Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Project Refocus

Our missionary from Venezuela, Ised, is scheduled to be here inside of a month and a half (given that the US Embassy gives her a visa). After that a phenomenon known to anyone who has ever had a deadline will occur: there is an inverse ratio between the passage of time and the time remaining. In other words, the closer you get to a deadline, the faster time flies. Native southerners like my wife have a modified perspective on this phenomenon. They say, "The hurrieder I go, the behinder I get." In other words, it's time to start getting materials ready for Venezuela.

I've been posting about Hebrews. My goal has always been to make observations of passages not typically found in commentaries while remaining within the boundaries established by apologetically sound hermeneutics. However, I need to put Hebrews on the back burner and generate some core materials for use in Venezuela.

Last year I tailored some discipleship material into a package that could be configured to fit into anywhere from 3 sessions to 11. This year, the church has those same materials to use, so our goal now is to have materials to train Christians ready to take on the task of discipling new Christians. With the effort to reach out to new areas in Cabimas, as more and more people come to Christ, more people will need to be able to disciple them. I have an old outline I came up with last year, but never developed. I'll start with that and see where I get.

We also need music for Venezuela. Lois has already been gathering some simple songs for her to use during the summer. I don't want to reuse all the ones I used from last year - except, maybe Dios de Maravillas (God of Wonders). I love the arrangement I have, and even the English speakers knew the English well enough to worship to it. My daughter loved it enough to learn the background vocals on her own. I may actually break the piggy bank and invest in some real accompaniment tracks. I still have a bilingual songbook I can use for impromptu events.

Among immediate miscellaneous projects, I'm writing a song called "Broken". I don't have the lyrics settled yet, but I think I have a decent melody. I've also agreed to help a young lad at church who wants to play a baritone saxophone solo. Another project has been at the 'Y'. I lost 40 lbs over the course of the latter half of last year. I'm holding steady now, but I've always had relatively weak upper body strength, even in the Marines. Since Christmas, I've been working to improve that. If I end up helping with some construction project in Venezuela, I want to be able to use more than my weight (which I don't have anymore) to get things accomplished. Yet another project is to make a DVD of representative videos of Venezuela for our supporters. One last project is at work. Part of my job is to generate month-end reports for multiple product lines that fall outside the normal functionality of our ERP system. I plan to be in Venezuela over the end of a month and need to train the team leader that helps me to do the paperwork. On top of that, we have a multi-million dollar implementation of a new ERP system that's scheduled to complete by then - so it's all going to change. And I'm going to have to program all new tools for my products that still may not be covered.

The moral of the story is that even short-term missions can take all year to do.

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