Miami Journal – Sunday, February 22, 2009

This morning I preached at Maranatha Church.

The building was peviously a Jewish synagogue.

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The pastoral couple are Aner and Vivian Morejon.

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Preaching with a translator goes well for me, but the time limitation is a factor. A one-hour sermon, which is common here, allows me 30 minutes of English content.

Ed Llanes’ wife Jil went with Ed and me to Maranatha. After the service Pastor Aner and Vivian took us and Aner’s daughter and son-in-law to dinner at a Cuban restaurant. Several of us had a beef platter – a huge slab of steak sliced very thin and grilled.

I had canned guava for dessert. It is served topped with chunks of cream cheese, which makes a good accompaniment for the sweet fruit.

In the evening I preached at Vida Abundante Church, where Roberto and Mirta Colloca are the pastoral couple. Their son Freddie is known to some of you. He is a singer, has his own band, has cut CDs, and is also the youth pastor of this church.

Pastor Roberto was in the hospital, recovering from minor surgery. Pastor Mirta led the service.

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The church meets in a large commercial building, which they are in the process of renovating. They rent out one half of the building to a local business. Here are the plans for a new entrance to the building.

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At 10:30 Pastor Mirta and Freddie took me out to eat at Chili’s restaurant. I am not used to eating a full meal that late at night! I somehow rose to the occasion.

At both Maranatha and Vida Abundante churches, after the service many people came to talk to me about missions, their experiences, their hopes for the future, and the possiblities of sending out short-term missions teams.

When I speak in the south Florida churches, I aim for a delicate balance between complimenting them for the many church planting outreaches they are already doing in Latin America (on their own, apart from initiatives that Brethren in Christ World Missions is doing) and encourging them to consider whether God may call people from the south Florida churches to serve as missionaries beyond the Spanish-spekaing nations.

I got up Sunday morning at 5:20 and went to bed at 12:45 A.M. Monday. This was a long day, but tremendously satisfying.

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