Saturday, September 23, 2023

September 2023 Update – Back in the States for a While

Greetings! I hope everyone is doing well. 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 true and lasting hope in Jesus our Lord, 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. Much I my work involves various Embera groups (Katío, Chamí, Dóbida). Well over a thousand are living in a park just outside the city. We have been able to help those here to build a few gardens. Another thousand or so have been living in a shelter near downtown. We have been able to enter a few times a week for English classes and Bible storying. In both places, there has been conflicts between to different groups. In the shelter, it became significant enough recently that on group (the Chamí) have been moved to another shelter. In each place, the conditions are poor. Many of them have been sick. Infant mortality is high. So please pray for them. Pray that their situation can improve. Pray for us as we visit and proclaim the hope that can be found in Jesus.

Last week, I returned to the States for a 24-week furlough. Pray for me as I spend time with family. This furlough will be different as it is the first one without my mother. Pray for me as I speak in churches that I can communicate well what God is doing in Colombia. Pray for my team back in Bogota as they continue the work among the displaced indigenous.

Please continue to pray for the Wounaan. I have been meeting with "Silas" and reading through the gospel of Mark with him. We are about half way through. I will have to pick up where we left off one I return. There is a possibility for a project with them to help the Wounaan in western Colombia get some needed medical supplies. So pray for that situation. If we can support them in this, it may lead to also get the gospel to other Wounaan. 

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. 

In John 14, Jesus declares himself to be the Way, the Truth, and the Life. He is the one and only way to the Father. There is only God and only one mediator between God and men— the man Christ Jesus (1 Tim 2:5). He is our Great High Priest, and our only way of salvation. Jesus is the Truth. In him are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (Col 2:3). John said in the prologue to his gospel that only Jesus–God Incarnate, the Word made flesh–has revealed who God is (1:14-18). Grace and truth come to us in Jesus alone. Jesus is the Life. We see that in John 11 when Jesus said, "I am the Resurrection and the Life." We see that in John 1:4, when John says in him was life, and the life was the light of men. Eternal life only comes through belief in him (John 3:16).

That is why we go to the nations proclaiming Jesus, his perfect life, his vicarious death on the cross, and his resurrection. He is the only way to God. He is the only way of salvation, the only way to complete forgiveness of all our sins. There are many different erroneous worldviews in the world. Many people with a false hope and with no hope at all as they grope in darkness blinded by the deception of all sorts of hopeless philosophies and religions that lead to death. But in Jesus there is hope. Proverbs 14:12 and 16:25 say that there is a way (yea many ways) that seem right to a man, but the end thereof leads to death. Only Jesus is the true way that leads to life.

So we must go out proclaiming the Way, the Truth, and the Life. And how does his forgiveness come to us? Through him preparing a place for us in himself by going to the Father by means of the cross (John 14:1-3). In him, there is room for all who believe. So we proclaim him to all. Jesus said that he is lifted up, he will draw all men to himself (John 12:32; 3:14-16). He was lifted up on the cross, and we go forth lifting him up in our preaching to all people.


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