Sunday, June 29, 2008

Summer Institute for Missionary Orientation

"Too valuable to lose" is the reason why the Summer Institute for Missionary Orientation was created. Life on the mission field is not easy, and there are many sad stories of missionaries who started off well but are now casualties. Several years ago, God laid a burden on the hearts of Br. Leroy Adams, a career missionary, and Br. Steve Mowery, director of the missions department at Penn View Bible Institute, to do something to help reduce missionary attrition. SIMO, a two-week intensive training course, was born out of that burden.

Evangelistic Faith Missions has made it their policy to send their new missionaries to SIMO; consequently, Missy, Devin, and I had the privilege to attend SIMO over the last two weeks. Our instructors, Br. Steve Hight, Br. Leroy Adams, and Br. Steve Mowery, did and excellent job of delving into a number of important topics. Subjects discussed included: The Biblical Basis of Missions, Cross-Cultural Communication, Culture Shock, Cultural Anthropology, Missionary Fund Raising, Issues of Dependency and Paternalism, and Music and Worship Styles, to name a few. In addition to the time spent in the classroom, we visited a Ukrainian church, an African-American church, and a Hindu temple. As Missy and I are preparing to go to Costa Rica, we realize that a great task lies ahead of us. We are thankful for the training that we received at SIMO and are confident that it has better prepared us to be more effective in our ministry.

Monday, June 16, 2008

And the moral of the story is...

...nothing tried, nothing gained (concerning my last, deleted post).

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Thanks, Dad

Missy and I have both been blessed with wonderful fathers. As I was thinking about what to write in this post to honor them, the thought came to me that a father can leave no greater legacy than that of raising a Christian family. Our dads have left that legacy; all of Missy's and my siblings are Christians. Thank you, Dad McDowell and Dad Susan, for being the best dads that anyone could ask for.

I was reminded as well this Father's Day of the huge responsibility that I have as a father. There is now a little boy in my own life who is following in my footsteps. My prayer is that God will help me to be the daddy to Devin that I should be.

P.S. We will be attending SIMO (Summer Institute for Missionary Orientation) for the next two weeks, so I will probably not be posting anymore until after that is finished.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

This past Tuesday we had quite the thunderstorm. It knocked down a number of trees in our area, including one that snapped a utility pole and landed on the power lines that provide my inlaws with electricity. The worst thing about the downed wires was that they fell across one of the main roads in our area (if you look closely, you can see the lowest wire at the bottom left corner of the sign on the left of this picture). A number of accidents have occurred at this intersection because there is a curve right before you get to it. Before emergency personnel arrived to close the road, several vehicles barely got stopped in time to miss hitting the wire. Thankfully nobody ended up getting hurt.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Sunday Services

I felt the Lord's definite touch and help in both of our Sunday services this past weekend, and I want to thank Him for that. One thing that really concerns me about deputation is how easy it would be to get in a rut and simply give another presentation that I had given a number of times before. God has been reminding me of the importance of prayer in order to keep our services fresh and anointed. It would be easy to look ahead at our coming ministry on the missionfield and focus entirely on that. However, our present ministry is our deputation services, and I want to be faithful to give them my best. We would appreciate your prayers as we continue down the deputation road.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

McDowell Family Vacation

Below are some pictures from my familie's trip that we took last week to Washington, DC.

This trip was my first time to visit the changing of the guard at Arlington Cemetery. It was a fascinating ceremony. We also visited the botanical gardens, the air and space museum, and the zoo.

Devin enjoyed smelling the flowers at the botanical gardens.

Uh, oh, Uncle Jeffrey's going to get me!

Oh, for a .22!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

I Love You, Missy!

Yesterday was our third anniversary, and I want to publicly express how much I love my wife. It is amazing that three years can fly by so quickly, but they have been three great years. I was thanking God again today for blessing me with such a wonderful wife and little boy. Thanks, Missy, for being my best friend and such a wonderful wife and mother.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Off to Honduras and Guatemala

My parents and my youngest brother Jeffrey left today for a ten-week trip to Honduras and Guatemala. They will mainly be working in Honduras, spending nine out of the ten weeks there. I'm sure that they would appreciate your prayers as they are ministering this summer. My mom will be working in the clinic, and my dad will be teaching, preaching, and probably helping in a dozen other ways.

Last night we had my family over for one last meal before they left. It was a very enjoyable and relaxing evening. After supper we went fishing in our pond. Jeffrey got rather perturbed over the fact that I had caught five bass before anyone else even caught a fish. When it was all said and done, I caught six, and my two brothers, my dad, and Missy all caught one.