Hello world!

You’ve heard it said, “Today is the first day of the rest of your life,” or something like that.  Well, today is the first day of my blogging life.  How about that!  I wanted to do this for a long time but it was not until being in Florida last week and meeting some really cool people at Church By The Glades in Coral Springs that I decided to take the dive.  In particular, I’m thinking about Heather Palacios who blogs at <wondherful.com>.  Heather’s husband, Raul, is a pastor at that church  where my son Chris also serves.  I read some of Heather’s posts and decided it was time for me to add my 2 cents, maybe 1 and a half cents to the blogosphere.  So, here goes.

The title of my blog is The Syko Ward; any idea why?  Of course, it is because I’ve lost my mind; I’m a psycho, a crazy, a nut without a shell. . .I am crazy by the way, crazy about Jesus, the Lord Jesus Christ, Lord of Glory, that is.  And, I’m crazy about missions. . .world missions.  God has opened the door for me to go to South America and work among some great folks.  Right now that means Peruvians.  Later on, who knows (I think Ecuador is next).  The Peruvian people have been so very nice to this gringo.  They have given me some really tasty, weird food; they have welcomed me into their homes; they have allowed me to preach the Gospel all over the place; they have listened intently; many have come to faith in Christ.  What more could a missionary/church planter/pastor ask for?  [I’ll get back to the “ask for” part in a few minutes]

Being the senior pastor/teaching elder at Lake Forest Baptist Church for almost 22 years has been one of the most surprising, rewarding, and longest lasting accomplishments of my life.  I never thought I’d last this long.  I never imagined so many lives would be changed through what God has allowed me to do.  What a ride!  And now, the experience and possibilities are just getting better.

Case in point. . .our mission team is getting ready to go back to Peru in December, about 20 persons strong, with 1,000 meals, 1,000 pairs of shoes, and 1,000 bibles to be a blessing to the people.  We’ll feed them, wash their feet, put a new pair of shoes on those feet, give them a bible, and send them out with the Good News that JESUS SAVES!  See, I told you that it’s getting better.  But that’s not all.  God is already opening up doors for 2013 and 2014.  Oh yeah, we’re also working on paying off a piece of property in Pampa Congallo for one of our church planters (we currently have a church plant in Lima — Lake Forest Baptist Church, Lima!!!!!) and we are going to buy for the young man there in PC and new 4-wheel ATV so that he can get to his ministry points without having to walk so many kilometers every weekend.

Now, back to the “ask for” part.  We need a lot of prayer.  God has me all in so far over my head it’s not only spinning from excitement, it is about to explode from expectations.  You see, I just believe God.  And God told me in His Word that if I would share the Gospel, people would be saved.  How about that.  So pray for me and the team that we will have freedom and opportunity to share to Gospel on street corners, in vacant lots, in homes and, of course, in local churches.  The other thing we need is financial support.  Oh yeah, here it comes, the begging part.  I’d beg if I thought it would help, but that is not what I’m doing here.  I’m simply asking you for your help.  If you have a heart to help, then do so.  If you can’t help us with dollars and cents, certainly you can pray.  We still need about $14,000 American to cover all our expenses for this mission and buy the ATV (for Edwar Calderon).

One other thing before I end this first entry. . .please pray that God will open my mind to Spanish.  I really need to learn it and learn it quick (I promised a lady who runs the kitchen at the camp where we stay that I’d be able to talk to her in at least broken Spanish by the time I get there the day after Christmas this year), but I also need to learn it well.  God has given me a big vision for the future and it involves a lot of time in South America; so I need the language to overcome what is a great big barrier.  And I know that my God is able!

That’s it for today.  Check back tomorrow and from time to time.  If you know me well at all, you know I have a lot to say.

Lake Forest Mission Team @ Palabra de Vida Camp in Canete, Peru
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