Thursday, July 31, 2008
How paltry our dreams were before we gave our lives to Christ.
How far beyond anything we ever imagined are the opportunities and experiences God has allowed in our lives.
They told me they would give us land if we would build a church and a school or a church and a clinic on the land.
"We are grateful," I said, "but I am curious why it is the church is the number one requirement?"
"Because your churches teach the men to marry the mothers of their children and to care for their families. That solves a problem for the State."
The entire area was covered with lahar (volcanic ash) sometimes 30 feet deep. Rivers and ravines were filled in by lahar totally changing the topography.
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Hotel security stopped them. In defiance, the witchdoctor over and over again would point at one of the flag poles and it would shake violently.
Is the enemy powerful? Yes, but "greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world."
The meetings filled the largest stadium every night. Thousands flocked the altars to accept Christ.
The Boughers were always musical and family jam sessions were a powerful part of their lives.
Jean has sung Gospel music all over the world including in the famed Opera House in Hanoi, Vietnam.
Lt. Col. Paul Kari spent 8 years as a P.O.W. in the "Hanoi Hilton."
Here Paul, Ben Rodgers and I stand beside a monument to the shooting down of now Presidential candidate John McCain's plane into the lake in Hanoi city.
Paul and John McCain were imprisoned together at the Hoa Lo prison (the Hanoi Hilton).
Center: Paul checks out the weapons like the ones that shot him down.
Bottom: Paul by a Vietnam MiG that claims to have shot down 14 of Paul's fellow pilots.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Their faces beamed as they told me of their new life. "And now for the first time we can sing!"
They had never had reason to sing and had never known the joy of praising God in music.
It was quaint, full of history, comfortable and altogether delightful.
They have a type of corn-on-the-cob there that the kernels of corn are about the size and shape of a lima bean but with a great corn taste. I've never seen the like anywhere else.
The first time I was here I could find no evangelical churches. Now, our friend Missionary Robert Bariger has planted more than 40 strong churches in this Sacred Valley of the Incas--including one right in Urubamba.
Bona fide heroes.
Rev. J. Robert Ashcroft and Grace were our pastors and fellow missionaries in Brussels, Belgium. Their son John became the Attorney General of the United States.
Bob was a poet in the pulpit. His profound messages never failed to stir us deeply. I still have recurring memories of his words like, "Nobody saw the crippled feet of Mephibosheth as he sat at the King's table."
One of my treasures is a complete set of audio recordings of his messages in Brussels
Monday, July 28, 2008
The need for wood is systematically eliminating trees in many countries.
In northern Africa it means the Sahara desert moves south several kilometers every year.
In mountainous areas it means stripping the slopes of vegetation which turns rains into landslides and floods.
Life is not easy in the Third World.
Here we are in the northern part of Luzon. We gave them a "Jesus Letter," a tract written by Missionary Bill Farrand. It was simple and powerful.
Months later we got back one of the tracts we gave these children from Mindanao which is 700 miles south.
A young mother wanted us to know she accepted Jesus because of it.
We had coded the tracts so we knew this was one we handed out to these people.
How many hands did it go through before it got to the lady in Mindanao who read it, gave her life to Christ, and then contacted us?
I read in His Book that His Word won't return void.
We served together in the Philippines and have stayed in contact over the years.
Paul writes an online devotional called "Klahrs Corner."
It's the first thing I read every day.
You can find it by Googling "Klahrs Corner."
As a sailor Paul was sent on a suicide mission fighting the Japanese. After the war he served many years as a missionary in Japan then completed his career in the Philippines.
Sunday, July 27, 2008
This is the advice I got when I started. At first I wanted it to be a way to update family and friends. Then I wanted it to be a way to share my thoughts about God and experiences with
Him. Now I realize it is also a way to preserve memories in words and pictures.
What wonderful communication tools we have now.
I’ve been writing another book about our experiences as missionaries titled “WALK WITH ME—Through Some Hard Places of the World.” It has thrilled me to recount the awesome blessings God has allowed Jean and me to experience. He has allowed us to see and be part of wonderful events. He has filled our lives with relationships with amazing people from all walks of life.
My first thought was to have the book be full of photos of the events being written about, until I hit the hard reality of publication costs.
Ah, but the blog is free! Now I see the blog as a kind of online publishing of the photos I would have put in the book. Look through the past few months’ blogs and laugh and cry with me. The blog will be sort of a companion to the book.
I intend to continue using the blog to update, share experiences and thoughts, and publish photos and videos.
Just maybe God will use them to call new workers to His harvest fields.
Saturday, July 26, 2008
When I asked the living chief if I could see him he said, "Yes, but very expensive."
"I can afford it."
You'll notice the men don't have much of a wardrobe. It's an orange gourd. It's also where they keep their tobacco.
She is the sweetest child in Africa (except for my three grandkids).
Her eyes are always peeking over my shoulder in the back of my mind. They compel me to do more for more hurting children.
Can you even imagine how thrilled we were?
"That could be arranged with the chief--but he would require that Jean spent the first night with him."
Jean wasn't interested.
Friday, July 25, 2008
I bought two stone axes here--the kind they used every day.
This is also the place and day I got a good dose of malaria. It was one of those female mosquitos that bit me that evening that got me.
Not much fun having malaria.
About three years later (why did we take so long) Jean and one of our council members prayed for me. Ten years later I have never had another attack of the spiking fevers and ague since that night.
He clapped his hands in joy and asked how we knew that's what he needed.
I told him, "befere we left America we asked God to tell us the right equipment to bring."
He explained, "We do 15,000 surgeries every year at this hospital. Our surgeons are good but we lose so many patients to infection.
"Now we can make all the disinfectant we need."
Thursday, July 24, 2008
I'm glad they were able to put it out before it did much damage.
You can guess I got a "warm reception" when my parents found out.
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Later we learned that government troops were coming in behind us and taking the food away to feed the army.
Worse, they were separating Christian familes and and hauling them to the south psrt of the country to become slaves for the Jesus-haters there.
I had felt like we were doing a good thing by feeding thousands of hungry people at a time. Then I discovered that we were being used to set a trap for them.
At that time the famine and war in Mozambique and the refugee camps in Zimbabwe were largely being ignored by the media so we shifted our emphasis to southern Africa.
When you must choose who you can keep alive, you are also chosing who you will let die.
Not an easy decision.
Moments later he became very agitated. He thought we had captured his soul in that little box. His warriors gathered around with their tiny bows and poison arrows.
I had picked up some little bars of perfumed soap at the Nairobi, Kenya hotel a few nights before. I offered them to him as a peace gift.
He debated a bit and then took them and the crowd left.
Later I mused about this chief "selling his soul" for some pretty smelling soap. Pretty cheap.
Both a sermon and a personal reminder about selling our souls.