Category Archives: Herald of Truth

Herald of Truth in Nicaragua

Just got back from a profitable time in Nicaragua, doing several events for Herald of Truth. Traveled on Thursday, arriving that evening. Bruno Valle was waiting for me and accompanied me to the Best Western hotel in Managua, which is literally across the street from the airport.

Bruno had copies of my new book with him, the one I mentioned the other day. It was interesting to finally see the book in its physical form. That’s the first book I’ve done in Spanish.

On Friday morning, we went to the radio station where we broadcast the Lea La Biblia program. Bruno does the show live every Friday, using my recorded programs on the other days. He and I did the program in an interview style, talking about the new book and an event we would be speaking at that afternoon. The afternoon event was a Lea La Biblia training session, where I talked to those gathered about how to read and study the Bible. There were about 100 in attendance. We sold the books at cost, about $1.50. Experience has shown us that people give more value to a book they pay for, even if it’s a minimal payment. That money also allows us to keep printing books.

From there we drove to León. On Saturday morning, we led some training sessions at the Colegio Cristiano (Christian School) in León. Those gathered were from 15 congregations of the Church of Christ in the León valley, about 200 people in all. I spoke to them about evangelism and discipleship, while Bruno gave lectures on homiletics. We did about six hours in all.

Sunday morning, I spoke for the church that meets at the school, then we had another training session on Sunday afternoon, where I presented the material I had done in Managua on Friday afternoon.

Monday morning, we headed back to Managua, then recorded some videos that afternoon. Monday evening I had supper with Travis and Mindy Stewart, who work in Jinotega; Benny Baker, longtime missionary to Jinotega, also joined us to visit a bit.

Tuesday was a travel day, coming home. It was a tiring trip, but quite profitable. We did some good training (according to comments received) and distributed important literature. (Each church took home a packet of tracts.)

Bruno Valle is doing a great job in Central America. The organization was impeccable, and we had a nice mix of working with members of the church and with outsiders. Always exciting to be a part of something like that.

The Hawthorne Effect and evangelism

Have you heard of the Hawthorne Effect? It has to do with something that researchers noticed during a study back in the 1958 (conducted at the Hawthorne Works factory near Chicago). While studying the effects of lighting on productivity, the researchers realized that the participants had apparently increased their productivity because they realized they were being studied. Whether the lighting was increased or decreased, productivity went up.

At Herald of Truth, we see the same thing happen as churches begin talking about evangelism. It’s amazing how just thinking about reaching out to other people effects what is going on at a church. We believe that the training we offer increases that effect, but it’s nice to know that people can increase their effectiveness just by focusing on the people around them.

Travels

It’s been a busy last few weeks. Late July I was in Jinotepe, Nicaragua, for a campaign there that was sponsored by Hope For Life, a Herald of Truth ministry. Then last week I was in Cuba for the National Youth Conference; the Southern Hills Church of Christ in Abilene was the main sponsor of this event, while the University Church of Christ in Abilene and a church from Kimball, Tennessee, provided additional funds. I went with 3 university students from UCC.

Both trips were very profitable and encouraging. And tiring. It’s taken me a few days to catch my breath. I’m getting my bearings again and slowly getting caught up on things that went undone while I was traveling. I’ll get back to writing some things soon, as well as sharing more posts from the summer blog tour. For now, I’ll share a few pictures from my travels.


Time spent with other Christians

I was blessed to attend the Red River Family Encampment for the first time this year. My parents attended years ago, and I’ve had many friends go regularly; I had very much looked forward to being there. I got to go this year representing the Hope For Life (Herald of Truth) ministry.

And my expectations were met. It’s a wonderful gathering of Christians in a beautiful place.

On Saturday, I led three sessions in Spanish. Despite some technical issues at the beginning, we had a great time.

Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday I taught classes in English. There were several glitches there, I’m afraid. I was invited to speak back in November, then my invitation apparently got lost in the shuffle. Early promotional material listed the usual 10 classes, but not mine. Later they added a class by “Tim Harris” to the website. When I got there, I found that they had squeezed me into an 11th slot. (Which I’m very grateful for; I’m sure that involved renting one more tent than usual)

Not having been there, I asked the organizers if I would have the ability to use PowerPoint. I was told yes, but apparently they were only thinking of Saturday. The tents for the classes don’t have electricity! I’ll admit my first class was sub-par because I was planning to use some videos and visuals that weren’t available.

Attendance at my class was very low. On Monday, I ran into one of my cousins. He said, “I’d love to go to your class, but I don’t speak Spanish.” It’s possible that he’s not the only one who thought I was only teaching in Spanish. More likely is the fact that I was a relative unknown in the midst of some very talented teachers.

That said, I had a great time. I heard some great teaching, saw several old friends, made numerous new friends, and got to share some about Church Inside Out. All in a beautiful setting in the mountains.

I had to leave a bit early because our ministry was participating in the Summer Celebration in Nashville. We had out ministry breakfast on Friday morning, then I taught one session on Church Inside Out. I wish we’d had more time there, but it’s hard during the summer to be everywhere.

I love getting to share this material that I think is important. And I especially enjoy the time spent with Christians from other places.

Guatemala trip and random travel thoughts

Just got back from a great weekend in Guatemala City. It was primarily a follow-up trip for Hope For Life (Herald of Truth) on campaign work done there last year and radio work that is ongoing. Bruno Valle and I spent most of our time with Roberto Alvarez, who has been our chief contact there the last few years. Roberto directs the Biblical Institute of Central America; his students were conducting a house-to-house campaign, and Bruno and I provided the preaching for the event. There were seven baptisms and two restorations.

A few random thoughts that have come up over the last few weeks:

  • Just finished reading Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus. I’d recommend the book, primarily for understanding a bit more about Islam and the differences between the worldview of a shame culture vs that of a guilt culture.
  • I now read ebooks almost exclusively when traveling. I have a small iPad with the Kindle app on it; I keep it loaded with plenty of books. I like hard copies when home, but love ebooks when traveling.
  • When traveling, try to limit yourself to one carryon. That’s been my practice for years, and I’m constantly reminded of why it’s a good idea. I have what I call a half-rollerboardthat I can combine with a full-sized carryon for especially long trips. Unless I’m carrying something bulky or taking a lot of supplies somewhere, I don’t check a bag. For suggestions on how to reduce your travel load, check out OneBag.com
  • I love the lightweight hiking shirts made by Columbia. They do well in warm weather, plus you can wash and hang-dry them from one day to the next. I think they look much nicer than the fishing shirts a lot of guys wear. The model I’ve been wearing is Royce Peak II; I’m sure there are others that look as nice.

That’s it for now. Have a great day!