Wednesday, December 12, 2012

May you be blessed on 12-12-12!

So far I haven't seen the end of the world today, but the number twelve is still pretty significant.  From several sources across the net, here's a little bit about 12 in our Bible.


Synaxis Of The Twelve Apostles 01
12. It indicates a kind of totality.
The most obvious example of 12 are the 12 tribes of Israel, mentioned many times throughout the Bible. Revelation incorporates multiple uses of 12. After the Tribulation begins, Christians will have already been Raptured to Heaven to spare them the horrors. 144,000 people, 12,000 from each tribe of Israel, will be sealed for God. The New Jerusalem, the city of Heaven, is described as having walls 144 cubits thick, symbolic of the 12 tribes and the 12 Apostles.
The foundations of the walls are made of 12 precious stones. The city is foursquare, with walls 12,000 stadia, or furlongs, long, wide, and high.  There are 3 gates in each side, for 12 total. These are made of single pearls, giving us the phrase “pearly gates.” Inside, the Tree of Life yields 12 different kinds of fruits.
Daniel is also concerned with the time of the end, and Daniel has 12 chapters. Daniel 12:12 states, “Blessed is the one who waits for and reaches the end of the 1,335 days.” 1 plus 3 plus 3 plus 5 equals 12.
May you be totally (12) committed and blessed in your waiting for God, whether He comes today or in 144,000 days!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Jubilee Christmas follow up

What a blast we had with Jubilee Christmas tonight!  Ten families came to share laughs, hugs, and tears with us as we got to know them.  With some we talked of what they could share about God with us and some asked several questions about our beliefs in God.

Here are all of the comments that were written on the evaluation sheets at the end of the night:

  • What does Jubilee Christmas mean to you and your family?  
    • " I love it very much.  Everyone here is so kind and helpful.  These people are truly angels of God!!!!" 
    • "This is the only Christmas our family will receive this year.  We have no income because of losing my job do to injury.  Thank you!"
    • "It means so much to me!  This is my first year attended.  I am very grateful I was given this opportunity."
    • "It's a blessing and a joy to experience the fellowship with other people who believe in Christ.  It's a great thing!"
    • "A lot less stress at a very stressful time."
    • "This was an awesome experience for us to be a part of!!  This took a lot of stress off of us as parents wondering how we were going to be able to buy for our children this year.This has truly been a blessing for us!!  Thank you so much!"
    • "A Lot"
    • "God and being together"
    • "My family is everything to me.  This was very special. Thank you for the  Christmas gifts for my daughter. Merry Christmas." (Translated from Spanish)
    • "We are thankful much for all the gifts and attention given to our family." (Translated from Spanish)
  • Please list any suggests for improvement in Jubilee Christmas.  
    • "Nothing for myself, it was all perfect."
    • "The people who were a part of this were very friendly and made us feel very welcome and not less than for our needing assistance.  They went above and beyond making this a great Christmas for us all!!!"
    • "You are a great help in our time of need."
    • "Very Good"
    • "None"
    • "Perfect"
    • "All is well. Thanks for all are very happy. God bless you." (Translated from Spanish)
    • "It was all good" (Translated from Spanish)

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Living Lesson: The Puppy Dog Position

Jesus the Christ had a marvelous way of conveying deep spiritual truths by using stories and object lessons from the living world around Him. 

The Puppy Dog Position:  There's not much cuter than a puppy dog, except your three year old imitating one!

Kalyn Bush
Monday was a great day for our family as we took our kids ice skating with the area homeschool group.  Our instructor for the first half hour was Kalyn Bush, daughter of Alan Bush, associate minister at Washington Ave Church of Christ in Evansville.  She was such a nice and respectful Christian young lady, and gave us several good tips to improve our ice skating skills. 

The tip we appreciated most was the "Puppy Dog Position" which aids in the falling down and getting back up process. My  family and I know how to fall one ice, we've perfected that move, so we were especially interested in this getting back up notion.  Here's how she taught us to get back up.  First she sat down on the ice next to us.  Then she demonstrated rolling over to her front side.  Next she lifted to her hands and knees in the "Puppy Dog Position."  Finally, she placed her right foot up between her two hands and slowly lifted up. 

Kalyn helping Gabriel
Ethan was especially good at getting up from the Puppy Dog Position and enjoyed ice skating so much more when he could get up on his own.  We enjoyed watching him crawl on the ice barking like a puppy too!  Everyone was skating on their own with no wall help by the end of the session and we have Kalyn and the puppy dog position to thank. 

Kalyn Bush
As I consider the Kingdom, I wonder if we spend enough time and effort teaching young Christians the "Puppy Dog Position" after falling down.  So often the Christian army has been guilty of standing at a distance and yelling "get up" at those who fall down in their faith.  Yet I think Kalyn helped remind me that people need someone to get close down beside them where they have fallen down and model the proper getting up position with them. 

What's the first position we should model?  I'd say on our hands and knees before our God is a good place to start. 

Psalm 95:6 “Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the LORD our Maker."

Now, who wants to go ice skating?

Skating on our own!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Monday Monitoring

Good Monday morning to you!  God is good, is He not?

Mondays are usually my "Blah" days.  My energy is usually sapped the day after Sunday.  I thought it might be helpful to just jot down my thoughts and feelings on Monday mornings so I can just move on with my week.  There won't be a lot of editing or beautifying of my Monday blogs, just getting it out there.

Monday So Far
 This Monday was off like a shot.  At 8am I headed over to the hospital to do a little visiting and pick up the pager since I'm the chaplain on call.  I think more of my visit work comes in visiting the hospital staff and encouraging them.  The more involved I am in chaplain work, the more I see the fruits of building relationships with staff.   Visits to the patients are beneficial too, but the most fruitful of those seem to come when I am called by a patient desiring to see a chaplain.  I wish chaplains had the ability to just visit every in their room, but instead we check in at the nurses station and they ask if anyone wants to see a chaplain.  The process is respectful of the patient's desire, but I think most in our community would still welcome a smiling face, a warm good morning, and an offer of prayer.

Made a quick jaunt over to the courthouse to drop of a key for the elections tomorrow.  Our building is used as a voting site for the city.  I am always blessed to see my contact there, but I can never remember her name!  I've probably asked it at least 5 times now.  I feel horrible for that one.  I need to write it down next time.

Had a phone call from an area minister struggling with church politics.  I think Christians need now more than ever to learn to "Play Nice" with each other.  This man is trying so hard to do the right things.  My heart goes out to him.

Fixed the network for the office computer!  I couldn't figure out why the wifi wouldn't connect, but had a cat45 cable laying around.  That did the trick.  Glad to have it usable for church members now.

We've got pew fixers coming today, so the auditorium is going to be a buzz of activity for the next couple of days.  I'm looking forward to meeting them.


Yesterday morning before service I could tell I was filled with a little different spirit than usual.  I was very passionate about my recent motto, "We Play Nice".  Basically I've decided, If we share the "One things" listed in Ephesians 4, I'm going to endeavor to play nice with you no matter if you act like a divisive jerk or not.  And if we're not sharing those Christian standards, well I'm gonna play nice anyway, because the Lord made you.  None of this means I have to give up my distinctiveness, my Biblical views, or my ability to share them.   It just means I'm not going to do what I've seen so many Christians do in the midst of political uncertainty lately.  I'm not going to deride, slander, or set my self in opposition to anyone, even a presidential candidate and especially not another Christian.  I may oppose a view or idea, but I'm certainly going to give respect. "For our battle is not against flesh and blood...." Paul said in Ephesians.

And what do I do if you don't share those one things with me and you live in such a way that opposes God? I still play nice but I let you know we have a break in our relationship that can only be mended by us seeking and searching God.  Playing yatzee together doesn't fix it, but deliberately seeking God together does, even if we still don't agree.    Fair enough?  Boy, I'm still inspired Monday morning about this stuff, I could just keep writing thoughts.

Sunday afternoon - busy!  One of the best things accomplished was budget requests for 2013.  I was pleased to be able to request more in the missions area.  I was also encouraged by seeing good people from our congregation working together to ensure God's money is used wisely.

Sunday night - Grandparents.  I'm a firm believer that families can have a great holiday season together, but it takes everyone fulfilling their roles.  Grandparents in the Bible were so much more than "Spoil em and send em home" type of people.  They shared faith and Godly influence.  It wasn't just something that came about by happenstance, it was their job!  I think we forget that today.  If grandparents will limit the spoiling of kids and put effort into sharing that precious faith, oh, the holidays will be even better.  More on parents roles next week.

After services was great, lotsof people talking.  Did hear of two heartbreaking stories that I can't do anything about.  The good news?  I have a big God who can.   I carried Ethan home asleep in my arms.  I still love those moments.  Gabriel and I made paper airplanes.

This day was just a blurr!  Ashley was glorifying God speaking in TN at a ladies retreat, I was Mr. Mom and Minister at the same time.  We showed up at 8:15am at the Derek Arvin 5k "A race for the Son."  God blessed me to meet and pray with volunteers at 8:30am, Gabriel ran a 1 miler at 9am, then we prayed with all the race participants at 10am.  It was such a blessing and I was so proud of my little man for learning to persevere on his run.  There's going to be a lot of spiritual teachable moments coming from this one.

Then a family birthday party near Danville, Illinois at 11am.  Made balloon animals, caught up with cousins, met some nice people.  Then back here for a meeting with a lot of men and their spouses in our area to encourage them on their spiritual walk.  So thankful for the Page family for their time watching the boys.  Then home at 9:30pm, bed for the boys, and decompress time with my wife.

A really blessed but encouraging day.

By the way, Monster Energy drinks really do a number on me!

Just had someone stop in the church building.  Gotta go.  That was my Saturday to Monday morning.  With that outta my system, I'm ready to get on with this day!  Thanks God for a blessed Monday!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Confessions of a Chaplain

Brussels Sprouts.  You know that feeling you get when I mention Brussels sprouts?  Yeah, that's about the same way I feel when I get a call from the hospital, but multiply it times 1,000.

Ministers, Preachers, Pastors, or whatever you call that person at your church, they are supposed to be super human in their empathy and comforting abilities right?  I have a confession to make.  When I get that call from the hospital that a family has requested a chaplain, I feel anything but super.  I feel downright human.  Even though I know I am helping the family, even though I know I'm helping the community, even though I know I'm spreading God's love, even though I know it builds me to be a more caring Christian, I dread it like Brussels sprouts.  They are good for me and everyone else, but I dread it.

I really only get called when there is a recent or an impending death.  Today was a hard one for me.  I got the call at 8:05 am.  I tried to pump the nurse for information, like it was really going to prep me for what I was about to do.  I hit my knees asking God for wisdom and words.  I read scripture of comfort.  I arrived at the hospital and probably looked funny praying aloud one more time in confines of my parked vehicle.  Sorry to those of you who were watching and thought, "That wacko is talking to himself again."  I spent most of my day with a large family (that I had never met before) until the "final" time came shortly after 2pm.  Readings from Psalm 23 and 27, prayers, hugs, and even my own wetted eyes filled the next twenty or so  minutes.    After making sure the family had a good grasp on and support for the tasks that came next, I made my way back to the office.

For a lot of chaplains, the nature of these calls just seems to roll off them like water off a duck's back.  Maybe they are in a more mature position of faith than I am.  Maybe they are more seasoned veterans than I am.  Whatever the reason, I feel discouraged that most of my volunteer chaplain work depresses me.  Why does it depress me?  I do everything to the best of my ability following all the literature that I have on pastoral care, so why do I still feel depressed?  I don't have a firm answer.  Maybe I still internalize too much of my environment and events.  Maybe I spend too much time talking with family members and building a relationship.  Maybe I'm simply doing it wrong.  Maybe I'm just weak in my maturity.  I'm not sure the reason, but after days like these, my mood is sullen and depressed.  It's a real hard mood to climb out of.  "They" say that writing your thoughts and feelings helps, so here I am.

As depressed as my mood gets, I did notice something strange today just as the finality of things was approaching.  My faith was increasing.  Gone are the wonderings of God's existence.  Gone are the  pleas for God to let me feel His presence.  Gone are the agnostic moments.  They are replaced in that time with a full surety that the God Almighty, Maker of the heavens and the earth, is right there in our midst.  I knew God was there today, I could feel Him in the room.

Have you ever noticed what happens to families and even strangers when someone's life is coming to an end?  How much does your family fight, argue, and disagree?  Yet in moments like today, there is no division between family members, only unity.  There is no jockying for position, but only support in lifting others up.  There is no malicious accusations, but only forgiveness, goodness, mercy, and kindness.  It's not just present among family members, but among ministers too.  When another minister, preacher, or pastor walks up to support the family, there is no sense of competitiveness.  There is no worry over what church they preach at or what their position is on worship styles.  You are simply grateful that another believer in Christ is there.  You are happy to have them support the family, support you, and for them to receive your own support.   Mercy, Goodness, Gentleness, and Kindness abound among all who are present in those times.  Unity is achieved, if only for a little while, and my faith increases.

As I read the last verse of Psalm 23, I was struck by it's presence in the room.  "Surely goodness and lovingkindness (mercy) will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever."  Goodness and mercy sure were present in the room in the last day of this loved one's life.  What a wonderful way to be ushered into the house of the Lord forever.

Be sure to be kind to someone today.  Be merciful to someone you might be at odds with.  Spend a moment blessing someone else with unity in Spirit.  May you dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

I feel better already.  Thank the Lord for Brussels sprouts and all those other tough moments in life.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Living Lessons: The Energizer Bunny

Jesus the Christ had a marvelous way of conveying deep spiritual truths by using stories and object lessons from the living world around Him. 

The Energizer BunnyMy mind has been focused on rabbits today.  Someone recently compared my lifestyle to that of the Energizer Bunny.  You know, that cute pink rabbit with a drum and sunglasses?  While I'm not very pink, very fluffy, and rarely where sunglasses, I do enjoy what others seem to think is a heightened energy level for sustained periods of time.  It just keeps going, and going, and going ..... 

Bill Wininger stopped in today and mentioned much of the same about his life.  He's a guy who doesn't seem to slow down.  Some people even call him "hyper".  So why is it that people are frequently telling us "Energizer Bunny" types to slow down, take a break, and rest for a while?  Could it be that they just haven't been given the same energy levels to keep up?  Could it be they have different priorities in life?  Could it be that they are lazy?  Or could we be mistaken and they know something important about rabbits that we don't know?

We have lots of rabbits in our neighborhood.  They frequent our yard daily and one named "Bugs" even lives in a little burrow behind one of our planters.  I watched that Bugs today and I noticed something.  He spent 15 minutes sitting completely still, out in the middle of the yard, doing absolutely nothing.  I've witnessed the madness of my boys chasing him before, so I know "Bugs" is super quick, with plenty of pace, agility, and energy to elude my boys and live his life however he wants.  Yet with all that ability, he spends most of his day sitting out in the open and watching.  Does Bugs, the energizer bunny in are yard, know something that I don't?  Maybe God is trying to tell us something through our little furry friend. 

“Be still, and know that I am God." - Psalm 46:10a

Friday, September 21, 2012

Living Lessons: The Lure of the Golden Arches

Jesus the Christ had a marvelous way of conveying deep spiritual truths by using stories and object lessons from the living world around Him.  We can too.

The Lure of the Golden Arches:  Excitement was crackling in the air from 11:45pm to 12:15am on Wednesday morning as McDonald’s opened its doors to about 170 customers.  Some had endured the “harsh” elements of the day by getting their spot staked in line at 12:30pm in the afternoon.  One lost her claim due to health related complications and was taken away by ambulance at 11:55pm, just shy of the door opening mark.  Some even paid $10 to park their cars at neighboring establishments.  Oh, the sacrifice!  Some of you reading this were there as witnesses to the excitement surrounding the resurrection of Washington’s golden arches. 

     The Times Herald reporter, Nate, my neighbor, Bill, and I all cited the same reason for not joining in the line ourselves.    No matter how they redecorate, how many spotlights they have, how high tech they are, Big Macs are simply bad for our health.  Our McDonald's gave away 52 of those bad boys for the first 100 people who showed up at midnight.  Just to burn away the calories of 52 Big Macs I would have to run an extra 250 miles this year!  We just watched as we tried to be a positive encouragement and healthy-minded witness to the participants. 

     Doesn’t sin work that way in our lives?  How many times have we vowed to quit a specific sin, only to find it repackaged and marketed in a different way, and suddenly we’re sold to soulfully unhealthy actions once again.  How many of us promised God we wouldn’t speak negatively of others or promised we wouldn’t spread gossip about others in our lives, and then along came Facebook.  Spreading gossip and negativity has never been so easy and trendy.  How many of us promised God we’d be responsible with the money He has let us borrow only to find the next great redesigned cell phone that is going to revolutionize our lives?  How many of us have found ourselves waiting in Christmas lines for something we don’t even want just because so many others around us are doing it.

     No matter how you decorate it, repackage it, market it, or how many other people are participating, things that are sin are not from God.  Like the Big Mac, these things slowly add layers of plaque to our spiritual arteries clogging the flow of life giving blood to our hearts.   Brothers and sisters, don’t fall for the gimmicks or peer pressure of sin in our spiritual lives.  Don’t wait in the long lines for something you know isn’t from God.

James 1:14-15 “But each one is tempted by his lusts, being drawn away and seduced by them. Then when lust has conceived, it brings forth sin. And sin, when it is fully formed, brings forth death.”

Now if McDonald’s gave away 52 free salads. . .

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Living Lessons: Puddle of Mud - 2012/09/02

Every week I write an article for our local church bulletin called "Living Lessons."   

Jesus the Christ had a marvelous way of conveying deep spiritual truths by using stories and object lessons from the living world around Him.  We can too.

Puddle of Mud:  Have you ever holstered your mudding knife and sanding block so you can go head to head with a pock-marked newly constructed or damaged wall?  Then we’ve joined ranks together in the fight against holey walls with our mudslinging skills!  For a few moments in the early mornings and late evenings this week I’ve been mudding a new bathroom wall and filling in holes all over the house.  Here’s a few of my meditations while smearing, wiping, sanding, smearing, wiping, sanding, smearing, wiping, sanding…

God gives us all a nice smooth piece of wall to work with when we start life, just like the drywall we get from our favorite hardware suppliers.  Yet our wall quickly gets holes, gaps in the joints, and rips from the difficulty of growing up in this world and the mistakes we make during construction and use.  Sometimes we make big mistakes that mar the wall like trying to take a big couch down to the lower level of the house (how many of you remember that excitement a year ago?) or missing the stud with your screw not one but three times.  All of these holes caused by life circumstances and sin are unsightly and nasty reminders of our mistakes.  I long for no more holes.

But the Great Contractor, God, doesn’t desire to leave our walls in this unsightly condition.  So He sent his best carpenter and finishing man, Jesus Christ, to patch things up utilizing the best mud, the Spirit.  Unfortunately it isn’t a quick process to remove all of those holes and indentations in our once-smooth surface.  Jesus takes a little mud like He did with the blind man in John 9 and begins to smear it on.  His mudding knife is a little sharp and scary to some, but as a skilled and experienced tradesman, He smears his healing mud deep into all the right places.  He then takes an abrasive instrument and sands off all the high spots, only to have to repeat the process with the knife and sander several times.  After multiple applications of the perfect mud mixture with the utmost patience, the wall is perfected again.  The holes are no more.

Pulling from His toolbox called “Love”, God is patiently but persistently using different tools such as grace, faith, obedience, and accountability to smooth out the blemishes in my life.  Some of those tools are a little scary and abrasive,  but they are all part of His plan to make us a perfect and complete structure.  Praise the Contractor, God, for persevering in sending His best Carpenter, Jesus, and in using the best medium, the Spirit, to perfect us.  The holes are no more.  Let’s keep it that way. 

James 1:4 “Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Honduras Missions Report

I'm at that place in the trip where I don't know what to say.  Have you ever been there?  Have you ever experienced something so wonderful and yet so taxing that you can't begin to describe it?  If you have, then you know how I feel right now.

I'm at Cafe El Gringo now, drinking a "sombra" (fruit smoothie).  Libby says the brownie here is to die for and that I have to have one before we leave.

We're taking Sunday as sort of a Sabbath today.  We've pushed hard for many days now and we're starting to feel it.  So far we've completed 4 houses by ourselves.  Our Mitchell/Washington Crew can really knock out a house!  For those of you in Washington, you would not believe what Drew, Elmer, and Steven can do when they set their minds to it.  Add B.A. from Mitchell and you've got 4 large men who dwarf all the Hondurans.  Those 4 guys have been working their tales off and garnering a lot of respect from many different peoples.

Don't let my comments fool you, the ladies in our group are no slouches either!  Midge sure can sharpen a chainsaw.  Laura Barlow is a beast at anything she does.  Jalayna and Libby's biceps have grown 4 inches from pounding who knows how many nails.  Teresa is a marvel with the kids and is a great nurse for us on the trip.  While we've had no major injuries, we've had some blisters, smashed fingers, scrapes and the like that have made us grateful for Teresa.  

Something exciting that we experienced was the spending of two days and nights in Guajire.  Mitchell COC has been working hard over the years to develop relationships in this little village.  It's hard to describe Guajire.  Ox carts, huts, and a plethora of mosquitoes were some of the distinguishing characteristics.  We stayed the night in the church buildings and classrooms.  Before you begin equating this to the 5 star church buildings that we worship in today, let me tell you that the Mitchell group built this box building a year ago.  We locked ourselves in and between the roosters crowing and dogs barking our group of about 25 people put in a few zzz's.  Allen and I were blessed to sleep at the door of the girls cabin since we don't snore.  What was also interesting is that the closest porcelain to the church building was about 5 minutes walk away, which really made the trip exciting for the girls.  Oh yeah, there wasn't running water or electricity in this area so I gained a lot of respect for the ladies who toughed that one out.  We were the first missions group to ever "camp out" with the locals.  As we were staring at the estrayas (stars) and the shooting stars at night, we felt very connected to you at home, knowing that you were possibly looking out at the very same stars as us.  

Today is definitely a mixed emotion day.  Our compadres from Baton Rouge left us this morning, which has left a void that's tough to fill.  They are one exciting and fun youth group that we look forward to connecting to back in the States.  

Church service with the Hondurans was a challenge as it was all in Spanish!  I think even Allen Burris may have dozed off a little bit.  Is it worse when a preacher falls asleep during a sermon?  The Ojohana Church of Christ was very grateful for our presence and there was a lot of gratitude and welcoming attitude displayed.  Ricardo preached his sermon today on the nature of the heart when giving coming primarily out of 1 Corinthians 16.  It was a lot of fun to have so much in common with people whose lifestyles, language, and traditions are so different from ours!  Yet we've found that the bonds of Christian love stretch well beyond these boundaries.  

I thank you so much for reading this and praying for us.  We ask that you continue to pray for us.  We've still got 1 more house to go and a lot of other good work to do.  Please pray for our safety and for openness in the people so that we can share about Christ in words as well as in action.  Everyone here says "Hi."  We look forward to our time with all of you soon.

Dios le beningdad (God bless you),

If you'd like to catch up more on what's been going on, please see Allen Burris's blog at

Presentation and Prayer for Rosa's new home.  Steven is about to hang the plaque.

House construction.  Steven looks to be one of the locals he's so dark!

Guys working on the house!

Our group before we walked to a waterfall!

I would like to upload so many more photos, but it takes so long.  I want to put up more of the Mitchell group as well. I'll work on more for tomorrow!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Love from Honduras, Post #2

Hey my friends and family!  I only have 18 minutes until Cafe El Gringo closes and I lose my internet access so this will be quick!  If you want a bit more, check out

We had a successful day today as we finished off all the three houses we started yesterday.  Families were so grateful and praising the name of God!  (In Spanish of course!).

We're learning a lot of Spanish here being immersed in the culture.  Believe it or not, Steven and Elmer have started speaking simple phrases to me in Spanish rather than English.  (Muy Bueno) It's been so fun!

Every day we have had a different fruit of the spirit to focus on.  We begin thinking about it during the day and wrap every evening devotional up with a thought on it.  Today was focusing on and increasing the "Goodness" in our lives and in the lives in the Hondurans.

To catch you up on things we've done, We've visited the city in the dump, a children's home for the blind, a children's home for the homeless, some really rural communities, and some in the middle of the city (Ask Steven, Drew, and Elmer about the drive to that one!)  We've built 4 houses since being here.  Not much of a break, but it's been great!  I'm going to include a few pictures for you now from Day 2 and Day 3 of our trip.

Ok, I take that back, I can't put up any pictures where I am, I spent all 18 minutes trying to upload one picture!  I'll try hard to get some time in the city where the internet is stronger soon.  We love you all and miss you!  See you soon!
Dios Le Benigdad!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Hola from Honduras! Report 1!

Wow what a culture difference!

Things are so different here some in good ways, some in bad.  From driving, dress styles, and food it is so very different.  And yet some things are the same as well.  A smile, and hand shake, and a hug can still convey so much needed communication that we are still very effective in our mission.

We apologize for not being able to communicate with you more.  We have a lack of internet connection at our compound and in most of the places we work.  Right now I'm sitting in a PopEye's Chicken restaurant sending you this message!

Day 1, Airport day.
This day was great as we bonded together more with friends from Mitchell and met our accompanying group from Baton Rouge Lousiana.  The airplane landing was something else!  We cheered for our pilot when it was all said and done!

Day 2, First workday.
Did you know that running, working, and playing at a high altitude is tough?  I ran 3 miles at 6:30am and thought I wasn't gonna make it!  If you guys didn't know we're way up in the mountains.  About the same height as the top of the Smokeys in Tennessee.  Amazing part of the day?  We built a 3 bedroom has for a family of 6 in about 4.5 hours!  It was 18x18 feet, so the whole thing was smaller than some of our bedrooms in America.  During the build we took time to make balloon animals, color, and sing "Jesus Loves Me" in Spanish with the locals.  While very difficult and taxing, it was wonderful!

Day 3, Dump Day
We visited the Dump today, or rather the city in the Dump.  In a few minutes we're heading to the school of the blind.  I'll have to write more later because I'm almost out of time, but wow, what a shocker.  I have never heard of the poorest in America living and surviving like these people do.  There's a whole city in the dump itself.

We're all doing well, and we feel very confident that God is using us to share and spread good things.  I will share more later in the week when I have a little more time with the internet!

One phrase for you to learn,

"Dios le benigdad!" means "God bless you!"

Oh, for more pictures, go look at Allen Burris's blog at:

Dios Le Benigdad!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Hunky Dory in Houston!

The view was tremendous as we flew into our Texas airport. We've landed safely in Houston.

But before we left Indiana we ran into some stragglers!

Now, after a great meal at Ruby's Diner we're waiting out the tail end of our layover together.

We just met up with our "quince" Casey Marshall! She came in on a different flight. Our group is complete!

Oh, and by the way, check out the new hat styles in Houston!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Friday, July 6, 2012

Pre-Honduras Trip - Who are we?

At 1:30am on Sunday July 8th, the 2012 Honduras Missions team from Washington Church of Christ will embark on a journey that will take them through 10 days, much sweat, many tears, and beaming smiles.  As we join our brothers and sisters from Mitchell Church of Christ, let us join hands in unity is sharing the love and knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus the Christ.

Thanks to our God who, through our church family especially, has given us so much support!

To see more about what we're doing, join the MCOC Honduras Facebook page here:

Our Team

We're being led by our fearless leader, elder, and friend, Drew Myers.  I believe this is Drew's third trip to Honduras.  He brings a wealth of experience, wisdom, and handy talent to this crew.

Christopher Wiles has been overseas on missions going through Russia, England, and Germany.  This is his first trip to a Central American country.

While for many this is not their first trip out of the country, but is a first mission trip abroad.  We've got several who bring a variety of skills, talents, and experiences to the group.  The rest of our servants from our church family include:

Elmer Graber

Steven Walden

Jalayna Page

Libby Myers

and Tyler Seibert.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Special Urgent Mission

Alrighty Men, I've got a special urgent mission that you might be able to help me with.

Preface Story:  On Friday morning, two teenage boys from our local high school died in a tragic car accident.  Both loved by the community.  One of the boys was worried before he died that so many of his friends didn't know Christ.  So his mom asked last night if our area could locate and donate enough Bibles to give to the expected 500-1000 teens that will come to the visitation on Monday at noon.  They would like the Bible to have Derek's (the faithful Christian kid who died) favorite Bible verse highlighted in it before given out to the kids. Here's the link to the story.

Here's the kicker, how do we get that many Bibles located over a weekend and up here in Indiana?  Where do we get that kind of money?

Just tonight, I located over 500 New Testaments that I can get for FREE, that's right, FREE!  The only problem is, they are in Florence, Alabama at Heritage Christian University.  They are in storage.  Do you remember the Challenge Youth Conference Bible from 2 years ago?  The navy blue one that has the plan of salvation in the front?  Yup, there are about 500 sitting in storage, and Larry Davenport, head honcho at CYC will give them to me if I will just come get them. 

So if I leave church tomorrow morning after I preach and drive 7 hours to pick them up, then 7 hours to get back, that puts me back somewhere around 2 am on Monday morning.  Then the groups here couldn't start highlighting verses till after they wake up.

Here's where someone down there might be able to help me.  What if a couple of you guys, took off on a road trip and drove to Florence Alabama and picked them up for me.  They will all fit in the back seat of a car.  Then bring them back to Franklin TN.  You could be back to Franklin around the time I arrive there.  Then I would pay for your gas, buy you a quick meal, and then I could be home by 9 or 10 pm, enough time for us to start on them the night before the funeral visitation.

And what do you have?  500 Bibles that would retail for $4000, being given out for free to teenagers who are hurting and seeking answers here in Washington Indiana. 

Let me know if you have any thoughts or ideas or if I'm just absolutely nuts.

Call Me if you're game or you have an idea:  615-668-6343.

Love you guys!

Christopher (Topher) Wiles Pulpit Minister
Washington Church of Christ     -   
311   Hillside Drive

Washington, IN  47501  -  812.254.0508 (office)  812.610.2484 (cell)              washington@facebook                        topher@twitter