Friday, July 10, 2009


I have discovered that parenthood sometimes leads one to do some strange things for one's child. We have begun potty training Lyla. Unfortunately, many times when she wants to go "poo poo potty" she requires some extra encouragement/support. Take these pictures for example. Every time I would take my hands away she would grab them and wrap them around her again.

On the bright side, I spend a lot of time laughing and having fun with Lyla. Here's a short video with some of her recent highlights.

Lyla Summer Fun 1 from Aaron Herrema on Vimeo.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

SOFM Pt. 2

Picking up where we left off… The third objective of the School of Frontier Missions (SOFM) is to impart missions strategy to the students. The SOFM stresses that the goal of missions work is to see a church planting movement started. With this foundation set the SOFM looks at how different methods/approaches can be used to foster a church planting movement. The primary topic covered is Church Planting Principles, which takes a look at how to start a church and train leaders in a way that will lead to exponential growth. We also cover oral Gospel presentation, Business as Missions, spiritual warfare, and basic healthcare to give students training in a few different areas.
The fourth objective is to help the student grow in the area of personal and team relationships. We cover topics including spiritual disciplines and inductive Bible study to enhance the student’s personal walk with the Lord. We work through the Sharpening Your Inter-personal Skills seminar to improve teamwork, and also cover spiritual gifts so the students knows how they fit best within a team.

Here are a few pictures from the 2007 SOFM.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Florida Heat

What a fun week it was! Last Tuesday we went to a Jacksonville Suns game with some friends from church. Lyla really enjoyed it. She watched the game with rapt attention. The only thing she found more interesting than the game was Southpaw (below right), the mascot. She thought that it was Wags, the dog from the The Wiggles (below left) . The game was a bit of a dud, but Lyla was very entertaining.

Friday we went to the Jacksonville Zoo. When I asked Lyla what animals she wanted to go see, she told me she wanted to see the giraffes, otters, and snakes. She got her wish as we stopped to see all her favorite animals. When Lyla decides to pose for a picture she is the cutest thing on planet earth (ok, she's always he cutest thing on earth). She wraps her arms around whoever is near her, smiles really big, and says, "cheese."

The 4th of July was packed full of fun times. We started our day with a birthday party for Lyla's friend Noah, who just turned one. As with most children's parties, this involved chasing Lyla around as she tried to get her hands on everything. After the party we headed over to our landlord's house to relax in his pool. Lyla tried out her new pair of floaties. She is such an independent little girl. As soon as she figured out that she could stay afloat without our help, she preferred to be left to her own devices instead of having us hold her. After a lovely dinner of grilled foods (after all, it was the 4th of July) we headed over to enjoy our friend's firework display. Lyla wasn't really sure what to think of it. She went back and forth from saying, "ooh, that's cool" to screaming, clinging to my neck and saying, "it's ok, daddy's got you."

Yesterday was Vanessa and my sixth wedding anniversary. Sometimes its hard to believe that so much time has gone by and other times it feels like ages since we sat on a train in Thailand talking about what we felt Father was calling us to do. It truly has been an amazing six years. I've been blessed to have such an incredible wife. She is sooooo different from me and that is exactly what I need. She is my biggest encouragement and also the one who gives me a good kick in the pants when needed, which can be quite often. I think that all we've gone through together, from our time overseas, to walking through the heartache of losing her brothers, to learning how to be parents has drawn us closer together than I ever imagined possible. I probably don't say it enough, but I am so thankful that Father brought her into my life.

I was reading in the bathroom this morning (yes, I'm a bathroom reader and I'm proud of it) and I came across this quote from CS Lewis that I thought was spot on.
"I didn't go to religion to make me happy. I always knew a good bottle of port would do that. If you want a religion to make you feel really comfortable, I certainly don't recommend Christianity."
It seems like to many Christians, especially in the U.S., have forgotten that Jesus calls us to "Take up your cross and follow me."

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

SOFM Pt. 1

This is the first of a two part look at the School of Frontier Missions (SOFM), which is the school I lead at YWAM Jacksonville. The purpose of the SOFM is to prepare the students for living and ministering overseas. Our goal is to equip them with tools that will make adjusting to life easier while stripping away their own cultural biases to make ministry easier. There are four main areas that the SOFM aims to address. Today we'll look at the first two.
The First objective is to build a foundation for missions. This involves giving the student a Biblical foundation, seeing Father's heart to reveal himself to all the peoples of Earth, and a historical foundation, learning from those who have gone before us. Many of our speakers touch on these areas, but by the far the most in depth look comes from working through the Perspectives on the World Christian Movement course. Another vital aspect is to help the students recognize the difference between the ideal universal church and cultural expressions of that church. We spend an entire week looking at what scripture has to say about God's bride, the church. Another facet of building this foundation is making the students more aware of the world around them. Learning more about the people groups that inhabit this world, their cultures, religions and lifestyles.
The second objective is to help the student learn how to communicate inter culturally. The first aspect of intercultural communication is language learning. The students learn different methods for learning language while finding language tutor locally, if possible, to begin learning their target language. The next skill covered is cultural acquisition. This takes the form of learning about anthropology and ethnography. Learning the culture of the people you desire to reach is vital to learning how to present the Gospel. The students are also expected to do a research project on the people group they will be working among. This is done to help prepare them for the type of religious, political and environmental situation they will be living in.