Monday, May 24, 2021

May Update – Off to the rainforest

Greetings! I hope everyone is doing well. Thank you for your support and praying for me and the work God is doing in Colombia and throughout the world as missionaries go forth armed with the preaching of the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. Grace and peace to each one of you.

This week, I will be returning to the department of Vaupés near the Brazilian border for another visit to an indigenous community. While there, we will be training a group of church leaders in Scripture interpretation and preaching. To get to this community, I will be traveling by plane to a town called Mitú. From there, I will go an hour or so down river before hiking several hours through the rainforest. Since it is the rainy season, the path to the village will have even more water than it did my previous trip a few months ago. Please pray for safety while as I travel and for the training. Pray that the material will be understood and fruitful to the church leaders who are there. I will return to Bogota June 3.

Also, pray for the country of Colombia. Over the past month, there has been a bit of civil unrest. We had a few weekends with strict lockdowns. There has been several manifestations some of which turned violent. Pray that things will come to a peaceful conclusion.

Please continue to pray for the work among the Embera (Katío and Chamí). The lockdowns have been particular hard for them. They are people who have had a rough life and continue to do so. Pray for me as proclaim to them the hope we have in the gospel.

Continue to pray for the Wounaan as well. With everything going on in Bogota, it has been difficult to visit with them as often as I’d like. But I have been able to make a few good visits with them. “Silas” continues to have medical issues, but his faith in our Lord is strong.

Also continue to pray for “Ted.” He’s still battling depression since Amy passed away. Pray for me as I visit with him and encourage him with the gospel.

Again, thank you for your prayers, and may each of you have a blessed week.


Mark 10:32-45 

32 And they were on the road, going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was walking ahead of them. And they were amazed, and those who followed were afraid. And taking the twelve again, he began to tell them what was to happen to him, 33 saying, “See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and the scribes, and they will condemn him to death and deliver him over to the Gentiles. 34 And they will mock him and spit on him, and flog him and kill him. And after three days he will rise.” 35 And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came up to him and said to him, “Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.” 36 And he said to them, “What do you want me to do for you?” 37 And they said to him, “Grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory.” 38 Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or to be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?” 39 And they said to him, “We are able.” And Jesus said to them, “The cup that I drink you will drink, and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized, 40 but to sit at my right hand or at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared.” 41 And when the ten heard it, they began to be indignant at James and John. 42 And Jesus called them to him and said to them, “You know that those who are considered rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. 43 But it shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, 44 and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. 45 For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

This passage shows Jesus predicting His death and resurrection for the third time. Each time, the disciples fail to understand what Jesus’ messianic tasks would entail. After the first prediction (Mark 8), Peter rebuked Him. After the second (Mark 9), the disciple began to argue about who’s the greatest. And here in Mark 10, James and John are jockeying for positions of greatness.

In the Kingdom of God, greatness comes by sacrificially serving others. Even the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give His life as a ransom for many. This is very different from the world and the way we naturally tend to think.

In the Kingdom, greatness come by loving our neighbor through sacrificial service instead of focusing on ourselves, seeking after our own greatness. We know that apart from Christ we rightly deserve condemnation, that even our good deeds are but filthy rags. But Christ has saved us. He drank every last drop of the cup of God’s wrath for us on the cross. And it is through His vicarious death that we stand before God as holy, completely forgiven of all our sins.

We know that salvation is by grace. If we were to try to earn our way to heaven as the rich, young ruler did (Mark 10:17-31), we would be doomed. It would be utterly impossible. We must come to God as the blind beggar (Mark 10:46-52) with nothing to bring, crying out, “Have mercy on me.” We are saved by His mercy. It is not about us. Knowing this, we can cease to be self-serving and, out of love for God and gratitude for all that He’s done for us, go out into the world serving other in love.

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