March news

Every year we come to Mexico there is always something new. Life seems to be always changing, and we especially see that in this place that is host to many transient people.

After being together with the P’s in Colombia this year, I was inspired by the powerful ways the Lord uses music. The P’s love music, so this opens up special opportunities to minister the word of God to them. You may remember from a previous email me sharing Elendie’s music and also the story of Rick’s music.

Now that the NT is done, the P’s aren’t here. This year I am not teaching at the Bible School, nor have I been preaching at church, so this year has been P music in my studio! It’s been a challenge to learn how to properly record music, but I am so blessed to have Fernando (Russell’s audio engineer) working with me and teaching me how to go about it.

Jorge and Sole are such a blessing! They have surprised me many times at the dedication they have to serve the Lord together as a team at Agape Christian Fellowship here in San Carlos. They have moved into roles which facilitate their gifting so well. Sole leads worship every Sunday and has begun a women’s Bible study in Spanish where great things are happening. Jorge faithfully preaches every Sunday and is also involved in many people’s lives. They are currently talking about adding a service in Spanish as well on Sunday. Pray the Lord uses them mightily.

One of the treasures here for me this year at Agape church was meeting a pastor who was originally from South Africa, but now living in Duncan BC. He faithfully attended Agape this year and blessed us every Sunday and Friday night Bible Study with his presence. In visiting with Tony, I felt led to hear his story, so I invited him to my studio to have a Podcast conversation with him. If you would like to enjoy the Podcast yourself, you can click here to hear it. I’m learning many things from this precious and humble man:

Robin and I keep getting blessed with grandkids! We have 9 and 3 more on the way. Next in line is another baby about to be born to our son Jared and his wife Natalie, then after that Levi and Laura and then Mike and Candace! Robin is such an incredible grandma. Her heart is huge for those kids. This year, she will be heading back to Canada early to be with Natalie and Jared for the birth of their new baby. She flies on April 5th. I will stay back in Mexico working on P radio programs and music until May 5th. I appreciate your prayers as I compose P music. May it be glorifying to the Lord and edifying to the P’s.



After a rather eventful return flight/flights last night from Bogota, I arrived safe and sound back to Mexico, though without my suitcase. I had a good rest last night and am off to teach my first class this morning at the Bible School.

It was a rich, full, emotional, spiritual and edifying time with the P’s. I look forward to relaying more when I have time and when I can get my photos organized.

For now, I just wanted to let you know this. Thank you for your prayers,


Heading off to Colombia

HOWARD AND SUSAN: Howard and Susan pulled into their driveway here in San Carlos at 4pm Friday. It was an amazing sight to see the motorhome sitting here in their driveway with the sun shining on them. They actually made incredible time, though they had to traverse some winter conditions in Canada and strong side winds from Idaho down to Tucson. At the US border, they had to convince the officials what ‘encephalitis’ was. Then at the Mexican border, Howard and Susan’s daughter, in a car behind them, were warned to turn back due to Chapo’s son being arrested and potential road blocks. They said no to that and Mexico let them in anyway. There were no road blocks and they pulled into their home on time!

Susan was SO relieved and happy to be home. I can’t imagine actually all she’s been through and she still has a long way to go. But thanks be to the goodness of God, she and Howard are home. She said she slept SO good in her own bed. We off-loaded Howie through the side window of the motorhome on a flat board. Red Cross came to assist and settle him into the hospital bed we had installed in their bedroom.

Over the past 3 days since they’ve been home, Howard seems a touch better to me. Yesterday as I was with him for a few hours, his eyes were the most attentive that I’ve seen, tracking with me where ever I moved. I read him the first 5 chapters of John. I kept looking up at him, wondering what if any he was getting from the reading. God only knows. We trust. This morning, we moved him into his own bed using a lift so that Maris could tend to his bed sore and put him on his side for a while.

CONFERENCE IN COLOMBIA WITH THE P’S: This morning, I’m packing my bag to head to Colombia. The P’s are excitedly awaiting this Bible conference. I fly to Bogota tomorrow, Jan 10th, and return on the 23rd. Once into Bogota, I will hop into Russell’s bullet proof Toyota again (as we did last year) and make the long grueling road trip to an undisclosed location near the border.

At times I ask myself, “why am I doing this?” In some ways, it doesn’t make sense, but there is a steady unseen hand which seems to be guiding me to do so. Teaching and personal contact is valuable and there are many topics to discuss. We don’t know exactly how many P’s will be there. E said possibly about 500 people. I received a voice message this morning from G. I could hear the joy, the enthusiasm and youthfulness in his voice as they are very much looking forward to the time together.

As I mentioned earlier, the Lord seems to be impressing on my heart the theme of ‘unity’. It would be nice to hear a message from delegates of each various area or group of P’s to share what they feel the Lord is putting on their hearts as we seek the one mind of Christ. It would be nice also to have a sort of question and answer time, times of prayer and worship as well. I hope to speak on certain passages of scripture like 2 Cor 5 on reconciliation and Phil 2 regarding the lowly mind of the Lord. We shall see how the Lord leads. I know it is encouraging for the P’s too. Just to be shown that they are important and loved in itself means a lot to them.

These kinds of trips are exhausting for me. I would most certainly appreciate your prayers for strength, health, headache free, good sleeps as well as safety. Russ told me last year, some of the places along that border are some of the most dangerous in the world. We are avoiding those hot-spots and keeping a low profile. He has not been kidnapped since 2012 and has been frequenting this hidden location of his regularly. On a recent trip there in October, the indigenous groups had road blocks on the dirt highway but when they recognized that it was Russell, they let him through and wanted Bibles from him. The paramilitary commanders even wanted Bibles and the FARC requested Russell’s help to join in a peace process to disarm. So even though these are potentially dangerous areas, God is always at work and seems to be giving Russell favor to pass through these territories. I am trusting that favor continues on. Once we get to the hidden location (12,500 hectares of land), Russell has some facility there where I think I understand can have a bedroom and bathroom. It’s way out in the boonies.. so no cell service.

Appreciate your prayers and thoughts in whatever way the Lord impresses on your heart,


“Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature”
Mark 16:15

EXTRA NEWS: The audio version of the P NT is now available! As you may recall, six P’s went to a border town in Colombia last year to record the NT in their language. After mastering it in the US, it was completed and now available online. In time, they will also load it onto audio devices to distribute in remote areas. If you are interested in hearing how it sounds, click here:

Howard and Susan – ON THE ROAD!

Susan (I assume with the help of some firemen) loaded up Howard this morning in Kelowna, BC onto the motorhome and they are well on their way. They crossed the border without issue (other than the border official didn’t know what encephalitis was and had to look it up before he let them enter). Howard is snoozing away in his bed as they make the miles down the freeway and are already already into Oregon. Susan texted and said how relieved she feels.

Jerry and I installed a hospital bed into Howard and Susan’s bedroom yesterday. We await their arrival and the road to recovery for our brother Howard. There is a fungus here which is breathed into the lungs (fungal spores in the air) called Valley Fever which doesn’t bother most people. In talking with others here, we got to wondering if that may be part of the underlying issues complicating Howard’s condition as in a small percentage of people it does cause severe issues and even death. A neighbor here died from it just two weeks ago. The good thing is that if it is, there is an anti-fungal treatment for it. Reading online it says that with about 1% of people that get it, “the infection spreads from the lungs to other parts of the body, such as the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord)”.

If all goes well, they should arrive here at the end of the day on Friday the 6th. Many thanks for all your prayers and loving support for our co-workers. Lots of unknowns for Susan. She had to forego their medical insurance to come back home. That was a big blow for her, but she feels strongly this is the place to be. To be back home. The doctors in Kelowna said there is nothing more they can do and that Howard should go home. These are big steps of faith for her with a large task of home care ahead of her and a life going forward without medical insurance.

Howard’s condition began at the time of his brother Murray’s passing. I believe he heard the news, but it was right about that time that he himself slipped into a severe state of encephalitis and wasn’t even able to consciously grieve the death of his brother. I’m reminded of the Proverb which says, “A merry heart does good, like medicine, But a broken spirit dries the bones.”

Who knows, maybe the combination of the West Nile Virus Encephalitis together with Valley Fever and a Broken Spirit has resulted in this severe condition he suffers today. Once he’s back here and I’m back from Colombia, I hope to see him reguarly and read him words of life and hope from the scriptures… daily if I can, because a merry heart goes a long way. It does good, like medicine.


Tonight after tennis was over, I sat down on the bench while the other players left. Arturo lingered behind as well to pack up his things. As we were putting our rackets away, he began to ask how long I would be around. Arturo is likely in his 60s, a very polite and good hearted soul, always respectful, joyful and kind. I told him I’d be gone to Colombia for a couple weeks, which led him to ask me what I would be doing there. After about a 15 minute summary of the history of our work, the hunger of the P’s and especially the presence, purpose and meaning of life in God at the core of all we do, he sat perplexed a bit and pondering. He then, gently but honestly, confessed in a mild voice, “I’ve read parts of the Bible. Genesis, Exodos, Leviticus, Numbers etc… but I have never felt that presence that you talk about. For me, I’m an agnostic. I can’t deny the presence of God, but neither can I prove it and I just have never felt that which others talk about.” He went on to give more reason for his agnosticism based on some of the horrific things he has seen people do in the name of Christianity. He said, “for example, 5 people get killed and the one standing by who survives says, ‘oh thank God that it wasn’t me'”. He looked up and said, “Where is the love for the people who got killed? Where is the compassion of the mothers of them?”

I said, “Very good Arturo! So true!” I went on to acknowledge and compliment his honesty. I said, “I respect that you say you are an agnostic. It’s one thing to say you’re an atheist. In that case, one must be able to prove the absence of God which is really impossible to do. So the fact that you say you are an agnostic is respectable and honest.” I could tell he felt affirmed that I recognized the virtues that he valued. Yet then I said, “But I do have a question for you. What is honesty? Where does it come from? What is the honesty that you desire to have? Why do you have it? Is it biological? What is it and why is it in you? Likewise, the justice that you require for the person who only cared for himself when the five others died, where does it come from? Actually, what is it? Is it muscular? or cellular? or in the blood or brain? Is it physical at all? What is the conscience and why is it there? These are things that are non-physical. They are beyond the material realm, but no one would dare say that they did not exist. My question is: if there is no God, then what are these things and where do they come from?” His eyes lit up and said, “Yes, there must be a God. Nothing else makes sense. But I just don’t have that feeling myself to know for sure.”

We went on to have a very nice conversation about spiritual things verses physical things. Then all of a sudden in the middle of the conversation, an expression of interest came over his face. His eyes lit up, he looked me in the eye and said, “You know! I’m going to read the Bible again!” I said “Good. Read it. That is great. But you know what is the key to knowing God yourself? It all comes down to whether you yourself call out to Him. It’s one thing to study about God and contemplate. But it’s another to cry out to God yourself and ask Him directly. Cry out to Him yourself and ask Him if he’s real or not. I guarantee you, He will reveal Himself to every heart that cries out to him with a genuine heart.” He said, “Maybe I will try that someday.” He went on to ask me what religion I identified with. I told him, “With none of them, but rather with every person who calls on the name of Jesus Christ in sincerity.” I said, “Read the gospel of John. It says right at the start of the book that Jesus Christ was in the beginning with God, the eternal Word. He is the declaration of the invisible God. He changed the entire world. There’s no other person in the history of all the world that has influenced the world like He did.”

We made our way off the court and as I was saying goodnight and that I’d see him again on Thursday, he said, “Yes okay. See you Thursday.” But then I could tell that more than tennis, he was appreciating the conversation we just had and he said, “Yes, but thank you for the talk. That was a very good conversation.” I smiled, agreed with him and said goodnight.

Pray for Arturo as the Spirit leads you. I really enjoyed getting to talk to him tonight and sense he’s on an awakening journey.


PS. More on my trip to Colombia and the P’s in the next update!