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January 31, 2008

Greetings in Christ,

I hope you are all enjoying the New Year and haven’t broken all of your resolutions yet! Wish I could tell you that I am still on target, but I am so far behind, I haven’t even made mine yet!

Here’s what’s happening in Winona...

We finally got our first Greek-Spanish commentary back from the printers during the second week of November. Boy, it looked wonderful to me! We have several congregations who have “adopted a preacher” by contributing $10.00 for the book (or $13.00 if they want us to mail it in the US or $15.00 if we need to mail it out of the US) to give to an Hispanic preacher who can’t afford to buy one on his own. We would love to give them away, but Robert had to raise the money to have it printed, and with trying to raise my support and his support and a work fund, we can’t afford the time and resources to raise the money for printing. We hope to make enough from the sale of this one to print the next one, the Book of Revelation.

Enrique is working feverishly on Revelation now, so I should have part of it in hand in a few days. Soon it will be back to the keyboard for me, typing in Spanish and Greek. Of course, I love it!

Raising support has been way outside my comfort zone, but I have met some wonderful Christian women and am constantly reminded how much love and faith the women of the church have. Many fine women have volunteered to help me with my support. The Woman 2 Woman program is doing well, and there are about 12 ladies’ groups who are participating in that program. In case you don’t remember, Woman 2 Woman is where a group of women commit to sending one dollar a month each to help with my support. One or two of the ladies volunteer to organize, announce and collect the money and send it on to my sponsoring congregation. This has been such a great help and encouragement to me.

I can’t leave the men out of my praise either. Several elderships and men of the congregation have come to my aid when they heard of my need. It is very difficult for a woman to raise money. As Robert says, I have two strikes against me in the church. One is that I am female, and the other is that I am single and don’t have anyone to speak for me. So it does my heart good to see the outpouring of people who do care and are willing to help.
We are planning to go to Costa Rica in July, so I am diligently studying my Spanish. Robert is planning to go to Costa Rica, Honduras, and Panama sometime in February or March with David Riley, the preacher at Mars Hill in Vilonia, AR. Then the Swains are going to Romania in May. I am trying to set up a plan to visit the Alpha and Omega Hispanic Preaching School in Little Rock to do immersion language learning for the three weeks that they will be gone.

My house is coming along slowly. With the holidays and lack of money on my part, work has ground to a halt, except for all of the caulking and plastering, which doesn’t require much money. So I am working that into my schedule. It seems to be a never-ending job!

I got a big boost in October! The campus ministry at the University of Central Arkansas in Conway brought a group of students on their fall break. They built a deck off my kitchen. Wow! It is wonderful! And thanks to the Mars Hill congregation in Vilonia who paid for the construction materials.

Barbara caulking - Web.jpg

Right now, Robert is working on building kitchen cabinets with my expert assistance. He says, “Where’s the tape measure?” I find the tape measure. That’s my job. He says, “I need a phillips screw driver.” I get the screw driver. That’s my job! He says, “I need you to hold this board while I saw it in half.” I hold the board. That’s my job!! What would he do without me? Seriously though, I have learned a lot about construction. I can hang sheetrock, float out windows and facings, mud walls, and just about every other job that needs to be done. Maybe someday these skills will be of help to others in an evangelistic effort.

I hope you are all planning a great New Year, full of fun and family and memories in the making!

May God bless your efforts for His kingdom.

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