Monday, December 25, 2006

$2,200 = Rich. Half the world lives on less than $2

After giving and receiving some lovely gifts. It's important to also remember the poor on Christmas day. MSN.Com ran a Marketwatch article today that was really interesting. Here's the opening paragraphs:

The richest 2% of the world's population owns more than half of the world's household wealth.
You may believe you've heard this statistic before, but you haven't: For the first time, personal wealth -- not income -- has been measured around the world. The findings may be surprising, for what makes people "wealthy" across the world spectrum is a relatively low bar.
The research indicates that assets of just $2,200 per adult place a household in the top half of the world's wealthiest. To be among the richest 10% of adults in the world, just $61,000 in assets is needed. If you have more than $500,000, you're part of the richest 1%, the United Nations study says. Indeed, 37 million people now belong in that category.
Half live on less than $2 a day

Sure, you can now be proud that you're rich. But take a moment to think about it, and you'll probably come to realize that the meaning behind these numbers is harrowing. For if it takes just a couple of thousand dollars to qualify as rich in this world, imagine what it means to be poor. Half the world, nearly 3 billion people, live on less than $2 a day. The three richest people in the world –- Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates, investor Warren Buffett and Mexican telecom mogul Carlos Slim Helú -- have more money than the poorest 48 nations combined.
Even relatively developed nations have low thresholds of per person capital. For example, people in India have per capita assets of $1,100. In Indonesia, capital amounts to $1,400 per person.

Here's a link to the full article:

They don't list the per capita income of Peru. I know that 25% of Peru (roughly 8 million people) live on less than $1 per day. That's poor! People ask me what the cause is. I don't know enough about the country to answer conclusively, but I do think that dishonesty in the culture is a big contributor. A lack of natural resources and education are other factors. Natural resources is an ironic thing to list, since Peru has a lot of gold and silver. Unfortunately, only 3% of the land is farmable. Gold is pretty, but it's hard to eat.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Willy said...

Willy loves the old Keith Green worship song, "You put this love in my heart." He was singing it this morning.

Lena asked, "Who put the love in your heart?"

Willy said, "Jesus!"

"Yes, but how did he put the love in your heart?"

Willy replied, "Because he's MAGIC!"

Lena and I burst out laughing--mostly because of the way he said, "MAGIC!" As conservative Christians we tend to avoid the word magic, preferring the word supernatural (which doesn't have the same occultic overtones). Ironically, we get the English word magic from the word "magi"--as in the three wise men. The main difference for us is who or what is the source of power. If Jesus is the one putting the love in your heart, then it doesn't matter if you call it magic, supernatural or miraculous. If Jesus is the source, it's good.

Nearly 2000 years ago, a virgin became pregnant. It was a miraculous sign, promised long before by our heavenly Father. He gave us the promise so that we would know that the one who miraculously put Jesus into Mary, would be the same One who would put love in our hearts.

This Christmas don't forget to take time to enjoy the MAGIC!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

A Merry Little Christmas

We're moving on Dec 26--the day after Christmas. As such, our decorating has been kept to a minimum. Our tree is a 2' tall sprig in a pot. It is very reminiscent of Charlie Brown's tree on that classic Christmas show. We've added to the festive atmosphere with window sticker snowflakes. The house now looks like a shell and most of the boxes are marked with phrases like "Bill's books--theology, leadership & Far Side." In spite of the decorating dearth, our spirits are high as we anticipate a wonderful adventure in Costa Rica and Peru. We're also very grateful to the Son of God, who became a missionary to earth so that we could live forever! So...

Have yourself a merry little Christmas!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

That which was lost...

Today, I was looking for some receipts that I needed to close out some important financial reports. I was shuffling papers around my desk in frustration. Exasperated, I said, "O God, I need your help!" At that moment, I realized that the receipts were in my left hand! Did I have them in my hand all along or did they appear there when I prayed? I don't know. But I do know one thing--I have often found something that was lost, only after I prayed. I don't know how people live without the Lord. He has bailed me out thousands of times. I am well aware of how I stumble through life like an accident waiting to happen. But the Lord doesn't let the accident happen. He lifts me up, lest I trip (Psalm 91:11-12).

Like the widow is Luke 15:9, I say, "Rejoice with me; I have found my lost ... receipts!"

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Willy said...

The other day, Willy said, "Dad, I'm sorry for all the bad things I did. I promise, I'm not going to do any more bad things ... right now."
He likes the "Bob the Builder" TV show, even though he's only seen it twice. He goes around shouting Bob's theme, which is "Can we build it? Yes we can!" Sometimes Bob says, "Can we fix it? Yes we can!" Willy's version is more philosophical. Willy shouts, "Should we build it? Yes we can!" It reminds me of scientists who are involved in ethically questionable work (like stem cell research). Just because you can build it, doesn't mean you should. I'm not about to tell Willy that ... right now.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Pain is Good Garlic Hotsauce

There is a company that makes a garlic hot sauce called "Pain is Good." Their labels picture a guy screaming in pain. Ironically, he looks so much like me that I was fooled. When my friend JQ Robinson sent me a bottle, I thought he made the label as a joke. It's no joke. The guy is my twin! I showed it to my mom and she was fooled. Hannah and I tried to replicate the label, but we're novices in Photoshop. As such, this is as close as we could get. Let me know what you think.


We went to Cleveland to have Thanksgiving with Lena's family. It was wonderful. The weather was great, the food was plentiful and everyone was in a good mood. Of course, the shadow of our departure was looming close-by, but it didn't succeed in dampening the experience. Lena's family threw a going-away party for us, attended by many of her aunts, uncles and cousins. We felt very honored. I also appreciated how Lena's parents and sisters were pro-active and positive in their response to our soon departure. Rather than sulk, they made positive decisions. My mom did the same. We have always alternated Thanksgiving and Christmas between Cleveland and Cincinnati. As such, this year we did Thanksgiving in Cleveland and we'll do Christmas in Cincinnati. This works well for us, since we're planning on moving out of our house on Dec. 26th--which would be hard to do in another city. But, it left my mom feeling a little left out, spending her first Thanksgiving without my dad. So, she made a healthy decision and had Thanksgiving with my sister in Atlanta. It worked out well for everyone.

The nice weather enabled us to go to the park while Grandma and Lena were working on Thanksgiving dinner. I took the kids to a park that Lena spent a lot of time at when she was a kid. We enjoyed it so much, we went back the next day. It was a blessing from the Lord for Lena--sort of a chance to connect to her childhood roots before uprooting herself for the sake of the Gospel.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Wake up call!

We'll be flying to language school in Costa Rica on January 3. There is more than a little anxiety regarding being prepared for that date. How close is it? Let's just say that it's a real wake up call when you see the date every time you get a cup of coffee.

Autumn Leaves

Autumn is the most beautiful time of year. I've often failed to enjoy the full beauty of Autumn, because I really don't enjoy Winter. I had a hard time enjoying Autumn, because it was a precursor of Winter. I've grown up since then and am now able to enjoy Autumn fully--the color of the sky, the crispness of the air, the sights and smells of the leaves. God is good.

I took these shots of the tree across the street from my office in our house.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Thomas Tank Engine

It’s not every day that you get to meet an icon—much less, ride in it/him. We got to do just that. Thomas Tank Engine (a really useful train) came into town for a publicity shoot and to connect with some of his fans. Willy is a big Thomas fan, though he feels a closer bond with Percy. I think it’s because Percy never let the fame thing go to his engine. Thomas, on the other hand, has spent his adult life marketing himself. I don’t think he’s left himself the time it takes to really develop your inner train. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like he was rude…just aloof. He had this plastic sort of smile that seemed prefabricated. He didn’t really talk to anyone and refused to sign any autographs. He just sat there smiling, while people took their picture with him. I was shocked at how good he looked for his age. You can see from the pictures that he doesn’t have any wrinkles. That’s quite a fete for a guy who’s 60. I heard the word “botox” being whispered more than a few times in the crowd. We got to ride in him, which reminded me of riding the train into London with my dad. I was the same age then that Willy is now. Willy and Abi loved it. I think they were more forgiving of Thomas’ personality flaws. I should be, too. It’s not like I’ve ever been the star of a big TV show with global merchandizing. That’s a lot of pressure on a little train. Of course, Thomas’ manager (Sir Topem Hat) was nearby. Willy and he struck up a friendship. Abi was less trusting. Overall, it was a very pleasant way to spend an autumn afternoon.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Peru - Stark & Beautiful

I've uploaded one of the shows I use when talking about Peru. It is a pictoral introduction to the geography, economy and beautiful people of Peru. You can get to it by clicking on the "Peru - Stark & Beautiful" title above. Or copy the following into your web browser: Click on the Picture of El Misti and enjoy the tour!

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Shrader Family Photo Album

Check out the Shrader Family Photo Album. Click on the title and it'll take you directly there. It'll be a regular part of the Links below.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Prayer Requests and Answers - 10-06-06

Praise for previously answered prayers:
1. We have completed the support raising and medical clearance portion of our journey to Peru. (We’re still accepting pledges, since it is common for some pledge partners to miss some months or have to stop completely. As such, having pledges above your minimum helps to make sure that finances don’t become a bottleneck for the ministry.) Having passed the line of the minimum amount we need to go, we were granted approval to purchase tickets. We’ll be departing for language and culture studies in Costa Rica on January 3rd. Praise the Lord!
2. My mother-in-law has recovered well from Gall Bladder surgery and my father-in-law is recovering well from hernia surgery.
3. I’ve been writing the doctoral project and am really enjoying it.
4. Willy is loving preschool.

Prayer Requests:
1. Anointing—the Holy Spirit’s presence in visible, experiential form. Over the past year, I’ve been really blessed during our missions services to have so many kind believers join their faith to mine. This has resulted in some awesome experiences where people have been saved, baptized in the Spirit and dramatically touched by God. I don’t have any hallucinations about the power for such an anointing residing in me. It is pure grace. There have been services where I had been fasting and praying, memorizing the word, doing everything physically possible to be an anointed speaker, which resulted in a very blah service. Then, at other times, the Holy Spirit fell with great power in spite of me. The Spirit is like the wind—blowing where and when He chooses. But, as I hinted above, one characteristic that really seems to invite the Spirit’s tangible presence is when many believers believe together. So, I’m asking for my friends to believe with me and ask the Spirit to continue, and INCREASE, His presence in our services and work. I’ve got three specific events in mind: A) SALT—Dec. 29-Jan 1. SALT is the leadership conference that Chi Alpha (XA) puts on every year. It is a huge honor for a XA pastor to be invited to speak. This year, I’ll be the main speaker on Dec. 29 & 30. I want to be used by the Lord as an open and faithful vessel. I want the students to experience the presence and power of the Spirit in a mind-blowing way. I want each student to get the gift of faith so much that they move mountains, raise the dead and overcome the fear of Man in sharing the truth about Jesus as Messiah. B) Our continuing services. Even though we’ve crossed the finish line, we still have many services yet to fill before we leave in January. Lena and I don’t want to be lame duck missionaries. C) On the mission field—that means here (as we witness to unbelievers, worship the Lord and preach the gospel), in Costa Rica and in Peru. I’ve developed a taste for spiritual fruit and want to increase my daily intake.
2. Spanish—my doctoral studies put the kibosh on my Spanish studies. I’m asking for the Lord to give all of the Shraders the gift of Spanish.
3. Spiritual, Eye Opening Empathy—In my doctoral studies, I’m learning how much we need empathy for others to incarnate the Father’s heart. Empathy is to feel what other’s feel. The Pharisees knew what God’s word said, but they failed to implement it properly because their hearts were hard. I want empathy for my children, so that I can be a kind and understanding father. And I want my children to have empathy for others, so they can be the best missionaries possible. A 9 year old boy with empathy can convict the hardest of hearts.
4. God’s care and confirmation for our families: As we get closer to our departure date (Jan 3), it gets harder to be nonchalant with our families. We’re aware of it all the time. I’m asking the Lord to confirm our calling for our family members, so that they will be just as certain of our calling as we are. I ask, also, that He care for them (of course, that’s His nature). For my mother, Lena’s parents and our siblings the cost of taking our children overseas feels very expensive. It’s interesting that when someone gets called to go, the price of going must be paid by many. Our families and our friends pay emotionally and financially. It takes a lot of faith to go, but it also takes a lot of faith to send a loved one. I once asked my friend Ty Silva (a missionary that I’m honored to call a friend) what the most costly part of missions life was for him. He said, “Saying goodbye to my daughter, when she became a missionary.”
5. Doctor of Ministry writing speed & clarity. I’m typing like a mad man…I just hope the end result doesn’t sound like it was written by a mad man.

Things I love about Lena

Lena turned 39 last May. One of our family traditions involves me making cards for her. Usually I write a poem. I get extra credit when the card or poem is funny. Last May, for her 39th birthday, I decided to do a card entitled “39 Things I Love about Lena.” When her birthday came, I wasn’t done with the card yet. That’s the danger of asking for a work of art as a birthday gift. If you value getting your card on time, then a store bought card is the right gift. If, like Lena, you value a work of art—then you might get your gift a little late. Her birthday was May 8. I gave her the card last night. (Some works of art are better if they age like cheese.) As you may guess, I can’t share all 39. Some are too personal. But a few are worth sharing here, allowing others to see what we value as a couple. The book of Philippians is a hortatory letter of friendship. In the Greek style of greeting cards, one was the hortatory letter of friendship card. (You can find it at the Ancient Greek Wal-Mart in the card section between Artemis' Birthday cards and the "We're so sorry you lost the Olympics cards.") In this type of letter, a mentor writes his/her disciple and advises him/her about who to imitate. I write this today in the same vein. Lena has done for my Christian walk what glasses did for reading. Hopefully, you'll be inspired to be like her. You'll definitely say what I say everyday—“Boy did he get a great wife!”

Some of the 39 things I love about Lena:

1. Her witty sense of humor
2. She’s as pretty or prettier, now, then when we got married.
3. She’s a great cook
4. How she looked the first night I really noticed her.
5. Our discussions. We love to talk about life, authors, psychology, theology, literary themes, the enduring quality of fig newtons …
6. She loves Jesus
7. She is not easily offended
8. Doing the crossword puzzle together
9. Being on the road, figuring out directions and problem solving together.
10. She’s a Christian in her own right. Many men and women tag along with their mates in the arena of faith. We definitely “spur one another on in love and faith,” but we don’t depend on each other. If I were to die sooner, rather than later, I know that Lena would continue to serve the Lord and teach our kids to do the same. The ministry version of this is that she is a teammate – not a mascot. She preaches with me and doesn’t just watch me minister.
11. She has a heart to disciple women
12. She fights fair, apologizes, confesses sins, admits wrongs and considers accusations.
13. She reads and continues growing
14. She practices emotional honesty and integrity
15. She has a gorgeous brain. She speaks Spanish, which she learned in school. That is incredible, because many never use what they learn. Lena is able to discuss psychotherapy methods and schools of thought from Art History. And she is really dangerous playing Wheel of Fortune.
16. She persevered and conquered fears becoming a social worker, going into the inner city among rats and trash...for the women and children
17. She forgives
18. She talks things out
19. She’s my best friend

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Birthdays, Births & Multitasking

This past week, Hannah and Willy both had birthdays. Hannah is now 12 and Willy is 4. I remember Hannah's birth well. It was the first day of school at UC. I was trying to organize student outreach, while being true to my laboring wife. I think I probably did a lackluster job in both camps. When Colton was born, on the last day of school at UC, I folded newsletters while Lena did the hard work of pushing out a baby. I'm often looking for a chance to multitask. Thankfully, Lena is very understanding and a true team player. So, she's never complained. By the time Willy was born, we were doing ministry at Wilmington College (which starts school in August). The ministry was well under way when he was born, and I had learned a few things through the years. Consequently, I didn't try to multitask during his delivery.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Romantic Getaway

Last Wednesday, Lena and I left the kids with our friends (Dave & Stacy Reed) and went to Clifty Falls, Indiana for two romantic days. We stayed in the river view, King Suite--which was really sweet! The first day we hiked a couple of miles. The second day, we hiked about 7 miles through a rugged gorge with 4 waterfalls. On Friday morning, I was having a hard time walking. I forgot my camera, which was a real struggle for me. I love photographing flowers and we saw a lot of really beautiful vegetation, the gorge, the creek and, of course, the waterfalls. We also had a fabulous view of the Ohio river and Madison, Indiana from our suite. Since I didn't have my camera, I don't have pictures to share. As such, I'm borrowing some from other web sites. One of the web sites is Eads Home Ministries. I have no idea who they are, but they look like a lovely family. From the looks of them, they're in the same demographic marketing niche that we are--so, just image that they're us!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Discipleship through the years

On my first visit to a XA meeting, one guy at the meeting raised a hand to heaven and gently whispered, "Praise you Jesus."

I thought to myself, "What a holy roller!"

That guy was Steve Potter. Little did I know what a huge impact he and his wife, Cindy, would have on my life. They were excellent examples of Christians living their lives strategically for the sake of the kingdom. In 1979, when I got saved at the University of Cincinnati, they had just graduated from college in Michigan--where they were discipled in XA. When Cindy got a job at P&G in Cincinnati, they volunteered to help lead XA at UC. That's how I came to meet them on that fateful day. I learned a lot from them--leading worship with Cindy and in men's small groups with Steve. They've had a tremendous impact on my life. They've also been faithful supporters ever since I became a campus missionary. I knew that we were close to crossing the support raising finish line last Friday, so I called friends who were regularly supporting and asked for confirmation that their support was a pledge. One couple I called was Steve and Cindy. We had lunch with them on Friday at a Peruvian Roasted Chicken restaurant named El Pollon. Here's a shot of us eating the Peruvian chicken. Below is a shot of Steve signing their pledge form. They've been supporting all along and were able to become one of the last pledges that got us across the finish line. They've invested in us spiritually and financially. They're like a lot of our friends and ministry partners who've helped us become who we are and advance God's kingdom. For these friends who have so faithfully partnered with us, we feel the burden of responsibility to listen and walk in the Spirit. We must be faithful to the Lord, so that the investments of our partners bear fruit. We know that the Lord has called us--and He who calls is faithful to see His work completed! When I think of Steve and Cindy, I think that a discipleship relationship can be a dangerous thing. If you do your job well, you might find yourself on a missions team for many years to come.

Crossing the Finish Line

Praise the Lord! We crossed the support raising finish line on Monday. Last Thursday and Friday, I feverishly faxed and emailed every possible pledge that was still outstanding. I knew we were close, so on Monday I called and got the great news. I'm so grateful to all our support team members. Thank you for soldiering with us in Christ's great commission! We're eager to begin bearing fruit in Peru. But to do that, we need to speak Spanish. So, our first stop is Costa Rica for language and culture studies. We'll probably be flying to Costa Rica on Jan 3rd.

Friday, September 08, 2006


Boasting can be dangerous, unless you’re boasting in what the Lord has done. As such, I love to boast about our XA alumni and the XA staff who served beside me so faithfully. They continue to serve the Lord as excellent examples of modern day saints. In 2 Cor 1:14, Paul says, “…you can boast of us just as we will boast of you in the day of the Lord Jesus. (NIV)” The New Bible Commentary says, “Paul looked forward to rejoicing on the last day in what God had done in the lives of his converts, and he hoped that in the present they might feel they could boast of what God was doing in him.” Later, in 2 Cor 3:2-3, Paul talks about the disciples in his ministry as letters of recommendation. He writes, “You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everybody. You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts. (NIV)” Paul continued, in 2Cor 3:4-5, “And such confidence we have through Christ toward God. Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as [coming] from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God,… (NASB)” That’s how I feel. Rather than feeling like I had some great gift to give to God as a courageous leader, I feel like God blessed me by bringing together teammates who helped me do a job that was bigger than me.

Support raising has been very rewarding—mostly because it has given us opportunities to connect with old friends. We recently enjoyed a bon voyage cook-out with a few of our XA alumni from UC (pictured above at right). In the same week, we celebrated with staff and alumni from Wilmington College—where Ken and Tara Lydy continue to serve the Lord (pictured below with little Lindsay Lynn Lydy). At both events, we saw men and women who have soldiered on faithfully. I’m really looking forward to sharing pictures of Peruvian teammates and even an intermingling of our North American and South American friends. We feel like the Lord has great plans for Peru and we can’t wait to be a part of it.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Update & Prayer Requests 09-02-06

It's been a while since I've updated the blog. I've been working on finances all this past week. Financial reporting makes me feel great when it's done and everything balances, but it requires all of my brain. Unlike the people at Enron, I can't think about numbers and be creative at the same time. In addition to the number crunching, I had a bad virus. Twice, I had to take a long hot shower just to get warm, then get some sleep. All that's left of the virus now is a frog which has taken up residence in my voice box.

We're still about $200 away from completing our budget of monthly pledges. Only one detail remains before we get medical clearance and we know the day we're to arrive in Costa Rica for Language study (Jan 3). I hope that by the end of next week, we'll be approved to buy our tickets.

Hannah and Colton have adjusted well to the start of another school year. Willy will start two days-per-week of preschool this Wednesday. He's apprehensive, but we think he'll enjoy it--eventually. Willy is very active and likes to play with his friends. He doesn't have any in our immediate neighborhood, so this is a chance fill some of his social needs. Here's a picture of Abi and Willy taken this summer, along with the following prayer requests:

1. Recovery and healing for my mother-in-law (Ginny), who just underwent Gall bladder surgery.

2. The final pledges and medical clearance to be completed.

3. Continued inspiration in writing the final project for the doctorate.

4. God's help in preparing the house to be rented.

5. Wisdom and speed in packing our belongings.

6. That Willy will enjoy making new friends at preschool.

7. Wisdom and anointing as we make decisions about what we can and cannot accomplish prior to our departure on Jan 3.

Thanks to everyone who contributes financially and through prayer! We feel so blessed to have so many wonderful friends shouldering this great calling with us. Thank you!

Mucho Agape,

Friday, August 18, 2006

Our Call - The LACC connection

In 1988 Lena had a vision of a mother and child who were Latino. She knew that God was calling her to minister to women and children, so she applied to work with Latin America ChildCare. They wrote her back saying that they’d love to have her work with them, but that she first had to become a licensed Assembly of God minister. She didn’t feel called to pursue ministerial credentials, so she threw the letter away and put the vision in God’s hands. She believed the vision was from God and she knew that God would bring it about—but she didn’t know how.

In March of 2000 we took some Chi Alpha students on a missions trip to Mexico. While there, we drove through a barrio of what I call “economic orphans.” It was full of kids without parental presence. I asked where their parents were and the missionary we worked with said their parents were migrant farm workers harvesting crops in another state. Then I asked why the kids weren’t in school. The missionary said that the government requires them to pay $50 to buy a school uniform, which their parents couldn’t afford. She said that their parents never went to school, that these kids would never go to school and that their kids would never go to school. Their only hope was to walk around aimlessly until they were old enough to work the migrant fields themselves.

I broke into tears and prayed, “Lord, I beg of you, if you ever move me out of campus ministry, I pray that you will put me in a ministry where we can change the lives of kids like these!”

On Christmas Eve, 2003, we received gifts of alpaca sweaters from Peru (see “Our Call – the Sweaters”). Our friend who gave us the sweaters said, “There’s a message from God in those sweaters.” So, we started praying. Obviously, we wondered if God was calling us to Peru as missionaries, but we were trying to keep an opened mind, so that we didn’t make a presumptuous mistake. A month later, in January 2004, I went to a World Missions fly in (where execs meet with pastors). I asked the Latin America representative what was going on in Peru. He said that the Peruvian Assemblies of God had been begging for missionaries for years, but that no one was willing to go. He continued to say that there was a ministry there called Latin America ChildCare (LACC). They put schools in impoverished communities, buy the kids a school uniform, feed them a hot lunch, bring in medical teams, give them the Gospel and do ministry outreaches to the families and community. But in Peru, they were without a director. They weren’t feeding anyone anymore, they were letting teachers go and turning students away. I remembered my prayer in Mexico and felt God’s hand on our lives. I went home and asked Lena if she’d ever heard of Latin America Childcare. She said, “Don’t you remember? I applied to work with them when I got out of college.” We held that LACC brochure in our hands and could feel the hands of God around our lives. He knew what would be needed back in 1988! He used my prayer and Lena’s vision to confirm our call to Peru, and not just to Peru, but also to LACC. So, one of the things we’ll be doing in Peru is directing Latin America ChildCare.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

LACC in Peru

The child at right is Duber, a 6 year old attending an LACC school in Peru who needs a sponsor. Visit the web site at Click “sponsor a child,” the select "Peru" under the country tab.

There are 8 Latin America Childcare (LACC) schools in Peru.

3 in Lima (the capital city with a population of over 8 million)

  • Jerusalen school with 230 students in Callao (a rough suburb of Lima).
  • Jesus es Senor, 120 students.
  • Rabban Gameliel, 85 students.

2 in the North Coast region

  • Betel School with 90 students in the town of Catacaos.
  • Nuevos Pasos, (?) students in Laredo-Trujillo.

2 in the Amazon Jungle near Iquitos:

  • Victoria de Jesus school with 240 students.
  • Luz del Saber school with 90 students.

1 in the South, in a mountain/desert region:

  • Apostol Pablo, 230 students, in Ayacucho (home of the Shinning Path terrorist group)

Praise for light at the end of the tunnel

Lena and I cried tears of joy a few days ago. We can see a light at the end of the support raising tunnel and it isn’t a train! As I write this, we have only $250 left to reach our budget goal. One month ago, we still had $1500 in monthly support left to raise. We consulted with World Missions and made the decision to extend our itineration until Jan 2 (the beginning of the winter term at language school). The decision was emotionally difficult, but seemed financially obvious. We put a lot of prayer into it—seeking earnestly to make the decision “in faith.” So, we set our sights on the months ahead and began scheduling new services. I checked three weeks ago and the $1500 was down to $1200. I checked a week ago and the $1200 was down to $679. I called the national office a few days ago, thinking we still had $500 to raise, and found out that we only have $250 left to complete our goal. (Praise the Lord!) As such, we probably could have gone on our initial target date of August 29. Nonetheless, I believe that the decision to delay was of the Spirit and that even the data we used to make the decision (e.g., still needing to raise $1500) was from the Lord.

Now, the question everyone asks is whether we will change our plans again and try to leave on August 29. After praying about it, we’ve decided to continue with the currently planned departure date of Jan 2. When we received the call to Peru, I knew that the final phase of the doctor of ministry degree would conflict with our departure date. I was hoping I wouldn’t have to make a decision between our mission call and completing the degree (which we feel is an important part of the mission to Peru). When our budget was still 10% away from completion, the decision was made for us. That meant that I’d have time to jump some big hurdles with regard to the degree’s completion. As such, it seems wisest to finish out the course we’re currently on. If I work hard, I can write the project (the D.Min. version of a dissertation) and finish a class I’ve already taken, but for which I still have assignments due. That leaves one class left to complete the degree. I plan to do that class while at language school.

I thank the Lord for calling us to Peru and helping us to raise the budget—including the final $250 that is yet to come. I also want to thank the churches and individuals who have joined our Peruvian mission team. May the Lord bless each of you to see His name glorified because of your faithful sacrifices.

Mucho Agape,

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

SICM & Emotionally Intelligent Discipleship

The whole family spent July 30 – Aug 5 at the Great Lakes SICM conference. SICM stands for Student Institute of Campus Ministry. It is a conference that I was a founding member of 5 years ago and one of the best ministry experiences I’ve ever had. Students’ lives are transformed before our very eyes as they are put through the riggers of witnessing, leading worship, leading Bible studies, etc.

We skipped SICM last year, having already made the transition to World Missions. We were there this year so I could teach on Emotional Intelligence in Collegiate Discipleship—the topic of my doctor of ministry project. Lena came as staff for the first year (SICM 1) students, while I worked with the returning (SICM 2) students. Overall, it was a great experience for all of us. Hannah stayed with the SICM 2 students for most of the conference, re-confirming her commitment to be a Chi Alpha pastor. I asked her if she learned anything from my teaching. She said no—that she’d heard it all from me before, while on long car trips. I had a lot of anxiety during the week—mostly regarding the desire to do a good job on the topic of my doctoral project. It was also an anxious time because I was aware that this was one of the big hurdles that I had to cross before we left for Peru. So, it was a significant (though threatening) milestone.

The picture at top is of us with Steve & Liz Brannan (and their kids: Cole & Lydia). They are XA pastors at Wright State. The picture at the bottom is of SICM 2 students witnessing and street preaching in Cincinnati.

Budget Progress Praise – 91%

We praise the Lord for a miraculous increase in our monthly partnership base. We're currently at 91% of our budget, with only $500-$700 to raise in monthly pledges. (The $200 gap is the difference between the official tally and my unofficial count.) We were supposed to leave on August 29, but have been granted an extension until Jan 2. When we were granted the extension (two weeks ago), we still had $1500 to raise. The last $700 has come in unexpectedly (and gratefully) fast. We still need the extra time, though, to raise the rest and to complete some difficult assignments regarding my doctorate; i.e., the writing phase of the final project and two papers for a class I’ve already taken. Hopefully, when we depart, I'll only have one class left to complete while we're in language school in Costa Rica.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Flower Pics & Prayer Requests 7-25-06

Please join us in praying for:

1. A great SICM Conference--July 30 - August 5. I'll be teaching on emotional intelligence in collegiate discipleship. It's a major part of my doctoral project. My prayer is for the Lord's inspiration to make it a life transforming and empowering experience for the Chi Alpha students.

2. For my Mom's health. Last week we had a scare, as she exhibited some heart attack symptoms. We spent the one month anniversary of dad's death in the hospital with Mom. That was pretty hard on all of us. Mom is OK and the minor issues they discovered are being treated with medication. But she's been left with agonizing pain in both hands. It looks like arthritis, but the doctor isn't certain.

3. For services and the remainder of our budget. Since the budget is not yet at 100%, we must schedule services in the autumn. It was difficult for us to accept this, emotionally, at first; but we are certain that God is in control. Nonetheless, having some friends bring our needs before heaven is always a good idea.

The daffodil picture, above, was taken last spring in our back yard. Since blue and yellow are the colors I see best, I love contrasting them. The delicate little flowers at right, were taken last April on the beach near Galveston, TX.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Color blindness & photographing Flowers

I'm color blind. It's an interesting predicament in life, since people who can see color don't understand it. They instantly start testing me by pointing to things and asking me to identify the color. Since I'm red-green colorblind, I can see blue and yellow perfectly. So the test goes like this...

Incredulous person: What color is this?!

Bill: Blue.

Incredulous person: But you said you can't see colors?

Bill: I can see blue and yellow--greens and reds get confusing.

Incredulous person: Then what color is the grass?!

Bill: Green, except when it's dead, then it's brown.

Incredulous person: Can you tell the difference?

Bill: Yes.

Incredulous person: So what does it look like to you?

Bill: Dead grass.

My dad could see colors, so he said some hurtful things about my inability to discern between green and brown or purple and blue. People who can see colors take it for granted. For those who are interested, as opposed to incredulous, just imagine that life periodically turns into a black-and-white photo. When I was a kid, I remember our first color T.V. It would turn from color to black-and-white without warning. We'd have to turn a knob to get it back into color. My sister would come into the family room and ask, "Why aren't you watching it in color?"

I'd say, "Uhhhh, I don't know. I guess I didn't notice." Then she'd turn the knob and, VIOLA!, the whole thing would become vibrant--just like when Dorothy landed in OZ. It was nice, but when it would go back to black-and-white, I usually didn't notice.

I love discussing art, but I'm not a very confident artist. My sense of color (or lack thereof) is problematic--along with my inability to draw, paint, sculpt or whittle. As such, I love photography--especially flowers. God picks the colors and shapes, and I try to catch it all in just the right light. Above is one of my daffodil shots. Apparently, blogger is alergic, since it'll only let me load one shot at a time. It's probably partial to roses.

Mucho Agape,

P.S. sorry for the delay in posting. After dad's death it seemed that the whole world was spinning.

Then someone said, "It is spinning."

So, I said, "Yea, but I didn't seem to have so much motion sickness before."

Friday, July 07, 2006

Prayer Requests 7-7-06

Please join us in seeking the Lord's counsel and comfort in the following:

1) We need God's will on how to approach our departure date of August 29. We currently need 27 pledges of $50 per month to cross the finish line and leave for the field. I must confess that we're anxious about that date. We're at a critical stage with only seven weeks left to raise our budget. We can postpone our departure until the end of December, which would enable me to schedule more services and also complete some critical aspects of the doctor of ministry degree. If we're going to postpone, we need to decide soon so that we can schedule services in the Fall.

2) As many of you know, my father passed away two weeks ago. As such, our departure at the end of August could turn out to be a terribly sad experience for my mom. Whether we leave in August or December, leaving family members is painful. I'm asking God to bless our family members with the knowledge that their sacrifice is for His kingdom.

Praise for answered prayers:
1) We've decided to rent the house and have a wonderful couple ready to rent it.
2) We sold our camper to some close friends who have pledged to let us use it whenever the camping bug bites again. Saying goodbye to the camper is one of those farewells that really makes it clear that we're not just going on a short-term missions trip. We've had some wonderful camping experiences already this summer. In fact, the day before my father died, we camped neamammothth Cave (on the way home from mission services in Kentucky). The camper has been a wonderful blessing to own and to sell, as we advance toward an even greater adventure with the Lord!
3) The Peruvian elections were conducted in a civil manner. Please pray for the new president, Alan Garcia.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Tears are a blessing

When you're grieving, tears are a blessing...

except at Wal-mart,
when riding a scooter
or operating heavy machinery.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Great funeral...bad aftertaste

Thank you to all who have sent condolences. I'm grateful for the prayers and expressions of love.

My dad's funeral was Saturday. It really was beautiful. My sister wanted the song "Danny Boy," which isn't an approved Catholic mass song. It turned out that there is an approved song called something like "a Celtic farewell." It was to the tune of Danny Boy with awesome words. It was very lovely. At the grave side service, the air force funeral honor team folded the flag and presented it to my mother. Then one of them walked away and played taps on a bugle. Rather than the flag, they should have presented us all with Kleenex. It was very moving and beautiful. I recommend joining the service, just so they can play taps at your funeral.

Having said all that, the day of reckoning has come. The funeral activity is over. The crowds have gone home and we are left with the realization that life will never be the same again. After the funeral, I showed a slide show of pictures from my dad's life. My cousin asked what kind of golf cart my dad was driving and I said, "I don't know what kind it is, but dad will know." That was the first of many instances yet to come where I forget that dad isn't here to answer my questions. Now that the activity has died down, I'm feeling very sad and depressed. That's the nasty aftertaste. I know it won't last forever.

Here's what I wrote for the inside of my dad's funeral bulletin:

Morris J. (Curly) Shrader was a hero and an over-comer. He was born on April 19, 1924 in his grandmotherÂ’s house in Oak Grove, Missouri. During the winter, he attended school, but his summers were spent working on his Aunt PearlÂ’s farm. The depression and the farm produced in him an aptitude for solving problems and a strong work ethic.

In 1940, the family moved to Cincinnati, where Morris became an electrician and met June, his wife of 63 years. In 1942, he joined the Army Air Corp—serving as a senior gunner on a B-29. On March 2, 1945 Morris’ plane was shot down over the Indian ocean. He was held in solitary confinement at a Japanese POW camp in Singapore. The determination it took to survive as a POW would mark the rest of his life. The physical trauma of that experience set the stage for a 30 year battle with heart disease. In 1973, Morris had the first of many heart attacks. After his first open heart surgery, the doctors gave him 10 years to live. They did not know what a fighter he was! 33 years later, he is finally taking his rest.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

My Father Died Today

My Father died today, 6-21-06, around 6:00 AM. He was a truly great man. A hero beyond the kinds in movies. A WWII prisoner of war. He was captured by the Koreans and tortured by the Japanese and he never spoke poorly of either. He always supported me in my dreams, even when it was nutty. He was very loving. I will truly miss him. I thank the Lord that I had many chances to tell him how proud I was of him and what a great dad he was. May the Lord embrace him now. May the Lord take him into His loving arms and bring him peace.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Peruvian Sweaters - a poem by John Wootton

After hearing the story of our calling, our friend John Wootton wrote the following:

There's an amazing story how the calling of God
Works on us now for what He's planned later
How he weaves details together at just the right time
As in the case of Bill & Lena Shrader

Yes, we might question if we've heard from the Lord
Sure, we might discard LACC* letters
But God has a way of preparing our hearts
So we're called by Peruvian sweaters

*LACC stands for Latin America Child Care--one of the ministries we'll be working with in Peru.

Friday, June 09, 2006


His day of fighting evil done.

Bad guys vanquished. Battles won.


He POWWED them, BAM!

Before his stealthy might they scram!

The Joker, Riddler, Penguin, too,

All snuck upon before they knew,

The avenger in the long black cape

Would foil their crime, thwart their escape.

And Catwoman, who planned him harm,

Would fall this day before his charm.

His muscles tired, his body weary,

Bat mask sweaty. Vision bleary.

To rest, perchance, while he can

Asleep in his Bat-mini-van.

Pictures - the western coastal desert

Many of the pictures on our web site come from one photographer: Erich Henry Kuball. He did a bike tour of the Americas back in 2001. (There are a lot of people who tour the world on bikes!) You can see a bike in his picture of the sunset over the Pacific coast. He has a great eye and has taken some of the best pictures I've seen of the Coastal Desert--the western border of Peru, between the Pacific Ocean and the Andes mountains.

The west coast of Peru is predominantly desert. The Andes mountains act like a wall for the weather, so that the western side is all desert and the eastern side gets all the rain. When I look at pictures of the western coast, I imagine that this is what it would look like if the ocean ran up against the shore of the moon. Ironically, this is the side of the mountains we will be living on. Lima, Peru is situated in this coastal desert region. The picture below is of one of the highways that runs through this desert to Lima.

All three of these photos have a foggy quality. That's what happens when the cold waters of antarctica meet the hot sands of the desert. Fog is a big part of life on the coast, but there are a few clear days--as can be seen in the picture of the rocky coast of southern Peru, below.

These pictures come from

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Pictures and Copyrights 1

A pictorial directory of Peru always begins with Machu Pichu--the last holdout of the Inca empire. It's a large installation, high in the Andes Mountains. These pictures were taken by my friend, Amy Afshari.

When we were called to Peru, I started surfing the web to learn as much as I could. Eventually, I started saving pictures that I felt were meaningful. Later, I used these to put together our website ( At the time, I didn't understand how individual copyrights applied to pictures on the web. For example, Google's image search function can find pictures of nearly anything. Some are free, but not all. It's up to the surfer to make sure that usage is permissible. As such, I'm now at the place of trying to find if the pics I've used are protected. For some of the pictures, I don't even know where they came from. For those for whom I know the source, I've started collecting copyright information and asking the owners for permission. What follows in this blog entry (and others to come) is a pictorial directory of my favorite pictures of Peru and their copyright information. I'm indebted to the work of Monica Mennen-Vela and Govert-Jan Mennen ( for their meticulous copyright references and permission to use their pictures.

Best Website

I've learned a lot about Peru by surfing the web. The best website is It contains stunning photos and excellent explanations. The website was written by Monica Mennen-Vela (aPeruviann woman, born in Lima) and designed by her husband, Govert-Jan Mennen (from the Netherlands). I highly recommend it.

If you visit, you may notice a strong resemblance to the slide show on our website, (on the "About Peru" page). Many of the pictures came from the Mennen's web page (see the blog entry "Pictures and Copyrights").

Monday, May 29, 2006

Average Peruvian is 157cm tall

One of my favorite web sites is It contains news articles of great importance like this one:

"The average height of Peruvians at a national level is 1.57 meter (61.8 inches or 5.15 feet). The average height of men is 1.64 meters (5.38 feet) and for women 1.51 meter (4.95 feet), according to a recent survey made by the Executive Direction of Monitoring Food and Nutricion (DEVAN), part of the National Health Institute (INS)."

It's good to know that at 5' 10" tall, I'm going to be the tall guy in town. The down side of this is getting shoes to fit. When Lena and I were in Peru two years ago, I saw some great sandals. I asked if they carried my size. The guy said, "We go as high as a size 10." I'm an 11 or an 11 1/2. At least nobody will mug me for my shoes.