Website of Missionary John Wilburn

Missionary Musings

  • Stop Eating Junk!

    Stop Eating Junk!

    The Lord has blessed me with physical health most of my time in Saint Vincent. Apart from the occasional cold, I don’t struggle with many things. Except for stomach problems! Nausea and diarrhea were common issues for me during my first years in Saint Vincent. At first I had no idea why my stomach was…

    Read more

  • Don’t Leave Them Behind

    Don’t Leave Them Behind

    A big part of ministry is having programs that meets the needs of the people. For me, one of those programs is reading help in the local school system, and during afternoon bible-clubs. It’s a joy to see children develop a love for reading just like I had at a young age. Along with that…

    Read more

  • Come Back to the Cross

    Come Back to the Cross

    During my time in States during February I saw a small podium at the Bible College where we stayed during a Bible Conference. What interested me about it is the podium was in the shape of a cross. I immediately sent a picture of that to a friend in SVG, and commissioned him to make…

    Read more

  • A Moment of Reflection

    A Moment of Reflection

    A few Saturdays ago I took a slice of cake, like two candles, and spent some time thanking the Lord for another year of life. Technically my birthday was the next day Sunday (March 12) but I’d be too busy to relax then! I had the exciting party and celebration with family a few weeks…

    Read more

  • Proving the Gospel with a Transformed Life (1 Peter 3:15)

    Proving the Gospel with a Transformed Life (1 Peter 3:15)

    Last week I started a series of devotionals on Fridays about the subject of Evangelism by saying it takes more than sharing a tract (you can read that post here). My point was a tract is the first (not last) step in evangelism, it with prayer opens the door for us to give a direct…

    Read more

  • Leaving Social-Media

    Leaving Social-Media

    Yesterday I wrote a post about putting away phones (you can read it here). The Lord helped me think through how my phone distracted me in 2020. And two books were incredibly useful in doing this. Carl Newport wrote the books Deep Work and Digital Minimalism both which were built on the idea that we…

    Read more

  • We Give the World an Inch, but it Takes a Mile

    We Give the World an Inch, but it Takes a Mile

    A very difficult part of missions is being on the outside looking in at what is happening in America. Over the years I’ve seen the Country I was born in, and will always love fall deeper and deeper into sin. And had to admit what was obvious….. America is no longer a Christian nation. Please…

    Read more

  • Dealing with the Fog

    Dealing with the Fog

    Last Sunday I rolled out of bed after my afternoon nap feeling like I’d been run over by a truck. This is normal since Sunday’s take a lot out of you both physically and emotionally. Thankfully I knew how to take care of my Sunday afternoon fog….. Slowly I walked into the kitchen and put…

    Read more

  • Missions is Baby Steps

    Missions is Baby Steps

    Last December I got some seeds from the US and carefully planted a garden in my backyard. My mind was filled with dreams of a community garden where the poor who had no food could come and get something to eat. That excitement began to fade when my garden didn’t start growing…. and by mid-February…

    Read more

  • An Undistracted Life

    An Undistracted Life

    For a class in April 2020 I made it a rule that every student had to put their phones on a table where it couldn’t be moved till break. I did put my own phone there (after taking a picture of course)! The interesting thing about being without my phone was it made me anxious.…

    Read more

  • A Burden Calls for Action

    A Burden Calls for Action

    Last year I had a friend who struggled with an addiction to alcohol and cigarettes. He repented of that sin on a Sunday night and rededicated his life to the Lord. The next morning I told him he needed a new place to hang out since the rum-shop is where he spent most of his…

    Read more

  • The Legacy Lives On

    The Legacy Lives On

    In 2019 I taught two classes covering “The Life of Christ.” It was enjoyable teaching this class, but the real joy was using my own textbook from Carolina University (Piedmont Bible College in those days) from class with Dr. Wayne WIllis. Teaching from that book made me incredibly thankful for the education I received from…

    Read more

  • Ministries Need Programs

    Ministries Need Programs

    During my two-week stay in the States during February I did a good bit of shopping for things you couldn’t get in the States. However, the majority of these items weren’t for personal use…… They were ministry tools. Over the years my thinking of ministry tools has changed. In the early years of ministry I…

    Read more

  • The First (not last) Step of Evangelism

    The First (not last) Step of Evangelism

    Coming back to Saint Vincent I carried a bag in my hand containing four bags of chick tracts (a little over 400 total). These tracts are very fun to pass out because they share the Gospel, and are enjoyable to read. People after learning I have them will go through and pick their favorites, even…

    Read more

  • No More Baby Food

    No More Baby Food

    About three weeks after my cat had her kittens they began to try out mommy’s cat food. Usually they preferred her milk (no surprising) but it showed how animals by nature move from basic milk to solid food. This progression is seen in babies as well who though loving mothers milk, will eventually graduate to…

    Read more

  • Entering Into Their Mess

    Entering Into Their Mess

    I am currently reading “The J-Curve” by Paul Miller, an interesting book that sees suffering as a tool of sanctification in our lives. One of my favorite quotes from the book is seen above. Those words are precious to me because it shows the path of love is incarnational. Christ displayed His love by entering…

    Read more

  • Giving Away My Best

    Giving Away My Best

    In 2020 to celebrate the completion of my first three-week course “Introduction to Missions” I decided to become very generous with Bible College students. I didn’t just share my good coffee and buy snacks (along with KFC)…. I gave them a WHOLE BAG of my Jolly Ranchers! For years Jolly Ranchers were my go-to reward…

    Read more

  • Missions Teaches Me You Will Get Stronger

    Missions Teaches Me You Will Get Stronger

    Last week I shared a post about spending time celebrating with family, and gaining weight (you can read it here). Along with that I posted some pics from my birthday celebration with family while referring to myself as fat. Some of you graciously told me I wasn’t fat… but the truth is I was! A…

    Read more

  • Doing One Thing Well

    Doing One Thing Well

    On Friday nights it used to be my tradition to get chicken and bakes (balls of dough fried in oil) from a lady nearby. She cooks it in a small board shack in two pots of oil on a gas stove….. The same way her grandmother did in the same building, and taught her how…

    Read more

  • A Ministry of Plastic Chairs

    A Ministry of Plastic Chairs

    Two days after getting back into SVG I started a minor-prophets class at Baptist Bible College of the Caribbean. As exciting and enjoyable as that first day of teaching was, I was more excited about what would happen after class. On the way back home I purchased some incredibly important ministry tools…. Seven plastic chairs!…

    Read more

  • They Remember Your Love

    They Remember Your Love

    I believe it was 2019 when at the closing of a college class on Friday, the students didn’t have lunch, Technically they didn’t want to wait till the lunch arrived because the only thing on Fridays is the exam (usually finished by 10:30). One of them asked if I’d buy KFC for them…. and a…

    Read more

  • Welcome Home

    Welcome Home

    A few weeks ago I got home around 5:00 on a Saturday evening after my time in the States. While unpacking two large suitcases, I was warmly welcomed home by my dog and cat. But many people welcomed me home too (while commenting on how fat I was). I’ve discussed before how missionaries have “two…

    Read more

  • Going Back to War

    Going Back to War

    Thursday afternoon my suitcase was already packed, weighed (multiple times) and sitting by my parents front door in preparation for my flight Saturday. It was a way of keeping organized….. But especially on Friday it was a mental preparation for returning to the field. As I’ve written this week times in the States are for…

    Read more

  • Don’t Make it Easy

    Don’t Make it Easy

    Over Christmas 2019 I brought a board that could be used for both checkers, and chess. The goal was to use those games as a way of challenging the young people of Barrouallie to think critically and carefully. Of course to do this…I had to play to win Usually I don’t care about who wins…

    Read more

  • A Time to Celebrate

    A Time to Celebrate

    Two days before flying back to Saint Vincent I went with my mom and dad to have a “birthday lunch” of fajitas at one of my favorite restaurants. It was enjoyable to eat lots of amazing food and spend time my parents before flying home…. But at the same time I was embarrassed about the…

    Read more

  • Prioritizing Memories Over Ministry

    Prioritizing Memories Over Ministry

    My two-week stay in the States was a great encouragement because it brought spiritual renewal (you can read about that here and here). But it also brought emotional encouragement. That encouragement came from spending time with family….. And prioritizing memories over ministry The last three days in the States were strange for me (they always…

    Read more

  • Fear is a Good Thing

    Fear is a Good Thing

    In one of my cats first litter of kittens was a little one I named “Pippin” after a mischievous hobbit in “the Lord of the Rings.” He earned this name because just like the character in the book, he was always getting himself into trouble. The amazing thing about Pippin is he had no fear….…

    Read more

  • Evangelism Still Works

    Evangelism Still Works

    The Bible conference I attended in February was a blessing because it reminded me I’m not the only one who experiences the attacks of Satan. But the second blessing is actually more important. It reminded me my goal is evangelism, and discipleship Now this isn’t exactly a huge surprise because Scripture clearly teaches us that…

    Read more

  • It Doesn’t Stay Cute

    It Doesn’t Stay Cute

    In February 2020 my cat disappeared during the night. After not finding her outside I began a careful search of the house itself. I eventually found her in a closet…. With a litter of kittens! That first litter of kittens was very cute and adorable. I proceeded to have a zoom call with family members…

    Read more

  • A Time of Spiritual Renewal

    A Time of Spiritual Renewal

    I should probably begin this post with the words “I’m sorry” since this is the first time I’ve posted anything since Valentine’s Day (February 14). The truth is, I actually wrote that post the week before. So, I haven’t written anything for my blog in just over four weeks! On February 12 I flew to…

    Read more

  • Unlocking New Beginnings

    Unlocking New Beginnings

    A few weeks ago I was teaching a Bible lesson when a little boy stopped me and asked, “Mr. John why are you wearing that key?” Immediately one of the little girls replied “His girlfriend Miss Amy gave it to him” and explained the key around my neck fits the heart pendant she wears. I…

    Read more

  • Remember the Good Days

    Remember the Good Days

    This morning I will visit with an older lady (she is eighty) one last time before going to the US tomorrow for two-weeks. This visit will bring me happiness like it always does, but it also fills my heart with sadness. Because I remember what she used to be before the pandemic The picture above…

    Read more

  • Why I Recharge

    Why I Recharge

    Tomorrow afternoon around 4:00 I will fly from Saint Vincent to the States for two-weeks. The first part of that visit will be spent at a Bible Conference with national pastors, then I’ll enjoy some time with family. I kind of like that setup since the first days are focused on spiritual renewal…. And the…

    Read more

  • Teach While You Can

    Teach While You Can

    The picture in this post was taken January 17, 2020 at the close of a class at the local Bible College. The picture is precious to me because It’s one of the few with all the students together. It also reminds me opportunities can be lost quickly… Less than two-months after that picture was taken…

    Read more

  • Losing My Accent

    Losing My Accent

    A few weeks ago a friend had someone from England come for a visit. After introducing me to her, the friend asked “where are you from?” I told her, and she said “I thought you were from Ireland since your accent sounds Irish.” I had to laugh at that since my accent most definitely DOESN’T…

    Read more

  • A Tale of Two Marathons (Philippians 3:14)

    A Tale of Two Marathons (Philippians 3:14)

    Last Sunday I had the privilege of preaching from Philippians 3:12-14 (one of my favorite passages) on the subject of finishing well. Because the context of this passage points towards a race, I used running stories during the message. A major point was finishing strong…. which led me to talk about my two marathons. While…

    Read more

  • We Need Shepherds, Not Celebrity Pastors

    We Need Shepherds, Not Celebrity Pastors

    This week I finished reading “Bully Pulpit” by Michael Kruger, a book that describes what he calls “spiritual abuse.” This kind of abuse comes from leaders in the Church who lead by intimidation or control instead humility. The book does a good job of explaining a very important principle in ministry… We Need Shepherds Not…

    Read more

  • Let Ministry Grow

    Let Ministry Grow

    In 2019 I stopped having Bible clubs at church during the week. This was because most parents (understandably) wanted the children to come straight home after school. Also, only a small number of children who lived in the area of the church were able to come. During the pandemic I began to hold Bible clubs…

    Read more

  • Worth the Expense

    Worth the Expense

    This morning I was walking by the school with a stack of chick tracts in my hand. My eyes were draw to a little boy walking to school with this sister because he was carrying a chick tract I’d given him Friday in his left hand! One of the challenges of missions is there are…

    Read more

  • A Large Mission Field

    A Large Mission Field

    In early 2019 I was walking to a nearby community in order to pick up my vehicle from the mechanic. While on the way there I took this picture from an elevated hill of Barroullie. This picture reminds me the community is bigger than I think…. And a massive amount of people live there! It…

    Read more

  • The Gospel Grows Slowly

    The Gospel Grows Slowly

    For years I have done Bible clubs in an area of Barrouallie, two girls Susan and Mellissa (not their real names) will come almost every time I’m there. Through songs, memory verses, bible stories, and activities I patiently explained the Gospel. I firmly believe that Salvation is a personal choice… So I’ll often tell the…

    Read more

  • Missions is Rebuilding

    Missions is Rebuilding

    Last week I had the opportunity to take my field administrator and his wife around the island of Saint Vincent. One of the most important areas we visited was Fitts-Hughes, in the area of Chateaubelair. This area was beautiful, but that wasn’t what made it important….. It was important because of the damage made by…

    Read more

  • You Can’t Always Be Ready

    You Can’t Always Be Ready

    Last Wednesday night I was driving my field administrator and his wife home from speaking at church for prayer meeting. We were talking about our plans for the next day and what the Lord was doing on the field. Suddenly I heard a loud smash…. And saw my driver side mirror was shattered! Vincentian roads…

    Read more

  • The Beautiful and Ugly Side of the Island

    The Beautiful and Ugly Side of the Island

    Last week I had the wonderful opportunity to host my field administrator and his wife with Baptist Mid Missions as they visited SVG. We had a wonderful time visiting areas of the island, meeting pastors, and learning more about the need. I was careful during the week to show them the beauty of Saint Vincent,…

    Read more

  • Boys Need a Job

    Boys Need a Job

    There is a little boy in the community that I will call James (not his real name) who is ALWAYS getting into trouble! It seems as if every time I walk down the road the lady who cares for him is shouting at him about doing something. Last Sunday i came early to get ready…

    Read more

  • Motivated by Convictions

    Motivated by Convictions

    You can’t see it from this distance…but that dog has a huge smile on his face! Last Monday a friend extended my gate, which allowed me to let my dog Vincy off the leash at all times. This adds protection, but it also makes him much calmer since Vincy always wanted to be an inside…

    Read more

  • Missions Teaches Me Growth Comes Slowly

    Missions Teaches Me Growth Comes Slowly

    I don’t usually get very excited about a radish Unless of course it is MY RADISH! In November I planted some seeds for a personal garden. The plan is to continue developing it into a community garden of sorts. Friends helped me excitedly plant the seeds and build beds to ensure they would be protected.…

    Read more