Wednesday, December 20, 2023

Final update of 2023

Greetings and Merry Christmas! I would like to thank you each of you for praying for the work God is doing not only among the displaced indigenous peoples of Colombia with whom I work but also for what God is doing throughout the world. I am currently in the States through February for short furlough. And although I am in the States, please continue to pray for the work in Bogota. Moreover, pray that the word of Christ would speed ahead and be glorified among every tribe, nation, people, and tongue. Pray that the gospel would advance unhindered and that its power would demolish any and all barriers Satan tries to amass against it. Pray that those who walk in darkness would see a great light. As we remember the birth of our Lord, let us remember that his birth is good news of great joy for all people for he came to live and die for the world. 

Please pray for the thousands of displaced indigenous peoples in Bogota. Around 1500 are living in a park just outside the city, and another 1500 are living in two shelters in downtown Bogota. Pray that my team can maintain entry into the park and shelters so that we can minister to them and proclaim the good news of the gospel. There are several different people groups living together. Sometimes there is conflict among the different groups. Such conflict has caused one group to leave one shelter to another. My team included two guys who were serving short term, so their time has come to a close. This means that my team has fewer workers. Pray that we would have wisdom and patience in our work. 

Please continue to pray for “Silas” and “Mike.” While in Bogota, I visit them every week. I have been able to make a few calls with them from the States, but that is not the same as an in person visit. Pray that I would minister well to them from afar. Also please continue to pray for the work in Las Cruces. Pray for the new church plant and the ministry that is going on there to reach that neighborhood with the gospel.

During my time in the State, I have been able to speak at different churches. I’ve bee to east Tennessee a few times, several places in middle Tennessee, and a few places in Mississippi. 

I’ve been staying with my brother and his family in Clarksville, TN. A few weeks ago, there were tornados in the area. Ninety-one homes were destroyed and 675 were badly damaged. I’ve been able to help with some of the clean up. Please pray for the families affected by the storm.

Jesus is the Savior that God promised long ago. He is the skull-crushing seed of the woman (Gen 3:15) who would succeed where Adam failed (Rom 5:12-21; 1 Cor 15:21-22, 45). That promise was made right after the fall of man. God continued to promise the coming Savior. He was also presented in types and shadows. The entire Old Testament is a book about Jesus. He is the seed promised to Abraham (Gen 12; Gal 3:16). He is the prophet like Moses who would bring forth a greater exodus (Deut 18; Acts 3:22). He is the son promised to David. He is the Suffering Servant in Isaiah who would bear our iniquities (Isa 53). He is the Lamb of God who would take away our sins. After his resurrection, Jesus told his disciples, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled... that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance for the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations.” 

After the birth of Jesus, Joseph and Mary brought Jesus up to Jerusalem to present him in the temple and offer the sacrifices required by the Law of the Lord. And there was a man in Jerusalem named Simeon who was very devout and waiting for the consolation of Israel. The Holy Spirit had told him that he before he died he would see the promised Messiah. In the temple, Simeon took the infant Jesus into his arms and said these words. Simeon was patient and trusted the Lord for He will bring all of His promises to pass. He saw Jesus and saw him as the fulfillment of all the promises God had made. He saw in Jesus a light for the Gentiles (cf. Isa 9:2). Jesus is the promised Savior. He is our only hope. And that same hope is for all peoples. Our Lord has promised to return again one day. 

We too can patiently wait for that blessed hope and trust in his timing for that great day. Even in the first century, some were mocking the promise of the second coming (2 Pet 3:4). But such a delay is due to the mercy and patience of our Lord to save more people and bring them to repentance (2 Pet 3:8-9). So until our Lord does return–and he will return–we are to be about the great commission of making disciples of all peoples so that those who walk in darkness would see a great light.

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