There has been a lot going on in our lives and ministry. Please take a few moments and read our newest prayer letter. Just click on the link to read more:
Current Newsletter-May 2018
In order to maintain communication with our family and friends we have been asked to keep a running report of what is going on. We will try to make updates as news happens and as long as we are able. Thanks for keeping us in your prayers! (Newest Reports are on top and age as they go down)
Wednesday, September 14, 201
Monday, September 11, 2017
Wednesday, September 14, 201
- We have been told that Highlands County was the second worst hit county in Florida. There are many damaged homes, downed trees and extensive damage to the power system. Schools will be out for at least a week in this area.
- Thank you for your continued prayers. Please see our Facebook page for further updates. You can find it at: www.Facebook.com/poefolks
Monday, September 11, 2017
- 5:45 a.m. -Wow, what a night! I never want to experience any stronger winds I thought the roof was going to fly off. From what we can see with flashlights we have a lot of trees down in our yard we have a big cleanup but thankfully it looks like our house is ok. We are still having 45 mph sustained winds with higher gusts. Curfew in place until at least 11:00 a.m.
- Lost track of when but right as power went out we got in laundry room. It is scary hearing the howl of the wind. It sounds like a jet roaring.
Sunday, September 10, 2017
Saturday, September 9, 2017
- 9:10 p.m. -Cellphone service is out. The radar looks intimidating right now.
- 9:00 p.m. -114 mph wind just recorded in our county. Rain looks like a pressure washer.
- 8:40 p.m. -Radio says 100 mph winds getting close. Our cellphone service is going on and off.
- 8:20 p.m. -Sheriff's Office just texted that the leading edge of the eye-wall is entering the southern part of our county. So it's almost time for the worst part. Pray for an uneventful passing. Oh, and our power is still on!
- 7:50 p.m. -Wind gust of 81 mph just reported in Sebring.
- 7:30 p.m. -If this is only 70 mph gusts I don't want to experience anything more!
- 6:30 p.m. -Winds are extremely strong. The sound is unnerving. We have limbs down, neighbors mailbox blown out of the ground, lots and lots of rain. Power still on, but out all around us. Thankful that the storm is weakening.
- 5:00 p.m. -Hurricane Force winds have arrived in our county. The eye is still 120 miles from us and we will be on the strongest side of the storm. We still have power!
- 3:00 p.m. -Thanks for praying we are still doing great. We are having very minimal effects so far. We still have power!
- 11:30 a.m. -Perhaps the "calm before the storm" is deceiving us. it's raining pretty hard here, its breezy, and reports are coming in of tornadoes and some roads flooded. Yet, it seems pretty minor here so far. We pray for those along the coast. They now say our peak winds will be tonight about 10:00 p.m.
- 9:15 a.m. -Local news reporting a tornado 25 miles to our west. Our girls are hearing from friends nearby that they have lost power. It's too early for that! We'd usually be about ready to start Sunday school now. We sure will miss our church friends today!
- 8:45 a.m. -Now we have hard rain and its blowing sideways. Hard to believe the storm is so far away. Eating a hot breakfast while we still can!
- 7:45 a.m. -We are in good shape at our house. It's raining hard now. Local police report water flooding some streets but not in our neighborhood. We slept well!
- 5:15 a.m. -Its been raining all night but the heavier rains have started. It's raining hard enough now to wake us up. The storm continues to take a more western track so we may miss the worst of the winds.
- 12:15 a.m. -We are currently under a tornado watch. It is raining and the heavier rain bands seem to be getting close. The wind has picked up a bit. We're headed to bed now. We probably better sleep while we can! Thanks for your prayers!
Saturday, September 9, 2017
- 9:45 p.m. -If the forecast is correct we could see tropical storm force winds for more than 24 hours. They continue to send out text messages urging folks here in Highlands county to head to shelters if they do not have secure homes.
- 7:30 p.m. -It is surprisingly breezy already. We just watched a video online of white caps and crashing waves on Lake Jackson already and the winds haven't even picked up. More ice made, laundry is also all done.
- 5:00 p.m. -We just got word that students of our online Spanish Masters program begin their first day of classes in their newly founded Bible seminary today in the Dominican Republic. We are so thrilled to see this next phase of missions taking place. Now the nationals are qualified and excited about training their own people! What a blessing that they were spared the destruction of this hurricane at this important time. Some good news for us during the storm.
- 4:15 p.m. -We just heard that some local evacuation shelters are full and secondary locations are being opened. It is good to hear that people in vulnerable houses and low lying areas are heeding warnings. Elizabeth is taking advantage of the winds to do her afternoon running before the rains start.
- 4:00 p.m. -We have now filled our huge rolling recycle bin with water for emergency use. We've placed sand bags around a side door that is a little lower than the rest. We have also added extra bracing to our garage door just in case. Everything we own that is rechargeable is now full charged and ready to go. Water bottles are frozen to keep perishables cold. Those photos they suggest taking for insurance are all taken.
- 3:00 p.m. -We ventured out of our house for the last time. We needed to stop at an ATM to have some cash on hand for after the storm. Now almost everything is closed. Many homes and businesses are boarded up and secured. All of the billboards in town have been taken down as well as many store signs. The clouds have rolled in and the breeze is now constant and steady.
Please visit the Current Newsletter link above to read the update regarding our preparations for Hurricane Irma. We would appreciate your prayers at this time! We will update everyone as much as possible in the coming days.
You can also visit our ministry Facebook page for updates: On the GO with the POES
Perhaps you've wondered....
“Aren't you just going into a printing business?”
EBI is much more than a “printing business.” EBI exists to provide quality, doctrinally sound resources to help both missionaries and national workers in their Great Commission ministries. The majority of our partnerships are with national believers. Our goal is to provide the training and materials necessary to help national workers be as effective as possible in planting churches in their own culture. EBI conducts on the field teacher training classes, seminary modules and pastor's conferences all over Latin America. A very exciting aspect of the ministry is an online Spanish Masters in Biblical Studies program. This program allows trained pastors to gain valuable training and knowledge in an accredited course of study that prepares them to teach at seminaries, Bible institutes and colleges in their own countries. EBI provides materials needed for every facet of ministry from discipleship to professorship. While we will certainly be involved in translating, printing and administration this ministry is certainly much more than simply printing.
“Is this just something to fill time until you find another ministry?”
When Debbie fell ill in 2014 we found ourselves with many decisions to make. As it became clear that returning to Peru was not an option we were approached by a number of different ministries. We were offered positions in Hispanic churches, pastoral positions, and numerous Spanish mission opportunities all across the United States. We prayerfully considered every option. It was our desire from the beginning to remain as faith missionaries. In February 2015 we visited the offices of EBI. After several days working with the staff and discussing philosophy and goals we began to see how God was opening up doors of opportunity for our family. After much time in prayer we felt a real peace and excitement about EBI. When we accepted this missionary position at EBI we made a life time commitment. As long as God wants us serving with the ministries of EBI we plan to stay faithfully working there. EBI was a perfect fit because of our experience in Latin American culture, church-planting, Spanish language and teamwork with Baptist Mid-Missions.
“Are you really missionaries since you are living in the United States?”
Stepping on an airplane or crossing the sea on a boat certainly doesn't make one a missionary. We can all be missionaries right where God places us. While it may seem more exciting to fill a map with pictures of missionaries across the globe, missions that is based stateside is necessary and effective. It was our life long dream to serve the Lord on the foreign mission field. Yet, we had to surrender our desires to God's will and stay here in our own homeland. One of our co-workers shared with us that one of the hardest things we would face was stepping off the pedestal of being a foreign missionary hero and becoming a stateside missionary servant. God has helped us through this transition and we truly believe our ministry will be more effective now than ever.
“Why is this ministry necessary if there are missionaries in all these countries?”
EBI is currently involved with ministries in 29 countries around the world. Each of these countries has both missionaries and national workers yet the work is not finished. We believe that the key to successful Great Commission work is to train national workers and allow them to carry on the work started to by missionaries. 70 years ago dozens of missionaries headed to Latin America to begin working in the harvest field of souls. There ministries have been successful and today as many as 70 million believers in thousands of churches have been started in Central and South America. Today, missions has entered a new phase. It is time to strengthen the infrastructure for the national church. EBI is on the front lines providing the necessary training and materials to further the national churches.
“Why aren't you involved in church-planting?”
While we may have currently stepped out of a direct church-planting ministry role at this time, we are still actively working to strengthen church-planting efforts of countless workers in Latin America. We have personally been approached by laymen and national pastors looking for help with their own theological training. The Hispanic church is growing and asking for help! We want to fill that void. In the future we do hope to once again be involved with church-planting with the EBI team in the Sebring, Florida area.