June-July 2013
new seascape    -
The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.
Psalm 19:1 (ESV)
The President's Letter


Greetings again to all of our pescadores around the world!
It's that time of year again when representatives from communities worldwide gather for an Assembly. Fiscal year 2012-2013 has been atypical. The last Assembly was held in September in South Korea, with the fall secretariat meeting in Connecticut following a short five weeks later, and the spring meeting in March in Nashville. So, we have done a year's  business in just six months, and even with several members and officers dropping off the board in January, we have accomplished a lot.
     We sent out a proxy ballot that has the potential to radically change the way community voting is handled. If passed, the new method would do away with the need for communities to estimate the number of active members as a way of establishing the number of votes. In its place would be a much simpler, more objective method, with votes based on number of new pescadores during the fiscal year.
     The Tres Dias Fund has been modified and now has $25,000 to assist communities in need, and a new membership subcommittee is being established to deal with those requests.
     We have had several challenges concerning our essentials, and we are still dealing with a request to permit co-ed weekends.  
      Many of these issues will be discussed in greater detail at this year's Assembly, hosted by Birmingham Tres Dias, and we would love for you to be there so we can get your input. An Assembly involves far more than business, however. An Assembly is a time for worship, for learning, and for bonding together in the service of our Lord. On Friday afternoon, July 12, I chair an informal meeting in which participants bring any matter they wish to the attention of the International Secretariat. That evening, our vice president of membership offers an Essentials workshop as well as an opportunity for participants to be certified to do the training in their community. The Assembly is all day Saturday and includes business meetings, workshops, worship. The day ends with what our Birmingham hosts describe as a "Fresh from the Garden" secuela.

         If you can come, come prepared to tell others how Tres Dias is being used by God to help people and churches in your community. If you can come, expect to return to your home community with a new-found enthusiasm for our ministry as well as a bundle of new ideas for making that ministry more effective.


But if you can't make it, here's something special. Mark your calendar for July 13 and turn on your computer. You can tune in to a live feed of the Saturday morning events starting at 8:00 a.m. Central Standard Time, at:  


The Assembly is being held the Homewood Church of Christ, just south of Birmingham, AL. Details are available at We are looking forward to seeing you there.

God Bless,

 Bruce Cato 

President, Tres Dias International Secretariat


The founders of the Cursillo movement, layman Eduardo Bonin and Bishop Juan Hervas, had a sense of humor when they suggested the terminology for activities during the weekend. We all know that an abrazo is a hug and palanca is a lever, but do you know what rollo and rollista mean in Spanish?

See the Letter from the Editors for the answer.

A lesson from the Wedding at Cana

    Every role on the weekend,
From rector to coffee maker, is important

Jan Coleman

Head Storeroom cha? Why me? Not exactly the role I see myself in, I thought as I pondered the invitation to serve. And then came the more practical considerations: Coffee prep is not one of my gifts, and this job description does not fit me much. Naturally I said yes to the rector, but in truth my attitude needed a bit of fine-tuning. God knew that I needed to fly 2000 miles to get it adjusted. (And let's throw in a giant  dose of Southern hospitality as a bonus.)  
     Just prior to our women's weekend last March, I attended the International Tres Dias meeting hosted by the Middle Tennessee community. To kickstart the event, the pastor of the College Heights Baptist
cana wedding
Fragment from a 14th Century Georgian fresco by Evgenikos
Church in Gallatin shared a devotion, using  John 2:3-5. I've read this story about the wedding at Cana many times, but never in such a revealing light.
     When the party ran out of wine, Jesus' mother Mary stepped in to address the situation and told the servants, "Do whatever he tells you." Jesus then instructed them;  fill those nearby stone jars with water. What a shock for the banquet manager when he saw that Jesus had turned ordinary water into delicious wine for the guests.
     The pastor asked us to consider what the servants might have been thinking as they went to work on the request. Did they think it strange, as those jugs were generally used for ceremonial washing? Did they roll their eyes and wonder what the Lord was thinking?  We don't know. But we do know this; despite being clueless as to the outcome, the servants did as they were asked.
      There's a lesson in this story for all us.
      Just like a wedding, there are countless details involved in putting on a Tres Dias weekend. Running out of wine at the wedding wasn't a world crisis back then, but Jesus used it to reveal truths about himself, that he is eager to be part of all the details in our events, that we can trust him and not panic.
But I've never looked at that scripture from the servant's standpoint, that their obedience brought unexpected blessings.   
      When serving on the team, we might be asked to do something we consider totally inconsequential. We might question wisdom or the why of it. But I'm reminded by that message in Tennessee is that every role--from rector and spiritual director to coffee maker and trash emptier--is important to the weekend success. The challenge from the pastor to pescadores that day:  "Will you be faithful to carry the jars?
    I arrived at the campground the following Thursday afternoon with a transformed outlook on serving. It's not about being skilled at making coffee or anything else. It's about being willing be like those servants at the wedding who waited tables and filled jars without question. They became an integral part of the miracle that changed hearts and lives for eternity.
Jan Coleman is a member of Northern California Tres Dias and co-editor for this newsletter.

hugA "Miracles from the Weekend" story

The Jesus Hugthe hug

By Alex Yefetov
It was Men's Central Connecticut Tres Dias #37, but to me it felt like a bad version of Alice in Wonderland.  The community had kindly invited me to attend the weekend with the goal of later sharing my experiences back home in Kiev, Ukraine. At that time, in 2000, the Kiev TD community was just shaping up.
     That was the plan, pure and simple. But obviously, the Lord had in mind a different scenario. Just three weeks prior, the Ukraine doctors issued the final diagnosis for my three-month old son Pasha. (Some of you might still remember the prayer request sent around via the TDI Newsletter at the end of 1999.) It was stage 5 ROP (retinopathy of prematurity) which means the retina had begun to fully detach from both my child's eyes.  It was a desperate case to deal with in the most of Europe, not to mention Ukraine where the first attempts to treat ROP were made just a few years ago.
      So my wife, my son, and I arrived in the United States a week before the CCTD weekend to meet with a Newark doctor reported to be one of the top 10 retina specialists on the planet. During our appointment, the doctor confirmed that yes, the surgery, considered to be the most sophisticated one done on the open eye, is the only option, but it costs a fortune. A myriad of complications are possible, and the success rate is only 10%. If it was not performed within a couple of weeks, he added, it would be too late. This meant total blindness.
     Flooded with all this information, I sat in the doctor's office looking at everything as if I were in some sort of parallel reality; the voices became muffled and distant. My English evaporated somewhere...
This was the morning of the first day of my CCTD weekend. Taking into account my circumstances, I had been excused to arrive later. I found myself sitting at the table in rollo room, forcedly smiling back to the cheerful looks I received from all around.
     On the second day, during the silent prayer chapel, I collapsed. No more strength to keep the emotions man praying within, no more courage to believe that everything is still under full God's control, no more reasoning to explain to myself what was happening. I was perched on my knees, like everyone else in the chapel. Souls wept, but on the outside---simply quiet sobbing. The tears generously watered my cheeks and fell on the mat underneath me.    

"Jesus, I just can't bear it anymore," I prayed. "I feel so small, squashed like a bug by all these circumstances, so alone, so desperate . . . . You know just how much I need you right now, to feel the warmth of your love, the touch of your caring hands... Please, please, show it to me in some tangible way... Give me a hug, dear Jesus! Give me a hug."

I had no idea how long I stayed there, sobbing and praying. Then, all of a sudden, it happened. With great astonishment I felt two big, mighty hands giving me a firm embrace-from  behind! At first I froze, afraid to move an inch, and the very next moment I relaxed in this firm abrazzo. It's warmth meant strength and safety.
     "Thank you, Jesus..." In a few minutes I dared to turn to discover that it was my dear brother in Christ behind me. He knew about my family situation but had no clue what I was praying about.
     Later he shared with me that as he prayed from the opposite side of the chapel, a clear and tangible thought formed in his mind: "Come over to Alex and give him a hug." His first reaction:  "What a strange idea. I barely know this man."  As the prompt repeated again and again, he finally overcame the anxiety of looking somewhat weird. He stood up, approached me, and extended a nice firm, long hug I will never forget.
     As Teresa of Avila stated so well centuries ago:  "Yours are the hands with which Christ blesses all the world."
     Yes, my brother's hands were Christ's hands.

Editor's Notes: The surgery on Pasha's eyes had minimal effect, and the Yefetovs return to the US periodically for consultation, in the hope that newer medical technologies will help restore partial sight. In addition to his publishing activities, Alex, together with his wife, Oksana, founded  a public charitable organization known as Light of Life. The organization focuses on early intervention programs for children with severe visual impairments and also organizes parent support groups.


prayerA "Miracles from the weekend" story

You Never Know When and How

God Answers Prayers 


By Janie Stewart  


I always questioned when someone would say, "God spoke to me." How could they know, I wondered? A few years ago I found out in a powerful way that God does want to make known his plans to us.

     When I was lay director of our English Speaking Tres Dias community here in Seoul, Korea, we needed a rectora for the 55th women's weekend coming that fall. We approached several qualified ladies about the prospect, with no success. After various pleas throughout the community, no one came forward.
Several secretariat members advised me, "Just postpone the weekend until spring."  Somehow I couldn't accept that. In our transient TD community, it's a challenge to pull a team together. Postponing the weekend meant that some ladies who might be willing and available to work, may be relocated by the time the next weekend came around. There must be a way.
     Through I didn't feel led, I offered to serve as rectora again rather than cancel the weekend. It's the Martha in me. The second time around would be fairly easy, I told myself. Then I did feel led to step back and pray about it. "Lord, only if it's your will do I want to do this. I need confirmation that it's you and not just me being my normal Martha self."So I asked God to give me a sign, an unmistakably clear sign, that it was his desire and not my Martha determination. Can you show me a "55" somewhere, Lord? And not a speed limit sign, please. I'm sure God got a chuckle out of my request.
      A few weeks later I was flying back to America with my husband for summer vacation, and the sign miraculously appeared. When my husband got up to stretch, I picked up the book he was reading: 90 Minutes in Heaven. I haphazardly flipped the pages, landing on the opening of chapter 6. A scripture at the top of the page caught my eye::  

"And we can be confident that he will listen to us whenever we ask him for anything in line with his will.  And if we know he is listening when we make our requests, we can be sure that he will give us what we ask for."

     I quickly closed the book. Could this God's sign for me? I reopened the book to check the scripture again, and then glanced at the bottom of the page. The scripture that had spoken to my heart----1 John 5:14---was placed on page 55!  
     By the time my husband returned to his seat, I was still in shock. After showing him my discovery, he agreed that God had answered my request to affirm that my decision was in his will. Absolutely, without a doubt I was meant to be rectora for the 55th women's weekend.
     A few months later, while shopping for some palanca in one of the fashion jewelry buildings in the busy marketplace of Seoul, I discovered some earrings in a gorgeous green stone, the color we had chosen for the weekend.  And guess what---they had "55" imprinted on them.
     I will never again wonder if God speaks to us. He does and in ways tailor-made for each situation. God not only heard my goofy request but responded in a unique way that was undeniably loud and clear. The experience filled me with humility. I praise him for teaching me that when we ask for something--- according to his will---he not only listens but is eager to grant it.   

Janie is a member of the Seoul English Speaking community. Retreats are held at the US Army Garrison (USAG) Yongsan Religious Retreat Center



The Role of Fourth-Day Coordinators

 Supporting TD in the congregation, and in the community

By Freddie Bell-Berti and Angela Andrew
Editor's note: Many congregations in Fairfield County Tres Dias have special servants  know as "fourth-day coordinators." These are individuals or teams within the church that support new pescadores from that church and keep everyone in the congregation who has had the TD experience in touch with the larger community. Here is a case study of activity in one church, Eastchester Presbyterian Church, in the Bronx.

Over the years, more than 90 members of the Eastchester Presbyterian Church (EPC) have attended a Tres Dias weekend.  As you may imagine, keeping a large Tres Dias community at a church active and contributing to both its local church community and to the larger Tres Dias of Fairfield County community can be a challenge  We would like to share three things that the pescadores at EPC do that help to keep us connected with each other and also contribute to the TDFC community (in addition to participating in various reunion groups). 
     The first thing we do is write to each EPC pescador several times a year (before the secuela we host and before each weekend), encouraging our pescadores to provide palanca to the candidates and team members, as well as reminding them where to find application and sponsor forms as well as team bio forms.  
     Second, we  hold Tres Dias community meetings about three times each year (announced by email, USPS mail, in the Sunday announcements, and in the church calendar of upcoming meeting dates in our bulletin).  In addition to opening (and closing) our meetings with prayer,  a pescador offers a brief devotion to focus us on the Lord and his grace and mercy.  At these meetings we encourage each other in sponsorship and develop ideas for palanca from our community for upcoming weekends-as well as individual palanca.  And we encourage each other to submit bio forms and serve on teams when we are invited by rectors. 
     Third, ask all EPC pescadores who are able to do so to contribute $40 each year (or $10 quarterly) to our "Scholarship Fund."  In some ways this is the most important thing we do, since it makes it possible for team members and candidates with limited resources to make the suggested contribution, thus removing any guilt or stigma they may feel about their inability to make the contribution-and relieving sponsors of the need to provide some or all of the suggested contribution, since they, too, may not have the resources to do so.  (This is all handled by our fourth-day coordinators and  treasurer, who may be approached by a member of our community about a candidate, or by a team member who needs assistance. The names of those receiving assistance remain anonymous.)  


letterLetter from the Editors
Special thanks to the two readers who contributed stories for this issue's "Weekend Miracles" series. Please help us keep the series going by sending us your story. We've all had those moments--before, during, or after a weekend--when we felt a real and present awareness of the Lord touching our lives. Tell us about yours, so we can tell others.
     Our next issues will report on events at the Birmingham Assembly. We especially look forward to writing about the workshops, which overflow with practical information on how to make Tres Dias more effective at the local level.
     We know from the notices we receive that our subscription list is growing. That means that you are passing along or recommending this newsletter to your fellow pescadores. Thank you. Each new reader adds to our joy in preparing and publishing the newsletter.

In  Christ 

 Don Bohl

Jan Coleman  

 Link to Map of Tres Dias Communities Worldwide  

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 Answers to the Quiz: A rollo is a long, boring story, and a rollista is the kind of person known for telling such stories, i.e., a bore. No wonder many communities call rollistas "professors."  



July 12-14. Assembly and Secretariat meeting, hosted by Birmingham Tres Dias, Birmingham, AL. The International Secretariat functions as a board of directors for Tres Dias. The Assembly is the other governing body of Tres Dias. Representatives from communities worldwide meet once a year to approve proposals from the International Secretariat and to elect new officers for that group. The event opens with the parade of banners. In addition to the business meetings, there are workshops on how to make Tres Dias more effective on the local level, as well as plenty of time for singing and praise.


Future Meetings

October 11-13, 2013: SecretariatCleveland OH TD
March 7-9, 2014: SecretariatSabine Creek TD (45 min NE of Dallas)
July 25-27, 2014: Assembly & SecretariatTD of North Georgia (Atlanta area)
October 2014 (dates TBD): SecretariatNorthern VA TD
March 13-15, 2015: SecretariatWaiting confirmation
July 10-12, 2015: Assembly & SecretariatAbundant Life TD, Rockford, IL
October 2015 (dates TBD): SecretariatTBD
March 4-6, 2016: SecretariatTampa Bay TD (location TBD)

The Colors of Tres Dias International is published by the Services Committee of the Tres Dias International Secretariat.  Ned Heffington chairs the commitee and serves as associate editor and proofreader.
Our objective is to publish six issues a year. To read prior issues, use this link:


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