Taking Larger Strides
The sense of urgency in making progress on the mandate of the Great Commission seems heavier this year than ever before. As the geo-political and economic circumstances around the globe appear to be spinning beyond the ability of men to control, we take great comfort in knowing that NOTHING is beyond God's ability to control. In fact, we are convinced that behind what appears to be chaos, our Lord is bringing history to the conclusion that He told us about in His Word.
There is no reason to fear even though there are many things that we don't know or understand. Nothing is going to take place that hasn't first passed through the Lords' hands. This is not the time to become paralyzed with a "let’s wait and see" attitude.
Faith in our sovereign Lord would find us increasing our efforts rather than standing still or worse yet, retreating. As one Alaskan likes to say “Don’t retreat – RELOAD”. We need to reload, redouble and recommit in our determination to make as many disciples as possible before the conclusion of this stage of history – this age. May the Lord help us all to give more and do more than we ever have before. We need to cover as much ground as possible in the short time that is left. This means that we must take larger strides forward for Him.
About Rich & Jo Ann
For 33 years we served in the country of Peru and then we had a crisis ministry outreach in Asia which has developed into a fantastic spiritual opportunity. The Tsunami that touched Asia at Christmas time 2004 moved our hearts and eventually led Rich to help with ABWE relief efforts in the region.
In May 2006 the School of Missions (SOM) teams began going into coastal villages with Vacation Bible School for the children. Following that week of DVBS our first CELL GROUPS began meeting. By November 2006 there were 111 cell groups meeting in 25 different villages with a total attendance of 2,077. That was a sufficient basis for starting 24 new churches. By Easter of 2007 13 daughter churches have been started bringing the number of SOM churches to 37!. We are teaching the church planters that the Great Commission commands us to continue reproducing local churches until the Lord comes!
This entire project began as a result of the Lords working after the Tsunami and the ABWE relief effort with our partners in the region. Exciting things are happening at this moment as the School of Missions has completed training church 33 planters with a vision to plant many churches in the years to come!
Following the ministry in Asia, we were appointed by the then president of ABWE as the Executive Director for the Caribbean, Central America and Mexico (CCAM) beginning in June of 2006. After 5 years of serving the national believers, churches and missionaries in that region we moved out of mission administration to another administrative role.
We are now serving as the President of the Bluewater Bible College (BBC) on St. Thomas USVI (www.bluewater.edu). Jo Ann is the Registrar, office administrator, counselor, and professor while Rich has completed the EDS post-graduate degree and administrates the college and often teaches several courses each semester.
We hope you will enjoy discovering some of the wonderful things the Lord is doing at BBC and throughout the Caribbean. Our desire is that this little corner of the Internet will provide information that will be helpful to each person who drops by to see what's new.
Our travels currently take us mostly to different islands in the Caribbean as we serve Bluewater and the local churches in the region. We have now completed 40 years of missionary service with ABWE and look forward to even greater ministries in the years to come before the Lord takes us to meet Him in the air.