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Greetings in Jesus! If you'd like to read this e-Mailer with photos, or see a past issue, click on "Ministry" at www.jonesjournal.org. My purpose in writing this is to share updates on ministry, family, praise and prayer.
I didn't write this note in the wee hours of the morning, as I have the past couple of e-Mailers. Though I was tempted last night to get out of bed and type away, chuckling to myself at the photos of Yvonne's birthday cake I'm planning to include.
I won't mention how old Yvonne is except to pass on what she says, "I'm ___ and holding." It did take four packs of candles (minus one) to create the inferno you see here.
Yvonne told our family: "But with all the candles on the cake, we did almost burn the house down. Kirk got the kind of candles that you can't blow out. And it burned the cake so bad that it was all brown on top. He finally got a glass fry pan lid to suffocate the flaming inferno. I like toasted marshmallows anyway, and the frosting is mostly marshmallow."
At the risk of sounding too much like a tourist (though we *are* here on a tourist visa right now), I got to meet the President! I was invited to the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Hosanna Canal 37 TV station where Her Excellency Mireya Moscoso was the guest of honor and invited speaker. We shook hands as she exited.
Please pray that the TV station will fulfill its vision statement: "images that transform lives."
In our arena of ministry, my first order of business was to attend the General Council Business Session. It was great to reconnect with our leaders and friends among our fellowship of ministers. We had opportunity to present our family before the General Assembly at the final evening service.
You'll notice that Yvonne and Gracie are absent. Well, Gracie didn't like the food at the restaurant on the way to the campground. But she loved the food from the new grill/restaurant in the campground. That really pleased our Superintendent Lowell David.
In mid-January I joined the opening session of the Castillo del Rey (Castle of the King) International Summit. Panamá was chosen as the host country because we are celebrating our 100th anniversary as an independent republic.
In celebrating the Centenario (100th anniversary), our Children's Ministry Committee has been selected to inaugurate the festivities by coordinating the first nation-wide event of many that the Assemblies of God will host during this year. It's a parade through the heart of Panamá City with an emphasis for the children. We'll end with a special prayer service in a stadium. Our committee had already begun making plans and we are joining in to assist. Please be in prayer now during the preparation and also mark your calendar for Sunday 27 April 2003, 3:00 - 6:00pm EST. Perhaps you could have your children pray that morning for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
Also please pray for our growing Children's Ministry staff and office. Allow me introduce Dallis Quiñonez, our new secretary. We first met a few years back when she was part of the team that started the children's church at Catedral de Vida. She has been an executive secretary for COPA, Panama's international air carrier, until she got cancer. God has helped her through treatment and surgery, but this week the doctors said they found a cyst. So pray for healing for Dallis and strength of heart.
She has been "bugging" me--in a good way--that we need to get out of our office cubicle she shares with three other ministry teams on a rotating basis. So, I ask you to pray with us for a new place, and then furniture, and then a phone. We may be getting a computer donated--PTL!
Also in the ministry mode, we are preparing for a team from Portland Christian Center to work with the church of our good friend Simon Gonzalez. They'll be here 20 Feb - 1 Mar 2003 working in ESL (English as a Second Language) at church, ministering in a couple of Teen Challenge Centers, plus a home for delincuent children, and also reaching out to an indigenous sector of the population hidden in the barrios of Panamá City, the Emberá. We appreciate you joining your prayers with ours for effective ministry.
Lastly, though it doesn't *feel* much like ministry, most of our time has been devoted to setting up house. We'll focus on praise reports of victories achieved so far:
* we found a great house with a terrific land-lady who lives next door
* they came down to the price for our budget
* air conditioners are working almost perfectly
* hot water heater installed (tho' sometimes the cold water feels better!)
* we have phone lines installed and working!!!!! (see signature line below)
Today we received the call, after two weeks of waiting, that the cable company would come to install our modem and TV service tomorrow, Sunday. I told him we won't be here in the morning. He said they'll come in the afternoon then. So our final prayer request is for that installation so that we'll have Internet/e-mail "always on."
The kids have been back in school for two weeks now. Chloe is taking to her new school "like a duck to water" according to the Director when I spoke with her yesterday. Anthony and Celina are in the same class again, a 3rd-4th combo. They're glad to see old friends again, but aren't too thrilled about having to wear school uniforms again.
Anthony was reading his Bible before school this past week when he jumped up excitedly and read this verse outloud: "We do not want you to be uniformed, brothers, about the hardships we suffered in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life."(2 Cor 1:8). "We shouldn't have to wear uniforms!" he said with a smile. "Wait until I tell the Director."
Then we had to let him know that he missed one little letter "n" in "uninformed." :-(
Again, we want to thank you for your prayers, finances and support in many ways that make our ministry possible. We're so glad to be back in Panamá.
C. H. Spurgeon on "forgiveness" from Ephesians 1:7:
"...when I think of how great my sins were, how dear were the precious drops which cleansed me from them, and how gracious was the method by which pardon was sealed home to me, *I am in a maze of wondering worshipping affection.*" (emphasis mine)
God bless you. Yours for Them,
Kirk for all
P. S. Please use the Panamá mailing address on our contact page. If you have the Miami PO Box, please use that only for urgent/valuable items, since it costs us to receive each time. Thanks for your help.
P. P. S. Especially note that our e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org will be turned off this month.