Monday, December 29, 2008

Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Eve...

What has become our tradition or at least the 3rd year in a row, we celebrated Christmas Eve with worship, praise, the story of the birth of Christ, communion and a Candlelight Service. This marks the beginning of change as this was the last Wednesday Night in the old building. The place was full of people and the Holy Spirit. Yea God!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Renovation - Week 2 & 3

The renovation is progressing very well. This past week we had a group from Pathways Largo come and give a big boost. There was a significant amount of infrastructure needed , ranging from electrical, plumbing, re-running various lines, and such.

A very cool highlight for this week is that 12 men and women from the Disetur (the tourist police) showed up with paint brushes in hand. Within two hours they jumpstarted the painting with amazing results. God is good!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Renovation - Week 1...

The process is under way. The local team - led by Howie Atherton and including Luis, Juan Luis, Biron and his team - has been doing quite well. To date they have walls up in the offices 90% of the wiring completed - the new kitchen for the cafe and storage bodega (room) is well defined. This next week we have a team coming from Pathways to help take us to the next level. God is blessing! Only 4 more weeks before our 1st Sunday.

all photos by - Tonja Johnson - Children's Ministry Coordinator

Monday, December 1, 2008

Pathways G17 Visit...

Once again we were blessed with a team. This group was the youth team from Pathways-Largo at least officially. But several team members came from Bradenton, FL as well.
Their focus was in several areas. They helped with construction or should I say de-construction in part of the warehouse of Bethel Ministries. A group that provides wheelchair assitance throughout GUA. Children's outreaches working in different pueblos of Pastores and also Jocotenango. Depending on the day it was a soccer emphasis with a Bible story or just the reverse. As well, this team spent time in the Malnutricion Center of San Juan.

This group had other highlights from a climb up Volcan Pacaya, surfing down volcanic sand, street time in Antigua, and seeing Alex Hobbs (a team member) get arrested and taken to the police station, as part of being "punked" for his birthday.

Another amazing week of the gospel being shared. Great Job - G17!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Only six weeks...

Once again, God has shown himself! It is a story much longer than I wish to share in this blog, but suffice it to say that when we needed space and a building to hold services in, He did it, He gave us the place and expansion that we need.

This new place is only a half a block from our present location. The pictures shown here are the present condition as it is an Art Gallery. This will net for us and additional 1,000sq ft and a more functional layout than our present facilities. As well, this puts us in a single level. Yea God!

The plan right now is to begin renovations December 1st. Then to hold our first services January 4th. There is much to do between now and then and only 6 weeks from the writing of this blog. As we have more to share on the renovations we'll keep you updated. No, the artwork will not be staying.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Saturday, November 8, 2008

IDC Change is a foot...

This year has been a big year of growth for the church. Our lowest attendance points this years were are dream numbers from last year. The evidence of life change on the individual level is too many to share in one blog. God has strengthened our position for growth with a combination of both Latin and English individuals working in specific jobs to fufill His purpose.

Meet the staff working with us now...

Ana Corado - Pastoral Assistant
Antonio Sandoval - Pastor in Training
- Starting his second year of seminary training.
April Clark - EFL (English as a Foreign Language) Coordinator
Giovanni Enriquez - Celebrate Recovery Coordinator
- Starting his first year of seminary training in January
Manolo Morales - Camino's Café Manager
Maria Dolores Zuniga - Children's Ministry Assistant
Nan Atherton - Human Resources/Bookkeeping
Tonja Johnson - Children's Ministry Coordinator
Steve Otto - Hotel Manager/International Teams Coordinator

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Life of IDC...

In February of 2007 we began a mid-week Bible Study on Wednesday Nights. This began with approximately 25 people. Here we are a year plus, almost two years later. This past two months we have seen a growth spike. Our weekly attendance for this event is typically 60-70 persons. While we have a few visitors, the vast majority is from the local community - meaning people that live in the valley full time or at least for an extended stay period. Before we would see spike to this attendance level occasionally when mission teams were visiting. These numbers reflect no team traffic.

The Worship Ministry has grown to the point that we needed more opportunities for the total number of people that we have. Hence expansion to the Wednesday Night - "Food for the Body and Soul" Meetings.

Even more exciting is the growth in the children's ministry on Wednesday. For a time we only saw staff kids. This has changed as we now have a group of typically 10-15 kids, mostly Latin. This is more than babysitting. An entire focus for children has been developed for Wednesday Nights. Including additional teachers. Seen here are Howie and Nan Atherton working their magic with the children.

God is good.

Sunday, October 26, 2008


Nancy and I's son and daughter-in-law, Matt and Ale opted to start their family. A Husky named Koko.

Looking oh so cute in the pet store and so small and cuddly... that is only the beginning. Now a mere 8 months later they now harbour an 80 lb canine with the attentions span of a 2.5 year old.

The pooch having a thick layer of hair has always found solice in sleeping under the bed of Matt and Ale. This is cute when the hound is not much bigger than a large raccoon but things are different now.

We can only hope that the furry friend laying under the bed doesn't try to roll over. I am sure am glad that he is family.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Ridge Association Visit...

This week we ran an interesting first time event that returned great rewards. Most of our teams represent single organizations however this week we hosted a team that brought five different churches together.

There focus included children's ministry outreaches, work with the Malnutrition Center and home construction. With the help of this team we have broken new ground in two new avenues of outreach. These include ongoing children's events in the greater community of Pastores as well as home construction working alongside the social services of Pastores. While the construction was anticpated to exceed the time available, this team completed the home in record time. And now a single mom has a roof over her head for herself and her children.

Other activities included tours of the Ruins Tecpan Ixmche and Volcano Pacaya with it's fresh lava.

Great job - Ridge Association!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Flood Waters...

In Antigua, there is primarily 2 seasons lasting roughly 6 months each. Moderate to comfortably warm temperatures with no rain. And moderate to cool temperatures with a lot of rain. One of the blessings in living on the south end of Antigua here in Panorama is that we are at the lower levels of the valley.
This means that in an extreme rain, we are the recipient of most of the local run-off. The image you see is jsut outside our compund gate. What you don't see is that the side the cars are traveling is 3 feet higher than the grass side. To exit the compound in one of these flash floods requires a bath in 4 feet of water. Quite the blessing.

Friday, September 26, 2008

The Council...

This week we had 3 1/2 days of site visit for the church council of Pathways Community Church. This is the IDC's sponsoring church. While there are really no photos to show for this venture, the group was exposed to almost everything that IDC has touched and is actively involved with.

As this team is very involved with our accountability as a church and mine as a Pastor, it was exciting to see them catching the fever for the ministry that IDC has in place here in Antigua.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Calvary Baptist Visit...

Week three for Calvary Baptist in this calender year. From this team of 8 only 3 were veterans. This team came and got busy with event including the Malnutrition Center, helping Brazos de Jesus, an outreach event in Pastores and quick jaunt up Volcano Pacaya.

Dick and Linda Chapman led this team and did a great job. The team took it and honored God in every way. Yea God!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

PCC Largo Visit...

This week was a week of veterans from Pathways Largo. There focus was working with Hermano Pedro Hospital and also Colonial Infantil - Malnutrition Center. In addition to taking care of the children, Samuel with the tourist police saw to it protect the Cafe from Melissa. (Ha, Ha).

This was a great week. With this teams help, we learned a great deal about the future work in the Malnutrition Center. Thank you again Pathways, Largo.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Las Bendiciones de Dios...

Coming up in October Antonio and I have been working with the Disetur (The Tourist Police). This past Thursday I recieved a phone call from the station chief, Oficial Castillo. He asked me to come by and pray for what I understood to be "new patrolmen".

Well, this is a fine example of my inadaquacies in Spanish. What he asked for was for me to pray for "new patrol cars". That in and of itself is only moderately signifigant. For me what he shared next gives evidence of that God is doing incredible things here in Antigua.

"Pastor Mike, it is important that you come and pray for these vehicles. These are a blessing that he has provided. We see the change in our lives over the past two years in this station. We don't want to take his blessings for granted." - Of course that it a loose translation, but you get the point.

In the past 6 months this station has been awarded 16 new motorcycles and 3 patrol cruisers.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Roadtrip Visit...

Nancy and I took a couple of weeks to get back home with much to do.

The first week was dodging hurricane Faye - the nonevent that she was. It was great to see family and friends. And as a first I was given the opportunity to preach for Pathways for the weekend services. As well we had opportunity to be with Calvary Baptist, Winterhaven and 727Warehouse, St. Petersburg.

One of our many goals was to get Amber moved back so that she can finish her college education. As a part of that process, she has moved in with my sister. Also, God provided the resource for her to have a brand new ride. She was very excited.

The second week we kind of disappeared. We were given several days on the beach. A time that we very much needed. All in all it was a great two weeks. Thanks to all that made the time possible.