February 2017

My (Gary’s) Week as a Missionary

Class Prep! Monday I prepared for my two courses: Exegesis of Revelation (master’s level) and 1 Corinthians (bachelor’s level).

Revelation class! I began our weekly discussion with a question about the value of knowing the history of the seven churches of Asia, and also a point about the Greek of “thus says” in Rev 2:1.

Parenting! Sammy starts his new school year Monday – the school year is February-December –  so I have been warming him up on Math Facts.

New Master’s Degree students! It’s my job to recruit and interview graduate students at ESEPA, and 2-3 new people contacted me this week.

US Politics! Well, no ideological details, but I was in touch with my senators Bob Casey and Pat Toomey this week. Thank the Lord I can write them instantly from here.

1 Corinthians class! From 8-11:15 on Wednesdays. We have about 20 students, a lively group. One assignment is that they do some sort of creative project, which they will then present to the class. One group is going to do a send-up on “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?”

1 Corinthians class

1 Corinthians class

Administrative council meeting! Friday’s 2-hour meeting was fairly routine. Most of the members are amateur comedians, so there’s plenty of laughs.

Thesis supervision! Friday afternoon – met with Ana Rita, who is writing her master’s thesis on Romans 5:8, with special attention to the Jewish background.

Bible Translation! During the week, I oversee online two editors on the Door43 Bible translation project under Wycliffe Associates. They were working on 1-2 Samuel.

Study! I am studying Aramaic and Syriac this year; reading sections of Daniel in Aramaic. I also read an average of 2-3 books a week, besides books I read for class prep.

Publishing! Wonderful news a few days ago, that they are translating my Thessalonians commentary into Spanish, to be published out of Barcelona. My Romans commentary and 1 Corinthians one are also all due out within the year.

Blogging! I am working on an article on a favorite theme, Bible prophecy, but I am not satisfied with it yet. But as a blogger I have regular interchange with people. This week a woman wrote in Spanish and said she had almost lost her faith when she saw some videos on YouTube.

Party at the Shogren house! Friday night I invited some of my graduate students over. It’s hard to get everyone together at one time, but we had a nice group of six, with make-your-own-sundae and fresh local fruit. Someone brought the local favorite, chicharrones, which are pieces of fried pork, served with lime juice and tortillas.

Graduate student selfie!

Graduate student selfie!

Farmer’s Market! It’s hard to pull Sammy away from his cartoons, but we got out to the local feria. We walked the 40 minutes – in fact, I walk this much every day. Tomatoes have been scarce, but I managed to get some nice ones, along with a papaya, celery, broccoli, onions, and a favorite of mine from the Cheese Lady, smoked farmer’s cheese.


Writing! I have been playing with a book idea for about four years, and it just struck me where to go with it. So, last weekend I took a notebook, plunked down outside, and wrote about 20 pages. This will be written for Christian workers who meet up with discouragement.

Finances! The mission contacted me and the good news is that because of several large gifts from our friends at the last minute, we finished 2016, well, still in the red, but less than I had expected. “May the Lord repay you double!” (Ruth 2:12)


We just found out that Karen will definitely need back surgery, and she is slated to have it in Pennsylvania later this month. Please pray that this will give her the relief that she needs!

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