Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Catch the Vision

We were blessed to share some time over the past few weeks with my dear friend and brother Andrew McMillan. Andrew, his wife Kathy and their two sons, Andrew and Christian serve as missionaries in Colombia. Andrew had agreed, with God, to go to Colombia for two years, that was 23 years ago.

Just before he arrived he send me a copy of the attached letter he had written to someone in Texas. The power and vision of this letter humbles me.

My prayer is that the Lord will light in me such a fire as burns in Andrew. Better still would be that He lights this fire in all of us.

Dear Paul

I like talking about Abraham in Gen. 13:14 where God told him to climb up a mountain and look, and everything he could see, God would give it to him. God only said this after he separated himself from Lot (in the Hebrew : veil). So once we separate ourselves from fear, sin, self-pity or old securities, the veil is removed and we can see clearly the future full of revival. So, this morning, I feel like I am going up a mountain. Here is our vision for the next 10 years

*We launched 3 new churches this month. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to plant each new church with sound equipment, chairs, and a video projector (about $7,000 per church).

*Our children center now takes care of 157 kids(children of prostitutes and drug addicts). Our church is giving about $8,500 per month. It has been hard for us to keep it up, but how do you say no to kids? We also have two other ladies in the church with smaller centers for kids. We have a couple who are housing 12 street men. We have a small medical clinic for the poor. We could easily administer an extra $10,000 a month now. This does not include the dream to transform the day centers into orphanages. We are dreaming about building a home for the elderly next to the kids home, and have a place for pets, noise, joy, living confusion.

*For 3 years I have dreamed of a Bank of opportunities to give short term loans for starting small businesses. It would have a loan officer who would also teach classes on how to start and manage businesses. We would not loan to individuals but to groups of 2-3 people. This raises the payback rate up to 95%. For example, someone who wants to start a bakery would have to find two other people who also want to start their business, maybe a wedding dress rental store, or a beauty parlour.

*We just had 3 meetings on a Sunday in the city’s convention center. The Mayor and the president of the city council came…and some other big shots. We saw over 1,400 people saved. It cost $15,000. I would love to be there every month, maybe every 2 weeks, or even every Sunday when it is not rented out. If we had $120,000 to buy our own sound, we could make a deal with the city and be there at least every month for $4,500. The city would be changed. Jesus would be the talk of the town. (We need much better sound in the warehouse where we meet now. For $50,000 we could have sound that would bless 2,500 people in each meeting.) Many new people dont return because they cannot hear well.

*We are renting now,but we dream daily of a lot across the street that God has kept empty. The price is very high: 20,000 meters(215,000 sq. Feet) for 7 millon dollars. We dream of a place for 14,000 worshippers, a children’s church for 2,000 and 1,000, offices and schools and a university.

We are starting South American Christ for the Nations this coming August. I graduated from Yale Divinity School and for some time, did not have much faith is advanced education. But Yale was originally founded to train men to proprogate the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. We need higher Holy Spirit education here….like an extention of Regent University. The buildings would have to have 2-3 levels of underground parking. So, we are talking millions. We are dreaming.

*Our boys, Andrew 18 and Christian 17, want to go to Regent Unversity and study Cinema & Television. They run our weekly TV program that aires on local secular stations. They have an anointing for it. I want this year to have a 3 minute program that gives a zinger to the heart. When we get the program on the daily news show, it would touch the city of 3 million people. We do not want to have a Christian TV channel. We think it is better to produce quality programs on the major secular channels on prime time. That is our dream. Christian TV channels seem to reduce the impact of the Gospel to a sub-culture, instead of being salt and light throughout the culture. So, my boys are dreaming of a huge studio for Christian soap operas, movies, reality shows, etc. For example, imagine a reality show where a group of Christians pick a poor house with problems and give them a soul lift, fixing up their house, helping them start a business, bring them to Jesus, heal their marriage and relationship with their kids, and bring them the Father’s love. Wow.

*Our marriage pastor, Lucho, dreams about a retreat center in town to have retreats ever weekend (We presently have retreats every weekend for the new believers outsider of the city). Pastor Lucho said to me, “Pastor, just think how it would be to have a building where everyone in the city would know where to go to recieve healing for their home. Imagine, 24 hour counselling, a room to show films like Fire Proof, etc.”

*Our evangelism pastor, Juan David, dreams of having a truck with sound, light and projection. My son, Andrew, dreamed about this when he was a little boy. We could have up to 5 cruzades every weekend.

*Our children pastor, Rafa, dreams of bringing the fire of revival to children churches. He and his wife have already touched about 800 church through conferences.

*Kathy and I will host the annual conference for pastors who are forgotten, struggling and tired. We bring them to Medellin and pay for their food, put them up in homes and in our retreat center. Last year we had 300. This year we hope to have over 500. We do all this for about $6,000. Imagine if we could put them up in nice hotels and send them homes like kings. Id like to do it twice a year.

*Our praise pastor, Manual, could take a few hours talking about instruments and lighting.

*Our pastor, Adolfo, over the new converts, dreams of having a call center with 200 volunteers.

So these are just some of our burning dreams. They keep us up at night. Sometimes they make us feel wonderful and alive and sometimes they make us feel foolish and idiotic. But we are fools for Christ.

Thank you for the opportunity to write my dreams.
Bless you brother.
Long live Paul for the Glory of Jesus.

See see our latest video the boys produced and narrated, go on line:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dsRkKjdqMX8or just search Miracle in Medellin in youtube

Pastor Andrew & Kathy McMillan
Comunidad Cristiana de FeA A 58000Medellin, Colombia

Sowing Seed into Revival
Andrew & Kathy
Mission South America
P.O. Box 12523 Norfolk, VA 23541

Monday, July 20, 2009

Its not the Knot

Way back in the day, what seems to have been another life, I used to really enjoy fishing. I was never a true fishing addict but I did carry a fishing pole in my truck. If I passed an interesting looking pond or lake during the day and time permitted I would find a way to make a few casts at lunch time or before heading home at the end of the day.

Back in “those days” I did my best to keep abreast of the latest cool fishing knot. For the nonfisher-persons reading this….. There seems to be a never ending stream of the latest “best” knot to use to tie your lore or hook to your state of the art fishing line. After a hard day of fishing, freshwater anglers will disagree and debate over the best knot. However, when subject of best knots comes up among saltwater anglers you would do well to back out of the bar, quickly. Their passion for the knot runs a bit deeper.

I was reminded of this just a couple weeks ago while taking my dear friend Andrew McMillan for an evening sail and troll across the bay,
www.fepaisa.com. Andrew and his family were back in the USA for a bit of R&R (for a missionary a vacation = preaching and raising support). Andrew noticed, after catching a nice little blue fish, that the spinning rod I had quickly thrown together did not have a swivel on the line and therefore the line was twisting. This is inexcusable for a real fisherman. Andrew is a real fisherman. I quickly cut off the silver spoon and tied in a snap swivel using a Double-Figure-Eight- Loop knot. **This is not a very elegant knot. However, it is very quick to tie and it makes adding or removing tackle a snap. **

Andrew, seeing the knot I used, commented, in a very knw way, that he had never seen anyone tie fishing line like that before. Remember Andrew is a real fisherman. I explained to him that I was shown this very simple and quick knot by the deck hand on a fishing charter I had been on a few years back. The deck hand knew all the “proper” knots but chose this knot because it was fast and easy and “more then strong enough”, in his words, for anything we might catch. Plus it allowed him to rig and un-rig a dozen or so fishing rigs at the start or completion of a day in a fraction of the time it would take using the “real fishing knots”.

This past Saturday I had promised our grandson, Christian who was spending the weekend with us that we would go fishing. More pressing needs had to be attended to and the fishing did not happen as planned. A promise is a promise, the scheduled work was postponed and we went today. Late this morning we shoved off and in about three hours we caught 9 flounder and 3 sharks. Christian had a ball.

Today as I sat on the dock straightening out the fishing gear I noticed a very fancy knot on a flounder rig that was in my Dad’s tackle box. I assumed it must have been tied by my father, Dad is also a “real fisherman”. Tangled up next to the real fishing knot was my trusty, but unassuming, double-figure-eight-loop knot. The knot my Dad had tied really looked sharp. It had a commending presence that said “HAY! I AM A REAL FISHERMAN”. My knot was,, well, just a knot.
While comparing the knots it occurred to me that the two flounder I had just filleted didn’t have a clue what kind of knot was used to drag them to my dinner table. The same applies to my grandson and wife. They neither knew nor cared what kind of knot I had used to tie their hook to the fishing line. All they knew was that there was a fish on the hook and when they reeled the line in the fish came along.

Then, as you might expect, the Holy Spirit used these simple knots to make His point.

Like fisherman, we (those professing to be Christians), all too often become caught up in what kind of knot we use. Obviously, I am no longer talking about knots. What I am referring to, and what the Lord was pointing out to me, is that I (we) get caught up in the way we were taught it should be done or how we think it should be done.

For reasons I don’t care to go into now I have had the privilege to attend many different churches, with many different forms of worship. It’s easy for me to find “things” to point out that “they” are doing wrong. The choir sings too much or not enough, the songs the congregation sings are too fast or too slow. The preacher reads his notes too much or he is too much off the cuff, he is too emotional, or there isn’t enough emotion. “I” think they should do an alter call,,,, too much emphasis on this or that. Bla- Bla- Bla- Bla-----------.

Its all just knots. What makes a fisherman, a fisherman, is that he fishes, Its not what kind of knot he uses. When the day is over……………………………, How many fish did you catch?