The Joy that Leads Us On

Dear friends and family,

It’s such a satisfying experience to have worked so hard towards a goal, to struggle through the last stages, and then see the job completed. Hard work – be it with a sledge hammer, writing a book, or making a special dinner – requires so much energy and effort, one might ask: “why bother?” Man was created to work and to enjoy it, but because of sin it comes with suffering, frustration, and tiredness. I’ll never forget painting a large house in Seattle when I was a college student, working for my uncle to save for college. It was so tiresome to go back to the same house day after day for a couple months, feeling like the job was endless. Yet one day, there we were, standing on the curb opposite the house, admiring a job well done. That made it all worth it, not to mention getting a pay check! Hard work requires perseverance, overcoming failure, and never losing sight of the goal. It’s like it is said of Jesus: “… [T]he founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2, ESV). It was all worth it to Him, because that joy was us.

*             *             *

Trips and Activities: Over the four weekends in August, I traveled twice to Santa Cruz and once to Villamontes to speak, spending the last weekend at home visiting a couple churches. My weekly preaching midweek at the Baptist church continues on, though I’ve taken the past few weeks off from teaching at my local church’s Friday Bible Study. I’m planning on starting a series on Luke which I’m really looking forward to, possibly beginning this Friday.

September will include a trip to Santa Cruz and a trip to Villamontes (just returned, getting home at around 1 am). With the coffee shop opening next week and a couple modules to be taught, I don’t want to travel as much. The recording at the radio has stalled for now, with too many other things demanding my attention at the moment.

Dad and I - August 2016.jpg

My dad and I, painting at Mattix Coffee

 

“Mattix Coffee”: We are so happy that Rudi Booher and his family arrived recently; slowly but surely the plethora of details are coming together to open the coffee shop on September 13, Lord willing. We hope it’s a place that impacts Camiri with its good service and fair price, leading to opportunities to make friends and share the Gospel with them. May the Lord truly be honored and glorified in all that happens there!

Wall at Mattix Coffee - August 2016

Finished artwork, 4 meters wide!

It has been a challenge to organize myself with all the details, but I’m so grateful for Genesis’ constant help and creativity in the process (she’ll be graduating with excellence in Business Administration). Rudi and his daughter Emily will be running the shop, there would be no way we could do it without them! My dad has also been a great help in a variety of ways, he’s such a blessing. The shop isn’t quite ready for nice pictures, but the logo is available and one of the walls my dad and I painted. People are most definitely excited about the opening, as there is nothing like it in town, and already the buzz is growing around town. Saturday the 24th is our grand opening and I already know of well-over 40 of my friends from Santa Cruz who are coming for it.

Coffee Shop Logo

Our official logo

 

Bible School: Next week I’ll be giving a one-week course on Homiletics, a new class we implemented last year because there is such a lack of good speakers in our assemblies here. It’s one of my favorite courses to teach and one that I have given nearly a dozen times in different places. In late September I’ll be giving a two-week module on Christian Worldview and Apologetics, a course that can be very challenging to some minds as it tends to be more abstract. For others it can become a foundational course to open their mind and learn how to defend their faith. This is a sharp group, so I’m sure we’ll really enjoy it together.

 

Upcoming: With the opening of the coffee shop, the ministry trips, preparing messages and preaching, and the Bible School modules I have quite a full plate. Yet I also have to turn in the final edit to a book that Everyday Publications will be putting-out, perhaps early next year. My relationship with Genesis is clearly a greater priority than all of this, and I’m so thankful for all that the Lord is doing in our lives and for the blessing and compliment she is to me. First and foremost, my relationship with our Father is foundational. He has been teaching me how to trust in Him, to use my time wisely, and to correctly balance all that needs to be done. He is good!

Genesis and I, Birthday - August 2016.jpg

Genesis and I, celebrating her 23rd Birthday

 

Prayer Requests:

  • For Mattix Coffee, that we might get everything ready to start-up next Tuesday
  • That the coffee shop would become a wonderful opportunity to share God’s love and joy with others
  • For my continuing preaching engagements, that I would never waste the opportunity to glorify Christ
  • That my upcoming modules at the Bible School would be of great help and blessing to the students

 

Thank you for the prayers, encouragement, and support.

God bless,

Christopher.

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