Tuesday, May 2, 2023

May 2023 Update

Greetings! I hope everyone is doing well. 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 that the gospel would 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.

On March 28, my mother suddenly passed away. Her faith has become sight. I made a trip to the United States for a few weeks. We grieve, but not as those who have no hope. God is good and ever faithful even in the difficult times. Please pray for me and my family during this time. 

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. At the end of March, some of the Embera, including "Eli" and his family, were able to return to Choco in western Colombia. But many of the Embera   are still in Bogota, some living in a park just outside the city and others in a shelter near downtown. Pray for wisdom as we seek to communicate the gospel.

In April, a small team from Mississippi came and helped us conduct an English class for the Embera. It was a very basic class with the goal of teaching English that would be helpful when selling their handicrafts on the street. Each class, we also told a Bible story explaining the power and compassion of Jesus. We told the stories of Jesus calming the storm, healing the demoniac, healing the woman with an issue of blood, and the raising of Jairus’s daughter. Please continue to pray for the Embera. We hope to continue with an English class as a way to reach out. 

Continue to pray for the Wounaan. I have been meeting with "Silas" and his family. We have been studying through Mark together. There is a small Wounaan church in Bogota. But many of the Wounaan are 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. He was in the hospital for a week with an infection. And then his three-year-old daughter was in the hospital a few day after swallowing a coin. 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 vital to the missionary task. Thank you for holding the ropes for those of us whom God has sent into the well. 

Also, many missionaries in Colombian have been having difficulties with their visa renewal. My current visa is good for the next 15 months, but pray for those who are in the process of renewal now. May God’s grace and peace be with you all.

In the first part of John 6, we see Jesus feeding the over five thousand people with five loaves and two fish. In response, the people are ready to make Him king by force (6:15). So Jesus withdrew to the mountain by Himself. Then we see the story of Jesus walking on the water, revealing Himself to His disciples as the Great I Am. 

The next day, the crowds are gathering around Him again. Jesus turns to the crowd and says that they are only following Him because they want more food. What the people needed to realize was that Jesus is the Bread of Life. He is the living bread from heaven. Anyone who believes in Him will have eternal life and never hunger again because Jesus completely satisfies. The bread that Jesus gives is His own body. Unless we trust in His body which was broken for us and His blood which was poured out for us, we don’t have Jesus. The crowded wanted a different kind of Messiah. They wanted food. They wanted deliverance from their Roman oppressors. But they didn’t want a crucified Savior. So many began to leave. Jesus then asks the twelve if they wanted to leave too. Peter responds, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed and have come to know that you are the Holy One of God.” 

People will follow after Jesus for many reasons. But we must proclaim Christ and Him crucified. We proclaim Him as the Bread of Life who has eternal life for all who believe. In missions, we often do relief work, providing food and other physical needs for people in dire situations. Some will follow because they want more food. We should help people in need when we have the resources to help, but we must also be clear about the gospel and boldly proclaim who Jesus is and what He’s done for us on the cross, that there is eternal life and forgiveness of sin for all who believe. This gospel is to be proclaimed to everyone. All who come to Jesus, the crucified and risen Savior, in faith will be saved. He will not cast away anyone who believes. The gospel is for everyone. It’s open to every tribe, nation, and tongue. It’s open to rich and poor, reputable and disreputable. So let us go out among the nations and proclaim Jesus, the Bread of Life, the Holy One of God, the One who has the words of eternal.

No comments: