Monday, April 12, 2021

 Greetings! Grace and peace to each one of you. Your prayers on my behalf are greatly appreciated and are a crucial part of the work. Thank you for holding the ropes for me.

Last month, I was able to attend the Colombian Baptist Convention meeting which was held up on the coast. It was good to get away from Bogota for a few days and connect with both national and international partners who are serving our Lord through the country. 


Please continue to pray for the work among the Embera Katio and Embera Chami. I am hoping to get a few Bible studies started among them. Some of the Katio have moved back into the city park. Some of them are merely interested in projects and handouts. One Katio whom I used to visit a few years ago who has since moved to western Colombia has family here in Bogota. They are living in the park and I have made a few visits with them. Please pray that I can connect with the Katio in a way that can lead to studying Scripture and seeing people come to know the sure hope we have in Christ. 

Please also continue to pray for “Silas” and other Wounaan believers. I have been able to make a several visits. Silas has been suffering from medical issues for years now, and they continue to cause him problems.  Pray for me as I minister to him and his family.  

Please continue to pray for “Ted” right now. Since "Amy" passed away, h
e has been going through some depression. I have been able visit with him multiple times over the past months encourage him with the comfort of the gospel. Another man from Betania Baptist Church has been with me during several of those visits. 

I have begun to teach a Sunday school class on Ephesians at Betania Baptist Church. Pray that these classes would go well as we study the glorious gospel in this New Testament book. Betania now has a pastor. Pray that God would give him the wisdom to lead and pastor. 
Pray that the people of Betania would be strengthened in the grace and knowledge of out Lord Jesus Christ and seek to serve Him in their families, neighborhoods, and jobs.

At the end of next month, I plan to return to Vaupes, Colombia where I will participate in training indigenous leaders. We plan to teach on basic Bible interpretation and Bible teaching/preaching. Pray for me as I prepare for the training. 

Also, some lockdowns have begun again for Bogota. As I write this, it is only supposed to be for this weekend (April 10-12) and the next. But these things tend to be extended. Pray that these lockdowns will be short lived and do not hinder the work. 


Colossians 1:24-2:5

24 Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ's afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church,25 of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known, 26 the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints. 27 To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 28 Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. 29 For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me. For I want you to know how great a struggle I have for you and for those at Laodicea and for all who have not seen me face to face, that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God's mystery, which is Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. I say this in order that no one may delude you with plausible arguments. For though I am absent in body, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good order and the firmness of your faith in Christ.

In my last newsletter, I talked about how Paul was determined to present everyone mature in Christ by proclaiming Christ and Him crucified to the nations. And now I want to continue looking at how Paul sought to fulfill his ministry according to the stewardship from God. He knows he is accountable to God as an apostle to the Gentiles and so sought to handle rightly the Word of truth (2 Tim 2:15). 

In his ministry of proclamation, Paul sought to admonish and teach with all wisdom. He communicated wisely the truths of the gospel, and then urgently and passionately pleaded for his hearers to respond to God's truth with faith and repentance (cf. Acts 20:31).

The task of preaching the gospel is not easy. It comes with a cost. Paul endured sufferings, struggles, toils, persecution, and afflictions as he sought to proclaim the gospel to the nations (2 Cor 11:16-33). At the root of this struggle is spiritual warfare in which we wrestle against spiritual forces (Eph 6:10-12). Satan was defeated at the cross, but now he is fighting against the church doing what he can to impede the spread of the gospel.  

Therefore, Paul relies on the power of God that works within him (cf. 1 Cor 2:3-5). He could not do it on his own strength. Neither can we do our task in our own strength. We must rely on God. God is the one who opens doors for the gospel. The Holy Spirit takes the Word to regenerate dead, sinful hearts. Christ is our strength, and He promised to be with us (Mat 28:18-20). 


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