The President's Letter
As we begin this new season of weekends, I ask myself why Tres Dias is such an effective ministry, and if this is true, why do we have communities that are doing poorly? The short answer is passion.
When I see how the fans of a sports team behave at games and read what they post on Facebook, it is obvious that they are full of passion for their team. It pours out of them in their conversations and displays of exuberance when their team is doing well, and in displays of anguish when the team is doing poorly.
Tres Dias weekends bring out similar reactions.
When I go to a closing, I see candidates expressing how they can't wait to get home and tell everyone they know about the experience. But when I work closings, I often see the opposite emotion: people that are exhausted and muttering to themselves that they might never work another weekend because it is just too hard.
Communities that are doing well find ways of tapping into the excitement that follows a weekend. For example, secretariats that regularly encourage new pescadores to take on leadership roles keep that passion alive. In communities that are in trouble, we often see leadership that doesn't change; the leaders have grown weary and the passion has disappeared.
The path to making your community vibrant again lies in recapturing the passion.
This is best accomplished by the infusion of fresh blood into positions of leadership and by examining the structure of your weekends to remove the non-essential excesses that drain team members' energy.
Our stated goal is to build leaders for the church, and when we see new pescadores use Tres Dias as training ground for greater service, their growth inspires us to greater service throughout our environments.
President, Tres Dias International Secretatiat
To Develop Teamwork,
Have Team Members Tell their Stories
If you were elected to serve on the Kansas City Tres Dias Secretariat, it's certain that you would be asked to write answers to three questions:
Who Am I?
What Was My Tres Dias Weekend Experience?
Why Do I Want to Serve on the Board?
This practice came to our attention during a conversation with KC Board Member Wes Schlobohm at an International Secretariat meeting. It's an appealing activity, a way to develop a deeper bonding that allows a board (and any other team, for that matter) to perform at full spiritual capacity.
To provide readers with an example of how it works, we asked Wes if we could publish his answers. In answer to "Who Am I?" Wes sketched in his identity as husband and father (married to Debra for ten years, two children) and as a working professional (commercial real estate broker, auctioneer). But the defining moment happened on October 27, 1997. "On that day," Wes wrote, "I was led to the Lord when Father God came into a drug house through a used car salesman and pulled me out of hell on earth!" In recovery since that date, Wes reports that he has sponsored ten men through the twelve-step program.
Wes's weekend was North Texas #46, in Dallas. Here is his answer to the second question, "What was my Tres Dias weekend experience?"
I had never experienced this stillness in my entire life. As I sat through those three days I came to realize that I was "fully loved & fully accepted" just as I was. I knew who I was and whose I was at a much deeper level. I came home and could not look my wife in the eyes without weeping unto the Lord for a week. It was truly a difference: she had never seen me shed a tear in all our years together!
My daughter Sammy was so affected by what she witnessed God doing in my life, she agreed to go back to Dallas to experience a weekend. We left the next day. I am still in awe of what the Holy Spirit accomplished in these two lives in ten days! At her closing she said God had completely forgiven her and made her feel as if she had been washed as white as snow.
My wife Debra went to Dallas three months later. Our family has been healing ever since. We are all in prayer for our son Connor to attend his weekend.
Wes notes that it was during those weekends that Kansas City Tres Dias (KCTD) was birthed. "Over the next two years we traveled to Texas, Illinois, Tennessee and Colorado in church buses with as many people as we could to get to go. These are the men and women who today are the launch team and the board of KCTD"
In answer to the third question ("Why do I want to serve on the board?"), Wes describes how he wants to use his experiences "to build Pillars of Faith that will support KCTD for a long time after we are gone. May the vision and values we have set in place continue to bless this city until He returns and restores His kingdom."
Editor's note: If you decide to try this exercise for your secretariat, please drop us a note to tell us how it worked. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
| How a Trip to Support Tres Dias in Peru Led to a Full-time Ministry and a Marriage|
In the summer of 2009, this newsletter published the improbable story of a pescador named Ray Skaggs. The story starts in 2004. Broke and desperate after a business bankruptcy, Skaggs signed on to drive an eighteen-wheeler for a company he had once worked with as an international executive. Listening to a tape of Rick Warren's The Purpose Driven Life while on the road changed everything. As he put it, "Possessions no longer mattered. . . . The joy of doing everything that God wants you to do is more valuable than anything you can imagine."
His decision to support the emerging Tres Dias community in Lima, Peru, was a way of "doing what God wants." For the story of what happened after that, including the first trip down the headwaters of the Amazon to deliver Bibles and literature to seven churches, see the Summer 2009 issue. For videos of more recent trips on the Amazon, as well as a colorful and inspiring photo gallery of the outreach to children in the isolated regions of Peru, see the Web page for Words of Life Ministry.
When Ray Skaggs felt God's calling to Peru, little did he know how God would expand his ministry beyond Tres Dias, or that God would send him a helpmate. Martha and Ray were married in January 2010. As an award-winning elementary school teacher, and a person fluent in Spanish, Martha has given a new dimension to their combined ministry. Martha has developed workshops to train Christian teachers to share the Good News through puppetry and flannel board stories, supplies constructed by pescadores in Texas and brought to Peru. Together, their mission work brought them to more than 30 churches this Christmas Season. As Martha says, "Children are the future church, with its pastors and teachers. What will our churches in the future be if we do not teach these children now?"
Asked about their future plans in Peru, Martha explained that they are praying for land with a clear title at an affordable price for a Christian Center, with a campground format, so they could reach more people.
Meanwhile, work with Tres Dias continues apace. Ray and Martha are looking forward to Lima Tres Dias #14 in February 2016. That community served as sponsor for Chiclayo Tres Dias, which will hold weekend #4 in April 2016.
The invitation is always open for pescadores to come to serve.
Contact information for Ray and Martha Skaggs
Special thanks to Judy Borman for help in developing this story. Back to top
Tres Dias in Peru--
Another Community in the Making
A third Tres Dias community will soon be serving Christians in Peru, working alongside the two communities already established in that country.
The concept began to take shape last year when Rev. Paul Vasquez visited the Pastor's Fraternity of Cincha, Peru. As the members of that group listened to Rev. Vasquez's enthusiasm about Tres Dias, they began to sense how Tres Dias could invigorate their ministry. But there was one catch: the pastors insisted that they had to experience a weekend themselves before they could endorse it.
The solution: Tres Dias Con Dias, the Spanish-language community based in Chattanooga, TN, will soon be inviting ministers and their wives from Chincha, as well as laypersons from that city, to attend weekends. The new Chincha Community will be sponsored by the Tres Dias Con Dios Community. Tres Dias Con Dios has as its mission to bring Tres Dias to every country in South America. They will work under the direction of the International Secretariat Membership Committee to establish strong lay-led communities.
At its fall 2015 meeting, the Membership Committee strongly endorsed plans proposed by Rev. Vasquez and Tres Dias Con Dios. Early this month, VP Membership Frank Yarbrough sent a letter to all community leaders inviting contributions to support plans for Chincha #1. The immediate need is for $15,000, first for travel costs for those attending Tres Dias Con Dios weekends, then travel costs and supplies for Chincha #1 facilitators. The Tres Dias Fund will match the first $2,000.Rev. Vasquez reports that 15 pastors and their wives, as well as 15 laypersons and their spouses are ready to sign-up for a weekend. Clearly, the Lord's hand is at work.
Send contributions to Merve LeMasurier, Treasurer, 294 Atwood Ct, Thomaston, CT 06787, marked Tres Dias Chincha-Peru, or go online to Tresdias.org and clicking the Donate Now link. Back to top
Inviation to share what your community does well
Do you have a policy statement or guidelines for something that is proving very effective in your community? Is there a program for, say, encouraging reunion groups, or training sponsors, or adding a creative touch to palanca? Whatever your success might be, consider letting other communities know about it. Contact email@example.com to get started. The following guidelines are from Lehigh Valley Tres Dias.
Guidelines for a Fourth Day Talk at a Secuela
The purpose of a Fourth Day Talk shared at a secuela is for you to provide encouragement to other pescadores in their fourth day by witnessing to the active presence of Christ in your life. The talk should be a brief (about 10 minute), meaningful, and personal sharing of your life with Christ at the present time. It should be on your fourth-day experience, not on your life before the weekend so much as what has your life has been since your weekend. Neither should the talk be instructional regarding the Tres Dias method. It should, however, provide witness as to how the Tres Dias tools (the weekend itself, reunion groups, and secuelas) have aided you in living your fourth day.
Your talk must be positive in its focus and kept within the time constraints. Positive does not mean that you should avoid discussing any difficult experiences during your fourth day. Everyone -- both the Christian and the non-Christian -- will experience hardships and problems as they live on this earth. The difference, for Christians, is in how the support of Jesus and the love of other Christians help them deal with those problems.
The following is a suggested outline for the talk:
- Introduce yourself; give your town, the number and year of your Tres Dias weekend, and the table name (if you can remember).
- Choose a recent experience with Christ (apostolic action, crisis, joyful occasion) and explain how Christ was present to you during this time.
- Share how the support of your brothers and sisters, during your weekend and from your reunion group and secuela attendance, helped you directly or indirectly by preparing you to respond positively to Christ.
- Tie in scripture or something you learned from a Christian book if it is appropriate.
- Close with a summary statement of what you learned, either about Christ or yourself, as a result of the Tres Dias experience.
And, please conclude with a "De Colores!" Remember, a short, clear witness will be remembered best. Ask the Lord, in prayer, to guide you. He will ....!
Editor's Note: The Essentials of Tres Dias specify that a "floating reunion group" (a term that sometimes causes confusion) follow the fourth-day talk. Usually, this means asking those attending the secuelas to divide into smaller groups to discuss some theme mentioned in the talk. For example, if the speaker talked about how faith was tested during a crisis, the members in the reunion groups might be invited to share stories about times their faith was tested.
A Special Request from Japan
Tres Dias Japan serves all of Japan, but most of us live west of Tokyo and our Weekends are held at Okutama Bible Chalet in Ome. Do you know a pescador who lives in Japan? Would they be interested in serving Tres Dias Japan--in any capacity? We are in desperate need of prayer and hands.
Please contact me at 706-363-6974 (magic jack number), 080-4114-4752 (J-cell phone), or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dawn Williams, President Japan Tres Dias
Future Meetings of the International Secretariat
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|March 4-6, 2016: Secretariat|| Tampa Bay TD. Clearwater, Florida |
|July 15-17, 2016: Assembly & Secretariat||Mid-Hudson TD, Poughkeepsie-Newburg area, New York |
|October 21-23, 2016|
|Coastal Georgia TD,Savannah, Georgia|