If you were to take the phrase, "I am Pastor Shepherd," and run it through Google Translate, you would get back, "Soy Pastor Pastor." The word, "shepherd" translates in Spanish as "pastor." The irony is quickly noted whenever I am introduced as "Pastor Shepherd," with people sometimes thinking I am joking about my name.
I have noticed that those who know me, to eliminate the redundancy, simply call me "Pastor." I'm not sure if they're referring to my title, my name, or both?
Journey Church has a mission of connecting people to Christ and the Church. I stood in the back of our gathering this morning and looked at our people during worship. A new family was serving for their first time with us, father and daughter in the Journey House Band, and mother teaching children the weekly lesson.
My entire life I have always wanted a cool nickname... as it turns out, I was born with it.
I have two personal aspirations in life. The first is to become a Monk since the idea of isolation, study, and writing sounds appealing. This is likely not to happen since I'm a husband, father, pastor, and principal. The second aspiration is to become a writer. This past week I made a small step into that direction, becoming published in Guatemala's national Christian Periodical, La Voz.
The owner of Christian American School, where I serve as Principal, introduced me to the owner of La Voz at an event with our local mayor. I was shocked when Mr. Vásquez asked me to write an article for his paper. I wrote a sample and had it translated by a friend, Dorita Merida. I hesitated before clicking send, thinking I'd probably never hear back.
To my surprise, the response was fast. Mr. Vásquez would be coming to Journey Church to photograph our service to support the article. My work had been accepted. I would be published. Mr. V was true to his word, and he showed up on Sunday with his camera and snapped some photos. Within a few days, he emailed me a digital advance on the page.
Holy cow, I'm going to be published! I emailed it to some close friends and family, but no-one was as crazy excited as I was! I was quietly dorking out in my office. I had to shut the door so no-one would see my cheeky grin. I would need to wait a week before it went to print.
This Sunday morning was the release. As I walked into the door of Journey Church | Guatemala, our House Band Director, David Toledo immediately introduced me to a new couple. He was a prominent man with significant local church connections. He had seen Journey Church in La Voz, and he and his wife immediately drove to find us.
|Front cover of La Voz|
|My article on page 15, adjacent |
I have thought much of the church in Acts, and prayed that we could become such a place. I stood there with tears forming in my eyes as I realized that God is "adding to our numbers daily." This story is God's story. This is all about Him. He is faithful. He demands our obedience. To obey is better than sacrifice. I want to hear His voice and to continue to take steps of faith.
This week I'll begin writing my second submission for what I hope will become a new column: Yo Soy Pastor Pastor.
I am Pastor Shepherd.