Website of Missionary John Wilburn

Missionary Musings

  • My Last Two Bibles

    My Last Two Bibles

    Every year I will bring ten to fifteen big-print Bibles in my Christmas barrel to give out to individuals. These are actually precious commodities since so many people will want them, so most of the Bibles are usually set aside or promised before they even arrive. About six months ago my home church sent some […]

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  • A World Full of Strays

    A World Full of Strays

    In early 2019 I noticed a very skinny cat prowling around my backyard. This isn’t abnormal since cats in Saint Vincent reproduce a LOT! So the kittens are often left to fend for themselves. Though I didn’t see the cat again, I was sure to leave a saucer of milk out for him This act […]

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  • Physical and Spiritual Eyes

    Physical and Spiritual Eyes

    Over the years my parents have learned what some of my biggest physical needs are on the mission field. Near the top of the list are big print Bibles, and reading glasses. Both of these are related to the same problem……. Many Vincentians struggle with poor eyesight, or cataracts Having bright sun year-round along with […]

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  • A Taste of Home

    A Taste of Home

    In the Fall of 2019 I got a huge surprise when the pastor of my home Church came to preach at a sister-churches anniversary service. He brought along a dear friend whose wife asked me if there was anything they could bring me. I told her what I always tell my American friends…. bring coffee! […]

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  • They Can Learn!

    They Can Learn!

    I have been working a lot with children lately in reading help ministries since many of them struggle with it. It’s a joy to see the excitement on their faces as they get better at reading, and become more confident at it. At the same time, there are some that struggle….. This of course doesn’t […]

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  • An Act of Love

    An Act of Love

    A desire of mine for the last year or so was to have a garden in my backyard. Not necessarily because I need food, but because it can become a future ministry opportunity for those in the community. With rising food prices it’s becoming harder and harder for individuals to feed themselves. This desire led […]

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  • The God Who Surprises Us

    The God Who Surprises Us

    Monday morning around 10:30 I was reviewing some sight words with students at a local school when my phone rang. I glanced at the number and didn’t recognize it, but something told me to answer anyways. I am very glad I did….. because it was a call telling me my christmas barrels had come in! […]

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  • A Generation Without Discipline

    A Generation Without Discipline

    Last week a woman in the community called me over in a very serious voice. She is currently caring for a child because his mother isn’t in the area, and the boy is getting himself into lots of trouble. Recently he pushed down a classmate at school and damaged some of her teeth. After walking […]

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  • Loving the Hills

    Loving the Hills

    During my marathon-training days, I became part of a training group that would go on runs twice a week. It was enjoyable because those in the group became very good friends, and encouraged one another to do their best. The head trainer was a woman named Stacy who went out of her way to make […]

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  • You Must Have Power!

    You Must Have Power!

    On a Thursday night in 2019, I dropped people off after church, parked my car, and tried to put up my driver-side window. Strangely it didn’t work! I checked to see if any buttons had been pushed to keep it from coming up, but nothing worked. In desperation, I called a friend who tried to […]

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  • The Darkness is Coming

    The Darkness is Coming

    My community of Barrouallie has been a pretty eventful few weeks. About fourteen days ago, a man who was having intercourse with another man for money sent a voice message to a third man about their arrangement. Unfortunately for him, he sent the voice message to the wrong person, so it was all over Facebook! […]

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  • From the Archives:  The Importance of Cat Naps

    From the Archives: The Importance of Cat Naps

    Last week was a rough one for me physically… First I came down with some kind of a stomach bug on Monday (thankfully was better by Tuesday night) and then struggled with some discouragement/depression Friday morning. Both of those experiences were good reminders that missions calls for physical care as well as spiritual It’s easy […]

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  • Choosing the Safe Road

    Choosing the Safe Road

    To this day there is a small dark spot on the front license plate of my vehicle. How it got there is an interesting, and somewhat scary story! One Saturday in 2019 I was driving over to an area called Peters Hope. Along the way, a van stopped to pick up passengers so I stopped […]

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  • The Gospel Will Grow

    The Gospel Will Grow

    Monday some children came to me excitedly holding a small plant. “Mr. John!” they said, “we want to plant this in your backyard.” When I asked why they told me that small plant would grow to become a mango tree! I skeptically looked at the small plant and didn’t have the heart to tell them […]

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  • The Power of Structure

    The Power of Structure

    In 2019 I spent a lot of time watching Andy Griffith because it’s one of the funniest (and cleanest) shows around. My favorite episode of all by far is “Aunt Bee the Warden.” Most of you know how the episode goes, but because there is no room at the jail, the town drunk Otis is […]

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  • It’s Okay To Rest

    It’s Okay To Rest

    I had a lot to do a few Saturdays ago after the end of my college class. So I woke up early ready to attack a gigantic to-do list. That lasted till about 12:00! After 12:00 my energy level (and more importantly willpower) gave out. This is understandable since lots of mental work went into […]

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  • Satan is Limited

    Satan is Limited

    The first thing I do every morning after getting out of bed is turn on my coffee pot and fed the cats. After this, I take my dog’s trusty leash off a hook and take him for his morning walk. My dog Vincy (short for Vincentian) can be aggressive sometimes. especially if you come into […]

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  • Returning to the Real World

    Returning to the Real World

    I sat on my porch a few Saturdays ago with a Bible a cup of coffee, and an excited heart. the excitement came because I had finished my bible college class the day before, and was now going back into the “real world.” Ministry at times is understandably done in a Christian sub-culture where everyone […]

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  • Books are Better Than Screens

    Books are Better Than Screens

    In 2019 I stopped using streaming services like Netflix for my entertainment in the afternoons and evenings. In its place, I listened to books on Audible (a program that gives one free audiobook a month). Enjoying fiction and adventure I started looking for something exciting to listen to. I decided to start the wingfeather chronicles, […]

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  • There Will Be Bad Days

    There Will Be Bad Days

    As I write this (November 2) I’m finishing a three-week course on church history at a local Bible College. The Lord has blessed the class and we finished teaching today with only an exam to take on November 4. I’m used to teaching two-week modules so I expected to be tired emotionally and physically in […]

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  • Sowing Seed

    Sowing Seed

    In 2019 I began teaching my first class at Baptist Bible College of the Caribbean (Bible Doctrine). It was a joy to see the Lord begin to open the eyese of students to the truths of Scripture. After class one day a student called me over with a serious look on his face. He wanted […]

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  • Planting the Seeds of the Gospel

    One of the most meaningful lessons we learned during the church history class is that revival takes time! Often when we think of revival, it’s seen as an instant work of God that comes out of nowhere. Yet that almost always isn’t the case! Instead, individuals were working behind the scenes for years preparing the […]

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  • Building a Firm Foundation

    Building a Firm Foundation

    In the Fall of 2019 the Lord allowed me to begin teaching at Baptist Bible College of the Caribbean. This was a wonderful opportunity to not only challlenge my own teaching ability, but explain foundational truths of Scripture. Teaching at the college has taught me many things….. but the most important is students need Doctrine. […]

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  • From the Archives:  Why Missionaries Should Be Theologians and Greek Scholars

    From the Archives: Why Missionaries Should Be Theologians and Greek Scholars

    Originally written July 8, 2015 As a Junior in Bible College I took my first class in Koine Greek [1] and was first introduced to The Basics of Biblical Greek Grammar by William Mounce. Over the next twelve months that textbook along with it’s exercises, vocabulary cards, and lexicon [2] helped me survive Greek I […]

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  • Keep Your Raincoat Ready!

    Keep Your Raincoat Ready!

    In 2018 my brother gave me a very nice raincoat as an early birthday present. The nice thing about it is it’s very lightweight but does a very good job of keeping me dry. A heavy raincoat would not be useful at all in SVG since it’s already so hot. To be honest, though that […]

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  • Rekindling the Flame

    Rekindling the Flame

    A few weeks ago Independence day in Saint Vincent came during my church-history class. So I had the day off from teaching! There was a lot of ministry that needed to be accomplished during that day off…. but instead, I stayed home Other than thirty minutes that afternoon I didn’t walk out of my gate […]

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  • Being Ready for the Worst-Case Scenario

    Being Ready for the Worst-Case Scenario

    In 2019 my brother bought me a laser printer for Christmas. This was one of the nicest gifts he could have purchased since I do a lot of printing for church, and the ink cartridges for normal printer’s costs way too much. The best part about this printer is it prints 2,000 pages for each […]

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  • Walking Away from Daily Ministry

    Walking Away from Daily Ministry

    I write this on the morning of October 30 and am preparing myself for the last week of a three-week class on Church History at Baptist Bible College of the Caribbean. I’m grateful for the opportunity to teach while staying on campus and ministering to students…. But part of me is really beginning to miss […]

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  • You Can’t Help Everybody

    You Can’t Help Everybody

    In 2019 the Lord allowed me to volunteer in a reading program with students that needed a little extra help. Among them was a boy I will call Joseph (not his real name) who struggled far more than anyone else. Part of Joseph’s struggle is he had a learning disability which made reading or remembering […]

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  • Joy in Giving

    Joy in Giving

    When I began a class on Church History a few weeks ago, a student came to me and asked for my help. He’s currently preaching every Sunday at a church plant and is actively involved in a thriving young adult ministry in his community. the problem was his Bible. Obviously, a Bible could never be […]

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  • Missions is Using Religious Freedom While It Lasts

    Missions is Using Religious Freedom While It Lasts

    In honor of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Independence Day yesterday, I am reposting this article from March 2022. Tomorrow I will file the paperwork to extend my visa in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines till 2023. And like every year, I’ll do it with a huge smile on my face because the process is […]

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  • Men Work and Keep

    Men Work and Keep

    This week I’ve been reading “The Masculine Mandate” by Dr. Richard Phillips. I really enjoyed the book because Dr. Phillips does a very good job of clarifying what a man is truly called to do. He does this with two words from Genesis 2…… Work and Keep He defines working as cultivating, or creating something […]

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  • Another Busted Ball

    Another Busted Ball

    Every Friday I try to have what’s commonly referred to as “games day” with some kids in my community. It’s an opportunity to play games together, learn to work as a team, and make memories. It also means A LOT of balls get busted! There are lots of reasons for this. But the most common […]

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  • The Sacrifice of a Missionaries Mother

    The Sacrifice of a Missionaries Mother

    Originally Written May 12, 2017 Thursday morning I finished reading “A Tribute to Mothers Who Send their Children Into Missions” by Lori McDaniel, and sent the link to my parents with tears in my eyes.  The entire article is excellent, but one paragraph spoke to me in a special way. A mother of a missionary […]

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  • A “West Virginia House”

    A “West Virginia House”

    In early 2019 my mom and dad were staying at our small house in West Virginia. She took an early morning picture of my dad (coffee cup in hand) walking the dog who doubtless just used the bathroom. That photo makes me smile because it brings back many fond memories of “the West Virginia House” […]

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  • The Reformed Church

    The Reformed Church

    The reformation brought many changes to the church that ended Catholic false doctrine. But there was one change more than any other that transformed lives. The people could read and study Scripture for themselves! It’s common knowledge that the Bible was originally written in Latin, which only the priest could understand. It was also literally […]

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  • Take the Time to Study

    Take the Time to Study

    Tuesday for me usually ends up being a day running errands in town, but originally it was meant to be my study day. Honestly, I do see the importance of sermon preparation. But if I don’t create a day and time specifically for doing it, I usually won’t. There will always be other tasks to […]

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  • The Reforming Church

    The Reforming Church

    Few people had a greater impact on the Catholic church than Martin Luther. His ninety-five thesis was the spark that many believe brought the reformation. Yet it’s easy to forget that he began as a Catholic monk. One night caught in a thunderstorm Luther is knocked down by a thunderbolt and promises, “Saint Anne, save […]

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  • The Powerful Church

    The Powerful Church

    (This continues a series of posts on Church history from my Bible College Class) Last week we saw that the persecuted church was one filled with maturity and courage since suffering removed sin and false Christians. But as the church became popular it embraced false doctrine and wicked leadership. This led to the growth of […]

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  • Boxes Full of Treasures

    Boxes Full of Treasures

    Last Monday was one of my favorite days of the year. It’s the day my parents packed the items for my Christmas barrel! Every year I will order items, and send them to my mom and dad. In early October they will then pack those items, along with things they bought for my Christmas, into […]

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  • The Popular Church

    The Popular Church

    One of the most interesting things I discovered while studying for my church history class is that popularity (or lack of persecution) was what truly destroyed it. During the persecuted church age only true Believers would take a stand for Christ because of the suffering it brought (you can read more about the persecuted church […]

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  • From the Archives: Studying the Culture Instead of Consuming the Culture

    Originally written January 10, 2022 Over the weekend, I finished book two for 2022, the audio version of Pandemia by Alex Berensen. He is a former reporter for the New York Times who during the coronavirus pandemic gained a reputation for being anti-lockdown, and going against the use of masks as well as the vaccine. […]

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  • Listening to the Quiet

    Listening to the Quiet

    This week I am staying up at the Bible college while teaching a class Monday through Wednesday. This not only saves me time and energy, but it’s also a lot easier on gas! I also like being on campus because it gives me a chance to unplug a bit…and examine my own life. During the […]

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  • The Passive Church:  False Doctrine Creeps in

    The Passive Church: False Doctrine Creeps in

    Last week during a class on church history, I explained to students that suffering is a blessing. This is because persecution makes us stronger (you can read more about the persecuted church in my post here). Another reason is when we are passive, false doctrine creeps in. Few people illustrate this better than Origen Origen […]

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  • The Persecuted Church

    The Persecuted Church

    Editors Note: Posts for the next two weeks will be based on notes from my Church History class that I’m currently teaching Last week I began teaching a class at the Bible College on Church History. Because it’s easy to become focused only on facts in a class like this, I’ve created different periods of […]

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  • Missions Cannot Be Cheap

    Missions Cannot Be Cheap

    Between 2018 and 2020 I fell in love with Columbia boots! Actually, two of the exact same pairs were purchased in 2018 and 2019 just in different colors. I chose a different style of boot in 2020 but regretted it, so in about a month my new pair of Columbia boots comes in! Why do […]

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  • The Boring Parts of Missions

    The Boring Parts of Missions

    Originally written on February 11, 2019 At around 8:00 every morning I walk through the village of Barrouallie, and hand out tracts. I am very grateful for this opportunity and enjoy it. But often it is (dare I say it?)…boring. Missionary presentations at Churches, prayer letters, and some social media posts make it seem as […]

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  • Last Friday I was driving a church member from a nearby community over so she could clean the church. As we got close we heard a bang, and the car’s engine started making a clacking sound (never a good sign). I parked the car, and found a friend nearby who helped me take a look […]

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  • Missions Isn’t Always an Adventure

    When the Lord called me to missions in High School, I immediately began to think of all the exciting adventures that would be coming my way. In my mind missions work was one exciting experience after another. nothing could be farther from the truth! While there are definitely some exciting experiences, missions for the most […]

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  • You Don’t Have to Be Perfect

    In early 2019 I had officially moved into my new rental home, but there was one last project that needed to be completed before the home could really become “my own.” I needed a dog house! My beloved dog Vincy who had been living without a yard for years now finally had one. But he […]

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