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Squishing on Carpet, Walking on Water

Watery Discombobulation!

Image of an orange bucket, on which is seen the motto, 'Let's Do This!'Despite what it says on the bucket —
Let's Not! (Oops — too late!)1Image of carpet-less floors and industrial drying fans“What did you say? I can't hear you over the fan noise!”2

If “April showers bring May flowers,” what do April leaks bring? Squishy carpets and domestic discombobulation, that’s what!

This is the “April” newsletter, but the deadline, um, leaked into May. This late edition got a bit waterlogged, so to speak! Apparently, just a few hours after we left for a granddaughter’s birthday and some ministry in Florida on April 10th, we had an upstairs pipe start leaking. Water has this God-given nature of wanting to flow downhill. In our case, “downhill” meant through the wall, and through our downstairs ceiling, into our entryway, living room, and dining room. The situation would have been worse, but our Christian neighbor, Donna C., caught the problem before it gave Noah’s Flood a run for its money.

Such fun to come home to! After our carpet was cut out and trashed, and the bathroom floorings and cabinets were removed, 11 noisy fans and 2 large de-humifiers ran for four days to dry the place out. Much of our living space consists now of bare concrete floors, and our furniture is all crammed together onto the remaining carpeted areas. (Soon all the remaining downstairs carpet has to be scrapped, too.) Needless to say, we’ve been a bit distracted. The newsletter may be late, but at least it’s dry!

Florida Fruitfulness

Church marquee with a mis-communicated message No, it's not true that the Easter-service preacher is risen (yet!). I'm pretty sure they meant
the Lord Jesus…3
Jim Kerwin preaching on Easter Sunday 2019 at Morningstar Family Church in Middleburg, FloridaIf you'd been there on Easter morning, you would have heard how the Resurrection accounts in the four Gospels dovetail so wonderfully!4

But our “indoor swimming pool” experience didn’t dampen our gratitude for the results of the ministry time in Florida. We were able to:

  • Stay overnight with a dear friend, Mary C., in The Villages. At her request, I taught her “boys,” 17 men who attend her weekly Bible study at House of Hope recovery ministry.
  • Teach at Christian Faith Center in Middleburg, Florida.
  • Teach all day Easter Saturday at North Florida Theological Seminary to a hungry group of students. The 24 of them covered quite an age span.
  • Preach to a full house on Easter Sunday morning at Morningstar Family Church (also in Middleburg).
  • Meet individually with three minister friends for times of fellowship.
  • Participate in a local pastors’ prayer meeting.

We also enjoyed time with our daughter’s family, giving special attention to a certain granddaughter’s sixth birthday.

Going for “Broke”!

Jim with four Guatemalan leadersI've been going to Guatemala since 2008.
Here's a shot from the 2012 visit.
All of us had less gray hair back then.
(Well, maybe not Jorge Cerritos, far right!)5
Jim with two prison chaplains in Huánuco, PerúWith two prison chaplains in Huánuco, Perú6

The saints in Florida were (from my perspective) remarkably generous, especially considering that I don't charge for sharing such teaching modules as I delivered at the seminary. I charge what Jesus charged — nothing. (And everything! Like Him, I press for total commitment.) Nevertheless, they shared with us over $800.

So what does that amount represent? Well, it might represent about 75% of the insurance deductible needed to rectify our watery discombobulation. Or it might represent a large chunk of the monies needed for Denise’s long-overdue (and much-needed) hearing aids. But since only $350 has come in for the May-June missions trip, we are going to “put our money where our mouth is” and invest this whole amount in the teaching expedition to Guatemala and Perú. Wouldn’t you do the same?

Where will the money for our insurance deductible come from? Don’t know. For Denise’s hearing aids? Don’t know that either. Doesn’t matter, since those are the Lord’s responsibilities. We DO know that if we’re asking you to partner with Finest of the Wheat in teaching these dear Latin American pastors and leaders, we can ask no less sacrifice of ourselves than we do of you. It’s called “leading by example.”

Walking on Water, Walking by Faith

Image of Jesus and Peter walking on the water back to the boat.In the “walking on the water” story, too many think of Peter sinking. Let's give him credit for walking as far as he did. And how many consider that he must have walked back to the boat with Jesus?!7
Photo of Jorge Watanabee and Ernesto Javier Ambicho and Jim Kerwin in Huánuco, PerúWith Jorge Watanabee and Ernesto Javier Ambicho in Huánuco, Perú8

As Christians we love to talk about “walking by faith” — until God actually asks us to do it! We’re more willing to tut-tut Peter for his “only” partial success in walking on water. Well, tut-tut’s or no, we’re getting out of the boat. We’re giving that $850 gift sacrificially and joyfully, for a cause in which we believe wholeheartedly. (Besides, it’s Jesus’ money, not ours, just like the rest of our earthly possessions.)

We have the “coolest” calling in the world — being a part of fulfilling Jesus’ Great Commission, going and discipling in other nations, as well as in our own. Discipling demands personal presence, hands-on involvement, face-to-face training, and coming alongside in practical ways. We are so thankful to the Lord for allowing us to be part of His Kingdom mission! He has been faithful to us so far in making this ministry possible, and we are looking to Him to do that again for this trip; and He will receive the glory and praise!

Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all!

(Isaac Watts in
When I Survey the Wondrous Cross)


Gathering of leaders in Betania, Guatemala, 2012The leadership team gathered for training at Betania, Guatemala in 20129


Prayer Points

Peruvian leaders from the greater Lima areaA whole passel of Peruvian leaders from the greater Lima area meeting at the Elio church recently10
Jorge Cerritos and Jim praying with pastors in GuatemalaPraying with Pastors in Guatemala11
  • The original plan was for Denise to accompany Jim on this month-long trip. Funds being what they are, that’s not currently possible. But Denise will need prayer for safety and wisdom and boldness, as she will have to shoulder the day-to-day responsibilities of working with the insurance-company contractors who will be putting our house in order.
  • Our general rule of thumb has been that we go when a missions trip is fully funded. This time we don’t have that luxury, because the Lord is leading us to step out in faith and operate in a different way than we normally do. Pray with us for the rest of the funds — about another $1500 — and ask the Lord if He would have you help us by sending a gift through the link below.
  • Those of you who remember last year’s Guatemala trip [Best.Trip.Ever] will remember the spiritual warfare before and during that time of ministry — Denise’s broken elbow, and Jim’s face-to-face encounter with the sidewalk, which forced him to teach with a sprained hand and wrist. Warfare and spiritual attacks are part and parcel of missions activity. Please pray with us for travel mercies, protection, and spiritual victory, both at home and abroad.
  • Teaching and discipleship aren’t about delivering information, at least not primarily. Jim needs to be endued with power from on high, to be re-filled with God’s Holy Spirit, so that he can teach in “the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Christ” so that, for these leaders “the eyes of their understanding might be enlightened” (Ephesians 1:17-18 KJV).

Many thanks! Your prayers and your donations are an essential part of this training and discipling ministry to those who need it most!

Jim

P.S.: If you’re on Facebook, check out https://www.facebook.com/FinestOfTheWheat for personal updates from Guatemala and Perú starting around May 20th.

  1. Image by Donna Collins
  2. Image by Jim Kerwin
  3. Photo by Jim Kerwin
  4. Photo by Denise Kerwin
  5. Photographer unknown.
  6. Photo by Denise Kerwin
  7. Image of Peter and Jesus walking on the water is copyright by and used under license from GoodSalt.com.
  8. Photo by Denise Kerwin.
  9. Photographer unknown.
  10. Photographer unknown.
  11. Photographer unknown.
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