Let me start with the prayer list:

1. Pray that my visa will be approved as soon as possible. It has taken a bit longer than we originally anticipated, and there are things we need to do that can’t be done until I am a resident of Bonaire–things like getting a driver’s license and opening a bank account.

2. Pray for healing for Eppie, who has done much of the construction work at IBC. He was seriously injured in a traffic accident, suffering a broken leg and a broken arm. Because he developed breathing complications after surgery on his leg, he was transported to intensive care in Aruba. He has recovered somewhat, and is now out of intensive care and awaiting surgery on his arm. Please also continue to pray that the Lord will use these events to draw Eppie to himself.

3. Two special services will be held in December. First a service formally installing me as the Pastor at IBC will happen on Dec. 8. A small group from CBC in Nashville will be here, and Byron will speak. Jon and Charlene Kever are also coming, and Jon will say a few words in the service, too. The service has been announced in the local press, so there may be a number of visitors (even some VIPs) and an opportunity to share Christ with people we don’t see on a regular basis. The second special occasion is IBC’s annual Christmas Choir Concert on Christmas Eve. The concert is popular on the island and draws a much bigger than average crowd, so it also gives us a chance to proclaim God’s grace in Christ to many who don’t know Him.

4. Please continue to pray for our ministry to children on Sunday morning as we work out how to serve kids in three different languages.

5. Pray for our elders (Kees-Jan DeKruijf, Tom Francees, Bob Lassiter, Dave Pederson, and Brad Swanson). We are working on defining our mission as a church and how that mission can be realized in all that we do.

6. Pray for my preaching and teaching ministries. In November, the theme is the Christian family and marriage. In December, I will give a series of messages on the significance of the incarnation, and in January I will begin an exposition of the book of Philippians. I am also currently leading our Bible study on Tuesday nights, in which we just started to look at 2 Timothy.

In other news…

Governor Emerencia

As I settle in to life in Bonaire, I’m very encouraged by the welcome I’ve received. I was immediately invited to participate in a monthly meeting of pastors with the Governor of Bonaire, Lydia Emerencia. This meeting is organized by Herbert Domacasse, who previously served as Governor, and is a solid believer. Both of these important citizens have extended a very warm welcome to me.

I also recently met the famous Captain Don Stewart, who is the man who pretty much started the dive industry in Bonaire, and something of a local celebrity. When I mentioned meeting Captain Don to Jon Kever, he made the very perceptive observation that Captain Don is a walking Jimmy Buffet song.

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These are all people to pray for, by the way. I met Captain Don in the hospital, where they’re working on bringing him some relief for his problem of congestive heart failure which is currently complicated with pneumonia (he’s 89 years old, from what I’m told). While the Captain is a self-professed unbeliever, he was also enthusiastic in welcoming me to the island. I’m hoping he’ll be able to come to the installation service.

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Cruise season has begun on Bonaire, so between now and next April, about two or three times a week, one of these is the tallest man-made structure on Bonaire.

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The third ship of the season was this clipper, the Star Flyer.

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In this shot, you can see what I mean by the tallest man-made structure. That’s the Holland America ship Noordam in the red circle, and this picture was taken from the church, nearly a mile and a half away. DSCF7623b
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The big news of this last week was the visit of the King and Queen of the Netherlands to Bonaire last Saturday, during their tour of all of the Dutch Islands. The photo here was taken (not by me) at Mangazina di Rei culture center, where one of their guides, Gideon Plantijn, presented the king with some local food. I happen to know Gideon from the tour guide class.

One last thing: we’ve made some changes to the IBC website, one of which is that sermon audio is now available. Each week’s message is usually available on Tuesday morning.

Here in the tropics, it’s hard to remember that we’re coming up on Thanksgiving, but I must say I’m thankful to be living in a place where my main shoes are flip-flops.

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