Dear friends and family,
How can we gauge if 2016 was a success? Perhaps we can do it this way: did your bank account grow? Did you get a raise? Were you healthy? How many messages did you preach? How many ministries did you get involved in?
People in Bolivia think New Year is the perfect time to ensure one has a great year. They buy yellow underwear for a year full of wealth, red for love, white for peace, green for health, etc. I wonder if they sell multi-colored?
Now, how does a Christian gauge if their year was a success and if their upcoming year will be better? I believe it was Jonathan Edwards that spoke to this subject. Each end of year he would look back on the past year and ask himself: “Am I more like Christ?” If our answer is yes, then 2016 was a success, and we can assure ourselves that 2017 will be as well if we steadily maintain this purpose. May we long to be more like our Savior – to love others, to be peace-makers, to bring joy to many, to speak truth that edifies, and to learn humility.
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Writing: God works in mysterious ways. A door that until recently I thought locked, now looks wider than ever. As I explained last month, the publishing companies in Spanish aren’t doing well and they aren’t interested in new authors. Should I give up? Should I publish locally? Should I make it all available for free? Several people encouraged me to pursue publishing on an international scale, instead of just more regionally. They believed in me and the talent the Lord has given me.
I was re-introduced to self-publishing, a form of publishing that years ago was severely frowned-upon, but now is growing so much that it is starting to wreck traditional publishing companies. After considering the options, I’ve decided to publish a book with CreateSpace, an Amazon company. The book in Spanish, Confesiones de un Inquisidor, should be available in March, Lord willing. Eventually it will also be available in audio and Kindle. I have two semi-professional editors in the US working on the final manuscript now, and a former student of mine designing the cover. The book is historical fiction that is related by an inquisitor in the time of Martin Luther who tells how he was indoctrinated by the Catholic Church, then was converted to Christ and finally dies for his faith. My hypothesis in writing this book is that if the average Catholic knew how terrible the Holy Inquisition was, they could no longer in good conscience remain as such.
2017 Schedule: To promote this book, I plan to make some trips accordingly. In mid-March the plan is to be in NYC for a few weeks with mainly-Spanish speaking assemblies, to preach and promote the book. I’m also planning a trip to Peru in July to speak at a conference in Lima, then to teach a two-week course at the Bible School in Tarapoto, before continuing to Seattle and Miami for another few weeks, five in total. I’ll bring books along with me for this trip as well. I’ll also be promoting the book around Bolivia.
In late February, I’m scheduled to speak at a youth conference near Santa Cruz, in Montero. There are tentative plans to do an event in Camiri in mid-February – the Boohers will hopefully give a concert and I’ll give a message on homosexuality. The idea is to invite people from all over town to the large concert hall, which the mayor has personally offered to lend me for the event. There is a strong sense of morality here, there is great interest in this topic, and if we do the event tastefully and prayerfully, it could be of great blessing.
“Mattix Coffee”: In early December, it was a little slow, but during the last week of the year, helped by promotions and visitors, we had a great boom, finishing the month very well. I’m thankful for the team we have, for the expertise of the Boohers, the constant support from Genesis, and the Lord’s goodness in leading us on. We are looking forward to a great January, always looking to improve and spread the love of Christ.
- For the process of preparing and publishing Confesiones de un Inquisidor
- That the upcoming trips, both nationally and internationally, would be for the edification of the believers and the glory of God
- For the coffee shop to continue to grow, that I might be wise and humble in knowing how to administer it
Thank you for the prayers, encouragement, and support.