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Tyler Morning Telegraph - Galdámez brings church planting, education experience to Grace Español

Here are two articles written by Emily Guevara ( Twitter: @TMTEmily)  on our background and on  Grace Español .   Tyler Morning Telegraph...

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Saturday, April 30, 2011

Notas de Estudio Viernes

Vivir la vida cristiana es imposible. Es imposible con nuestros esfuerzos.
     Hay personas que viven pretendiendo ser cristianos pero no lo son.
     Hay otros que piensan que pueden ganarse el título de cristiano y viven tratando de hacer buenas obras para salvarse. Hay muchas sectas falsas que hacen esto.
     Hay también verdaderos cristianos que han creido en Cristo, han experimentado la gracia de Dios pero a medida que pasa el tiempo comienzan a vivir como si nada hubiera pasado. Viven en libertinaje y abusan de la gracia de Dios.
    Otros piensan que mantenerse ocupado en las cosas de Dios es la manera de vivir la vida cristiana y agradar a Dios. Viven en sus esfuerzos. Son legalistas.    
    Ninguno de éstos es el plan de Dios.

     Dios desea que vivamos la vida cristiana en su gracia através del Espíritu Santo. Sólo El puede ayudarnos a vivir la vida cristiana. Todo lo que no proviene de El es de nuestros esfuerzos. Gálatas 3:1-6 es muy claro que recibimos al Espíritu Santo por la fe y debemos vivir por el Espíritu. La Biblia describe esto como "caminar" o "andar" en el Espíritu Santo. Debo admitir que es algo que sigo aprendiendo después de ser cristiano por tanto tiempo.

I. Quién es El Espíritu Santo.

   A. Es Dios, la tercera persona de la "Trinidad." - Hechos 5:1-4
   B. Es una persona. El decide -Romanos 8:27 -muestra sentimientos - Efesios 4:30 - y actúa
1 Corintios 12:11

Además nos guía a la verdad - Juan 16:13 -nos convence de pecado -Juan 16:8, realiza milagros  - - Hechos 8:39, se le debe obedecer - Hechos 10:19-21, se le puede mentir-Hechos 5:3, puede ser resistido - Hechos 7:51, Él intercede - Romanos 8:26, se le puede entristecer - Efesios 4:30, y puede ser insultado - Hebreos 10:29

II. Viviendo en el Poder Del Espíritu Santo
    A. La vida cristiana se vive en El Espíritu. Zacarias 4:6
    B. Debemos ser llenos de Él cada día, bajo su influencia, controlados. Es un mandato. Efesios 5:18 Gálatas 5:16
        No podemos estar vacíos, algo o alguien debe llenarnos. Mateo 12:43-45
    C. El fruto del Espíritu es evidente al igual que las obras de la carne. Gálatas 5:16-25
    D. Para ser llenos del Espíritu hay que
        1.  Confesar todo pecado 1 Juan 1:9
        2.  Cederle el control de nuestra vida cada momento-morir al yo, negarnos a si mismos,
             tomar la cruz Lucas 9:23
        3.  Centrar nuestra vida en Él- Permanecer en Él - Juan 15

La vida cristiana sólo se puede vivir en El Espîritu Santo. Debemos buscarle en oración y en su Palabra para ser llenos por Él.  De otra manera viviremos una vida mediocre y carnal que no da ningún fruto espiritual. Esto no es la voluntad de Dios.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Reflecting On Our Medical Mission Trip

One week ago we came back from our Medical Mission Trip with my wife and a group from a non-profit organization. I've had a week to think and reflect what God has shown me and taught me through it and what He may have in the future for us.

First and foremost, I have to say that I am very grateful for my wife and her hard work. This is the first time that I see her in her capacity as nurse. Seeing her in action gave me a new appreciation for her and hard work. She is tireless. She works very hard. During the week, she felt sick and was about to go back to the guest house (thus the pictures of her with an IV) but she asked to stay a bit longer to see if she would feel better after giving her an IV and oxygen. She got better and decided to stay. I was quite impressed with her work ethic and confirmed again, what a great nurse she is, which is what I've known all along. Only this time, I saw her and I can testify about it.

This was a medical mission trip. The Gospel wasn't preached and no one was saved. I know this. But when I read the Gospels and see Jesus in action, I don't read that everyone believed or that he always preached to everyone he came in contact. In fact, many times people were brought to him to be healed and he healed them. Period. I don't know what happened to those he healed. Did they believe? I don't know. But Christ is a Christ of compassion. This is what I think happened in Perú. People were healed by doctors, they were instruments of healing. We were used as God's instruments of compassion. Will anyone come to Christ because of this? I don't know, but I can't assure anything. But I know God's work was done. And continues to be done.

On a personal level, I have realized a couple of things. The first one is not new but it became more ingrained in me. God loves every person no matter who they are or where they are. Jesus died for them as well. They need him no matter where they are or what they think about him. To think that a place so remote, so far away, a place like Coya Perú has no Christian churches was shocking for me. That those humble people that come up and down the farming towns have not heard the Gospel is something that made me think that we have a lot of work to do. Still. In this age of technological advancement. Now I pray and ask God, "What do we do about it?" "Who will go?" Of course, it's not me. So I say.

I also realized God is peeling away the layers in my life like an onion and teaching me to have compassion and love towards people. I can tell you there is progress but don't bet on it or I might just lose what I have gained. He is also teaching me to rely on Him, be content, grateful and humble. I am far from where I should be but he continues to work in me. The people of Coya, those that just said hi to me, thanked me, or those I met at the clinic, just taught me all of this. I came from a country much like Perú. I grew up in a rural area, with no running water, no electricity, no bathroom, and no modern commodities. I remember our one room house made up of planks of wood with a gap enough for anyone to see inside. I remember my long daily walk to school on top of a hill, my adventures in the river, in the coffee fields cutting coffee, in the fields hearding cows or playing soccer, in the valleys exploring nature. I was content. I had forgotten all that. The people of Perú made me realize what I had forgotten. It is no wonder I felt comfortable with them.
Yeah, that kid below is yours truly! That is where I grew up! Modeling for a Polaroid!

Then, there are those people that we spent time with from out team. We had a lot of fun. We laughed. We danced (yes, I said danced!). We talked a lot. We ate our meals together. We enjoyed our time together. Most of them, I just met on this trip. I came home quite impressed about them. We have different religions, some may not even have any, but we had a common purpose. No one complained about any of the work. All did it because they wanted to help others. They give their time and their talents for this cause.

What will God do next? It's like a puzzle to me. And puzzles are difficult for me. I guess I will have to just put one piece at a time.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Contentment, Gratitude and Humility

Contentment, gratitude, and humility go together. These three are virtues that are not necessarily exclusive of Christian character, though they are spoken much in Scripture. Having spent eleven days in Perú on a medical mission trip I have seen these three in action and it has reminded of my need of possessing them everyday. They may be easier upon my immediate return but sustaining them in a world where the opposite of them is praised is always hard.

The people we met were content. They weren't necessarily happy, for this is subjective, but they showed contentment. They accepted their circumstances and didn't complain about them. Many work in farming, their rough, callous hands, clothing stained with their daily labor, and their dirty feet, none took away this fact. A mark of being content is gratefulness. All of the patients that had surgeries showed gratefulness. They were grateful for receiving something they didn't expect. None of them boasted and pretended to be something they weren't. They were humble. A humble person does not pretend to be anything they are not, nor they think highly of themselves. They are not self-concious of themselves. They live before others as they are, not hiding or pretending anything.

Two ladies watching a religious precession, sitting on the steps of the cathedral, pulled out their lunch out of a bag. The older lady, without teeth, pulled her potatoes and peeled them while the other one also took out the vegetables and eggs. I saw no meat. But they appeared content, grateful and had no regards for themselves. They ate their lunch in front of others. They were two humble ladies. I thought of taking a picture but I knew then that I would have ruined their time.

I thought of my life as a child in El Salvador and how similar it was to so many people I saw. I remember how content I was. And thought of now. How different it is. I have much more and don't appear as content, grateful nor humble. I thanked God for what he has reminded in this trip. I prayed that he would make me humble, grateful and content.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

What For Others Is A Given, For Others Is A Gift

I was speaking to one of the Doctors on the trip and he was sharing how for him the surgery medical trips are not a big deal.  He shared how speaking to someone, that person thought it was an incredible thing to do. I shared that even though he had been doing this for so long (his given), it was a gift for others.  I told him what happened today. Yesterday there was a baby whose lip was fixed. The parents had come from a far place, took them a day to get there and had spent a night sleeping on the terminal with their two twin boys. The baby had surgery yesterday. Today, the father came in to the office I was working. He told me they were leaving and wanted to thank me (I really didn't do anything for him, except do paperwork and be in the Operating Room). He approached me and gave me a hug.  That really humbled me. Again.  For this Doctor, it is a given. He does medical mission trips to help others. But for the family of that baby, it was a gift. A precious gift.  He will always be thankful and grateful.

How many things are for me a given. I can think of many.  They should be treated as gifts from God.  The Bible says that every good gift comes from the Father above (James 1:17).  My responsibility with these gifts is to be thankful and grateful. And to share them with others. This Doctor has a gift. He is sharing it.

God has given us a gift. The gift of eternal life in his son (Roman 6:23).  It is ours.  It is free. Once we take it we need to be thankful and grateful. We should share it.

What has God given you? What gifts are you sharing?

The baby who had lip surgery

My wife with the baby after the surgery

The Twins

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The World is Much More Than What's Around US

Our world is so limited.  What I mean is that many times we are so concentrated with our own little world that we think it is the only one that exists. But we forget that God created this world and all of us.   As my wife, myself and a group of Doctors and nurses been in Perú these last five days and as I have reflected upon seeing so many face, I realize how God loves everyone. He loves all the peoples of the Earth.  On my run yesterday I saw so many faces of people who lived in places I have never even thought about.  I realized that God loves them just as much as he loves me.  I am blessed because I know him but as I prayed that God would also use me in any way to show others the way to Him. That He would also show the way to them as well.  People that I never imagined lived on this planet. They are just as valuable. They need Jesus. Now.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Perú Mission: My First Surgery Operation

I had the opportunity for the first time in my life to watch a surgery.  As a non-medical trained person, a teacher by profession and very scared of anything related to blood I had no intention of ever watching a surgery.  But this changed today after observing Dr. Downey perform a skin graft of an eleven year old boy named Miguel, who had a burn scar on the left arm.  Working with Dr. Downey were anesthesiologist Dr. Vinod Kothapa, nurses Patricia Galdámez and Sandra Nealon.  Dr. Downey is a caring and gentle Doctor with a preponderance of experience.  I came in the operating room (OR) and observed the nurses prep the boy. Miguel was given anesthesia which he resisted as tears flowed down his cheek.  Patricia comforted the boy by whispering that everything would be alright.  In a matter of minutes he was fast asleep.

As Dr. Downey came into the operating room, the patient had already been "prepped" by the nurses.  She quickly injected local anesthesia, area was cleansed and Dr. Downey got to work by releasing the skin of the left arm of the patient by cutting with with the scalpel. By measuring a proportional size based on the burn, she excised part of the skin (graft) from they boy's inguinal area.  I saw the piece of skin (graft) shrink up as soon as it was "peeled" and put on the open sterile mayo stand.  I didn't think it was big enough but as I continued watching I saw the marvel of skin being stretched and stitched on the burned arm of the patient.  The result was impressive. In time, the boy will regain full mobility of the arm which he wasn't able, due to the burn contractures. I left the OR with a great appreciation for what these doctors do, a marvel in itself, and a better confidence of being able to see more surgeries this week. If I do, you will read about it.

Below are two short videos below of both Dr. Horowitz and Dr. Downey in action in the OR. 

Thank you to my wife Patricia for helping me revise and edit this post.

Here's a video of yours truly in action:


Perú Medical Mission Day 3

Yesterday we screened patients.  Read about it here. 

My new friend Angel and yours truly!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Medical Mission to Peru - April 8-16

My wife, myself and a group of Doctors and nurses are in Perú this week on a medical mission trip.  Last night I started a new blog.  You can keep up to date here. My wife at the guest house balcony:

Here I am with a new friend named Angel (I think this is her name)

Monday, April 04, 2011

Call to Preach and Teach...but You have to Wait...A Long Time

Yesterday I heard a message from a young man who has been in youth ministry for 16 years and heard him preach in the church I attend (I believe it was his first time). He was simple but I could sense he was speaking full of the Holy Spirit. He wasn't fancy, nor deep, but spoke clearly, applying the Word of God. Ironically he was teaching on a passage where Jesus sends the twelve to preach the Good News of the Kingdom and to heal. The disciples had been with Jesus in training less than a year (their total training was about 1.5 years). Yet Jesus released them to do the work He trained to do. After the service I started thinking why The Church doesn't follow Christ's example. Why does The Church make it so long and complicated to acknowledge those that desire to serve God in preaching and teaching.  Many churches require extensive training, such as seminary training, and years of practice before releasing them. Many churches "hire" people with the "right" qualifications. Many of these young men and even the apostles would never qualify (the Apostles were common folks with very little formal education).  See Twelve Ordinary Men by John MacArthur and The Training of the Twelve by A.B. Bruce

I have nothing against formal theological training. I believe that due to the nature of our times, those entering the ministry must possess some level of training but I don't think this is mandatory. There have been plenty of great men of God without formal training. Just to name one, A.W. Tozer who influenced so many for the Kingdom and is still read by so many. His books The Knowledge of the Holy and The Pursuit of God are still best-sellers. I also believe that discipleship (and not defined by going through some curriculum) and mentoring is necessary for anyone entering the ministry.

When I became a Christian at the age of 13, I was on fire. I read the Scriptures, read books, listened to the best preachers on the radio and began to be mentored by my youth pastor. By 15 I was already teaching and at times preaching to the church. Our youth pastor had a lot to do with this. He believed young people should serve God (he was also called to preach at a young age). This was not without opposition. One pastor rejected me being an elder of the church at age of twenty one. I was not of age according to this man even though I had already gone through seminary by extension and had a proven record of serving God in the church. After our church split, we decided to move to Arizona to pursue my education in Biblical Studies. My desire was to come back to the church I had left (the result of the split) to pastor. I came back but I was also rejected. Again, many saw me as inexperienced or not old enough (Now some say I'm too old).

As I am writing this I am listening to a message titled, "The Man God Uses" at a church I am helping with the youth. The first qualification mentioned was obedience. The man God uses must be obedient. I agree.  Aside, from the desire to serve, this is probably the indispensable quality (and of course the ones outlined in 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1) God can take any man who is obedient and transform him into a man that is useful for his Kingdom.  Missionaries overseas have done a better job in training and preparing men for the ministry. They understand the nature of discipleship, mentoring and preparing ministers of the Gospel.  The Church in America needs to wake up and follow the model Christ left us in the New Testament even if it means not learning Greek or Hebrew or taking 90 units to complete an M.Div. We need to find qualified men, disciple, mentor and release them to do the ministry for which they have been called.