Monday, December 29, 2008

Ministry Moments

I apologize for my relatively silent blog, lately, we have been so busy that to think of things to write in the spare time I have to write them has been difficult.

We are witnessing God working out His will and His way in our lives and in those of whom we are called to minister to, and with. There is much to trust God for and much more for which to praise Him.

Because of sick kids, I missed Scott's preaching on Sunday night before last. From all accounts he did an excellent job! One lady said his preaching was impeccable. I believe this was the first time for us [our kids] to hear Scott preach expositorily. Not that it's a new concept to him. It is hard to preach through the Bible when you are the guest preacher or only preaching once a month. I'm excited to hear what the Lord has laid upon his heart as he teaches us through the book of 3rd John. Scott's desire is to begin preaching once a week. Please be in prayer for him as this requires not only study of the Bible but a re-study of everything to put his message into Spanish.

The past 4 weeks of SIGMA have been exciting and disappointing. We have witnessed, once again, that there are a handful of teens that excel in memorization. We have encouraged them to continue on but also to encourage their team members to memorize. What we are seeing is those who think it's their (the memorizers) job to do all the work. Boy, don't we already see enough of the "pew sitter" attitude? So now we take on the roles of helpers for all the teens in the areas they need encouragement, be it with devotions, verses, or service in the church. The exciting part is that even though the devotions are hard hitting we are seeing many of the young people faithful in completing them. A friend recently wrote "Today I chose_____because I want to be_____." All of us need to fill in the blanks but our young people especially need to learn that they are becoming today what they will be tomorrow. Please continue to pray for the young people here as they learn to set Godly habits in their lives.

Our ladies ministry ended for the year with a Christmas party. Amparo Lopez spoke on an unusual theme for Christmas...Proverbs 31. The year means looking forward to the next. What will we chose to do, to be, this year? Will we chose to be Proverbs 31 women because we want to honor God with our lives? I was struck with the fact that Jesus' mother, Mary, had this attitude. The Lord definitely has been at work this past year in the lives of our ladies. We have seen growth. We have seen incredible testimonies through incredibly difficult trials. We have seen women stepping up to serve. We have seen a burden for souls. We have seen results of prayer. And last night we saw further evidence of God's work in that we had 40 volunteers to work in the nursery this coming year! I believe 32 of them are new volunteers. Now we will be able to have 2 separate nurseries with 2 workers in each nursery, and each worker will only need to serve once a month.

Without a doubt God is working here. There is no question that your prayers have been answered. Thank you for your faithfulness to the cause of Christ here in Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay!!!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

The best part of Chrismas in South America

Have you ever wondered what Christmas was like in another country? There is the typical buzz and excitement that is associated with Christmas in the States. But in our part of the world there are some definite changes.

One of the things that I enjoy most is reading the English printed on the boxes of the toys in the stores. I know that this may sound odd but it is quite comical. The things that are printed on these boxes are absolutely unbelievable. I wish that I had written or photographed the best ones but unfortunately I did not.

Below are a few examples of what I have found. Please remember that you must read them exactly as they are written. These are also best if they are read aloud.

This a box for a small desk lamp. Possibly you can make out the lamp on the left of the photo.

The above photo was for a toy that was a flat plastic tray with several different colored golf balls that were to be stacked to make a pyramid.

I know everyone is looking for toys that have a 'lovely lustre' for their loved ones this Christmas

Another favorite is a disclaimer on a box that reads "The contents and color of the enclosed items are subject to amendment." I thought this must be one of those surprise gifts if the contents and color were subject to amendment.

I think that at times my wife was on the verge of embarrassment as I read the labels aloud in the stores. Sometimes with a TV announcers voice other simply monotone. I am convinced that all of the toys that don't make the 'grade' for the states end up in other countries where it supposedly won't be noticed. Regardless of the why, I certainly enjoy reading the boxes.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Borrmann Family Christmas Letter 2008

Heat, fireworks, bugs, and ice cream all are part of Christmas in Uruguay. It seems strange to think of summer weather in December, doesn’t it? For us, Christmas and winter weather go hand in hand, so when it is 90° outside, and hotter inside, it is difficult to realize it is just a few days from Christmas. This is our 3rd Christmas here in Uruguay! This month we completed 2 years here and we have definitely become more accustomed to life here, yet inexplicably we miss everyone more this Christmas than the previous two put together.

Thankfully, we have Jesus to remind us of the “reason for the season”. We are here in Uruguay because of Jesus and His great love for the world! His love for us is unimaginable as we ponder that He was born in humble stall, a far cry from the throne of Heaven. He knew His purpose was to become the final sacrifice for man’s sin. Jesus, the King of Kings, was not given a throne to rule upon, rather, He was rejected by those whom He came to save, and crucified upon a cross. The tiny baby we celebrate is the man Jesus that became the Savior for all who will believe in Him and confess Him as their Savior. What a precious gift!

“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” Romans 10:9
“But the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23b

In the past year the kids have become nearly fluent in Spanish, and our Spanish is improving slowly and surely. After a change in Adeline’s medicine, to one we need to import, her asthma, though not totally under control, is improving. Brandon has shown no signs of his kidney disease this year! Kaitlin became our 2nd teenager while Bethany reached double digits in Feb, and Brandon turned 16 in Aug. Nehemiah joined the ranks of our children who were in school. It was so quiet at home with only 3 little ones. Isabel sat in the room while Nehemiah learned his letter sounds and is looking forward to school in March. At only 3, Simeon seems to have found his life mate in his little Peruvian friend, Keren. The two are inseparable and Simeon keeps talking about when they get married. J Silas turned one in November. He keeps us amazed as he copies the motions of the song leaders. And because of his Uruguayan citizenship we all received our legal residency by September.

Kaitlin is becoming a remarkable musician; she has begun playing piano for congregational singing and accompanying special music as well as playing her bells in the orchestra. Brandon is learning to play the trumpet and Bethany the piano; they are both doing remarkably well. Bethany has played a few offertories alone and with others, while Brandon is working on an offering with his friend who plays the trombone.

Scott taught the men throughout the winter about Christian marriage. Debbie taught the ladies Bible study for the past year. Brandon continues on as the game director for Kings Kids. And Kaitlin is a preschool Sunday school teacher. To see our children take an active part, along with us, in serving God out of love for Him is a tremendous blessing to our hearts!

Scott is overseeing the ministry here for the next year while our coworkers are on furlough. He is hoping to work up to preaching at least once a week. Already in the plans for 2009 are: 2 weddings, youth camp, Children's VBS, ladies meetings, home Bible studies, a full school year of Sigma, a fuller Bible institute year, a new church plant and a visit from an evangelist friend and his family. Plus a dream of ours to visit Israel will be realized this May when we take an early 20th anniversary trip. We are thankful to the Lord for the past year and we look forward to the year ahead. Thank you for your love for us and for your prayers!

Serving the Christ of Christmas,
Scott & Debbie Borrmann and
Brandon, Kaitlin, Bethany, Adeline,
Nehemiah, Isabel, Simeon and Silas

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Ministry Moments

Last Saturday we had the first scoring week of the 2nd block of Sigma. Each team seemed to do well even after changing the scoresheets a bit adding in some things and removing others. One team already figured out their mascot, theme and verse. For the most part, they all seem to have a better grasp of devotions. Many are saying their verses. Scott and I are really looking forward to a full year of Sigma and helping the young people learn to run the race, marathon style. It is easy to do things for short bursts of time but it takes more endurance, and commitment, to be faithful day after day, week after week, month after month and year after year.

Sunday Scott led his first Lord's supper. I was so proud of him. Everyone was very encouraging to him and I think this service gave many of the church members greater confidence in Scott and his ability to pastor them over this coming year. As well as giving Scott the confidence to know he can do the work of the ministry.

With Christmas on the very near horizon our thoughts certainly fall towards how to make Jesus Christ stand out to us and to the Uruguayans. Each year I find myself desiring a greater focus on my Savior, yet each year is busier and harder to find that focus. Please pray for us as we strive to give Christ the glory and honor this Christmas!

Dana Judd is home.

We are praising the Lord this morning for the return of Dana Judd last night. The young man that took her is in police custody. Please continue to pray for Dana and her family as theywork through this difficult situation.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Abducted Missionary Kid

We received this email today and ask that you join us in prayer. The Judd’s are friends of ours whom we met in Bible College. Their daughter Dana was one of our Master Club kids and is one of Kaitlin’s friends. We will do our best to keep you updated.

Scott and Debbie Borrmann

Gerry and Dawn Judd are ABC graduates serving as missionaries in New Zealand. Yesterday evening, their 14 year-old daughter Dana was abducted while walking from their house to the vet. The police are involved in helping to locate Dana.

Please pray for Dana's protection and her safe return to her family.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

2 Years in Uruguay

It is hard to believe that we have already reached the halfway mark for our first term on the field! It has been two of the toughest and best years of my life, personally.

Two years ago I thought:
  • I would be much farther along in Spanish than I am now.

Now I know:

  • Language learning takes a long time, I'll get it if I keep plugging away.

Two years ago I thought:

  • I would never be able to make friends without speaking the language

Now I know:

  • That the verse about a man being friendly to have friends proves itself out especially when there is no way for clear communication. A friendly act reaches the heart more than words ever can.

Two years ago I thought:

  • It would be hard to relate to the Uruguayan believers.

Now I know:

  • The Holy Spirit Who abides in me, helps me know no stranger among other Christians. He is the bond we all share. And though I don't understand all aspects of their culture and heritage I can relate to them as one who has been redeemed by the precious blood of Jesus Christ!

Two years ago I remember:

  • An excited group of believers welcoming us to the next phase of our ministry.
  • Being overwhelmed by the language.
  • Being very preoccupied with the safety of my kids.
  • Being excited about everything new.
  • Wishing I could take a hot bath.
  • Wishing I could sit in an air-conditioned church.
  • Hoping our container would arrive in time for Christmas.
  • Thanking the Lord for Bill and Judy Baltzersen and their help to us.
  • Thanking the Lord for the Perez'.
  • Crying as we took Bill and Judy to the airport.
  • Wondering if I would ever be able to make it here already my heart was longing for the things I knew.
  • Doubting I'd ever be able to cook anything that tasted good from scratch.

I have learned a lot more this past year than the year before. I know God has strengthened us, upheld us, and guided us. I love the Lord more now than I did two years ago. My passion has grown to see others love Him too. I see all the ways the Lord was meeting my needs for today in the trials of the yesterdays. And I praise the Lord once again for another year serving Him on the mission field!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Some prayer requests...

Please be in prayer for Betina Marr. She has been fighting brain cancer for many years. Her fight has included two surgeries, if I am remembering correctly. Recently she started showing signs of tumor growth and has been in the hospital in Montevideo for about a month now. The doctors did some studies and the panel of doctors decided that surgery was not an option this time as the tumor is too large. They are sending her back home in Colonia to receive chemotherapy here. Pray for healing, if the Lord wills; For strength for her children: Tatiana, Maicol, Eliana, Camila and Martina; For us to be a help and blessing to this family right now.

Alicia Villanueva (in the picture below with the institute students, she is the 2nd lady from the left in the front row) is also in need of our prayers. As she was starting her moto it began to drive off while she was still on the pavement. She used the hand brake to stop it but then the moto fell over. Because her hand was near the opening of the brake handle her index finger was caught and severed. Evidently she was very calm and asked the man of the house where she fell if he would help her. When he got to her she told him she was looking for her finger. Later the surgeon had to remove the rest of her finger to the hand joint. She was praising the Lord last night when we visited her in the hospital and thankful that she writes with her left hand, which is still intact.

As for Pablo and Julia. They are still in critical condition. The last report I read was that she would have to have some of her fingertips amputated. But she is finally, this week, making some prgress and is free, right now, of infection. Pablo has been taken out of his induced coma and is also improving. They both still have a very long way to go and we need to continue on in our prayers for them.

Belen Mengen had a follow-up brain scan and everything looks good. She is doing very well. Praise the Lord!

Monday, December 01, 2008

Ministry Moments

This past weekend was just as busy as the week. No, we didn't have any Black Friday sales here. I got to sleep in and not feel badly that I was missing any great deals in the stores.

Saturday, Scott announced the new Sigma teams and handed out the new devotional books. "Am I Carnal?" is the title of the deovtions this block and they deal with 2nd Corinthians. Please pray with us that we would see much fruit and faithfulness.

Yesterday, was Scott's first day pastoring the church here in the place of Archie Perez. The Perez are home on furlough for the next year. We know they would appreciate your prayers as they travel and adjust to reverse culture shock.
The meetings were very good and in spite of the heavy down pour of rain we had a full church. Mariana was visiting and accepted Christ as her savior! Praise the Lord.

Between services we had all the Institute students into our home for a meal. We had a wonderful time with everyone! It is so nice to spend time with people whom God is allowing us to minister too. It always turns out that they are a greater blessing to us than we can be to them.