Was this in your newspaper?

As Polly and I ate breakfast this morning in our hotel here in Guatemala City, we read a troubling article in La Prensa newspaper about recent events in the neighboring country of El Salvador.

 (You can read a similar article with some of the same information in English here AFP

The statistics are shocking:

  • In the past week there were 240 homicides, including 14 gang members massacred by an internal purge in gangs in a prison.
  • In the past three days there were 125 murders.
  • 3,332 people have died violently from January to July of this year compared to 2,191 in the same period last year.
  • There are approximately 72 thousand gang members in the country, of which 13,000 are in prison.

That is headline news here but also should be headline news around the world, including in the United States.

Yet, it is my guess that most newspapers and broadcast news reports in the U.S. ignored the story. Unfortunately, Central America (as with the rest of Latin America) is largely off the radar screen of most people unless too many immigrants fleeing that carnage and the poverty and upheaval it leaves behind cross over into the U.S. seeking nothing more than a job and a peaceful place to live.

In fact, our attention is called only when political candidates totally misrepresent the people who enter the U.S. as criminals, rapists and lazy bums. Now, that makes the newspapers and the evening news.

What is disturbing is that we over emphasize sensational stories such as accidental airplane crashes, and under emphasize the stories of deliberate carnage that cause people to flee for their lives.

There have been several major air crashes this year, four of which involved more than 100 deaths. Following those incidents, CNN and other networks spent hours explaining the cause, showing video, analyzing with experts why they happened and how they could have been prevented.

Yet, the total deaths from those four major accidents total 581 people, while the death toll during the same time period in El Salvador was 3,332.

I see little analysis anywhere that examines the causes, explores ways to prevent the crisis, or offers solutions that are as humane and caring as those who work to prevent air accidents.

Since we will be flying tomorrow from Guatemala to the United States we certainly trust that our flight will be safe and that all precautions will be taken.

At the same time, we need to be deeply concerned about human tragedies such as thousands of deaths in El Salvador and the thousands more who seek a peaceful life elsewhere; the 3,000 migrants who cross from Greece to Macedonia every day; the more than 4,000 Rohingya migrants who have landed in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Myanmar since the Thai government launched a crackdown on people-smuggling gangs; and the list goes on.

Maybe it’s about time that we begin to pay more attention to and pray for these poor souls who suffer from evil and hatred and seek peace found only in Jesus Christ.

Please feel free to leave comments on this site. Those comments posted through the button on this page will be posted if appropriate. Comments sent directly to me are welcome and I will respond, but they will not be posted. To receive notification of future posts, please click on the “follow” button at the top of this page or write to missionaryjournalist (at) gmail (dot) com.

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Whatever is needed; Carrollton couple serves needy children in Guatemala clinic

By Kenneth D. MacHarg

Guatemala City—Helping ill children find medical treatment in Guatemala is often a family affair.

Take the Hobson family: Scott and Elaine Hobson of Carrolton, as well as Scott’s twin brother, Dr. Eric Hobson of Franklin, Tennessee–all recently spent a week working at the Moore Pediatric Surgery Center in this Central American capital.

On a recent afternoon, Scott, and Elaine were making their way from patient to patient, stopping to chat with mothers and children, giving a Bible to each family and praying with them as the child recovered from surgery performed that day in the center’s modern facility.

“The capacity here is 250 beds,” Scott explained. “So, with over 100 surgeries this week, they can only stay here for a short time until they recover.”

While most children remain overnight, a few are well enough to leave with their mother by the end of the day.

“We sit with the families, talk, pray, help them pass the time,” said Scott speaking about his and Elaine’s ministry with the patients and their families. “We do whatever is needed to help the mothers as they wait.”

“Sometimes there are difficult cases,” Elaine said. “We met one mother who has two children, six and three, and just found that her husband has a relationship with two other women. We encouraged her to talk and prayed for her and her children.”

Meanwhile, Eric, who grew up in Carroll County, was explaining his involvement with the organization.

“I don’t sit still well,” Eric reflected while taking a break from talking with patients and their parents, supervising pharmacy students from Belmont University in Nashville, and  inspecting the entire building for physical needs such as painting and replacing the roof.

“I guess serving here is part of my DNA,” he said, explaining that he was raised in a family which served as missionaries in Jamaica for several years and later managed Woodland Christian Camp in Temple. “I can’t imagine not being involved in some sort of service.”

Eric’s relationship with the Moore center in Guatemala began several years ago when a woman he did not know asked if she could sit at the same lunch table in a crowded cafeteria with him and a Belmont University colleague. Eric is a professor in the Department Of Pharmaceutical, Social and Administrative Sciences in the College of Pharmacy at the university.

“She started to share her enthusiasm for the work of the Moore Pediatric Surgery Center in Guatemala,” he remembered. “As the Executive Director of The Shalom Foundation which owns and operates the hospital, Allison Bender talked about the work that the Christian foundation was doing at the clinic helping children who needed surgery.”

“The hospital needed a pharmacy, so I worked with a colleague to design one for the facility and in May of 2011 we brought several students here and opened the pharmacy,” he related.

Since then Eric says ninety-five percent of the pharmacy services have been performed by Belmont students. The facility has completed over 3,000 surgeries performed by doctors from all over the United States.

The family involvement with the hospital hasn’t been limited to just those on a recent working trip to Guatemala. The twin’s mother, Mary Alice Hobson of Temple volunteered there several years ago as did some of the next generation of Hobsons.

The Moore Center and its U.S. parent organization, The Shalom Foundation, were founded by Nashville concert promoter and former CEO of the Country Music Association, Steve Moore, after a trip to Guatemala with a group from his church. Later, his relationship with the Monroe Carell Jr Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt in Nashville convinced him that a first-class medical center was needed to care for needy children. Thus, the facility opened in 2011.

Today the center is the site of hundreds of surgeries each year including procedures in general surgery, ENT, plastic surgery, orthopedics, urology, dental and ophthalmology.

Without intervention, many children would go untreated, facing life-long suffering or death from injuries, congenital defects or other medical problems.

Most of the patients come from throughout Guatemala, but the facility has also attracted children from the neighboring countries of Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Mexico and Belize according to Dr. Ligia Figueroa, the hospital’s medical director.

Dr. Figueroa points to gaps in the country’s medical system that make the Moore facility crucial to serving children. “Our public hospitals are limited,” she said. “In addition, ninety percent of Guatemalans can’t afford private hospitalization and the social security (insurance) system covers employed people only and limits its treatment of children to those under seven.”

“For many of our patients it is the last resource. When we see parents knock on the door, we cannot tell them no.”

This compassionate pediatrician told of a three year old girl who arrived at the hospital several months ago. “She was born with a congenital disease and her bones were extremely fragile. Her father has the same affliction and sells pencils at the airport.”

“Last February, the Moore Center pediatric orthopedic team lead by Dr. Brian Shaw performed surgery on Katy to straighten her legs and arms. After the surgical procedures on her legs performed by Dr. Shaw this year she should live with less pain.”

The Moore Pediatric Surgery Center receives teams of surgeons throughout the year for one-week sessions. Some are sent by medical practices or hospitals, while other groups are put together by the foundation from individual doctors who volunteer.

In addition, teams of volunteers such as Scott and Elaine Hobson are recruited to provide comfort and support to patients and their families. More information is available at www.theshalomfoundation.org.

Meanwhile, the extended Hobson family is enthusiastic about the center and plans to continue their involvement.

Eric pointed to the devoted nature of all who serve at the center and commented, “We have surgical rock stars volunteering here. Most of these doctors are the best in their specialty.”

This article was recently published in the Carrollton, Georgia Times-Georgian and several other media outlets. Please feel free to leave comments on this site. Those comments posted through the button on this page will be posted if appropriate. Comments sent directly to me are welcome and I will respond, but they will not be posted. To receive notification of future posts, please click on the “follow” button at the top of this page or write to missionaryjournalist (at) gmail (dot) com.

Giving hope in Guatemala; Clinic is last hope for seriously ill children

By Kenneth D. MacHarg

Guatemala City—Dr. Ligia Figueroa was speaking with a visitor when an associate knocked on her office door. Invited to enter, the colleague presented her with a beautiful vase of fresh-cut roses.

“These are from a patient’s mother. She wanted to give them to you as a way to say thank you.”

Such a humble expression of thanks as a payment for the surgery a child received is common at the Moore Pediatric Surgery Center in this sprawling Central American city.

“They don’t have to give us anything, but they try to say thank you with what they have or produce or sell. We have received fresh bread, eggs and other products,” she reflected.

Dr. Figueroa is the Medical Director of the hospital that is owned and operated by The Shalom Foundation, a Christian organization in Nashville, Tennessee.

The clinic treats hundreds of children each year for medical problems such as tonsils, adenoids, cleft-palete, club feet, poor eyesight, tooth decay and muscular/skeletal issues.

The facility has performed over 3,000 surgeries free of charge since it opened in 2011.

The medical director was born in Guatemala and trained at a medical school in Cuba before taking a pediatric position at Juan Pablo Segundo Hospital in the capital city. She assumed her responsibilities at the Moore clinic three and a half years ago.

Her work involves overseeing the legal operation of the hospital under Guatemalan law and practices, and taking care of patients. While fulfilling her official duties, she said that she makes rounds with the visiting doctors every day during a week of surgery.

The facility operates differently than a general hospital found in any city world-wide. It specializes in children’s surgery and functions only when a visiting team of doctors from outside the country arrives to donate services at no cost to the patients.

“We’re not an open hospital that treats walk-in emergencies,” Dr. Figueroa explained. “And, there are certain illnesses that we don’t treat such as heart problems, cancer, transplants or intensive care patients.”

She pointed out that a municipal hospital is located just three blocks from the Moore clinic and those who seek emergency help are referred there.

But, the clinic does serve a unique purpose in a country with a shortage of surgical opportunities.

Dr. Figueroa pointed to gaps in the country’s medical system that make the Moore facility crucial to serving children. “Our public hospitals are limited,” she said. “In addition, ninety percent of all Guatemalans can’t afford private hospitalization and the social security (insurance) system covers employed people only and limits its treatment of children to those under seven.”

“For many of our patients The Moore Center is the last resource. When we see parents knock on the door, we cannot tell them no.”

The hospital remains busy even when a visiting surgical team is not present. Guatemalan specialists are available to pre-screen children who apply for surgical procedures to determine if the visiting physicians will be able to help a specific problem. These specialists also oversee post-operative and follow-up care.

Dr. Figueroa says, she is in the right place. “We are giving hope here,” she said.

“Last year an eleven-year-old came with cleft feet (a condition also known as a club foot. It is a congenital deformity in which the affected foot appears to have been rotated internally at the ankle. Without treatment, people with club feet often appear to walk on their ankles or on the sides of their feet). His dream was to dance,” she said.

“He came from a town in the mountains and had to travel 35 minutes by boat, then walk 45 minutes to the bus and ride from there two hours to Coban and another six hours to Guatemala City.”

“He was happy with the success of surgery on his first foot,” Dr. Figueroa reported, “but after the surgery on his second foot, he did a dance and a show and said, ‘You made my dream.’”

She also remembers a child who, after eye surgery, turned to his mother and exclaimed, “Mom, I didn’t know I could see you.”

“I can see God’s hand in each story that we have here,” she said. “Our mission is one of compassion, passion and love. We impact not only a child’s health, but their life. After being here, they have a place in the world.”

The Moore Pediatric Surgery Center receives teams of surgeons throughout the year for one-week sessions. Some are sent by medical practices or hospitals, while others are put together by the foundation from individual doctors who volunteer.

In addition, teams of non-medical volunteers are recruited to provide comfort and support to patients and their families. More information is available at www.theshalomfoundation.org.

This article has recently been published in several media outlets. Please feel free to leave comments on this site. Those comments posted through the button on this page will be posted if appropriate. Comments sent directly to me are welcome and I will respond, but they will not be posted. To receive notification of future posts, please click on the “follow” button at the top of this page or write to missionaryjournalist (at) gmail (dot) com.

Treating the whole person; Pharmacy students treat needy children in Guatemala

By Kenneth D. MacHarg

Guatemala City—Imagine a hospital without a pharmacy.

Inconceivable? Perhaps, but that is what the Moore Pediatric Surgery Center in this Central American capital city faced when it was set to open four years ago.

Enter the College of Pharmacy at Belmont University in Nashville.

When Dr. Eric Hobson, a professor in the university’s Department Of Pharmaceutical, Social and Administrative Sciences in the College of Pharmacy, first heard about the health facility in Guatemala and its need, he thought “I can help with that.”

“The hospital needed a pharmacy, so I worked with a colleague to design one for the facility and in May of 2011 we brought several students here and opened it,” he related.

Since then, Dr. Hobson said, ninety-five percent of the pharmacy services have been performed by Belmont Doctor of Pharmacy students and the facility has completed over 3,000 surgeries performed by doctors from all over the United States.

Shelby Blalock of Murray, Kentucky, is one of the Belmont students who recently worked to dispense medicine and other necessities for a team of doctors which operated free of charge on over 100 children during a week of surgery at the Moore Center.

“I was busy filling prescriptions, helping to prepare medications for surgery and ensuring that all of the patients had the proper medications to take home with them once they were discharged from the hospital,” she said.

“I’ve always wanted to do a mission trip so this was a good opportunity,” she explained. “Given the situation of a child having surgery, which can be worrisome, I was interested to see how humble the parents were and how well behaved and happy the patients seemed to be.”

Shelby also remarked how the hospital staff and visiting doctors worked diligently to utilize efficiently all of the supplies that she and others took to Guatemala. “I realized how resourceful people are in Guatemala and how we can use those tactics in the United States in order to be less wasteful,” she observed.

Tayler Storrs of Lubbock, Texas who, with Shelly, is also a student in the Belmont pharmacy program, said that she also has a heart for missions and wants to use her experience in Guatemala as a springboard to other overseas service.

“The people here don’t have the access to health care like we do back home,” she explained. “They also don’t have the knowledge of germs and viruses. There is a real need here for health education.”

Taylor observed that the emphasis at the Moore Center was more focused on the patient’s health than on “reimbursement from insurance.”

“The children and their parents are more receptive to what the doctor says,” she commented. “They seems to be more thankful and less demanding than patients in the U.S.”

She said that she learned to give more personal care to the patients and to focus on the whole person, not just the medical problem. “I got to see the kids here personally. In the U.S. as a pharmacist I’m busy counting pills and don’t get to consider the patient. There they are just a name, here I had more interaction.”

Taylor’s experience is reflective of the hospital policy which refuses to give a bed or a patient a number.

“Our staff is required to learn the patient’s name and to refer to them by their name and not by a bed number,” explained Dr. Ligia Figueroa, the center’s medical director.

“Even though the patients change every day, the staff must learn their names,” she said. “It’s more work, but it is what makes us different and more personal.”

The Moore Pediatric Surgery Center receives teams of surgeons throughout the year for one-week sessions. Some are sent by medical practices or hospitals, while others are put together by the foundation from individual doctors who volunteer.

In addition, teams of non-medical volunteers are recruited to provide comfort and support to patients and their families. More information is available at www.theshalomfoundation.org.

While the Moore Center recently hired a Guatemalan pharmacist to run the pharmacy and manage the hospital’s inventory, Dr. Hobson said he still depends on Belmont pharmacy students to carry out the bulk of the work. “We’ve built an excellent system that not only serves patients well but helps to train our students to be better pharmacists,” he said with justifiable pride.

This article has recently been published in the Times-Georgian in Carrollton, GA and in other media outlets. Please feel free to leave comments on this site. Those comments posted through the button on this page will be posted if appropriate. Comments sent directly to me are welcome and I will respond, but they will not be posted. To receive notification of future posts, please click on the “follow” button at the top of this page or write to missionaryjournalist (at) gmail (dot) com.

When a pope speaks, consider which side of the Rio Grande River he speaks from

It will be interesting to watch the various pronouncements of Pope Francis during his upcoming trip to his native Latin America. In September he will visit Cuba and the United States. Earlier this year he traveled to Ecuador, Bolivia and Paraguay.

Of special focus will be whether his message to North American Christians will be consistent with what he preaches south of the Rio Grande River. Such papal messages in the past have not always been so.

Take the 1999 trip of Pope John II to Mexico and then the United States. At the time it left me wondering if the wire services were reporting the words of the same man.

This article from CNN illustrates the discrepancy. It’s a compilation of reports from Reuters and the Associated Press.

Preserving Catholicism’s power

John Paul, addressing significant inroads made by Protestantism in Mexico, urged his audience to ignore the seductions of what he called “fallacious and novel ideologies” and to spread the word of the Catholic Church — a central theme of his visit.

“Don’t fail to respond to the Master who calls. Follow him to become, like the apostles, fishers of men. Make Christ’s word reach those who still do not know him,” the pontiff urged. “The church needs more evangelizers.”

Then there was also this article from the Associated Press

POPE ISSUES CALL TO ARMS: BATTLE “PROTESTANTISM”, MEXICAN FAITHFUL URGED

Mexico City (AP) – A million faithful packed a dusty Mexico city
racetrack yesterday to hear a call to arms from Pope John Paul – a
summons to take to the streets and confront the challenge of Protestant evangelism.

“Mexico always faithful!” chanted the crowd, intent on showing the
Pope that their affection hasn’t diminished since his first trip to
the country in 1979.

John Paul urged his audience to ignore the seductions of what he
called “untruthful ideologies and to spread the word of the Catholic
church – a central theme of his visit, in which he has called upon his
church to aggressively combat inroads made by “Protestantism”.

I remember reading similar statements from John Paul II on previous Latin American journeys, especially in the Spanish-language news articles where the reporting placed a different emphasis than did similar articles in English.

Place these calls and rather harsh words (fallacious and novel ideologies. Seductions of…untruthful ideologies) concerning the consistent stream of Roman Catholics to Evangelical (Protestant) denominations in Latin America with these seemingly contradictory ecumenical actions and words of cooperation in other venues.  

Note especially this report from Adoremus Bulletin, a publication of a Roman Catholic society: 

An Ecumenical Service

The Wednesday evening Vespers service at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis was an ecumenical prayer service. Those attending included Vice President Al Gore and much of Saint Louis’s political and business elite. An overflow crowd watched as the pope walked down the center aisle to seal a pair of heavy oak doors at the cathedral’s entrance….

The Vespers service was attended by Buddhist monks, Orthodox priests and Protestant clergy of many denominations. Rabbi Robert P. Jacobs read a selection from Isaiah — reportedly the first time that a rabbi has read at a Catholic service since ancient times. Although the media stressed the ecumenical nature of the service, it was wholly Christian ­ a celebration of solemn Vespers, parts of which are similar to Orthodox and Episcopalian evening prayer services. Traditional Christian choral and organ music resounded throughout the mosaic-embellished cathedral.

Or this from the Chicago Tribune

John Paul II: Let’s End 800-year Split

February 16, 1999|By STEVE KLOEHN Chicago Tribune

ROME — Pope John Paul II delivered a special address to a joint delegation of Chicago Catholics and Greek Orthodox on Monday, receiving them in the papal palace with a reminder that the need for Christian unity has become more pressing on the eve of the new millennium.

The pope has made better ecumenical and interfaith relations a central goal of his 20-year pontificate. And as he looks to the legacy he will leave his church, he has put special emphasis on unity with Orthodox Christians, whose history and theology is closest to Roman Catholicism.

Granted, Roman Catholics in Latin America interface with a form of Protestant expression that is more evangelical in theology and style than do Catholics in North America. While traditional denominations such as Presbyterian and Lutherans planted churches in Latin America, the more evangelical and charismatic/Pentecostal churches dominate the landscape. Thus, the Catholic church faces more of an overt attempt to evangelize Catholic members and attract them to Evangelical churches.

In contrast, the North American Roman Catholic community more commonly interfaces with traditional, mainline, more liberal denominations in areas such as interfaith dialogue and common action on social issues.

In addition, one must recognize that our Catholic brothers and sisters in Latin America are facing loss in membership as well as a decline in political clout throughout the region. And certainly a call to evangelize is most welcome to Catholics and Protestants alike.  “Don’t fail to respond to the Master who calls. Follow him to become, like the apostles, fishers of men. Make Christ’s word reach those who still do not know him,” the pontiff urged. “The church needs more evangelizers.”

But to say that in the context of the negative, demeaning terms such as the pontiff used and then to celebrate an interfaith service a few days later and to emphasize better ecumenical and interfaith relationships as a central goal seemed to be in serious contradiction.

Perhaps today, with the emphasis more on Catholic-Muslim relations, and the needs of the poor, the pope won’t pay as much attention to the threats of an expanding and deepening Evangelical church in Latin America.

Or, perhaps this pope is different. Possibly he will rejoice that his fellow Latins are finding the Lord in whatever venue. As long as what they are finding is a deeper relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ in whatever ecclesiastical form, we can all rejoice and unite in evangelistic outreach.

Please feel free to leave comments on this site. Those comments posted through the button on this page will be posted if appropriate. Comments sent directly to me are welcome and I will respond, but they will not be posted. To receive notification of future posts, please click on the “follow” button at the top of this page or write to missionaryjournalist (at) gmail (dot) com.

It’s hard to believe…

We live in such an interconnected world with 24 hour news cycles; instant contact with just about anyone, anywhere; smart phones; tablets; I-this, I-that.

It is hard to believe, then, that there would be people so disconnected that they wouldn’t know much if anything about the missing Malaysian airliner MH340 which disappeared under very mysterious circumstances 15 months ago.

But, believe it or not, Nicolas Ferrier who lives on the remote French island of Reunion off the coast of east Africa was clueless about the items that were floating up on the beach that he helps to keep clean.

The Telegraph, a British newspaper, reports that he just isn’t in touch with some things. He had seen some unusual stuff such as suitcases and the like float ashore as long as three months ago. But, “I work alone, so didn’t have anyone to consult about it – unlike the others,” he said, referring to the team of beach cleaners.”

After all, “He doesn’t listen to the radio or watch television, he said, and was unaware of the furor.”

It seems that his regular routine is to burn the flotsam and jetsam that washes ashore, and he did that with the suitcases and other items that, he now admits, might have been part of the airplane.

We in the developed, western world, find it difficult to comprehend that there are pockets of people around the glove who aren’t tuned in to CNN all day and all night, don’t carry a cell phone or I-anything, don’t tap into news and information, don’t receive texts or post pictures of cats on Facebook, aren’t in contact with anyone but their neighbors and close family members.

I’m reminded of a gentleman who Polly met in the late 1990s at a Bible Study Fellowship training event in Texas. He worked in the world of computers and announced that it wouldn’t be too long until everybody had a computer and would be instantly connected to the world.

Polly challenged him, saying that there were people outside of the range of Wi-Fi, telephone and other means of communication who were unlikely to ever be connected. He was incredulous, maintaining his position.

Polly pointed to indigenous people in communities scattered through the Andes Mountains who did not have a telephone in their village, never received a piece of mail in their life and were in touch only with their near neighbors.

But isolation isn’t limited to just them. It seems that if you comb beaches on the Indian Ocean island of Reunion you are also limited in your touch with the outside world.

Which has implications for the preaching and teaching of the Gospel.

Don’t get me wrong. We served with international Christian radio station HCJB in Ecuador which reached all countries of the world with super-power shortwave transmitters. And, we received response from listeners in very remote parts of Africa, Latin America and Asia.

But, often as I sat behind a microphone or stood looking at those huge curtain antennas that bounced the Christian message around the world, I wondered about those who didn’t have any radio, no books, and knew of no one who could tell them the good news of Jesus Christ. And, I prayed not only for our listeners, but for those who didn’t or couldn’t listen.

With shortwave all but gone today, I wonder how people like Mr. Ferrier will be reached.

The Bible gives us a hint: Brothers and sisters, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved. For I can testify about them that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge. Since they did not know the righteousness of God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness. Christ is the culmination of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.

Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” 14 How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? 15 And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” –Romans 10: 1-4, 13-15

There is a role for each of us to go or to send people who will tell the Gospel to the lonely, the isolated, the unreached on Reunion and elsewhere. Let us not abandoned the task to quick fixes, but remember the long, arduous, needed work of going, physically, to all nations.

Please feel free to leave comments on this site. Those comments posted through the button on this page will be posted if appropriate. Comments sent directly to me are welcome and I will respond, but they will not be posted. To receive notification of future posts, please click on the “follow” button at the top of this page or write to missionaryjournalist (at) gmail (dot) com.