Who am I?

My photo
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.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Adventures of Eddie Eagle

I first met Eddie Eagle through a mutual friend. Could Eddie please come and visit us for a while here in Bolivia? Grace, the friend of my mutual friend, needed to send him abroad for a time. So I agreed. After making his acquaintance I knew at once that we would get along fine. Now that it is time to send him back home I will miss him as I have become quite fond of him. Following is his account of his adventures here, in the form of a letter written to Grace. I am sure you will see, after reading it, that we have indeed had quite the adventure.

Eddie Eagle

Dear Grace,

I have had a really good time here in Bolivia. Yes, I have missed you and am eager to be back home with you. I will be there before long, but I wanted to write about my adventures while they are still fresh in my mind.

When I first arrived in Santa Cruz, Bolivia my new friend took me to meet a group of Kinder and Pre-kinder children. They made me think of you. We passed our time together doing crafts, coloring, playing games in the yard and having a Bible story. It was great fun. My friend says he usually meets with this group twice each week.

That's me with the kids. They are showing off their necklaces that they made.

Our biggest adventure, though, was a trip to the jungle city of Riberalta. We flew there by airplane. When we arrived it was very hot. There were three others along with me in our group and we all were sweating like crazy.

On the airplane and ready to go!

The first thing we had to do was to go to our hotel, or alojamiento as they called it there. All the taxi's in Riberalta are motorcycles or motos. So we rode on the back behind the driver to our alojamiento. You would not believe all the motos everywhere. Do you like motorcycles? I can't remember. Anyway, all weekend every time we went somewhere we had to ride on the back of a moto. It wasn't too bad except fort the first night where our driver did not see a pile of dirt blocking the road and so we crashed into it and we all fell over into the road. Thankfully it was a nice soft dirt road and not on the paved highway!

One of my taxi drivers posing with me for a photo.

The first night we all went to someone's house for a little meeting. My friends were in Riberalta in order to help start a new church. The meeting that night was outside and we almost all stood up because there were no chairs. But that was ok. A young man opened his heart to Jesus that night.

The brother of the pastor and me.

The next day we had two meetings, one in the morning at a house with the pastor of the new church and the second meeting was where the new church is being built. While the church people, the hermanos, were carrying big boards from another place to make benches for the meeting, my friend played roll the hoop with a little boy. They were playing in the middle of the street which didn't seem like a good idea to me but I guess there really wasn't any other place to play.

Playing roll the hoop in the middle of the road. What would my mother say?

Any way, my friend spoke from the Bible during the meeting. After the meeting it was time to hop up on a moto again and head back to our alojamiento.

Bringing boards to make benches.

Saturday afternoon church.

The next day was Sunday and we took taxi's again out to the new church. It was early. The meeting began around seven in the morning. There were about 40 people that came to the meeting. My friend had a special class for the kids who were there. They learned a couple of new songs, had a Bible story and then colored some pictures about the story. I wish you could have been there. You would have liked it.  When church was over we went back to our room and got ready to fly home to Santa Cruz.

Everyone likes to color!

The plane that took us back home to Santa Cruz.

So that is my tale. I have enjoyed it very much but am looking forward to being back with you before too long.

Your's as always,

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Mid-October Musings

This has been a pretty calm week compared to the last several. It has been good to be back home and to get back to "normal" living. But normal does not mean dull or uninteresting.

Over the weekend our son Mark attended a retreat for the high school students at the Learning Center. The speakers for the retreat were the Learning Center chaplain and a four person team of young adults from AXIS. (You can find out more about them by going to their website http://www.axis.org. Their mantra seems to be: the issue is not unanswered questions but unquestioned answers.) The Lord has been doing some good things in the hearts of students at the school and this retreat was no exception.

Meanwhile, while Mark was at the retreat Niki and I took the weekend off to simply be together. It was fun to eat out together (twice!), play games, watch movies and just be us without anyone else around.

Sunday was the anniversary of the Linage de Dios church so we went to join in on the celebration. Lots of loud music (is my age showing?),

some special numbers

This young man, Wilson, studies at the Bolivian Evangelical University. Along with two fellow students he sang a really nice rendition of Amazing Grace/My Chains Fell Off.
and a good message about how God uses desert experiences in our lives.

The pastor from another church in the district did the preaching.

Pastor Pedro, who has been around a long time, shared some thoughts as well. Pedro and his wife have been faithful workers for the Lord throughout most of the denomination's history.

They heard every word, I'm sure.
Finally, we crossed the date of October 16 and are officially in transition. The transition people say that when you are aware of a change coming you begin to transition out of your current place about six months ahead. So, we are now transitioning for deputation. We leave Bolivia to return for our time in the States on April 16. We will soon be beginning to work on a basic schedule. We have a general outline of where we will be and when:

April - May 2013 - Indiana, Texas - bugging our children, spoiling the new grandchild and generally getting even with our children!

June - August 2013 - Summer camps and some local churches (¿Montana area?), Annual Conference in Portland, OR

September -December 2013 - local churches in the North Central, East Central Conferences

January - April 2014 - Oregon and Washington

May - June 2014 - Montana, Eastern and South Eastern conferences

I put these here now so if you want us to visit your church or to hold a home meeting please contact us now or any time in these next months. The above outline is not set in stone and I am sure there will be some adjustments depending on open doors for us to share the ministry in Bolivia. God always seems to help things to work out even if not always by our laid out plan.

So this is it for this week. Next week I will be traveling again to Riberalta to attend the laying (it is really more of a throwing or dropping) of the cornerstone for our first church in the department of the Beni. I hope to have a lot of pictures and things to report when I get back.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


I have been gone on a trip to the US and am finally getting caught up on Ch'airo. I am basically done traveling (I have been gone four out of the last eight weeks) and so should be able to get Ch'airo back on a steady rhythm.

I had the opportunity to fly to Chicago to attend a conference by the organization Missio-Nexus on the topic of recalibrating missionary methods for the new century. It was a good conference and I felt encouraged by the opportunity to be there. There was a lot of ideas presented and i need to still try to sort it all out. I was particularly interested in a presentation by The Publish for All Initiative. (You can see a good basic presentation at www.Publish4All.com). Briefly, the idea is to make available an abundance of printed materials to any place in the world that needs them by allowing them to be printed in country at an affordable cost. Evangelical Church Missions and our church have been involved in publishing materials for many years in different ways. My hope is that we can become involved in this new initiative. I think we could be the Bolivian representatives quite easily.

After the conference I had the opportunity to travel to Indianapolis and see my kids, Daniel and Naomi (who is looking properly plump for 5 months of pregnancy) and Dori. Since it was my birthday I was treated to a good dinner on Sunday and a second celebration at a burger shop. (My side dish was french fried sweet potatoes and marshmellow cream to dip them in.)

From Indiana I flew to Houston to visit daughter Heather for a few days. We had a good time together and I enjoyed exploring a bit more of Houston than I had done before.

From Texas it was up to Minneapolis to attend the annual meeting of the board of missions of the Evangelical Church. From there it was back home. Both going up and coming back to Bolivia took me through Panama City. It is an amazing airport with all the right comforts (Dunkin Doughnuts, Cinnabon, Subway, Chester Chicken and other good things!) I also had the chance to register to win a Masarati but at $20 a ticket I declined. Besides, it would never fit into my carry on luggage.

It is good to be home again. As I reflect on my trip I am reminded that we still have a major task to finish, getting the whole gospel to the whole world. I hope to be found faithful to my part in that task.