Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Tuesday, March 26, 2013
We sang, taught, played games, ate snack, and hugged kids.
Tonight 13 people from our site came to dinner at the APU site. It was bring your ministry site to camp night! We ate together at the camper, then a bi-lingual worship service with over 3,000.
Tomorrow... 7:00 breakfast, 8:00 worship, 9:15 painting at a school, 12:00 lunch, 1:00 VBS, 4:00 teach adults Celebracion, Grupos de Vida, La Tutoria, with OIKOS at the center. Then, if we make it, back for worship at 8:00pm. Pray for us!!!!
see you soon!
Pastor Poppie Paul
Thursday, March 21, 2013
On Saturday March 23 we drive to Cuernavaca and set up camp. Sandy, Maria, Karen, Ron, Chris, and I will travel in two trucks, loaded with snacks, crafts, and sporting equipment.
We will be doing VBS for three hours each afternoon Sunday-Thursday. We have Bible stories, crafts, games, and water balloons. There is even a water balloon launcher. You have donated Frisbees, kites, baseballs, footballs, soccer balls, bats, gloves, soap bubbles, and many smaller prizes. We have been practicing worship songs in Spanish. We have put together a kids tract in Spanish. God loves me, I have sinned, Jesus died for me, I will live for Him.
We begin each day at base camp with worship, and end each day with worship. We will be camping with hundreds of others from Azusa Pacific University, and churches from all over the country. We are in a very fancy dirt lot, in the middle of a small town with dirt streets.
In addition to our VBS, we have been invited to minister to the adults. We have put together a bi-lingual packet which covers the basics of our Celebration/Celebracion, Life Groups/Grupas da Vida, and Mentoring/La Tutoria. We have a case of the 8-15 Oikos book in Spanish. It has already been suggested that when JumpStart is finished we translate it into Spanish.
Our prayer is that the VBS will touch dozens of children. We have been told to expect up to sixty. As the children go home with crafts, songs, and tracts it is our prayer that the gospel message penetrates all of their homes. Reaching the children for Christ, and sowing the seeds of the gospel is huge. Equally exciting is the opportunity to challenge a group of adults with Oikos evangelism in the Acts two Cell Model.
If we make the connection with the church that we are hoping to make, I can see this being a long term relationship. If we could take men down for a work project on the building, and do even deeper leadership training for Life Group leaders, and encourage the pastor and church to be praying over their updated Oikos list, anything can happen.
One step at a time!
Be praying for your team all week!
Ask God to open a wide door,
and if it is His will,
to release signs and wonders upon each of us!
His will be done,
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
The Jewish Sabbath is the centerpiece of Jewish law. Think about that Sabbath--His friends were devastated and afraid, and there was nothing that they could do. All of the rituals and observances have their place, but they could not bring Him back; they could not even prepare His body for burial. A Festival Sabbath should have been a joyful time, but it was probably the worst day of their lives. It must have looked like a dead end.
Now look at Easter morning! The one thing they really had not expected, or even thought possible, happened! Death was not the end; death had no power over Him. They saw a power here that would change their lives in even ways that the previous three years as His constant companions hadn't done.
Look at the difference between His followers on that horrible Sabbath, and six weeks later on Pentecost!
They knew, as we should also know, that when Jesus had talked about Life, it was what we had been created for, but cannot reach outside of Him.
I was the one with my mother-in-law on her last night. She was restless; even medicated, she couldn't sleep. Very early on a Tuesday morning, she kept saying "This morning will be Sunday!" And I kept answering, "No, yesterday was Monday, it will be Tuesday." She kept saying "It will be Sunday!" and seemed to be seeing her mother and a deceased sister. She passed into eternity about 6am that morning. I realized that she was seeing something that she could only describe as having a Sunday atmosphere; that that first Easter Sunday was our glimpse of eternity.
Wednesday, March 6, 2013
Underlying the concept of Oikos is that of networking: not only are we as individuals connected to a small group of other people, but we can be the connector between those people. I had that happen last Saturday. One of the friends who lives at my house was worried because the driver's window on her car got stuck down on Friday night, and she was supposed to go to an event on Saturday required for a class she is taking. I offered to drop her off at a classmate's house and take the car to work with me to get the window up. Also on Saturday, my daughter had picked up her college daughter from Orange County who needed to be home this weekend. Mary missed the freeway turn she normally makes and wound up coming through downtown San Bernardino, and decided, on the spur of the moment, to stop by my store. While they were there, my housemate got dropped off at the store to connect with her car. Michelle mentioned that she was supposed to put together a video presentation for this class, and hadn't been able to make it work. My granddaughter, who is a photography student, said she had her video camera with her and offered to help; and it turned out that her brother had the information needed for the report. So the stuck window and the missed freeway turn wound up connecting several people in my oikos to accomplish something good. And I heard my daughter and my housemate planning to get together and help each other with other things. And I'm sure that the class presentation will include the story of how prayers were answered to get it done, and my grandkids saw God's providence in action.
When I realized that Tom Mercer is saying that if the oikos God brings you includes believers, this is a OK, I was relieved. The vision that it gave me was a network of people connecting with each other and helping each other grow. Sharing insights with a fellow believer can help us both in our contacts with other people, enriching each other's oikos, and watching our spheres of influence grow beyond our own reach.