Sunday, February 16, 2020

February Update


Thank you for your support. I am grateful for your prayers and giving to missions. We are working together in the Great Commission; some go down into the well and others hold the ropes for those who do. Both are needed. May God continue to bless your endeavors to see the Name of Christ proclaimed among the nations. 

Here is an update: 

In August of last year, I flew to the States for a furlough. I was able to spend time with friends and family. I had the privilege of being able to speak in different churches. I had a few medical exams too.

But at the beginning of this month, after 179 days in the States, I returned to Colombia. It is good to be back in Bogota and to get started back in the field.

Last month, my team members moved to the department of Vaupés near the Brazilian border. There are several unreached people groups in the region. They will be starting a new work there to reached the unreached groups. Please pray that many will come to know Christ and that healthy churches would be planted there.

That also means that I am without a team in Bogota. Please pray that I will be able to find workers who can work alongside me with the displaced indigenous in Bogota. I have already found one man who is willing to help out. He is very enthusiastic about the possibility and has already accompanied me to visit some of the indigenous in the shelters. This past week, we were able to share the gospel with a group of indigenous in a park near one of the shelters.

I have made a few visits to the Wounaan. One man I visited is recovering from surgery. He is one of the leaders among the Wounaan community in Bogota and is a strong believer. I read and discuss several passages of Scripture with him—Philippians 1:3-11; Romans 12:12; and Psalm 103.

My desire is to see the Wounaan believers mobilized to reach there own people with the gospel. A few years ago, I was able to visit some Wounaan believers in Panama, and maybe I can help connect the Wounaan there with the Wounaan here to reach the Wounaan in the western part of Colombia. That part of Colombia is still very dangerous with the cartels.

Please pray for me to develop ways to help the Wounaan see the need to become missionaries, especially to their own people. Pray that the violence through the country to subside and allow for missionaries to move more freely so that the gospel would spread. But even with the current situation, we know that the Word of God is not bound (2 Tim 2:9)!

Pray that I will be able to establish more relationships with displaced indigenous in Bogota.  Pray that I can build good friendships and that the gospel would be proclaimed. Working with indigenous takes much patience. And working with displaced indigence takes even more. They are often very transient. They move a lot, through the city and the country. Pray that I would be able to develop a strategy for reaching such a transient group.

Again, thank you for your prayers. I need them.

1 Peter 1:23-2:3 
Since you have been born again, 
not of perishable seed but of imperishable, 
through the living and abiding word of God; 
for ‘All flesh is like grass 
and all its glory like the flower of grass. 
The grass withers, and the flower falls, 
but the word of the Lord remains forever.’ 
And this word is the good news that was preached to you. 
So put away all malice and all deceit 
and hypocrisy and envy and all slander. 
Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, 
that by it you may grow up into salvation
if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good. 

There are many truths in this passage, but I want to briefly focus our attention to one. The proclamation of the Word of God is central to Christian ministry. First Peter 1:3 says that God is the One who causes us to be born again. Yet we learn here that the means God uses to regenerate a sinner’s heart is the preached Word (cf. Rom 10:17; Jam 1:18). Moreover, the preached Word is the primary means God uses to grow, strengthen, mature, and build up believers in the faith (cf. Acts 20:32; 2 Tim3:16-17). 

The ministry of the Word, therefore, must never be marginalized in our missionary endeavors; it must be the centerpiece of both missions and the life of the gathered local church, for by it, sinners come to faith in Christ and believers continue to grow in the faith and are sanctified. Preach the Word! 

Resources for further study:

Preaching in the New Testament: An Exegetical and Biblical-Theological Study – Jonathan Griffiths 

Taking God at His Word: Why the Bible Is Knowable,  Necessary, and Enough, and What That Means for You and Me ­­– Kevin DeYoung 

Word-Centered Church: How Scripture Brings Life and Growth to God's People – Jonathan Leeman

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