Friday, December 29, 2006

Troubled Waters and Forks in the River

We now continue with the adventures of Clint and Rita Vernoy

I had decided to leave Springfield, Missery … oops Missouri and start bible college again in New Hampshire. I spent my summer vacation split between spending time with my Uncle Sam in Camp Pendleton and my Mom and Dad on vacation at New Life Island.

When I got back to Ohio I found that Rita had gone on a vacation with her family to parts unknown and I couldn’t talk to her. I was able to obtain a phone number from a person who will always be a hero in my heart. (Thanks Janine!!!!) I was able to talk to her, but due to our schedules we were not going to be able to see each other for another month. The next time I saw Rita, her family was preparing to leave for Arcadia, Florida. I also found out that while on vacation a guy in Florida had asked her to marry him. (Claim jumpers ought to be hung!!!!)

I arrived in New Hampshire to begin classes and was introduced to a young lady who had been praying for a preacher boy to marry and then told me that I was God’s answer!!!! Shock to me that was!!!!!

The point is this, the river had branched and we were now over 1500 miles apart instead of 30 miles apart. We could both have continued on our new river watching to see where it would take us. We could have disappeared from each others lives and never have known any reason to care. That would have been the easy choice, the logical choice. She was 16, she had to follow her father. I was in school and working. How could I ever see her again. Why not just accept fate. She was out of my life and I might as well forget her.

Simple Reason….. I DIDN’T WANT TO FORGET HER. I chose to keep in touch with her. I chose to reach past the many miles and win her heart, (only to find out in the end that she had baited the trap so well I didn’t realize who was actually being stalked!!!) Remember the cartoon movie “Oliver” by Disney?…. I love the chijuaja “If dis es torture man….chain mi to de wall!!!!!!”

I fought the current and returned to find her again. I didn’t was to lose her and I still don’t.

Simple Principle: Sometimes the river you need to travel is up river and you need to go against the current to get to it. It is your life, and as long as you do not violate scripture, God has given you a free will to exercise and use as you serve HIM. We will all answer to God for our choices and actions. We can listen to the advise of others but ultimately the choice is ours before God. And we will stand alone on Judgment day with only Christ by our side. Make all of your life choices based on that fact and not on what anybody else might say or think.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Here we go again

The above address and link.... I repeated it again just in case it doesn't show up. Is my new blogspot

To think I could have just dissapeared and faded into oblivion, but NOOOOOOO I had to change over..... Oh Well!

My Son is Home

Josh is here. It is great to have the family all together. Our oldest daughter is not with us and we are totally cool with that because she is with her family, a husband that she loves and a daughter that loves her. We would love to have them here, But we are content to know they are a family.

Josh is already beating up and tickling Jewel and she is complaining just enough. Jayde is right in there and it is noisy again. I can't believe that the girls can cause so much noise!!!!

Merry Christmas to ALL!

I got an awesome present for Rita for Christmas!!!!!!! the best part is that it is a total surprise!!!!! I didn't get any hints for this one and I know that she will love it!!!!!!!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Crossroads and Creeks Part 3

Enough of the mushy stuff that nobody wants to hear anyway.

The next big crossroad for me was What Bible college do I go to? The church I was attending at the time in Ohio had one that they always recommended and it had an excellent record for training men for the ministry. My brother was attending there and our pastor had attended there. The pastor of the church in NH where I was called to preach had trained there. Seemed the logical thing to do. Didn't violate any scripture, had the blessing of my family and all of that. I went for a year. I didn't like it. For quite a few reasons. Nothing against the school, but, I just came to realize it wasn't for me. I decided to go to a different school. A lot of people thought I was crazy. But I figured, I was paying my bill with God's help, I was preparing for God's ministry and I sort of figured that I ought to like it.

If I want to sound spiritual I should say God led me to another school, problem is I had told people that God had led me to the first one. so to say that God was leading me to another school is to say the God didn't know what he was doing in the first place. and if he didn't know what he was doing the first time, why would I follow Him to the second school?

I know I am looking at this in a very simple way but a lot of times I think we make it too difficult. and actually try to blame God for decisions where really it is that we want to do. Sort of like the guy that will divorce his wife and say that He was at peace with the decision because he prayed about it!!!!! The idea that a choice violates or doesn't violate a command of God is a bit more important that whether you Feel God Led you.

My choice of school ultimately had nothing to do with better training as a missionary, Every missionary here in Venezuela practically went to a different Bible College. and they are all good men.

Ultimately, We are called to serve God. He will show you how and where. Don't kill yourself on the details. If you serve Him, don't violate the commands of scripture, Why don't you go where you what to, unless God shows you in some way specific not to?

Just a thought. Sort of like the Bride who follows her Groom, holding his hand, walking together and she wants to go into a store and look around, Would the Groom deny his love?
Then why do we think that God would deny us the desire to serve in a certain place?

Friday, December 15, 2006

Crossroads and Creeks Part 2

The first crossroad
She stopped me in my tracks. She was 14 the first time I saw her. She was 17 when I asked her to marry me. I had no idea what I had found. Sort of like Jed Clampet and his Texas Tea! How could I have ever guessed what she would mean to me over the years. What got my attention?
She was a Redhead!
Well I did tell my mom 3 years before I met Rita that I had decided that I would marry a redhead. My mom said, "Don't tell me, tell God!" Was that God's leading or was it the desire of my heart?
She was a lady!
Her mom and Dad had raised her to be a wife, mother and Christian lady. Her courtesy and respect showed every time she spoke. Me Tarzan you Miss Tactful! Her words are like Honey (unless you hurt her husband or her children then she can cause a Huracane!)
She was Strong in Spirit and Adventurous in following the will of God
She had already surrendered to serve God, though she did tell me straight out that she would not marry a preacher. Not rebellion but she had experienced some things in a church split. So I guess I was her first crossroad too. She changed her mind! Was it my good looks or ????? ?God?
She was Fearless, sorta!
She followed me to South America when she was barely 20 years old.
She followed me to the jungle even tho she was ______ and wiser.
She says she is scared to death of little planes that fly over the jungle, but she did it anyway. That is courage and proof of her love. (you should have seen her the day the engine turned off at 8000 feet!!!!!)
Because I loved her! and always will
God's will or the desire of my heart? Thank God it was Both!!!! But like the Bible says, if you Delight in Him HE will give you the desires of your heart!

These choices that I made about Rita being my wife affected everything. Following God we will have many choices and if we delight in Him, our hearts desire will be to follow Him and serve Him. Does God want us happy? or must we always suffer to be in His will. I am sure glad that Rita loved me first and decided to let me catch her! God worked it out 'cause he wants us to have an abundant life.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Crossroads and Creeks Part 1

This will be a fairly long post so it will come in various parts. I should explain the Title too. after living by the river for 10 years with the indians alot of my examples are based on that life. A Ye´kwana indian would decide between a crossroad in the path through the jungle, but he would more frequently have to choose between branches in the river or small creeks of oportunity that can open up onto different river systems altogether.

Sometimes I start thinking about my life and how I got to where I am. Then I try to think of the decisions that got me here. Where would I be if I had (Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade) "Chosen Poorly!" Were all of my major decisions like the old game show...."Lets make a Deal" which door do you want, number one or number two. Is that how God is?

I have a lot of young preacher boys asking me how to know God's will in there lives. The answer isn't that simple, cut and dried. But neither, do I believe, is it really that tricky. Do we really think that God will give us a choice of two doors, one that is a life of infinate blessing and the other that gives us a life that make us believe in purgatory? Get Real. That is not my God, nor the God of the Bible.

The most important crossroad I ever came to was the day I received Christ as my Saviour. I was only 6 at the time so I don't think there were many life changing "turns" prior to that.
Although I do remember the day I got off the school bus and went to play with my brand new best friend, and forgot to go home and tell Mom where I was..... When I showed up for supper and FELT the Wrath of MOM from my Dad´s 30 foot long leather belt. My life was changed forever!!!!! He was definately NOT my brand new best friend after that and I learned to always follow the Arrow that showed the way home first!!!!!!!!! I guess that is my first big lesson....... Always choose to go Home When you can.

Other Crossroads in My Life:
My Call to Ministry
Joining the Marine Corps
Changing to a Small Bible College in New Hampshire
That pretty redheaded PK that I married -- (We'll get a couple of Blogs out of that ONE!!!)
Call as a Missionary
Choosing a Mission Board
Choosing a Country of Service
Choosing a Place of Service in that Country, -- The village of Chajuraña

These are the biggies... there are many more... and in each there are many new question and a lot of the same questions. for example.... What is the difference between the leading of the Lord and a calling from the Lord?

Was God serious when he said... "Delight thyself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of you heart.?" All of these are questions for another day.

Mädää´je mma wädööse wäjäänä


Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Remember To Be Thankful

Well I have been instructed by various members of my immediate and near family that it is time to blog again. Things lately here in Venezuela have been so tense and controversial that it wasn't a good idea for me to put my thoughts in writing since I was praying for forgiveness on quite a few of them.

It is after Thanksgiving, I know, but with the many setbacks that we have had in the last year it was hard for me to truly be thankful. When I saw that I had missed the news story of a Typhoon that had killed hundreds in the Philippines, I realized that I needed to 'flip the record' (does that date me or what!!!) from the 'Woe is Me' side to the 'Glory Be' side.

I thank God for her. She followed me to South America and put up with everything from living on the 8th floor, 8 months pregnant with no elevator to roasted worms in the jungle. She turned my caves into homes full of love and raised children that would make a King proud. She is my Queen and I married UP!

My First Daughter, Jackie
She grew from a little blond to a light brunette (I told her it was a dirty dishwater blond, after all teasing is what father's of teenage daughters are paid to do) whose inner beauty shines brightest as she imitates her mother and is a mother herself. She is doing great as a wife from what we hear from that boy she married too. I have always been proud to call her my daughter.

My Son, Joshua
He is now in his second year of Bible college in Tampa. His heart seeks after God, as he learns in class and practices his faith on the bus route and preaching. He is slightly loony and hilariously funny. Both are attributes that will serve him well for his life, marriage and ministry. I have always been proud to call him my Son.

My Second Daughter, Jewel
She is truly becoming a refined jewel who will adorn the life and ministry of the man she marries. She is in appearance, my wife reincarnate , but in personality, sadly to say, she follows me. Jooje töshi'e töwö, She has a heart that is loyal and constant. She will always be there solid and true. Can't isn't in her vocabulary. I have always been proud to call her my daughter.

My Third Daughter, Jayde
She is the mockingbird of the family (want to hear Patsy Cline sing??) and the Leonardo DaVinci of the Vernoy Clan. God has given her wonderful talents that I pray will always be used for God's glory. How often have we all wished she would be quiet or just put down the MagnaDoodle. But as the Bible says. If we don't cry out the glory of God, the rocks will. The rocks will be silent as long as Jayde has a breath in her lungs. I have always been proud to call her my Daughter.

My second Son, Brian
The young man that loves my Daughter. He was raised by wonderful parents and friends. I knew he would marry my daughter even before Jackie did. It was never in question, even when Jackie dumped him. I still knew that Brian would one day be a part of my family. I am proud to call him my Son-in-law. even prouder to call him a son.

My first granddaughter, Little Elena Grace
What a joy, what a reason to live and enjoy life. She will be the first of many diadems in my wife's crown.

My second grandchild, ????????????
I have heard some experimental names, We'll just have to wait and see. But I am already thankful, pressed down and running over!

God has been Good to Me. I Thank Him for the greatest gifts he has given any man.

My Family.

Remember To Be Thankful!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Presidential Hunting Trip

Yes!!! I am back!!!! Don't Faint!!!!!

I have been trying to think of what to write and share. After all I am a guy and I am still working on the comunicate for comunications sake. Bare with me I am trying.

When we went for our first visit to Chajuraña we were only there for a few days. God made it clear that we were supposed to move there and work. The story I want to share really doesn´t have a spiritual message, but I think it will be interesting to see a short segment of my friends life.

I was bored in the village and heard that one of Ingrid´s uncles was going to go hunting and asked if I could accompany them. Ignorance is bliss, and be careful what you ask for.... you might get it!!!!!

It was a regal group that made our way up river, for me, into the unknown. Nelson Rockefeller Cortéz, Lindon Johnson Cortéz and Clinton...... Our boat driver passed us all in celebrity as his name was Caesar, (Julius or Agustus I am not sure) . Some of you might think that I am making the names up, but I am not. I speak the truth unlike my namesake!

We got out of the canoe and headed into the hills on a path that only they could see, without them I would never have found my way back, (I know that for a fact and will explain later) I often thought how that would have been such a nice way to deal with unwanted suitors of my three daughters.

They listend to sounds that I never heard and ran off into the jungle chasing the dogs. They neglected to tell me they were going and it surprised me to turn around and see them running off into the jungle and leaving me behind. I reacted the only way I could think was logical. I wasn´t about let them leave me there!!!!! So I take off after them. After about 200 yards of dodging trees and vines and jumping logs, I starting wondering about the most irrelevant things like,
Good thing I have a will!
If I get lost and die: Will I be considered a martyr or just stupid!?
Can you really eat tree bark?
Am I really this hungry!!
When we caught up with the dogs and bludgeoned to death the biggest rat I had ever seen I knew the answer to that one!!!!! "accurri" is what they called it. But as I now say, if it has a nose like a rat, and feet like a rat and a tail like a rat, don´t let the fact that it is 2 feet long fool you....... IT IS A RAT!!!!!

After 3 hours of walking over hill and dale (I heard them complaining that they had only gotten half as far with the fat white guy as they usually do alone) Still don´t know who they were talking about! We turned around and headed back, climbing a hill and struggling to breathe I looked down for a minute and prayed that I would see my wife and children again. When I looked up, Lindon to my front had dissapeared, and Nelson , behind me was also gone!!!! Yes!!!!! Just like the movies!!!!! They were gone, and I didn´t know if it was a silent Jaguar or maybe a fierce tribe of invisible indians who were saving me for last cause I would be the easiest kill!!!!! or maybe they had finally enacted their evil plan to get rid of the missionary!!!!!!

I knew I had to get to the river, so with my highly honed skills I set out to evade death, and proceeded to get lost. They found me, I told them I was just wanting to see what the jungle looked like from the top of that hill. They said OOOHHHH!!! Right!!!! come see the river!!!

I was so happy to see my hammock that afternoon that I didn´t get out of it all the next day, not lazy, just couldn´t move!
So if you see their ad in the paper "Hunt with the presidents! Eat like you never have before!!!!" You will know what they are talking about!!!!

God Bless,

Friday, November 17, 2006

Blogging: A Curse or a Blessing

Blogging is something that I am new at. It seemed like a good idea at the time, maybe that was because I didn't know what all it entailed. Once you start blogging, everybody keeps coming back to see your blog. to see whats new. If there is nothing new you get told about it. You are expected to keep blogging, dort of like forced relaxation!!!! Not only that, then you are required by "etiquette" to look at the blogs that other people are doing AND comment. It is not enough to just read their blog, no no no you have to comment. I believe that blogging was invented by women to get men to communicate more. They tell you it is fun.... They say hey look at this..... Go to this web sight.... But that is not all .... You MUST comment. Check it out and see how many girl bloggers there are in relation to how many guy bloggers..... For the guy bloggers they are comunicating something that needs to be communicated. But for the ladies it is the BLOGGING and communicating that is fun...... It is a conspiracy to get guys to comunicate for comunications sake. Well now I have blogged and everybody will be happy, and they will comment and then I will have to answer or .blog again.... I am trapped.....Resistance is futile...... I have been assimilated. Might as well blog about it.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

I wanted to be ANIMAL!

You Are Ernie
Playful and childlike, you are everyone's favorite friend - even if your goofy antics get annoying at times.

You are usually feeling: Amused - you are very easily entertained

You are famous for: Always making people smile. From your silly songs to your wild pranks, you keep things fun.

How you life your life: With ease. Life is only difficult when your friends won't play with you!
The Sesame Street Personality Quiz

Monday, November 13, 2006

God's Man for Chajuraña

Let me introduce you to Victor Hernandez. He is a very dear friend of mine and a man I admire very much. He is the pastor of the Good Hope Baptist Church in Chajuraña. He was there in the village praying that God would send a missionary before he ever met us. He received Christ as a child when the missionaries Cedric and Florence Eddings were in the village back in the 70's. When he became an adult there was no pastor to lead the few christians who remained faithful in the village, so he stepped up and filled the gap. His world view is very limited. He doesn't understand politics or international problems, but he does know his New Testament. He has never studied in a Bible College, there isn't one in his language.
I spent many evenings over the past 10 years one on one with this man and we both learned many things. Prov. 27:17 "Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend."
He put the Bible into practice in many ways that I never had to. One example was when he was teaching that we need to put God first in our lives. Many times the christians would face a situation where they had no food in the house and they would need to go hunting to get meat. This meant that many times on Sunday morning for service we would have few men as they had not been able to return from the hunt. Unsaved family members would encourage them to go out Saturday night,it didn't matter to them if they didn't get back before the church service.
One weekend he told God that they didn't have any meat for Sunday for his family, but he decided he would wait to hunt on Sunday afternoon so he wouldn't miss church. (Now you might be thinking!!!! HE is the pastor! How can he even be tempted in this area! The answer is he had six kids and he helped feed his widowed sisters family of 5 on top of that. He had no income except what they grew and hunted. Some of the christians were going out to hunt and Victor knew they wouldn't get back in time for church. He decided to trust God to provide for his family and serve God first in the church that morning.
Right after service he came to me and asked me to preach in the evening service. He would do his best to get back in time, but he didn't own a watch and the canoe didn't have an odometer to tell him how far from the village he was to make sure he got back in time.
I saw him walk off to the river with his shotgun and his two sons. We were in the kitchen still making our traditional Sunday dinner of home made pizza about 15 minutes later when I heard the shotgun blast. 15 minutes later he comes walking up the hill and got his machete. I went out and asked why he hadn't already left and he said, "I just got back. A deer swam right in front of my canoe. God gave us meat for lunch."
He saw God work in his life, He knew God cared for him, He knows God will never forget him. Do we with all of our things ever get the chance to see God work in such real and present way in our lives? Who is really missing out?

Friday, November 03, 2006

Huckleberry Finn Jungle Style

My daughter has been writing about stories in the jungle. Figured I would put in my two cents worth. One time we had a visit from two of the pilot families for a special time together. One of the pilots had to make one more flight so when he returned I and Scott went paddling up the river to get our buddy Dan. When we got to the river my canoe had been borrowed and the only canoe left was a two seater for 10 year olds, or the "mini cooper" of dugouts. It was all we had so we took it and headed up river. It was a half hour of paddling but we got Dan and were ready to head back home when we realized that everytime we all tried to get into the canoe it started sinking. I as the jungle missionary sacrificed my dry clothes and swam behind the canoe to get home. As we paddled past a certain section where there was an awesome rock for swimming around, jumping off of, and playing king of the Rock, Scott and Dan complained about being hot in the sun and pulling me behind the canoe. I suggested a short pitstop to cool off and they agreed that it sounded nice. Boys will be boys and we sort of lost track of time having fun. When we came into the house several hours later we found out the women folk had been worried about us and thought we had been working on the plane, or eaten by Jaguars or kidnapped by guerilla fighters or kidnapped by a UFO. (You know how imaginations run wild at times!) When they found out we had been swimming there was a general mutiny by the kids cause they hadn't been invited and had been waiting to go to the river. We sacrificed again to the will of our children and we headed off to the river. tough life I know! but that is why they pay us Dads the big bucks!!! I sort of remember those pictures by Norman Rockwell of the old guys at the fishing hole running off and grabbing their clothes as they go. It was one of my favorite days.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

From Jungle Bunny to Baseball Fan

How your life changes is always surprising. One year ago we lived in the jungle and now we are living and working in the city. Last night I took my daughter to a baseball game here in Barquisimeto. I am working with Baseball Chapel in the minor leagues here in Venezuela and running Bible studies with the players of the Cardenales de Lara. My youngest daughter, Jayde, enjoys going to the games, although after 10 years in the jungle she is still not quite sure of how the game works. Whenever something happens in the game she asks me, "Was that good or bad?" "Yes", I answer, "a home run is considered good!"
Last night as we were watching the game the local TV station reporter was walking through the stands and she saw the little blond in the sea of dark hair. So much for blending in, being inconspicuous, not being noticed. Her 1 minute interview will be on TV on Monday night here in Barqui. Quite a leap for a little girl who chose to eat smoked worms instead of Chocolate chip cookies for a snack when she was 6.

Friday, October 27, 2006

So Much for the Dissapearing Rainforest

This was my last view of our village. If you want to see a picture of our house, go to my first Blog and look for the house that is right next to the green tree. Brazil is south of the ridge that is behind the ridge of mountains that you see at the top of the picture. There it is, the dissapearing rain forest!

Grab a Tree and hug it!

Here are the final pictures that I took of our village as we flew north to the nearest town of Ciudad Bolivar. (If they ever show up) If any of you are one of those tree huggers that is worried about the dissapearing rain forest, you can now relax. I found it!!!! It is still there. We will be flying for two hours north and it will still be there. We could fly to southern Brazil and it is still there.

Not God Forsaken but God's Beloved

I wanted to share a few pictures of the place we called home. It is a small indian village in the jungle of Venezuela. We lived and worked there for 10 years. Many would think that we were crazy to have gone there and even crazier to have been happier there than anywhere else in the world. We had to leave our home when President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela decided that all missionaries had to leave the jungle region of the country. What many people don't understand and probably never will is that we did not just leave a house, but our home and people who had become like our family. I took this picture of the village as we flew away for the last time. God has not forgotten them nor will he ever. He is with them and he always will be.