Thursday, December 31, 2009

BackPacks and School Supplies...

This morning we began what will be a backpack and school supply distribution for the City of Pastores. With the help of Florida Baptist Children's Home the goods are on the way. FBCH President, Jerry Haag, with Pastor Mike Lewis from 1st Baptist Plant City came to kick start the gifts.


More supplies will be shipping from Miami in the next several weeks. If you would like to participate there is still time.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Possibilities...

There has been a gentleman attending IDC that has a vision for people hearing the word of God in his community. He lives in a remote area of Ciudad Vieja, just outside of Antigua, and has invited his neighborhood to his home and the leadership of IDC to bring the word as well.

So we begin. I don't know where this will go but God is up to something.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

More Renovations...

Two points of interest...

Attic fun - Steve and I were in a "vewy scarwy pwace". Christmas Eve morning was spent in removing pounds of old electrical cable either not connected to anything or badly spliced and running new lines that needed to be replaced.

The new cafe kitchen is in process. Luis is getting the new sink cabinetry started. Yea God!

Christmas Eve...

Christmas Eve at the IDC. This year was really cool. To see the growth that God has brought in the last two years is incredible. About two years ago, I approached a guy who was still dealing with issues in his marriage, he had been clean for several years from cocaine and steroids - but God laid it on my heart to invite him to be part of IDC in leading the Celebrate Recovery Ministry.

Now two years later he not only is sharing with a crowd of about 100 adults plus children his story, but members of his leadership team for the ministry are sharing as well. The short synopsis was this - "What a difference in our lives because of Jesus Christ."

The event included worship, sharing of the Christmas Story, testimonies, celebration of the Lord's supper, candle light and Pónche. This is a typical Guatemalan hot fruit drink for the holidays - best served fresh. If you wait a day or two this stuff will put some hair on your chest.

It was a wonderful night celebrating God's gift the birth of His son Jesus the Christ.

Monday, December 21, 2009

La Boda de David y Julieta...

Saturday, Antonio and I had the privilege to marry a young couple that have been attending IDC. The wedding was in the Guatemala City in zone 21. That means this is a location that you couldn't get to from here...

David and Julieta also included a member of our worship team to provide music - Alex Contrera. It was a good night.


Monday, December 14, 2009

2nd Sunday...


So we made it to week two. Great day - we had electricity - literally.

Other elements to drive the synergy were children and for us a new prayer space to talk with God. The first for us in the history of this church. Yea God!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Bill Tour...

This last week Bill (my boss) came for a site visit of a different kind. We have some folks very interested in creating jobs in Guatemala. Among things on the list is baseball gloves. It just so happens that Pastores, one of the communities in which we work, is considered the boot capitol of Central America. That means leather - hence the gloves.

We have a counsel member who is a boot maker as well - and that was where we started. A model was sent down in advance and when Bill, Phil, and Gio arrived we picked up the Mayor of Pastores and began to brainstorm. The hopes for the project is to manufacture viable leather baseball products with proceeds returning to ministry in Guatemala.

When we met privately with Mayor Lopez, Bill took the opportunity to present some "happys" to him and his family. As seen here this included a beautiful Florida Gators Jacket. Woof! Go Gators!

Monday, December 7, 2009

1st Days in the Diggs...

This is a fun photo fact - it is intriguing to me and it make's me ask - "What is God up to? This is the second first Sunday photo of a new building that I have posted this year. The first is above...

Yesterday was the first Sunday in the new diggs! God is so good. This photo was 1 hour before services...

Even with all of the things that didn't happen correctly - which included the previous tenants removing all of the light fixtures and damaging power connections in the sanctuary - the new signage showing up late - little things like that...

... communion was wonderful, the praise was unplugged...

... we still had 150 in attendance. This is lower for the average for the year, but 40% larger than the same week a year ago... Yea God!

Monday, November 23, 2009

We got some help...

This past weekend we got some wonderful help in the renovations for the new diggs. April Clark, our worship leader, had a visit from her home church - Valley Fellowship, Hunstville, AL. Their focus was to serve Casa Angelina, a local orphanage, but as their week rolled over a weekend they had some time on their hands. We don't have many photos of the day. But be that as it may, they came and made it happen. This team of 12 put a major dent in the renovation's "gotta get it done first" list - ranging from ceiling work, cutting shrubs, cleaning the gutters in the kids area and pulling even more staples. These guys rock - Yea God!

Friday, November 20, 2009

My Wifes Hair...

This is a photo of my wife's long hair. One year in letting grow - partially on her part as a challenge to keep me from cutting my hair. Just for the record, I love my wife's long hair.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Renovations cont. ....

This week has been full of pulling more staples from the children's area, replacing sinks, and patching what had fallen from the old adobe walls.


Sunday, November 15, 2009

The New Diggs...

Today we took official occupancy for this section of the new building. This was formally a day care center - "Sesame Mundu". Of course all copyrights have been cleared...
Our children's director Maria Dolores' first comment in the what do you think factor was this - "We will need more volunteers to accomodate all of the children we have space for." Now that's what I call visionary.

There are several challenges for this section including a bad cistern, roofs falling, oil painted murals and the 7 years of staples on all of the walls and ceilings, just to name a few.




Friday, November 6, 2009

Moving out...

This week began the official start of the move to the new diggs. This of course requires the dismantling of the offices, cafe and classrooms. This next month should be very interesting as we live in two homes. The offices will move end of this week. With the cafe closing until the new year on the 14th. The final day of services will be the last Sunday of November - with a moving party to follow.

Monday, November 2, 2009

We have an answer...

God's timing is the standard. Continuing from the last blog, He answered part one of whether to stay in 0ur building or not. This week He has shown us part two - where to go. Beginning January we start our new lease for a building with two and a half time more space our existing building. Yea God. There will be a substantial amount of work to do to get ready and bring it up to speed, but God provided the building right? In time, all else will make sense.

Please pray for the next weeks as we transition out of the old and into the new.


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

La Boda...

This was a great day. I always knew that this garden would be great location to see a wedding. Abner and Katie made it happen. We look forward to their return in the new year as they are planning to work with IDC.

Now that we are moving...


Sunday, October 25, 2009

The past couple of weeks...

We have had several days of just working against the clock to finish the honey-do list. But there have been several developments for the future of the church.

Since March, there has been an ongoing question of the future of our church location. God has blessed us this past year - new building, growth in ministries, average Sunday attendance to date is 169 each week - with an average of 254 people involved in all of the ministries of the IDC. Be that as it may, apparently the individual that was our landlord had not been paying the rent to the homeowner. Yes that was a problem. We have been working to resolve our occupancy in the house. This past week, we received a direct answer from God for whether or not we will be staying in our present location. No - is the short version.

We are looking for God's direction for where He will move us to. Pray for that.


Thursday, October 15, 2009

San Francisco...

His name is Pedro. He is known by Hermano Pedro. In the 1600 he came to Antigua and began many good social and religious reforms. Because of these he is held in high esteem 'round these parts. He is buried in the Cathedral San Francisco as he was a Franchescan Priest.

I had the opportunity this last week along with Calvary of Winter Haven to tour the ruins of San Francisco - one of the few cathedrals once ruined and rebuilt this last century. For more details go to this link.

www.antiguaguatemala.info/portal/content/view/23/40/

Enjoy

Team Visit - Ridge...

Once again, a team from the Southern Baptist Ridge Association in Florida came to visit. And what a week it was. The plan was for Children's Outreaches, time in the Malnutrition Center, and building a home for a family in Pastores. All of this was so nice that they did it twice - including a second house.

In addition, they experienced what looked like a space ship over the volcanoes. I believe this was a natural phenomenon, but it still looks cool.

Of other noteworthy activities for the week, this team did a remodel in the Disetur Police station chapel.
They have completed work that began 2 years ago with the help of Valley Grove Baptist and Roberts United Methodist. All of this with a team representing 7 different churches. Thank you team. Yea God!



Saturday, October 10, 2009

A Fun Place to Visit...

Of the many requests I receive from the teams that come to visit, this week was very unique. One of the team members from Florida has an affinity for Harleys. She was looking for a Harley Davidson t-shirt from GUA. As we discovered there is just such a store.

Wanting to provide as much as possible for the teams experiences... It was hard, but I forged a visit. Nancy was with me, we found the shirts, and a pretty sweet ride. For those that may be interested, it is a 2008 - Street Bike with only 400 miles and significant customization, that fits me well - for only $16,500. Very fun, if only vicarious.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Dog Wash...


I have always been fascinated with big dogs. They are always so intimidating. But not so much when they are wet..... Koko wasn't happy. This is just after he was busted for digging in the garden.

Of course now that his hair is all clean, he is shedding like snow.

Friday, October 2, 2009

A House Warming...

There are many factors of our lives that we take for granted. Last August I posted a blog of the Family Villalobo. Two months later it came to IDC's attention that while they had received a new house to live in, this family of 5 was still sleeping on the floor. After reviewing the need it was determined that we had at least 4 beds to help the cause.

When we arrived, you'd think it was Christmas early for the year, we were received with open arms. We entered the home and prepared the assembly of the beds. This is when I saw all of the families possessions piled into the corner of the home. The moisture in this part of Pastores was high because the rainy season. As they moved their clothes to make ready the space, the aroma of moistness grew to an almost overwhelming state. As each layer was removed more evidence of the families situation became evident with the increased bug content. As I am not a biologists, I only know this particular bug as a "Roly Poly" - hundreds of them.

I hear and read in the news of how desperate the world economy is. I also have several friends describing how hard they have it and how difficult things are becoming in this economy. As we encounter life style situations as this, there is always the debate of why don't they work and earn some money, why don't they just find better living conditions. Regardless of which side of this debate we take, we need only to continue to love and demonstrate, teach and hope.

As a good friend once told me "familiarity rules our lives". Many of our perspectives are relative to where we are in life. This was a moment in time to recognize the blessings that God provides all of us. For this family they are ecstatic to not sleep on the floor regardless of the fact that their house in many parts of the world would be housing tools and lawn mowers. Possibly it is best for us to evaluate just what we consider as familiar and celebrate what we have - at whatever level that may be.