Wednesday, March 23, 2022

March 2022 Update

Greetings to all! I hope you all are doing well as we enter springtime. Thank you for praying for me and for the work God is doing in Colombia and throughout the world. Prayer is essential to the missionary task. Please continue to pray that the word of Christ would speed ahead and be glorified.

This past week, I flew to Cúcuta on the Venezuelan border for some meetings with other Baptists throughout the country. It was a good to see some of the work God is doing in other parts of Colombia. Pray that many more come to faith in Christ, healthy churches planted, leaders trained, and missionaries sent out.

Please continue to pray for “Silas” and the Wounaan. I am continuing to study 1 Peter with him. Pray that he will grow in his knowledge of Christ and know joy in suffering as we pass through this life as strangers and sojourners. He is eager to dig deep in the Word. Pray that such hunger for the Word would spread to others.

Please continue to pray for the thousands of displaced indigenous living in the city parks. They are displaced due to the drug violence where they are from. Pray that I can clearly proclaim the gospel to them, that they may come to know Christ as Savior. Pray for wisdom that we might be able to attend to their material needs as well as provide them hope in the gospel.

In one park, “Levi,” one of the Katio living in the park, requested a simple English class. So I have begun teaching one each week. During the classes, I am including a time of Bible study. Recently, we taught on Jesus’ calming of the storm. Pray that the Spirit would take the Word and bring them to faith. I have taught the same story to “Eli” and his family in another park where the displaced live. Please pray for the Word to work faith into their hearts.

In both parks, the need is great. We are in the process of getting a project together some help for their material needs, providing some food, blankets, hygiene items, etc. But this will likely take place in May. Please pray for us as we plan for this project, that we may help those who need help.Pray also for my team as we seek to mobilize local churches to become involved in the indigenous work in Colombia. They have a huge mission field right where they live. This project will help provide such an opportunity.

Continue to pray for my visits with “Mike” and his family. Life has been super hard for them. It’s difficult for them to make ends meet. Pray that he will come to know Christ as Savior. Pray for me as I visit with him and his family.

Next month, I will be traveling again, this time, to Guainía to assist in a training conference for church leaders from four or five indigenous groups. Pray for safety while traveling and that the training will be fruitful.

Again, thank you for your support and prayers.

Psalm 107 begins with a call to give thanks to the LORD for His covenant faithfulness, love, and mercy. That call is followed by a call for the redeemed to proclaim the wonderful things God has done for them. We see that God is gathering people from the four corners of the earth. The LORD continues to redeem people today. And the redemption won by Christ at the cross is for all peoples, tribes, nations, and tongues (Rev 7:9).

The psalmist continues by presenting four pictures of people whom God has redeemed. Each picture shows us how God deals with sinners in their plight. One group (107:4-9) of people are wandering in the desert without food or water looking for a city to call home. And we too were once not a people having no hope and without God in the world (Eph 2:12-13). But now we have been brought near by the blood of Christ. We are now looking forward to a city that has foundations whose designer and builder is God (Heb 11:10, 16). Christ bids all who thirst to come to Him and drink (John 7:37).

Another group (107:10-16) are chained in a dark prison for their rebellion against God. We are by nature at enmity with God (Rom 5:10) enslaved to our sins, weighed down by guilt and shame. Yet Christ has come "to proclaim liberty to the captives" (Luke 4:18). He has come to set us free from sin and condemnation, to deliver us from the domain of darkness and transfer us to His kingdom where we have forgiveness of sins (Col 1:13-14).

A third group (107:17-22) are foolish people suffering affliction and sickness. We too are sick with our own depravity and corruption. Yet Christ took on our infirmities and brings us complete healing in both soul and body (1 Pet 2:24-25; 1 Cor 15:53).

A final group (107:23-32) are storm-tossed sailors in search for a haven. We see God calming the storm and hushing the waves (cf. Jesus' calming of the storm in Mk 4:35-41). When we are threatened by forces beyond our control and all kinds of storms in life, Jesus, who is full of mercy and compassion, does indeed cares for us. He is our haven in the storm. He is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble (Psa 46:1).

In these four pictures, every time, "they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and He delivered them from their distress (107:6,13,19, 28). God heard their desperate cries for help and mercifully gave what they needed—a home, forgiveness, healing, and peace. And He gives all of this as a gift. He responds mercifully and graciously to anyone who in simple faith cries out, "Lord, have mercy on me a sinner!" In Christ, we can continue to go boldly to the throne of grace and find mercy in a time of need (Heb 4:16).

Each of these four pictures conclude with a call to grateful proclamation for what God has done: "Let them give thanks to the Lord for His steadfast love, and for His wonders to the children of man!" (107:8, 15, 21, 31). Let the redeemed of the Lord say so. Let us ponder the glory of the steadfast love of the Lord in the gospel (107:43), and let us proclaim to the nations all that God has done for us in Christ.

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