Archive for the 'Personal' category

On the move to Tennessee

August 25, 2011 9:44 am

We landed back in the US about 3 weeks ago. Since then we have been working to get everything ready for the move to Tennessee. All our stuff has lived in Pensacola, Florida for the last decade while we traveled. To give our stuff an opportunity to travel too, we are going to load it up in a truck and haul it to Jefferson City, Tennessee.

Vehicle

We are thankful to have a vehicle, even if it is only temporary. I put about $400 worth of work into my parents’ extra car and we have already taken a trip in it. This car is not a good long-term option for us, but it is wonderful to have something we can use until we can get another vehicle. It is too small to carry all the things we need for extended trips with four people, but it gets pretty good gas mileage and the price is unbeatable.

Housing

We took a week-long trip to Tennessee to look at houses and try to get an idea of a time-table for the move. A friend in the church next to our mission board offered to let us rent his house (for a very good price) for an indefinite time.

The current plans are to make the move from FL to TN shortly after Labor Day. The cost of the move will be around $700. That is just truck rental and gas. We may have to buy pizza on both ends of the move to pay our loaders and unloaders. If you would like to help with the cost of the pizza or the gas you can use the PayPal Donate button to the side or send an offering to our mission board.

Upcoming Months

Because of the transition I have intentionally not scheduled meetings for a couple of months. However, we should start traveling again late in October or November. Please pray that we will have good meetings as we need to raise our support level up again. We look forward to updating current supporting churches. One of the new aspects of our ministry is that we will represent our board and other missionaries working with the Deaf. It will be fun to share with pastors and churches the work God is doing through the deaf ministry.

We appreciate your continued friendship and prayers for our ministry.

Another Goal Accomplished

May 22, 2011 11:38 am

We had a few goals in mind when we came to Argentina. Things that we felt we needed to accomplish to say that our time here was effective and that we completed what God had planned for us. Last night another one of those steps was fulfilled. Then later today we start into another phase of ministry to accomplish another goal.

There are several people in the church who are doing well with signs, but two have surpassed all the others in their desire to learn and burden for the ministry. They have taken the initiative to insert themselves into the deaf community and start learning from the Deaf as much as possible. However, neither one of them have interpreted when Deaf were present at church. Until last night.

This is a husband and wife couple. We knew the day before that there would be Deaf at our special missions conference service last night (Saturday night). I asked them early Saturday morning if they would be willing to interpret. Both eagerly agreed. However, they were very nervous about it by the time Saturday evening arrived. The husband came to me just before the service started and said that he enjoyed talking to the Deaf before the church service but his heart was pounding out of his chest at the thought of interpreting the music. He has only interpreted a couple of times previously, so this would have been a huge step for him. To keep him from having a heart attack I told him he did not have to interpret. The wife was in tears with nervousness just before the service started. I told her I would take over at any point she felt like she was not able to clearly communicate.

The service went well. She interpreted the whole thing. The two Deaf who were there understood her on a basic level. They come from a different educational background than the Deaf from our city, plus many of their signs are different. The interpreter tried to keep things on their level, but it was also a new experience for her. She was thankful for the opportunity. I don’t know that I could have communicated any better with them than she did.

Last night was a confirmation that we really aren’t needed anymore. Because of our goals here, that is a great feeling.

Tonight we start teaching sign language in a new church. We are excited about the possibilities in this church. We are also thrilled with their desire to see Deaf reached with the Gospel. We appreciate your prayers as this class will last several weeks. I pray that the students learn well and quickly.

Prayer Needs

March 7, 2011 10:48 am

Two recent events have brought to mind how helpless we are to humanly control all that happens. However, God, through prayer, can give grace and comfort.

Debbie
Last week a friend from high school lost her husband in a car accident. While I have not kept in close contact with Debbie through the years, I think of her fondly when I look back at the God-given opportunities for ministry. We started picking up Debbie on the church bus when I was probably 15 or 16 and she was about 12. She grew up in a family situation that is foreign to me. God graciously saved her and she has been a spiritual encouragement to me. Each time I have seen her through the last 20 years since high school, I am excited to see that she still loves the Lord and is eager to please him.

My heart is broken for her and her two children at the thought of losing her husband, also a committed Christian who served the Lord. I can’t imagine the pain and heartache she is experiencing. But, I pray that the Lord would give her grace and strength during this time and in the weeks, months and years to come as she continues to look to the Lord for help.

Dad
This weekend my dad was admitted to the hospital. Currently we still don’t know the extent of what is going on physically with him. While this certainly does not seem to be a life-threatening problem, it reminds me of how far away from home we are. It is not as easy as jumping in a car and driving 6 or 16 hours to be with him and Mom.

As I was praying this morning I thanked the Lord for His mercy. But I also thought about the many missionaries I know who have gone through tough emotional times because of illness or death and were not able to be close to family during that time. Let me encourage you to find out what is going on in the lives of the missionaries you support and pray for them as you would want to be prayed for when going through heartache.

Winding down DeafNation

July 25, 2010 1:27 am

Thursday afternoon was the official close of the DeafNation World Expo event. We don’t have all the numbers yet, but we did pass out multiple thousands of tracts and Gospel DVDs. The team has seen 11 people saved so far this week. We still have one more full day of ministry left. Even though the one event ended Thursday there are still other smaller events for the Deaf that continue into Monday.

Jose and DavidSunday night we plan to return to the event that kicked off the week for us and continue to distribute tracts and DVDs. Even though the Gospel DVDs are specifically for the Deaf, they are a tremendously clear representation of the Gospel for the hearing as well.

On the final day of DeafNation I prayed and asked the Lord to allow me to lead a deaf person to an understanding of salvation that day. I really wanted to meet someone from Mexico and share the Gospel with them. About mid-morning I was told that there was a deaf man from Mexico who stopped by one of our booths. No one was able to communicate clearly with him. We started a 2 hour hunt to find the man in the crowd. However, we didn’t have to find him, he found us. He wandered back over to our table and I was able to meet with him. He is from Guadalajara, Mexico but did not know Mexican signs well. He also did not seem to know American Sign Language either. However he seemed intelligent and was able to communicate his level of understanding the Gospel when I presented God’s Word through pictures. It was my privilege to introduce him to the Savior standing in the aisle of the Sands Convention Center.

I appreciate your continued prayers as I will be in Las Vegas a couple more days. There is also still a financial need associated with the trip. God provided through the graciousness of others to pay for my expenses while in Las Vegas, but I still need about $1000 to finish paying for the plane ticket.

The cost of the trip was worth being part of a team effort to reach the Deaf. The team leader has encouraged us to see that this trip does not end here. Of our 34 person team, we are eager to see some follow the Lord into full time missions to the Deaf as a result of being in Las Vegas for DeafNation World Expo.

Deaf Nation Las Vegas 2010

June 8, 2010 11:21 am

In July I will take part in an evangelistic effort in Las Vegas, NV called Deaf Nation World Expo. I will work with a team from Silent Word Ministries to distribute tracts and conduct one-on-one evangelism. An estimated 50,000 Deaf will be at the Expo.

To learn more about the Deaf Nation trip and ways you can help prayerfully or financially take a look at the special page I have set up for the event.

Settling in

April 20, 2010 9:06 pm

We have been in Argentina a little over a month. We found the house that we eventually rented on our 3rd day here. But it took us almost 4 weeks to take care of the paperwork and be able to move in. While we were frustrated by this, we hear that we were fortunate since it normally takes 2 to 3 months for a rental agreement to be signed.

We have met Deaf in various places. Just after trying to talk with a deaf man on a train, a deaf girl walked into our train car with her dad. I was not able to speak with them, but it was a reminder that even though we cannot communicate with the Deaf around us yet, they are still there. A few days later I met 2 deaf teens on a bus and was able to talk with them briefly. In all we have met about 15 Deaf and have friends in the church who can put us in contact with several others.

We have been learning some signs and are eager to put them to practice in teaching the Bible.

While we are working on getting started with the Deaf, we have been involved with a wonderful church in La Plata. I can’t say that I have agreed with every aspect of every church we have ever worked in, but I might be able to say that about this church. God is allowing us to carry out our ministry in a church that completely supports what we are trying to accomplish and I can fully support their program. The transition of working in a new country has been made easier because of the people we are privileged to work with.

Thank you for your prayers as we get settled in and get to work on the front lines.

Safe arrival in Argentina

March 21, 2010 2:17 pm

We arrived in Argentina on Wednesday morning of last week. We had a good trip with no surprises. All our bags arrived safely and at the same time we did. A wonderful answer to prayer.

Bro. Jeff Bush picked us up from the airport and took us to his house to rest and recover from the 10 hour overnight flight. Bro. Bush is the missionary we will be working with in one of the ministries we will start here. He graciously allowed me to preach and share my heart and goals with the church that night.

Thursday and Friday were spent looking at houses. Lord willing we will sign a rental agreement on a house on Monday morning. Because of the time of year and the dynamics of the town we are in there is quite a bit of competition for any available rental properties. We are praying to get one house in particular. However it is not a sure deal until papers are signed and money exchanged. Please pray that we will get the house the Lord has for us.

Saturday we met some Deaf in town and learned a few signs to get us started. The biggest thing we learned is that the sign language really is as different as we expected.

Thanks for your prayers through this first week. As busy as the week has been it has gone quite well. Praise the Lord.

Nigeria, Argentina, March 15

January 29, 2010 2:49 pm

This is a video update concerning my recent trip to Nigeria, our move to Argentina and fact that we will be leaving on March 15.

Through some recent generous offerings we have been blessed with more than $5500 that we need for the move. We still need $1500, but this is enough to be able to set a date for our departure. We will be boarding a plane for Argentina on March 15.

Update: January 25

January 25, 2010 12:49 pm

We have been focused the last few weeks on raising the money needed to make the move to Argentina. We estimate that it will cost us about $7,000. Because of some very generous gifts, we only lack $5,000 more. As soon as that amount is raised then we will be boarding a plane to make the move.

Will you consider a one time gift to help with the move?

To make a tax deductible donation you can send your gift through our mission board. If you have any questions you can give me a call or email me. All the contact information for our board or for us is at our contact page.

Home from Nigeria

December 17, 2009 7:43 pm

It is good to be home. Here is a summary of how the trip went. I will break down my trip based on the initial three prayer requests that I had for the trip.

First, I asked you to pray for safety. I never experienced any illness nor was I ever concerned about how unsafe any situation might have been. God protected in every step of the trip. It was busy, but never too busy to get the rest I needed.

Gathered outside the Deaf church after my last service in Nigeria.

Gathered outside the Deaf church after my last service in Nigeria.

Secondly I asked you to pray for wisdom in what to teach in the churches as well as to Pastor Wale (Wally). God gave direction there and, while I had prepared some items specifically for the trip, God gave me foresight to grab several sermons from my files before I left. I ended up using more of the material that I had not previously planned to use than what I had prepared.

The final thing I asked you to pray for was discernment in some decisions that needed to be made. God gave clear direction in a couple of specific areas. Basically we learned that we would not be able to work as closely with another group as I had hoped we could. The other group is doing a great job in education of the Deaf, but the churches they are aligned with are not theologically strong. While there may be a possible future relationship with them, we feel that is not appropriate at this time.

I was able to see 9 saved during the trip. Of the nine, three were Deaf and the rest hearing.

There are many stories that could be told about the trip and I may share some of those here. One of the biggest lessons I was able to take away from this trip is that though I was hesitant to take the position with the mission board that I currently hold (Director of Deaf Ministries), I see now that this is the type of ministry that I have always done and feel called to. My wife and I have been called to train and capacitate others in their efforts to reach the Deaf. While we are still focused on Latin America, God has shown me that our ministry is needed around the world. We just need to be willing to befriend those that God brings into our lives and pour ourselves into them in any way that we can so that they can more effectively reach the Deaf around them.

Thank you again for praying.