December 29, 2008

Too much rain.

It has been raining here daily for 12 hours or more a day. The roads are falling apart from so many potholes. I haven't been able to go to the small town in a month due to rain. Even missed visits in the high city this past weekend.

I did get to tell the story of the birth of Jesus several times, both at church and among friends and family. This is always fun.

Merry Christmas
Happy New Year

December 15, 2008

The Old Testament in 4 hours

A few weeks ago, I found a youtube video of Walk Thru the Bible's Old Testament Seminar. I've never participated in WTtB, but I was able to see the basic wordlist and handsigns that give a summary of the Old Testament. Sunday morning, we decided to do our own version of the Walk Thru the Bible old testament seminar.

I led the memorization of the words and hand signs and Pastor Ubiratan painted the Bible lands map on the ground as the stories unfolded. I told story after story and helped everyone remember key names events and places.

It was a lot of fun and was an amazing way to sew the stories together to give a big picture of the old testament. Next Sunday I will tell the story of the birth of Jesus.

Edit: Here are the URLs as were requested

December 10, 2008

In deeper than I expected.

Several weeks ago, I was asked to help with some Saturday visits to needy families. I didn't expect to be helping for more than a few weeks, so I did not plan a chronological approach. I just began telling stories as they fit into the conversation and needs of each home I visited. You have read about the family with the drug problems. The woman, at the last minute, did not go into rehab. She panicked and left. We are waiting to hear from her again.

While all of this had been taking place, I didn't notice how God has been placing our church in the middle of a great spiritual battle. When I went to the crack house, to help retrieve some of the belongings of the woman who would go into rehab, some were unsure of me. Someone called out "No, he's okay; he's a pastor, he's a good man." I went in and came out.

Saturday, I was telling stories near the river and a man came to listen. He hid his face every time I asked him about his relationship with God. He asked me to tell more stories. I sat for an hour telling stories of Jesus. He cried and asked me to tell more. No decision, though. The next day I saw him coming out of the crack house, high.

Yesterday, I was meeting with two pastors planning an old testament presentation I will make on Sunday (kind of like a walk thru the bible seminar), where I will tell stories and help people to remember the key events, people and places of the Old Testament. While we were meeting, a man came up to us and asked us to go meet his adult son, who is addicted to crack.... same house.

We have now had 4 or 5 separate contacts with people who are chemically dependent and are going to that one place for their fix. God has put this upon us, so pray us through this and pray for Christ's victory in their lives.

December 5, 2008

"I am a child of God, I believe"

Earlier this week, we invited one of the young men that works in Loaise's company to have dinner with us. He received a job offer to work in the African country of Angola. He left this morning. He had been listening each week as I told stories from the scripture, starting with creation.

When he arrived, I was finishing up the Gumbo I'd prepared. As we ate, I asked if I could tell him more of what the Bible says about Jesus. He agreed. I told stories about Jesus for over an hour, starting with his birth and ending with his resurrection and ascension. I then reminded him of the question Jesus asked Martha before he raised Lazarus from death.

"I am the resurrection and the life, he who believes in me, even if he dies, will live. . . Do you belive this?"

His answer was similar to Martha's. "I believe. I believe that Jesus IS the promised one that God had to send to the world. I believe he is the Savior."

Before he left on his trip, he left a note for Loaise. "I am a child of God, and I will be forever. Thank you."

December 1, 2008

Who will deliver me from this body of death?

He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins. -Colossians 1:13-14

Our church was singing 'God of the impossible,' when she walked into the back of the church. She didn't even lift her head, but I saw her. So did the others who had visited her before. We walked to the back together and her tears began to pour. "I need help. I can't keep doing this. I can't."

As the music continued, the pastor made some phone calls and found a rehab clinic that would accept her. Three of us led her to the upper room to pray. While we were doing this, the entire church prayed for her. Bruna held both of her hands and looked her in the eyes and said. "You have a choice to make. We arranged a clinic for you, but you can only go tomorrow, and only on the condition that you go home to your family tonight and not back to the crack house."

"Oh, I need that. I want that, but I can't." She cried again "When I go home, he's going to beat me. He always does. How can I face my family."

I told her the story of the prodigal son and true repentance. I asked her to make things right with God first, then make things right with her family, then to go into rehab and restore her body and mind. As I led her through a prayer she began to pray and cry and confess her sins like I've never heard anyone confess to God. "OH GOD have mercy, oh have mercy on me. I am such a sinner. I sinned against my family and my children. I've been a prostitute. I am a thief. I am addicted to drugs. I am a liar. Oh God, Oh GOD. I need your mercy. I killed Jesus with my sins. I am so sorry. FORGIVE ME, OH GOD, forgive me."

As I counseled her through the decision to ask for the forgiveness of her family, she wanted to know what to do if they wouldn't forgive her. I read a passage from Joshua to her and told her to be courageous and to do what is right, and that God would be with her. She agreed. With fear and trembling she walked down the stairs. As we arrived at the door of the church, we saw her family. They had just arrived. All of them standing there smiling and with open arms and with tears.