Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Great Meeting With Juarez Seminary

I am writing this from El Paso, Texas where I am working this week. Yesterday I participated in interviewing a prospective field team member for the Juarez field. Today Michael Williamson and I had the most amazing meeting at All Nations Seminary in Juarez.

We first attended their Wednesday Chapel and then met for several hours with the Seminary's President John Lee. Or "Juan Lee" as they call him here in Mexico. Amor is building several houses on the Seminary's campus for married students. It appears that we may be building them as soon as this June.

Scott and John Lee at All Nations Seminary

What's most touching about us helping the Seminary with these homes is that the school is full and they had to turn away eight applicants for the Seminary this past August. They have the class rooms and other facilities but no place to house them. Imagine that, eight willing students want to study to become ministers and missionaries and there is no room for them. I felt honored that Amor could participate in serving the needs of the Seminary by providing housing for these willing servants of Christ.

We soon discovered that we had far more in common than we ever imagined. John Lee is formerly from Los Angeles, not far from Amor's first headquarters in Gardena. Tijuana was also the start of John Lee's ministry in Mexico where he began preaching in the La Mesa, Tijuana prison in 2000. Tijuana, of course, is also where Amor started.

The most amazing connection we shared is when John Lee told us how several churches in Cancun, Mexico had already asked All Nations Seminary if they would start a seminary in Cancun. Last year John Lee visited and met with these Mexican pastors in Cancun and there were some obstacles discovered that prevented them from moving forward; not having a facility to hold the seminary was just one of these issues.

Seminary President John Lee

All Nations Seminary has numerous extension around Mexico and they are now in discussions and in prayer with us to form a partnership with Amor to develop a seminary extension at the proposed Cancun Christian University.

The final thing I think that is worthwhile to mention is that the All Nations Seminary is located on the paved road right next to where we turn onto a dirt road to drive to our new Juarez camp. The seminary is probably less than two miles from our camp.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Cancun Christian University

I have created another blog that I will be posting to about the development of the Cancun Christian University. This is a project that a major donor has asked us to participate in and is currently under review by the Amor Ministries Board of Directors. While the feasibility of the project is being undertaken, the donor continues to develop the 12 acres that the University is being built on in Cancun, Mexico.

To see how things are continuing to progress, please go to the blog below:

Cancun Christian University Blog

Monday, April 16, 2007

Did Your Light Shine Today?

I have often been amazed at how God uses what we might consider to be insignificant events to bring forth very significant changes. I was reminded about this during my recent reading of the book entitled "God's Golden Acres". As we continue to make plans for expanding our work to South Africa I have been reading many excellent resources about this amazing country. God's Golden Acres is a children's home in South Africa for children who are affected by the HIV virus which is devastating the African continent. The founder and director, Heather Reynolds, tells a tremendous story about a incident in her life before she was walking with God.

Heather accidentally ran through a stop sign on the way to a meeting when her automobile's brakes began to fail. She was pumping the brakes but it didn't slow the vehicle down and she ran through a stop sign. With her son ,who was just a toddler in the back seat in a child's seat, she collided with a brand new silver jaguar sports car. When she and the other driver checked to see that everyone was alright, the only concern the driver had was that everyone was fine. Heather said she was fine. "Anyone else in the car" he asked. "Just my son in the back and he's OK", Heather responded. "Then let us thank God that no one was hurt", and he placed his hand on the shoulder of his friend and together they bowed their heads in prayer.

Heather began to cry. He probably thought she was crying, she thought, because of the shock. However, what she was really thinking was, this is how I would like to be. This is the sort of Christian I would like to become. She whispered to God, "From this day on I will seek you. in truth, with an open heart and with an open mind."

Some 22 years later one of Heather's board members recommended an outsider to take the Chairman's role for God's Golden Acres. It was the very driver she had crashed into 22 years ago. This was also the very person she had called to tell that she had given her life to God one night at Deep Valley, and whom she phoned the next day to say: "I just want you to know that I am the woman who crashed into you all those years ago, and I want to tell you that it was your Christian behavior that turned me again to God."

Never underestimate when God will use your small and even insignificant comments, acts of kindness, and when you shine your light shine.......let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Banking For The Poor

Technology continues to amaze me. Applications for non profit organizations as well as directly for the poor are becoming astounding.

For example, I just sent an email to one of our Finance Committee members with an article about how cheap cell phones and online banking is being used to bring banking directly to the poor for the first time. Many poor women in Africa are buying the first cell phone in their village and charging the villagers per call as they contact their relatives, do business, and do their banking. Not only is technology changing cities, wireless technologies are rapidly affecting rural economies- one village at a time.

Obviously I love this stuff. Just like the last three blogs I did. One was done by calling an 800 number to Gabcast which is then automatically posted to my blog. Another I left a voice mail message on my cell phone, recorded it with some sofware on the phone, and then it was also automatically posted wirelessly to my blog. This posting was written on my cell phones keyboard and then sent to my blog. Amazing! I can't wait to see what's next.

[Posted with hblogger 2.0]

Friday, April 06, 2007

Monday, April 02, 2007

South Africans Have Arrived


Eleven South African young adults and ministers arrived in San Diego this weekend. They are a part of a team consisting of British, Welsh, Canadian, and South Africans who have joined Amor in Rosario, Mexico this week to plan, do, and learn how to build homes in South Africa in 2008. This team of one hundred will build five houses and participate in training meetings and discussions with Amor staff covering nearly every aspect of organizing, planning, and facilitating a mission trip.

On Saturday, March 31, the South Africans learned all about Amor's history, Mission, Values, and projects. A highlight for me was a live broadcast that was done from our conference room to a South African radio station called FM 90.7. One of the members of the South African team, Humphrey Birkenstock, is a radio broadcaster for this station. He called South Africa on his cell phone as several of us were interviewed and we listened to the broadcast via audio streaming on his laptop. It was a truly exciting and amazing experience that was aired by a radio station that has an audience of over 200,000.

This radio station has also set up a web page on the radio stations home page to share regular updates on the progress of their trips. You can view this journal at the link below and look for "Five Nations Mission: Trip Report":