Friday, April 25, 2014

Greetings! I do hope this finds each of you well. I greatly appreciate your prayers. Please continue to beseech the Lord for me and the work God is doing in Colombia. Please pray that the Word would spread rapidly and be glorified (2 Thes 3:1) and that the Lord would send out workers into his harvest (Mat 9:37-38).  

But, ultimately, pray that God’s name would be great among the nations; pray that in every town, village, and neighborhood of this planet there would be found believers gathered into churches praising the glories of God and proclaiming the gospel of Christ despite any persecution there may be.

One of the things that do is work on research. This involves updating our databases regarding each people group in Colombia. There are over 100 indigenous groups in Colombia. Some have had missionary activity and have access to the gospel.  

However, other groups have very little, if any, access to the gospel. One of the things I have been doing is helping to develop a map showing the work that has been done among the Chamí people. The Chamí is whom I have been working with in downtown Bogotá.

English Classes
One of the things Stan and I have been doing from February though mid-April is teaching another English class. Stan has been doing an English class every Spring and Fall for a few years now. This was my third time to do so.  

The purpose for the English classes in to help start and build relationships with the students, to continue to build a relationship with those who run the community center (the Comedor [coe-may-DOOR]), and to provide a helpful service to the neighborhood of La Favorita.

This time, we decided to do several things differently.  First, we had a theme for the whole semester. We did the theme of “Life in America.” The students were really interested in the topic and enjoyed not only learning some English but also learning about the United States. Four of the classes were on the seasons. They all seemed particularly interested in those topics, especially with the photos we showed of autumn leaves and snow.

Second, we concluded each lesson with a Bible story in Spanish. We started with the Tower of Babel and then picked various stories for each week. We concluded with the Crucifixion and Resurrection. 

The Chamí Work

Our work with the Chamí includes teaching through Bible storying. We usually spend at least a week on each story, retelling it and discussing its meaning.

We have taught stories on prayer and forgiveness (Mat 6:9-15). Forgiveness seems to be a difficult issue for many of the Chamí, so we have tried to bring up this important issue with those we are discipling and show them what God has said about it in his Word.

We have taught on discipleship from Luke 9:18-26 which is really packed with important issues like who is Jesus (v.18-20), that Christ would suffer, die, and rise again (v. 22), and the cost of discipleship and being unashamed of Christ (v. 23-26). We have taught the Great Commission, ascension of Christ, the promise of the Holy Spirit, and the promise of the Second Advent (Mat 28:16-20; Acts 1:1-11). We taught on the coming of the Spirit on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2).  

The six past weeks we have centered our storying around Resurrection Sunday. The six stories we used were (1) Jesus’ Weeping over Jerusalem, (2) His Cleansing of the Temple, (3) His Anointing in Bethany, (4) the Last Supper & His Washing the Disciples’ Feet, (5) the Triumphal Entry, and (6) the Crucifixion and Resurrection.

Concerning the work with the Chamí downtown, there are several developments.  

First, the Chamí have moved to another shelter. The shelter in the neighborhood of La Favorita has closed. Those living there have moved to another shelter in the neighborhood of Santa Fe. Santa Fe is a rougher neighborhood, part of which has been zoned for legal prostitution. It is also filled with drug activity. (La Favorita is too, but Santa Fe more so).

We have not had any problems entering the shelter as we once did with the other.  So we have been able to go into the shelter to make visits.  Those running the shelter, though not believers themselves, have been helpful to us and appreciative of our presence there.  

Second, some of the Chamí may be moving back to the interior. Now this move may or may not come to fruition. Or, the timing may be delayed longer than originally planned. Nevertheless, should this move happen and proves to be more permanent rather than temporary, Stan and his wife Debra will move to the interior to continue ministry with those whom we have been working. While I will continue working with those who stay in Bogotá.  

Third, we are continuing to have a Sunday service for the Chamí. However, we are no longer having it in the Comedor.  We now have it in Santa Fe closer to the shelter at a building called the Jungla [HUNE-glah]. The Jungla is a building that YWAM has for various ministries.  

Fabián, the Correguaje believer whom I mentioned in my previous newsletter, continues to help out and do most of the teaching for the service. Pray that God will give him wisdom as he teaches the Word.

One individual to keep in your prayers is Hector. His background is seeped in shamanism (witch doctor) and animism. But he has recently become interested in hearing about the gospel. He has been attending the services on Sunday. He has been reading Scripture. Pray that he comes to a saving knowledge of Christ.

Pray that these services will lead to spiritual growth for the Chamí believers and the conversion of those who do not yet believe. 

Fourth, once a month, we have begun having an activity for the Chamí children who live in the shelter. We have this at the Jungla which is equipped with a number of things like a ball pit, a rock climbing wall, a pole to slide down, etc. In addition to all of the fun activities available, we have a time for a Bible story. The Saturday before Easter was our first time doing this, and we plan on continuing doing this on the third Saturday of each month. Pray that we will be able to reach out to more Chamí families through this ministry.

Summary of Prayer Concerns:
• That I will be able to engage the displaced indigenous downtown with the gospel, disciple new believers, and see a true church started among the Chamí people.

• That the Sunday meeting with the Chamí will develop into a church. Pray particularly for Fabián as he teaches. Pray for Hector, that his interest will lead to coming to faith in Christ.

• That, should the Chamí with whom we have been working move back to the interior, the gospel will go with them. Pray for Stan and Debra as they consider moving to the interior to continue the Chamí work.

• That the work with the children will lead to Chamí families coming to faith in Christ.

• That I will be able to do the much needed research of the indigenous groups in Colombia.

• That I will be devoted to the Word, prayer, and the tasks at hand and grow closer to the Lord each and every day.

• That the Name of Christ would be great among all peoples as the gospel is proclaimed to the ends of the earth.

Psalm 72:18-19
Blessed be Yahweh, the God of Israel, 
who alone does wondrous things. 
Blessed be his glorious name forever; 
may the whole earth be filled with his glory! 
Amen and Amen!

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