Saturday, April 20, 2024

April 2024 Update

Greetings! I hope everyone is doing well. I want to thank each of you for praying for the work God is among the displaced indigenous peoples of Colombia. I’ve been busy since returning back to Colombia after my furlough and am getting settled back into my regular routine. 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. Let us continue seek to proclaim the good news of our Lord to everyone we can so that others may come to faith. May we trust the simple proclamation of the gospel to birth new life into people bringing the hope of salvation to all peoples.

The majority my work in Bogota focuses on the thousands of displaced indigenous groups living in two shelters and two parks. There are many material needs. They are living in poor conditions. And we often helps with some of those needs. But the focus is on communicating the gospel with them which can take a lot of time. Some of the barriers include language and worldview issues.There has also been conflict among the different ethnic groups in the parks and shelters. There has also been talk of some of the indigenous in the parks possible returning to Chocó in western Colombia. So 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.Furthermore, we also have a couple of teams coming in from the States. The last week of April, a team from Mississippi will come in for a week. Then, next month, a team from Georgia will come in. Pray that the work both these teams accomplishes will be fruitful to our work among the displaced. Pray that it will strengthen our presence among them and open the door to good, clear proclamation of the gospel.

Last month, my colleagues in another Colombian city conducted a workshop to get a few Bible stories translated into the indigenous languages. I was able to participate and bring with me three indigenous guys living in Bogota in the parks and one of the shelters. It was good to produce resources in the indigenous language. It was also impactful on the indigenous guys who participated in the workshop. Please pray for them and their families.

Pray for the Wounaan as well. I have restarted my weekly visits to “Silas” and his family to pray and study Scripture together. Pray for us as we study the Gospel of Mark together. Pray for the ministry in Las Cruces too. A small church in the neighborhood is being started. Pray that this young church will grow. On Saturdays, they do an outreach for children. Pray that this outreach will serve to advance the gospel in that neighborhood.

Thank you for your prayers. Pray is an indispensable part of the missionary task. We need your prayers. So please pray for us. Pray for wisdom and patience as we serve Him. And may God continue to pour out upon you His mercy and grace as you serve Him and His church.

In Acts 17, Luke tells us about Paul's witness in Athens. We see that Paul is provoked by the lostness and idolatry and is thus compelled to preach the gospel. We see that Paul preaches to all sorts of different people. He begins in the synagogue reasoning with the Jews and God-fearing gentiles. He then goes the the market place every day with whoever happens to be there. He is reasoning with everyone, explaining and proclaiming Christ. Some Athenian philosophers

want to hear more. So Paul preaches his Areopagus sermon. In this sermon, Paul proclaims who God is. God is the self-sufficient Creator of all things, the Maker of mankind, the Sustainer of life. God rules over the nations and providentially directs them as He pleases. God is knowable and not far from us. In Him, we all live, move, and have our being. And now that Jesus, the promised Messiah, has come, God calls all men everywhere to repent. The risen Lord Jesus is both Savior and Judge. All who trust in Him have the sure hope of salvation. How then do the Athenians respond? Some mock Paul and the gospel he preached. Others become curious and want to hear more. But some believe the gospel and are saved.

May we too be so deeply distressed by the lostness around us that we are compelled to proclaim the gospel. May we seek to engage with the gospel everyone we can from the religious to the general populace to intellectual skeptics. In our evangelism, may we proclaim God for who He is as the self-sufficient Creator who is knowable, who is sovereign over all, and who commands all men everywhere to repent. May we proclaim Jesus as the risen Savior who will judge the nations. Thus, warning of coming judgment and offering the hope of salvation for all who trust in Christ. Not everyone will believe. In fact some will mock the gospel. But some will believe. And we know God will save people from every tribe, nation, people group, and tongue. 

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