Website of Missionary John Wilburn

Missionary Musings

  • Missions is offering Something Sweeter

    Missions is offering Something Sweeter

    Last Friday I came to visit a young lady who attends one of my discipleship groups. As I walked into the gate her father was cutting upon a drinking coconut (seen above). Basically this is done by cutting off the sides, and top of the coconut with a cutlass. As I walked up he turned…

    Read more

  • Missions is Contrasting the Darkness

    Missions is Contrasting the Darkness

    One of the things that I love about living in Saint Vincent is how close we are to the sea. Because of this you can see storm-clouds coming from a distance. This can lead to some pretty cool pictures contrasting the dark storm clouds with blue sky…. Those contrasts in the sky often remind me…

    Read more

  • Missions is Admitting You Made a Mistake

    Missions is Admitting You Made a Mistake

    Every Friday I try to do what’s commonly called a “games day” for children I work with. This involves playing Uno, doing group games, and having fun with my balls from America. And every week a boy asks me to pump up his ball His problem is a common one in Saint Vincent. The tube…

    Read more

  • Missions is Not Having the Answers

    Missions is Not Having the Answers

    I have an incredible amount of respect for early missionaries such as Hudson Taylor, and Adoniram Judson, and David Brainerd. These were men who waked with a radical amount of faith in God. These early missionaries would literally go to the mission field with their casket on the boat, because they didn’t ever expect to…

    Read more

  • Missions is Clarifying and Confronting False Doctrine

    Monday morning after visiting a shut-in I was walking home and noticed some friends at a local rum-shop. Since it was a holiday I decided to sit down, and spend some time with them (of course not drinking rum). One of my friends who I believe knows the Lord but isn’t in church, started asking…

    Read more

  • Missions is building a Brush Fire

    Missions is building a Brush Fire

    Saturday morning I burned some brush that had been in my yard for a few weeks. A brush fire is necessary because we don’t have places to put our leaves, grass clippings, or limbs. And they also cannot be put in trash bags to be picked up. I happened to have more brush than usual…

    Read more

  • Missions is Sowing the Seed

    Missions is Sowing the Seed

    After returning from a two-week visit in the States, I carried a bag in my hand through the airport with four boxes inside. After running that box through security, a TSA agent called me over and asked “what are inside of those boxes?” I smiled and told her it was 400 Gospel tracts Thursday the…

    Read more

  • People Need Church!

    People Need Church!

    In January 2021 the SVG Government began to restrict the amount of people who could come to church because of Covid regulations. This is totally understandable because though we didn’t have lots of cases, it was still a dangerous situation. The new restrictions asked that no more than ten people be inside the church, and…

    Read more

  • Missions is Taking Your Time

    Missions is Taking Your Time

    Last week I came to pick up a boy so we could to some math practice. To get to his house, you had to walk up a lot of steps. And I mean A LOT of steps!!!! Because of this most people walked up them very slowly, and using a cross-cross fashion. This meant crossing…

    Read more

  • Missions is Wrestling with Darkness

    Originally written December 12, 2021 As a child growing up I used to believe that missionaries were super-spiritual individuals who never had a bad day. While it’s true those called to missions have more endurance or strength from the Lord, they still have bad days. I will never forget how the Lord taught me that…

    Read more

  • Missions is Going Big

    Missions is Going Big

    A few weeks ago a local pastor texted me along with other ministers about helping him clear some large-print Bibles from the port authority. He asked that we donate towards covering the cost of clearing from customs. I was already willing to give since this was a worthy cause Then he told us the amount…

    Read more

  • Missions is a God Who Gives Something Better

    Missions is a God Who Gives Something Better

    Most of you know that about three weeks ago my beloved washing machine gave up the ghost. This was to be expected since I bought it used in 2017. The washer served me faithfully for many years! Thankfully I had money to purchase a new washer……. But I’d have to wash clothes by hand for…

    Read more

  • Missions is an Open Bible

    Missions is an Open Bible

    In April I told everyone about the prison officer who often helps us when we come for prison ministry Wednesday morning. He would even share testimonies and exhort the men from Scripture! One Wednesday he noticed my Bible (and Bible cover), then leaned over and whispered “I want one just like that.” That day the…

    Read more

  • Living on Island Time

    Living on Island Time

    I was having a conversation with a Vincentian friend yesterday about America not feeling like home any more. Of course I know it will always be home in a sense, but my heart was more connected to Saint Vincent. The truth is I’ve adapted myself to the Vincentian way of living in every way except…

    Read more

  • How to Survive the Caribbean Heat

    How to Survive the Caribbean Heat

    Normally when people learn that I serve in the Caribbean, they ask “how are things different there?” I will usually tell them a couple of things, but usually what shocks them the most is it stays in the eighties year round. I’ll always follow that up by explaining the heat isn’t that bad since we…

    Read more

  • A Special Cake

    A Special Cake

    On Christmas Eve 2020 an older saint who I met with on Thursday’s gave me a cake she had baked especially for me. It was a precious act of love…… Especially because her mind is now gone During the pandemic she wasn’t able to go almost anywhere (including church) because she was almost eighty, and…

    Read more

  • Missions is Sitting With the Hurting

    Missions is Sitting With the Hurting

    In the summer of 2021 I went to the States in order to get surgery on cataracts in my eyes. During the two-month stay there I read something incredibly profound written by missionary Jonathan Archer in Togo Africa. Missions is Rejoicing with the joyful, and sitting with the hurting. What truly spoke to me in…

    Read more

  • Christmas in November

    Christmas in November

    On November 24, 2020 Christmas came about a month early!! I had been informed by a lady who took care of my Christmas barrel shipments that they hame come. But that morning I get a second call that they were on the way. I anxiously put the dog in the house, and waited on the…

    Read more

  • The Isolation of Shame

    The Isolation of Shame

    Over the weekend I finished reading “Shame Interrupted” by Dr. Ed Welch. As with everything Dr. Welch writes (he is one of my favorite authors) this book is an excellent resource in counseling and growth. It also took much longer to read than expected! The reason why is I spent so much time highlighting, making…

    Read more

  • Finding what was Lost

    Finding what was Lost

    Tuesday morning around 9:00 I asked all of you to pray for me because I’d lost something very important. Then an hour and a half later asked you to rejoice because it was found. Today I would like to tell you what it was Tuesday morning about 8:00 a friend came over to talk who…

    Read more

  • A Loss of Innocence

    A Loss of Innocence

    In my earlier days of ministry a boy used to visit me for a Bible story, glass of water, and quality time with my cat Winston (who he called whiskers). If the cat wasn’t there he would always ask “where is whiskers?” Part of me believed that innocence would continue forever…. But it ended far…

    Read more

  • Some Things are Worth the Money

    Some Things are Worth the Money

    This pic from 2020 reminds me how much I love Columbia boots! That picture shows the two sets of boots that had been purchased in 2018, and 2019 (I still use them occasionally by the way) along with the latest pair. Not pictured is another pair of Columbia boots I purchased last November. These boots…

    Read more

  • Missions Teaches Me How to Put Out the Fire

    Missions Teaches Me How to Put Out the Fire

    In late 2021 we had to replace a wall between the church, and neighboring property. This was done because the person who built the original wall didn’t put in any steel rods (or rebar). On the day the work started, we had to tear down a large section of the wall so that it could…

    Read more

  • A Sleep of Peace

    A Sleep of Peace

    Yesterday morning as I busily went from one task to the next, my cat Pumpkin peacefully slept on the couch. Sometimes I wish that I could sleep like her! The reason that she can sleep like that is Pumpkin knows all of her needs will be met by me. That isn’t difficult since her needs…

    Read more

  • Missions Is Finding a Place of Peace

    Missions Is Finding a Place of Peace

    When co-workers from Baptist Mid came to visit in January I took them to almost every area of SVG. Their favorite part by far was an area called Fitts Hughes Because it was incredibly beautiful and peaceful I was reminded about this while driving a friend to an area that is close to Fitts Hughes.…

    Read more

  • Time to Grow Up

    Time to Grow Up

    My cat Pumpkin had a litter of kittens in late 2020. As she began to nurse them I had to make sure they didn’t injure themselves I also had to make sure that their older brother didn’t nurse with them! I kept the first kitten named “Milk Chocolate” and he was a great protector of…

    Read more

  • Missions is Physical Work

    Missions is Physical Work

    A few weeks ago a friend promised to come by and cut the weeds that had grown up in front of my wall in the road. It wasn’t a massive job, but it didn’t look good. Unfortunately he didn’t get to come do it So I pulled them myself Actually part of my reason for…

    Read more

  • Why I hate Rum

    Why I hate Rum

    Two houses down from me is a Rum Shop. This may sound like a bar, but it’s actually a small store with tables and chairs outside. People will gather at those tables during the day to socialize with one another. and of course to drink rum! There are few things that I hate in the…

    Read more

  • God Knows What He’s Doing

    God Knows What He’s Doing

    In the Fall of 2020 I was driving up a small side-road to the Bible College with a friend when my car suddenly shut off. It would turn on for a few moments, but soon died again. Obviously something like this is frightening! That day I worked with some friends to replace a few parts…

    Read more

  • Speaking from the Heart

    Speaking from the Heart

    This morning I shared the Word of God during our church service at the prison. This was unusual since I switch preaching opportunities off with another man every other week. This week he led music so though I didn’t plan on speaking, the Lord allowed me to preach! My goal is usually to edify and…

    Read more

  • What I Learned Having Political Discussions Overseas

    What I Learned Having Political Discussions Overseas

    I can vividly remember one election year while sitting in an Australian coffee shop with other missionaries an Aussie nearby called out to us. “Hey are you American?” When we said yes he asked “who are you going to vote for? McCain or Obama?” He then proceeded to tell us who to vote for, and…

    Read more

  • It’s Not About You

    It’s Not About You

    This picture from 2020 embarrasses and convicts me quite a bit not because I had to wear a mask…. but because I had to wear it so little! In SVG we had an incredibly small amount of covid cases during the Pandemic. This was because almost nobody came into the Country during that time. So…

    Read more

  • Missions is doing things the hard way

    Missions is doing things the hard way

    Yesterday morning I carried a load of laundry out to my beloved washing machine, added soap, put in the clothes, and turned it on. About a half hour later I noticed it hadn’t gone through the washing cycle and was concerned An hour later I was annoyed, The locking mechanism had gone bad on the…

    Read more

  • Moments of Majesty

    Moments of Majesty

    Spectacular sunsets are nothing new in Barrouallie. Almost every night I can turn towards the sea and take a breathtaking picture. But no sunset was ever more spectacular than this one!!! In June 2020 I was driving home from Peters Hope (a nearby community) and was blown away by the beauty of a picture. It…

    Read more

  • Missions is Correcting Quiet False Doctrine

    Missions is Correcting Quiet False Doctrine

    Last Wednesday while waking out of the prison following our service, a prisoner walked up to me with an open Bible. He excitedly told me that God had called him to receive the blessing of Israel. I calmly asked if he could prove that with the Bible, and he directed me to Isaiah 11. Here…

    Read more

  • Missions is being willing to fail

    Missions is being willing to fail

    The text at the top of this post (you can read it here if your reading it on facebook) comes from President Theodore Roosevelt’s most famous speech “The Man in the Arena.” I love the quote above because it explains a very important truth…. it’s okay to fail. Failure will always bring feelings of frustration,…

    Read more

  • Have a Vision

    Have a Vision

    A challenge in the Christian life (and particularly ministry) is maintaining a passion, or fire for the work of God. It’s far too easy to become complacent spiritually, or become satisfied with what’s already been accomplished. The is why our vision for ministry must constantly push forward The calling rarely even changes…… but the vision…

    Read more

  • Missions is praying for Mattresses

    Missions is praying for Mattresses

    This morning I am writing a letter to the board of Education in SVG. The letter requests permission to use school facilities for a VBS team that is coming from Trinidad in August. The letter asks for some specific items Following the volcanic eruption in 2022, Saint Vincent received many relief items from other Countries.…

    Read more

  • Missions is Wasted Days

    Last week wasn’t a great one for me Spiritually and emotionally everything was fine. But as far as productivity (getting things done) I failed miserably! Oh there are some excuses for that: But excuses are nor, I still got very little done The thing that really frustrates me is I know exactly why this happened…

    Read more

  • Missions is One Last Harvest

    Yesterday I was taking with friends who said they were going to miss my Mango tree. The tree will be cut down soon because it blocks the view of a house being built in the property behind mine. As they talked I was reminded just how much people relied on those mangos! It is difficult…

    Read more

  • Deal with Your Drama!

    In the Summer of 2020 I read for a second time “The Peacemaker” by Ken Sande which is the very best book I’ve ever read on conflict management. I love this book because drama (relational conflict) will come no matter how much we try to avoid it. It isn’t a question of whether or not…

    Read more

  • Missions 
is a Vicious Guard Dog (Who Likes Head Pets)

    Last week I had some students who were retaking their test to move into secondary-school (the seventh grade) come so we could review together. Two of the boys walked in the gate…. But the girl stayed just inside the gate because she was scared of my dog! my dog Vinny (short for Vincentian) does have…

    Read more

  • Missions 
is a Vicious Guard Dog (Who Likes Head Pets)

is a Vicious Guard Dog (Who Likes Head Pets)

    Last week I had some students who were retaking their test to move into secondary-school (the seventh grade) come so we could review together. Two of the boys walked in the gate…. But the girl stayed just inside the gate because she was scared of my dog! my dog Vinny (short for Vincentian) does have…

    Read more

  • A Life of Quiet Excellence

    A Life of Quiet Excellence

    In the summer of 2020 I continued re-reading some of my favorite books by enjoying “Quiet Strength” by Tony Dungy. It is a FANTASTIC book that emphasizes true success isn’t found by being flashy, but being consistent. For those of you who are unaware, Tony Dungy is a veteran football coach (now an analyst) who…

    Read more

  • Missions is Knowing Tomorrow May Never Come

    Missions is Knowing Tomorrow May Never Come

    On Tuesday I traveled to a local Bible College to preach at their chapel, and a friend asked for a ride to the hospital. She wanted to visit her sister who had gone there the day before. I drove her up, and then on the way back about three hours later got her at the…

    Read more

  • A Process Not a Program

    A Process Not a Program

    In the summer of 2020 I re-read “Simple Church” by Thom Rainer and Eric Geiger. And honestly enjoyed it more the second time! It has a very basic premise…… We make church growth too complicated. The book has a fictional story of a Pastor who just came back from ANOTHER church growth conference with ANOTHER…

    Read more

  • Missions is Displaying Courage

    Missions is Displaying Courage

    Yesterday I finished listening to the audio version of “The Courage to be Free” by Ron DeSantis. And actually found myself enjoying it a lot more than I expected. I do agree with the stands that Governor DeSantis makes, but even those who don’t agree with them can agree on one thing. He is a…

    Read more

  • I Am a Love Cup with a Leak

    I Am a Love Cup with a Leak

    Other than the Bible, the one book I believe everyone in the world should read is “When People are Big and God is small” by Ed Welch. I can honestly say no other book other than the Bible has had a greater impact upon my life. There are countless things I can say about this…

    Read more

  • Missions is Conserving Your Energy

    Missions is Conserving Your Energy

    Friday night I always facetime with my parents. It’s a sweet time to talk about the week, and share memories. Last Friday though my dad kept telling me how tired I looked. Of course there was a reason for that….. I was exhausted! Last week was especially hot (particularly Friday) and I spent that morning…

    Read more

  • The Importance of Preaching

    The Importance of Preaching

    In June 2020 I was encouraged (and a little bit convicted) while re-reading “Preach” by Mark Dever, and Greg Gilbert. The conviction came from a renewed understanding that preaching is what God called me to do….. And I didn’t give it the respect it deserves Ministry is busy! So if we aren’t careful we can…

    Read more