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August 5, 2012
Period covered: January 1 through August 05, 2012
To those who provide support for this particular work of God’s Kingdom, and to others interested in it:
May this find you filled with the peace of the Lord and enjoying all other blessings He bestows on those who love Him and His Way.
On the basis of information received during the time covered, we add 84 more conversions attributed, at least in part, to the materials we provide, bringing the Grand Total to 14,231. The number of congregations established we place at 247, though certain information from Cuba implies the establishment of more churches there through use of the materials. With regard to Puerto Rico, six have been baptized and one restored in the Bayamón congregation.
If you have read the “Brief Reports” sent during the last seven months, you will find their basic content included in this full report, plus new information recently obtained. First, some pictures of baptisms in Bayamón, then statements from users of materials we make available, an up-to-date statistical report, and finally, some rather important personal notes.
Six baptized and one restored in Bayamón, Puerto Rico
The baptized are: Elisa Cruz Pérez (sister of long-time member Gloria Cruz), Márgara de Jesús Hernández (wife of Brother Francisco Báez), Hilda Nieves (sister-in-law of Sister Andrea Álamo), Félix Sánchez, Alice Nieves and Omar Ramos Sardina. Restored: Armando Morales.
Dewayne Shappley baptizes Elisa Cruz Pérez. Elisa had attended a few times before November, 2011. Present for a special “Fill-every-chair” Sunday service in November, Elisa began attending regularly and was baptized in January. She continues to be faithful.
Alfonso Estrella, one of the six leaders of the Bayamón church, baptizes Félix Sánchez. Fifty-three years old, Félix was baptized Sunday, June 3, after his first visit to the congregation. Having studied materials sent to him –tracts and cassettes- and especially subjects available on our Internet site, he came ready to be baptized. As the men in charge of the congregation interviewed him it became quite evident Félix had already acquired much understanding of basic doctrines. His wife, Rebeca, and their son, Joel, also attended. This family lives in Santurce, a part of metropolitan San Juan. Not having a car of their own, they came by elevated train to Bayamón and walked from the station to the church building, although I had repeatedly offered to provide them transportation. They attended two more Sundays in Bayamón, then decided to meet with the Park Gardens, Río Piedras church, much closer to them. Another decisive factor was their son’s desire to study and worship in English. In Park Gardens, an English-speaking congregation and a Spanish-speaking one share the same facilities. This is the same property for which I helped to raise funds before coming to Puerto Rico in 1966, and here is where the School of Advanced Bible Studies also offers classes.
Alfonso Estrella and Rafael Torres baptize Alice Nieves, Sunday, July 22. A school teacher, Alice has been attending frequently for over two years, invited initially by Sis. Mirna Sardina, also a school teacher and a faithful, active member of the Bayamón church, indeed, one of several ladies who teach children´s classes in the congregation. Alice had been cohabiting with Armando, an employee of the Department of Education, and understood she needed to change that relationship in order to become a Christian. She and Armando were married eight days before her obedience to the gospel. Armando has attended many times, and we hope he also will now be encouraged to become a Christian. An unusual fact about this couple is the following: More than a year ago, Armando was in serious need of a kidney transplant. Alice decided to give him one of hers. She was found to be a compatible donor, and the double operation was carried out in Houston. Both appear to be in really good health.
Luis Sardina, one of the leaders of the Bayamón church, baptizes his grandson, Omar Ramos Sardina. Eleven years old, and a serious young fellow about his spiritual life, Omar has been influenced positively and guided by his parents and grandparents. In addition, he has been taught by Rita in Bible classes since he was big enough to attend, which would have been when he was probably only months old!
What users say about materials we provide
May we recommend reading these letters and e-mails, for they reveal much about the nature of our work, as well as its fruits.
-Santa Rita, San Antonio, Socatepeque, Guatemala. “Dear Brethen, I am holding in my hands a tract whose title is “En busca de la iglesia verdadera –In Search of the True Church”, a tract which has been useful to me in evangelizing many people here in my country. I beseech you, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, to send me, if you still have any, more of this tract, plus a series of other tracts and booklets…” Obed A. García. It has been years since we printed the last version of the multipage tract mentioned, which is more like a little booklet. Still, it does its work out there in some fields, as not only Obed García but others testify. Perhaps we shall be able to produce a new version of it, as we have long planned. I am amazed at how long some brethren hold on to publications of this kind, continuing to use them in various ways to evangelize and edify.
-Guinicú, Santi Spíritus, Cuba. Aida Quiñones, now 75, was baptized in Havana, in 1991. She moved to Guinicú and shared materials we had previously sent her with Yasser, a young preacher. Aida writes: “This young man has a house where he holds services. I loaned him the tracts and he is preaching the church of Christ… dedicated to taking the Word to three rural areas.” Thus, tracts sent to Havana, Cuba more than twenty years ago are now being used to evangelize another area of that country. Quite wonderful!
-Las Palmeras, Santa Cruz Analquito, Cuscatlán, El Salvador. July 18, 2012. “Thanks, beloved brethen, for loving and serving our heavenly Father, carrying out your plans of work in an organized way. I very well remember that, when I was a young person recently baptized, I felt an ardent desire to educate myself in the word of God, and you were the ones who sent me some studies. I have always studied them diligently, and have shared them with friends and brethren. With divine help, I was able to establish a church in Nombre de Jesús, a town on the border with Honduras. The study “Las armas de nuestra milicia” –“The Weapons of our Warfare”- has been a great blessing to me, and I have preached many of the lessons in it. I now have my membership in the church of Christ in Santa Cruz Analquito. I have begun teaching young people who desire to preach, and to evangelize a little town called Paraíso de Osorio where a church does not exist.” Ángel Antonio López, who goes on to request we send him more materials. “The Weapons of our Warfare” is actually a book of more than 500 pages, containing several categories of studies. We offer it in a three-ring binder, and continue to print a few copies at a time. This is a fine example of how resources prepared in Puerto Rico have helped others to become effective evangelists. To God be the glory. It may be of interest to note that the name of the town where Ángel established a congregation is, translated, “Name of Jesus.” Such names are not so uncommon in Central America.
-Villa Clara, Cuba. “I have always been a faithful admirer of your writings and tracts. I have been able to read some and cannot deny they are admirable and convincing. What is more, on an occasion they were instructive to me through a series [of exchanges] you had with Pentecostals, Baptists and others on the Internet. I could not keep from laughing at the great quantity of stupid things they allege, and I have seen that when you refute them you have left them decimated. That is a blessing of God. Thanks to God for instruments like you, and it is not that I would exalt you, for the glory is God’s, but honor to him who merits honor. That, to be sure.” Divies Hernández de la Rosa, preacher of the church of Christ, has a degree from the University of Physical Culture and Sports. This brother requests literature and other materials. We propose to send him CD’s of sermons and hymns. It continues to be problematical to get a package of any size into Cuba, according to our experience.
-Costa Mesa, California. May 29, 2012. Demetrio Villalba was converted six years ago through our Internet site and materials prepared in Puerto Rico. This information was provided by Demetrio himself via a telephone conversation. He called for help with a Bible subject, explaining that he is now preaching once a month in Costa Mesa. Once and again, he spoke highly of our site and materials, leading me to ask him how he had been converted. Neither his name, nor that of Costa Mesa, was familiar to me. Checking our records, I verified that we had not previously received news of his conversion. The case of Demetrio leads us once again to wonder how many more unreported fruits of our materials would there be among the Spanish-speaking of the world.
-Residencial Moisés, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. February 21, 2012. “We are three brethren who came through your ministry of the Web page, and are continuing to be faithful: Ángel Luis Herrera, Edwin Polanco and Miguel Molina. We salute you in the love of Christ for your great and arduous labor to unite brethren in the sound doctrine of Christ.” They sent pictures, but in a format we were not able to download.
-Residencial Moisés, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. February 28, 2012. Manuel Alburqueque, Pentecostal for thirty years, found a tract in 2010 and tried, unsuccessfully, to contact Bro. Pascual Pérez. When Pascual moved to Residencial Moisés and started a congregation there, Manuel was living in that same area! They then did make contact, and, after some studies, Manuel was baptized. This is the gist of an e-mail sent by Pascual.
-Dominican Republic. March 22, 2012. Message left on our office phone. “Your articles on the Internet are the best. I was a Pentecostal, but I am now a member of the church of Christ.” Name not registered.
-Santa Ana, California. July 19, 2012, we received a call from Raúl Moreno, of Santa Ana, CA, who said he had been studying the materials on our site, is in full agreement and plans to go with his family to a Spanish-speaking church of Christ in Santa Ana.
-Tijuana, Mexico. July 19, 2012. We had a lengthy conversation (at his expense!) with a man in Tijuana, especially about baptism. He stated he planned to visit one of the fifteen Spanish-speaking churches of Christ in that city.
-El Tigre, Venezuela. May 18, 2012. Benito Olguien called from Venezuela, informing us the congregation he established now has 50 members. He attributes most of the conversions there to materials prepared in Puerto Rico. One of the converts was a denominational leader who has now placed at the disposal of the church of Christ a facility seating about 300 people.
-Bayamón, Puerto Rico. During June, 2012, the young adults of the Bayamón church took the initiative to promote our Internet site by means of an ad in a regional newspaper of Puerto Rico. The name www.editoriallapaz.org was printed in large letters across the bottom of a page. Potentially, the ad could have reached hundreds of thousands. On a Saturday in June, sixteen adults and young people distributed leaflets at key traffic lights in Bayamón to promote the sight, as well as the congregation in that city of some 450,000. Those doing this work wore yellow t-shirts with reflective lettering identifying the site and offering free Bible studies. They also carried rather large placards advertising the site. These ideas for evangelism were conceived by Lizbeth Hernández, who works in a publicity agency, and were approved by the leadership of the congregation.
-Arecibo, Puerto Rico. July 8, 2012. “Hello, Bro. Shappley. I would like to attend worship or a meeting of the church, but only saw a reference to Bayamón, Puerto Rico and a telephone number. I would like to visit for I read the announcement in the newspaper about free Bible studies on your Site. What I saw and read I liked a lot. Without a doubt, this will be my preferred site as a method of teaching for spiritual growth.” Max Cien.
-The announcement referred to was the one published by the Bayamón church. Arecibo is the fourth largest city in Puerto Rico, with a congregation of about seventy meeting. We participated some in the initial stages of the establishment of that church more than forty years ago. Max’s e-mail was forwarded to the Arecibo church.
-Ocaña, Colombia. Ronald Sabino, converted last year in Venezuela through the Internet site, has informed us the congregation he established in Ocaña, Colombia now has 30 members. These are in addition to a number he brought to Christ in Venezuela soon after obeying the gospel there and also to baptisms in Cucuta, Colombia, where he formed another new congregation. This man is an effective evangelist! Somehow or another the “anti” brethren found out about Ronald and literally “bought” him, offering a salary he very much needed. But, through his own careful analysis of “anti” doctrines, Ronald became convinced they are not biblical. Of course, he lost the support he was receiving when the “antis” learned he no longer agreed with them. This has left Ronald, his wife and young child in a quandary. He would like to continue full-time as an evangelist, but needs support. He receives $200 monthly from Manuel Calderón (baptized in Bayamón, Puerto Rico, living in Dallas, TX), and, through July, $200 monthly from the Bayamón church. Ronald says he can get secular work in Cucuta, and that the church there should be able to help him some financially. That may be the option he has to take. One Internet convert begins to evangelize immediately and within two years dozens of souls obey the gospel through his efforts. A classic example of how effective Internet evangelism can be.
-Samulá, Campeche, México. January 9, 2012. “It is very pleasing to me to know there is a Web Page such as the one you have, for it is a great help to me, and, I imagine, likewise to many other brethren. It is one of the most complete I have found. For some time I have been studying your site and, truthfully, it has been very useful to me, providing me arms with which to defend doctrine. May God continue to bestow many blessings upon you.” Written in the name of the church of Christ in Ampliación Samulá, Campeche, México.
-Córdoba, Veracruz, México. January 28, 2012. “I have been accepted in the preacher’s school in Monterey, Nuevo León, México. I am taking the first year courses, of two years, to become a preacher. Your writings and sermons have been a great help to me, and they have encouraged me to study to become a preacher.” Francisco Guemes.
-Chalchuapa, El Salvador. February 8, 2012. “My name is Kelvin Sayes. I am a member of the church of Christ in Chalchuapa, El Salvador, collaborating with Bro. HIpólito Ibañez in the ministry of evangelism. About twenty years ago, Bro. Hipólito received from you evangelistic material in the form of five lessons of Visual Bible Studies. This material has been useful to us as a church in preaching the gospel to many people. The problem is that the transparences have become worn and the cassettes no longer work. Parts for the projector can no longer be obtained in this country.” In 1994, it was my privilege to preach three sermons one Sunday for the rather large church in Chalchuapa. Perhaps I gave Hipólito the five lesson series of transparences on “Fundamentals of the Faith” at that time, or sent them later. At any rate, I am a little astonished to know they used them for so long a time, in part because the colored inks of those days tended to deteriorate after not very much time, especially in tropical climates. This year, we offered to send the church in Chalchuapa, via brethren from the Barrio Cubuy, Puerto Rico church who go over there yearly, a new, revised set of the studies, printed with inks said to last for decades. However, the church in Chalchuapa did not confirm having an overhead projector in operating condition, and we did not send the transparences. How sad we cannot just send them both a projector and sets of studies on transparences, of which we have a considerable number, but exorbitant custom duties imposed make that difficult.
-Puebla, Puebla, México. February 10, 2012. “I saw your Web page where you speak of the abolition of the Old Testament and tithes. Very interesting, well argued, well founded. Congratulations. You are in the right.” Dr. Miguel Alba Vega
-Mendoza, Argentina. February 10, 2012. “I do not find any Bible basis for the rapture, nor for what they taught me on Revelation. Afterwards, searching on the Internet, I found your site and some respite for my life. I see I am not so far off. I do not understand why others cannot see it. What should I do now? My pastors are men of God, and I am just beginning. How can I speak about this?” Natalie Godoy. We forward e-mails of this kind to evangelists or congregations in the countries from which they are received.
-Chicago, Illinois. May 26, 2012. Mr. Morales called, identifying himself as a pastor and informing us he had established an independent congregation in Chicago four months previous to his call. Having read materials on our Internet site, he expressed an interest in perhaps becoming a part of our brotherhood. He requested data on area congregations in Chicago. We put him in contact with Ramón and Nellie Vargas, in Aurora, Ill, who, in turn, informed the preacher in Aurora. Said preacher was just about to make a two-week trip to Mexico, and made arrangements with Mr. Morales for studies after that trip. I am doing some follow-up to see what may have taken place in this case.
-Place not identified. “Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Mixi Manmej, and I attend an evangelical church of a Pentecostal type. After reading your magnificent and important work, and studying the fifteen lessons that make up “La Cena del Señor” –“The Lord’s Supper”- in a conversation with the pastor of the church I showed him the washing of feet does not necessarily have be done each time the Lord’s supper is partaken of, for what is instituted until the Lord returns is, precisely, the supper and not the washing of feet. To which he replied that both have to be done at the same time. This is the reason for my enquiry. I think he is wrong, and am praying for him. But, I would like to know your opinion.” I responded with a brief explanation, adding that I would like to prepare a more complete study at a later date. “The Lord’s Supper” is a spiral bound book of 165, letter-size pages. It includes a number of full color illustrations and pictures.
-Lima, Peru. June 11, 2012. Daniel Loyola, of Lima, called. He said he had been studying materials on our site for three years, and had formed a congregation identifying it as the Church of Jesus Christ. He added: “Many have benefited from materials on the site,” and expressed a desire to obtain all printed materials we offer. We will not register this work as fruits of our Web until we have more precise information.
-Tapachula, Chiapas, México. June 14, 2012. “My name is Josué González. I desire to thank you for all the help you have given various congregations. You have carried out the work according to the resources you have had and from God will come the rewards. Thanks for everything. We would like to invite you to visit us here in Chiapas.”
-Place not identified. “Yours appears to me to be a good site where doctrinal points can be analyzed without the purpose of humiliating or offending anyone, as do the great majority of forums. Greetings. Bro. Hugo
-Buenos Aires, Argentina. April 8, 2012. “Dear Brethren, two years ago I became a convert to Jesus Christ, but here in Tandil I do not find a church that preaches sound doctrine. I read your blog and I am in agreement with all that is taught. I would like to know if a church exists near Tandil.” Forwarded to brethren in Argentina. Also sent information on congregations in Buenos Aires.
-Place not identified. May 9, 2012. “Many thanks, my brother. I do not know your name, but I am totally in accord with what you teach. I am studying the subject of tithes. I hope to continue with the study for I myself was ignorant with regard to tithes and many other things.” Alberto López
-Costa Rica. June 21, 2012. “Good afternoon. I am writing because I have had the pleasure of reading your commentary on Ezequiel 37:1-14, and I thought it marvelous.” Juan Rojas Solano
-Guatemala. May 12, 2012. A young brother in Guatemala, struggling with the temptation to view pornographic material, wrote asking for advice. I replied with a number of observations, Bible texts and orientations. A few weeks went by, and I was thinking I had perhaps been too severe. Then, received the following words from the young Christian. “I am profoundly grateful. With all my heart. Each one of the words you wrote me has served to encourage me to have strength and persevere. I also thank you for the time you took to write detailed advice, and the way you did it with spirituality and delicateness. Believe me that after sending you the first e-mail I got down on my knees before God the Father, PRAYING, admitting my sin and declaring all my errors, asking Him to give me strength and that He help me that I might be able to put on the breastplate of justice, and each day be a victor in Him.” As I read the first e-mail, my impression was that of a young Christian bereft, practically, of the whole armor of God, confronting a very powerful enemy. One of the texts I brought to his attention was Ephesians 6:10-20. Never identifying the young brother by name, we read select portions of his first e-mail in the young adult’s class in Bayamón, asking what advice they would give and how. This was the basis for a series of very interesting classes.
-Caguas, Puerto Rico. June 28, 2012. “May you receive all my love in Christ, as well as my respect and admiration for the work you carried out, with such love, in the midst of our people.” Carlos Quiñones, one of the original members of the church in Caguas, and one of the preachers of the congregation.
-Quito, Ecuador. June 19, 2012. “We send you cordial Greetings and blessings for the publications on your Web page.” Marco Ortega
-Cholula, Puebla, México. July 23, 2012. “A question, my brothers: Would there be a church of Christ in Cholula, or nearby? The problem is I cannot find a place to meet.” Víctor Ramón Oliva Pérez. We sent Victor the information we have on churches in the state of Puebla, and encouraged him to make contact with them.
Statistics on the Evangelistic Works
of Dewayne and Rita Shappley
August 2, 2012
Date of arrival in Puerto Rico: May 2, 1966
A. Materials produced using printing and recording equipment in Puerto Rico.
1. Tracts.................................................................................................................... 23,681,150
2. Booklets and individual studies.................................................................................. 424,757
3. Books........................................................................................................................... 34,337
4. Bible correspondence lessons................................................................................... 342,350
5. Compact disks............................................................................................................... 5,757
6. Cassettes................................................................................................................... 325,477
-Total of 1 through 6......................................................................................... 24,813,828
7. All other materials printed (gospel meeting flyers, labels, etc.).............................. 3,486,746
-Grand Total of all materials produced using equipment............................ 28,300,574
B. Internet documents opened by visitors through July 31, 2012.................................. 19,567,958
-Grand Total of machine produced materials
plus electronic documents............................................................................... 47,868,532
-Video plays, from July 3, 2012, beginning date, through July 31.............................. 1,195
C. Total visits to the Internet site www.editoriallapaz.org through July 31, 2012........... 9,490,872
D. Files on the site www.editoriallapaz.org, as of July 31, 2012.
-Total files registered by DreamWeaver............................................................................ 5,522
-Of this total the number of HTML files (documents) is..................................................... 1,928
E. Packages of materials shipped........................................................................................ 38,325
Known fruits of the materials and Internet site
A. Conversions reported as due, at least in part, to these resources.................................. 14,231
-This number is based on more than 50,000 letters, forms, cards, etc.
received from brethren throughout Spanish-speaking areas of the world,
thousands of e-mails and some telephone calls.
B. Congregations reported as established, at least in part, through these resources.............. 247
C. Preachers, evangelists and teachers. We know from letters, calls and e-mails
that many, many converted through what we have provided have gone on to preach
and teach, winning many more souls for Christ. The number of such workers would
surely be in the hundreds. Not a few of those thus converted were denominational
leaders of one kind or another. Some of these men won over, in turn, their
congregations, or a part of them. For example, as previously reported, a Pentecostal
preacher in Bogota, Colombia, with a congregation of 200, was converted. He then
baptized at least 98 of those 200, and formed a church true to the New Testament.
Fruits of our own personal involvement in evangelistic works in Puerto Rico and other Spanish-speaking fields, particularly the Dominican Republic
A. Conversions. Perhaps as many as a thousand, maybe even more. I have not kept a running record on this category as I have with conversions through printed or recorded materials, and the Internet. It would take me some time to compile exact data from the many printed reports prepared through the years.
B. Congregations established in Puerto Rico. The number is twenty-four. Some of these have prospered, not only carrying on local works but also contributing substantially to evangelistic and benevolent works in other countries. Others have not been so outstanding. For various reasons, some smaller ones have ceased to function, even though the record will show the majority was faithful in worship and service even for fifteen, twenty or more years.
C. Preachers, evangelists and teachers developed in Puerto Rico. Scores would compose this category. For example, seven men of the Bayamón church preach regularly and three or four more could fill in if necessary. In addition, at least four more converted in Bayamón preach in the U.S. –Chicago, Milwaukee, Dallas and Oklahoma City.
D. School of Advanced Bible Studies. Involving from the very first meeting a select group of church leaders in Puerto Rico, I took the first step in beginning this school. It has now been in continuous operation for twenty-one years. We have observed with great satisfaction the development of some of the students into capable preachers and teachers. Indeed, four of the previous students now teach in the school. Certificates for two, four and six years of studies are offered, plus postgraduate studies, of which I am presently in charge.
Internet site www.editoriallapaz.org
We would like to highlight the data on the site included in the statistical report above and add a little more.
A. Grand Total of visits (accesses) through July 31, 2012.......................................... 9,490,872
B. Total visits for 2012, through July 31........................................................................... 948,652
C. Grand Total of documents opened by visitors through July 31, 2012................ 19,567,958
D. Total documents opened during 2012, through July 31........................................... 1,602,945
E. Files on the site www.editoriallapaz.org, as of July 31, 2012.
-Total files registered by DreamWeaver............................................................................ 5,522
-Of this total the number of HTML files (documents) is..................................................... 1,928
We have added the first video sermon to our Internet site. I presented the subject “El Imperio de Ateos” versus “El Reino de Dios” –translation: “The Empire of Atheists” versus “The Kingdom of God”- Sunday, June 24, to the Spanish-speaking church in West Broward, Plantation, Florida, where our son and his family attend. The lesson was recorded using a camera installed in the auditorium. Twenty full-color slides developed in PowerPoint were used to illustrate the lesson, first presented in Bayamón, Puerto Rico earlier this year. The camera used in West Broward does not produce a high resolution recording. Our son, Antonio, employing the program Camtasia,was able to insert the original PowerPoint slides into the recording, and these are mostly what are seen in the video. The scenes of me preaching are somewhat fuzzy, but, considering the content and slides to merit publication, we decided to go ahead and make the sermon available on the Internet.
-Though the sermon, forty-two minutes long, is in Spanish, may we respectfully encourage you to look at a few minutes of it, and maybe fast forward to see some of the slides. It is available in several places on the site, including the Home Page. The player is included in the graphic which identifies the video. www.editoriallapaz.org is the site address. Once there, you can also see the new banner, and a carousel of images with hyperlinks added recently.
In the six video songs placed on the site thus far, movement has been added to the graphics. An example of the songs is: “Abre mis ojos, oh Cristo” –translation: “Oh Lord, Open My Eyes”. 1 minute, 22 seconds. Antonio sings all voices. I prepared the slides in PowerPoint. Antonio composed the video, using Camtasia. We have 104 songs prepared in PowerPoint, using some really beautiful graphics, and videos of them will be added as time allows.
In order to see the videos without delays in loading, a high speed Internet connection is needed. Not having such a connection myself, I download the videos to my hard drive, and then can watch them without loading delays.
Our first two videos were placed on www.editoriallapaz.org July 3. By the last day of July, there had been 1,195 plays of these videos, including the one sermon available.
We project adding sermons in audio to the site very soon, Lord willing.
Other new materials added to the site
During these seven months, we have added scores of new titles to the site. Attention is called particularly to the following two.
-Substantial parts of the book “Roman Wives, Roman Widows: the Emerging New Woman and the Pauline Communities,” by Bruce W. Winter, a highly researched work which throws much light on 1 Corinthians 11:2-16, as well as 1 Timothy 2:9-14. Reading and translating this material has been very edifying to me personally. If you read Spanish, the link to the first part is www.editoriallapaz.org/velo_Winter_1_casadas.htm.
-Recently, I have prepared and placed on the Internet site the first two studies on “Oro, plata, piedras preciosas, madera, heno, hojarasca” en la iglesia –“Gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble” in the church- an in-depth analysis of 1 Corinthians 3:5-15. These studies are easily adaptable for Bible classes.
In addition, I have added more titles to the “Signs of the Times” series, translating, commenting on and making practical applications of news items having to do with life styles, immoral conduct, new paradigms for marriage and the family, incursions against religious freedom, etc. For example, president Obama’s support of gay marriage, and the recent vortex of controversy swirling about Dan Cathy and Chick-fil-A restaurants.
Site improved and given a new look
Beginning June 16, measures have been implemented to improve considerably the site and make it have a more modern look. Antonio, in Coral Springs, FL, has done almost all the work, dedicating literally hundreds of hours to the tasks, and continues with them as his secular work and other obligations allow. Had we been charged, the cost would be in the thousands of dollars.
In 2002, I began the site using the Web program creator Microsoft FrontPage. Later, Microsoft stopped issuing new releases of FrontPage and supporting it. But, opting not to take the time to learn a more sophisticated program, I continued with FrontPage, as did, I assume, thousands of others, despite its drawbacks. The time came to make a change, and we chose Adobe DreamWeaver. I thought learning DreamWeaver would be daunting, but took the online tutorials and my fears began to dissipate.
June 24, the switch was made from FrontPage to Dreamweaver, and from the Web provider web.com to Godaddy.com, locking in a sizable savings on Web providing fees over a four year period. More than 5,000 files were transferred. To explain all the technicalities of what happened when DreamWeaver took over from FrontPage would be quite complicated and of interest perhaps only to programmers. Antonio whizzed through all the procedures, leaving me a little dazed at times. In the process, a lot of errors (broken links, Pages not identified correctly, etc.) were corrected. There is work yet to be done, especially in the proper identification of Pages for Web crawlers which collect information for search engines like Google, and I myself will be employed in this task as time allows. Steps were taken to make our site appear handsomely on different Internet browsers –Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox and Safari- as well as on ipads, iphones and other such devices.
The Home Page has been redesigned, with a fancy, rotating carrousel of clickable images which identify major sections of material on the site, a slide out called “Contacto” which provides visitors with forms for comments, suggestions, etc., and a Google language option. Be advised that if you use this option for a translation of Spanish to English, the result may include very inaccurate representations of what the Spanish really says. Carrousels of clickable images have also been added to the extensive Commentary on Revelation and to spiritual songs prepared, with beautiful graphics, for projection.
Changing Web providers meant a change in statistical reporting for the site. Stats reported by Godaddy.com are rather limited. The company recommends Google Site Analytics for stats. In order for Google to collect full stats a code they supply must be present on every Page. This code was added through a global change on our site, and was placed on the great majority of the Pages, but not all, as we later verified. Thus, for a time, some Visits and Page Views were undoubtedly not registered. “Real Time” is a very interesting feature of Google Site Analytics, making it possible to see how many are visiting the site at any given time, and where they are located. For example, today, August 10, 11:30 a.m., there are 25 people visiting the site from 20 “active cities.”
-Rita undergoes an operation on her right shoulder. This was done in February to repair a ligament above the joint and eliminate two spurs which had lacerated the ligament. Recuperation, while normal according to the surgeon, took several months, and still the shoulder causes Rita some pain. Nevertheless, she is again active in different tasks related to our work and life here.
-Dewayne has squamous skin cancers removed. Three were diagnosed on my hands and one on the upper chest. Initial diagnosis of three was done by a dermatologist in Puerto Rico. After waiting in the doctor’s office for more than five hours (working on my laptop most of the time), she told me she would deal with only one at a time, looked at a growth on my right wrist, saying “That’s cancer,” but did not remove any tissue for a biopsy, and told me to come back next week. Though she had walls filled with diplomas, I was not impressed with that kind of treatment or what she proposed. Talking with Antonio, he encouraged me to go to Coral Springs for treatment, quickly got me an appointment for June 18, and we flew up on the 16th. The specialist in Coral Springs removed the three cancerous areas on the same day, took the growth off the right wrist, which was positive, and another off the chest, which turned out negative. After additional procedures, all areas showed negative for cancer, and we are thankful. Healing of the affected areas is just about complete.
-After arriving at Antonio’s, he and I began to work right away on the changes to our Internet site described above. Long hours! Rita was able to go shopping only twice! We did often pick up our granddaughter, Kiara Karina, at the day camp where she was enrolled, and had some good times with her. Irelis, Antonio’s wife, was confined to her bed for much of the time we were there due to a number of serious physical problems affecting her. Your prayers on her behalf will be appreciated.
-I preached twice for the West Broward Iglesia de Cristo, where Antonio and his family attend, and taught one Wednesday night Bible class.
-We returned to Puerto Rico July 12.
Change of oversight
After having the oversight of our work from early in 1966 through June 30, 2012, the elders of the Alamo, Tennessee church of Christ relinquished that responsibility. A copy of the letter they sent us is being sent to the few supporting congregations and individuals still contributing to make our work possible. We were first informed of the elders’ decision about the middle of May. I then approached the elders of the Maury City, Tennessee church about the possibility of their taking the oversight. Having obtained pertinent information, they agreed to assume that responsibility, and we are profoundly grateful for their decision. Both the Alamo and Maury City congregations have generously supported our work in the Spanish-speaking world since its beginning more than forty-six years ago.
Once again, we respectfully remind supporting congregations and individuals to send contributions to the Maury City, TN church, as per the instructions of Brother Karel Riddick, elder and treasurer of the fund.
Checks from supporting individuals and congregations will need to be mailed to:
Maury City Church of Christ, c/o Karel Riddick, 2900 Chestnut Bluff Maury C RD, Friendship, TN 38034……with Shappley Fund written on the "for" line on the check.
Bro. Riddick’s E-mail address is email@example.com
Rita and I are deeply grateful to God for granting us the privilege and honor of being used to carry out the works of the Kingdom set forth in this report, giving Him all the praise and glory. And, we are likewise grateful to the congregations who have provided the material means, as well as moral and spiritual support, to make them possible.
With brotherly love and genuine appreciation,
Dewayne and Rita Shappley
P. O. Box 1264, Bayamon, PR 00960