Thursday, August 25, 2016

Ordinary people. Lets go

Its been very busy over the past months for me as a husband, father of four and as someone in full time ministry. When I get a few minutes, I read, or when I travel to one of my Paraguayan locations, I read. I have been reading the book Made in America by Sam Walton. Most of us have walked into a Wal-Mart store and walked out happy with a deal we found. The story is inspiring to say the least.

Wal-Mart was not a major chain back in the sixties. It took decades of hard work, risk and vision to build one of the largest retail stores in America. I am impressed with Sam's down to earth approach and eagerness to build something great as an ordinary person.

Sam writes:  It is a story about entrepreneurship, and risk, and hard work, and knowing where you want to go and being willing to do what it takes to get there. . . But I think more than anything it proves there is absolutely no limit to what plain, ordinary working people can accomplish if they are given the opportunity and the incentive to do their best. Because that s how Wal-Mart became Wal-Mart, ordinary people joined together to accomplish extraordinary things.

When Jesus said to his disciples just before leaving the earth, Go and make disciples in all the nations, starting locally in Jerusalem, then move into the ends of the world, I don't think they understood the scope of the mission. They saw themselves as weak and ordinary, until they were empowered by the Holy Spirit. They embraced their calling and moved forward. The world has never been the same since.

Whether in the world of business or in the kingdom of God, we should continue believing that any one of us can, and will accomplish that for what we have been created. Ordinary people, lets go.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Telling the Story of Radio Alternativa: Broadcasting Hope in Southern Paraguay

“After finishing seminary, I was invited to direct a newly founded Paraguayan radio station. I spent almost nine years with that ministry, and although I am no longer involved full-time, I still serve on the board of directors. This book is the story of that radio station: Radio Alternativa, 92.7 FM. It was for a long time the only Christian radio station in southern Paraguay."

That's a quote from my book, which I finally have in my hands. I am so thrilled. When the Radio station turned a decade old back in 2009, I began plans of writing something to celebrate that moment. But Julie and I soon got involved in the startup of a small Bible school, which became our focus. Then, in 2012, Anahi and I lived through a fatal highway accident that took the lives of Julie and Timothy. I sank into a pit for a few years. Now, as I am crawling back out and living in this new life, I am finishing some of the projects I had previously planned. This book is one of those latent projects that I felt had to be finished. The project has been personal in that it has helped me to mend and close a wonderful, fruitful season of ministry, family, and love with Julie and Timothy.

I hope you enjoy the book. It's available on All profits of the book will be directed to the ongoing work and ministry of Radio Alternativa. 

Dominick Norberto says Hi

Dominick Norberto says, "Hi"

I am blessed to announce the arrival of my son, Dominick, on May 25, 2016. He arrived smiling and healthy. He loves to eat, sleep, and just be hugged. The name Dominick is a Latin name, from dominkus, which means "of the Lord." A famous bearer was St. Dominic, who founded the Dominican order of preaching friars.

In just a few weeks, this little boy has conquered our family’s heart. As a blended family, Dominick is adding to the bonding process. God has blessed us with the gift of life and the opportunity to care and love again. For Mark, Dominick is the little brother now. For Nicole and Anahi, Dominick is an opportunity to practice playing mommy. For Nancy and me, Dominick represents restoration and the beginning of a new life together. 

Today we celebrated our sons first month. Happy one month Dominick

Monday, April 18, 2016

Four years ago today

I dont want to dwell in the past, but today I did for a moment. I know I am not alone in this journey, as many others have experienced loses in different degrees. I could go on about the pain, the valley, the uncertainties, the questions, the whys, but I want to highlight the good that is coming from these last years.

I had Timothy for almost seven years, six years, seven months and three days. I felt cheated when he was taken, but then I realized, I had a child to love and care for almost seven years. He was healthy, hardly ever had to see a doctor.  It is so true that people will come into our lives, some to stay for a very long time, others to fade away or suddenly dissaepear. Today, I look at people as a gift to me for a season, hopefully a long one.

I had Julie for fifteen years. We dated three years and were married almost twelve. I learned about loving unconditionally. We did not always agree, but we learned to love in spite of our temperaments and styles. Julie was on a debating club in college, so some heated arguments took place at times in the Kurrle home, which led us to both learn the virtue of dialogue, sharing and hearing out each others heart. Today I try to listen more and hear peoples heart.

I like making plans. When the accident took place many, many plans when up in flames, into the land of no return. I realized how fragile our human predictions, plans and structures are.  Today I plan, but I dont get too uptight if my plans dont exactly happen as I intended. I go with the flow a bit more.

In the next months and years, I want to write more and more about the present and future. I want to share with you the joys of my new family and how things are going as I raise my new kids.  Although Nancy is a more private person, I want Nancy to be the woman God has called her to be. I want to do everything in my power to help her become everything God has in mind for her. I want Mark, Nicole and Anahi and soon Dominick grow into men and women of faith, no matter what profession they choose to follow.

I want to love like the first time, with the same passion, and intensity. I want to continue dreaming new dreams and if I am blessed with a long life, one day look back and thank God for allowing to get up and walk, flow in his grace one more time.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

We moved to Encarnacion, our state capital

Many things have changed for Nancy and I over this past year. After we got married in March of 2015, I moved into Nancys community (20 miles from my place in Obligado by Radio Alternativa). Nancys has a confortable, mid size home in a small town called Capitan Miranda. We both felt, this would be good for everyone for this first year as a new family.

Since our kids go to school in Encarnacion, about 10 miles away and all their friends and activities are in that city, we decided to rent an apartment and move our family closer to our home church and school. Our two lane road connecting Encarnacion and Miranda is usually very packed and busy, and at times dangerous to drive. 

Nancys pregnancy is moving along well. The due date for the arrival of the little one is June 6th. Moving closer will spare both of us driving time. Plus, the kids are a now within walking distance from the school. Personally, I am involved with ministry in various places of our state and country. This change will not affected my work. I am actually less on the road driven the kids back and forth and have more time with them at the apartment and for their activities

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

The pleasure of running

I got online and found a twelve week training program which I am using to prepare for my first half marathon this year. There are so many benefits to walking/running regularly.

When I got back from my run yesterday, I had more energy, I solved an important issue that was on my mind and my appetite was huge. I realized over and over again the blessings of running.

Running is now on my calendar, as an important item, a way of investing into the future of health. When I stop running, it takes two to three weeks to gain back what I have lost. So the more I stay with it, the easier it becomes to run.

I run new routers all the time. I take narrow dirt country roads and trails. I learn about my community by running. I run by people having their evening terere (Paraguayan cold beverage), or playing soccer and volleyball. I ran by some elderly people, sitting on their rocking chair, who probably would like to be shave off a few years and run too.

On my run yesterday I ran by a man in a wheelchair. He smiled and tried to start a conversation. I smiled back and continued my run. I had another reason to be thankful and run. I thanked God for health and legs to walk and run.

I ran until two mean dogs would not let me go any further. It was time to run back home and share a terere with sweetheart Nancy.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

The era of Skype

Since about 2007 I have been using Skype to communicate. Using Skype has replaced expensive phone bills. Its been a great affordable way to meet, organize and connect with family and friends.

Many projects have been solely managed over Skype. But with internet still unstable in my community here in Paraguay, even Skype can’t often help.

A few minutes ago I was abruptly disconnected while talking to a pastor friend in the states. We had scheduled this conversation over a week ago.

I realize once again, that flexibility is a virtue I will need to continue developing. I will put my notes aside, and then reschedule the conversation for a future date.

My grandparents David and Lilian Meier, where missionaries to Brazil between 1935-1975. They took ships to travel to Brazil and back to the states. They communicated via snail mail or telegrams if there was an emergency.

Thinking about my grandparents helps me with my current perspective on communications. 

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Preparing for 2016

Nancy and I love to travel. I believe you can learn so much about each other on trips. I grew up traveling a lot, and I desire to pass on that legacy to Mark, Nicole, and Anahi.

This month we took a week off to visit family in Buenos Aires—aunts and uncles whom I rarely get to see because of the great distance—and get away while the kids are out of school. As we merge two families into one, we are all learning new skills and sharing our preferences on everything from the music we listen to on the radio, how money is spent, where to sleep, what to eat, and what activities to do. It's an adventure—and often a challenge—to reach a consensus. Trips are great triggers to bring out our best and our worst.

At the beginning of our trip, I took a retreat to look back and look ahead. It’s something I have enjoyed doing f
or a number of years at the beginning of each year. I can’t tell you how good these retreats have been for my soul, for my emotions, and for ministry decisions. This year I am trying to be more organized and strategic with my time, energy, and resources. I want to do so much, but I realize that focusing is one of the biggest skills I need to develop in this season of my life.

The kids have two more weeks before school starts. Nicole says she already misses school and is ready to begin again. Mark, on the other hand, enjoys his time off as much possible. If anyone has good ideas for fun, summer family activities, please share! We are looking forward to this year as a family, as we continue to grow and minister together. 

Sunday, January 31, 2016

A personal growing plan

I love learning by reading. Not sure where it all started. But between my parents and siblings, three of us love books, and the other three just read to get by. My mom has always had books on the shelve and has been my first and earliest reading champion. Thanks mom.

As i was thinking about my personal growth for 2016, I was encouraged by someone to read in one of these five categories:

Best practices: books on how to become better at something
History: learning about the past and thus learning about good decision making.
Biographies: get inspired by people who have left a legacy in a specific field.
Theological: to deepen one's Christian growth. The Bible is a daily must read.
Fiction: this is a category I have given very little attention to.

Here are some books on the list for this year. 

  1. Martin Luther's Basic Theological Writings by Martin Luther
  2. What kids need most in a dad by Tim Hansel
  3. Rich Christians in an age of hunger by Ronald Sider
  4. Travel the world on $50 a day by Matt Kepnes
  5. The everything store, Jeff Bezos and the age of amazon by Brad Stone

Feel free to share some of the resources you are using to help you grow over the years?

Thursday, December 31, 2015

A Family Year

If I had to sum up this year, I would say it was a family-blending year and the beginning of new adventures as a family and in ministry. The five of us have bonded and learned to love each other in spite of our differences. Besides focusing on family, we have also been involved in various ministries. I seem to enjoy and treasure every moment with more intensity.

Ministry highlights:

·        Preaching at various churches and filling empty pulpits.
·        Hosting family, friends and teams from various locations. 
·        Helping organize the 40th anniversary of the Church of God in Paraguay.
·        Teaching an Exegesis course at Posadas Bible Institute.
·        Assisting Radio Alternativa with special projects.
·        Writing a book telling the story of Radio Alternativa (soon to be released).

Family highlights:
·        Norberto and Nancy were married on March 3rd.
·        Nancy began a three-year bachelor's degree in Christian ministries.
·        Norberto finished a one-year specialization in higher education.
·        Mark successfully finished the 10th grade.
·        Nicole finished the 6th grade as best student, as she has done since the 1st grade.
·        Anahi learned to read and finished kindergarten.
·        Bonding, adjusting as a new family, and creating new memories.
·        Beginning to dream and explore possibilities as a new family.

As we embark on 2016, we anticipate being involved in discipleship ministries of Bible and training, as well as the hosting of individuals and teams. As a family, we are defining new traditions and enjoying the gift of love and second chances. 

We also have some very exciting news: Nancy is pregnant. We are expecting a baby, if God so permits, by June 2016. Excited about this Christmas gift and the gift of life.