> newsletters e-Mailer for 3/06


Dear Friends,


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.


Let me begin the Guaymí Family Retreat Report report with the number breakdown:

* 3500+ estimated total attendance for 6 days.

* 750+ children. We had copied 800 memory verse pages, and counted the left-overs.

* 70 believers baptized after pastoral approval and then taking the week-long baptism doctrines class at the Retreat.

* 2 shipping containers of grains, dried fruit, clothes and toys provided by Convoy of Hope, with special mention to Paola KS First Assembly of God for providing the corn.

* 5 powerful preachers from around the world: Luis Cabral, New Zealand, Roy Rhodes, Kansas, USA, Steve Graner, missionary to Colombia, Terry Bell, missionary to Panamá, Kent Moody, Convoy of Hope, USA.


Each day began with a devotional service followed by morning classes divided by age and group (ie. kids with us, youth, men, women, pastors, baptism candidates, extension Bible school students), then afternoon classes, a brief dip in the river to cool off (optional, but well worth it), evening revival-style services concluding with a movie.


One of the testimonies I heard via Julio Valdés, our coordinating pastor, touched my heart. A Guaymí pastor told him that in their homes they don't celebrate Christmas. They don't talk about New Year's Eve meal. They don't bring up birthdays--most children couldn't tell you their birthdate. It's because they can't buy presents or food for such celebrations. But then almost with a tear in his eye he said, "This week is our Christmas, and New Years and birthday celebrations."


One of the first kids to greet me was Simon. Remember him from two years ago? It was his birthday that day so I was able to include him in an object lesson using a birthday present, and later bless him with a little birthday gift.


Since the campground is close by, one afternoon we went up the mountain to Duíma to deliver the year's supply of chewable children's vitamins thanks to Family Praise Fellowship, Riverside. Pastor César Rivera and the children expressed their heartfelt thanks. The ministry their team did over two years ago continues to make a difference at the school thanks to their donation providing these vitamins.


Sorry that this e-Mailer was delayed a little bit so that I could finish the movie report on the retreat. We invite you to visit our Media page to see it.


The painting of the ministry truck is finally done. Here you see our mechanic, Mr. Watson, putting on the required reflectors. In this month’s photo album you can see more pictures--especially the one that shows the back door with our special thanks to Southern California’s Missionettes for their donation!


Our monthly seminars continued with Manuel Miranda and yours truly teaching the past two months. I did the theoretical and he did the practical. My topics were Preparation of a Good Teacher and  Discipline in the Classroom or Large Events. Manuel instructed us how to make our own handmade puppets and then how to use them. I got some great video footage of some of our senior saint teachers working their handmade puppets like there’s no tomorrow. Sorry for a tease without the video, but I think I’m going to save it for deputation ministry J.


Carnavales (Mardi Gras in Latin America) is really big, but there's nothing really a Christian can participate in. That's why most churches have retreats. Schools are closed all week. Businesses are closed Monday and Tuesday and are moving pretty slowly when they reopen on Ash Wednesday.


Since many people travel to the beaches or mountains, that motivated us to just stay home. After Family Night devotions talking about what we want to give up for Lent, we just sat around talking, laughing, remembering, and laughing some more. That set the tone for our week off. It was great!


Not to sound like a broken record, but Chloe is still very busy with cayuco paddling. You see the girls here before their first race, with the “Seaweed.” They finished 6th out of the 10 other girls teams, in one hour 25 minutes covering 7 miles. The big race is in three stages, 7-9 April, almost the length of the Panama Canal from the Atlantic to the Pacific Oceans, approximately 43 miles.


During the Carnaval week vacation Anthony got the itch to play paintball again. So he and Dad and 6 other of his friends spent an afternoon shooting it out in a new paintball arena. Kirk still has the bruises to show for it.


Celina, being in sixth grade, has now entered youth group. During Carnaval week vacation her small group leader, Miss Thompson, invited the girls for an overniter at her house. They had a great time, only sleeping about an hour. What seemed to impress Celina the most was how much stuff they did, because, as she said, when you just sleep, it's like nothing happens. To which her parents say, "Amen!"


Gracie is so excited to be able to take swim lessons for PE. How excited, you ask? Before the first day of lessons last Monday she slept in her swimsuit & new board shorts. We invite you to visit our Media page to see her in a drama and kids choir at church.


The following scripture is how God told Moses and Aaron to do blessings. In thanks for your prayers and financial support on our behalf, receive this blessing:


"Tell Aaron and his sons, This is how you are to bless the People of Israel.

Say to them, GOD bless you and keep you,

GOD smile on you and gift you,

GOD look you full in the face and make you prosper.

In so doing, they will place my name on the People of Israel--

I will confirm it by blessing them."

Num 6:23-27 MSG


Yours for Them,


Kirk for all