Good morning everyone,
I hope you all are doing well. Thank you for praying for the work here in Chile. Unfortunately I have a herniated disc in my back, and several other issues. The herniated disc is the most serious. And I may have to have surgery, although we are praying for an effective outpatient alternative.
As a result, I had to spend a lot of time in bed and used what time I was on my feet to focus on ministry instead of school. I WILL ALWAYS CHOOSE MINISTRY OVER SCHOOL WHEN THE CHOICE MUST BE MADE. Now I am behind on one of my classes and will not be able to catch up. I plan to find out if it is possible to move the class to the next semester. More info on that as it develops.
The good news, FINALLY… I was invited to preach at a church on the north side of town yesterday. What is exciting about this preaching experience is that the pastor let me pick my own topic and so for the first time I DID, EXACTLY, WHAT I CAME TO CHILE TO DO… I taught the people of Chile what I have been learning about in school. This was a milestone, because for the first time God brought me to practical application of my long-term life goal!! 🙂
Please praise God in celebration with me. This was especially exciting because the church we visited was one of the larger ones of Chile, therefore more people were affected by the message. And better yet, the pastor invited me back to preach whenever I want, and is giving permission to LET ME PICK the topic of the message.
Being able to pick my own themes, means that I can simply teach on whatever I am learning about in school, and I don’t have to work so hard to prepare. It’s also exciting to apply something learned from Jack Swanson, that when you have to give multiple messages at the same time, preach on the same topic. By the time you get to the last audience, your more practiced at giving the message. Though you may change the topic here and there to better communicate to your audience, the overall pattern is that you are reaching more people with less time, which in turn gives you more time to reach more people. 🙂
So, that is what I did starting out with the same message last Saturday night at the youth meeting for the Iglesia de Cristo on Capitan Thompson Street. Everyone was more attentive than usual, but next week, and as time goes on, we’ll be trying to make the meetings more interactive. It’s just taking some time to find a healthy balance. 🙂 Please pray for progress in this area.
So, how did I go from “bed-ridden” to “doing more” if the back problem is more serious than initially supposed? Once we had a better idea of the diagnosis, I purchased a back brace that helps me stay straight when moving around. Hopefully I’ll be referred to a specialist today to get a better idea of what’s really going on.
It feels like there were a lot of “I”‘s in this letter, so it seems appropriate to give some honor to the One who can use all of the good and the bad for His glory. He will get us through the hard times and He is the One who blesses us with the good times.