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. 

Monday, November 30, 2015


Yesterday we celebrated the Paraguayan version of Thanksgiving in our home. We used chicken and ribs as our main dish. Turkeys are hard to come by.

We have a lot to be thankful for. God has been good in bringing new experiences into our lives. Nancy is God’s gift to me. So are her son Mark (15) and daughter Nicole (12).

We believe that God brought us together after a season of grieving and hopelessness. During that season, we often wondered if joy and fulfillment would ever be the norm again. We are thankful for each other. Two weeks ago, Nancy and I got away for the weekend. We laughed so much and enjoyed each other’s company. We suddenly realized: We are laughing again.

Our three kids have been successful in school this year. Anahi has learned to read. Nicole and Mark are both active in the church worship team. I finished a specialization in a local university. Nancy finished her first semester of theological studies.

Happy Thanksgiving to you, my friend.

CMA 2015

This month Paraguay was blessed again with a visit from CMA (Christian Motorcycles), an organization that has been coming to Paraguay since 2003. Fifteen CMA members came to spend a week traveling the country.

We started out in Asuncion, where we were hosted by the local CMA chapter, a thriving chapter in operation since last year, with new members who are excited to take this ministry into new places in this country. 

We also visited the Colonias Unidas (where CMA Paraguay officially began back in 2006), spent one day painting the Alternative Radio Station (established in 1999 and until recently the only Christian broadcasting ministry in southern Paraguay), and traveled to see the waterfalls at Iguazu (one of the seven natural wonders of the world). I love hosting CMA teams. Their excitement and passion fill you up.

This year CMA Paraguay became an officially chartered nation with CMA International. This recognition has encouraged and blessed the work of CMA Paraguay. God is good and is using CMA to reach the lost in the country of Paraguay. Over the past decade, fifty-some bikes have been given away to leaders in Paraguay. This year, five more bikes were given away to local pastors and missionaries.

Thank you, CMA.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Happy Birthday, Anahi: Part Three

Happy Birthday, Anahi: Part Three

Anahi continues to grow and mature into an incredible girl. She is learning to read and write. She actually knows all her letters and reads easy words. She has also been taking violin classes for the past few months. She loves to jump with the music; at church she claps and follows along with the singing with great rhythm. Anahi also makes friends very quickly.

I often find myself staring at her and wondering what God has in mind for my girl. Why has God chosen me, this family, this home, to be her community of love and support? At night when I put her to bed, I thank God for his love and mercy and for bringing Anahi first into my life, and now into Nancy's life.

Anahi is finding her way in our new family. Although she struggles with the normal sibling rivalry, as time passes her connection with Nicole and Mark and Nancy is growing stronger. God is the only one that can truly bond our lives together.
This morning I looked at some pictures and realized how much Anahi has grown. As I am writing this, I have postponed for the third time some of my personal studies and activities because Nicole and Anahi asked me to play with them after dinner this evening. I realize how important it is to bless my kids now with the gift of time and lots of family moments, and to teach them the importance of living close to God. Quality time with my three kids now is one of the greatest gifts I can give to them.

I've been a bit down on myself over the past few weeks, even though I am surrounded by a loving family, a loving God, a church, and many friends around the world. I've wondered, "What does the future hold for us as a new family? Which area of ministry should I be focusing on more? What are some of the priorities I should be pursuing this coming year?" You know those moments. But this weekend I was challenged by the pastor at our congregation to believe that God is walking alongside me. I don’t have to have all the answers; I don’t have to fear the future. He is with me, and I know I will make it.

And everything seemed okay again this morning when Anahi got up and said, "Daddy, I love you. You are the best." I was blessed and ministered to by my little girl. Happy 5th birthday, Anahi.