Friday, February 2, 2024

First update of 2024

Greetings! It’s hard to believe we have already entered the second month of the new year. I hope everyone is doing well. 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 the end of this month. 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 my team as we plan for the new year and how to minister and reach the displaced indigenous in Bogota. There are thousands living

in shelters and a park. Pray that we can maintain a presence among them through relief projects, English classes, and the gardens. Pray that opportunities will open to share Bible stories and proclaim the gospel, giving them true and lasting hope in our Lord. 

Pray for the Wounaan that we might mobilize and train Wounaan believers to reach out and evangelize their own people both in Bogota and in western Colombia. Next month, I will begin meeting with “Silas” again to study Scripture and pray together.

Continue to pray for “Mike” and his family. He is beginning to show more interest in the gospel. I have been able to speak with him some from the States through WhatsApp.

Pray for the work in Las Cruces, a neighborhood in Bogota. A family from Betania Baptist Church has been starting a church here, ministering to those in their neighborhood with the gospel.

During my time in the States, I have been able to spend time with friends and family. I have gone out for ice cream with my nieces and nephew. I have been speaking in churches and mission’s events in Tennessee and Mississippi. We had a week of really cold weather with snow and ice. I have been working on routine medical exams for my medical clearance. I got to do some hiking near a cave. I had some meeting in Virginia. I have really enjoyed my time. Please pray for me as that time winds down and I prepare to return to Colombia. I have four more weeks and there’s a few more things to do before I go back.

The preaching of the gospel is to be of first importance in missions. Our priority is the bold and clear proclamation of Christ and him crucified. This is the message we believed, the message in which we stand, the message to which we cling so tightly. It is our hope. And it is the hope for every tribe, nation, people, and tongue, for everyone who believes. 

In this passage, Paul declares that the gospel he preached was according to the Scriptures. In the Old Testament, God promised a Messiah, a skull-crushing seed of the woman, who would die for our sins, be buried, and would rise again the third day (cf. Luke 24:27, 44-48). God promised long ago, and Jesus fulfilled all that was promised by God in the Old Testament. Paul also ties the gospel to real history. The gospel is good news, news about real events that truly happened, events that have eyewitness testimony. Our resurrected Lord appeared to the apostles, to 500 men at one time, and lastly to Paul himself. So when we urge the nations to believe the gospel of Jesus, we are not requiring a blind faith. 

The gospel is to be preached. It is good news that we proclaim and announce. And the response to such a proclamation is faith. Faith is a trust. We hear the facts of the gospel of what Christ has done for us. We believe them to be true. And we rest in those facts—Jesus died for my sins and in him I hope. As Luther said, faith is the empty hand that lays hold of Christ. Salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. So we preach as of first importance the gospel of Christ, seeking to preach it as boldly and clearly as we can. 

"Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain." – 1 Corinthians 15:58

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