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Blog Updates as the Smiths minister the Gospel in Peru

Monday, July 31, 2006

Setting the Day Right in Morning Prayer

bonhoefferIf you are like me, you might struggle with disciplined, consistent morning prayer. I have been reading Dietrich Bonhoeffer little book, Psalms: The Prayer Book of the Bible, where he addresses this issue of morning prayer. His quote is well worth considering:

The morning determines the day. Squandered time of which we are ashamed, temptations to which we succumb, weaknesses and lack of discipline in work, our thoughts and in our conversations with other men, all have their origin most often in the neglect of morning prayer.

Order and distribution of our time become more firm where they originate in prayer. Temptations which accompany the working day will be conquered on the basis of the morning breakthrough to God. Decisions, demanded by work, become easier and simplier where they are made not in fear of mean but only in the sight of God...Even mechanical work is done in a more patient way if it arises from the recognition of God and his command. The powers to work take hold, therefore, at the place where we have prayed to God. He wants to give us today the power which we need for our work."

Interestingly, Bonhoeffer wrote this from a Nazi cell. I have prayed for myself, my family, my mission team, and my supporters that we will all have the desire and discipline to set the day right in morning prayer. My hope is that this will become your prayer too.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Music Development Needs

With our last group a very musical family came from Pear Orchard Presbyterian Church in Jackson, MS. The Reese children played two concerts while in Trujillo. As they played, the sound of God's amazing grace made my heart yearn for the Peruvians. If they could only taste and see how great the gospel of Jesus Christ is! The video below is their concert in our newest church in the Arévalo Parish.

I also dreamed of how the music in our churches could be. One of my priviledges is spearheading music development. At the present we do not have any Reese families to play in our churches. So we have a great need to find musically talented who faithful church members and interested in learning piano and other instruments. I can think of several youth who fit this description. Trujillo is blessed to have a conservatory with many capable teachers. Our dream is to offer scholarships to several of budding musicians who could in turn commit to play in our churches.

However, there are two main items that we lack: money and musical instruments. Music lesson runs about $4/hour. Six scholarships for a two year period would be about $3,000. I'll be in Lima this weekend looking for prices on quality electronic pianos. I think that $6,000 (including music lessons and instruments) is a good estimate for getting started. Would you pray that God would raise up $6,000 by the end of this year? Imagine how much this small amount of money could be reproduced thrity, sixty, and hundredfold in God's kingdom!

If you know anyone who might be interested in this music development project, please click here to email me. Thank you again for your prayers and support!

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Short Term Teams & Family

Over the last few weeks, we have had several groups overlapping. Some are from Jackson, MS others are from Greenville, SC and two folks are from Colleyville, TX. Allen Bradford has given a nice summary of their work among us. Click here to go to their blog.

Sandi's parents came with the group. Our girls have loved every minute of their time with us. Here are some pics of their visit...

Their first day with us, they relaxed from the long flight.

They helped out with the VBS for missionary kids.

They had fun dancing at VBS.

They went to the playground to swing.

Gloria fellowshipped with the women in the church.

Bill helped with the construction of Arevalo.

It was wonderful for the girls to spend time with their grandparents. In several days, Allen's mother will also pay us a visit. Seeing family has been a great blessing!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Fourth of July in Peru

One of the ways to keep a sense of sanity on the mission field is to celebrate US holidays such as the Fourth of July. Here are some pictures of our cookout at our house....

Allen Bradford began our time by painting flags on faces

Abbie and William Bradford show off their flags

Even the young at heart participated!

We bought a cheap grill for the occasion.
The burgers were very tasty!

The kids enjoyed the food.

Some stuffed their faces.

And others really loved the food!

Here's a short video of our fun and games.

Just hours before our party, I drew a blank on what sort of games to play. So I had to make an emergency call to Matthew Nasekos, Twin Lakes Summer Camps Director. Thanks Matt for your help! The oversized clothes race and cold shirt race was a hit!

I hope you had a great 4th. May God continue to shed his grace on America!

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