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A widow living by a brook in Paraguay daily looked out over a picturesque 30-acre campus. She and her departed husband Richard Gwinn had built this campus as a missionary training center and called it A.L.M.A. (America Latina Misiones Al-Mundo; translated as Latin American Missions to the World)

Richard and Eloise Gwinn had initially opened the doors of ALMA in a rented facility in 1987 as a two-year missionary training center. It was soon after the first group of students graduated in 1988, that the Gwinn couple saw the necessity to purchase property and build an adequate facility in an area conducive to learning and outreach.

They purchased and developed the present property near Escobar, constructing ten attractive brick buildings on the land in preparation for what the Lord had put in their hearts: to train missionaries to reach the people of the Middle Eastern nations.

And the widow grieved that her husband died seven years ago, before the training center could be implemented on its current location.

And daily she prayed that God would fulfill His purposes for this campus, which she and her husband had left America by faith to establish, over 37 years ago.

And God in heaven heard the prayers of this widow.

In another part of the world, an American, Vaughn Martin, pastoring a church in Belgium with his wife, followed the call of God to found an intensive nine-month missionary training school in East Africa, a school now characterized by students who spend hours in prayer discerning the voice of God and who boldly by faith reach out into communities unreached by the Gospel.

In the first year of the school, hundreds from non-Christian backgrounds came to the Lord. Five bases directed by newly trained missionaries of the school were established along the coast of the Indian Ocean from Somalia down to Tanzania.

In 2018 a second missionary training school was started in Tanzania. This developing network of schools is now known as Overcomers Mission Schools (OMS).

But one day as this American and his Kenyan leadership team were praying about the expansion of the ministry, the Lord began to speak to them about “Latin America.”

The Lord said, “ I am starting a powerful missionary movement out of South America to impact the nations and in particular the Middle East. I want you to prepare to become a part of what I plan to do out of Paraguay.”

Even though they had more than enough to do in expanding the mission in East Africa, when God spoke they knew they needed to obey. The Kenyan director of the school, Katana Baya, immediately began studying Spanish because God told him he would be moving with his family to direct the school in Paraguay.

Over the next four years Vaughn and co-workers from the United States made numerous trips to Paraguay. They prayed for divine connections with people who would share in the implementation of the vision.

Miraculously God added to the team both from the Spanish community and from the German Mennonite community. God used a brother-in-law of the widow, Mel Weaver, a pastor in Pennsylvania, to connect the team to Eloise and the campus at Escobar.

The team met Eloise and shared what God was showing them. They saw in Eloise one who had faithfully stewarded over the years, the vision God had given to her and her now departed husband. They came into agreement with her that they shared a very similar vision and that the missionary training center would continue to be called ALMA (A.L.M.A) the name she and her husband had chosen in 1986.

In early March 2020, the school began with two Hispanic and two German students. Other students who were planning to come were prevented from doing so because of the lockdown of nations and travel by COVID 19 concerns.

These four students, along with a husband-wife teacher couple (Anthony and Cindy Holland); a translator; a videographer (Robert Gomez); an administrator (Cynthia Gomez); and the Kenyan director (Katana Baya) began classes.

(Vaughn Martin who was recruiting students for ALMA, was stranded in Brazil, unable to cross the border back into Paraguay.)

It now appears that had there been more students, the government would have closed the school for exceeding the limit of ten in a meeting.

God is pouring out His Spirit on this small beginning. The campus which had been very quiet, has burst alive with shouts of joy and celebration and proclamation. Daily and all-night prayer meetings are transforming the lives of all who dwell on the campus.

The teacher couple, Anthony and Cindy Holland, have taught and grounded the students in basic theology in a way that enables the students to teach others what they have just learned. The students have become passionate about learning the ways of the Spirit. Their own lives are being healed and transformed. They are being united into a strong community of faith.

In spite of the lockdown, the students are finding ways to share the Gospel in their daily contacts. A beautician accepted the Lord. A phone call provided the opportunity to share faith. And the lockdown could not prevent dreams and visions from heaven to awaken the students and faculty by night and day.

The widow, Eloise Gwinn, rejoices that God is answering her prayers. She said if her departed husband, Richard, were here he would rejoice with her in what God is doing in the training of the students.

Truly the Lord heard the prayer of the widow by the brook in Escobar by bringing resources from around the globe in answer to her prayers.

The ALMA missionary training center, now a part of Overcomers Mission Schools, is on God’s radar. And the prayers offered from this place are recorded in Heaven.

Blessed be the name of the Lord!


Recently I shared the Gospel with a young man who was struggling with unbelief. He said to me, “How can you say that Jesus suffered more than anyone? I’m sure there were people and groups of people who suffered a lot more than Jesus. Jesus was not unique in the degree of his suffering.”

I know there may have been a number of responses I could have given, but I offered up a quick prayer, “Oh Lord, how shall I respond?”

I responded to him with what came to mind, ”God was satisfied and Jesus was satisfied with Jesus suffering.”

The young man responded, ”Oh, now I see; there is a balance between God‘s mercy and his judgment.” And he visibly relaxed and moved toward faith.

This morning I recalled this scripture from Isaiah:

Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be SATISFIED; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities. – Isaiah 53:11

I recall my father purchasing a cow from a cow dealer who came to our farm with the cow which he wished to sell. After vigorous back and forth bargaining they would agree on a price.

But my father not only wanted the cow at a good price, he wanted a good relationship with the dealer. So my father would say as he wrote out a check, “Are you satisfied? The dealer would respond, “Yes I’m satisfied.” And my father would respond, “I’m satisfied as well.” And their relationship was reaffirmed into the future.

When God saw the blood spilling from the body of his innocent son, He said, “I’m satisfied! This sacred blood of my holy and innocent son covers the sins of the world.”

And Jesus said, “I am satisfied to have paid such a painful and great price because I see the salvation that comes to many from this sacrifice. I am satisfied with what I had to pay.”

He might then say to me, “Are you satisfied?”

I would respond, “I am more than satisfied; I am overjoyed. I have been given an amazing gift. A debt I could not pay has been covered; I will forever be your love-servant.

And I never want to dishonor the blood by carelessly and willfully going back into the sins which were covered by the blood. Oh Jesus, keep me near the cross.

I want to stay close to the gift. I always want to remember the cross. That is why I take communion daily.

I am so grateful that You, Jesus, were satisfied and that you are looking to me now for a life of grateful obedience.“


As I went to work today in the prison I was torn: torn by concerns about the virus, torn by threat of government overreach, torn by concerns about economic collapse. And I was torn by how torn all of our society is by these issues. Just yesterday I saw a Venn diagram addressing these issues but without the spiritual component.

As I left home for the day, I said to my wife,Ruth, “If you have the time today could you make a Venn diagram of these issues and show how God is a part of the whole picture.”

This evening I was deeply moved by her creation:

Grandpa 60


Fred Garber a much loved pastor in the Elizabethtown, PA area died on March 20, 2020 at the age of 71. Fred, along with his wife Linda, had pastored the Bossler Mennonite Church. Fred had developed a chronic lung condition years ago. He was told by a physician that he had five years to live. Fred did not believe this prognosis and so he told no one about it outside the family. By God’s grace, he lived for over 20 years beyond the time he was given that word from the doctor.

Pastor Doug Lamb, leader of the Etown Ministerium, informed the area pastors of Fred’s passing. In response to Doug’s email, many area pastors responded to Doug with their favorite memories and high regard for Fred.

Doug, himself, commented: “Fred led the prayer time at 6 am every Saturday at Cornerstone Youth Center for the last eleven years. Fred was never discouraged by low attendance in that prayer meeting. He persisted faithful in prayer. He was humble and down to earth. I will never be able to measure up to his depth and his determination to know the Lord and to love others.

Nelson Bechtold, Bishop in the Elizabethtown District of the Mennonite Church where Fred served, stated, “ Fred was my friend and confidant. Having started in ministry about the same time, we valued the honest conversations we could have about the joys and challenges of ministry. I will miss him.”

One pastor recalled the story of how Fred had volunteered to read in a local public school kindergarten. The little boy to whom he was assigned was very shy and crawled under the table. Fred got down on the floor and talked to the child and they became friends. Then Fred, lying on the floor under the table, read to the child.

The pastor observed, “May we all be inspired by Fred to learn to crawl under the table, or whatever it takes, to show love to those who are hurting.”

Wayne Lawton, pastor of Cedar Hill Community Church, and a friend of Fred, woke up from a grieving dream about Fred with the inspiration that someone should write an article for the local Etown newspaper about Fred and include comments that the area pastors had made.

Wayne contacted several persons about writing the article but no one volunteered.

So when there was no one who responded, Wayne wrote a loving article about Fred and the comments that were shared. The article was published in the Elizabethtown Advocate. And it was later also picked up and published in the Faith and Values section of the Lancaster Newspapers.

These articles were a timely and meaningful way of remembering and grieving a departed friend rather than needing to wait “till a later date to celebrate the life of the departed” as many obituaries are now needing to announce.

Wayne stated that a funeral or memorial service is a very therapeutic and comforting event and helps to bring some degree of closure. Sharing this outpouring of sympathy from area pastors of various denominations and networks was an encouraging answer to a prayer Fred often prayed, “that there would be unity in the body of Christ.”

But there was one more thing Wayne wanted to see happen. He asked in a letter to me:

Could someone draw a picture of Pastor Fred getting down under the table with that young student?

Wayne observed that Fred’s act was such a beautiful example of what Jesus did in coming down from heaven to meet us where we are.

I am not that artist. But in response to the request of my friend, Wayne, I make the following request:

If you or a child you know is inspired by this mental picture of a pastor under a table reading to a child, draw a picture and send a photo of the picture to me via personal Messenger. I will share the photos with Wayne and possibly one of Fred’s family members and we will post the best on Facebook.

And Wayne will have his dream fulfilled that many will remember and be inspired by the life of Pastor Fred Garber.

Grandpa 59

HELP! My cell phone does not even recognize me

This mask was crafted by my about to be 14 year old granddaughter, Ana. I am grateful for her help in keeping me safe.


We Are Priests Called to Hear from Heaven

Last night I dreamed that I was a psychiatrist for the Queen of England. Every day I would post, with her permission and approval, something about her mental, emotional and spiritual state. The people were very eager to see my posts. At the end of my dream, I was posting that “when the Queen heard all that you, the people, were going through, a tear formed and slowly rolled down her cheek. She does care for you and she loves you so much.” Then I fully awoke.

I recalled the scripture. “He has made us a Kingdom of priests for God his Father. All glory and power to him forever and ever! Amen.” Revelation 1:6.

To my spirit came the strong sense: We as Christians are priests called to hear from heaven. We are called to share His word to the waiting people, who have not been hearing from Heaven, either because they do not have access or they have not availed themselves of the access to the throne room of God.

The message to be shared is: “The Heavenly Father loves you deeply. He is moved with compassion by your current afflictions. And He will act in your behalf. Do not FEAR!”

A Lock Down Is A Good Time To Lock In

Link for Video

What Must I Do to be Saved

I was honored to attend the 94th birthday celebration for Luke Weaver Sr. yesterday.

Luke Sr.’s son, Luke Jr, gave the following story:

Luke said his father followed the call of God to leave the farm and evangelize on the streets of Harrisburg.

On occasion Luke Sr would instruct his 10 year old son to walk down the opposite side of the street from which he, the father, was planning to walk. He further instructed his young son that when he reached a certain place on the street where there were a lot of people gathered, he was to cry out in a loud voice, “What must I do to be saved?”

When the young boy obediently followed his father’s direction and cried out loudly, “What must I do to be saved?”, the father, Luke Sr., would respond in a loud voice from across the street, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved!”

And thus the father and son teamed up to evangelize on the streets of Harrisburg.

The Holy Spirit anointed Luke Sr. this humble man of God, to raise up and mentor a generation of men and women who learned to follow the Spirit in publicly proclaiming the Gospel in the marketplace.

Truly Luke Sr was an apostle of our Lord Jesus.
* In the picture Luke raises his hands and sings “Revive Us Again!“

To My Dear Wife, Ruth

Thank you for loving me whole-heartedly and without reservation and without complaint and without harsh critique.

You do not say, “I will go with you if I know where you are going and if I agree with where you are going and if I like where you are going and if you are always nice while we are going. ”

No, your commitment arises from your faith in God. Because of Him you say to me: “I am with you wherever you go; when you know where you are going and why you are going and when you don’t know and you are even lost, I am with you.”

And without words you say to me, “I am with you and for you, even when you get anxious and are not the easiest to be around.”

And again without words you say to me, “I am with you and for you, even when you take me and my love for granted.”

You are like the biblical Ruth, “Where you go, I will go…”.

And yes, you are like Jesus, “I will never leave you or forsake you.”

When I think of your love, I am brought to tears of gratitude: “How priceless is your love; how beautiful; how beyond what I could have asked or imagined.”

Your love calms my troubled heart; it reigns in my anxious imaginings.
Your love gives me a grounding from which I can hope again after a disappointment; try again after a failure; attempt new things even in old age.

Truly, in you I have discovered the pearl of great price, and yes, the Proverbs 31, “Virtuous Woman”.

I can hear your protest to some of what I have just said, “I am not the ‘Pearl’, Jesus is the ‘Pearl of great price’. And my trust is made easier because I know your trust is in Christ. “

And yes, you are are right. But what I see now, after these almost 55 years, is that in walking with you, I have been walking with Jesus!”

“The more I seek Him, the more I find you; for you have been hidden in Him.”

Thank you, Ruth!

Thank you, Jesus!!

Your grateful husband,

Enos (E. Daniel)

Grandpa 54

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