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.