Wednesday, March 6, 2024

March 2024 Update

Greetings! Spring is nearly here. I hope each of you is doing well. I would like to thank all 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 have just completed my furlough in the States and traveled back to Colombia on Leap Day. The days before I flew out, I was able to make brief visits with my sisters in Mississippi and Alabama. So please pray for me as I get resettled back in Bogota. Moreover, pray that the word of Christ would speed ahead and be glorified among all peoples, that the gospel would advance unhindered, and that those who walk in darkness would see a great light. As we approach Resurrection Sunday later this month, may we seek to proclaim our Lord’s death and resurrection to everyone we can so that others may come to faith in Christ.

Most of my work in Bogota focuses on several Embera groups living in shelters and parks. There are over 3,000 altogether in these places. Pray for us as we visit the parks and shelters to build and establish relationships among the people and to teach Bible stories. Pray for us as we evangelize and disciple. Pray that God would give us wisdom as to when and how to conduct relief projects to meet their physical needs. We have been able to get other national believers involved in the work. Pray they we can continue to do so and get local churches invested in the work.

Pray for the Wounaan as well. Before I left on my furlough in September, I was making weekly visits to “Silas” and his family to pray and study Scripture together. Pray that I can continue our time together.

Pray also for my visits with “Mike” and his family. Pray for him as he struggles to find consistent work. Pray that their hearts would be open to the gospel.

Pray for the ministry in Las Cruces. A small church in the neighborhood is being started. Pray that this young church will grow. On Saturdays, they do an outreach for children. They recently gave out Operation Christmas Child boxes. On my furlough, a few churches where I spoke were collecting boxes. And now here in Colombia, I got to be apart of a distribution of such boxes.

Again, pray for my transition back into Bogota. I enjoyed my time in the States. I traveled all over Tennessee and Mississippi to speak at different churches and events. I also made trips to Alabama and Missouri. I got to spend time with my brother and his family. Several months ago, I made a Colombian dish for them. A few weeks ago, I made a Peruvian dish for them. I was able to take so time to relax. I went hiking a few times. I did annual medical checkups. I was pretty busy. But now it’s time to get back to work in Colombia sharing the gospel among the displaced indigenous.

The context for these verses is the armor of God. We are told to be strong in the Lord and the strength of His might. Our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the spiritual forces of darkness. The deceiver continues with his lies. He wants us to believe we should be strong in ourselves in the strength of our own might. Fiery darts like that lead some people to pride and arrogance and other people to doubt and despair. Our hope and assurance of salvation comes from Christ and Christ alone. We are to look to Him, the solid foundation, and not to ourselves and the sandy foundation of our own effort.

Paul is drawing from Isaiah. Isaiah's use of the armor (Isa 11, 52, 59) depicts a Messianic warrior who will defeat the enemy. And Christ did that for us on the cross. We now fight against our foe by putting on Christ. We look to Him alone for salvation adorned with His righteousness by faith. We then, having our feet shod with readiness for the gospel of peace, proclaim this good news of Christ to all peoples. As we do this, Satan is continually wanting to blind the eyes of unbelievers. But we are sent out through the great commission to open blind eyes that all peoples may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins by faith in Christ (Acts 26:17-18). It is for this reason that Paul requested prayer.

He asked for boldness in proclaiming the gospel. He suffered much for the sake of the gospel. He wrote this epistle from prison. Yet he pressed on in the missionary task he was given. May we too speak for the gospel boldly in the face of whatever hardship we must face. May we be strong in the Lord and the strength of His might. May we trust in the power of the gospel to cause people to be born again to a living hope and to open up blind eyes. May we be utterly dependent on God.

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