Saturday, July 30, 2016

Peru mission trip: an important deadline is approaching

It’s getting down to the wire. The first deposit ($1,800) for my October mission trip to Peru is due by next Friday, August 5. Based on what has already come in and what I know is in the mail, I am currently $450 short of that amount. The overall cost of the trip is $2400, which covers airfare, lodging, food, and materials for the attendees.

I'm grateful for those who have already donated. If you've considered donating, but have been waiting, now is a great time. In order ensure it’s added to my total, you can give online directly to Reaching & Teaching here:

Be sure to put my name, ANDREW WENCL, in the notes field.

If you'd like to give by check, you can write it out to Reaching & Teaching and mail it to

Reaching and Teaching
PO Box 122
Wheaton, IL 60187

Please include with the check (not on the check) a note with my name and "Chazuta October 2016 Trip."

Even if you're not in a position to give towards the trip, I'm still grateful for your prayers, especially as the deadline for the deposit draws near. Whether you donate, pray, or both, please send me a message to know that you did. It's encouraging to know that others are lifting me up to God in their prayers.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

The Berenstain Bears

I like reading to my children, and I like good deals. Even though my wife takes the kids to the library about once a week, I still like to get new books for the kids’ bookshelf, so I’m always looking for a good deal, and one of the greatest deals I have found are “# books in 1” volumes.

I recently snagged a review copy of The Berenstain Bears' Caring and Sharing Treasury, which is made up of five separate books:

Jobs Around Town
Get Involved
Love Their Neighbors
The Biggest Brag
Gossip Gang

I love the Berenstain Bears. They were a staple of my childhood reading, and I’m glad they continue to be published so I can share them with the kids. They’ve taken on more religious overtones than when I was young, but they’re always appropriate to the story—it doesn’t feel tacky like a Philippians 4:13 coffee mug.

Jobs Around Town explores the different jobs the bear cubs might have when they grow up, and it portrays all kinds of jobs as having dignity and value.

Get Involved shows the cubs involved in a church scouting organization that helps out in the community during a flood.

Love Their Neighbors was my favorite. It’s a retelling of the Good Samaritan story that teaches how you treat people is more important than your social standing.

The Biggest Brag involves an argument between Brother and Sister and their grandfather teaching them how silly they are.

Gossip Gang teaches that gossip is a mean way for people to feel better about themselves to the harm of others.

I’d recommend this book to anyone with young kids. It teaches children about character and reinforces Bible teaching they should be learning at church and in the home. Having 5 books in 1 makes it a great deal.