Monday, May 26, 2008

A new milestone

Writen in the evening on Friday, May 23, 2008

Nervous. It’s that “butterfly in your stomach” feeling that you get when you are not completely sure about something. Nerves. It’s the only thing that you can think about even when you have a million things on your “to do” list. The meeting is Friday night and I am NERVOUS. I know that with God all things are possible, but I still was extremely nervous- and getting more so as the time drew near. This is how I have been for the past few days- ever since I found out that at tonight's meeting for the mission team, I needed to present my part of the information completely in Spanish without a translator.

This is a new thing for me. In the past, I have always presented material in group meetings in English and someone translate for me. Well, no more. I was told that I am officially no longer getting a translator. I will get assistance when I get “stuck” on a word or phrase, but I am to speak in Spanish.

My Spanish has improved quite a bit while living here in Maracaibo. I can have full conversations with people (one on one or in small groups- really small groups). However, presenting material in a training meeting format is completely different. I have only given presentations in Spanish a few times in the past- and never here in Venezuela. These past times were in Spanish Language school, where we had to talk to our class in Spanish about a particular subject for 10 minutes, and once at a Hispanic church in North Carolina where I presented part of my testimony (also a 10 minute presentation). During these times, what I was going to say was written down WORD FOR WORD and either memorized or read during the presentation. This meeting marks the first time I have ever presented in Spanish in a presentation/ conversational style format without writing down everything I was going to say or memorizing it word for word.

Milestones like this are really important to me. Sometimes, while doing the work I am doing, I fail to take notice of the small accomplishments that I am achieving as part of the growing and learning process while living in a foreign country. It is important to recognize these accomplishments.

I know that God has given me the Spanish language skills that I have. Therefore, it is only proper that He receive the credit for tonight. While I know I made mistakes in my Spanish, the team was able to understand me and the information that was presented. Thank you Lord for giving me the words to speak in Spanish. Gracias Señor. A Tu Nombre sea la Gloria!!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

The other side of the age spectrum

Part of my ministry here, besides working with the children, is working with the Evangelism ministry. Today I took part in an evangelism outreach activity that was a little different than what I have been doing.

The Men's ministry, the Women's ministry, and the Golden Age ministry teamed up to do an activity at the nursing home/ senior citizens center. There was a band that played typical music from Venezuela for this generation (music from the 40s and 50s) and they performed a drama skit that presented a gospel message. Afterwards, the team went to individual people and shared the gospel.

The people in the nursing home, including the nuns who run it, were very happy to have us come. I did not see the "results" of our visit, but that is ok. God knows the results and thats all that matters.

Prayer Vigil

Last night, the church held a prayer vigil and invited the congregation to attend. This vigil (which seemed more like their Wednesday night prayer services) was held from 8pm til midnight and the pastors asked that the team for Misión Ohio (the mission trip) come to receive prayer from the congregation.

Between worship songs, prayer was offered up for the men of the church, the women of the church, the pastors, the elders, the ministry leaders, the youth, the schools in the city, the country as a whole, and the govenment. Our mission team was last on the agenda (at around 11:30pm).

While some people had already left, there were still quite a few people there. Our team was brought up to the front of the church and presented to the church as the mission team. This is the first time the members of the team were presented to the church. Prayer was offered up for our team, for the visa applications, and for the church in Hudson.

Prayer is the most valuable gift anyone can give us. Our team needs a lot of prayer as we continue with the visa application and begin support raising. I also ask that you continue to pray for the people in Ohio with whom we will minister in August. I know God has great plans for this team and I am excited to see all that He is going to do through us.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

A special day

Today, the entire church service was dedicated to a certain population of people... MOTHERS. That's right, today is Mother's Day. There were special performances by the children and youth in celebration of mothers, including the children's choir and drama performances. There were also special songs sung by members of the worship team. Every mother in the church was also given a rose to honor them.

This service was a little hard for me since my mom is not here. While everyone is giving their Mom a rose and hugging their Mom, I just watched.

I did call my mom today and talked to her. I do miss her along with the rest of my family, but I know that God will bless us for the sacrifice we are making to serve Him.

I love you Mom. Happy Mother's Day!!

Thursday, May 8, 2008


Hebrews 3:13- "But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness."

I have talked with several friends this week who have needed some encouragement. Some just needed to talk and to be listened to. Others needed a little advice. They all needed prayer.

We all need a little encouragement every now and then. So, take some time out to make sure you encourage someone today. Make that phone call or write that email (or even snail mail!!). Go visit a friend. Bake cookies for someone. Do something extra special for someone, even if they don't ask for it. They may really need it and it may really make a difference in their life today.