Monday, May 30, 2011

13 more...

At this last weeks SMdJ briefing with Pastor Gabriel and Mario, I was told that 13 more children have made professions of faith in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Yea God!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Out of the House...

When you have a church, so many people only see it as a place to come to and not for what the church really began as, and that is a movement, an assembly...  Ekklesia.  If we only wait for people to come to us, then we will seriously limit the number of people that we can share with the Good News of Jesus Christ.

This week Giovanne began what we hope to be regular events as an extension of IDC's reach.  He is doing assemblies with local schools, sharing his testimony, and the value of a drug free life.  This really is a God sized opportunity.  Yea God!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Moringa Update...

We are a about 1.5 months into our Moringa Initiative.  We were given a few seedlings and we have planted a few seeds of our own.  This is what we have to date.

Our seedlings our doing well and to date they are between 9"-12"...

The seedling placed in our first test site is now 21.5".  What makes this interesting is that the control seedling from the same group stayed here in Antigua.  Same age but different altitude.  This has only attained 15".  No great surprise, but the difference is by almost 7" of growth.

This is more fun than watching grass grow.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

PCCG29 Team Visit...

This week, the home church came to visit. Pathways Community Church continues to show their support for this ministry, not only in the context of financial resources but also, more importantly, in the areas of emotional and spiritual support. This team was joined by two other members from South Carolina for a total of 9 doing some incredible things.

They had a passion to be a part of the Initiative SMdJ. They did this and more - Bible Studies for women, outreach for children, assistance in the malnutrition center of in San Juan, painting, cleaning, sorting clothes...

This was a full service team. Good job!

Monday, May 16, 2011

1st Day of the Feeding Center...

The Kitchen

The Santa Maria de Jesus Initiative took a big step today.  Under the team of Mario Miño and Pastor Gabriel´s coordination, the outreach ministry of the feeding center began.  

Well organized volunteers from the church making it happen.  God is moving here.  

Yea God!

Mike blending with the kitchen team - Maria Victoria Mixtun Colin,
Maria Esperanza Ciriaco Simón, Hilda Marina Chavez, Olga Ciriaco Ortiz, Ferminia Ortiz
Kids from Santa Maria de Jesus
And it is all about telling the kids that Jesus loves them.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Pampay Roof Dedication

Today, I was blessed to share in the culmination of a dream of my friend, Rafael Araneda, who died with his wife back in 2009.  With the help of many people, a community center has been brought to a new level; including a new kitchen, recreation facility, medical clinic and now a meeting and training center built around what was once only a 2 room schoolhouse.  Today was the dedication with all pomp and circumstance and celebration.


The new directors for Brazos de Jesus invited me to speak for the dedication.  What a blessing it was to see the hand of God take effect.   Yea God!

If you're interested, these were my comments...

Today we come together to celebrate / dedicate, however you wish to describe it, this recent addition to this community center.  This is an incredible gift.  A gift that is the culmination of a dream set forth by my friend Rafael Araneda, who passed this dream onto others including Luis Rodena and the staff of Brazos de Jesus, that have completed the dream.  In fact, there are many that have had a part in this blessing that you do not know.  This is a gift of a vision that reached many people in North America that chose to give to this community.  Today we celebrate that this community has been blessed.  You have received a gift that by the grace of God will serve the community of Pampay for generations to come.

I speak in terms of generations because of a gift that I received.  Since the first day that Man was created by God, this gift began.  We can read throughout the Old Testament that with intention, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the noble men from the days of the patriarchs, it was there that God, the God of creation that made sure that this gift would continue.  Even when the very people that He chose to bless turned their backs on Him, He continued to beckon and encourage them - telling them that even though He would punish them for their disobedience, He still loved them because he said - I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

It was 2,000 years ago that this gift was manifested in the love demonstrated for all mankind - that includes you and I.  A man named Jesus, who was also the Son of God, came to this earth and suffered and died for the consequences of our sins.  After three days He proved His power and walked out of His grave.  And all who believe in the name of Jesus Christ can now plan to live for eternity with God.

Jesus told us, while he was here, that we would know who believed in Him, by the actions that were displayed.  Because our actions will always display our beliefs.  Today, we see the results of love demonstrated - love in action.  A beautiful kitchen, a roof over this community center and school, love and care for the community.  I encourage each of you, that when you come with you families, children and grandchildren, participating in the activities under this roof, remember this as a physical representation of God´s love for you.  Don´t worship the building but worship the one who gave this building to you.  Brazos de Jesus is only the distributor.  God has blessed you this day with this new community center.  

Tell your children and their children, so that future generations will know that God loves them.  That they may pass this blessing forward.  He sent His son to die for them, that all who call on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ will be with God for eternity.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

My Week...

I am often asked, Mike what do you do during your week?  This last week was one of the busier than most recently.  But the week in ministry is good.

     - Church attendance of 309 people
     - IDC Church Council Meeting
     - Ate dinner with the team.

     - Ministry counseling and teaching prep.
     - Ate dinner with the team.

     - Staff Meetings
     - Ministry counseling and teaching prep.
     - EFL Classes, we are a few teachers short and I am filling in.

     - Pampay Roof Dedication - I was one of the presenters
     - Startup of the SMdJ Feeding Center

     - PNC Motivational Breakfast
     - teaching prep
     - Variety of Church Ministry activities

     - Tour Guide Mike w/ the PCC Team
     - Installation of the new security system
     - Clutch blew out on the church's van while in Tecpan 
       with the team this week.
     - Ate dinner with the team.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Things of Moringa...

Still Growing...  Actually about 1/4 of the seeds planted have not germinated, 75% of them have and we have more seeds to plant.  The test is underway.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

That time of year...

Semana Santa is a time of year that creates many emotions both good and bad.  Several years back I posted a perspective for this time of year.  These are the links if you have interest.

Now that theIDC is on the east side of town, in the shadow of a prominent Catholic church, this has created an interesting dynamic.  During the week of Semana Santa, our Wednesday, Lord's Supperservices are put on hold for the benefit of "the processions". This of course is not by choice as much as the laws of physics and occupied space.

Patience Required!

Monday, May 2, 2011

1 Year Old...

This is cool.  This week we celebrated the one year anniversary of the Joven Ministry.  It is growing.  They now have the challenge that if they continue to grow and consistently fill the space, we'll find a bigger space.  It seems to be that if each individual worked to help disciple one more person (1:1) in the next six months, that challenge may very well be a reality.


One year later:

It makes me wonder - What if adults who profess to be disciples of Jesus Christ were to take the same challenge...  could the atrophy of the modern day believer and church be reversed?

Sunday, May 1, 2011

SMdJ Preparation...

This coming week we see the beginning of a new Children's Food Center in Santa Maria de Jesus, under the supervision of Pastor Gabriel and Mario Miño.  An important feature for the success of this outreach ministry is a kitchen. At the heart of the kitchen is a new stove.  So this week, Gabriel, Mario and some others, connected with the project, went to buy a new kitchen stove.

The Onil Stove - While this stove design has been around for a while and has been used by many of our ministry partners, this is the first time we have incorporated it into one of our purposes.

How cool is it that the designers of this creative technology have unknowingly had a part in this new outreach.