Monday, March 22, 2010

A Van full of woodchucks?

     Well it has been a interesting few weeks. not sure what god had in mind, but it has been a fun ride. I spent a few weeks in elk and it was fun to fix all the computers and work on websites and show a few people some tech tricks while getting in some good fellowship. Http:// is doing very well and many are rededicating their lives and coming to the lord on any given week. I am glad to be a small part of that. It was my hope to go and help the man(John Demetro) who is the most instrumental in making this ministry happen at his house in Canton Ohio and to hop a ride there. The plan was to go there and help him too get every gypsy Christian song we know of all up on the site and to continue to develop the site as well as do some of the initial prep for beginning an internet radio station.
    That did not seem to be God's Plan. John's dad took ill (please keep him in prayer) and John is having to commute on a semi random basis back and forth from canton Ohio to PA. this all developed while I was en-route to canton in a van full of woodchucks. working on a somewhat limited budget I put an add up on craigs list for a ride that was answered by Jim the woodchuck guy from North Idaho. seems he had to transport a few woodchucks back east and then go harvest a few more to bring back to his lab in ID. The night before we were due to be in canton I called John to find out plans had changed and called Pastor Dan Scalf (yep they finally found a way to make him stand still a while) so now I am here in a place called Atlanta Illinois in a assemblies of god church that had been closed for a few years and is now reopening. Dan is doing some amazing things here the church is growing, but of course that has its own challenges. I am here now to render a bit of aid in the tech dept and perhaps do a bit of preaching/teaching if needed. The timing works out well as Dan who has had far to many trips to the ER for his heart needed a driver to help with transport to TX for the School of Christ Conference  next week.
       It is still novel to me to hear so many speaking in english, and I find myself even more around the elderly. It is good training or re-training I guess, when i was overseas normally I would speak in a very subdued and well enunciated voice so my interpreter could easily understand and then they would address the congregation. Now I find as I am not needing to pause, everyone understands english, and most of the people I am around seem to be hard of hearing I need to retrain myself to project from the diafram and learn to speak louder.
     When outside the USA there is a stigma attached to Americans as loud and brutish that is hard to overcome. the stereo type of the loud american in a cowboy hat with a Texas accent is something I have tried hard to overcome. Now in the Midwest I find that unless you speak very loud many can not hear you because they have worked on loud farm equipment that is not friendly to the ears. After living in the woods for years this is a huge adjustment for me. I am glad I packed hearing protection.
   So from here I will be going it seems to Texas to the School of Christ convention. I understand it can be better than 1500 pastors all under one roof. Should be interesting I will get to see if the Texas stereo type is in fact a reality (never actually spent any time in Texas before, only passed through). Will be fun to see the land of rattlesnakes and armadillos.
    On a different note I am still attempting to find a few american gypsy speaking christians to send along with Steve Anderson on his trip ( with no luck yet. Please keep this in prayer. The area he is going to has a very high gypsy population and there is massive opportunity to reach them for christ if we had even on american gypsy from wone of the churches here to go with.
  As usual I am involved in a lot of minor unexciting projects in aid of other ministries. I can see the Lord's hand on it though and while i am plugging along I am seeing my Chinese friends are getting paperwork together to make it possible to invite me in a more official method.
    I still would like to base myself out of eastern Ukraine, but for now it seems the lord has other plans. Not long ago a man in a church a friend of mine goes to had a vision from God and decided to help pay off all the back taxes on my property. this seems to be in response to me seeking the Lord about if I should sell it off and be free of the hassles of owning land I am never on. Guess it is not time to sell all and move to Ukraine yet.
  I am enjoying my time around Dan Scalf who has been a missionary since the old days of bible smuggling into the USSR with Bro Andrew. I am beginning to learn some bits and pieces I have been missing about dealing with an older generation as well. I am glad the Lord is taking me through this learning phase before I launch out again. It is nice to be with a group again, although I do still long for the adventure of front lines ministry and the environment that forces reliance on Jesus (back home it is easier to deceive yourself into thinking you have things handled).
  Well until next time
Yours in Christ,
Donald C Phinney II