Just got back from a trip to Guatemala. I had the privilege of participating in a campaign in Guatemala City that was sponsored by Hope For Life (ministry of Herald of Truth). I got to speak 3 evenings on the topic “New Year, New Life.”
Since August, the Lea La Biblia radio program that I do has been on the air twice daily, Monday through Friday, on Radio Progreso in Guatemala. Then this past week, students from the Biblical Institute of Central America canvassed the area, setting up Bible studies and inviting people to the campaign. Before we arrived, they had already baptized four people. (there were 9 baptisms in all)
The event itself was held at the church of Christ in Pinares del Norte, a neighborhood of Guatemala City. They have a beautiful building, ideal for hosting gatherings like that. And the Pinares church has a powerful music ministry, which really enhances everything they do. I’ll share a short video of their chorus rehearsing one evening for the next evening’s singing.
On Sunday morning, I also spoke for the Pinares church, while Steve Ridgell spoke to the church in Zone 1 (the historic downtown). In the afternoon on Sunday, Steve led a seminar for married couples while I translated for him.
Overall, it was a great trip. Steve Ridgell traveled with me from Abilene, and Rigoberto Vargas from Honduras joined us there. Our principal contact in Guatemala was Roberto Alvarez, who did a great job of setting everything up. (He and the chorus even had a wedding in another town on Saturday!)
As always, I’m grateful to get to do what I do.
There’s something big going on at the ministry that I work with. Earlier this year, Herald of Truth Ministries announced that we will begin using the name Hope For Life in our public outreach. Herald of Truth is a name with a lot of tradition, especially among churches of Christ. The ministry began in 1952 as an evangelistic ministry and continues to carry out evangelistic projects around the world.
However, it’s become clear that the name Herald of Truth does not communicate what we’d like, at least to people outside the church. We have operated the Hope For Life website for years and have come to see that “Hope For Life” expresses very well what we want people to know about us. We are offering hope; not a hope that begins with us, but the hope that only God can give.
The transition will be a gradual one. But as you hear me and others talk about Hope For Life, please know that we are talking about a ministry with a long trajectory of doing good around the world.
I returned yesterday from a Herald of Truth trip to Concepción, Chile. Some radio programs that I do have been on the air there the last few months, and we went to do some follow-up. Last Friday, I did interviews on 3 different radio stations there, promoting a seminar that we were doing on Saturday. Saturday’s seminar was “All Roads Lead To Heaven… And Other Myths.” Steve Ridgell presented some of the material. Then on Sunday, I spoke at a church service by the Vástago Iglesia de Cristo, and Steve and I did some leadership training after the service.
The Vástago church is made up of house churches that meet in different parts of Concepción. It was started by a mission team that has been there for over 2 years. In a context like that, you don’t get as many responses as you might elsewhere, but each one is highly valued by the church members.
Trips like this are so rewarding. I’m thankful to all who support Herald of Truth, allowing me to go and share what I’ve learned.
OK, hiatus is over. Let’s get back to work. I’ve spent the last few weeks traveling with Tony Fernández, my friend from Matanzas, Cuba. Tony has been the Herald of Truth representative in Cuba since 1995, doing follow-up on our radio ministry all across the nation of Cuba.
Tony arrived in the States on September 11; he’ll leave October 9 to return home. While he was with us, he did the following:
- Spoke twice for the bilingual group at the University Church of Christ in Abilene
- Taught three classes at ACU’s Summit
- Spoke to students at Faulkner University in Montgomery, Alabama
- Spoke to the main assembly of the University Church of Christ in Abilene
- Spoke at Coventry Christian School in Pennsylvania and met with area church leaders
- Spoke to the Chesmont Church of Christ in Pottstown, Pennsylvania
- Spoke twice to Harding University’s student chapel
- Gave a keynote lecture and taught three classes at the Harding Lectureship
After leaving here, Tony spoke yesterday for the church of Christ in Clinton, Mississippi. Busy times!
A number of Tony’s talks can be found online. Let me share here a video that was prepared for Harding. It’s only four minutes and well worth your time.
If the video doesn’t play well, you might try watching it on Facebook.
Facebook videos don’t always embed well.
Just got back from a Herald of Truth trip to El Salvador. We’ve been doing radio there and went on an evaluation trip to see how the project has gone. The local churches have decided to keep the program going, which is always a delight to us.
On Friday, we recorded a couple of programs t0 be broadcast the following two Sundays. On Saturday, I spoke at a regional seminar, doing 4 talks on “Setting Our Eyes on the New Testament.” I gave some background information, interpretation concepts and a synopsis of each New Testament book… all in about 2 and a half hours. Whew! Then they asked questions on ANYTHING relating to the New Testament. Yes, I did get put on the spot quite a bit.
Sunday I spoke at the church in Quezaltepeque, where Alexander Castellanos and his family work. Steve Ridgell, who was with me on the trip, spoke to the church in Zaragoza.
Great trip, as always. It’s so encouraging to be with God’s people.