Friday, August 25, 2023

August 2023 Update

Greetings! I hope everyone is doing well and staying cool during the hot summer. Thank you for praying for me and for the work God is doing among the indigenous peoples of Colombia and throughout the world. 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 find lasting hope in Jesus, and that the power of the gospel would demolish any and all barriers Satan tries to amass against it. Pray that the name of Christ would be great among the nations.

The focus of my work in Colombia is the displaced indigenous living in Bogota, a large part of which involves various Embera groups (Katío, Chamí, Dóbida). Here in the city, they are living in very poor conditions, and there's been a lot of sickness among them.

About 1,200 are living in a shelter where my team has been able to visit twice a week. Each time we visit is a little different. We have taught English classes, told Bible stories, played games with the kids, and visited particular families. Another part of my team has been visiting a park just outside the city twice a week. Pray for both groups that many deep relationships will develop and that the gospel will be clearly communicated, understood, and believed.

Continue to pray for the Wounaan. I have been meeting with "Silas" and his family.We are still studying through Mark. Pray for our time in the Word together. There is a small Wounaan church in Bogota. But many of the Wounaan are unreached. There may be a opportunity to do an aid project with the Wounaan in western Colombia, but several details need to come together before we can proceed. 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 eke out a living. 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 in the process of planting a church. Pray for them as they seek to reach those in Las Cruces.

Next month, I will begin a furlough. So I will be returning to the States for about five months. This will allow me to spend time with family, speak in churches and missionary events, and hopefully have some time to relax and be refreshed before I return to Colombia. So pray for me as I prepare to leave for my stateside, that I can set everything in order that I need to. Pray for my team who will continue to work with the indigenous in my absence.

Please pray that God will continue to bless our efforts to reach the displaced indigenous in Bogota. There are thousands of them here in the city and we can only do so much. The need is great, but we serve an even greater God. 

John began his gospel by saying that in Jesus was life and that light was the light of men that shines in the darkness. In chapter 11, before bringing Lazarus back to from the dead, Jesus declares that He is the Resurrection and the Life. In this, we see the depths of Jesus' love for us and the hope that He brings us. We see that Jesus is the one who will reverse the curse of the Fall and conquer death for us and give us life eternal. We see that even though now this world is filled with sin, brokenness, disease, destruction, and death, none of these things will not have the final word. With the coming of Jesus into the world, we have the real hope of eternal life and resurrection.

How does this hope of life come to us? For Lazarus, it came through the word of Christ who cried out, "Lazarus, come forth." In the vision in Ezekiel 37, the dry bones came to life as Ezekiel proclaimed over them, "Live." And for us and for all who will believe, the life Jesus gives comes through the proclamation of the gospel. The gospel is the power of God unto salvation (Rom 1:16). The word of the cross is the power of God (1 Cor 1:18). The living and abiding word of God preached to sinners is what causes them to be born again (1 Pet 1:23-25). That is why in missions, we must be about boldly and clearly preaching Jesus, proclaiming to the nations who Jesus is and what He has done for us. We tell of His sinless life, His vicarious death for our sins, His resurrection from the dead, His ascension to the the throne where He now reigns. We proclaim Him to be the Resurrection and the Life and that whoever lives and believes in Him shall never die. In Him alone our hope is found. And as Jesus asked Martha, "Do you believe this?" So we ask and urge our audience to trust in Jesus. And those whom the Spirit calls will reply as Martha did: “Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world.” 

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