Friday, November 6, 2015

We Can still be Light when there are No Easy Answers

These pictures show why our main road out is closed.  Basically, because of tropical rains, and poor drainage and sewage from an overpopulated area, the side of the mountain is caving in.

An attempt a couple of years ago, to stop the damage was too little too late.   The concrete they poured down the side of the mountain still stands but underneath is a cavern, whose size is unknown.   And this is the underside of our road.

Not to mention that there are two neighborhoods right at the top of this falling wall of dirt that are in imminent danger.  The people are hearing large rumblings in the night and debris continues to fall.

The next picture is our back way out, which is also damaged by rain and erosion.  This pic was taken this afternoon.

Traffic in San Cristobal has become a living nightmare, as all the traffic from our area is diverted the back way out.   The word is Spanish is most adequate..."insoportable"...which means "beyond all bearing" or "intolerable".   It has affected this whole area.


I went to a meeting this afternoon with leaders in the community and with the disaster relief agency and representative from the Municipality.   It was intense.

Each department shared their perspective, reviewed what fell under their line of responsibility and declared they were working together to find a solution.   Then they opened the mic up for questions and comments.  The atmosphere was so infused with fear, anger and confusion.  I will save you the details but the situation is immensely complicated.  I thought they were going to physically attack the municipality rep.   My heart was grieved by the whole scenario.

I went forward once the meeting was over to purposefully speak a word of life over them.  I simply told one of them, that I would be praying for them, for wisdom from God.   I could tangibly feel this man exhale in relief, simply because I was not another person yelling at them.   It really was like a breath of life was released in the room.

Our words count.  Our responses count.  We can be life and light in the darkness.  

Do I like what we are going through as a community?  NO   But I recognize there are no easy answers and it would behoove us all to support and pray for those in positions of authority.  I have never seen that more clearer than today.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Childhood is a Different Reality Here

Here a few of our kids, picked up an odd job between their music classes helping the neighbors haul dirt and rock.   I would hope they paid them well but probably not much.  I did see them chowing down on some fruit in front of Casaverde later so they might have given them fruit for their labor or they bought it with their earnings.

I am not sure who the munchkin in the PJs is but he was helping to sweep up.

Friday, October 9, 2015

What Can a Day Bring?

Today, I woke up like a normal Friday, my only real "day off" in the week.   Everything in my world is calm and normal.   Yes, there are the little irritations of life, like a stubbed toe that kept me from wearing shoes for the past three days, and traffic issues, there are always traffic issues!   Oh and my precious puppy that likes to eat my furniture..... and on and on..... but overall, my life is really calm and peaceful.

Today my thoughts cannot help but go to the families on the other side of the city, whose whole world literally turned upside down one week ago.   These people lived at the base of a ravine. Why they would ever agree to move there I will never know.  If I understand correctly, they were squatters who had been relocated there because someone wanted the land they were previously on.

There were warnings that the area was unsafe. (In reality, no ravine in Central America during the heavy rainy season would be a safe place to be. Especially if you lived in poorly built houses with tin roofs.)  But some of these people did not even know they were at risk.  

Last Thursday night everything changed, when the mountain gave way and this community was suddenly covered with over 60 meters of dirt and mud.  The most recent count is that 215 bodies have been recovered and there are still hundreds missing.  And several hundred in shelters.  Some will never be found.  The grief and shock of the people has got to be overwhelming.

The picture above shows where the slide took place and the green area with a red circle is the area of elevated risk for another slide.

They really did  not know what was coming, even though they may have been warned, and they may have seen the "warning signs".  Still they expected to go home that night, and sleep, and get ready for a regular Friday workday.  But that day never arrived.

We really have no idea what is coming our way.  It could be you go to the University and some crazy gunman shows up.  Or the earth starts to shake in an unexpected place.  It could be a flood, or a drought, or a storm.....

Our world is in chaos.  Things are heating up in the Middle East.  Russia is aligning with Syria.  Our own government is making unbelievable agreements with madmen.  We are making certain headway toward the time that is called "The Great Tribulation".

The warning signs are everywhere if you are awake and alert to see them.   Denial does not make them go away.  Even the earth is reeling from the increased darkness and sin. We need to be ready for whatever the day brings!

I am not trying to instill fear in you.  Quite the opposite.

Jesus said,

 "These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

But Jesus wants to be our peace!  He wants to calm our souls.  He wants us to know that He has overcome the world.

In the End, if you walk with Jesus, YOU WIN!   There might be some testing and trial on the journey between now and that day.  But even, in that, He has promised us grace and help in our time of need. He has promised to never leave or forsake us!    These are the promises to those who believe and trust in Him.

This kind of peace is not offered to the rebellious or the unbelieving.  What is offered to them is the opportunity to repent in order to inherit the promises and eternal life. But even that opportunity has a time limit.  Don't wait...until.

And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you.For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.
“Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. 10 And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. 11 Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. 12 And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. 13 But he who endures to the end shall be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come. Matthew 24:4-14

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

In July, we had our mid-year concert, in a building still under construction, so please excuse the mess all around.   Here are a few highlights....
Bringing together the band and the singers

Awaiting in expectation their turn to shine!

Student teachers leading us in worship

Our Princes singing about the Greatness of God

Our Princesses singing about the Love of God

Focused on One Thing - True Worship

Beginning Guitar Class

Dancers in season and out

Giving it their all - Dancing for the King

Our little drummer boy actually playing for the boys choir

And here are our young piano players accompanying the choir as well.

As I look back over these snapshots in time, and consider the hearts of those God has given me to minister to,  I am so thankful for the privilege to be a part of this.  I am thankful for all those who have sowed to make this Academy possible.  
The Academy really is a light shining the glory of God into the city of Peronia.

Monday, October 5, 2015

First Fruits to the Nations

When I first returned to Guatemala in 2008, one part of the vision that the Lord gave me was that He desired to raise up an army of believers from Latin America to go into Europe, the Middle East, and Asia in order to carry the gospel.

In 2009, I connected with a young couple, who became our first music teachers at the Worship Academy.  These two are extremely talented and anointed.  They were only with us a year but impacted a lot of young people.   They left us to follow their passion and calling and in the past few years have been ministering all over the place....The U.S., Europe, Israel,....   Here is a link to their most recent adventure.  In this video they are in Germany, ministering with Germans and Syrian refugees.   They head out soon to Turkey.   Please pray for them as they travel raising up worshippers of God!

Abner and Wendy in Germany

Sunday, October 4, 2015



Sunday October 18 – 10:00 am at Mercy Gate (DHOP)                                                                                               103 W. Main St. Carmi, IL

Sunday October 18 – 1:oo pm at Jacob’s Well                                                                                                                  5 Southgate Dr. Mount Carmel, Il

Tuesday October 20 –Appreciation Gathering for supporters and friends of                                                  the ministry 7:00 pm  - Location TBA  (RSVP required)

Friday October 23 –  7:00 pm at Crawford County Christian Center (CCHOP)                                               208 E. Walnut St.  Robinson, IL

Sunday October 25 - 1:00 pm at Jacob’s Well                                                                                                                      5 Southgate Dr. Mount Carmel, IL 

Sunday October 25 – 6:00 pm at the Church of the Nazarene                                                                                  218 W. 7th St Mount Carmel, Il

Do you not say, ‘There are still four months and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest! John 4:35