Sunday, May 3, 2020

May Update

Greetings! Thank you for your prayers and for holding the ropes for those of us who have gone down into the well. I hope everyone is doing well and staying safe during these strange times we are all facing. They have often been called ‘uncertain,’ but we know that they are not uncertain to our Lord who remains on His throne. He is still sovereign. He is never taken by surprise.  And we can trust in Him always.
 Here in Colombia, we continue to be on lockdown—a shelter-at-home—with limited travel in the city. I can only go out every other day. In other cities, it has been even more limited. Since most of my everyday work involves visiting people in their homes and many of the people I visit are older and/or have multiple medical issues, I have been unable to continue my work as usual. I have done the best I can to continue working from home using phone calls, WhatsApp, and Zoom. Some of the passages I have used to encourage the believers with whom I work include Romans 12:12 (which I briefly discuss below), Romans 8, James 1, Psalm 28, and Psalm 86. It is difficult trying to do everything through virtual means. I long for this covid-19 and lockdown to be over so I can meet with people face to face.
Although travel in the city is limited, I have been able to visit one family who was in need of food. I had not had contact with this family in several years, but I became aware of their need and was able to help them out and supply them with a few basic groceries. I have made two trips over to their home. While there, I was able to have a Bible study and encourage them with God’s Word. 

Thank you for supporting me with your prayers. Pray that the Word of God would speed ahead and be glorified (1 Thes 3:1) despite all that is going on now. Pray that God would use all of this for the spread of the gospel and the growth and health of His church. 

Prayer Points:

• That Christ be glorified! 

• The covid-19 crisis/quarantine

• Building a new team

• Mobilizing the Wounaan

• Evangelizing the Katio/Chami

• Developing an effective strategy

• New work in Vaupes 

• Mobilizing local churches 

• That the violence would cease

Romans 12:9-13
Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.

Beginning in the twelfth chapter of this missionary letter (cf. Rom 15:22-29), Paul begins to give instructions for the Christian life. These instructions flow out of our position in Christ and the mercy we have received from God. In verse 12, the Spirit encourages us to do three things. First, rejoice in hope. No matter what is happening in our lives, if we have been justified in Christ, we have every reason to rejoice. Rejoice that we have peace with God (5:1) that there is now no condemnation for us (8:1). Second, be patient in tribulation. The suffering of this present time is not worthy to be compared to the glory that awaits the sons of God (8:18-25). Third, be devoted to prayer. Prayer shows our utter dependence on God. And when we don’t know what to pray for, the Spirit intercedes for us (8:26-28). We can be confident that God is good and is working all things together for our salvation. Our great comfort is that we are not our own but belong to our faithful Savior who with His blood has forgiven us all our sins. 
For further reading…
Strength for the Weary by Derek Thomas
Trusting God by Jerry Bridges
The Crook in the Lot: God’s Sovereignty and Wisdom Displayed                                                                in Our Afflictions by Thomas Boston 
How the Gospel Brings Us All the Way Home by Derek Thomas

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