Wednesday, August 31, 2011

July/August 2011 “So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.”

July/August 2011 

“So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.”  Psalm 90:12

These past 2 months have flown by reinforcing the biblical concept of the brevity of life and the value of numbering our days, applying our hearts unto wisdom. The following are some highlights:

Pastor Martin, Erén and I travelled to Monterrey, Mexico, to attend Marisol’s graduation from UCLA (Universidad Cristiana Las Americas). For the past 4 years, Marisol has been the recipient of the Kirt Mellberg Memorial Scholarship. The scholarship fund donated by interested sponsors is a living investment awarded in Kirt’s memory for the purpose of recognizing and encouraging students who have distinguished themselves as leaders, who exemplify the servant qualities of our Lord Jesus Christ, and who are actively preparing themselves for ministry in missions or in a local church. Marisol moved to Tepic nine years ago with her mother and 2 older brothers. Her father had just been murdered mafia-style in the state north of ours in a drug-related vendetta, and her mother determined to leave that region so her children would not be further entangled in the lifestyle. Marisol, a tiny 12-year-old girl who in her short lifetime had been exposed to way too many of the world’s activities and snares, was invited to AWANA club at the Tepic church, and soon gave her heart to Jesus. She was faithful to attend church and obedient in memorizing and applying God’s Word. She became a prized AWANA club leader and a Sunday school preschool teacher. In addition, Kirt challenged her to use her musical abilities to learn to play the violin, and she is now an accomplished church violinist. When Marisol graduated high school, she felt God was leading her to attend a Christian college in Monterrey, Mexico. That was made possible partially by funds from the scholarship offered in Kirt’s memory.  With much discipline Marisol has numbered her days and applied her heart unto wisdom and earned her degree in elementary education and music. What could be more fulfilling than to attend the graduation of one of Kirt’s little people? Marisol is now teaching in church and in a Christian grade school in Monterrey. It is a beautiful city, but not a nice place to live…LOTS of unrest and violence.

The 2011-2012 recipient of the Kirt Mellberg Memorial Scholarship is Drew Davis, son of Kevin and Kim Davis, missionaries in Llanfairfechan, Wales. He is attending Baptist Bible College in Springfield, MO. Please pray with me that Drew will dedicate each day to applying his heart unto wisdom as he also prepares for Christian service. For more information on the scholarship see the May 1, 2006 archived post at:

Jacob, Kiki and Elianna welcomed baby David Owen into our family on August 6. He weighed in at 8 lbs. 1 oz., 20 inches long. He’s another healthy blessing from heaven and has already brought immeasurable joy to our family. I pray that as the days fly by, Jacob and Kiki will apply their hearts unto wisdom as humble stewards, not anxious owners, in shepherding the heart of this beautiful gift from our Father. That’s 7 Mellberg grandkids now! 
Pastor Martín knows first-hand the eternal value of world missions. As a boy, he made the choice to follow Jesus. For a long time he says he has dreamed of one day traveling to another part of the world to see for himself in what way he and the IBBM-Tepic church can expand our vision in fulfilling the mandate to go beyond.  He has prepared himself with sound doctrine, he has been obedient to his call, and he has been faithful; now God has opened a door for him to travel, leaving September 5, to Madrid, Spain, where he will join with 4 other Latino pastors for Phase 2 to Morocco in northwest Africa where they will make contact with the Jebala. The trip is designed to involve Latino pastors and churches in participating personally in the Commission to make disciples of Jesus Christ in all the world. Martín has much valuable experience having worked diligently, hand-in-hand with our Huichol brothers.

Very few of the Jebala of Morocco have heard a clear presentation of the Gospel; they don’t have the Bible in their native language. Even among the very few who have heard, a profession of faith in Jesus may cost them their families, honor, jobs, and sometimes their lives. Evangelization among them will be challenging due to the nature of the Arabs' lifestyle and belief system. Prayer remains key to seeing them reached. Martín is asking for 100 prayer partners who will commit to pray every day of his mission trip from September 5-25 for his safety, vision, wisdom, faithfulness, and his family back home in Tepic. If you would like to be one of his prayer partners, please notify me at and I will relay the good news to him.
Honestly, it does not make sense, humanly speaking, for the Tepic church, IBBM, to add one more task to the already endless list of “things to do” in our “own back yard”.  It’s not reasonable to invest funds we don’t really have given the austerity mode we are already in with the current property project, existing church operating expenses, and constant Huichol ministries. It’s not logical to get involved in a mission project on the other side of the world, and to reach out to a people we’ve never met; but it’s right, and it’s a divine mandate that the Church be about numbering our days, and apply our hearts unto wisdom as we go about fulfilling the Great Commission as He leads.  This “answer to the Divine call” reminds me of one made some 35 years ago, illogical, costly, and not reasonable, but right, when Kirt and I left for Mexico asking God for one biblical, autonomous, indigenous Mexican church that would ultimately take on the responsibility of propagating itself for God’s glory. This is not and has never been something we’ve done alone, but instead with an entire army of collaborators who have prayed, given and sent. I thank you for your faithfulness, Martín and IBBM thank you for your faithfulness, and the Jebala of Morocco will thank you.
May we number our days… and apply our hearts unto wisdom.

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