Monday, August 12, 2019

School Daze!

School started last Wednesday. I must say I have felt a bit overwhelmed with finding the right schedule for my 5th and 6th graders, and making sure everyone has work until the books arrive for new students. I am hoping things will settle in this week. I have a good class, and some of the students were in my second grade class when I taught before. I am happy to see them still in  Christian school.

The building project for the school lunch room, which was destroyed in hurricane Maria, is coming along quickly. I am amazed at all that has been accomplished since I came. Please pray that the funds will come in to cover the cost, which is $56,000 for just the building. This doesn't include doors, windows...

We had exciting news today. The license for an orphanage came today! I do not know what all this will entail for me, but I am excited to see what God will allow me to do and learn. We are allowed up to six children right now. There are many kids in need of a home especially since the hurricane.

Please continue to pray for the political situation here. A very conservative man was turned down as governor by the judges, and a woman was chosen instead. The political situation hasn't been good here for a long time, and the recent events only scratch the surface. Please pray that God will work in the lives of the politicians and that they will begin making good decisions which will help the people of Puerto Rico.

Probably half of the people use welfare, even young healthy men, and most families have been split with many of them now single parent homes. The need for more churches and good Christian schools is great for such a small island. The need for teachers and helpers is also great. While I am here, I will be teaching the junior age kids in Sunday school. Please pray that we can get more kids into church so that their families will come too.

Pray for the Martinez family as their two sons will be going to college in the States. This will leave a hole in the teen department and the deaf ministry. Pray that God will send more laborers to help in this work.

Please pray for my family. My nephew, Uriah, had eye surgery. Several of my siblings are dealing with some tough situations and decisions, and all are involved in ministries of some sort. Please pray for me that I will have strength, knowledge, wisdom, and compassion for my students. (Please do not pray that I have patience; that usually brings testing. :-) )

The most recent picture is the first one. August 8. The last picture is from July 15.

Thursday, August 1, 2019

A week is gone!

How time does fly when you're having fun or when you're busy. My first week since returning to Puerto Rico was spent visiting the beach, shopping, and setting up my room. Yesterday, I painted two small rooms in the school, and today began the teacher's work days to prepare the classrooms for the start of school next week.Today, I got a lot of things organized. tomorrow, I will put up my bulletin board, finish getting the students books, tests... organized, and then I will begin the task of preparing lesson plans. I am excited to be teaching 5th and 6th grade. Some of the students I taught before will be in my class.

This past Sunday, we had friend day at church with over 100 people in attendance. I was able to play the piano and sing a special for the second service. I also taught the children's class, and one girl raised her hand for salvation, but she did not want to talk to me about it. I let the pastor know so he could talk with her family.

We have had heavy rains all this week which caused some flash floods. I did not mind it too much because when the rain would slow down, the Coqui frogs would come out and start singing. Today, some Greater Antillian Grackles were chirping away and chasing each other all around the yard. They too were happy the rain had stopped. Tonight, when we returned from shopping, I saw six giant toads who had come out to enjoy the dry night. This link has many of the Coqui frog sounds recorded.

 First Baptist Church in Hammond Indiana, which I attended for eight years while in college, took me on for support this month. It is a blessing to see God continue to provide for me to continue to go to more places to be a blessing to more people.  Five churches now support me. Thank you for partnering with me as I gain fruit to your accounts.

Please pray for me that I will be prepared for the start of school. Please pray for my students that any who are not saved will trust Christ by the end of the year. Please pray for several people I know who are going through some tough situations.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Puerto Rico!

I waited until I arrived in Puerto Rico to write a new post. Since my last post, I went to camp with one junior age girl and two of our teen girls. The camp we attended had its own staff and counselors, so I was able to let the junior age girl be involved with her camp mates and the activities. I was then able to spend some time with the two teen girls. It was a blessing to talk with them and know that they want to serve God. Both come from difficult home situations, so please pray for them that they can overcome what is in the past and follow God's leading in their futures.

I flew to Puerto Rico yesterday and hit the ground running by playing the offertory last night. Today, I will probably do a little shopping, and then start working in my classroom. Please pray as that lives will be changed this year.

The school finally got the approval to start working on the fellowship hall/lunchroom that was destroyed during the hurricane. The building and labor together is going to cost $56,000. If you would like to help with this project, you can let me know by e-mail, and I will tell you where to send them. Right now, the kids are crowding into a tiny house on the property for lunch and Bible class, so this building is important.

My friends in Nepal sent a new update. Please pray as they continue working to build a larger school and children's home facility. They went from 30 something students to 51 this year, so they desperately need the new  building. If you would like to help them, please e-mail (above) me, and I will tell you how to send money to them.

I should be updating every week from now on.

Please continue to pray for my sister Janna and her tumor, my aunt Lydia  who is extremely ill, my mom's back, and Anchor Baptist church.

Monday, July 1, 2019

One month of summer!

I have been so happy with the warmer temperatures. My mom and I planted some tomatoes, squash, and peppers, and soon, we will have the first of the tomatoes on our table. We have stayed busy with church work and visiting my sister who lives a little north of us.

Last week, I went to NYC for a very fast trip. While there, I was able to update one of the churches who has supported me through love offerings. I also met a group of college students who travel to NYC in the summer to witness to the Jews. It was a blessing to hear about their efforts. One Jewish man spoke with them for an hour, then followed them to talk some more. Pray God can use them to see many Jews saved.

On my way home from NYC, I had a seatmate who was a Christian on my first bus, and I met another Christian on my second bus. We had some very good conversations. It was a blessing to spend time talking about God on my six hour journey.

This Sunday, we will celebrate Independence Day. I am looking forward to what God has in store for us. Next week, I will go to junior camp with one of our girls. Two of our teen girls are also going as helpers. Pray God works in their hearts. I am very concerned about them and their future service for God.

Please pray for brother-in-law who has an important interview this week. Pray also for baby Dallas Penner. He spent the first 7 months of his life in the hospital. He just got home last week, but now he is back in the hospital. I leave for Puerto Rico July 23.

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Where is Summer? Oh, it finally arrived!

We have had nine months of winter here in Maine. I am definitely looking forward to spending most of my winter in Puerto Rico. The last this week has been the longest warm spell we have had. We have spent  a few days during the last couple weeks fishing, but I only caught a couple pickerel. We went to a beach north of here, and watched about 100 seals drifting on the tide enjoying a tasty meal. It was awesome!

We just finished our Sunday school campaign. We have had many visitors. Please pray that they will come join the church. We have had a lot of people saved on visitation, and a few baptisms along the way. We are continuing one aspect of the campaigns focus which is reaching an individual or family who will join the church by the end of the year. The people are excited.

My time here is getting shorter. I leave for Puerto Rico on July 23 to teach for the school year. I have ordered a few things and been a given a few things for my classroom. Please pray that God will use me to help these kids and reach their families for Christ.

I now have two countries in Europe where I will be helping people. In Poland, I will be working with a family, and I believe that will be a homeschool situation. In Romania, I will be working in a home for unwed mothers. When I am not in a European country, I will be helping in my aunt's church in Blackpool, England.

Please pray for the ministry here in Maine. We need a youth pastor, some work done on the sound system, a pianist, and other renovations to spruce up the building. Please pray for my mo as she is suffering from severe back pain.

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Memorial Day

Memorial Day has a lot of meaning for my family. Both sides of my family have longs lines of military men and women. Nathanael Greene is a fifth generation grandfather to my dad's family. My dad's father fought in WWII, and his brother, John Edward Rarrick, was killed in Vietnam. Most of my dad's brothers spent time in the military. Several of my mom's uncles were in the military, and some earned high ranks. Her brother was also in the military. We are proud to be Americans, and we are honored to have an American heritage like this. On this Memorial Day as you spend time with your family, don't forget the families, like my friend from college, who have lost their brothers, sisters, fathers, mothers. Remember the price of your freedom was the death of someone else.

This is also true of the price for sin. If we were to pay for our freedom to sin, we would have to die, but Jesus paid the price and died for us. Jesus said there is no greater love than if a man dies for his friends, but Jesus died for His friends and His enemies. Let us not forget that the freedom of our country was bought with the blood of those who believed in the saving power of the blood of Jesus.

Life is somewhat back to normal. I am in the preparation process of leaving for Puerto Rico to teach for the school year. I booked my ticket, and I have been packing my winter clothes away since I won't need them until Christmas. :-) I have already been working on themes for my classroom, and I ordered a few things for it last night. I will probably be teaching 5th and 6th grade this time.

I was able to speak at a Christian school here in Maine on Friday. It was a blessing to see several students who are already interested in missions with some going on missions trips this summer. A little girl who has been in the school for three years put her faith in Christ. Her older sister, who is about 4th grade, has been witnessing to her devout Catholic family members as well as her priest. When the older sister found out the younger sister had received Christ, she gave her a big hug. It was so sweet to see God working in these girls lives at such a young age.

I have been in touch with a couple in Romania. They have a home for unwed mothers. Currently, their are two expectant mothers there. They are need of help in the home, so I plan to go sometime next year. I will also be in Poland for at least a month, and I am working on other places to be of service.

The church here in Maine needs prayers as they look for a youth pastor and pianist. we are also in the midst of an Each On Reach One contest. Pray that many people will be saved, many people will come to church, and the members will grow in their service to God through tract distribution, soulwinning, and other areas.

Please keep my sister Janna in prayer concerning her pituitary tumor. Her husband also needs a job. I have many other family members going through illnesses and hard times. Pray for me as I continue planning and  putting money aside for next year's trips. Pray for laborers to go and be an extra set of hands to those serving in foreign lands.

Friday, May 10, 2019

Happy B Day to Me!

Today, as I celebrate my 35th birthday, I am spending the day at a missions conference for teens with an emphasis on short term missions. I shared my ministry this morning along with a few tips for serving God. What a blessing to see 100+ teens who have a desire to serve God.

Dad, mom, and I spent a week in Puerto Rico. For the first time, Dad preached with an interpreter four times and once in English for chapel. He did very well, and the people really enjoyed his sermons. Mom taught the ladies Sunday school class, and I taught the girls Sunday school class. Mom and I also spoke at the ladies' tea. It was a blessing to be back with Pastor Luis Martinez and the church and school. Since they need teachers this next school year, I have decided to return in August to teach.

While in Puerto Rico, we were able to tour the rainforest, view of the ocean from several points, and swim with fish at one of the beaches that is on a reef. Dad came face to face with an eel, and on the last day, one dolphin came in to feed and swam around for awhile. We also saw a a beautiful double rainbow that day. Dad ate several types of seafood, and he really enjoyed it. He even ate conch and octopus.

We were supposed to leave PR at 3:55pm Tuesday, but our flight in PR was delayed two hours. We finally left, and arrived in Baltimore where our connection was also delayed two hours. We arrived in Boston at 1:30am. Due to mom and I needing to fly at 5:45 am Wed., we stayed in the airport. We then flew to Chicago, spent time with a friend and my aunt and cousin. My sister and a friend drove from  Iowa to pick us up, and we drove 5 hours to my sisters house. After a late night of preparing my mission display, we all got up and left the house by 7:30am to drive two hours to the Ignite Youth Missions Conference. Mom is coming today to pick me up, and we will head for Missouri where I will give an update at Agape Baptist in Stockton. We will also spend a couple days with my brother and his family, and I will hopefully get to see my sister. After that trip, we will head to Indiana to see another sister. This is a whirlwind trip, but it has been good so far. Please pray for our safety.

The Ignite Missions Youth Conference is an amazing idea. Harvest Baptist College in Fort Dodge, IA hosts this conference for teens who are interested in missions. I have met veteran missionaries who are reaching people in so many places. One missionary is   reaching people groups here in the US from Africa, Arab countries... The teaching and preaching has been intense. One man is involved with training missionaries to live in third world countries, jungles... He and his team have a boot camp that teaches, survival, medical, food prep including killing, skinning, and prepping the meat... I do not know if I could survive it, but it would be worth being able to observe. God is doing a work, and I pray that this idea of promoting missions to kids will catch on with more and more  churches.

In closing, the near future will include teaching in Puerto Rico for the school year, and next June, I will head to England and Europe for at least a year.