Our karaoke party was a huge success. I can't thank Scott, the local youth minister, enough for the suggestion. We kicked things off with "YMCA" (complete with moves). Everyone was on their feet and participating! Partygoers sang many songs in English, and a few in Spanish. Our official finale was "La Bamba", but a few of us were co-erced into a Backstreet Boys number. About 30 people attended, including 10 of our readers.
Part of the reason our party ran so smoothly was due to Anita, or Ani. Ani is a widow with two teenage children and one grown son. I would say she easily works 10+ hours at the church each day, doing everything from cleaning to cooking to participating in Bible classes. She has a great sense of humor and is just an awesome woman to hang out with!
Another woman with a servant's heart is Fernanda. She works as the church secretary and has been indispensible in helping our team contact readers and making sure that we have full schedules. She is yet another awesome Christian to whom we can turn for help with just about anything.
As always, our readers continue to bless and impress us with their questions, comments, and eagerness to learn English and the Message. Here are just a few quotes, stories, etc. that demonstrate how God is working on the hearts of our readers:
Javier: This man is so eager to learn English that he is reading with both Ryan and me. He is a close friend of the Sotos and truly believes in God's love and power.
Elena: Elena has been reading with Shevin. She has a niece in Cairo who is interested in attending the Church of Christ there. Shevin was able to find information on the Internet for Elena to share with her niece.
Graciela: This sweet lady has been reading with Claudia, and has already invited us into her home! She also plans to attend church this Sunday.
Pamela: This mother of three was initially hesitant about studying the Bible, but I think she is truly beginning to reconnect with her faith. She told me today, "I think everyone can find God", and mentioned people she knew who had been converted while in prison.
Juan Pablo: A former student of philosophy, Juan Pablo always astounds me with his comments on our lessons. Here's a quote from last night: "The words of Jesus are wonderful because they always give inspiration and guidance to people of all cultures."
I look forward to sharing more stories with you all soon! God's word is truly alive and active and working on hearts and lives today!
"Just to clarify, in my previous comment I was not implying that worldly success was of no value. It is very valuable, but while it can show wisdom in particular fields, it is not primary in showing spiritual wisdom and a willingness to love and care…"
"I agree with you that there is a significant lack of qualified/trained elders/leaders. I have found there is a significant lack of those able to discern and lead well within church leadership, and often the theory of Scripture can be left as theory…"
"Leadership is a funny subject. There are many different types and standards of leaders inside and outside the church. Sometimes it is not about who a person is as a leader but what another person as a follower is looking for in and for themselves…"