The Western District Welcomes You!

Thank you for visiting the Western District Foreign Mission's Department blog. Our intent is to provide you, the pastors, ministers, and saints of the Western District and the United Pentecostal Church International as well as our friends who would like to visit a place to be informed of events happening in our district and to share their thoughts concerning missions with us. We appreciate you taking the time to look over our site, to read the different posts, and last but not least to share your thoughts.


Missionaries traveling in our district:

May 2012

~Dwane Abernathy - Belize, Central America
~Robert McFarland - Israel/Palestine

June 2012

~Robert McFarland - Israel/Palestine, Middle East
~Jason Long - Nicaragua, Central America

July 2012

~Crystal Reece - Tonga, South Pacific
~John Hemus - United Kingdom, Europe

August 2012

~Crystal Reece - Tonga, South Pacific
~Cynthia White - Jordan, Middle East


Friday, September 28, 2012

~Words Can Change Your Brain


Note! Perhaps my next post will be about what the Bible has to say about 'WORDS.'

The Most Dangerous Word in the World

This word can damage both the speaker’s and listener’s brain!

(Published on July 31, 2012 by Mark Waldman and Andrew Newberg, M.D. in 'Words Can Change Your Brain')

If I were to put you into an fMRI scanner—a huge donut-shaped magnet that can take a video of the neural changes happening in your brain—and flash the word “NO” for less than one second, you’d see a sudden release of dozens of stress-producing hormones and neurotransmitters. These chemicals immediately interrupt the normal functioning of your brain, impairing logic, reason, language processing, and communication.

In fact, just seeing a list of negative words for a few seconds will make a highly anxious or depressed person feel worse, and the more you ruminate on them, the more you can actually damage key structures that regulate your memory, feelings, and emotions.[1] You’ll disrupt your sleep, your appetite, and your ability to experience long-term happiness and satisfaction.

If you vocalize your negativity, or even slightly frown when you say “no,” more stress chemicals will be released, not only in your brain, but in the listener’s brain as well.[2] The listener will experience increased anxiety and irritability, thus undermining cooperation and trust. In fact, just hanging around negative people will make you more prejudiced toward others![3]

Any form of negative rumination—for example, worrying about your financial future or health—will stimulate the release of destructive neurochemicals. And the same holds true for children: the more negative thoughts they have, the more likely they are to experience emotional turmoil.[4] But if you teach them to think positively, you can turn their lives around.[5]

Negative thinking is also self perpetuating, and the more you engage in negative dialogue—at home or at work—the more difficult it becomes to stop.[6] But negative words, spoken with anger, do even more damage. They send alarm messages through the brain, interfering with the decision making centers in the frontal lobe, and this increases a person’s propensity to act irrationally.

Fear-provoking words—like poverty, illness, and deathalso stimulate the brain in negative ways. And even if these fearful thoughts are not real, other parts of your brain (like the thalamus and amygdala) react to negative fantasies as though they were actual threats occurring in the outside world. Curiously, we seem to be hardwired to worry—perhaps an artifact of old memories carried over from ancestral times when there were countless threats to our survival.[7]

In order to interrupt this natural propensity to worry, several steps can be taken. First, ask yourself this question: “Is the situation really a threat to my personal survival?” Usually it isn’t, and the faster you can interrupt the amygdala’s reaction to an imagined threat, the quicker you can take action to solve the problem. You’ll also reduce the possibility of burning a permanent negative memory into our brain.[8]

After you have identified the negative thought (which often operates just below the level of everyday consciousness), your can reframe it by choosing to focus on positive words and images. The result: anxiety and depression decreases and the number of unconscious negative thoughts decline.[9]

The Power of Yes

When doctors and therapists teach patients to turn negative thoughts and worries into positive affirmations, the communication process improves and the patient regains self-control and confidence.[10] But there’s a problem: the brain barely responds to our positive words and thoughts.[11] They’re not a threat to our survival, so the brain doesn’t need to respond as rapidly as it does to negative thoughts and words. [12]

To overcome this neural bias for negativity, we must repetitiously and consciously generate as many positive thoughts as we can. Barbara Fredrickson, one of the founders of Positive Psychology, discovered that we need to generate at least three positive thoughts and feelings for each expression of negativity. If you express fewer than three, personal and business relationships are likely to fail. This finding correlates with Marcial Losada’s research with corporate teams,[13] and John Gottman’s research with marital couples.[14]

Fredrickson, Losada, and Gottman realized that if you want your business and your personal relationships to really flourish, you’ll need to generate at least five positive messages for each negative utterance you make (for example, “I’m disappointed” or “That’s not what I had hoped for” count as expressions of negativity, as does a facial frown or nod of the head).

It doesn’t even matter if your positive thoughts are irrational; they’ll still enhance your sense of happiness, well-being  and life satisfaction.[15] In fact, positive thinking can help anyone to build a better and more optimistic attitude toward life.[16]

Positive words and thoughts propel the motivational centers of the brain into action[17] and they help us build resilience when we are faced with life’s problems.[18] According to Sonja Lyubomirsky, one of the world’s leading researchers on happiness, if you want to develop lifelong satisfaction, you should regularly engage in positive thinking about yourself, share your happiest events with others, and savor every positive experience in your life.[19]

Our advice: choose your words wisely and speak them slowly. This will allow you to interrupt the brain’s propensity to be negative, and as recent research has shown, the mere repetition of positive words like love, peace, and compassion will turn on specific genes that lower your physical and emotional stress [20]. You’ll feel better, you’ll live longer, and you’ll build deeper and more trusting relationships with others—at home and at work.

As Fredrickson and Losada point out, when you generate a minimum of five positive thoughts to each negative one, you’ll experience “an optimal range of human functioning.”[21] That is the power of YES

- article from the following website:

Thursday, September 20, 2012

~UPC Pastor Killed in Columbia, South America

Protestant Pastor Henry Rodriguez, 44, has been shot and killed in Bogota.

BOGOTA, COLOMBIA (BosNewsLife)-- Rights activists on Wednesday, September 19, demanded a "full investigation" into the murder of Protestant Pastor Henry Rodriguez, who was shot dead near his church in the capital Bogota, after dozens of other church leaders were reportedly killed elsewhere in Colombia.

The 44-year-old was leader of the United Pentecostal Church in the Marsella neighborhood in the Kennedy sector of Bogota.

Religious rights group Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) told BosNewsLife that the exact reasons behind Sunday's "assassination" remain unclear, though local media quoted witnesses as saying that the murder was carried out by several professional gunmen.

Christians said Pastor Rodriguez was shot "multiple times" when leaving his church after the September 16 afternoon service. CSW said two men were seen "on a moped, a method commonly used in professional hits in Colombia."

Hospital staff were unable to resuscitate him, Colombian media reported.


While an assassination of a church leader is rare in Bogota, dozens of church leaders have reportedly been killed by illegal armed groups outside the capital.

The Colombian Council of Evangelical Churches (CEDECOL) Peace Commission, a CSW partner, said up to 30 church leaders are assassinated each year.

"In general, leaders are targeted because of their refusal to cooperate or support the objectives of the illegal armed groups. However, the reasons behind the murder of Pastor Rodriguez are unclear as he had not reported receiving any threats prior to Sunday’s events," said CSW, who is demanding "full investigation."

Pastor Rodriguez, who was reportedly to graduate in October from the Baptist Seminary in the western city of Cali, is survived by his wife Sara, and their three children.


The missions director of the United Pentecostal Church of Colombia, Vicente Arango, said in published remarks: “Our heart is troubled by the departure of our brother, companion, and faithful friend. Our brother Henry Rodriguez, left for the King’s palace."

He said the pastor "Now awaits the joyful words of our beloved Lord, “Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your Lord.”

CSW Chief Executive Mervyn Thomas told BosNewsLife that his organization is also "devastated to learn of the assassination" and "are extremely concerned" that the killing "was carried out so brazenly in the capital city on the steps of the church in front of many witnesses."

He said CSW has encouraged "the Colombian authorities to ensure that a full investigation into the murder of Pastor Rodriguez takes place soon and that those responsible are brought to justice."

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

~WD GMD 'Youth Impact Team ' - Guatemala 2012

~Day 7 Saturday Aug. 18th, 2012

End of Youth Week activities:

School where youth activities were held.

In preparation for the activities we swept and cleaned this entire area, cleaned and setup chairs in classroom where service was held in the afternoon.

Jerry E. Powell with two of the beautiful young ladies who were part of the day's activities.

Young people gathering prior to fun and games to receive instructions for the afternoon.

Tirso Gonzales and Luke Campbell prior to activities.

This was really funny to watch...sack races.

Group photo of the young people who participated.

Andrea Powell addressing the young people.

Joseph Castro speaking to the young people...he did a great job. This group of young people was very well-behaved and very attentive. Samantha Campbell provided the translation into Spanish.

They listened, were touched and prayed in the altar.

Joseph Castro making an appeal to the young people and they responded.

Praying and seeking God.

Andrea Powell fell in love with the Guatemalan children.

He couldn't leave without some homemade food prepared by the ladies of the church...I was glad he shared a little with me.