Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The beauty of Honduras.

One of the best parts of our Honduran trip was becoming friends with many young people. Stephanie, shown reading from my book, Wind in the Pines, was one of our translators. We are working on a translation of my stories/devotions into Spanish.

This is the student body at the local school, Instituto Santa Anna. We were welcomed into every school and allowed to share openly about the gospel of Jesus Christ. We left copies of our books at the schools.

You never know what will occur during an Honduran church service. I preached over fifteen times and don't remember a service without a dog lazily trotting down the aisle.

We worked in four Honduran Baptist churches. These are the dedicated pastors of the churches. (L to R) Bro. Anebol, Bro. Elias, Bro. Elisio, and Bro. Juan. All hold secular jobs and receive no pay for pastoring.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

A Zulu boy wearing my Dry Creek Camp cap. It's a long ways from home.

This orphan boy asked me as he rubbed my bald head, "Baba (Father) what happened to your other hair?"

Being called Baba by the orphans was one of the best parts of our South African trip.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

This painting "Doten at The Old House" is my favorite one by my uncle Bill Iles. It is featured on the back cover of my second book, The Old House.

This is a special photograph because I'm pictured with two special women in my life. Standing beside me is my sweet mom, Mary Iles. She has been a lifelong encourager and wonderful mother.

I'm so thankful for the values and examples she and my dad lived out for my two sisters and me. I've always told folks, "My parents are the same at home as what you see in public-- kind, Godly, fun, and positive.

The painting behind us hangs in the living room of the house in Dry Creek where I grew up, built with my dad's own hands in 1960.

The painting is of my great grandmother, Theodosia "Doten" Iles. It was painted by her grandson, my uncle Bill Iles.

I (half) jokingly tell my mother I've written my name on the back of it and it is the only possession she has I want.

However the possession I already have is priceless. It's the heritage that both sides of my family have poured into my life. My Iles side, with their deep roots here in Beauregard Parish since shortly after this became Louisiana in 1812. My mother's side, the Plotts, with their rambling up and down the Kansas City Southern rail line. I'm part of both of those heritages and I'm proud of both.

Back cover of The Old House Click on cover to read text in larger view

To see a larger view of back cover and read text, click on cover.

To learn more about The Old House and the other six books authored by Curt Iles, visit

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Curt's Travel Sketchbook

This sketch is from the tsunami-devastated region of Indonesia where I visited several months after the disaster. Each cloth rag represented where a body had been recovered.

From Curt's Pen and Pencil

By no means do I consider myself an accomplished artist. I'm more of a sketcher. It comes in handy on long trips and layovers in foreign airports. I've also found that sketching draws a crowd in other countries. I've made lots of friends with my journals.

I hope you enjoy them. I'll be adding more in the coming days.


These first sketches are from my China trip. We moved through a crowded train station and I drew this tired traveler as well as
the box of chirping biddies.

The other sketch is from a scene we witnessed where a couple was scooping water into a rice field in SE China. The photo I took is shown below the sketch.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Walking in rural China "Bucket by Bucket"

This is one of most treasured photos. It shows a hardworking Chinese couple moving water from an irrigation ditch to the rice field behind me.

We couldn't communicate (except smiling and gesturing) but I realized the rice field needed a higher water level of several inches. The couple were "bucket by bucket" supplying the water.

Many times folks ask, "Why don't they just cut a ditch across the road and let the water drain into the field?" It's because the rice field level is higher than the ditch. Therefore, they were doing the only thing that worked. Filling bucket after bucket of water.

I wondered this: How many buckets would it take to raise the level of this several acre rice field one inch? Thousands and thousands?

Knowing the rural Chinese work ethic I saw everywhere I walked, I'm sure they-- with the help of others got it done. I bet if I'd returned at midnight, two people would have been on the bucket doing the job that needed doing.

I took away several spiritual points from this photo.
1. We cannot reach the world with the news of Jesus by ourselves. We must partner with others.

2. We change our world one bucket-- one person-- at a time.

3. Our job is to faithfully man our bucket at the station we've been placed.

In a nearby village, we hid dozens of copies of The Jesus Film in the native dialect of the couple shown. Now people in this area have heard and seen about The Living Water-- Jesus Christ, the Son of God I serve with all of my heart.

Bucket by bucket... It's a good theme to have.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Curt's bike trip across the Black Hills September 2008

The Mickelson Trail stretches for 109 miles through South Dakota's beautiful Black Hills. It is a former railroad that has been converted to a bicycle/hiking/skiing/horse trail. It features five tunnels (see picture below) and countless bridges and trestles.

The aspens were turning golden and the weather was just right for my end to end trip.

(Below) The trails runs alongside Rapid Creek for many miles.

Wildlife were found everywhere. Most of the trail is secluded and I saw turkey (see picture) deer, buffalo, chipmunks, and snakes.

One of the tunnels

The trail winds through an aspen grove.
One of my goals for 2008 is to spend as much time as possible outdoors. It is there that I feel closest to God and it's also where many of my best stories develop.
"The Bible is a book written to be read outdoors." -Wendell Berry

Friday, September 19, 2008

Noah Iles brushing his teeth

Jack Iles with his Papaw.
Our third wonderful grandson is Jude Iles, brother of Noah. Pictures coming soon.