Saturday, November 25, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving

Now, you may be thinking that this is 2 days late. You are kind of correct. Those of you in the USA celebrated or observed Thanksgiving on Thursday of this week. You remember – the day the Dallas Cowboys played and won – beat the Tampa Bay Bucs. Unfortunately, I was unable to see the game and they did not show SportsCenter on Friday so I could not see any of Tony Romo’s five passing touchdowns – the first Cowboy quarterback to do that at Texas Stadium.

Anyway, over here in South Africa, Thursday was just the fourth day of the work week. Today, we all met at the Beighle’s and celebrated Thanksgiving. There were about 27 missionaries and several friends. The Beighle’s have hosted Thanksgiving for years and this was there last one as they retire next year enjoying 31 years on the field. We had a wonderful meal and a lot of good fellowship. It wasn’t the same as being home, but it was the next best thing to being there – even though it was in the low 90’s. I looked at the thermomether in my bedroom this evening – it read 89 degrees – but I am thankful.

I Am Thankful.....

...for the taxes that I pay because it means that I am employed.

...for the mess to clean after a party because it means I have been surrounded by friends.

...for the clothes that fit a little too snug because it means I have enough to eat.

...for my shadow who watches me work because it means I am out in the sunshine.

...for a lawn that needs mowing, windows that need cleaning and gutters that need fixing because it means I have a home.

...for all the complaining I hear about the government because it means we have freedom of speech.

...for the spot I find at the far end of the parking lot because it means I am capable of walking.

...for the lady behind me in church who sings off key because it means that I can hear.

...for the piles of laundry and ironing because it means I have clothes to wear.

...for weariness and aching muscles at the end of the day because it means I have been productive.

...for the alarm that goes off in the early morning hours because it means that I am alive.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

November Update

Well, it is the middle of November already. Time has flown since our last update. I knew that it would and it will only continue as we head into Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the New Year.

If you have not heard the neww or visited our blog, Jody had a safe delivery of Melody Kayelynn on October 25th, 12:55 pm. She was 9lbs 10ozs, 22 ½ inches long. She arrived healthy, but had to be on oxygen for the first 8 hours. Jody didn’t like that; not being able to see her until that night. She did, however, get to hold her for about a minute or so in the delivery room. Jody’s mother arrived safely and had been here. She has been a great help. (Please don’t let her see this comment.) She leaves to go back home next Wednesday. This will not be a happy time. The boys and Bethany have really enjoyed having her here.

It is hard to believe that we are month away from Christmas. With the temperatures in the high 80’s and low 90’s, the Christmas spirit is not in the air. But we will continue on. We have learned that we cook out at Christmas and we cook in on the 4th of July!

With Christmas just around the corner, it is time for the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering. I want to thank you again for your giving last year. Last years total was over 137 million dollars. All of the money given goes to support over 5000 missionaries around the world. The LCMO is not used for administrative or promotional cost. So, I just want to thank you as you give again this year.

Work continues, even though at a much slower pace for the rest of the year. As we enter into December, work ceases around the country and people disappear. Many people go back home; back to the village where they grew up in. It is incredible to see, but it is nice to experience because lines everywhere are much shorter.

Please continue to pray as we get through this lull. I look to ‘hit the road’ hard and fast in January. We are only here for another 5 ½ months after the new year. There is a lot of work to do. I will be working with the pastors in December on the calendar for the first half of 2007. Starting in January, I will start scheduling for our time in the States. We plan on seeing everyone on our own time, but certainly want of visit your church in an ‘official’ capacity.

Lottie Moon Fast Facts

The board's more than 5,100 missionaries and their international Baptist partners baptized more than 475,000 new believers last year, started nearly 23,500 churches and engaged 104 people groups for the first time. They also planted churches among 19 people groups where no Baptist churches previously existed - including 13 with no evangelical churches of any kind.

In 2005, Southern Baptist missionaries and their partners:

-- engaged a total of 1,170 people groups worldwide, three-quarters of whom are classified by mission researchers as unreached (less than 2 percent of the population claiming evangelical Christian faith)

-- engaged for the first time 104 people groups, 73 of whom are unreached, with a combined population of nearly 100 million.

-- engaged 120 unreached urban centers, including 12 for the first time.

-- started 23,486 churches and more than 10,600 "outreach groups" (potential future churches). That brought total partner churches worldwide to 135,252, with a combined membership of 8.8 million, and outreach groups to 55,723.

-- baptized 475,072 new believers - about 1,300 each day or one each minute.

-- involved nearly 510,000 new believers in discipleship training, in addition to more than 1.1 million existing church members in discipleship groups.

-- trained more than 150,000 Christian leaders in nonresidential settings (extension and correspondence courses, short-term courses and on-the-job training) and more than 20,000 in residential pastoral programs.

-- worked with 1,772 international missionaries sent out by overseas Baptist partners to other people groups and 3,400 home missionaries reaching out to people groups within their own countries

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Time Flies

I did not realize that it has been almost 2 weeks since I put up the last pictures.

An update will be coming soon, also. It has been just a little bit busy around here.