may even say something like, “I didn’t realize that God was hard at work long before I ever got here!”<span style="mso-spacerun: yes">&nbsp; </span>The reality is that the God who brought the team/missionary to the country was already here long before they came.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes">&nbsp; </span>In some case he was thriving in their lives without our input at all.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes">&nbsp; </span>Most of us go expecting to be the teachers and end up being the taught.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Funny how God does that, isn’t it?</p> <!--EndFragment--><p></p> Mon, 28 May 2012 19:18:06 -0400 https://internationalministries.org/read/43062-how-driving-in-costa-rica-helped-us-understand-missiology https://internationalministries.org/read/43062-how-driving-in-costa-rica-helped-us-understand-missiology Diary of a Missionary Kid - November article <p>Our oldest daughter's most recent addition to the online journal, "Diary of a Missionary Kid" has posted. &nbsp;Check it out by clicking <a href="http://www.samiesisters.com/Diary-of-a-missionary-Kid.html">here</a>.</p><p>This month's journal is entitled "Thanksgiving in Costa Rica." &nbsp;Enjoy missionary life from a pre-teen perspective.</p><p>Nothing without Him,<br>J.D. "Proud Papa" Reed</p><p><i>PS - This is a pretty good site for pre-teen girls from a Christian perspective. &nbsp;Would be a great site for a girls ministry in your church......just sayin'.</i></p> Wed, 16 Nov 2011 21:35:16 -0500 https://internationalministries.org/read/40261-diary-of-a-missionary-kid-november-article https://internationalministries.org/read/40261-diary-of-a-missionary-kid-november-article Life Lessons and Proverbs <p> </p><p class="MsoNormal">Life lessons and proverbs</p> <p class="MsoNormal">My family and I have learned many things in our short 3 months in Costa Rica…so much more than just Spanish.&nbsp; Here are just a few things.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">In San José, they have what students at ILE affectionately call “Gringo traps.”&nbsp; Basically these are storm drains along the road that have no drain covers.&nbsp; “Why don’t they have covers,” you might ask.&nbsp; It is because they have been procured by locals and are being used as cooking grates for their barbecue.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Using the horn when driving is an art.&nbsp; When driving, there are two kinds of horn “honks.”&nbsp; The first is a friendly honk to let people know you are in their vicinity.&nbsp; The second is the “what-were-you-thinking” honk.&nbsp; That one is self-explanatory.&nbsp; Also, when stopping to let someone into traffic, you don’t honk at all…you flash the lights.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">There are so many more, but I think that there is truly one thing I have learned that has proven extremely valuable...</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Umbrella Management.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Don’t laugh, it is an art I am finding.&nbsp; </p><p class="MsoNormal">In Costa Rica, during the rainy season it rains constantly.&nbsp; If you don’t have you umbrella everywhere you go, it is a foregone conclusion you will often smell like a wet animal.&nbsp; Staying dry is a priority, but having an umbrella isn’t enough, you have to know how to use it to stay dry.&nbsp; You have to account for many variables.&nbsp; Wind, amount and intensity of rain, location of overhangs and drain chains (instead of downspouts) all factor into staying dry in the daily “gully-washer” as they say back home.&nbsp; If you don’t hold the umbrella at the right angle or height, you or your friend will get wet.&nbsp; Next to Spanish, umbrella management will make or break your daily life in a country with a rainy season.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">This leads me to a great Costa Rican Proverb I heard the other day.&nbsp; Loosely translated it says:</p> <p class="MsoNormal">“If you snuggle up to a tree with good branches, you will have a blanket in its shade."</p> <p class="MsoNormal">There is another saying that is strikingly similar that ties it all together for me…</p> <p class="MsoNormal">“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.” (Ps. 91.1 ESV)</p> <p class="MsoNormal">As you go about your day, no matter what direction you hold the umbrella to protect you from the rains in your life, may you always seek to “snuggle up” under the shelter of the Almighty God of the Universe.&nbsp; It is only there that you will find protection and love you truly need.&nbsp; Stay in the shade, my friends.</p><p class="MsoNormal">Nothing without Him<br>J.D.<br></p> <p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p> <p></p> Thu, 03 Nov 2011 20:00:00 -0400 https://internationalministries.org/read/40079-life-lessons-and-proverbs https://internationalministries.org/read/40079-life-lessons-and-proverbs Our daughter, the blogger... <p>The one question that people always ask us, either by email or on Skype is "How are the kids doing?" &nbsp;The second question in popularity is "What do the kids think about the move?" &nbsp;Well, I want to share an opportunity for you to know what is going on in the mind of a missionary kid. &nbsp;A fellow American Baptist woman from the midwest has (with the help of some friends) developed a website for pre-teen Christian girls. &nbsp;The website is designed as a place to get Godly advice, find out how to navigate the world, and much more. &nbsp;They heard about us and asked our oldest daughter, Grace, to write a monthly article/blog called "The Diary Of A Missionary Kid" about what the transition is like for her. &nbsp;</p><p>I would like to invite you, your kids or your pre-teen ministry at your church to get to know Grace and hear first hand what being a missionary kid is like. &nbsp;If you would like to read her October post please <a href="http://www.samiesisters.com/Diary-of-a-missionary-Kid.html">click here</a> or go to:&nbsp;</p><p>www.samiesisters.com</p><p>Nothing without Him,<br>J.D.&nbsp;</p><p><br></p> Tue, 04 Oct 2011 20:00:00 -0400 https://internationalministries.org/read/39602-our-daughter-the-blogger- https://internationalministries.org/read/39602-our-daughter-the-blogger- Reed All About It - September 2011 <p>Hello from San José, Costa Rica. &nbsp;Just wanted to send out the most recent newsletter that we sent out to churches to all of the people in our network. &nbsp;We will be writing a journal this weekend that will bring you even more up to date on what is happening in the Reed family as we learn Spanish here in Costa Rica this year.</p><p>Here is a link to the online PDF file that you can read on your web browser or save and print if you would like. &nbsp;Thanks for all of your support and prayers as we work to do God's will.</p><p><a href="http://www.internationalministries.org/uploads/document/asset/39427/sept2011color.pdf">http://www.internationalministries.org/uploads/document/asset/39427/sept2011color.pdf</a><br></p><p>Nothing without Him,<br>J.D., Rhonda, Grace, Abigail and Nathan Reed<br><br>P.S. - Don't forget that October is World Mission Offering Month. &nbsp;For more information on how you can help missionaries do God's work around the world, go to the International Ministries website (www.internationalministries.org). &nbsp;</p> Fri, 30 Sep 2011 17:11:20 -0400 https://internationalministries.org/read/39497-reed-all-about-it-september-2011 https://internationalministries.org/read/39497-reed-all-about-it-september-2011 The Only Thing Constant Is Change! <p><span style="font-size: 10.0pt; font-family: Arial;">It has been said, “the only thing constant in life is change,” and I must say I completely agree.<span>&nbsp; </span>But before I get to that….</span></p><p><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: Arial; font-size: 13px;">Our commissioning service was last Saturday (July 16) at our home church, South Parkersburg Baptist in Parkersburg, WV.<span>&nbsp; </span>Friends and family from West Virginia and Ohio came to celebrate God’s calling with us and we had a wonderful time of fellowship at the reception before the service and an equally moving time of worship at the commissioning.<span>&nbsp; </span>It was a great time of prayer, singing and powerful messages of calling and encouragement to follow the will of God.<span>&nbsp; </span>In the end all of after we were officially commissioned as missionaries, we all gathered to pray.<span>&nbsp; </span>Around us were our family, our Mission Partnership Team (MPT) and the Pastoral Staff of the church we have served at for 10 years.<span>&nbsp; </span>Then surrounding them were supporters and friends.<span> <br></span></span></p><p><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: Arial; font-size: 13px;"><span></span></span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: Arial; font-size: 13px;">As hands were laying on shoulders, the group prayed a powerful and humbling prayer for our family and the ministry were embarking on.<span>&nbsp; </span>It was one of the most powerfully moving and intimate acts of friendship and family I have ever experienced.<span>&nbsp; </span>I have not only never felt closer to God, but rarely have I stopped to realize how God has used each of these people to impact our lives and the lives of our children.<span>&nbsp; </span>Thank you from the depths of our soul to all of the people that participated in the service as well as came to be a part of it.<span>&nbsp; </span>As I said a minute ago, it was a very special day for our family that we will never forget.</span></p><p><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: Arial; font-size: 13px;">Back to the subject of change….</span></p><p><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: Arial; font-size: 13px;">Due to circumstances that are out of our family’s control, we were unable to obtain the visas necessary to enter Bolivia and apply for residency at this time. We had to make some hard decisions in the week before the commissioning service.<span>&nbsp; </span>During that time we decided that we would take a detour and go to San José, Costa Rica to attend the Spanish Language Institute (ILE) for the next year before going to Bolivia.<span>&nbsp; </span>While Rhonda and I will be going to ILE, our kids will be attending the Marian Baker School in San José.<span>&nbsp; </span>Marian Baker is an international school that is taught on the American School Calendar and in English.<span>&nbsp; </span>The only downfall is that at MBS, school starts on August 3, so summer is over for the kids a little earlier than they would like.</span></p><p><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: Arial; font-size: 13px;"></span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: Arial; font-size: 13px;">A wise missionary friend once told me, “Missions is flexibility.”<span>&nbsp; </span>Although I knew that in my head, it became reality in the past 2 weeks.<span>&nbsp; </span>Life is an adventure, and thankfully the God that has created the heavens and the earth not only is in control, but has been from before time began and will be long after time ends.<span>&nbsp; </span>All praise to the Lord!<br></span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: Arial; font-size: 13px;">In my devotions yesterday as we left Parkersburg, my devotional led me to Isaiah 12.2, “Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid; for the LORD GOD is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation.”<span>&nbsp; </span>May it always be so.</span></p><p>JD, Rhonda, Grace, Abie and Nathan</p><p>PS - If you would like to watch a video of our commissioning, <a href="http://www.eventbywire.com/viewevent/?id=127-461">click here!</a></p> <p></p> Wed, 20 Jul 2011 20:00:00 -0400 https://internationalministries.org/read/37599-the-only-thing-constant-is-change- https://internationalministries.org/read/37599-the-only-thing-constant-is-change- The Green Lantern, MTI and thoughts about calling... <p>It has been one crazy-busy summer already…and it just started officially yesterday!<span>&nbsp; </span>In the midst of frantically packing up our home and either selling, storing, packing or shipping everything we own, I had some time to go see a great movie with a good friend tonight.<span>&nbsp; </span>We went and saw one of the first big superhero movies of the summer blockbuster season…The Green Lantern™.<span>&nbsp; </span>Before I share it with you (don’t worry I won’t give anything away), let me bring you up to speed as it has been a while since I have posted…</p> <p>At the end of May, our family of 5 traveled to Palmer Lake, CO, for a training called SPLICE at a place called Mission Training International (MTI).<span>&nbsp; </span>As we boarded the plane, we were heading to training as a “requirement” to be fulfilled.<span>&nbsp; </span>When we got there, God pleasantly surprised us with three weeks of learning and growing, as well as a great group of missionaries just like us.<span>&nbsp; </span>There were over 60 of us (45 adults, 22 kids) who are going to 22 countries through 23 sending organizations.<span>&nbsp; </span>As the time went on we developed close relationships with these wonderful people.<span>&nbsp; </span>We shared the common bond of calling and the brotherhood/sisterhood of the grace of Jesus Christ.<span>&nbsp; </span>It was a life-changing experience.<span>&nbsp; </span>At the end of the three weeks, we left enriched.<span>&nbsp; </span>We felt the call of God and the love of friends as we drove off in tears to a chorus of good-byes and we-love-yous.<span>&nbsp; </span>On the first day, our instructor, Robin told us, “When you leave MTI we want it to hurt…it means you have loved well and been loved.” <span>&nbsp;</span>We certainly felt that to be true.</p> <p>As we boarded the plane home we were looking forward to our move to Bolivia even more now (if that is possible).<span>&nbsp; </span>Since arriving our pace has been building in speed like a hurricane hitting the coast.<span>&nbsp; </span>Between packing, cleaning, and everything else, we have been running at full speed.<span>&nbsp; </span>We are now 27 days from leaving for the adventure and challenges of the next part of our journey in following Christ.</p> <p>On Thursday, we (the adults) will board another plane.<span>&nbsp; </span>This time to the ABCUSA’s Biennial in Puerto Rico.<span>&nbsp; </span>It is here that we will help represent IM to the people of the ABC-USA.<span>&nbsp; </span>While there we will worship, meet and greet, setup and cleanup, and most importantly enjoy our first opportunity to see what the ABC-USA and it’s affiliate ministries are like on such a grand stage.<span>&nbsp; </span>When we get home we will have 18 days before our commissioning and 21 before we leave.<span>&nbsp; </span>What a crazy schedule</p> <p>Now back to the movie…</p> <span style="font-size: 12.0pt; font-family: Cambria;">The premise of the Green Lantern is that when a vacancy comes open on the green lantern core, the ring goes and finds a suitable person to fill the spot.<span>&nbsp; </span>As I walked out of the movie I began to think about my calling.<span>&nbsp; </span>It is why missionaries go to foreign countries and pastors enter the ministry!<span>&nbsp; </span>It is something that is mysterious and tangible both at the same time.<span>&nbsp; </span>It is the sense that you have been chosen or adopted into a eternal family that is full of interesting encounters and large challenges.<span>&nbsp; </span>But no matter where we go, our calling remains.<span>&nbsp; </span>Praise God for the calling he gives us all to be more like him and do His work in this world!<span>&nbsp; </span>Amen.&nbsp;</span> Fri, 01 Jul 2011 20:00:00 -0400 https://internationalministries.org/read/37056-the-green-lantern-mti-and-thoughts-about-calling- https://internationalministries.org/read/37056-the-green-lantern-mti-and-thoughts-about-calling- Reed All About It: April 2011 Edition As we get closer and closer to the time we will leave for the field we realize how crucial communication with our support family becomes. &nbsp;We are so thankful for the IM website and the ways it makes it easy to get in touch with friends around the world.<div><br></div><div>Another way that we are going to stay in touch with you is through a bi-monthly (*at-least) newsletter called, "Reed All About It." &nbsp;It will be a one page PDF that will serve 2 purposes...first, it's another to help us tell our supporters how God is making a difference in Bolivia, and second, to be reproducible so that churches can use it easily (newsletters, bulletins, etc.). &nbsp;</div><div><br></div><div>Click on the link below to have the PDF come up in your web-browser. &nbsp;Thanks again for your support. &nbsp;As of this morning, we have raised over 95% of our total support.</div><div><br></div><div><a href="http://switchboard.internationalministries.org/uploaded/april2011.pdf">Reed All About It: April 2011 edition</a></div><div><br></div><div>JD</div><div><br></div><div>PS - once we get on the field, to be good stewards of our resources, we will likely only physically mail these to churches. &nbsp;If you wish to personally receive yours as a paper copy in the mail, please contact us through the website and let us know. &nbsp;Thanks.</div> Thu, 31 Mar 2011 20:00:00 -0400 https://internationalministries.org/read/34618-reed-all-about-it-april-2011-edition https://internationalministries.org/read/34618-reed-all-about-it-april-2011-edition Shock and Awe (a moment of surprise and regret) <p>Rhonda has been having a problem with her phone.<span>&nbsp; </span>So I have been on a quest to fix it.<span>&nbsp; </span>She has a smart phone, albeit an older “hand-me-down” version of one, and it wasn’t working right.<span>&nbsp; </span>Being the technical one in the family, I have been dubbed the one to make the phone call to “tech support” and get this problem fixed (putting that in quotes because everyone knows in most cases that isn’t reality).</p> <p>This was the fourth or fifth call, and I was getting discouraged.<span>&nbsp; </span>In the process of the call, at about minute 50 or so, the senior tech told me that the phone had become obsolete because the company just rolled out its newest update. He went on to say I would need to get a new one.<span>&nbsp; </span>I explained (in a nice, diplomatic voice, I swear) that I would love to do that, but I would then have to sign a service contract, which I would have to break in four months because our family was leaving for the mission field.<span>&nbsp; </span>It didn’t make good sense for me to do that.<span>&nbsp; </span>I went on to thank him for trying and told him that we would just have to make do with what we currently have.<span>&nbsp; </span>Heartbroken…I was getting ready to get off the phone, when he asked me to hold on one more time because he wanted to check on one more fix.<span>&nbsp; </span>I hesitantly agreed and a minute or two later he came back and said something like the following (I am unsure of exact words because I was stunned):</p> <p><i>I talked to my manager and we value you as a customer and what you are doing to serve others, so we want to give you a replacement for this phone…we want to give you a brand new phone for free, with no contract.<span>&nbsp; </span>Would that be okay?</i></p> <p>After jumping around like a prize fighter after a knock out, I had a thought…</p> <p>Isn’t it interesting that the receiving of grace still catches us off guard?<span>&nbsp; </span>I mean if you think about it, as believers in Christ, grace is in our wheelhouse, right?<span>&nbsp; </span>We are people that through the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus have received grace and mercy greater than we could ever repay, and yet when our fellow man shows us mercy or grace, we are always amazed.<span>&nbsp; </span>I wonder if it is because in the moment of receiving said grace, we realize all of the missed opportunities we’ve had to give grace to others in the name of Christ.<span>&nbsp; </span>In my excitement at such a great gift from this huge company that just knows me as a customer number, I also felt the sharp tinge of regret, for I have had opportunities to do the same and didn’t.<span>&nbsp; </span>My prayer is that for each of us, we could experience the beauty of passing on grace to others…and that we would feel regret’s pain when we pass up the chance.</p> <span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Cambria;">“<i>But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.” (Ephesians 2.4-5 NIV)</i></span> Sun, 06 Mar 2011 19:00:00 -0500 https://internationalministries.org/read/33372-shock-and-awe-a-moment-of-surprise-and-regret- https://internationalministries.org/read/33372-shock-and-awe-a-moment-of-surprise-and-regret- Our Lives In Transition... <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica;">I realized something yesterday.&nbsp; First, let me say I am a big sports fan.&nbsp; I love most any sport, especially football.&nbsp; In fact, my favorite team is in the AFC championship game this Sunday, and I am excited for a win!&nbsp; I also like to watch college basketball.&nbsp; One thing that is true about basketball is that the team that manages the transition game best will win.&nbsp; That is the team that figures out how to make the most of every opportunity that the opposition gives them.&nbsp; That is the key to winning the game. &nbsp;I realized today that when we serve as pastors, ministers, missionaries, or just Christians in general, the same is true.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica;"><br></p><p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica;">Someone said once that the only thing that is constant about life is that it changes.&nbsp; Transitions are everywhere.&nbsp; As a pastor, much of my ministry has been to people in transition (graduation, death of a loved one, getting married, having a kid, etc.).&nbsp; It is in the transitions of our lives that we really can grasp who God is and how much he loves us.&nbsp; It is then we see his grace and mercy abound. &nbsp;</p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica;"><br></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica;">As Rhonda, I and our kids are preparing for our appointment, (only 35% left to raise!) we have been in a transition for about 8 months now.&nbsp; It is an interesting place to be.&nbsp; There is great joy that God has led us to this new venture for His Kingdom and trusted it to us.&nbsp; There is also a little anxiety, and some fear of the unknown.&nbsp; But the great thing for us is that we have seen God provide for us in so many ways through this transition.&nbsp; He has brought people and churches into our lives who have supported us and helped to provide for our financial support.&nbsp; He has placed in our current church where we have made some great lifetime friends and grown closer to the Lord.&nbsp; It is in our transition that God has really shown himself faithful to us and to the calling he has given us.&nbsp; This journey is full of joy!&nbsp;</p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica;"><br></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica;">2 Corinthians 4:1,18</p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica;">"Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart….So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."</p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica;"><br></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica;">An adaptation of "A Prayer for Major Life Transitions" from <span style="text-decoration: underline;">Common Prayer</span> by Shane Claiborne.</p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica;"><br></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica;">"Lord, help me now to unclutter my life, to organize myself in the direction of simplicity.&nbsp; Lord, teach me to listen to my heart; teach me to welcome transition, instead of fearing it.&nbsp; Lord, I give you these stirrings inside me.&nbsp; I give you my discontent.&nbsp; I give you my restlessness.&nbsp; I give you my doubt.&nbsp; I give you my despair.&nbsp; I give you all the longings I hold inside.&nbsp; I also give you my joy!&nbsp; I give you my excitement and expectations!&nbsp; Help me to listen to these signs of change, of growth; help me to listen seriously and follow where they lead through the breathtaking empty space of your open door."</p><p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica;"><br></p><p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica;">Only Through God's Grace,</p><p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica;">J.D.</p> Mon, 17 Jan 2011 19:00:00 -0500 https://internationalministries.org/read/31909-our-lives-in-transition- https://internationalministries.org/read/31909-our-lives-in-transition- A Blog from J.D.’s trip to Bolivia... This is a blog from a medical mission trip to Bolivia this month that I had the priviledge of co-leading. &nbsp;To read all of the blogs and see some of the pictures <a href="http://spbc-wv.org/c2tw/missions/bolivia-blog-medical-trip-edition/">click here</a> (home church's website).&nbsp;<div><br></div><div><span class="Apple-style-span" style="line-height: 17px; font-size: 12px; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; color: rgb(85, 85, 85);"><div class="csc-header csc-header-n5" style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-color: initial; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; font-size: 12px; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;"><h2 style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 20px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-color: initial; font-weight: normal; font-style: inherit; font-size: 21px; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; vertical-align: baseline; line-height: 1.1em; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">Clinic Day #3: Kumi Center</h2></div><div class="csc-textpic csc-textpic-intext-right" style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-color: initial; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; font-size: 12px; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;"><div class="csc-textpic-imagewrap" style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 10px !important; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-color: initial; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; font-size: 12px; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; float: right; width: 200px;"><div class="csc-textpic-imagerow" style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-color: initial; font-style: inherit; font-size: 12px; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; clear: both; width: 200px; font-weight: inherit;"><ul style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-color: initial; font-style: inherit; font-size: 12px; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; font-weight: inherit;"><br></ul></div><div class="csc-textpic-imagerow csc-textpic-imagerow-last" style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-color: initial; font-style: inherit; font-size: 12px; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; clear: both; width: 200px; font-weight: inherit;"><ul style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-color: initial; font-style: inherit; font-size: 12px; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; font-weight: inherit;"><br></ul></div></div><div class="csc-textpic-text" style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-color: initial; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; font-size: 12px; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;"><p style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-color: initial; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; font-size: 12px; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">10/28/10</p><p style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-color: initial; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; font-size: 12px; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">For some of us, today was a return to a familiar place.&nbsp; The Kumi center is a place that is a kind of day-center for severely handicapped children in Cochabamba.&nbsp; In June, the youth from SPBC went there as we painted the entire center inside and out.&nbsp; Today, this center for kids, was transformed into a medical center so that we could see one-hundred and eighty five people.&nbsp;</p><p style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-color: initial; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; font-size: 12px; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">The atmosphere was wonderful.&nbsp; As always the people were so grateful it was humbling for us.&nbsp; A couple of neat stories.&nbsp; One man came to the clinic.&nbsp; In his exam he told us that he was a teacher at the school near the center.&nbsp; Teaching was his passion and he loved help kids better themselves, but his career had taken a nosedive because his vision had become so poor he couldn’t even grade papers.&nbsp; He said, “My eyes are ruining my career!”&nbsp; Cathy Posey (one of the team) reached into her bag and pulled out the donated reading glasses she brought.&nbsp; She put them on his nose, and in seconds he began to weep.&nbsp; He hadn’t lost his passion after all.&nbsp; It was a moment that makes me cry thinking about it.&nbsp; How something so simple can make such a profound difference in someone’s life.&nbsp; We gave out about 15 pairs of glasses this morning.</p><p style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-color: initial; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; font-size: 12px; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Another one of the doctors commented about the gratitude of the people.&nbsp; “At home, I do a lot of<i>pro bono</i>&nbsp;work and when you do that at home the people think ‘Oh, he’s the rich doctor…he should give me my appointment for free.’&nbsp; Today was the first day anyone has ever looked me in the eye and said ‘thank you’ for helping them.&nbsp; It was truly an amazing moment.”</p><p style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-color: initial; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; font-size: 12px; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">All those were great and there are many more stories like it, but there is one more fact I need to share with you.&nbsp; There are 4 stations in the clinic: Medical, Dental, Nutrition and Spiritual.&nbsp; The real reason we came to Bolivia was because the love of Christ compels us to help others.&nbsp; We give medical, but the reason we are here is to share the gospel.&nbsp; We have been doing that regularly, but today in the spiritual section, six people accepted Christ as their personal Lord and Savior and were welcomed into the family of God.&nbsp; WOO HOO!!!&nbsp; That is what it is all about people!&nbsp; That statistic is the most important one of the whole trip.&nbsp; I get chills just writing about it.&nbsp; GOD IS GOOD ---- ALL THE TIME!</p><p style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-color: initial; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; font-size: 12px; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;"><i>How beautiful on the mountains, are the feet of them that bring good news&nbsp; --Isaiah 52.7</i></p></div></div></span></div> Wed, 03 Nov 2010 20:00:00 -0400 https://internationalministries.org/read/28916-a-blog-from-j-d-s-trip-to-bolivia- https://internationalministries.org/read/28916-a-blog-from-j-d-s-trip-to-bolivia- A most amazing gift! <p>As a storyteller, you couldn’t frame the moment any better.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>Last week my wife and I were privileged to go to one of the newest churches in West Virginia.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>It is one of two Hispanic churches that have begun around the state.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>This particular church is the Communidad Nueva Esperanza (New Life Community).<span style="">&nbsp; </span></p> <p>In going there, I was very nervous.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>My Spanish is still very infantile, and I was going to be giving the message in Spanish.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>I wrote my presentation out long hand and then translated it.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>I read it over 20 times, but for some reason, the syllables that were ringing in my head could not make the journey to my mouth.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>I have given this presentation at least 25 times and it was like I had never seen it before.</p> <p>We got there, and they had made us amazing food.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>We ate, our children played, we sang praise and worship and then the time came for me to speak.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>I felt like a first-grader as I spoke, but they were very respectful and tolerant as we laughed together.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>One of the leaders of the church was a previous Spanish teacher (no pressure there!).<span style="">&nbsp; </span>I struggled through, and at the end they were kind.</p> <p>As we were done, they asked if they could pray for us.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>As they began, our friend Juan told us that they had taken up a collection and had even gone into the community and sold rice pudding so they could give us money toward our support.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>We thanked them and they prayed for us.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>One of the ladies in her prayer said (translated), “We know that if God is a part of this mission, he will give the victory!”<span style="">&nbsp; </span>It was a powerful moment.<span style="">&nbsp;</span></p> <p>We gathered our kids and headed for the van.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>When we got on the road, we opened the envelope and found over $200.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>We were overwhelmed.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>Tears flowed and silence abounded.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>We realized that the group that probably had the least had given us not from a surplus, but a place of great sacrifice.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>Straightway I thought of the widow’s mite in Luke’s Gospel and how the widow may not have had much but she gave her all.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>Of all the gifts and pledges we have received to date, this one by far has been the biggest.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>Not necessarily in size, but most definitely in sacrifice.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>It was one that we will never forget!</p> <p><i style="">Just then he looked up and saw the rich people dropping offerings in the collection plate. Then he saw a poor widow put in two pennies. He said, "The plain truth is that this widow has given by far the largest offering today. All these others made offerings that they'll never miss; she gave extravagantly what she couldn't afford—she gave her all!"</i></p> <span style="font-size: 12.0pt; font-family: Cambria;">Luke 21:1-4 (Message)</span> Wed, 13 Oct 2010 20:00:00 -0400 https://internationalministries.org/read/27644-a-most-amazing-gift- https://internationalministries.org/read/27644-a-most-amazing-gift- Thinking about the fall... <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica;">Well, it is that time again.&nbsp; It is time for the beginning of school.&nbsp; For our family (who began our kids education as homeschoolers) it is the first time that all of our kids have gone to school away from home every day.&nbsp; As it is for all parents, so it is for us…a time of great reflection.&nbsp;</p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica;"><br></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica;">How will they do?&nbsp; What will they learn from their teachers that will change their lives?&nbsp; What will they learn from their friends that will get them in trouble?&nbsp; You know the drill.&nbsp; We all go through it as parents…can I get a witness?</p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica;"><br></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica;">As I reflect this year I think back to when I was my kid's age.&nbsp; The biggest thing on my mind was the Friday night football game or the game of capture the flag we were going to play this weekend.&nbsp; There are many things that stood out, but one that is prominent is my parents.&nbsp; I used to think they were crazy.&nbsp; I used to think they didn't understand me or my friends.&nbsp; As I look back on it with today's eyes, they were good parents and we had a good life because of them.&nbsp; The one thing that my mom always said in those moments of conflict was, "Don't worry son, the older you get the smarter I will become."&nbsp; She was right! &nbsp;</p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica;"><br></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica;">I think it was because our perspectives change as we get older.&nbsp; We see the world from different angles and through different lenses than we did when we were younger.&nbsp; I see that now, but not just in terms of parenting.</p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica;"><br></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica;">I grew up in an American Baptist Church and heard all the time about something else in the fall of the year.&nbsp; World Mission Offering.&nbsp; For me it was something that was distant, something that we did for "those people" over there working with "that group."&nbsp; Now it has taken on a whole new light.</p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica;"><br></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica;">World Mission Offering is a very personal thing for me now.&nbsp; It is something that will enable my family and all of the other missionary families supported by International Ministries to make a difference around the world for the Kingdom of God.&nbsp; World Mission Offering is a very simple way that you can join us in that work…His work.</p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica;"><br></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica;">So as one who is in the process of raising support for his family to make the first steps of the adventure of our calling to Bolivia as missionaries, let me encourage you.&nbsp; Give to the World Mission Offering this year.&nbsp; Partner with us as we partner with the Almighty and do His work all around the globe.&nbsp; I bet if you do you will find your perspective just might change too.</p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica;"><br></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica;">May the God of all grace and mercy grant you peace as you support His work around the world!</p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica;"><br></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica;">JD</p> Wed, 01 Sep 2010 20:00:00 -0400 https://internationalministries.org/read/25280-thinking-about-the-fall- https://internationalministries.org/read/25280-thinking-about-the-fall- A Whirlwind Summer... As I write I am sitting in my living room pondering the summer of 2010. &nbsp;It has been filled to overflowing with activity. &nbsp;Raising your own support is tiring, but I find it has been a fulfilling time as well. &nbsp;Let me explain.<div><br></div><div>As we have shifted into the summer, a few things have changed for us. &nbsp;First, I (J.D.) have moved back to 3/4 time at the church I serve (South Parkersburg Baptist Church, Parkersburg, WV) to allow me more time to go around and work on raising support. &nbsp;So far we have been able to share God's mission in Bolivia about 15 times in these 2 months with more to come. &nbsp;We have shared in our church, in other churches, with friends and family, and in our region's Camp Global...I'll mention more about that later.&nbsp;</div><div><br></div><div>Another change is that for the first time all of our kids will be in school and we have been preparing them for that. &nbsp;We began homeschooling our daughters, but this past year our oldest, Grace, went to school for the first time. &nbsp;This year we have decided to put all three of them in a local Christian School to help prepare them for when we go to Bolivia. &nbsp;So we have been working getting books, uniforms, and now taking our oldest to volleyball practice, her first organized school sport!! &nbsp;Dad is excited!</div><div><br></div><div>A third change is that for the past 10 years, I (J.D.) have directed a Junior High Camp at our WV Baptist Camp at Cowen. &nbsp;Each year around 2,000 kids of all ages come through the camp for a week of connection with God. &nbsp;This year about 330 kids and adults came to Jr. High 2 for what would be my last year as a director. &nbsp;I have loved being a director of this camp, and it has truly been a joy in my life, but all good things must come to an end. &nbsp;We were blessed to have a special surprise celebration on the last night put on by our staff that was a really special time for us. &nbsp;More importantly though, this year we had 21 students who trusted Christ as their savior and over 100 who recommitted their lives to him. &nbsp;What a blessing!</div><div><br></div><div>My last change is at our second camp of the summer...Camp Global. &nbsp;For three summers now, our family has participated, this year we were presenters. &nbsp;Camp Global is a three day camp here in West Virginia that gives people a chance to hear about God’s work around the world. &nbsp;For us though, this year was a little different. &nbsp;This time, we were part of the program as endorsed missionaries to Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia. &nbsp;</div><div><div><br></div><div>On the first afternoon, we took some time to talk to people about Bolivian culture and food while we showed them how to make Saltenas (a baked empanada filled with meat). &nbsp;Then on Saturday morning we gave our presentation about our mission in Bolivia and how they could partner with us to make it happen. &nbsp;This was followed by a very special commissioning service. &nbsp;All of the people in attendance were given cards to write down prayers and encouragements then they gathered around us and prayed. &nbsp;Madeline Flores-Lopez, missionary in the Dominican Republic, Bill Morlan, our MPT Pastor and David Carrico, WVBC Executive Minister all prayed for different aspects of our ministry. &nbsp;It was a powerful moment for our family and a great way to end the camp. &nbsp;We were truly blessed to be a part of it.</div></div><div><br></div><div>All in all it has been a very interesting summer so far, and with school starting in less than 2 weeks. &nbsp;It has definitely been busy, but getting the opportunity to travel around and speak at churches and association meetings have been fun (and filled with lots of good food too!). &nbsp;One of my favorite parts of it is telling the churches and people that I am just like them. &nbsp;We have grown up in the same state, gone to the same events and shared in many things together. &nbsp;God can use us all on mission, wherever we are. &nbsp;We just have to look around.</div> Sun, 15 Aug 2010 20:00:00 -0400 https://internationalministries.org/read/24632-a-whirlwind-summer- https://internationalministries.org/read/24632-a-whirlwind-summer- June Mission Trip to Cochabamba Recently, Rhonda and I went with a group from our church to do ministry in Cochabamba. &nbsp;While we were there we partnered with Mario Morales and the volunteers at the house of hope. &nbsp;We had 11 students and 7 adults (unfortunately, one student had to stay home at the last minute due to the flu and strep throat). &nbsp;As usually happens on mission trips, when you show up, God is already working (which we expected) and this time was no exception. &nbsp;The trip was great. &nbsp;<div><br></div><div>If you would like to read our daily blogs and see some more pictures, <a href="http://spbc-wv.org/index.php?id=308">click here</a>.</div><div><br></div><div>If you would like to see a recap video from the trip, <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2UHdKAsb2F8">click here</a>.<br><div><br></div><div>*Please note that the first blog you see is the last one that was written. &nbsp;To read from the beginning, go to the bottom of the blog page.</div></div> Tue, 06 Jul 2010 20:00:00 -0400 https://internationalministries.org/read/23550-june-mission-trip-to-cochabamba https://internationalministries.org/read/23550-june-mission-trip-to-cochabamba A Great Morning... <p>Sunday was a big day for our family as it was our first time traveling outside our home church to share our calling to Bolivia.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>I should qualify the former sentence with two statements.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>First, we weren’t really speaking to strangers since we went back to Rhonda’s home church (Gassaway Baptist Church).<span style="">&nbsp; </span>Second, technically every single Sunday when we get together in the mighty name of Jesus Christ, it is a pretty big day if you ask me! (can I get an “AMEN”)</p> <p>With that said it was an amazing experience.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>As we shared God’s call on our lives and then how God has a call on each of their lives as well, it was as if we were both speaking the message that God has been writing on our hearts for a long time now.<span style="">&nbsp;</span></p> <p>I wonder if that is what it felt like for Jesus when he gave his first official message?<span style="">&nbsp; </span>I wonder if there was a moment when he looked up into the clouds as the breeze gently came across his face and he had an instant of clarity.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>One of those moments where time seems to slow down and you savor every second and all it holds within it.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>A time that you know you are doing exactly what you were created to do and thay God was smiling.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>It was like that for us.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>It was a wonderful experience to share with the first of hopefully many churches and individuals about what God is doing in Bolivia and how we are going to partner with Him.</p> <p>What a privilege and a blessing it is when we do our best to follow God’s will for our lives.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>Grace and peace to you all in the matchless name of Jesus Christ&nbsp;</p> <p>JD</p> <p>PS – pray for Rhonda and I as we travel on our first official international mission trip together next week.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>We will be traveling with 17 other students and adults down to Cochabamba to join Mario and Iris Morales in ministering to the people of the surrounding area.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>We are very excited!</p> Mon, 07 Jun 2010 20:00:00 -0400 https://internationalministries.org/read/22801-a-great-morning- https://internationalministries.org/read/22801-a-great-morning- Meet our MPT! <p>Today was a banner day on our journey to be full time missionaries in Bolivia.&nbsp; Our Missionary Partnership Team (MPT) met for the first time as a group for our MPT training.&nbsp; Ruthie Stevenson, the MPT coordinator from International Ministries came down to West Virginia and spent the day with us as we learned what it means to be a mission partnership team.&nbsp; Let me introduce you to our team (from the left of the pic).</p> <p>Our convener is Jack Eades, first one in the back row.&nbsp; Jack is a retired area minister with the West Virginia Baptist Convention.&nbsp; He spends his time now working with churches in the area of peacemaking.</p> <p>The person responsible for praying for and supporting our kids is next and she's seated down front.&nbsp; Janelle Skinner is the Pastor of Children and Family Life at the South Parkersburg Baptist Church.&nbsp; She has been our kid’s pastor for almost 9 years.</p> <p>Next on the back row is Mark Stump.&nbsp; Mark has been the senior pastor of the Gassaway Baptist Church for over 27 years.&nbsp; Mark is a team specialist.&nbsp; His years of leadership in the area of church development, church planting, and leadership training, will be invaluable to the team.</p> <p>Next is me J.D. in the front row.&nbsp; <br></p><p>Beside Mark in the back row is Bill Morlan.&nbsp; Bill is the youth pastor of the Gassaway Baptist Church and has occupied that role for over 20 years.&nbsp; Bill will be our pastoral care provider on the team.&nbsp;</p> <p>Bill is followed by Rhonda, my lovely wife seated next to me in the front row. <br></p> <p>After Rhonda, is Mickey Skeens wearing the striped shirt in the back row.&nbsp; He will serve on the team as our financial advocate.&nbsp; Mickey will be working with us to help ensure that we get on the field as soon as possible and stay for as long as God wants us to.</p> <p>Next to Mickey is Rob Ely.&nbsp; Rob is the director discipleship ministries, camping and youth for the West Virginia Baptist Convention.&nbsp; Rob will be our Mission Involvement Energizer and will encourage people to be a part of our support and network.</p> <p>Down front on the far right is Michele Vanmatre.&nbsp; Michele is going to serve as our Prayer and Communications Coordinator.&nbsp; Michele an active homeschool mom and is a member of South Parkersburg Baptist Church.&nbsp; She will be helping us to get the word out about what God is doing in Bolivia.</p> <p>One person who isn’t in the picture is Ed Rogers.&nbsp; Ed is the lead pastor of the South Parkersburg Baptist Church.&nbsp; His role will mirror Mark Stump’s role, as he is a team specialist.&nbsp; His leadership training, church planting and satellite campus experience will be a big help to the team.&nbsp; Ed is the leader of the pastoral staff our family has been a part of for almost 9 years.</p> <span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Cambria;"><p>This is our team.&nbsp; They are our friends.&nbsp; They bring a lot of great gifts to the table, but more importantly they bring themselves.&nbsp; They have said yes to support us…will you?</p></span> Sun, 16 May 2010 20:00:00 -0400 https://internationalministries.org/read/21418-meet-our-mpt- https://internationalministries.org/read/21418-meet-our-mpt- IM Endorses New Missionary Couple for Service in Bolivia American Baptist International Ministries (IM) is pleased to announce that <a href="http://www.internationalministries.org/missionaries/371">Rev. John David (J.D.) and Rhonda Reed</a> have been approved as endorsed missionary candidates for service in Bolivia. The Reeds will serve with IM partner The Union Bautista Boliviana.<br><br>J.D. and Rhonda Reed will serve in theological education for both lay leaders and pastors, in starting new work and in development of the work in the Santa Cruz de la Sierra and the southern part of Bolivia. The Reeds will also interpret the ministries of The Union Bautista Boliviana in the U.S. and globally.<br><br>J.D. and Rhonda have long felt a call to cross-cultural work. “About five years ago our church became a part of <a href="http://www.internationalministries.org/missionaries/80">Mario and Iris Morales’ [IM missionaries in Bolivia]</a> MPN and, since then, the thought of finally taking the step seemed much easier. We prayed about it and felt God confirming in our hearts what we had known for years, so we began the process to follow the call,” explained the Reeds. <br><br>The endorsement phase of the new missionary recruitment process means that the couple will form their Missionary Partnership Network (MPN). The size of an MPN varies, but the goal is to maintain 1,000 or more individuals who are supporting the missionary in important ways, including subscribing to the missionary's print or e-newsletters, hosting them at regional gatherings or at their churches, and supporting them through prayer, volunteer work groups and personalized giving. During the endorsement phase, the missionary couple will also form their Missionary Partnership Team (MPT), which is typically comprised of no more than 10 individuals.&nbsp; Members of the team are invited by the missionary and are usually close friends or family members who will work closely with the endorsed candidate to help insure a vibrant ministry. &nbsp;<br><br>J.D. is presently the Pastor of Community Ministry and Media at the South Parkersburg Baptist Church (SPBC) in Parkersburg, WV. Rhonda is a registered nurse with past volunteer experience with <a href="http://www.internationalministries.org/missionaries/52">Kim Brown</a> in Thailand. They have three children, Grace (11), Abigail (8) and Nathanael (5).<br><br>“The Reeds are a dear part of our family at the SPBC; we will miss them greatly,” commented lead Pastor, Ed Rogers. “However, we are so pleased that God has chosen to further His work in Bolivia through their commitment to Him.”<br><br>For more information on the Reed’s ministry or about their newly-forming Missionary Partnership Network, please contact them at <a href="mailto:jdreedjr1@me.com">jdreedjr1@me.com</a>.<br><br>American Baptist International Ministries is the first Baptist international mission agency formed in North America, and the second oldest Baptist mission agency in the world. More than 1,800 short-term and long-term missionaries are served annually, bringing churches and individuals in the United States and Puerto Rico together with partners in more than 70 countries in holistic, cutting-edge ministries that tell the good news of Jesus Christ while meeting human need. <br> Wed, 05 May 2010 20:00:00 -0400 https://internationalministries.org/read/20997-im-endorses-new-missionary-couple-for-service-in-bolivia https://internationalministries.org/read/20997-im-endorses-new-missionary-couple-for-service-in-bolivia ...and so it begins <p>"Santa Cruz...Is that where Santa lives?"</p> <p>The words of our five-year-old son bring a smile to my face every time I think of them. &nbsp;Nathan is the youngest of our children at the ripe old age of five. &nbsp;His older sisters, Abigail and Grace are 9 and 11 respectively. &nbsp;They along with my wife and I are beginning our journey as IM missionaries to Bolivia.</p> <p>For our family, becoming missionaries has been a long time dream. &nbsp;Since just after we were married, we have always dreamed and prayed that God would one day open this door for us. &nbsp;Currently I am the Pastor of Community Ministry and Media at the <a href="http://www.spbc-wv.org">South Parkersburg Baptist Church</a> in Parkersburg, WV. &nbsp;We have served here for almost eight and a half years and desperately love our church family. &nbsp;My wife Rhonda is a hospice nurse. &nbsp;At the church, she is also a Sr. High youth leader.</p> <p>For us, our family missions heritage begins with her. &nbsp;While we were dating, she left for a 3-month volunteer mission tour in Thailand with Kim Brown working at an AIDS hospice (she actually turned down my marriage proposal before she left so she could determine if God wanted her to be missionary or a pastor's wife!). &nbsp;Thankfully she came back to me and we got married and then about 3 years later, I began my short term missionary adventures that have taken me all around the world. &nbsp;Those experiences have fueled a passion in us to follow God's call into missions full time.</p> <p>We are thrilled to be working in Bolivia. &nbsp;I have served on Mario and Iris Morales MPT for a long time and have grown to love the people and culture of such a rich and diverse country. &nbsp;We will be living in Santa Cruz de la Sierra. &nbsp;While there we will be training pastors and leaders, helping to strengthen and plant churches and beginning new ministries in the southern part of Bolivia. &nbsp;</p> <p>Please pray for us as we begin this next part of our journey as we begin working with our MPT and raising our support. &nbsp;We would also like to invite you to partner with us as we join with God's vital work in this amazing country</p> Tue, 04 May 2010 20:00:00 -0400 https://internationalministries.org/read/20892-and-so-it-begins https://internationalministries.org/read/20892-and-so-it-begins