Agosto 2014 Resumen Misión

AMIGOS BUENOS DÍAS.
Estoy intentando hacer algo diferente acerca del resumen de mi viaje. Sé que estoy muy emocionado acerca del más pequeño detalle del ministerio realizado durante el viaje, la mayoría de ustedes estarán interesados solamente en los eventos clave. Así que eso es lo que les estoy informando.

Dios ha expandido nuestro ministerio a los departamentos de Quetzaltenango y San Marcos, en las montañas (7500-12000) del Suroeste de Guatemala. Las Iglesias a las que estamos ministrando son de las Asambleas de Dios. Eso es principalmente porque no hay otra denominación que este fundando Iglesias en las áreas remotas que servimos.

Le doy toda la gloria y la alabanza a Dios por lo Él ha alcanzado a través de nuestro ministerio!
Gracias por sus oraciones, palabras de ánimo, y su apoyo financiero.
En el amor de Cristo,
Larry.

1. Nos reunimos con el liderazgo del Instituto Bíblico de las A/D de Mazatenango.

2. Asistimos a un evento de los estudiantes del colegio Cristiano Alfa y Omega en San Juan Ostuncalco, con una asistencia aproximada de 1200 personas. Increíble, un equipo con poco más de 50 personas viajaron durante varios días desde México para trabajar con los niños toda la semana.
• Nos reunimos con la fundadora (Judy Hernandez) y dimos una contribución sobre la construcción del segundo piso para más aulas.
• La escuela tiene una lista de espera de más de 100 estudiantes y recientemente recibió su aprobación para enseñar diversificado como también para básicos, el colegio ahora tiene más de 700 estudiantes. Alabado sea Dios!

3. Participamos en el seminario de entrenamiento en Chuiajij con 107 asistentes. Uno de los miembros de nuestro equipo, Pastor Edilzar Aguilar, dio la enseñanza, El también es un maestro en SETECA en la ciudad de Guatemala.

4. Visitamos la clínica a la que proveímos fondos para ayudar en su construcción y dimos una última ayuda hacia el proyecto.
• Los proyectos en que estuvimos involucrados en Chuiajij ahora están completados. Continuaremos dirigiendo seminarios de capacitación (entrenamiento) en Chuiajij pero enfocaremos la mayor parte de nuestro tiempo, ministerio y recursos en los Departamentos de Quetzaltenango y San Marcos.

5. Me reuní con el Director del Instituto Bíblico de las A/D de Quetzaltenango para discutir la instalación del drenaje. Realicé una donación adicional para poder completar el proyecto. Debe estar concluido el proyecto para el mes de Enero o de lo contrario no podrán iniciar el siguiente semestre de estudios en el Instituto. Eso sería demasiado triste pues es considerado el principal centro de estudios de las Asambleas de Dios en el Suroeste de Guatemala.

6. Predique en la Iglesia Asamblea de Dios León de Judá en San Marcos en la mañana y participe en un evento para la congregación por la tarde.

7. Visité ocho nuevas Iglesias de Las Asambleas de Dios y distribuí Biblias, Libros de Historias Biblicas para colorear y otros materiales de estudio a las congregaciones. También distribuimos reproductores de CD y la Biblia en CD a las Iglesias para quienes no pueden leer.

8. Viajamos en las montañas altas cerca del volcán Tajumulco con el Pastor Pedro Soto y Josué “Chiqui” Rosales, para reunirnos con un grupo de personas que se reúnen en una casa. Presentamos un mensaje de ánimo, oramos por ellos y por los enfermos, proveímos de Biblias, reproductor de CD y la Biblia en CD y otros materiales. Visitaremos este grupo en cada uno de mis viajes para adorar con ellos, oraremos por ellos y los animaremos a seguir adelante.
a. Pastor Pedro es el pastor de Asamblea de Dios León de Judá en San Marcos. Durante el 2,014, el ha viajado juntamente con algunos miembros de su congregación a ministrar a a quienes se reúnen en una casa a 2 ½ horas de distancia. Duarante esas visitas muchos han aceptado a Cristo en su corazón como su Salvador y Señor. Además de esto el Pastor Pedro es mi traductor y ha ministrado a los pastores conmigo y es socio conmigo en campañas evangelísticas.
b. Josué “Chiqui” Rosales es el director del Colegio Alfa y Omega. El usó el vehiculo de Judy Hernández para llevarnos a donde necesitaramos ir para ministrar actividades. El también es traductor y me traducía cuando el Pastor Pedro no estaba disponible.

9. Me reuní con el Pastor José y el pastor Ismael para poder realizar campañas evangelísticas en sus Iglesias. Pastor Pedro y su esposa Karlita, parte del grupo de la alabanza, mi esposa y yo nos uniremos a los miembros de las Iglesias para dirigir las campañas en Nov. 9 y Nov. 14.

10. Me reuní con el Dr. Christian Garby, el líder de nuestro programa de alcance dental para discutir nuestro próxima campaña evangelística dental. Me gustaría dirigir la campaña en Quetzaltenango en Marzo 20 y 21. Estamos orando para que el Señor provea una clínica dental para poder usarla para poder dar el servicio del cuidado dental a los estudiantes del colegio cristiano Alfa y Omega. Proveeremos el cuidado dental gratuitamente y así construir nuestra campaña evangelistica sobre él. Será costoso y será un reto poder organizarla pero Dios proveerá lo que necesitemos. Él siempre provee!!

Quiero también agradecer a Lily Schwendener y a Cesar Rodriguez por su amor y apoyo. Ambos viven en la ciudad de Guatemala y son siempre mis compañeros en donde quiera que esté. Verdaderamente no sé cómo funcionaría sin ellos.

August 2014 Trip Summary

Good morning friends,

I am trying something different this time regarding my trip summary. I know that although I am excited about even the smallest ministry activity performed on the trip, most of you are only interested in the key events. So, that is what I am giving you.

God has expanded our ministry to Quetzaltenango and San Marcos Departments in the mountains (7500-12,000 ft) of southwestern Guatemala. The churches we are ministering to are new AG churches. That is primarily because no other denominations are starting churches in the remote areas we serve.

I give all glory and praise to God for what He accomplished through our ministry!

Thank you for your prayers, words of encouragement, and financial support.

In Christ’s love,

Larry

  1. Met with the leadership of AG Bible Institute in Mazatenango.
  1. Attended an event for the students of Alpha & Omega Christian School in San Juan Ostencalco with approximately 1200 people in attendance. Incredibly, a team of over 50 people travel several days from Mexico to work with the children all week.
  • Met with the founder (Judy Hernandez) and made a ministry contribution toward the addition of second floor of classrooms.
  • The school has a waiting list of over 100 students and was recently approved by the government to teach high school as well as the lower grades. The school will now have over 700 students. Praise God!
  1. Participated in a training seminar in Chuiajij with 107 in attendance. One of our team members, Pastor Edilzar Aguilar, did the teaching. He is also a teacher at SETECA in Guatemala City.
  1. Visited the medical clinic we provided funds to help build and gave our final donation to the project.
    • The projects we were involved with in Chuiajij are now completed. We will continue to conduct our training seminars in Chuiajij but will focus most of our time and ministry resources in Quetzaltenango and San Marcos Departments.
  1. Met with the Director of the AG Bible Institute in Quetzaltenango to discuss the stalled sewer project. Made an additional donation to complete the project. It must be completed by January or they cannot open the Institute for the next semester. That would be very sad as this is now considered the premier AG Bible Institute in southwestern Guatemala.
  1. Preached at the Lion of Judah AG church in San Marcos in the morning and participated in an event for the congregation in the afternoon.
  1. Visited eight new AG churches and distributed Bibles, children’s Bible story coloring books and other study materials to the congregation. We also distributed CD players and the Bible on CD to churches for those who cannot read.
  1. Traveled high in the mountains near Tajumulco Volcano with Pastor Pedro Soto and Josue “Chiqui” Rosales, to meet with a group of people who worship in a house. We delivered a message of encouragement, prayed for the ill, provided Bibles, CD players and the Bible on CD and other materials. We will visit them on each of my trips to worship with them, pray for them, and encourage them.
    • Pastor Pedro is the pastor of Asamblea de Dios “León de Judá” in San Marcos. For most of 2014, he has taken members of his church on the 2 ½ hour trip to minister to those who attend the house church. During those visits many people have accepted Christ as their Lord and Savior. In addition, Pastor Pedro translates for me, ministers to the pastors with me, and partners with me to do evangelistic campaigns.
    • Josue “Chiqui” Rosales is the Director of Alpha & Omega Christian School. He used Judy Hernandez’s car and drove me wherever I needed to go to conduct ministry activities. He also translated for me when Pastor Pedro was unavailable.
  1. Met with Pastor Jose and Pastor Ismael to discuss conducting evangelistic campaigns at their churches. Pastor Pedro and his wife Karlita, part of his worship team, and my wife and I will join the members of the churches to conduct the campaigns on Nov. 9 and Nov. 14.
  2. Met with Dr. Christian Garby, the head of our dental outreach  program to discuss our next evangelistic dental campaign. I would like to conduct the campaign in Quetzaltenango on March 20 & 21. We are praying that the Lord provides a dental clinic there for us to use to give dental care to the children of the Alpha and Omega Christian school. We will provide the dental care for free and build our evangelistic campaign around the dental care. It will be expensive and will be a challenge to organize but God will provide all we need. He always does!!

I also want to thank Lily Schwendener and Cesar Rodriquez for their love and support. They both live in Guatemala City area and are my constant ministry companions wherever I am. I truly don’t know how I would function without them!

Guatemala July/August Trip Agenda

July 30: travel to Guatemala

July 31: purchase CD players and other equipment to distribute to new AG churches

August 1:

  • Travel three hours to Mazatenango
  • Meet with leadership of AG Bible Institute
  • Travel thee hours to Quetzaltenango & Check-in hotel
  • Travel one hour to San Juan Ostuncalco and participate in major event at Alpha & Omega Christian School

August 2:

  • Travel 4 ½ hours to Chuiajij to conduct all day leadership training seminar
  • Travel 4 ½ hours back to Quetzaltenango

August 3:

  • Travel 2 hours to preach at AG church in San Marcos
  • Conduct major evangelism event in afternoon

August 4-6:

  • Visit eight new AG churches 2-3 hours from Quetzaltenango
  • Distribute CD players, Bible on CD, Bible in print, juvenile study materials, and encourage and pray for new pastors

August 6 (evening):

  • Meet with leadership of AG Bible Institute in Quezaltenango

August 7: travel to Guatemala City

August 8-11: ministry team meetings, restocking supplies and materials, meeting with Sr. Pastor of AG church, and doing laundry

August 12: fly home

 

 

Resumen del Viaje de Abril 2014 (traducido por el Pastor Pedro Soto)

Alabado sea Dios por el éxito de la clínica dental. Los dentistas dieron tratamiento a 110 pacientes. Dios los bendiga por el esfuerzo realizado al trabajar todo el día en un cuarto con paredes de block con temperaturas fácilmente arriba de los 100 grados. El día viernes tuvimos 4 dentistas y dos sillas dentales, para que dos de los dentistas trataran a los pacientes quienes estaban sentados en sillas apiladas, Que Dios los bendiga abundantemente por el servicio prestado a los mayas.

El seminario de formación de liderazgo fue un gran éxito. Asistieron 67 personas muchos de ellos son la siguiente generación de pastores y líderes de iglesias. Ellos tienen un fuego (pasión) del Señor y muchas ganas de aprender. Los maestros de nuestro ministerio y equipo completamente han renovado su plan de estudios para acomodarlo a los próximos líderes de la iglesia y es fantástico. Llevaremos a cabo nuestro próximo seminario de formación el 2 de Agosto.

Cesar y yo tuvimos un tiempo muy estimulante y fructífero visitando iglesias de las Asambleas de Dios que han sido fundadas recientemente. La parte favorita de mi ministerio fue proveer Biblias y otros recursos a éstas nuevas iglesias y tutoría a los pastores mientras ellos y sus iglesias crecen. Les distribuimos Biblias y les prometimos traer 70 más. Reproductores de CD y la Biblia en CD. Para Agosto.

El costo de las Biblias en Guatemala es de $7.00 cada uno, he comprado biblias de Bíblica en U.S. Y he traído a Guatemala 30 biblias a la vez. Después de mucha negociación con el dueño de librería Bautista en ciudad de Guatemala el me vendió 300 biblias a $3.20 dólares cada uno. Eso es un poco más de lo que pagaría en Bíblica pero tengo las 300 biblias en mi apartamento en la ciudad de Guatemala listo para ser distribuido. Toda la gloria y honra y alabanza sea para El Señor todo poderoso.

Lo más destacado de mi viaje fue visitar a Judy Hernández en su escuela Cristiana en San Juan Ostuncalco. La primera vez que conocí de Judy y su ministerio fue a través de la serie de televisión “Alrededor del mundo” Ella y su esposo fueron misioneros en Guatemala. Cuando su esposo murió en un accidente automovilístico en los años setenta. Ella permaneció en Guatemala con sus cinco hijos y comenzaron una escuela cristiana. Esa escuela ha crecido a más de 600 estudiantes, sin asumir (tener) ni un centavo en deuda! Ella tiene una larga lista de estudiantes que desean asistir a la escuela, pero no tiene el espacio para más. Así haciendo un esfuerzo durante vacaciones ella construirá más aulas en el segundo nivel. Nuestro ministerio está haciendo una donación muy importante para ése proyecto.

La clínica médica en Chuiajij, estamos proveyendo fondos para ayudar en su construcción, y su progreso es muy bueno. El objetivo es finalizarlo para el 1 de Agosto. De manera que podremos tener una actividad de dedicación mientras esté de visita. Esto parecía un sueño imposible hace tres años. Alabado sea Dios por proveer los fondos y la perseverancia para completar su construcción. Literalmente salvará muchas vidas mayas.

Cesar y yo visitamos el Instituto Bíblico en Xela, el 2 de abril. Los setenta estudiantes y catorce profesores viven en las instalaciones durante el semestre. Ellos reciben tres comidas al día, en su mayoría una variación de frijoles, arroz, y tortillas de maíz. Cesar y yo les llevamos nueve galones de helado y una gran caja de galletas horneadas por uno de los miembros de nuestro ministerio y serví a los estudiantes y maestros. Nosotros calculamos mal la cantidad de helado que necesitábamos y algunos recibieron hasta tres porciones!

Después de servir el helado y galletas nos reunimos con el director del Instituto Bíblico para hablar de las presentes y futuras necesidades. La necesidad más inmediata es conectarse con el drenaje municipal. Ellos fueron notificados de que el Instituto sería cerrado si so hacían la conexión para el 1 de Mayo. Me sentí dirigido a donar $2,000.00 dos mil dólares de nuestro ministerio. El Instituto necesita recaudar una suma adicional de $3,000.00 tres mil dólares para cubrir todo el proyecto. Por favor oren para que nuestro Señor provea los recursos necesarios para completar este proyecto.

La noche anterior del día que habíamos planificado volver manejando a la ciudad de Guatemala, decidí cambiar nuestra ruta y así podría visitar el Instituto Bíblico de las Asambleas de Dios en Mazatenango. Nos reunimos con el director, el Pastor Merlin, quien nos guio en un recorrido por el Instituto. El pastor Merlin también pastorea una Iglesia grande en Mazatenango. El Instituto Bíblico tiene 67 estudiantes, pero solo tiene una biblioteca con unos 200 libros de papel rústico que fueron donados por misioneros a través de los años. En nuestra reunión del consejo el próximo mes, vamos a hablar sobre proveerles unos 300 libros de Teología actualizados que usamos en nuestros seminarios. Me reuniré con el Pastor Merlin y el presidente del Instituto cuando esté en Mazatenango el próximo 1 de Agosto.

April 2014 Trip Summary

April 2014 Trip Summary

Praise God for a successful dental clinic. The dentists treated 110 patients. God blessed them with the fortitude to work all day in a cement room with temperatures well over 100 degrees. On Friday we had four dentists and two portable dental chairs so two of the dentists had to treat patients who were sitting in a stack of plastic chairs. May God bless them abundantly for their service to the Mayas.

The leadership training seminar was a great success. There were 67 in attendance with many of them being the next generation of pastors and church leaders. They are on fire for the Lord and eager to learn. The professors on our ministry team have completely re-vamped their curriculum to accommodate these up and coming church leaders and it is fantastic. We will conduct our next training seminar on August 2.

Cesar and I had an uplifting and fruitful time visiting AG churches that were recently started. My favorite part of our ministry is providing Bibles and other resources to these new churches and mentoring the pastors as they and their churches grow. We distributed Bibles to them on this trip and promised to bring them seventy more Bibles, CD players, and the Bible on CD in August.

Bibles are approximately $7 each in Guatemala so I have been purchasing them from Biblica in the U.S. and taking them to Guatemala thirty at a time. After much negotiation with the owner of the Baptist bookstore in Guatemala City he sold me 300 Bibles at $3.20 each. That is slightly more than I pay at Biblica but all 300 Bibles are in my apartment in Guatemala City ready for distribution.  All honor, glory, and praise be to the Lord Almighty!

One of the highlights of the trip was visiting Judy Hernandez at her Christian school in San Juan Ostuncalco.  I first learned of Judy and her ministry through the TV show “All Over the World”.  She and her husband were missionaries in Guatemala when her husband was killed in an automobile accident in the seventies.  She remained in Guatemala with her five children and started a Christian school.  That school has grown to over 600 students without taking on one penny of debt!  She has a long waiting list of students who want to attend the school but does not have space for them.  So, doing the school break she will be adding a second floor with classrooms. Our ministry is making a significant donation toward that project.

The medical clinic in Chuiajij, we are providing funds to help build, is progressing nicely.  Their completion target is August 1 so that we can have a dedication ceremony while I am there.  This seemed an impossible dream three years ago.  Praise God for providing the funds and the perseverance to complete the clinic.  It will literally save many Maya lives.

Cesar and I visited the AG Bible College in Xela on April 2.  The seventy students and fourteen teachers live at the facility during the semester.  They have three meals a day provided, mostly a variation of beans, rice, and tortillas.  Cesar and I took nine containers of ice cream and a large box of cookies baked by one of our ministry members and served the students and teachers.  We miscalculated slightly how much was needed so they each got three servings!

After serving the ice cream and cookies we met with the Director of the College to discuss current and future needs.  The most immediate need was connecting the College sewer to the municipal sewer.  They had received notice that the College would be shut down if they were not connected by May 1.  I felt lead to donate $2000 to the project from our ministry.  The College needs to raise an additional $3000 to complete the project. Please pray that the Lord provides the resources to complete this project.

The night before we planned to drive back to Guatemala City, I decided to change our route so that we could visit the AG Bible College in Mazatenango.  We met with the Executive Director, Pastor Merlin, who gave us a tour of the College.  Pastor Merlin also pastors a large church in Mazatenango.  The Bible College has 67 students but only has a library of approximately 200 paperback books that were donated by missionaries over the years.  At our Board meeting next month, we will discuss providing them with 300 of the most current theology books used by U.S. seminaries.  I will meet with Pastor Merlin and the President of the College when I am in Mazatenango on August 1.

 

 

Bible College Ministry Project

I recently returned from a trip to Guatemala to complete our ministry project at a new Bible College in Quetzaltenango (Xela). Xela is the second biggest city in Guatemala. I will resist the temptation to tell you about all the acts of “special providence” the Lord performed and just give you an overview of the project.

The effort to bring a Bible College to this area begin over 20 years ago with Pastor Juan Chavajay and other servants of the Lord being obedient to God’s call to start a Bible College in Xela. After two decades of perseverance, the College became a reality and was dedicated to God on May 18, 2012.

In 2011, God blessed our ministry by calling us to also be part of His plan to provide a Bible College to this area. That year, I learned from the lay leader of foreign missions at our church (Bob Deck), that a Bible College was being built in Xela and that they needed a library and other resources. At first, I did not consider being involved with the Bible College because Xela is four hours from our primary area of ministry in Chuiajij.

However, over the next few weeks the Holy Spirit continually spoke to my spirit and moved me to go to Xela and locate the Bible College to see exactly what was needed. I ascertained that the call was indeed from the Lord and my partner, Cesar, and I travelled to Xela in March of 2011 to find the College.

Because the pastors and church leaders we talked to were afraid our intent was to kidnap the Director of the Bible College, they would not give us the location of the Bible College. I know that sounds bizarre, but kidnapping is a frequent and deadly crime in Guatemala. After two years of diligently trying to locate the College the Lord performed an act of “special providence” and connected us with Director Juan Chavajay in July 2013.

At our first meeting the Director and I bonded immediately. As he showed me an unfinished room that was going to be a computer lab, he told me that a church had donated ten computers to the College but they would not release them until the room was finished and a security fence and doors were installed across the front of the College.

I felt the Holy Spirit leading me to donate the money for the fence from our ministry and ten days later the fence and two gates were installed. Praise God for His provision!

Over the next few months the Holy Spirit led me to provide money from our ministry to finish construction on the computer lab, study hall, and library and provided the funds to do so. This included installing 1500 sq ft of tile on the floors, running three separate electrical circuits, installing fluorescent lighting in each room, removing a wall, cutting a 5X8 hole in a wall and installing a security window, and applying 20 gallons of undiluted paint to the walls and ceilings of each room. The Director of the College and a pastor friend did the painting!! The quality of work done by the Mayas was the best I have seen in a 3rd world country.

In addition, we donated, delivered, cataloged, and put in place 1000 theology books; and donated 16 large desks and 46 chairs.

All the students are pastors and most of them are returning students. When they left after the last semester in 2013 they had no library, no computer lab, and no study hall. Now they have all three. They were hugging each other (and me), praising God, and weeping. Full disclosure: there were a few tears rolling down my cheeks too!

There were approximately 100 in attendance at the dedication ceremony, including high level denominational leaders. Most everyone in attendance was more qualified to speak than I was but the Lord chose me and I obeyed. The title of my talk was, “Being Obedient to God’s Call”. As He always does when we are obedient to His call, He brought the words to my mind He wanted those assembled to hear and the talk was well received. All honor, praise, and glory be to God!

The College has many needs. There are no desks in the class rooms, the floors are unfinished cement, the rooms have not been painted, there is no furniture in the administrative offices, the teachers all volunteer their time, and the list goes on and on.

I have asked the Director and his leadership team to prepare a document for me prioritizing the College’s needs, including an approximate cost for each item. We will meet in April to discuss the list so that our ministry can seek the Holy Spirit’s guidance as to which needs we should supply.

The Holy Spirit has led me to add helping the Bible College to our primary ministry activities. Therefore, I will be dividing my time in Guatemala between Chuiajij and Xela. My next trip will be on April 1 when we will do a two day dental clinic and a pastor training seminar in addition to meeting with the College leadership team. Praise God for using me to serve Him in this way at age 66!

This was a big project for our small ministry. The cost was actually more than our annual budget! Praise God for calling each of you to partner with us. This ministry would not exist without your support through your encouragement, prayers, and giving. God bless each and every one of you!

In Christ’s love,
Larry

Two Miles Together

Pastor Lowell Perkins, First Assembly of God, Jefferson City, Missouri

The prophet Amos asked the question, “Do two walk together unless they have agreed to do so?” The question is rhetorical and the answer seems obvious. If you’re going to walk with someone in a particular direction — toward a particular destination — it’ll be because the two of you have agreed to do so. And once the agreement has been made, the walking proceeds. You move forward together, down the road, around the curves, across the bridges, over the mountains, and through the valleys. Walking together is always easier than walking alone. And the two walkers often collect more partners as they travel. The key to moving forward together, says Amos, is agreement.

Do two walk together unless they have agreed to do so? (AMOS 3:3)

That agreement is not always evident as the journey is being contemplated. The calling to a particular destination and the charting of the corresponding direction is often birthed in the one, not the two. The one says to the second, “Let’s go over there. It’ll be better over there. We’ll enjoy being over there. We’ll be glad when we get there. So let’s go together.” The second then makes a choice — to go or not to go. If the two agree to go together, the journey begins.

Jesus talked about both of these walkers in his Sermon on the Mount — the one and the second — the compeller and the cooperator. “If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles.” That instruction from Jesus appears in a lengthy teaching filled with illustrations about living your life — not according to standard expectations — but with spiritual excellence. We call that going “beyond the call of duty.” The scenario which Jesus lays out proposes three potential responses to the strong leading of that first man who wants to go on a journey and take someone along.

If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles.MATTHEW 5:41

The first response comes from the NO-MILER. The NO-MILER doesn’t even want to begin the journey. He resists and rebels against moving even an inch in a forward direction. He is motivated by exemptions. “I shouldn’t have to do that. I’m exempt.” He is mobilized with excuses and evasiveness. He does everything he can do to get out of the journey. He’d rather stay right where he’s been stationed. “I don’t want to go,” he mutters. His favorite hymn is I Shall Not Be Moved.

The second response is that of the ONE-MILER. The ONE-MILER is being compelled, urged, pushed, prodded to go a mile, so he agrees. Does he go the mile gladly or grudgingly? It’s hard to know without seeing into his heart. From everything we can discern by external observance, the ONE-MILER is motivated by expectations. He’ll do what he’s asked or expected to do in order to save face. And he is mobilized with evidence of equity and equality. “Everybody around me is going the one mile, so that’s what I’ll do, too.” He’s not too tempted by what might be waiting at the end of the second mile. “That second mile is for the radicals,” he says to himself.

The third response is that of the SECOND-MILER. He’s the one cheered on by Jesus. He was compelled to go one mile, but he recognizes that the two of them are going in a good direction. He understands that there are better places up ahead. He sees with the eye of faith that blessing awaits — that a second mile will advance everybody’s cause. “If my friend is walking a second mile, I’m going with him! This is a profitable journey, and we haven’t reached the best places yet!” The SECOND-MILER is motivated by excellence. He is mobilized with energy and enthusiasm. Others may refuse to start the journey. Still more may walk the one mile. But the SECOND-MILER is not shackled by whatever shackles them. He’ll throw off the weights. He’ll jump over the hurdles. He’s going all the way. He lives by the code of Colossians 3:23 — “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart…

Let me add this note. I’ve referred to these walkers with masculine pronouns for
grammatical ease only. Some of the most excellent and energetic SECOND-MILERS I’ve had the privilege of walking with through my years of ministry have been women. Together, we move forward.

When I was a kid, my family vacationed regularly in the Great Smoky Mountains of southeastern Tennessee. My dad loved to walk up the mountain trails that wind through that national park. So we would start out — up the trail. And when I say up, I mean up. I was always a little lazy when it came to physical exercise. I had no athletic ability or interest. I’d rather read or study any day than play sports or exert myself physically. I thought cross-country runners were idiots. My lowest grades in high school were in P.E. class. We used the KJV in those days, and I loved to quote 1 Timothy 4:8 — “Bodily exercise profiteth little!” So when my Dad would lead my twin brother and me up those mountain trails, I’d always grumble, grumble, grumble. “How much further?” I always wanted to take the shorter trails. But my dad would compel me. And at the end of the journey, we always arrived at some spectacular view that made the journey overwhelmingly worth the effort. Dad was so wise — wise enough to understand the benefit of going another mile. And all of us, even Mom when she dared join us, would thrill at what the journey’s end brought — a place of beauty and blessing.

Let’s be SECOND-MILERS! And let’s do it in Jesus’ Name. Amen!