Saturday, September 24, 2022

September 2022 Update

 Greetings! I hope everyone is doing well. Please continue to pray that the word of Christ would speed ahead and be glorified, that the gospel would advance unhindered, that many would come to faith in Jesus, and the gospel will demolish any and all barriers raised up against it. Thank you for praying for me and for the work God is doing among the indigenous peoples of Colombia and throughout the world.

I have several trips coming up. For the first trip I have, I will spend a week in Guainía (eastern Colombia) to help with a training for indigenous pastors helping them to get a few Bible stories in their language and encouraging them in their ministry. Please pray that the trip will be fruitful.


After a few days back from that trip, I have another week-long trip. I'll be going to Costa Rica for a singles' retreat. I used to live in Costa Rica, so it's exciting to be able to go back for a visit. Pray that this trip will be a time to relax and be refreshed. 


Five days after I return from Costa Rica, I have a third trip. This trip is a prayer retreat for Colombian missionaries. It will be in the department of Quindío, a region known for growing coffee. Pray that this trip will also be a time to relax and be refreshed as I meet with other missionaries serving in Colombia hearing about and praying for their work to reach the lost.


Continue to pray for the thousands of displaced indigenous living in Bogota. They are living in very poor conditions. Pray for us as we visit with them each week. It can be difficult at times to find them available to visit. 
There is also a language barrier with many of the indigenous whose Spanish is limited, so pray for clarity as we communicate the good news of Jesus with them. Some of them have plans to return to western Colombia at the end of the year. Pray for wisdom as we plan how to make use of our time with them while they are in Bogota and how to continue with those who remain here. Pray that we can get national believers involved with the indigenous work. 

Continue to pray for the Wounaan work. I have been meeting with one believer and his family. We have just finished up 1 Peter, and now we have begun to look at a few passages in Isaiah. There is a small Wounaan church in Bogota, but many of the Wounaan are still unreached. Pray that the Wounaan believers can reach out to their own people with the gospel.  


Also, continue to pray for "Mike" and his family. Life is hard as he struggles to make ends meet. He has begun to open up to gospel discussions. Pray that God would open up his heart to receive the gospel and trust in Christ. 


Continue to pray for Daniel and his family from Bethania Church as they minister in their neighborhood Las Cruces. I have been helping them in this for some time now. They have Bible studies for the neighborhood children on the weekends. They are also beginning to have music and English classes. Pray for them as they seek to reach those in Las Cruces. 

Thank you again for your prayers. Prayer is crucial to the missionary task. Thank you for holding the ropes for those of us whom God has sent into the well. May God’s grace and peace be with you all.

Isaiah 40 begins with a word of comfort. Isaiah has just finished writing several chapters filled with pronouncements of judgment. The people were going to be exiled. They were likely wondering what that meant for the promises made to Abraham and to David. Had God forsaken his promise? No, God had not. He was still going to fulfill all of his promises. So Isaiah gave a word of comfort saying that her warfare had ended and her iniquity had been pardoned. 


As the foundation for that hope, Isaiah uses the nature of God himself. The word of God abides forever. When all else fails, God's word remains. Therefore, we have no reason to fear. The Lord rules with his mighty arm (v. 10). And those same mighty arms are the tender arms of a Shepherd who holds us, sustains us, and cares for us (v. 11). 


Isaiah then goes on and on for many chapters proclaiming God to be the transcendent Creator of all things and the sovereign Lord of all history. Because of who God is as the transcendent Creator and sovereign Lord of all history, we can trust him with full confidence to fulfill all of his promises. And we can do so in the midst of the most dire of circumstances whether that be exile, sickness, persecution, or any other suffering we may face. This is why knowing who God is is so important. 


Isaiah also says in this passage that the Lord is coming. We know that this coming of the Lord ultimately referring to Jesus who is the King of kings and the Good Shepherd who would lay down his life for the sheep (Isa 53; John 10). John the Baptist prepared the way for our Lord and declared him to be the Lamb who takes away the sins of the world. Let us herald this good news to the nations and preach the comfort that Jesus gives through his vicarious death on the cross for all of our sins. It is through him that our warfare has ended, and our sins have been forgiven. That is something in which we can take comfort.  

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