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.

Monday, November 26, 2012


Baptism. An important sacrament of the church, the initiatory rite to becoming a part of the church. It all sounds good on paper. In fact this past week we covered baptism in two of my institute classes. but the book learning is not nearly as much fun or meaningful as the real deal. Yesterday I was able to accompany the group of believers from Los Pozos (The Wells) as they celebrated the baptism of two of their members. Because Bolivian Evangelicals like to have baptism by immersion, the service was held at a sports facility with a pool a little ways out of town.

The service began with prayer, some songs and a short message from Pastor Fimo Ramos.

Next those involved in the baptism went and changed to get ready to go into the pool.

Two ladies were baptized.

Following the baptism were congratulations and salteñas (like a meat pie).

Then it was simply party - swimming and gabbing.

Following a nice potluck lunch of chicken, noodles, rice, potatoes and chuño it was time to return back to the city.

I thank God for these two hermanas and their desire to make a public confession of faith in Jesus. May God bless them and keep them as they continue to grow in their relationship with the Lord.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Another Mario Moment and More

You remember my friend Mario who comes around on occasion looking for help. I have written in the past on our relationship. The last couple of times that he was here he was, again looking for help. He had lost his job at the cookie factory and was about to lose his room as well. He needed money for rent. Would I help him? At first I was reluctant to do so just because of his past history. Somewhere along the line he needs to take responsibility for himself. But then he came another day and told me that he had his job back but still was in danger of losing his room because he would not get a pay check for another month. Again I was reluctant but this thought came to me. How many times has God given me yet another chance to make good? And so I gave him a bit of money to help fill in the gap between the amount of money he had and how much he needed. Apparently it was enough because a month has gone by now and Mario has not appeared at my door again. I trust that means he is indeed working and was able to pay November's rent. He has not yet gotten to church which concerns me. There are lots of jail house/hospital conversions that never seem to get worked out once the crisis has passed. Please continue to pray for Mario and his need to make good on his promise to God.

I am not given to long book reviews and am not planning to start now but there is a book I want to mention that I think every American Christian should read. We tend to think that everything revolves around the USA. I love my country and am glad to be an American but there is a whole big world out there beyond us. KINGDOM WITHOUT BORDERS: The Untold Story of Global Christianity, by Miriam Adeney (IVP) is a must read. It will help us Americans get over the idea that the church in all the world can be judged by the American church. IF the church in the US is in dire trouble (is it? I don't know.) the church around the world is alive and growing. Just a sort taste of the book:

The gospel is not only good news. It threatens established systems and powers. Those systems and powers fight back. This has happened throughout history right up to the present. More Christians have been killed in the twentieth century than in any previous era. In the past few years Pakistani churches have been bombed with the worshipers inside. Indonesian Christian women have been raped by the dozens. Multiple Vietnamese pastors have languished in cruel jails. Korean and Filipino workers have been martyred in Saudi Arabia. Tens of thousands of Christians have been slaughtered for their faith in Sudan. Christian women in India and Turkey have seen their husbands burned to death and their throats slit. In both nations these women have gone on TV to forgive the killers. Though they cried, these women were confident of joy ahead. This sent ripples of shock throughout the societies, impacting many.

I had the privilege of hearing the author speak at the conference in Chicago that I attended. I highly reccomend the book. It can be gotten through Amazon.  http://www.amazon.com/Kingdom-Without-Borders-Untold-Christianity/dp/083083849X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1352743350&sr=8-1&keywords=kingdom+without+borders+the+untold+story+of+global+christianity

Finally I end this post on a sad note yet mixed with hope. Brenda Canny, the mother of my co-worker Bryan, peacefully went to be home with the Lord last week. Today is her funeral. I only had the opportunity to meet her once at Bryan's wedding. But my understanding is that she was a sweet christian lady who loved the Lord and her family while facing a number of personal challenges. Our thoughts and prayers are with Bryan and his family today as they say goodbye. And yet really it is only hasta luego ('till later) because we know that Brenda is safely with the Lord she loves and someday there will be a glad reunion of us all who name the name of Jesus as lord and savior.