EBA College level classes: Equipping the Saints!

EBA College level classes: Equipping the Saints!

It’s hard work for all of us but I want to tell you that I see fruits when I interact with our higher level students! The following are comments I have heard from the mouth of our undergraduate students:

” I was reading a book written by Martin Luther, and told my wife, now I understand why he got kicked out of the Church in his time, he was very firm with his words about the priests.”

” I studied about Presbyterianism , and in everything I read , I was left wondering how exactly we got the Bible , and I want to investigate this. Also because my husband is investigating liberation theology, he told me that this theology believes that the book of Exodus was written in the time of Ezra , is it that true? “

” I get to investigate liberation theology andI love it! There is much truth in it, but I am still studying the points for and against this theology. “

In the library, students ask for higher level books than they ever asked for before .

” Marieta , I read a lot about the gifts of the Spirit , but do you have a book that explains the point of view that the gifts ended after the first century ? “

” Do you have books on predestination ? “

“Do you have a book that explains whether or not a Christian can lose his salvation? “

I know that much knowledge does not necessarily make us holy, but I am convinced that these students will be better prepared in their ministries for everything they learn. This will also affect all the people around them , because many of them are leaders, teachers or pastors . Let’s continue with the work, equipping the saints so that they can equip others !

EBA Licenciatura: Equipando a los santos!

EBA's Licenciatura Class

Sólo para animarles en el asunto de la licenciatura. Es mucho trabajo para todos nosotros pero les quiero contar que ya vemos frutos, porque noto en las pláticas que tengo con los hermanos estudiantes, que aprenden mucho, y, más importante, lo que aprenden les pone a pensar. Las siguientes son comentarios que he escuchado de la boca de nuestros estudiantes de Licenciatura, y me alegro mucho escuchar cosas así.

“Estuve leyendo un libro escrito por Martín Lutero, y comenté a mi esposa: ahora entiendo por qué lo echaron de la Iglesia en su tiempo, porque era muy muy duro en sus palabras acerca de los sacerdotes”.

“Estuve estudiando acerca del presbiterianismo, y por todo lo que leí, me quedó la duda cómo exactamente nos llegó la bíblia, y quiero investigar esto. También porque mi esposo le toca investigar la teología de la liberación, y él me contó que esta teología cree que el libro de Éxodo fue escrito en el tiempo de Esdras, ¿será que es cierto?”

“Me toca investigar la teología de la liberación y ¡me gusta mucho! Tiene mucha razón pero sigo estudiando los puntos en pro y en contra de esta teología.”

También he visto en la biblioteca que los alumnos piden libros de temas más elevados, que antes nunca pidieron. Esto creo es por la licenciatura y también por el nuevo programa de Profesorado. Por ejemplo:

“Marieta, he leído mucho acerca de los dones del Espíritu, pero no tienes un libro que explica el punto de visto de que ya se acabaron los dones después del primer siglo?”

“¿Tienes libros acerca de la predestinación?”

“¿Tienes un libro que explica acerca del asunto si un cristiano puede perder sus salvación?”

Entonces hermanos, yo sé que mucho conocimiento no necesariamente nos hace más santo, pero estoy convencido que estos alumnos estarán más preparados en sus ministerios por todo lo que aprenden, y que esto va a afectar también a toda la gente alrededor de ellos, porque muchos de ellos son líderes, maestros o pastores. ¡Sigamos adelante con el trabajo equipando los santos para que ellos puedan equipar a otros!

Touch

ImageJohn Keats wrote, “touch has a memory”.   If that’s true the people of the town of Chinique, Guatemala will never forget the way the mission team from New Life Church touched their lives this past week.

ImageMission teams coming to Guatemala tend to do one of two things.  They either stand back and observe the people, the suffering, the pain or they draw closer.  The eight members of the New Life team drew so close they could touch it.

ImageThey touched an old couple who live on less than two dollars a day with a basket of food and heartfelt prayers.

ImageThey touched a little boy who couldn’t believe a group of strangers would bring his family a bunch of chickens so they would have eggs to eat.

ImageThey touched a family with their wiliness to build them a place to sleep.

ImageThey touched a young man recovering from a gunshot wound.

ImageThey touched the town of Chinique in so many ways. They touched with their voices, with their hands, and most importantly with the love of God.

They touched so many lives in so many places but as an author once wrote, “if I could touch anything in the world, it would be your heart”. Image

“Relationships”

ImageSomeone once said, “I want a relationship to be you’re telling me you love me is just a ceremonious validation of what you already show me”.  During the past several years the Oakbrook Church mission team has been showing its love to the people of Sacapulas, Guatemala.  This year the mission team joined forces with their friends from Sacapulas to show their love to the people of Balanya.

  Image They visited a local school and shared the gospel.

  Image They encouraged the teachers at the school to continue their efforts to educate the children.

  Image They visited the homes of some single parents and shared the gospel along with a basket of food.

  Image They worked with Pastor Raul, his beautiful family, and the people of his church to make a difference in the lives of the people in their village.

  Image They even painted a sign next to a cornfield to remind those entering and leaving the town that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life.

  Image But mostly they just walked and they talked or should I say they listened.  They listened as so many people told them their stories of divorce, poverty, sickness, and death.  Not an easy week by any means but Oakbrook has learned over the years,  forming relationships isn’t easy.  It’s painful.  It’s difficult.  But at at the same time it’s so rewarding when people truly share with one another.

  Image Like one missionary put it, “our wounds are often openings into the best and most beautiful part of us.”  Thank you Oakbrook for being a beautiful part of us.Image

   

Feeling “Tired”

ImageIt’s been a long, hard week for the team from “Be the Change” but at the same time a very successful one.  The goal was to put in place a playhouse, a wheel-chair swing, a sidewalk, and other fun things for the special needs boys and girls of ASELSI’s Jesus’ Little Lambs Center.

ImageCan you dig it?  The fourteen member crew certainly could and they had fun doing it.

ImageOk so we had some problems keeping a few of them “in line” but for the most part it’s been a fantastic week.

ImageIt was quite a scene for the formal dedication of the playground on Friday afternoon.Image A big thank you to “Be the Change” for being “in the house” this week and for a significant financial commitment from Absecon Church for making all of this possible.

ImageSo now our hearty workers head home, “tired but happy”.  Leaving behind a bunch of very excited boys and girls ready to explore their new playground.

ImageAs you can see it didn’t take Evelyn long to get into the “swing of things”.  So what’d she think?

ImageNuf said.

Keepin’ It Real

ImageIt all started with a boy and an elephant.  The boy was in ASELSI’s Jesus’ Little Lambs Center while the elephant was in a book.  “Are elephants real or they only in books” was the little boy’s question.  That innocent question caused a ripple effect.

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It was time to “map” out a strategy.  The staff at the center took it upon themselves to make sure the special needs children who come to ASELSI each week come face to face with one of God’s marvelous creations.

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You might say it was time to “stick their necks out” and make it happen.  The logistics were challenging.  Could twenty- three physically and or mentally challenged children, their mothers, and the ASELSI teachers make a three hour bus ride to the Guatemala City zoo?

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To answer that question the Jesus’ Little Lambs Center staff decided to take a closer look.  So on an off-day these hearty soles volunteered their time and headed to the capitol where they were treated to a day full of animal watching.

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While checking out the zoo some of the teachers, who had never seen some of the animals themselves, could only imagine how excited the boys and girls will be if and  when they get their chance.

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Ok I can’t “bear” to keep the secret any longer.  The twenty- three special needs children and their mothers WILL get their chance.

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No I’m not lion.  On July 17th the kids, the moms, the teachers and members of a mission team from The Crossing of Columbia, Missouri will climb aboard a couple of buses and take a very special field trip.  Once again God has supplied the needs.

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On July 17th a little boy’s question will be answered.  Yes elephants are real and so is God’s love for us.  We see it so many times and in so many ways here in Guatemala.  To all of you who support ASELSI with your prayers and your finances, thank you for “keepin’ it real”.

 

Man Down !

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Ok so there was this guy minding his own business when a bunch of thugs jumped him, robbed him, and left him for dead.  There he stayed on the road until a nice guy from Samaria stopped to give him a hand.  Story sound familiar?  Maybe to you but not to a bunch of school children in the town of Saquilla.  Most of them had never heard the parable of the “Good Samaritan” until this week.Image  This was the week the mission team from Bellfield Church of Pittsburg, PA dropped by wearing some NASTY LOOKING MUSTACHES to share that story with the boys and girls.

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Telling the children about how Jesus teaches us to help our neighbors is one thing, taking it to the streets is another thing.

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Actually it was more like taking it to the mountains of Guatemala.  Besides the program at the school, the mission team also visited the homes of poor and suffering people to share the love of Jesus.

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Maria and her sister were also thrilled to have a concrete floor poured into their home by the team.

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Pouring concrete just took a couple of days, pouring out their hearts to the people of Guatemala has been a constant thread throughout this week. 

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Then again that was the “goal”.   Instead of seeing people in need and continuing on their way, like the Good Samaritan, they stopped, they came to Guatemala, they helped.

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By the way, just minutes after being robbed and beaten, the poor man was seen playing “Duck, Duck, Goose” with the schoolchildren, proving once again its hard to keep a good man down.  To all of you who send support both with your financial blessings and your prayers, thank you for being a good Samaritan and “lifting” the people of Guatemala up. 

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A Mother’s Day Card

Dear Mom,  Ok so its not quite Mother’s Day but don’t tell that to the people of Guatemala.  It seems they are having a three day celebration for all the moms so we thought we’d be Guatemalan and send this card along a little early.Image

We’ve thought about you a lot during this week since most of us learned our tender touch from you.  We’ve used that touch many times this week as we’ve treated hundreds of people during our medical mission trip.

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ImageOur first stop was in the town of Chacaguex.  There we were met by a group of workers from a local church who helped us treat more than 130 sick and suffering people.

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The next day we carried our supplies up a dirt road to a two-room schoolhouse in the town of Chupacay.  Our team was kept very busy treating another 85 patients.

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Even though we called ourselves a medical team we also had time to share our faith with hundreds of children and build roofs and stoves for a couple of very poor families.

ImageOh yeah as you’ve probably “herd” Imagewe also built a chicken coop for a family living in the country.  It was just our way of “bringing home the bacon”.Image

We finished off the week treating another 135 patients at ASELSI’s Father’s Heart Clinic.

It was a wonderful week for all 25 of us.  Not an easy week to be sure but a week in which we felt the presence of God as he worked through us.  Image  Thanks Mom for teaching us to see the beauty in His creationImage and in the lives of the people He created.

All our Love,

The World Outreach Team

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Henry Here

 

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Hi, the name’s Henry, you don’t know me but I know you.  You’re the reason my dad and mom dragged me out of a nice warm bed for a trip to ASELSI.  

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It was there we had the “official” dedication of the brand new Father’s Heart Clinic.  Ok, so its not brand new. They’ve been taking care of friends of mine here since last August.  Lots of friends, in fact, more than fifteen thousand of them. Image Lots of them were here today as we listened to a bunch of grownups talk about how God used so many of you so that we could have this beautiful clinic.  By the way, I may look bored in this picture but actually the speeches were quite interesting. Image I especially liked the ones about the Milk Program and the physical therapy program. Image Anyway, after the smoke had cleared the doors were opened to the seven thousand square foot building. Image A building that treats so many sick people each and every day.  A building you built with your dollars and your prayers.  Let me add one final word, a word my mom and dad asked me to you for helping me have my healthy body and my fat little cheeks.  OK  here it comes, read my lips,Image“thank you”.  (Ok so that’s two words, I’m only seven months old I can’t count yet).

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“Flowers Grow Out of Dark Moments”

   Image   Imagine for a moment you are the mother of a special needs child living in the mountains of Guatemala.  Imagine you are being told by family and friends that there is no hope for your child and that its better to keep your child hidden away in the darkness of your adobe home.  Now imagine somewhere tells you about a place where your child can be helped AND you can find relief.

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     It was a dream of Sharon Harvey to start a workshop for the mothers of special needs children attending ASELSI’s “Jesus’ Little Lambs Center”.  That dream came true two years ago with the formation of a group called “Chichi Blossoms”.  A catchy title coming from the location of the center and the fact that the mothers were making flowers out of material from used clothes to sell at the local market.

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     A lot has happened during the past two years for this program completely independent from ASELSI.  You might say the Chichi Blossoms have blossomed.  There are more mothers getting their children to school on-time and then walking into the room next door and working at a “fair trade” rate.  Four local “gardeners” have been added to make sure the ladies have what they need to keep the flowers growing.  Ok that’s another change, the flowers have been replaced by better selling bracelets and Christmas ornaments made from traditional clothing.  Yes the flowers are gone but the Blossoms continue to thrive.

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     An author once wrote, “where flowers bloom, so does hope”.  The hope the Chichi Blossoms are finding does not come from a weekly paycheck, it does not come from selling their wares to the mission teams visiting ASELSI, hope comes from God.  It comes from the daily prayer they have together at the beginning of each work day.  It comes from the realization that despite the “dark moments”, God is still with them and their children.  It comes from “blossoming spiritually”.  Please pray for these mothers and if you know of a market where the Blossoms can sell their crafts you can contact them at:  chichiblossoms@gmail.com

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“God writes the Gospel not in the Bible alone but also in the flowers”   Martin Luther