Sunday, August 26, 2007

Photos from Venezuela

As usual, there's more photographs from Venny than I could discuss. Let me introduce some of the people there:

This is Ised. She's the missionary we support who works with Iglasia Bautista Salvacion. She serves as our liaison with the church there and facilitates our trips there. She learned English in a single year fluently enough to serve as a translator when she worked with ITAM.

This is Keny and Adriana. Keny works with the energy industry in Cabimas and Adriana is in medical school. They're not married yet. Adriana is in medical school and is busy ministering in Cabimas when she's not studying. If they marry, it will yet be in a few years.

Darwin is the fellow with the white beard in the center. He's the pastor of Iglasia Bautista Salvacion. His wife is wearing the white shirt and her sister is wearing the blue shirt. Her sister's husband, Antonio, is the pastor of a mission church that just turned two years old, Iglasia Bautista Jehovah Jireth. pastor Darwin's children; Alejandra, Alexandria, Franc and Josue; were all part of the terrific team that we worked with.

Ghandi and Pedro were our bus drivers/owners. Ghandi isn't his real name, but everyone calls him that because he looks like the old Indian sage and because when the bus breaks down, it seems like he just waves his hand over the engine and it starts. His real name is Vincente. Pedro is his son. They came to Christ last year when the drove for our team for the first time. We found out that they had never heard the gospel before so Ised sat down and explained it to them. Once they understood they prayed to accept Christ like it was a "no-brainer".

This is Lesseth. She ministers to a children's cell group at a mission site in Cabimas. She was invaluable to my wife and kids during their stay because she helped watch the kids. Her husband whisked my wife and I away one evening for a secret "date" across town in a restaurant that appeared to have been kept open just for us. It was the first date we had had in 10 weeks and was a complete surprise to me. That's all you're going to hear about it...

This is Robert. He is in the University studying to be an engineer. He has only been a Christian for a couple years now, but is a tireless evangelist and an inspiration to know.

This is how most of us will remember Daniel - ever spinning his notebook. He is a great guy to know and was on the Venezuela team we worked with.

Yelianys (I think I spelled her name correctly) was another who helped out with the Venezuelan team. She, Adriana, Lisseth and some others do the music at Iglasia Bautista Salvacion.

I also dodn't find many pictures of Martin. He's the one standing and smiling. He and Robert often seem to work together in evangelism. They were both in my wife's "conversation club" when she was there. She would teach them English and they would teach her Spanish.

Suje (I don't know if spelled her name correctly) is a friend of Ised's from ITAM who came and helped. That's her son Juan that Ised is holding. There was another friend of Ised's from ITAM who Ised is discipling. She came and helped out often standing in the shadows observing and praying. Consequently, I didn't get any stills of her. She did show up in some clips of the video I took.

This is Adriana's mom. That's what everyone calls her so I don't know her real name. She and Big Jose (Adriana's dad) welcomed my wife and children for the 10 weeks they were there into their home. Along with Ised and Adriana were the last people we saw there in the airport as we passed through the doors through which they could not pass, both with tears in their eyes. Because of how they welcomed us I will always consider them like family. Were it possible, I would have them in my home.

This is Big Jose with my youngest son, Paul. They got along famously.

Here's one fellow I can't fail to mention. He's Little Jose, Adriana's younger brother. Those are my kids splashing about in the rain in the background. Little Jose was quiet much of the time. He often played soccer and Connect Four with my oldest son, Luke. They are about the same age. While I was there, he mostly kept quiet and always seemed to stand ready to do what his dad, Big Jose, told him to do. He would often jump out and open the gate to the house when we arrived or close the gate when we left. He did these things without complaining. I mention this because few notice what he does. I liken him to Christians who quitely obey the Lord and accomplish much without acclaim. In honor of him and them, I offer the largest paragraph of this post.

These are many of the Venezuelans we worked with. There are many more, but there's no way that I could learn them all in only a week. God bless them all and we look forward to seeing them next year.

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