Rosario ‘Charo’ Washer Interview!

I have always been a proponent of the old adage that says, “Behind every man is a good woman.” Er, is that, “Behind every good man is a woman?” Well, whatever way you wish to say it, I believe there is much truth in it. Today has been such a blessing because I got to ‘talk’ with a woman who falls into that category. But Charo wasn’t always ‘good’, at least not in the sense many Christians understand. Charo has a profound testimony—one that truly has touched my heart and the hearts of many around the world.

Join me in my conversation with Rosario ‘Charo’ Washer as she discusses her life as wife of the prominent, itinerant preacher, Paul David Washer. She shares with us what life has been like since her actual conversion. She lets us in on personal feelings about what people get wrong about her husband, how she handles criticism of her husband, how she keeps home-life normal for the family, her joy in photography and hobbies, and what’s coming up in 2014.

The interview:

Charo, I’ve read that you spent much of your youth in Peru. Were you born there? Can you share a bit about your family?

“I was born in Lima, Peru but I have also lived in Spain, Bolivia, and Paraguay and of course here in the States. My father is Spanish and my mother is Peruvian. They both currently live in Peru. I am the oldest of four sisters; two live here in the States and one in Italy. We are scattered all over the place!”

 

I’ve read through your testimony and I don’t think I’ve ever heard someone express an almost ‘testimony within a testimony’ as you have. Since that time when you spoke so openly about your actual conversion and the difficulties leading up to it, did your husband, Paul, encounter any backlash as you feared he might?

“I am not aware of any backlash. Most Christians I know rejoiced in what God had done in my life, I have personally not heard anything negative.”

 

What kind of response did you, the wife of a prominent evangelical missionary and teacher, experience when you made people aware of your conversion? Was it generally a positive experience or were there difficulties?

“A couple of very close friends had some trouble wrapping their mind around the idea at first. We had worked together for years. They had seen me work with street children in Lima, with believers in the Andes and with the church in Barranco. Because of this, it was difficult for them to comprehend, but they came to see that it was not just the “outward” works but the inner testimony of my life that counted. Before my conversion, I was simply doing empty works, living on auto pilot, and “doing the right thing.” I am very duty oriented so I was going to keep doing what was right no matter what. But there was no love for God in me, only a sense of duty. However, by God’s mercy He allowed me to run out of every ounce of strength. He showed me my sin and need for Him.”

 

Do you feel that your experience, as expressed in your testimony, is one that God is using to help those going through a similar experience? Is there any story you could share that emphasizes that point?

“I have received emails and cards from people letting me know that my testimony was instrumental in them coming to know the Lord. That is always a great encouragement and a blessing to me because everything has been a work of God. Having been lost, I became the recipient of his grace and mercy and in sharing about this, He in turn reaches out again and saves another soul. It is pretty amazing and all to His glory! It is especially moving when some of these testimonies have come from people who like me, were involved in ministry for years before truly becoming converted.”

 

It’s been several years now that you’ve been in the United States. Did you overcome that feeling of misplacement? Do you still miss Peru?

“I don’t think I ever had any feeling of displacement to be honest. Maybe it is because I knew the language before I came to the States to go to college therefore I was able to forge great friendships from the beginning and feel at home. I do miss Peru though; I would go back there as a full time missionary in a heartbeat!”

 

Paul and Charo Washer

Paul and Charo Washer

So how long have you been married now? You have children, yes?

“Paul and I have been married 21 years and we have three children; Ian (almost 13), Evan 10, and Rowan (almost 7).”

 

 

Your husband, Paul, has become such an in-demand speaker and teacher? Was this a daunting experience for you?

“It was not daunting at all. I had always had the feeling that the Lord would use him in the way He does. It is a blessing to be a part of the ministry the Lord has entrusted him with. Most of all it is a blessing to know there are so many dear brothers and sisters who faithfully pray for him here at HeartCry and all over the world as he ministers.”

 

With notoriety comes criticism. One can’t help but Google Paul Washer or look him up on YouTube without seeing many positive, and negative, comments. How have you reacted to criticism from people who don’t even know Paul personally?

“Honestly I do not think too much about it either way. The good things are encouraging and are a blessing; the bad things, I honestly do not dwell on them at all. I would also be worried if all people had to say about Paul was wonderful and full of praise all the time. I think it would certainly mean that he is compromising somehow in something. You cannot please everyone all the time. He, like many other men know that if you faithfully preach the Gospel you will be criticized and even vilified but that is only natural and to be expected. The job of a preacher’s wife is to encourage her husband to faithfully press on regardless of the cost.”

 

What do you and Paul do in your home life to keep things as ‘normal’ as possible for your family given all the attention and popularity? Are your children aware of Paul’s name recognition? I guess I’m asking if they ever experience being out and someone coming up to them and their father saying, “Wow, it’s Paul Washer! Hey Brother Paul, can I get an autograph?”

“Our life is completely normal in every aspect. Our children are aware that their father preaches to people in various places but don’t see any “celebrity” status involved in it. People are kind and attentive but not overly so as if Paul were a movie star or anything like that so there is none of that environment around them. Our children have been there when he has preached to very large crowds and when he has preached to a handful of people so it really makes no difference to them. Being the oldest, Ian gets to travel with Paul more so than the younger ones. He enjoys being with his dad and is very comfortable being around people; all our children are.”

 

As the wife of Paul Washer, you would know best … what is the one thing about Paul that most people don’t know or they simply get wrong?

“That it is easy for him or that he enjoys preaching a hard message to Christians or unbelievers. It is a hard thing to have to tell someone the truth and it is not enjoyable to hurt them in the process in order to open their eyes. It certainly does not make you many friends most of the time! Paul dislikes controversy and conflict. He does not preach hard because he wants to get an argument started or to get anyone stirred up for the sake of having the last word. He simply tries to faithfully preach the word of God in order that someone may come to know Christ or that a believer would be encouraged in their faith.”

 

Too often, Christians put wives of pastors/teachers/speakers in the stereotypical role of teacher and speaker themselves. You spoke of this being uncomfortable for you prior to your conversion. Has that changed now? Do you find opportunities to speak and teach in areas that you now enjoy?

“That feeling has definitely changed being that I am now converted. As far as teaching, I only teach as doors open and when I travel with Paul. I don’t have a “teaching ministry” of my own. I have taken a few invitations here and there but they are harder to work into our schedule due to Paul’s traveling and preaching schedule. Also, with the kid’s homeschooling and other activities there is not much time for anything else.”

 

HeartCry Missionary Society is a wonderful organization. Do you have a specific role there?

“Since I am a photographer I am currently involved in volunteering at the photography department at HeartCry doing editing and the archiving of pictures for the coordinator reports, the blog or the magazine. Recently, I started learning a bit about video in order to step in as a “back up” film person when necessary.”

 

Charo Washer  Rustic House Photography

Charo Washer
Rustic House Photography

Your photography is wonderful. I understand you also like cooking, and reading. I’d like to know a bit more about the type of photography you like most (i.e. landscape, architecture, subjects, etc.). Also, can you share your favorite reading genre? What’s your favorite type of food to cook?

“I enjoy photographing people in natural situations; I am not good at posing people, it stresses me out a bit when they are not comfortable in front of the camera. I like landscape, journalistic, architectural and food photography the most. Lately I am playing around a bit doing some night photography or “light painting” which is a lot of fun.

As far as reading I love a bit of a jumble of things; Elizabeth Gaskell, Jane Austen, Emily Bronte and so many other great English period classics and poetry. I also enjoy reading about the history of civilizations, historical biographies, Christian biographies and Biblical counseling books. Biblical counseling was one of my minors in college and I hope at some point to become a certified Biblical counselor so I read Nouthetic counseling books whenever I get a chance.

I enjoy cooking in general; there is not one specific food I enjoy cooking more than others. I am more of an instinctive cook than one that goes by a recipe unless I am baking. Having had a chance to try so many diverse foods and most of them so wonderful, I could not possibly chose one! My top favorites would probably be Peruvian food, Spanish, Sushi and pretty much any and all sea food.”

 

Finally, Charo, can you share with us some of your plans coming up in 2014?

“I am looking forward to working on our yard and house! We moved in October and had no time to deal with a lot of things around the house so it will be a nice thing to just get those loses ends tied. Besides that, the schedule at HC is always developing but so far; I have some trips scheduled to video and photograph Paul teaching in CA and one conference to teach with him in Italy in June of this year.”

 

I want to take this opportunity to thank Charo for taking time out of her busy schedule to address my questions. It has been such a joy to get to know Charo better through this interview. I hope that it is an encouragement to my readers for it certainly has encouraged me! Thank you, Chrao, and may God continue to bless you and your family abundantly. He is so good!

Posted in blog | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

Acts 4:20 Productions Inteviews TONY VERKINNES!

On-Air Producer WRETCHED Radio, Tony Verkinnes

On-Air Producer WRETCHED Radio, Tony Verkinnes

You may know him as (aka) ‘That Lutheran Guy’ but I know him as Todd Friehl’s sidekick from WRETCHED Radio.  That baritone voice that interjects his thoughts and ideas to listeners around the world.  And today, you get to hear him as he takes on my questions as part of this ongoing series of interviews at Acts 4:20 Productions.

I am so pleased that Tony agreed to tackle my questions.  I sent him an audio of the questions. He, in return, sent me his answers.  I put them together for this short interview as a way of you and I getting to know Tony better.  Here he is, Tony Verkinnes [Ver Ken ess] from WRETCHED:

Posted in blog | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Acts 4:20 Productions Interviews SHEILA IMME!

What an exciting time it’s been working to put together this interview with Christian film producer, Sheila Imme.  I’m so happy to introduce you to this wonderfully gracious person.  We thoroughly enjoyed getting to know more about Sheila Imme and Lilies and Ravens International.  After many glitches and set-backs, we’re able to finally bring you this video.  God has been so good throughout all of this and we pray this is as much a blessing to you as it has been for us at Acts 4:20 Productions.

Posted in blog | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

The Twitter Trap

Twitter_8

I fell for it. Hook, line and sinker … whatever that cliché really means.  I assume it means ‘totally’ which would be an apt description.  I’m speaking about the Twitter Trap.  At least it was a trap for me, but perhaps it’s actually not an issue for you.  If that’s the case, this won’t be very interesting.  But, I have done an about-face and corrected my course and hope that this post will serve as a reminder to me if I ever start drifting back into ‘the trap’.

IT’S ALL ABOUT THE NUMBERS:
Yep. Found myself getting wrapped up into feeling as if the number of followers I had somehow validated who I am.  There I was, following people whom I had no clue as to who they were, and practically begging them to give me a follow-back.  And, oh my word, should I ask a ‘famous’ person to follow back … well, insert cricket noises.   What was I thinking?

THE NARCISSIM FACTOR:
My, how people do love to talk about themselves!  The main difference I find between Twitter and say Facebook, is that Twitter people love to talk to others.  Facebook people like to talk with each other.  At least in my experience that’s what I’ve seen.   My least favorite tweet is the humble brag.  Goes something like this, “Wow, can’t believe I have another book signing today. What are you doing today?”  I guess I could answer, “Laundry” but somehow now I feel inadequate to even be breathing on the same planet.

IDOL WORSHIP:
Quite some time ago, I wrote a blog about Idol Worship, with the emphasis on Christians putting well-known Christians up on pedestals and how that just can’t be good for those well-known Christians.  Although all forms of social media are guilty of this, Twitter has the worst offenders.   It’s not just the numbers that tell the story, as in millions of followers hanging on their every tweet, it’s the glaring idolatry dripping from the worshipers.  For example, a person tweets, “I’m sitting in the airport just 20 feet away from MATT REDMAN!!!! OMG!!!!” And the comments that followed were no better.  As if being in the proximity of Matt Redman somehow warrants such behavior.  I simply reply, “So”.  I know, I’m a real favorite on Twitter.

WORDS OF ENCOURAGEMENT–NOT:
Twitter is not a place that I would go to if I needed a word of encouragement.  Oh, I suppose if I tweeted that I actually did need a word of encouragement, some poor stranger might actually feel sorry for me and tweet something without knowing who I am or what I’m going through.  It’s not only about a need to be encouraged at times; it’s the near total lack of replies to a happy event in my life.  For example, today I celebrated my first grandchild’s birthday.  It’s kind of a big deal to me.  I posted that fact on Twitter with an absolutely adorable pic of my grandson. And as my husband loves to say, “Insert cricket noises.” Yep.  Silence.  Posted the same note and pic on Facebook and people quickly chime in with notes of happiness for me and the birthday boy.  And of course, this goes both ways as I love to give a shout out to people celebrating important events in their lives.

MAKE IT QUICK:
So often you just can’t say all there is to say on Twitter.  That whole 140 character thing can lead to poor inflection, let alone poor grammar.  Dare I ever try to comment about a tweet regarding an article, blog, book review, etc. that in any way disagrees with the OT (original tweeter), prepare for a quick retort.  It’s just not the place to actually hold a fair discussion where both parties can come away fully understanding the intent of the comment(s).

WHAT AM I?  CHOPPED LIVER???
I think for me, the worst part about the ‘Twitter Trap’ is the damage it does to ones sense of who they are.  Now I’ll be the first to admit this is probably a personality problem.  Not everyone takes issue with this.  Sadly though, I do/did.  When someone tweets a comment, or a link to say an audio/video sermon, or to an article they wrote, and I find the comment/sermon/article warrants a question on content or meaning, I’ll tweet them and ask my question. *insert cricket noises*  What???  Am I not worth answering?  Am I not famous enough or important enough to qualify to get a minute of your time? In all fairness, they would probably defend themselves in that they can’t reply to everyone, now can they?  So what’s the point of tweeting it?  For my benefit, and all those in the Twittersphere!?  Whatever their reason, it feels like dog pooh.

HORAY FOR THE CHOSEN FEW:
The odds of you being a Twitter follower of mine, now reading this blog, is extremely low.  But I do want to give a big thank you to those that don’t fall into any of those categories above.  You are the chosen few who gladly follow back; you quickly regard my comments; you do appreciate those that take time to read what you write in articles and blogs; and you always make one feel like an equal human being.  To borrow the tag line from a song, “You light up my life.”

Even after all my ranting and whining on this subject, I will remain on Twitter.  There are those that wholeheartedly disagree with me and only use Twitter for social media.  I value who you are so I’ll stay put in order to keep in touch.  And there are those well known(s) who greatly bless me with their articles and sermons, even if they never reply to my questions.  I may not like it but I do concede.  I’ve trimmed down my list to reflect the people I know and enjoy. Perhaps now I’ll have less to whine about.  And thus I step out of ‘the trap’!

Posted in blog | Tagged , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Tossed To and Fro … But That May Not Be A Bad Thing

One of the many things I like about the internet is YouTube.  Vimeo isn’t bad either but way more gets put on YouTube these days.  The online videos I like the most are sermon videos.  I have my favorites (pastors, preachers, teachers) and I’ll bet you do, too.  Interestingly enough, at least to me, is the wide-reaching range of people I like to listen to.  It’s sort of like being tossed to and fro, as they say, in that one day I have on my heart to listen to one, while the next day I may feel like listening to someone entirely different.  Through it all though, I can honestly say I have learned more in the last couple of years of watching sermon videos than I have in a lifetime of sitting in a pew at church.  Not that there’s anything wrong with going to church.  As a matter of fact, there’s plenty that’s right with it.  But getting phenomenal teaching online is a blessing.

Today I’d like to share some of my favorites.  Feel free to tell me yours in the comment section below.  I can’t really put these teachers in a category of say one through five, in order of popularity.  I like them all but they all have different styles.  Bottom line … they all preach the truth!

My first shout-out is to John MacArthur.  When I want sound, john macarthurexpository teaching, he’s the man!  It’s like having an audible commentary right at your ears.  I have been so blessed by the free resources he’s made available on his website, Grace To You.

Next, I have to give two thumbs up to Paul David Washer.  If Paul-Washer-2-CCyou’re looking for a reformed theology, with a hint of hellfire and brimstone, teacher he’s your go-to guy!  This man not only preaches it soundly, he bears his heart in a way that makes you break under the weight of your own sin.  Actually, that would be God doing it but using Brother Paul to speak His truth.

francis_chanTo the one man who I would most like to sit with and talk to regarding what his teaching has meant to me, it would be Francis Chan.  What I most admire about what he has to share is his love of God’s word, the Bible.  Get alone with God and in His word!  Francis’ infectious preaching makes you want to do just that.  Get in the word!  What preacher could ask for more?

Finally, nothing I write on this subject would be complete if I john-piperdidn’t round it out with John Piper.  I don’t think I listen to anyone who quite compares to the passion of Brother John!  He preaches the Word in such a way that I want to jump up and say, “Yes!” or “Amen” throughout his teaching.  He brings the Word of God to life.

Now my list is certainly not exhaustive.  You’re probably saying, “What about so-n-so?”  And you might be right.  I just wanted to share with you today some of the teachers of the Word who are blessed by God to have been given the gift of teaching/preaching and do it as if their lives depend upon it.  Because of their fervor to sharing God’s word, I have been immensely blessed.

So, share with me your thoughts.  I look forward to reading them.

Posted in blog | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Another New Year Blog

iStock_000018586868XSmall-300x199Hello, hello, hello!  With one look at the date of my last blog post, I felt the need to drop a quick note to say that I’m still around but blogging has been more of a ‘quality’ and not ‘quantity’ thing for me.  Inspiration seems to wax and wane these days.  I want there to be something worth saying to people and not just blog for the sake of blogging.  Make sense?

Having said that, I am excited about two interviews coming up for the first half of 2014.  The first will be in video format.  Sheila Imme of Lilies and Ravens, International will be taking on some questions from me regarding her busy schedule of filming Christian documentaries.  Talk about a powerful ministry!  She’s got one and I’m tickled-pink to bring you her story.

The next interview is equally as exciting.  Author Barnabas Piper, son of Pastor John Piper, has a new book coming out July of 2014.  Barnabas has been so kind as to agree to take on questions from me, and those interested in posting a question to him.  Would that be you?  Feel free to say so in a comment to this post.  I’ll be happy to email you with some instructions.  I’ve long enjoyed Barnabas on Twitter and look forward to getting a sneak peek at what he has in store for us with his new book, ‘The Pastor’s Kid‘.

I’m looking forward to more interviews later in 2014 as I’m so excited to be sharing the lives of others with you.  Others that are also walking that narrow path.  I’m praying and trusting that you’ll be blessed.  Till then … stay on the path!

* * * * * * * * * *

Seriously, got a question you’d just love to ask Barnabas Piper about growing up as ‘The Pastor’s Kid’?  I’d love to hear from you and your question may very well be asked in my interview.  Feel free to give me a nod in the comment section, or drop me an email at acts420productions@outlook.com.  Look forward to hearing from you!

Posted in blog | Leave a comment

David Crowder: A Humble Heart

Several years ago, I struggled with the need to ‘do’ something that I felt was my own personal little ministry—something that flowed from my heart as a result of my love for God.  After a few attempts, and consequent failures, I stumbled upon something that has peacefully settled in my soul.  Three words sum it up … prayer, encouragement and writing.  What does this have to do with David Crowder?  I’m glad you asked and I’ll happily tell you.

One of those failed attempts I just mentioned happened about three years ago.  Without going into the boring details, I can tell you this.  The project I was working on was a video that involved reaching out to well known Christians in the music industry.  You may now interject the statement “naïve” and you would be absolutely correct.  You don’t just drop so-n-so an email and ask for their free help on something and expect to get a reply.  That is unless, of course, that person is David Crowder.  Out of at least a dozen people that I contacted with that level of popularity, only he replied.  And he replied with an affirmative that he would help.

Now I could have expected this would have been a once-in-a-lifetime stroke of good fortune, but I’m here to say that’s not the case.  What I found in D C was a kind and gentle nature, a lack of pride and arrogance, courteous and respectful, never considering himself above anyone … hey, wait a minute!  I’ve just described, basically, the definition of ‘humble’.  And humble is something most people try to be, and some people just are.  The difference between the two is almost always easy to spot.

Over the few years I’ve been writing David, he has remained the same.  Always willing to listen to an idea and readily offer help and/or encouragement. He remains steadfast in keeping his feet grounded on the Rock and not in the world.  One thing that seems absolutely apparent is that he is moved and blessed in the knowledge that there are people praying for him.  It’s something that I can’t imagine he takes for granted. 

One thing that I often notice in scripture is the nature of Paul the Apostle.  No, not the staunch, hard line, black and white theologian side of Paul, but the side of Paul who always opened his letters to the churches, or the young leaders of the church,  with a positive affirmation of how much they encouraged him and he tried to encourage them in return.   It may not seem correct in applying a comparison of David to Paul, but I do see some similarities.  Paul’s heart was always one of encouragement and joy … dare I say, so is David’s. 

It is my goal to keep reaching out to many with prayer and words of encouragement for this is a joy that is as great to give as it is to receive.  And for as long as I feel there’s something to say, I’ll keep writing about it, too.  A big thank you to David for keeping it real and for touching lives with the gifts God has given you. Because of that, you’ve encouraged me to keep encouraging. Through prayer may you always be focused on Him, assured of the path, and joyful in His promises! 

We always pray for you, and we give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. For we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and your love for all of God’s people, which come from your confident hope of what God has reserved for you in heaven. You have had this expectation ever since you first heard the truth of the Good News.  Col 1:3-5 NLT

Posted in blog | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment