It could happen to anybody

This week I was scrolling down Facebook News Feed and came across an announcement for a town’s restaurant’s daily menu and their phone number for more inquiry or reservations. Since I had gone there to eat before and like their cuisine; I started looking for my cellphone right away to save the number, but the cellphone was not to be found anywhere. It has happened to me so many times that occasionally I have to call myself from the landline telephone to find it. “I just had it with me here! How come it’s gone from sight?!” When suddenly I realized I was checking Facebook in my cellphone. What I was frantically seeking, I had it with me all the time in my hands.

I guess it could happen to anybody in different areas. Searching and searching without finding, pursuing without obtaining and chasing without seizing. We can be so distracted that we overlook the obvious. Sometimes what we look for, it’s right before our eyes.

 

Published in: on March 30, 2017 at 6:31 am  Comments (1)  
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A link in the Chain

A few weeks ago I heard the sad news of the passing of the son of a missionary couple very dear to me. When I finished reading their letter my mind went back over 20 years ago when I had briefly met David. I was in Chicago with this family and I was heading down to Bolivia. I don’t remember why, but my flight out of The Windy City was at a very early hour of the morning and David drove me to O’Hare Airport. We had to wake up around 5 a.m. and the ride must had been no more than an hour. He dropped me off and that was it; I never saw him or knew of his whereabouts ever again. It never occurred to me to ask about him; I was his family’s friend, but not his.

It was upon knowing about his death that I realized that among the numerous people God had used to direct and bring me to Bolivia, David was on the list. In a simple, casual, quiet and apparently insignificant deed; he was a link in the chain.

This incident taught me a lesson: to help people that come my way; folks I had never met before and will never see again, much less receive a “thank you” note.  The unknown, the uninvited, the outsider, the unfamiliar and the perfect stranger might need a hand…my hand. Surely in a small, but big way I can be a blessing to someone today.

 “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’

Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’

And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’          Matthew 25:35-40

 

Published in: on March 23, 2017 at 5:06 am  Leave a Comment  
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61 School Anniversary

There were three special events during the week of the school 61 anniversary:

  • March 6: A special Chapel time of Thanksgiving for all students, teachers, parents, alumni, some local authorities and the local press. All grades shared a cake in their classrooms.
  • March 7: A Marathon in four categories. Any student who participated had to invite an adult to run with. It was a fun time, but also an opportunity to inculcate perseverance and good attitude in the race.
  • March 10: The traditional and classic Bolivian program with poems (some written by our students) dedicated to the school, folklore dances, instrumental and singing ensembles.

I spoke during Chapel and told the audience about two events ( of the many which could be told) where God’s hand has been clearly seen in the school history. The first one I heard from Mr. Train and not many knew why the school anniversary is in March and all classes in the southern hemisphere always start in February. It was December of 1955 the Lord had provided the property and in less than two months classrooms had to be built.  There have been very few times when the government postponed the opening of the school year until March and 1956 was one of them. The Lord gave Mr. Train more time to complete the construction he himself was working on. That adobe classroom and wooden beans are still there after 61 years.

The other memoir I shared and many students had not even been born yet, but I was already living in Camiri. It happened back in the late 90s when many people had pointed out the School’s poor-looking classrooms with  their leaky roofs and out-of-date decor. There was a military TNT storage a few miles away from town. The cause is unknown, but in the middle of the night, it exploded. The blast awakened all and some were afraid the raptured had taken place. Glass windows were shattered and houses as well as buildings got wall cracks, except the OLD Christian School!

All what it’s remained to say is: TO GOD BE THE GLORY FOR GREAT THINGS HE HAS DONE!

 

Published in: on March 16, 2017 at 7:25 am  Leave a Comment  
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Carnival Retreat

Carnival is a feast very close related to Catholicism. It always happens 40 days before Easter (Lent). It is supposed to be a festive occasion with lots of laughter, good humor, happiness, all-day-party and parades in funny customs and masquerades. The truth is that the word “Carnival” means “farewell to the flesh” and generally it is a time for excessive and unrestrained of one own’s appetites and desires.

camp logo 2017It is during these days that our church has its Annual Carnival Retreat. I strongly feel a burden to organize and make this camp to happen because it is an opportunity for lots of youth to get away from town where all this ruckus is going on.

For many years we had the youth come the first two days and the adults/children would join us for the last two days. This created a sentiment of “invasion” on the youth and an “out-of-place” feeling on the rest. So, this year we decided to start all together and be prepared with activities for all ages; ultimately “If it scares you, it might be a good thing to try it” (Seth Godin).CARNIVAL RETREAT

In our evaluation meeting we identified some of our high and lows points, but were happy and very thankful to the Lord for every one that came and heard the message from the Word of God about JESUS, THE ONLY HOPE.

Published in: on March 9, 2017 at 5:31 am  Leave a Comment  
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CANADAteam part (2/2)

Before, during and after the Team’s one-week visit, many people asked me how this all happened! 19 members from far away countries that come to give generously, work hard and share their lives trying to speak their language, eating their food and helping in the needs of a school in a NFT (Not For Tourists) town in Bolivia is/was unheard of.

To answer their question my memory went back to the decade of the 90s at Emmaus Bible College where I had met Bob Agnew, the team leader, but had not seen him since then. In 2008 I went to a conference where many alumni were there. One night, as part of the program there was a “Dessert and Fellowship time” in the Dinning Hall. Events with many people are emotionally exhausting at least for me, I don’t want to speak for all introverts. I decided that I had had enough “social time” and went upstairs to my room and took a good book to read. For many years I have made the effort NOT to act on what comes first and innate to my personality which is to avoid a crowd. I reasoned that it was not the time to keep to my own self since it was a special occasion and decided to go downstairs to socialize for a while. My re-encounter with Bob happened at that moment and as it is natural, the conversation turned to what we had been doing all these years. I mentioned my missionary work and he told me about his mission trips. I casually said “You’ve got to come to Bolivia one day with a team!”

What would it have had happened if I had decided not to mingle for a while that night? I don’t know. That single one conversation took eight years to become a reality. I am sure it was perfectly orchestrated to come true this year leaving me with a warm heart. What I now know is that what it seems simple, insignificant or trivial at first, it can lead us to a very rewarding experience and that when you first meet someone, you can never know just how much that person will bless and enrich your life.

agnew-y-segovia

 

Published in: on March 2, 2017 at 5:42 am  Leave a Comment  
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