A Conversation with Frank Yarbrough, 
Newly-Elected President of
the Tres Dias International Secretariat

How did you get involved with Tres Dias? Tell us about your weekend experience.
Back in 2004, my pastor said to me, "I want you to get what I just went through!" So, I trusted him and went on a weekend, even though I was in terrible shape: 50 pounds overweight, bent over with pain, hardly able to walk even with a cane. As the weekend went by, I was able to release more of the junk inside me, let go of hurt, anger, and resentment, and rely on the Lord. With each trip to the chapel, I felt more of the burdens lifted, and I felt more and more limber. You know the rest of the story--I left carrying my suitcase and my cane!

I know the story well. It was an honor to publish that story in the April-May 2013 issue of this newsletter. So what happened next?
My table CHA [auxiliary] got me involved with the local secretariat right away, and I started helping set up on weekends and worked with the database and newsletter. I was elected president of CSRA [Central Savannah River Area] Tres Dias. I came to my first Assembly in 2010 and have been active on the International Secretariat ever since.

So, what are your feelings now, about being elected to serve as president of the international secretariat?
I'm thrilled and honored and humbled, especially when I think of beginning my presidency here near Poughkeepsie, in this historic church, right next door to where Tres Dias began.

You announced the theme for your presidency, "Together in Unity." What exactly does that mean?
I mean bringing us all together, so that local communities feel connected to the International Secretariat and to the Essentials, and they know they are part of an international ministry that reaches around the world.  Right now, there's a lot of disconnection. As a consequence, communities are doing all sorts of ministries that are not the ministry Tres Dias was intended to be. Sometimes, we hear of communities doing healings or conversions or baptisms. Yes, sometimes healing can happen--I know that very well!. But nobody took me out of the rollo room and lay their hands on me. Nor is Tres Dias a saving ministry, although some people get saved on a weekend. Our ministry is to put servant leaders out into the community, into their environment, so they can bring more people into the kingdom of Jesus Christ by their actions. And that happens best when we adhere to the Essentials--that's what the Essentials are designed to do. Ironically, some communities have never heard of the Essentials.

How can that be? Training in the Essentials is an absolute requirement for maintaining a charter.
Well, maybe the local officers read through the Essentials at a secretariat meeting and call that training, but the ideas never get to the whole community. Or the community person who does training says, "This is what it says in the text, but, you know, everything is flexible and there are a lot of gray areas." That's not right. It leads to misunderstanding, and we find some misunderstanding in almost every community we go into.

How many communities have you visited this year as membership VP?
Let me see. Maybe 15 or 16 . . .Vermont, Maine, Northwest Arkansas, Central Texas, Jamaica, the new community we're starting in Dallas. . . . What was so great about Dallas, is we had a lot of conversations with them before we went down, and when I went there, there were about 40 people to meet with. For about two hours, we just answered questions, and they said, "I reckon some of those people from other communities just gave us some wrong information. We should have had him in here right away, but we're wantin' to do it right."

And if they do it right from the beginning, it's going to make all the difference in the world. My own community was started wrong. I didn't even know about reunion groups until I went to an international meeting. We're educating. Education makes all the difference.
This ties in with the liaison structure you worked on as membership vice president.
Yes. The new liaison structure builds support links between an emerging community, the International Secretariat membership division, and an emerging community's sponsor. That will help new communities get it right from the start. And the liaison structure is being expanded to include people in different regions who are approved to do Essentials training for charter maintenance. So, anyone who attends Essentials training at an International Assembly or International Secretariat meeting is qualified to do training within the community, as part of that community's Tres Dias school, for example. But for charter maintenance, the community must use one of the international-approved liaisons to do training.

That means the International Secretariat will have contact with every community, to teach the Essentials and find out how we can help in other ways, or perhaps learn some best practices from the way the community is doing things. We can all work together, in unity, and that unity gives us new energy to fill that vision--bringing people closer to Christ and preparing dynamic leaders for the church.
Notes: The TD International bylaws state that an officer can serve only three consecutive terms in any capacity.  Because Frank has just served two terms as membership vice president, he will be limited to one two-year term as president.  The interview was conducted by Don Bohl, the editor for this publication, on July 17, 2016.
A couple of years ago a friend of mine posted something interesting on social media. The posting said she had just spent a fantastic weekend with Jesus and some of His friends in a retreat, and that she was amazed by the love she was shown.
       I had gone through a divorce (after 25 years of marriage) a couple of years before that, and just the year before I had a dysfunctional (although short) relationship that about wrecked me. But the Lord had done a mighty work in my life already, moving me toward total healing, and this weekend sounded like it might complete the healing.
      I asked my friend to invite me to a weekend, and indeed she did.
      I was so excited as the weekend approached that I could hardly contain it. I had just finished a Bible study called "Breathe" and the Lord was using the study to prepare my heart. When I arrived at the meeting place where my friend was picking me up, I physically felt a burden lift off of me, and the Holy Spirit began to minister to me the moment I got into her car. I think I began to weep from that moment, and I am not sure if I stopped weeping the entire weekend.
     There were so many "God wink" moments on my weekend--incredible coincidences when I felt God smiling at me with a playful wink in his eyes.
      For example, as I waited for my table assignment, I said to the Lord, "It only seems fitting, Lord, since I do desire a Boaz, that I should be at the table of Ruth." I was.
      Then there was the weekend song "Great Are You Lord." The lyrics "It's Your breath in our lungs" became a magnificent tie-in to the Bible study I had finished the week before. And then there were the words to the second verse:
You give life, You are love.
You bring light to the darkness.
You give hope, You restore
Every heart that is broken.
      And I wept. And then I listened to the stories. And I wept. And the Holy Spirit moved. And I wept some more. And the Holy Spirit touched my life and healed me.
      And just so you know, I was not a baby Christian. I have been walking with the Lord since 1974. I know now that He longs to touch our hearts at every step of our journey with Him.
       And you know what? It just keeps getting better and better and better!
Since my weekend, I have been blessed to serve twice and, indeed, it does just keep getting better and better.
My sweet reunion sisters, whom I have known only a couple of years, are forged into my heart in such a way that it feels like they have always been there and will remain there forever to come.
       It really does just keep getting better and better and I can't wait to see what He has planned for the future.
      And my favorite palanca? Oh, for sure it was the tissues!!
      De Colores

Carla is a member of the Sabine Creek,Texas, Tres Dias community.   

Amazing Love, How Can it Be? 
by Mike Peterson      
When my brother invited me to my Tres Dias weekend, I was not very excited. I had been to men's retreats and events before, and I always left feeling that I didn't measure up to what a Christian man was supposed to be.
      Still, I decided to go with an open mind. When I got off our bus at our Tres Dias campground and walked into the dining room, a man was standing there with the most genuine love in his face and eyes. He couldn't wait to serve me my iced tea. He just wanted to serve me, and that set the tone for the weekend.
       That night, I couldn't go to sleep. The quietness of the night led me to open up my Bible to the Lord's Prayer. I studied that prayer until 3:00 AM. Each passage I read, led me to other passages in the Bible. I was quietly and patiently waiting on the Lord to reveal His love for me. And He did. In a most dramatic and peaceful way.  
     The love from these men accepting me for who I was continued all weekend.  I had never been served like this my entire life. This gave me a small glimpse of just how much Christ loves me. Amazing Love, how can it be?
     I couldn't make it through the weekend without wanting to serve others. The second night, I woke up wanting to pray for everyone on the campground.  I went from room to room praying the Deuteronomy 28 blessing at the door of every single candidate and team member. I don't think I was spotted. I don't think it mattered,
      As the weekend progressed, another verse from the Old Testament came to mind, expressing how the Lord was reaching out to me, personally, and to others on the weekend. "I will whistle them and gather them, for I will redeem them; and they shall increase as they once increased" (Zechariah 10:8). On the final day, I was handed a simple whistle as palanca from a team member. I broke out in tears right there--broke out in tears just from being handed a stupid cheap plastic whistle.
       I didn't even realize that Tres Dias was for women, too, until I was on the second day of my weekend. The very minute I came home, I took my wife by the hand and led her into the kitchen. I told her that I never felt the love of Jesus like I did the previous few days. I invited her to attend the women's weekend the very next weekend. She just looked in my eyes and trusted me. She simply said OK.
      My wife works for a doctor and arranged to get off work. Oh, I prayed for God to reveal His love for my wife as He revealed His love for me. And He did.
      Needless to say, my wife and I have made the Tres Dias ministry a lifelong ministry that we can work in together. For quite a few years, we were active in church and we both loved the Lord. The problem was that we were never really together in our walk with the Lord. Tres Dias has changed that for us. Amazing Love, how can it be?
      My wife now travels the globe doing medical missions. She is also specially gifted for helping women who are hurting emotionally and spiritually. I fill in for small town pastors to preach when they need a replacement preacher for a particular Sunday. I am also close to becoming ordained and getting a degree in Biblical Studies and Pastoral Studies.
      The biggest transition in faith has probably been in my oldest son. I invited him to go through the very next weekend after mine. His life has been totally transformed. He just went on his first mission trip to Mexico with his mother. He is active in church now and he serves the Lord, his church, and Tres Dias faithfully. He is getting ready to serve in another Tres Dias community with me for his first time.
      He and I are now prayer warriors who love to talk to our Father in Heaven. In fact, I would  love to be an NDPC (National Designated Prayer Cha) for any Tres Dias community that may need a prayer warrior for their weekend. I take the job as prayer cha very seriously. That is probably what Tres Dias has done for me the most. My prayer life has increased tenfold since going through my weekend. The prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
      Amazing Love, how can it be!
De Colores
Mike is a member of Kansas City Midwest Tres Dias and serves on that community's secretariat
And the men find themselves blessed from the women who come to serenade them. 

Women's Serenade: Prayer from the women for the men

Father, as we stand here as a symbol of your encircling love, we ask that you bless these men
Bless them with your love
Bless them with the respect they deserve
Bless them for being examples of God's love
Bless them for being priests of their homes
Bless them for being Godly examples to their children
Bless them for being helpmates to their wives
Bless them for being good sons to their parents
Bless them for being loyal to their employers in order to provide for their families.
Now, Father, as we stand here in proxy for the women in their lives:
We ask your forgiveness for:
Not listening to them
Being deceitful
Not trusting their judgment
Accusing them instead of praying for them
Not allowing them to be head of their household
Not being careful with our finances
Always thinking we are right
Putting the children first
Using harsh words or scorn to manipulate
Our lack of respect
Not honoring and praising them
Competing with them instead of completing them
For overtaking them and trying to outrun them
Now, Father, we ask you to heal wounds from:
Mothers to sons
Husbands to wives
Fathers to daughters
Sisters to brothers
And help us to:
Be good helpmates
Be Faithful
Create a peaceful household
Affirm them as heads of the home
Help us to be Godly women to our men
Father, we know we cannot do this in our own power, but by your power thru us.

Announcing New Bulk Pricing for Candidate Brochure
Published last year by the services committee, the brochure provides an excellent supplement to the materials your community is already using to explain Tres Dias. The words speak directly to a candidate by describing what happens on a weekend and how those events will deepen the candidate's spiritual life.

"Each day, you'll hear a series of instructional and inspirational talks that reveal how God has impacted the speaker's life in a deeply personal way. You'll learn from their insights, struggles and triumphs as you reflect on your own faith journey. In small group discussions, key points from the talks will open your heart to the reality of God's grace in your life."

The copy goes on to assure the reader that "Whether you are a fairly new believer in Christ, or have been faithfully walking with the Lord for years. . . .In these three short days, God will meet you where you are, call you to His purpose, and send you back into the world better prepared to live an abundant life."

    The brochure is in the traditional three-fold format. The Tres Dias Statement of Beliefs appears on the outside center panel. The brochure can be ordered in quantity from the Supplies section of the Tres Dias website.
25 Copies: $8.00                                                     50 Copies: $10

Do You Have any of These?   
If your community has any of these songbooks that you are no longer using, would you consider donating them to Tres Dias of Fairfield County? They are no longer published by Tres Dias, but we still use them and could use extras for closings--even a few, or very many would be welcome!
De Colores!
 Contact Julie Bohl at juliebohl@msn.com

Future Meetings of the International Secretariat

October 21-23, 2016
Coastal Georgia TD,
Savannah, Georgia

March 10, 2017
Orange County TD,
Santa Ana, California

July 14-17, 2017
Assembly and Secretariat
East Texas TD
Palestine, TX

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