> newsletters e-Mailer for 5/06


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.


I appreciate those who prayed for the Deacons & Lay Leader's Retreat and my seminar on Leader's Principles for Success. We heard positive comments afterwards--one of our presbyters waved me down at a meal to show that he was putting #2 into practice right then!


The four principles I shared were not original with me and are probably familiar to many of you (except maybe the last one):

   1. begin with the end in mind (Heb. 12.2)

   2. do the important more than the urgent (Luke 10.38-42)

   3. work for the success of others (1a Cor. 4.6-13)

   4. echar pa'lante, which is a Panamanian saying like "keep on keepin' on!" (Phil. 3.13-14)


At our last Children's Ministries leader's seminar in Panama City our resident "clowns" Dallis and Juan Carlos shared the ins and outs of clown makeup and ministry. Carolina prepared a brief PowerPoint presentation on the value of Illusions, using earthly objects to teach heavenly lessons.


Afterwards we continued training the new volunteers for Crusade ministry with the goal of incorporating them in the next Crusade in Panama City in July.


Our last KidsQuest Crusade was in David, Panama's third largest city. It was held in Templo Cristiano, the biggest AG church in town. Total attendance for the three crusades was 367 with 27 brand new visitors on Sunday alone.


As always we let the visitor campaign winners select their prizes--first choice taken was a CD Discman player. We also gave prizes to the runners up. I remembered as a kid how excited I was at a VBS where they gave away a 3-foot-long candy bar! It was a yardstick with a bunch of chocolate bars taped to it. So we did the same thing with 1-foot-long rulers.


I *should* have remembered, however, I didn't grow up in the Tropical heat. The kids could have poked a hole in the wrapper and *drank* the chocolate bars... oh well. We'll store them in a frig next time.


* Following up the Crusade in David will be a Seminar this coming Saturday 13 May. This year we're trying to coordinate Crusades and Seminars in the same place to help promote both events and capitalize on the interest among Children's Ministries Leaders in each area.


Other upcoming events we request prayer for are the following:


* We invite you to join us in prayer with Pastor Rafael Alvarez and his team that many children will be reached for Jesus at our next KidsQuest Crusade and Seminar in Bocas del Toro. It will be 26-28 May in Finca 13 (last e-Mailer I used "Empalme," a less common name). Last year in May we were also in Bocas del Toro, in Finca 6.


* In June we'll head to La Arena, in the Central zone of Panama with Pastor Ricardo DeLeón. Leader's Seminar falls on 10 June followed by the KidsQuest Crusade 16-18 June, with coordination by our energetic Central zone Rep. Rigoberto Mitchell.


* Later in June we welcome to Panama Pastor Randy Foster and team from Visalia First AG who will be building bathrooms both in the LACC school complex and the Pastor/Teachers house in Duíma 19-29 June.


The family has settled back into the school routine after Semana Santa (“Holy Week” as the week before Easter is known), Chloe’s cayuco race and Grandma and Papa’s visit!


AP European History invaded Chloe’s life for the past several weeks, leading up to the big test last Friday. Depending on her grade she can get university course credit. Simply taking the test earns her an “A” for her high school class. After one long study session Chloe popped out of her room with a bounce in her step and a sparkle in her eye. We expected her to say something like she just had a wonderful time with Jesus listening to worship music on her i-Pod. Instead she beamed, “Dad, I finally get the French Revolution!”


All three of the “big kids” went to youth retreat last month. For Anthony, one of the highlights was climbing “the mountain.” After an awesome night of worship amid the millions of stars and fireflies, they went to bed around 2am. At 5:30am all the boys were awakened by air horn to start the mission to take the mountain. It was physically demanding--two hours of hiking and helping each other up to the summit where the cross was. From there they could see the Pacific ocean and miles of God’s beautiful creation known as “Panamá.” Having focused on purity the night before, the mountain symbolized conquering and taking control of their own mind for Christ.


Celina’s special memory of the retreat had to do with the girls’ team-building exercise while the boys were taking the mountain. They were presented with the challenge of crossing a small ravine with “gross-looking water” using just two big logs, a long plank and some rope. They couldn’t get into the water and they couldn’t go around to the other side except across the bridge they would build. They talked and strategized for a couple hours before tipping the plank on end and dropping it over the ravine. It snapped in two. The next attempt used one log to roll the other log teetering over the ravine. With much teamwork and effort they all finally got across, even though some were pretty scared.


Gracie enjoyed the Special Services at school last week. It’s kind of like a VBS for the first two hours of each school day. She most enjoyed playing a game called “Daniel in the Lion’s Den,” where she and Timothy were the only ones to get safely across the “Den.” Mom and Dad helped with games for the kinder age kids.


If you've not yet received the print copy of our newsletter, you can view it online here. Please let us know if you'd like to receive it in the mail.


Thanks for financial and prayer support. In this space I always look for new ways to express our appreciation for those of you who have sacrificed time in prayer and invested your resources to help fulfill the Great Commission together with us. Even if it’s not a new way, we really just want to say “Thank you!”


Looking at it one way, you could say,

"Anything goes. Because of God's immense generosity and grace,

we don't have to dissect and scrutinize every action to see if it will pass muster."

But the point is not to just get by.

We want to live well, but our foremost efforts should be to help others live well.

1Cor 10.23-24 The Message


Yours for Them,


Kirk for all