jonesjournal.org > newsletters > e-Mailer for 4/07
Greetings in Jesus! If you'd like to read past issues, click on Newsletters. This monthly e-Mailer includes updates on ministry, family, praise and prayer.
The last topic we covered in our monthly Seminar for Children's Ministry Leaders was "Children Leading Praise and Worship ministry." We can develop leadership skills in our kids as we help them lead their peers in songs that use pantomime or movements to teach Biblical truth. We also included a short "capsule" on teaching materials available on the Internet. It's gratifying to see many of our teachers, even from humble circumstances, being able to go to an Internet café and for pennies print out teaching tools and materials that help them do their ministry better.
Our Children's Ministry Rep. Edilma de Villarreal sent us several pictures with her report on two recent events. I'll mention one of them here: Last month they celebrated a one-day crusade for the children in the mountain community of Cerro Punta. Here you can see Edilma and her daughter Natalia leading the service. They ministered with a team of five young people using clowns, games and gospel illusions. Each of the 85 children received an opportunity to invite Jesus in his heart and left with a donation of a coloring book and a New Testament (if they could read well). We were able to pass those on to the team thanks to those of you who contribute to our ministry.
Sadly we did not have the KidsQuest Crusade in Macaracas this month. A little before the date the pastor called me saying that the roofing material they were going to use to finish the sanctuary arrived and it was the wrong size. So we had to postpone it for now.
I checked up on David Herrera, pastor and my former co-professor, to see how's he doing after losing his wife in the tragic bus fire in October (see e-Mailer for 10/06b Prayer Requests). He said repeatedly, "moving on, moving on… Jesus is leading us and we're staying right close behind him." He stays busy pastoring his church and serving as National Director of Evangelism.
Understandably, this has been the biggest hardship of his life. There are financial needs, emotional stresses, and ministry concerns. He urged me, as he now tells everyone, "treasure your wife! You never know when God may take her out of the race and leave us behind." He added that it's been difficult for his children, and for him, to be the father/mother in the home. In particular, his kids don't like his cooking very much.
This next week, Holy Week, our three "youths" (we can't believe they've grown up so fast) will be in Costa Rica for the Assemblies of God Missionary Kid (MK) retreat for all Latin America MKs. They are sooo excited. We are too for what they'll experience with the Central America MKs they know well, the other area MKs they will get to know, and the special times with God we know they're going to experience. Plus the amazing fun and games they'll have at the La Montaña campground. But we will still miss them a lot. Please pray for a powerful move of God in and through them.
Before she goes to Costa Rica, though, Chloe will be paddling the Panamá Canal once again this weekend in a dugout cayuco canoe. It's the grueling 43 miles Ocean-to-Ocean race for 2007 in three legs on Friday, Saturday and Sunday (3/30-4/1/07). Here she is with her Seaweed teammates before one of many practice sessions. We'll definitely have a complete report for you next issue!
Anthony finished the afternoon sports club and now is playing basketball after school. We haven't mentioned this before now, but he also has been helping out regularly as a leader on Sunday nights with the children's program called Psalm 8:2. The grade school age kids prepare to minister in music and drama and also have a small group time. He and his longtime friend Luis lead one of those small groups of boys in discussions, games and activities.
Celina just got contact lenses for the first time. She really wanted them before the MK Retreat because the pictures from the website make it look like they will be doing a lot of games in mud and water. Now she can enjoy all that fun stuff without worrying about getting her glasses dirty.
A little less than an hour drive outside of Panama City is my favorite panoramic view looking down from the hilltops to the valley and ocean spreading out below. Anthony and Gracie and I went there one Saturday morning and hiked up to the Cross of Campana hill. The trail cut up and down steep hills through dense jungle. We never saw the open sky until we got to the back side of the big rock on which the cross was erected. I added the cross in this picture, since it didn't show up well against the cloudy sky.
Gracie was such a trooper, without a word of complaint. After the four-hour hike she fell fast asleep for the car ride home.
We invite you to pray with us for these upcoming events:
* Our next scheduled KidsQuest Crusade is for 20-22 April in Arraijan (just across the Canal from Panama City) with Pastora Carmen Adames, who was a Bible School student of mine and is now pastoring her own church. She supported us in the 2003 Centennial Parade, as shown here in Traditional Panamanian garb. She started the church going door-to-door carrying a backpack with puppets, snacks and tracts and inviting children to a Bible study class. Many children got saved and later brought their parents to the meetings. Pray that this Crusade will reach even more children to become evangelists in this marginalized community.
* I'll teach on "Supervision of Leaders in the Programs of the Local Church" at our Deacons and Lay Leaders Retreat the end of April. Pray for motivated and effective leaders in our local churches.
* On 25 April our visa expires. Immigration has denied our application to renew our missionary visa for another year. We submitted all the same requirements as for the one year visa they approved last year. It's not clear what led to that decision. Our lawyer is appealing.
Speaking of, allow me to introduce you to him, Mr. Jaime Choy. He has processed all our Immigration paperwork this term. If anyone can resolve our problem with perseverance and a positive attitude, it's Jaime. He is a good brother in Christ and a faithful member of Casa de Oración (AG) church, where Anthony was dedicated as a baby. He and his wife Miriam have two children. After overhearing me talking on the phone with him, Anthony piped up, "we've got a lawyer? Cool!"
Thank you so much to all of our faithful prayer and financial supporters. We deeply appreciate the commitment you have made to World Missions and to us.
Urgent needs require urgent requests. It's always been difficult for us to ask for funds. Nevertheless, we feel compelled to share with you the pressing financial need that we are trusting the Lord to help us meet. We have shared before in e-Mailers that our missionary account went into the red in January, after four years into our third missionary term. We have planned all along for US deputation ministry in June 2008.
We have cut back on ministry activities to eliminate expenses such as travel, lodging, etc. If our account doesn't return to the black, we may be forced to return to the US earlier than planned for fund-raising. Would you please consider either a monthly pledge (or increase) or a one-time contribution to help us continue reaching kids here in Panamá? Thanks for your prayerful consideration.
May God, who puts all things together, makes all things whole, Who made a lasting mark through the sacrifice of Jesus, the sacrifice of blood that sealed the eternal covenant, Who led Jesus, our Great Shepherd, up and alive from the dead, Now put you together, provide you with everything you need to please him, Make us into what gives him most pleasure, by means of the sacrifice of Jesus, the Messiah. All glory to Jesus forever and always! Oh, yes, yes, yes.
Hebrews 13.20-21, The Message
Yours for Them,
Kirk for all
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