Who am I?

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Monrovia, Liberia
I live in Monrovia, Liberia, West Africa with my wife and youngest son. We are recently arrived in Liberia where we are serving as missionaries with Evangelical Church Missions working under the Liberia Evangelical Mission. For most of the last thirty years we have served under ECM in Bolivia, South America. We are the happy parents of four children and the proud grandparents of two grandchildren.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

A Tale of Two Marches

While in La Paz over this last weekend to attend the annual Easter Junta of our church I was impressed by a contrast between two events that happened that weekend. The first event was the Good Friday Procession that takes place each year in La Paz. This procession was sorter than in other years (the current president does not march in the procession nor does the military as was the custom in years past) but still left me with the same sad impression. Every year images of Jesus are paraded through the streets on the shoulders of the faithful. He is portrated as suffering,


and dead.

the last image being Jesus in a coffin. Dead. Not able to hear or help his people. Dead. Not easily approached. Dead. The only sign of real hope in the procession came at the very end as the image of the Virgin Mary was also carried. Before she passed by by flower petals were handed out to everyone in the crowd who wanted them to be able to shower her with them as she passed by as a sign of devotion and hope. How sad, considering that the last words of Mary that we have recorded are that we should do whatever Jesus said. But he is dead. Good Friday. Holy Friday, Dead Savior.

The other event was the Sunday morning march of our own Bolivian brothers and sisters. They too, each year, have a march.

There are  floats,


and lots of people marching. But this one is not a solemn procession carrying images of a dead Jesus, powerless to save. It is rather a march of celebration and proclamation afirming that our Lord is indeed risen, his sufferings behind him forever, never to be renewed. Jesus. Alive. Savior. Lord. God.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Ciudad de Refugio

The lights are low. The music is loud. It must be study time at Ciudad de Refugio! I had the opportunity the last time I was in Cochabamba to attend Ciudad de Refugio (City of Refuge). Ciudad de Refugio is a new youth outreach that my coworker JJ Guerrero is leading. Its goal is to reach university students in Cochabamba with the good news of Jesus.

Ciudad de Refugio is open on Friday evenings. Currently it meets in the top story of a two story house. The doors open late afternoon and students are invited to come and enjoy a game of ping-pong, table games or just talk and hang out. Later the evening Bible study will begin with a bang. (Literally - the drums are both loud and well played.) There is enthusiastic singing led by a small but talented band of young men. After the singing ends there will be a time of straight forward Bible teaching. The night I was there the teaching was combined with a couple of short skits as well. Following the teaching the kids were encouraged to each take and wear a tee-shirt with a provocative statement on it that would help open conversations during the week about Christ. They were to report back the following week on any conversations that they had. (I was not there the next week but heard that there were indeed some positive results.) The evening ended with more music, snacks and those final hugs good night.

There are some very definate needs for this ministry that I would call to your attention for your prayers. Eventually Ciudad will need to be in a larger place. that requires money and an available spot. Also leadership will need to be developed. JJ is currently actively discipling a couple of young men to help with the leadership but they need to only be the beginning. Finally, pray that the entusiams of Ciudad will spread and that these young people will take it to their own churches and see a more effective work youth begun in each of them. Thanks.