One of the great things about working at Hope For Life / Herald of Truth is the fact that I get to work with some amazing people in other countries. One of them is Tony Fernández, who continues to inspire with stories of his work in Cuba. I’ve shared the following in several places, but wanted to share it here as well:
Neat story from Tony Fernandez in Cuba. He was coming back from Havana, and several other drivers warned him of a police control on an upcoming bridge. Sure enough, as Tony approached, the policeman was waving him over. Tony started getting his papers ready, but the policeman said, “Please, put your documents away. I just want to know if you can get me a Bible. That’s always been my dream, but I’ve never been able to get one.”
Tony didn’t have any with him, but told him where to hear the Herald of Truth radio program and gave him the post office box number so he could write in.
Reminds me that the thousands Herald of Truth raises every year for Bibles in Cuba are going to good use. And reminds me that we have faithful brethren around the world working hard to spread the message every day.
Just a note about where I’ve been the last few weeks:
- Cuba — Feels funny to say that I went to a women’s conference. Actually, I wasn’t at the women’s sessions much, but did get to speak to a group of preachers that gathered at the same time. I also translated for some of the group from the Beltline Church of Christ in Decatur, Alabama, as they addressed the men. Beltline sponsors the women’s conference. Most of the time, however, was spent with Tony Fernández, visiting radio listeners and studying a part of the province where he hopes to begin new mission churches soon. (Tony’s congregation has planted more than 40 churches over the last 10 years)
- Kansas — I got to go to Lawrence, Kansas, doing my Christ and Culture seminar for the Southside Church of Christ there; that’s part of what I do for Hope for Life / Herald of Truth Great people, and they felt like the content I shared was very timely for their group.
- Nicaragua — This is part of Herald of Truth’s Central American Project. Steve Ridgell and I travelled to Managua, meeting with radio listeners and preaching an evangelistic campaign. We also met with a brother who works in the area south of Managua, making plans to expand our work to that area in 2016.
- Silver Spring, Maryland — I was invited to do a men’s conference at the Silver Spring Church of Christ, as well as speaking for their whole Hispanic group on Sunday morning and for an areawide event Sunday night. Another great group. It’s always encouraging to see what God is doing around the world.
What have you been up to?
It’s been an eventful few weeks. The last day of May, I traveled to Long Island for a campaign sponsored by Hope For Life (Herald of Truth), the ministry I work for. We arrived on Saturday. On Sunday, I received word that my mother had fallen in Abilene and broken her hip. I cut short my participation in the campaign and returned to be with her. I got her settled into a physical rehabilitation center, spending two nights with her in the hospital, then two in the rehab place.
The next week, Carolina and I left for a long-planned trip to the Holy Land. My sisters graciously came to be with my mom to allow us to make the trip. I’ll tell you more about that trip in the coming days.
We returned late one Wednesday night, then I left on Saturday to speak at a church in Morro Bay, California, the following day. That Sunday night I took a redeye back home, before leaving on Wednesday for the Summer Celebration at Lipscomb University. Hope For Life hosts a breakfast every year, so I was there for that. I also got to teach a class with Steve Ridgell, as well as doing two classes in Spanish.
So yes, I did get confused more than once as to what time zone I was in. And I’m afraid I had to push this blog to the back burner. I’ll try and do better over the next few days.
What have you been up to?
OK, so the blog has been neglected a bit. And may be neglected some more. Here’s what’s going on:
- Last week was the campaign on Long Island for Hope For Life ministries (Herald of Truth). We had worked for quite a while organizing this campaign, motivating and training the churches to carry out an evangelistic effort. It was great to see the congregations working together in this concerted effort and to see them excited about reaching out.
- I had to leave the campaign early. My mom fell a week ago Sunday and broke her hip. She’s now in a facility for physical rehabilitation.
- Tomorrow, Carolina and I leave on a trip to the Holy Land. A generous, anonymous benefactor offered to pay my way, the Texas International Bible Institute (organizers of the trip) offered Carolina a partial scholarship, and we were able to use air miles and hotel points to defray the rest of the costs. There’s still some expense involved, but it will be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Special thanks to Hope For Life Ministries for letting me take the time off, to my sisters for coming to be with Mother, and to TIBI and the donor for making this possible.
I’ll definitely post some about the trip, though I’m not sure that will happen during the trip.
As part of my work with Hope For Life/Herald of Truth, I’m developing a new seminar for churches. I’ve been doing the “Christ and Culture” seminar for several years and would like to have something else to offer as well.
I want to do something that will address a need felt by many churches and do it in a practical way. I’ve decided to focus on how to get church members’ focus outside the building in order to get outsiders in. I want to look at analyzing the community in general, the neighborhood around the church, and each member’s immediate neighbors. I plan to talk about how a church can make itself more open and inviting to outsiders. I want to look at the topics of evangelism and discipleship.
What do you think? What topics do you think your congregation would want to see addressed? What items do you yourself see as important?
I’ve got a working title, but would definitely be open to suggestions on that as well.