Showing posts from June, 2019

You Can't Swat Mosquitoes while Blogging

I don't even want to know how many bites I got in the course of this post. I'm at the Ministry Centre in Kingston, Jamaica, where apparently the best time to get pictures to upload to Blogger is once everyone else has gone to bed and you're the only one using the WiFi. Here's a long overdue peek at my longest trip thus far (11 nights), just over midway through.  Pastor Obot picked me up from the airport Thursday afternoon. I had been beyond excited to see the new roof in person after watching it go up in pictures on WhatsApp, and it did not disappoint.   Surprise! I thought Area Facilitator Charles St-Onge & I were going to rip down damaged drop ceilings in the short-term team bunk rooms when he joined me ~ 24 hours later so that the short-term team arriving Monday could replace them, but a carpenter had been hired to get them to this point.  My hardware store shopping list changed a bit, but our rigorous prep schedule did not. I had two rooms sand

Eco-friendly Evangelism

It was a joyous day at Cordero de Dios yesterday; seven new members were confirmed! I was floating on air all day for a different reason, though: my mango-bearing  (he gave me 3 more this morning) botanical garden friend came to church with me! I'd been inviting him since before Easter. For weeks he'd say, "I'll call you," and then wouldn't, to the point that it became like the boy who cried "Wolf!" Imagine my surprise, then, when my iPhone screen lit up with "Octavio Peña" at 8:34 yesterday morning! Still dubious, I told him I'd swing by the garden around 10 to pick him up on my way. He called at 9:46 to let me know he was there and waiting! Thanks to all who have been praying for Octavio. Don't stop! My excitement was tempered by the sobering thought that this small victory isn't an end in itself. Only the Sower knows which kind of soil yesterday's seed fell on. Moreover, Satan wants nothing less than to see Octavio

The Circle of Mission Work

Last week, Rev. Dallas C.R. Dubke, the latest in a revolving door of interim pastors, deployed to the Cayman Islands for a three-month stint. I can't take credit for his being there, but I can  tell you my end of the story of how he got there. It has God's fingerprints all over it.  Pastor Dubke's mom, Martha (née Huebner), grew up a missionary kid in Venezuela. Martha would later become an LCMS pastor's wife and mother of four, the eldest of which is Pastor Dubke, living in northern CA.  Fast forward to 2014. I'm working at CPH at the time, and as is customary every summer, they planned to bring on a handful of college-aged interns. My trusted colleague, Rev. Dr. Héctor Hoppe, an Argentinian-born pastor, asked if I'd be willing to house one - the youngest Dubke, Katherine. Seeing as how the Latin American Lutheran world was apparently as small in the 60s and 70s as it is now, Héctor knew the Huebner family and had heard through the grapevine that Kather


I'll spare you another "Houston, we have _________" joke. All these volunteers from Houston make it easy, but last week's team, from Our Savior Lutheran Church, was reminiscent of the WWII tactic that includes team leader Rev. Kelly Krieg's name.  They were lightning-fast workers who came and went just as speedily, arriving last Sunday (at 11:48 pm, so barely), and departing on Saturday (at 2:48 am, so I took them to the airport late Friday night). In the five full days in between, though, they were exposed to as many facets of ministry in the Dominican as possible and made a world of difference with their loving labor.  A Monday morning overview of Iglesia Luterana Pueblo Nuevo before dedicating two days to helping the congregation make the most of its recently dedicated new location .  The team made banners to teach the faith and help fill empty, white walls; built child-sized tables, bookcases, and pamphlet racks; canvassed the neighborhood with

On the Day of the Butterflies

Good evening from the 2nd floor of the seminary building. The seminary, because the power was out in our neighborhood for 6+ hours today, so I fled here to rescue the main course for Tuesday's all-team potluck from my refrigerator and two crock pots on the counter. The 2nd floor, because in the  process of ramping up the WiFi network strength, it's currently dismal on the 3rd floor. The power came back on ~10 min. after I left, but a short-term team from Our Savior Lutheran Church in Houston, TX, arrives at midnight, so I figure I'll just stay out here with them tonight. More sleep + less driving = win. But I digress. I did some Saturday scouting yesterday. Always on the lookout for places to take teams, FORO partners, etc., I decided to scope out The Mirabal Sisters Home Museum, about an hour outside the city, on the recommendation of Spanish teacher Jacqui. Las Mariposas (The Butterflies), Patria, Minerva, and Maria Teresa, martyred for their role in the takedown of the