Chapter 1: A Dream Come True
Most youngsters grow up with dreams of what they want to do and where they want to go when they grow up. What was your dream when you were little? I am sure you had a least one. Perhaps you had several during the course of your childhood.
One of my dreams was to work in the Disney Studios. I used to love Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck and especially liked drawing them.
A Slight Change of Course
Then during my late teens I got involved in an organization called “Youth For Christ” where we enjoyed many fun activities as well as being constantly challenged by youth pastors and missionaries. It was not long before I discovered the direction I felt my life was to go in. I was to be a missionary in Latin America. That was the end of becoming a cartoonist, at least that is what I thought.
A few years later though a course of events which I will reveal at another time I found myself in Mexico near the end of 1976.
My first impressions of Mexico were overwhelming. I loved the country from the beginning, but the need was so great in the village areas I first visited that I did not know where to start to offer any help at all. I vividly remember sitting in an meeting held outside a home in the village, with chickens running around our feet and asking the Lord, “what have I got that they need here?”. The answer came quickly and very clearly: “Give them My Word”.
At first my Spanish was limited to just a few words and it was an exhausting strain trying to understand what was being spoken around me.
After a week or so the missionary I was with let me share a Bible story with the children. That was accomplished using flash cards, with my “lines” written on the back of each picture so I could read them. If a question was asked my missionary friend would come to my rescue. I had little or no idea of what was being asked, let alone being able to answer.
A Series of Children’s Booklets is Born
During this time I recognized there was a need for Christian Literature for children. (This was back in 1976). Several months later I found myself in an apartment in McAllen Texas preparing my first booklet which was called “Templos Vivientes” (Living Temples).
This first booklet, which became a series of booklets was based on the very well known teaching aid known as the Wordless Book. The wordless book is a teaching tool used by millions to share the simple gospel message with children across the world.
The Extra Color
Coming from a British country where we recognize royalty and understand, I added a color to the standard 5 colors used in the wordless book and created cartoon houses to tell the story.
The reason for adding a color to represent royalty is that we are created to be children of the King of kings.
Why houses? My key verse is found in 1 Corinthians 3:16, “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you?” (New International Version). Thus the name of the first booklet and consequently the series: Templos Vivientes (Living Temples).
Watch for more of the story about how this series grew was published and mailed out to Mexico and Central America.
It is basically a story of little miracles (well for me anyway), and was certainly the expression of my childhood dream of being a cartoonist, plus the strong calling to the mission field I felt in my youth all wrapped into one!
May all YOUR dreams be fulfilled!
This is the first in the series of The Story Of Templos Vivientes. Chapter Two can be found here.