Friday, February 05, 2021


Christopher Plummer, Sound of Music star and oldest actor to win an Oscar, dies aged 91


Christopher Plummer, an outstanding Hollywood actor, will be remembered for his portrayal as General Chang in the Star Trek movie, The Undiscovered Country. 

He played the role of a nasty warmonger, an evil genius who tries to sabotage plans, by people of goodwill, to make peace between the Federation and the Klingons. Plummer's performance, a far cry from his role as a gentlemanly widow in The Sound of Music, eclipsed the rest of the cast in the Star Trek movie. 

The make-up artists did a great job on him: the battle-scarred face, the patch on his left eye, and his bald look accentuated his smoldering grunts and the evil intent of his smiles and gestures. Plummer will be missed.    

Friday, January 22, 2021

AN UPDATE


 Dear Praying Friends, 

22/01/2021 

Blessings n greetings from Bolivia! 

Thank you for your prayer support in these trying times. Praise the Lord for all of you! Serving in Bolivia is like a never-ending David and Goliath battle.  

A few days ago during my weekly meeting with the clergy through zoom, we received reports of an increasing number of COVID-19 related deaths and infections. Except for one congregation, the rest have gone back to digital services. 

Pray for the church's zoom driven discipleship programs to thrive and grow during the week. Together with the senior clergy, we are working towards a national leadership training program in March...pray for the Lord to equip His Church to face the challenge of making disciples from the COVID-19 harvest. Pray for anointing, confidence, and for humility to learn. 

Pray for a revival that will move many to Christ and pray for the church to reap and disciple this harvest! 

The present government has more or less chosen the economy n politics over the need for strong social measures to stem COVID-19's rising tide e.g rigid quarantine 

The doctors and frontline medical staff lobby for the latter because health services have broken down again before the avalanche of cases in the hospitals. 

Meanwhile campaigning for the regional elections on March 7th, to elect governors and mayors, continues unabated without much interest in social distancing. Some candidates have died and infections continue to mount. Lord have mercy on us! 

One silver lining is the cancelation in February of the annual "Carnaval" - 3 days of debauchery, drunkenness, waste, and deaths from fights and road accidents. Sadly, only the COVID-19 threat, has the muscle to overcome the big financial interests (liquor companies) that prop up Carnaval. 

Pray for the Anglican church to GROW and find its voice and testimony in the midst of a growing national tragedy. We have perhaps yet to see the worse of COVID-19. 

Pray for Michelle n I to not lose our bearings and to find the quality time to build up each other in Christ. We work from home these days and spend most of our time in this self-imposed confinement. 

Thank you once again for your support and intercessions.  PTL!

Wednesday, January 13, 2021


GOD'S MERCIFUL JUDGEMENT!

If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God Hebrews 10:26-27

...our God is a consuming fire - Hebrews 12:28-29

Judgment offends our charitable instincts and doesn't sound optimistic enough to the contemporary ear. 

But it's almost impossible to read the biblical narrative and not bump into judgment: its precedents and its results. The writer of the letter to the Hebrews talks about the fearful expectation of judgment and raging fire.  

Most of us want an immediate word of consolation in the midst of our losses and misery; judgment elicits guilt and not the sort of consolation we yearn for.  And how does one sweeten the fearful expectation of judgment?    

Jesus prophetically denounced the Pharisees and then spared no bones in invoking judgment over Israel, cities, and the nations. And it's especially difficult to ignore judgment if one adds the woes in Revelations, the last book of the bible.   

His judgments although retributive, are by n large restorative and merciful when set within the universal intent of scripture. And his Son's death on the cross sort of sums up the retributive-restorative-merciful matrix. He submitted his Son to the inevitability of His judgment not to condemn but to lovingly satisfy the thirst for justice and reveal His new creation.   

Hence we testify to His merciful judgments with broken hearts, pleading for salvation.  

Some feel uncomfortable talking about judgment cuz it makes them vulnerable to accusations of self-righteousness. And of course, they're right.   

And we shy away from the language of judgment because we perhaps don't want, to somehow, misrepresent God and "blame" Him for natural disasters and evil in the world. It's easier to blame impersonal natural forces and bad people. This line of reasoning leaves God either out of the natural process, or it makes Him out to be servile to nature and human folly. Many are content to declare a mystery here and move on. Not so fast. Maybe we shouldn't move on. Like Job, let's get to grips with the Holy mystery of God, shed tears, wrestle with our doubts, and go to the Cross, cling to His promises, and - Let God be God.   

Christ's cruel death on the cross, hovers, like an eagle, over horrific natural disasters, evil, and sicknesses in human history; His suffering and tears mingle with ours and vice-versa. Christ bore our judgment; and transforms our victimization and helplessness not only in His death; but also in the hope of His resurrection. And it's in His resurrection and pilgrimage to the heavenly Jerusalem where God's judgment will find its significance not as the final chapter of our story, but as a necessary stepping stone to the greater glory of our heavenly redemption in the New Jerusalem! 

So, let the biblical testimony bend the contemporary ear to listen to the eternal hope of judgment!         



Tuesday, April 21, 2020


BOLIVIAN CV-19 UPDATE 3

"...Israelites...cried out...God heard their groaning" - Ex 2:23-24

A CRY FOR MERCY...
We pray for Mercy - somewhere in the genetic depths of lost humanity we know God is Merciful.
Lord have mercy on us! Christ have Mercy! Lord have Mercy!
Bolivia gets a mention towards the end in this surprisingly ideologically-free report from THE GUARDIAN, below, on the impact of the pandemic amongst the poor in Latin America.
The Anglican Church in Bolivia helps to serve the needy in our midst. The Lord uses the little we have to reach out to the masses. I try and keep in touch with the clergy and lay leaders through Facebook and Watsaap as they try and minister to the community around them.
Please pray for church leaders and their families. This has been a stressful time for siblings n marital relationships. Pray for families to turn to the Lord in prayer and for peace to prevail in their homes as the stress of the confinement takes its toll.
Pray for the Lord's mercy to take charge of impossible situations in families where buried resentments and unforgiveness surface in these times of uncertainty and impotence. Christians and their leaders on all levels are not exempt from bust-ups in the present crisis.
Pray for the Lord to provide the necessary wisdom, faith, healing, meekness, and finances to meet the present and future challenges in the life of the Church. Prayer for a new generation of hands-on leaders to serve the Lord in a fallen world of selfishness.
Pray for the government to find a way through the competing needs of safety from the pandemic and for people to earn a living. This article below from THE GUARDIAN deals with this issue, from the perspective of the poor.
There doesn't appear to be a centralized "one size fits all solution" from the top but a more community-based approach with direct help and coordination from the municipality and the central government appears to be the way forward. To some extent, this is already happening in the midst of a situation without any precedent, in Bolivia.
Pray for the Bolivian governing authorities to find resources and to persevere and to not buckle under the strain of this growing pandemic.
And pray for us to not fear the darkness of CV-19 but to plead In Christ, from a place of brokenness, in a heartfelt cry for His Mercy.

Monday, April 20, 2020

BOLIVIAN CV – 19 UPDATE 2

“SOUND THE TRUMPET” 15th of April 
first angel blew his trumpet, there followed hail and fireRev 8:7
Pray for us as we pray for all of you…we’re in this together – the Lord is blowing His trumpet and rallying His Bride around a fresh revelation of His Glory in the midst of great upheaval and suffering.
In South America, the presidents of Bolivia and Paraguay have publicly in their speeches pleaded for their people to trust the Lord and to pray to Him. In Ecuador over 7000 have the virus and more than 700 have died.
President Añez of Bolivia announced yesterday the decision to extend the national quarantine till the 30th of April. A new minister of health took over last week from the previous minister - he resigned for personal reasons.
In Bolivia, we’ve registered 354 CV-19 cases and 28 deaths. Santa Cruz, the region where I serve, has the highest infection and mortality rate. Relative to other countries our casualty rate doesn’t seem high; but the government rightly fears a catastrophe of massive proportions that would rip apart a frail national health system, if the disease spreads exponentially.
Hence the decision to err on the side of caution, apply the sledgehammer of a national curfew with very limited movement to only buy groceries and to do basic banking.
Various communal self-help initiatives have surfaced spontaneously led by the police and the municipality to feed the needy. Our congregations have tried to help out as well in this pandemic. One of them put together a plan to reach out to the elderly and to the more vulnerable in their communities.
Ministry opportunities in this period of uncertainty have opened up opportunities on the internet for small groups, personal counseling, and teaching clips. The confinement has either brought families together or divided couples and caused grief in families.
SO, IS CV-19 GOD’S JUDGEMENT? – The contours of biblical judgment, with fear and trembling, suggest a “Yes” and reflects our failed and incomplete accountability to a moral God in control of humanity, nature, and the historical processes.  
The gamut of His judgment includes eternal punishment, restoration, redemption, retribution, cause-effect, vindication, separation, discipline through plagues, natural disasters, and endless human folly and pride.
God, faithful to His righteous love, not only shatters human pride in judgment, but he also identifies deeply with those who suffer, through Christ’s Death on the Cross. An exclusive emphasis on the latter at the expense of the former sounds palatable, to the world and to liberal Christianity, partly because God comes across as a benign, long-suffering and therapeutic relative who nurses us back to health.
The biblical revelation, however, also speaks of propitiation on the Cross that permits salvation by Christ, the conviction of sin, a call to repentance and the thrust to disciple the nations.
May the Lord grant us grace to speak and sing boldly to the sound of His trumpet

Sunday, April 19, 2020

SOUL-LIKE BOLIVIAN MOMENT

Her child-like Bolivian charm:

a sense of hope colors her face with a well-proportioned smile, the almost perfect design of her cheeks and teeth hide a beauty yet to be seen;

her innocent eyes hint to unformed tragedy,
invite us to dance with the
soul-like Bolivian moment of her hair
blown by the wind.


Wednesday, April 01, 2020


A BOLIVIAN CV-19 UPDATE 1 
Bolivia locks herself down in a life n death struggle with, CV-19, an unseen enemy!
We’re allowed to shop at the supermarket for our daily needs but we can only do it once a week. The police and the military patrol the streets. My barrio looks abandoned … there’s nothing for the dogs to bark at; cars have disappeared from the streets, and all shops and banks remain closed. It’s different in the poorer districts at the periphery of the major cities of Bolivia - markets here are open and people mingle with little understanding of social distancing. Slowly but surely people are adhering to the rules.
President Añez declared a 3-week quarantine that will hopefully be lifted on the 15th of April. In terms of church-life, congregations meet through Zoom for bible studies, Sunday services, and other meetings. It’s a novel experience for many – sadly not everyone has a smartphone. The President has chosen the health of her people over the nation's economic well-being. Mortgage payments have been deferred. Financial handouts together with social benefits have also been announced.
I shudder at the economic impact of CV-19 on the Bolivian economy and on church finances. We´ll not only have to tighten our belts after this crisis but we’ll also have to think through how to function, as a church. The Lord’s putting us through this crisis to radically change the way we think about ministry and outreach.
Missionaries left an expensive and complicated ecclesiastical machinery for the national leadership to manage, and early missionaries with more resources got away with a strong paternal approach but it’s a different scene these days. This is not a criticism but a historical observation from mission fields around the globe. The emerging national leadership needs support and encouragement to fulfill their calling, and there is a still place for older more experienced missionaries to mentor and coach those willing to listen. Pray for us – CV19 has brought to surface issues that require focused attention and the gumption to make tough decisions.
On a personal level, Michelle and I stay in our home, listen to music, cook n clean, play with our dogs, read, watch TV for the latest updates and stay abreast of what's happening - in the nation and in the world.
The present crisis has been an overwhelming and heartbreaking experience – the poorer sectors of society clamor for food, the savings of the middle class will disappear and the elite will hunker down. 
We’re a bunch of “Tower of Babel” builders who’ve reaped what we’ve sown.
Oh! for the mercy of God - times like this when the Kyrie Eleison resonates powerfully in all our hearts:
Lord have Mercy
Christ have Mercy
Lord have Mercy
People look to us for easy answers on their terms, but the gospel provides a Way or better said HIS WAY– a journey on the Lord’s terms.
Our celebration of Holy Week takes on greater significance, - beginning this Palm Sunday!