Monday, January 2, 2023

New Years 2023 Update

Happy New Year! I hope you each had a wonderful Christmas. 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 trust Jesus, and that the gospel would demolish any and all barriers Satan tries to amass 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. Pray that God would give us the wisdom we need as we plan for the new year.

This past month I was able to make a brief visit to the States for Christmas. It was colder than usual and even got a little snow. It was great being able to spend time with my family, laughing and playing games, eating good food and exchanging gifts. I was also able to worship (in English) together with my family by attending church with them. I am now back in Bogota.

Please continue to pray for the thousands of displaced indigenous living in Bogota. They are living in very poor conditions. Pray that our weekly visits would go well and be fruitful. Pray for clarity as we communicate the good news of Jesus with them. Pray that we can find national believers who are willing and available to become 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 John. We are about to study through the gospel of Mark. 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 in Bogota with the gospel. Also pray for the Wounaan in western Colombia that they too might be reached with the gospel.

Also, continue to pray for "Mike" and his family. Life is hard as he struggles to make ends meet. For a while, their two-year- old daughter was removed from their custody until their living conditions were improved. After working hard to get a better place, she was returned to them a few days before Christmas. Pray that God would open up their heart to receive the gospel and trust 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. Several people have become Christians through this ministry. Pray for them as they continue 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 9 prophesied of the coming of Jesus. The great light that shines in the darkness and gloom of this world is the Child that was born in Bethlehem, the Son that was given, the One whose name is called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace (Isa 9:6). He is God made flesh who lived in perfect obedience for us, who bore our grief and carried our sorrows, who was pierced for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquity (Isa 53). That is why Christ was born. At Christmas, we remember his birth. But in remembering his birth, we must not forget his obedient life, his vicarious death, and powerful resurrection.

Thus, for the new year may all pastors and missionaries [continue to] resolve to proclaim Christ and him crucified (1 Cor 2:2). That is the word that will open up blind eyes that people may turn from darkness and to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins (Acts 26:18).

Jesus says, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12). Christ has come. The light has shown in the darkness (John 1:5). And we must bear witness to that light. The world is in darkness, and people will remain in darkness without the light of the gospel of Christ. That is why we preach Christ and him crucified. That is the message that will transfer sinners from the domain of darkness and into the kingdom. So we resolve to boldly proclaim Jesus, declaring who he is and what he has done for us. For that will both save sinners bringing them to faith and also strengthen believers as that grow in their faith and persevere to the end.

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