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Location: Las Vegas, Nevada

I am a self proclaimed coffee addict and Executive Director of a non profit missions agency working primarily in the Mexican cities of Oaxaca, Guadalajara, and Ensenada. I've been married for over 30 years to Chelle, and we have one grown son, Joseph, a graduate of Auburn University in Alabama.

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Sunday, February 24, 2008

A New Place to Worship

I am just about back in the states. Actually right now I am in the Mexico City airport waiting for my flight to be called and I got to thinking. About my last few days in Oaxaca, Mexico, and the church. Specifically the church in what we know as the developed world. It is amazing the things we take for granted. PowerPoint, good lighting, floors, and even a bunch of great stuff when we visit. Oftentimes I struggle with the affluence of the American church when I know my brothers and sisters in Christ are just fighting to get a roof over their heads. I wonder if God is really happy with us.

The picture above is of a church I helped build this last week. It is in Mitla, Oaxaca, almost 2000 miles south of the US/Mexico border. And yes, it is literally made out of bark and tree branches with aluminum siding for the roof.

Comments on "A New Place to Worship"


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (7:01 AM) : 

There are a multitude of churches already in Mitla..... why yet another? If you have resources at your disposal why not make them available to those churches that already exist? or simply make them available to folks in Mitla who have very basic needs...regardless of their church affiliation? Mitla did not need yet another crude building...


Blogger Dave Miller said ... (8:07 AM) : 

Anon, I'd love to dialogue with you on this but as is the problem sometimes in the blogosphere, you left no contact info.

The basis for your question seems to come from a western mindset that says bigger, and effective, as measured from an outsider's point of view is better, which I reject.

As for the resources available, less than $100.00 dollars from the US side of the border was spent on this project. The local congregation of about twenty people used their own money to rent the land and purchase the materials for this provisional building.

In regards to helping meet the basic needs of the people of this area, we are currently working on a long term initiative that is aimed at increasing crop yields, water retention and delivery, and health education for the Zapotec people of this area. This help will be available to all, regardless of religious affiliation, village, or financial resources. It is a bottom up venture designed to meet the very needs of which you speak.

If you would like to be involved, please get in touch with me.


Blogger Patrick M said ... (6:48 PM) : 

Oftentimes I struggle with the affluence of the American church when I know my brothers and sisters in Christ are just fighting to get a roof over their heads. I wonder if God is really happy with us.

I'll answer that question for you.

We are given our abilities and talents by God, and we were born and raised in a country that derives it's law from His law. Furthermore, in this country our success, not just with you church but with all of America, is due to the hard work and achievement of all of us. And with that money, and with that freedom, you and many others have brought help and hope to people who must struggle to eke out a living and to improve their place in life.

Those who are most blessed are not known by their words, but by their actions. In this, you clearly surpass me. And I think God would be pleased with what you do. And as for the blessings your church has now, it has been earned by others that you may benefit and share it with those who need help.

And since God hasn't struck me down for speaking for Him, I'll....


Blogger roy said ... (3:10 PM) : 

they are difficult questions Dave and the answers aren't easy... I do think part of the answer though, lies in having those questions gnaw away at us. When we stop asking, then the answer is clear.


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