On August 8th, we celebrated our 37th wedding anniversary. We didn’t make it to the beach this year, but it what we try to do every year. Our son, Cyrus, took this picture of us a few years ago on our anniversary at one of our two favorite Florida beaches: Palm Beach Shores Beach. Our other favorite is the beach in Hollywood, FL. We used a software filter to give the picture an “impressionist” look.
Lydia is preaching at our open-air rally for 1,600 people in Tanda, Zimbabwe. You won’t find Tanda on most maps. In the 11 hours it took from the airport to reach this small town in what Zimbabweans call “the bush,” we only saw one traffic light. Most of the people at the rally traveled by foot to attend. The group from one parish walked 23 miles to attend!
There are so many stories to tell. Neither Lydia nor the translator are using a microphone as the electricity is off. I originally nicknamed the translator “Michael Jordan” but later changed his nickname to “P.A.” as in “public address.” He had a booming shout and came forward to translate whenever there was no electricity. We had driven (five hours one-way) to the office of the power company earlier in the week to insure that these typical, planned outages would not be implemented in Tanda during the three days of the rally.
Lydia is holding up one finger because we teach the people to remember the simple message of the Gospel (kerygma) with just four words: “God, man, Jesus, you.” She is having them say each word as she holds up the corresponding number for each one. Of the 4 to 5 billion non-Christian people in the world, 40% of them can’t even read a single sentence. We are convinced that the message of the Gospel is simple enough that even people that can’t read or write can be effective Gospel workers.
Well, we think we are up and running. Check back from time to time to find new blog entries. Some entries will have spiritual insights and encouragement but only be a few paragraphs at most. The longer articles will be posted on our ministry website: www.preachJesus.org. This blog will also have entries to show you our travels, parishes in which we preach in North America, outreaches in the mission field and both pretty and goofy pictures of what we see along the way.
Lydia photographed the flowers above (plumeria) in Independent Samoa. They were growing in one of the gardens at the shrine where we were staying on the trip. The archbishop lives on the grounds of the shrine himself. Our main event was teaching our School of Evangelization (this one was Mon-Fri) to the Nation Catholic Youth Council. The archbishop arranged for it to be broadcast live on national radio. School was not in session and many youth groups listened to it together on parish grounds.
In general, this blog will help you know us better as people and stay more connected along the way. Many of the things (travel photos, worship songs, and recipes) never seemed appropriate on the ministry website but will find a home here. Here you will find a more lighthearted look at life as we answer God’s call and have a little fun together along the way. Life is good because God is good.