Hi everyone. I’m sure by now that most have quit reading the page. I got busy back in April there, and TOTALLY forgot to write to this.
After our trip to Cochabamba, that weekend we had our second Encounter retreat of the year. We had 100 people in that retreat. It was amazing to have that many people… plus it was tough because we’ve never had that many before. Things went very well. As each of the cell groups continued to grow, we decided to have two more encounter retreats since then. We split up the groups into two. Half of our group of 12 in one, and the other half in the other one. All together this year, we’ve had over 200 people in these retreats for new believers. We’ve won at least 300, and probably more to Christ in that same amount of time. It’s quite amazing to see how things are growing. Each of our leaders are growing, and that brings substantial growth as a whole.
We’ve all been OK, although sick over the past several weeks. Finally, we’re all feeling better. But for several weeks there, 2 different viruses, a flu virus, and something else really made it’s rounds in our house. Both Jordan and Erynn got both of them. Erynn missed as least a week of school all together, although she should have probably missed more. I got the flu badly. I ended up staying here at home for 3 days with a high fever. Once I got over that I came down with a bad cold, which I’m pretty well over by now, although colds seem to hang on for a long time here. Norah is the only one who didn’t get badly sick. She didn’t feel good for a few days, but she didn’t get a fever or anything.
I’ve been working for a month on a Database to handle the information of our church. It take up a lot of my free time, but it is coming along fine. It’s a pretty complex thing. I’m setting it up to handle all Contact info, Consolidation info, Encounter info, Church attendance info, Tithes and Offerings, School of Leaders, Cell groups, leadership, etc.. I could use something like access, but first of all I and the church use Linux, which is tough to get Microsoft Office working in… and also, it doesn’t have everything that I really need, or want. I mostly use OpenOffice.org, but it’s not totally what I want either. I’m using a program called Knoda, and scripting with Python. It’s quite amazing what you can do with the data that you get. You can pretty well do anything you like. All types of reports and info. Once this is done, our only worry will be to keep the info up to date, and then we can have pretty well any statistic for the Church, or for a Community (the group under each of our 12 leaders) that we want. Anyway, that’s what I’ve been doing whenever I have the chance. I’m not sure if that interests you, but I enjoy it!
It’s getting quite cold here now. Every morning it’s getting down in the low 40’s outside, sometimes cooler, and it’s usually about 50 degrees or so here in the house. I hate having to walk around with a coat on all the time, but that’s just the way it is. I have this little blow heater that I put blowing on my feet in the morning. It’s been blowing for an hour now, and it’s warmed up in here to 67 degrees, but man, this thing uses A LOT of electricity.
In the Church, we have several things planned of the next few months. We’ll have two more Encounter retreats towards the end of June, beginning of July. The first days of August, we’ll be having another Cell Church Conference, although this one will be much smaller than the one we did in February. We’re planning for it to just be church-wide, except for the involvement of a few churches from Sucre that are under our direction. Probably the third week of August we’ll have a Re-Encounter, a retreat that we have for those who are active in the School of Leaders and are about to open their own Cell groups. In September, several from our church plan to travel to Buenos Aires, Argentina again for their annual Cell Church Conference. That should all keep us busy over the next few months.
I guess that is enough for now. If you would like, I’ve posted quite a few pictures from our last conference on MCC12.COM. You can go straight to that following this link.
May God bless you in all you do. Please remember us in your prayers. And please know also that we can use any gift that you can give. We’ve been very low on funds since our last conference, and way behind on several things, even our monthly salary. We love you all a lot. Have a great week!
Jason, Norah, Erynn & Jordan Skipper