jonesjournal.org > newsletters > e-Mailer for 5/05
Greetings in Jesus! If you'd like to read past issues, click on "Newsletter" at www.jonesjournal.org. This monthly e-Mailer includes updates on ministry, family, praise and prayer.
I apologize for not getting the 4/05 issue of the e-Mailer out. At that time I was in a computer crisis: a combination of terrible virus infection and not-backed-up data. Many thanks to recently-returned missionary Rod Boyd who with advice and a little helpful hardware helped solve the problems. Now we’re almost back to full functioning, for which I’m grateful.
So let me try catch you up on two months of activities, but in roughly the same amount of space!
Correction for the Guaymi Retreat last February: attendance was not 2200 as I reported, but 3000! It did look like a bigger group than previous years.
In March we had our friend Tony García come back to share on how we can help reach the homeless and society’s outcasts. Last year Centro Libertados (The Liberated Ones Center) opened and this year they have over 50 residents in house or at the camp in Colón. This young mother shared her testimony of how drugs cost her having her son with her, but now Jesus has given her back her son and her life. They are believing He’ll do the same for his father.
Then in April we welcomed two Christian professors from the Special Education Institute of Panamá. Here Prof. Maruja de Villalobos is sharing how in the church we can adjust attitude and strategies to help so-called handicapped people to learn about Jesus too!
We took advantage of the terrific teaching and videotaped it for use the following week in Bugaba, Chiriquí. Over 50 attended our first regional seminar of the year. Many signed up to form a new Children’s Ministries committee in their region.
I guess they just wanted to follow the example of Santiago--that’s the city, not a person. These leaders attended the inaugural luncheon for the Children’s Ministries committee of Santiago, plus received Light-for-the-Lost literature for their pre-schoolers and early readers.
Upcoming KidsQuest Crusades to pray for: we have a "mini" Crusade in Arraijan (west of Panamá City) May 14th and a full one in Bocas del Toro province (farthest NW corner of Panamá) May 27-29th. It's very isolated and they often feel neglected.
I guess we’re “real missionaries” now--we got robbed. Though it wasn’t at gun-point, so maybe it doesn’t count. In fact, nobody was home, thankfully. When Yvonne got home one afternoon last week, the wooden front doors had been forced open with crow bars. I returned from a trip about half an hour later.
They got two TVs, DVD player, laptop computer (with a brand new wireless card! boo hoo) and a brand new video camera (that hurt). Later I discovered the video projector & a CD-cassette player were also gone. Basically all the ministry gear you see in the seminar photo was taken. They didn’t take the two work computers off my desk, because they were taken apart and probably looked damaged.
Now for the good news: our kids are reacting well. Get this: Gracie told Yvonne the next day in a very excited tone that she was going to have the *biggest* prayer request at school! Celina said that this experience has been kinda fun. Chloe has been joyful and sympathetic to me especially for losing work gear. Yvonne has enjoyed evenings with no TVs on in the house! (I guess it didn't take a robbery to accomplish that).
Anthony has reacted so maturely, and I told him that in so many words. Then he told me that a couple days before he had been thinking about Job, and what would he (Anthony) have done in Job's place if all those bad things had happened to him. He decided he would continue to worship God. So when he was sitting in the living room after the theft, he had already decided that he would keep on worshipping God!
Really good news: the “brand new” used guitar and amp we bought for Anthony was *not* taken, nor the acoustic he's been learning on. Whew!
We would appreciate your prayers for all the hassles and the feelings of violation, but know that we are doing OK and very grateful to the Lord for our family, our lives and His protection.
In March, Dallis Quiñones, our Treasurer, coordinated the Catedral de Vida church camp, including a KidsQuest Crusade. As part of the prizes we included a special edition Children's Bible, Amigos por Siempre (Friends Forever), and these two boys were among the winners.
We celebrated Kirk’s birthday. Obviously, there wasn't enough room on the cake for *all* the candles. :-D
Among Chloe's many activities recently was Camp Hope. It's a camp for handicapped children where she served as a counselor. It was a great opportunity to act like Jesus to the "least of these."
The 6th graders were this year’s lip sync champs! It helps that Anthony’s teacher, Mrs. Warder, was a professional dancer. They even got to perform the following week at Panama’s biggest church, Hosanna, for their VBS. It didn’t hurt that the pastor’s daughter is in the class. Ana Victoria is in the red bandana gittin’ down.
With a group of giggly girl classmates, Celina will represent her school in a “Battle of the Books.” Each team reads the same list of 15 books, then meets for a competition based on the content. I inserted the “giggly” part after their practice at our house.
“Gracie” is synonymous with “motion.” She’s constantly moving--in her chair, on your lap, snuggling next to you. So the scooter and the park behind our house provide a perfect combination for her.
As I finish editing this e-Mailer, I'm at our annual Retreat for Leaders and Deacons. This morning I preached from Habakkuk, emphasizing our joyful contentment in the Lord, no matter what comes in our life and future ministry for these lay leaders. The closing verses fit well here:
17 Though the fig tree shall not blossom, and fruit is not on the vines;
the labor of the olive fails, and the fields yield no food.
The flock is cut off from the fold, and no herd is in the stalls;
With Habakkuk's "permission" I'd like to insert: “...even with computer breakdowns or house break-ins...”
18 yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation.
19 Jehovah the Lord is my strength, and He will make my feet like hinds' feet ,
and He will make me to walk on my high places.
Hab. 3.17-19, Modern King James version
Thank you for your prayers, your financial and moral support. Thank you for allowing us the privilege to serve as the Master's servants here in Panamá.
Yours for Them,
Kirk for all
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