Dear friends and family,
It is hard enough to do something good today that will matter in ten years’ time. The world is full of those who live day to day, more often living for oneself, endlessly chasing that next spark of happiness, that next glimmer of glory. What about us? What can we do now that will not only matter for others, or for tomorrow, but will resound for all eternity to the glory of God?
Those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the sky above; and those who turn many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever. – Daniel 12:3, ESV
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Peru Trip: On Tuesday my parents and I arrived in Santa Cruz, Bolivia after spending over three weeks in Peru. During my first of two weeks in Tarapoto, they asked me to teach Homiletics, something I have enjoyed doing in many places, but never in the 20 hours. Thankfully I was able to expand and adapt this course. It was exciting to see how the students responded so well to the teaching and heavy dose of constructive criticism that they received, each of them improving throughout the week. One of the greater weaknesses in churches in both Bolivia and Peru is finding preachers who are both gifted and prepared to powerfully expound God’s Word. Helping be a part of improving that is one of my greatest joys.
The next week in Tarapoto I enjoyed teaching six messages on Apologetics. It was also nice to see my brother Jesse and his family, as well as many other missionaries, friends, and believers who I had spent time with before. Tarapoto was definitely hotter and more humid than I remember this time around, yet we were also able to see some things I hadn’t in my previous trips.
My last week was spent in Lima, where I preached ten messages on Revelation 1-3 and 7 for the 52nd Anniversary at a large brethren church. This was my third trip to the busy metropolis, making it that much more comfortable and enjoyable. They were very hospitable, as families signed-up to take me to eat for lunch and supper after evening meeting each day. It was a good time to converse and do some counseling, although everyone thought it was their job stuff me with Peruvian food. Ha!
One of the most encouraging things for me was talking to a few different people who came to the church for the first time, invited by their friends to the special meetings. Their interest was genuine and they each in turn showed real interest in forming part of the church or getting right with the Lord. Many other brothers commented on how the messages had impacted and challenged them.
The most impacting conversation was with a lady and her family. They talked with me several different times, the last being the most memorable. Almost overnight she had lost most all her wealth, which was substantial, and many accused her of having some secret sin or encouraged her to renounce her faith. Her family had suffered so much and the two daughters who stood next to her recognized that they had been filled with bitterness towards God and a lot of skepticism when their mother implored them to trust in Him. The younger daughter had led a wild lifestyle, far from the Lord for many years.
This sudden catastrophe brought them all to church for the anniversary, and they were among the most intent listeners, almost not blinking during the messages. They bought the study of Job on the first day of the meetings, and a few days later the younger daughter asked me: “Do you have any more material on Job?” I asked if she had bought the CD which included over 15 hours of material and she stated, “Yes, and we already listened to the entire study. We listened to it for hours on end already. You have no idea how you helped us! I finally understand what God did, that it was actually for our good.” The mother added: “I’ve never seen my daughter like this, she’s suddenly interested in the things of the Lord. It was no accident that the Lord gave me an experience like Job’s and then brought you to us. Thank you!” On the last night, they were one of several who gave me parting gifts, thanking me with many hugs as we said goodbye.
Thank the Lord for the opportunity and thank you for praying!
(Pictured: at the San Martín assembly celebrating the 52nd Anniversary)
Websites and CD Sales: Recently I was able to interview Michael Card, the renowned musician and songwriter. The purpose was to translate it into Spanish and adapt the interview to topics Latino youth could resonate with. It will likely be published soon in Spanish, but I also wanted to make the English version available to you all. I found his answers insightful and useful on topics of faith, suffering, sacred music, etc. Here it is, have a read and share it around: Michael Card, an Interview
The Spanish website – www.recursoscristianos.info – has also been blossoming, which has been a joy to watch. There is a variety of Christian material available, mostly in audio but also in book format. The majority is my own material, audio series including Bible Exposition, Apologetics, Church History, and more. The site is receiving some 100 unique visitors per day and they are daily downloading an average of 500 MB of our free audio material, not including the online books. The promotion online has led to an increase in interest and I often receive messages of how it has encouraged them or asking me for counsel.
The sale of my audio material in CD format has also grown, which is very exciting. A brother in Camiri is now producing them for me, since the demand was too high to keep up with on my own. The material is now much more professional looking, being divided onto eight different CDs which each include at least 15 hours of teaching. Just this year, some four-hundred have sold on my various trips or by other sellers, and the total of sales has topped 2,800 CDs. A substantial percentage of the profit directly supports the local radio station in my town.
Upcoming Opportunities: May turned-out to be a bit more restful than the previous months, and I think the Lord knew I needed it to recover from some lingering illnesses and tiredness. I feel full of energy now, eager to make the best use of time (Ephesians 5:16).
June will include ministry trips to Santa Cruz and Villamontes, while staying two weekends in Camiri to speak. I will also be teaching Church History to end the month, one of the courses I most enjoy with the students each year.
At the moment I have no other trips planned out of the country, because of my growing obligations in Bolivia and the challenge of travelling when in a serious relationship as I am with Genesis. There is also the housing project that is still under construction and the upcoming coffee shop which should be opening in early September. More on that in the future. Some shorter international trips may be upcoming and I’d probably be available for those.
- Thankful for a productive time in Peru and for the Lord’s help in recovering my strength
- May the Lord use me in my upcoming trips and teaching opportunities
- That the housing project would be finalized soon, in time to initially provide a home for a family from Uruguay at our Bible School
- For God’s continued guidance in my relationship with Genesis; we just celebrated 4 months together!
Thank you for the prayers, encouragement, and support.