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Report from Puerto Rico

Dewayne and Rita Shappley

May 7, 2008  

Dear Brethren:

Since our last report to you we have received communications from various Christians indicating a substantial number of conversions and the establishment of two more congregations through the use of materials prepared here. We add 160 more conversions , bringing the Grand Total to 13,684 . The Grand Total of congregations established through the materials stands at 229 .

With regard to Internet traffic on our site ( www.editoriallapaz.org ), April, 2008 was a record breaking month , with a total of 102,593 visitors , for a daily average of 3,420 . This is the first time the number of visitors has surpassed 100,000 in a single month, and the daily average of 3,420 is 331 above the previous record. Visitors spent an average of 11.946 minutes on the site, for a total of 1,225,576 minutes , or 20,426 hours –equivalent to 843.58 days of 24 hours each, or 2,309 years of 24-hour days. Data on Internet traffic for January through April is provided on the last page.

Letters from different fields

-Limón, Costa Rica. Feb. 4, 2008. “The tracts were used in a youth meeting. Young people invited other young people and there was a large attendance. The tracts were a great help in the meeting held January 22 – 27. Fourteen were baptized.”   Benancio Molino Castillo.

-Villa Lobos, Ciudad Guatemala, Guatemala. Rodigo Hil called Jan. 21, 2008 informing us that a new congregation had been established in Villa Lobos, in the capital city of Guatemala, through materials prepared here. There were twelve members as of that date.

-Plano, Texas. Rubén Dávila (1624 Felix Drive. 75074, 214-679-6186) called Feb. 29, 2008, telling us that he had baptized more than one hundred people in Mexico and Texas using our material. He called again March 30, saying that tracts had led to another baptism the previous Sunday in Plano. Rubén uses leadership studies prepared here to train leaders. He explained how he himself had begun preparation in a school for leaders. When that school ceased to operate, he started using leadership materials on our Internet site to continue his own studies.

-Sebaco, Matagalpa, Nicaragua. Feb. 19, 2008. “The material you have sent has been very elemental in the preaching of the Gospel. During the more than twenty-four years I have been preaching, various congregations have been established, and in some way, the tracts, in a silent manner, have played their part.” Juan R. Suárez.

-Ciudad Valle, San Luis Potosí, México. Miguel González called March 3, 2008, telling us that two had been baptized there through the material we sent.

-Mapastepec, Chiapas, México. Undated. “My conversion to the Lord Jesus Christ was by means of the tracts you publish. Twenty-five years ago, twelve of us left the Pentecostal church and were baptized. It was thus that the congregation was established in Ejido 3 de Mayo, in Mapastepec. I have just begun a new congregation in El Barrio 15 de Enero, in Mapastepec.”   Bonifilio Velázquez Bravo. Checking our records, we verified that this congregation established through literature had not been included in the list we maintain.

-Fátima, León, Nicaragua. March 13, 2008. In a gospel meeting held in this place January 7 – 12, there were 6 baptisms and 48 restorations. Approximately 500 were present for the last night. Javier García sent us photographs, adding: “You can see that your efforts are not in vain, and God will reward you for helping the Kingdom of God here in León to grow through the literature.”

-Barranquilla, Colombia. March, 2008. “I am pastor of a new congregation in this city where I was born, and I am highly interested in giving this new church an excellent foundation. With regard to the subjects you share on the Internet, I find myself in much agreement, and I would like for you to help me provide this new church with a true knowledge of God and His Word. My name is Aurelio de la Casa, and my cell phone is 3103415176.”

-Milan, Italy. March, 2008. E-mail from Raúl Sulcapuma, a Spanish-speaking man living in Italy. “Sincerely, I have been impacted by what you have on the Internet. Today, I did not go to worship, choosing rather to read you commentaries. If it can be so said, I have been a Christian for 12 years. After reading your comments on Pentecostalism, it is sad to know that millions of souls are on the wrong road. I accepted Christ in a Pentecostal church. There is much truth in what you say about Pentecostals, and now, though that has been my faith all this time, I must accept Jesus anew and be baptized. I await your answer.” I could not find a church of Christ listed for Milan, but did get information on some congregations in Italy, sending it to Raúl. We have not yet had a reply from him.

-Bayamón, Puerto Rico. Ricardo Díaz, and his wife, Elizabeth, Pentecostals living in Naranjito, studied the materials on our Internet site and attended services recently in Bayamón. According to Ricardo, he is the pastor’s right-hand man, the pastor being, as he says, like a father to him. Though both expressed intentions of continuing to attend, they have not returned to date. Generally speaking, Pentecostals have an inordinate fear of disobeying their pastors, and an even greater fear of “punishment from God” or “blaspheming the Holy Spirit” if they dare break with their church. Diana Berríos (Morovis, Puerto Rico) and Lourdes Cintrón (Carolina, Puerto Rico), both Pentecostals, have also studied materials on the site, calling and stating their desire to attend, but have not yet done so.

-Reading, PA, USA. 820-B N 25 St. March 13, 2008. From “Pastor Wilfred Falcón.” “For some weeks I have been reading and studying your literature with much attention, and see that it is very educational and of great help in giving studies. I congratulate you for the beautiful work you have done. Continue forward with this work, for it is a spiritual help to many who do not know the Word of God well, as in the case of us who desire to learn more and more. Is there the possibility of obtaining this material so that we can educate our little sheep, giving them studies?” We sent Bible class study guides and other materials to Wilfred Falcón.

-Ecuador. March, 2008. With regard to materials on “Tithing” on the Internet site, German Carrera Garzón writes: “Excellent study. I congratulate you. It was high time somebody spoke the truth about tithes. I was a firm defender of tithes until God showed me the truth and now… I give more than 10%.”

-La Vega, Dominican Republic. With regard to the opening message I was asked to present for the “Twenty-third Spanish-American Lectureship” held in Puerto Rico last year, Fausto Piña Bello wrote: “I want to congratulate you for the extraordinary exposition you gave at the Lectureship. Without a doubt, it was one of the best, well explained and with important substance for the minister and his family. I think we could have spent two or three hours listening to you, and would not have tired, given the importance of the subject and the magisterial presentation.” It is encouraging to know that, at seventy years of age, I can still, by the grace of God, make valuable contributions to the wonderful cause of Christ.

-Managua, Nicaragua. Rosa Elia Obando Pérez, Bible class teacher in the Villa Alemania church of Christ, writes: “I am certain that the Lord guided me to your Internet page. The information you present is very interesting, and very useful for all Christians who desire to learn more about the Scriptures, and be able to confront all the false doctrines in this world. I teach children in the Villa Alemania church of Christ.”

Internet traffic for www.editoriallapaz.org

 

January, 2008

                             Hits          Page Views               Visits      Average Time       Computers used
                                                                                                      in minutes            to access site

                       426,633................ 134,106............ 74,807.................... 13.18........................ 60,449

Daily averages      13,762.................... 4,326.............. 2,413

-Total time visitors were on the site: 986,128 minutes, or 16,435 hours –equivalent to 685 days of 24 hours each.

February, 2008

                       445,030................ 147,713............ 77,043.................... 11.64........................ 64,293

Daily averages       15,346.................... 5,094.............. 2,656

-Total time visitors were on the site: 896,865 minutes, or 14,948 hours –equivalent to 623 days of 24 hours each.

March, 2008

                       488,294................ 167,367............ 88,574.................... 11.12........................ 79,037

Daily averages       15,751.................... 5,399.............. 2,857

-Total time visitors were on the site: 985,279 minutes, or 16,421 hours –equivalent to 684 days of 24 hours each.

April, 2008

                               612,089................ 193,222.......... 102,593.................... 11.95........................ 89,694

Daily averages       20,403.................... 6,441.............. 3,420

-Total time visitors were on the site: 1,222,576 minutes, or 20,426 hours –equivalent to 843.6 days of 24 hours each, or 2.31 years of 24-hour days.

 

     Rita and I express once again our sincerest gratitude for the support some congregations continue to provide. Despite ailments affecting us at this stage in our lives, we continue our regular schedule of work most of the time. My own work-week is usually about sixty hours. Since we receive approximately $600 monthly in Social Security benefits, after deduction of supplemental health insurance payments, we depend on your generosity.

With Christian love and appreciation,

 

Dewayne and Rita Shappley

 
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