Total Commitment

Bob Brewer's Newsletter of Life and Ministry with Amor Ministries
3037½ Juniper - San Diego, CA 92104

Where Does the Time Go?

I apologize. It's been a while since my last newsletter. But I'm still here at Amor Ministries, and we continue to grow! In 2001, we had 19,823 participants, and in 2002, we finally passed 20,000 with 21,231! This year looks to be even bigger: we already have over 18,000 people registered to come to Mexico and build the Kingdom as they build houses.

Oh, that's right...

Now I remember where the time went. Remember last June when I was telling you about the new accounting and fundraising software I was working on, due to be implemented in October? Well, it was finally rolled out this March! Yes, it took us many moons to figure out how to convert our existing systems and financial data to work seamlessly with this new package. I am still writing new code for it every day. But who knows? Maybe we can package my code and sell it to other people who use the same software we do... :P

Also on the computing front, I continue to be the "go-to" guy for pretty much eveything. My coworker, Ryan, has taken a huge weight off my shoulders, as he deals with client machines and the day-to-day maintenance of the system. That leaves me to work on developing new features to make our ministry more effective. For example, I just spent about a week writing a new web-browser-based tool for our Field Managers; it basically replicates the processes they go through on paper when they schedule camps, worksites, and staff for the participants. That sounds easy until you understand we have a dozen staff managing 3000 people during Palm Sunday week alone, working on 150+ homes in over a dozen communities! The Baja Field Manager told me my week's worth of work will save them not just a couple of hours, but days of scheduling work for the "busy weeks" (not to mention a lot of paper :).

I'm also working on remote access issues constantly; pray we find a solution soon to get this new accounting software running on machines in our El Paso office.

As if that weren't enough

Did you know I've been working for Amor for 10 YEARS now? Wow...I'm getting to be one of the veterans around here. Of course, that only means they expect more of me. :) Besides computer work, there is still plenty of opportunity for me to work the Amor Store (canteen) at camp, lead groups to camp, and help caravans through Mexican customs.

Odds 'n' Ends

Various non-work-related things are happening in my life, of course.

  • I've lost 30 pounds this year (intentionally), and am looking to lose 20 more. This is through a semi-rigorous diet and a lot of exercise, mostly involving 5-mile runs three or four times a week. This week, I ran five miles two days in a row without stopping or walking! Amazing.
  • I had the pleasure of working with Dan Danknick of Team Delta again on a robot show, called Steel Conflict. We provided flow control and safety services for the show, checking transmitters, filling CO2 tanks, etc. I spent most of two days helping rework the elimination ladder on paper after the computer-driven one crashed.
  • The Semi-Spontaneous Shakespeare Society, which I founded two years ago, is gearing up for our 2003 Summer Season. I'm currently looking for a new venue (i.e., not City property) which would allow us to help raise funds through sales of T-shirts and similar items. We are also taking several steps to help turn our program into a community, like online forums, and a regular, "official" after-show dinner.
  • I bought a moderate DVD-creation package (burner and software) and am converting not only my VHS tapes, but also, for example, our last church Christmas play. This can take quite a while, but at least I'm able to start a video process, go for a run, and come back to find it finished. :)
  • Speaking of the Christmas play, I did my first stint as a Director's coach, and it went quite well, mostly due to the stellar work done by Grace Van Nortwick, the first-time director in question. She never broke down under the load of responsibility I was putting on her, at least not in my presence. ;) The show was a hit--I also played a secondary role, that of an overbearing musical director named Victor. Let's hope the character didn't bleed over into my coaching!

Well, that's about it for now. Hope to hear from you all soon. Thank you so much for your ten years of faithful prayers and financial support! I'm sure the pastors and people of Mexico, as well as our staff, and the volunteers from the U.S., Canada, and now Wales(!) say the same. May God richly reward your diligence.

My work address, as always, is:

Amor Ministries
1664 Precision Park Lane
San Diego, CA 92173

If you received this in the US Mail and would like to receive future newsletters via email, just drop me a note and I'll add you to that list.