(Pictured above: with Pastor Tonchy Oropeza who came with his band “Como Callar” to give a concert)
Dear friends and family,
Seeing as we are in the Southern Hemisphere, February and March tend to be busy months for all of us here, with the Bible School starting up, as things in general begin at school, university, church events, etc. Personally, I’ve felt a bit overwhelmed with activities, events, and projects. I was meditating this morning that it is such a privilege to be busy with good things, knowing we can bring a smile to His face by spending and being spent for Him. May we do everything, every day and in every place to the glory of God. He is our great joy, our everlasting hope, and our eternal home – what an honor it is to serve Him.
This is a weary world while Jesus is away. We could do better without sun and moon than without Him – Charles Spurgeon
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Bible School: The new group of students arrived Sunday night, 20 in all, eager to begin the year. Classes started on Monday morning, with Old Testament Survey taught by one of our team members, Jaime Flores. One student is from Uruguay and the rest are from various parts of Bolivia, most just graduated from High School. A sad young lady sent me a voice message Sunday night saying she would not be able to come, for financial reasons, saying her church didn’t have enough to help her and the other young man already coming. She’s hoping to be able to come next year.
I’m looking forward to be teaching the second module this year, Life of Christ, a topic that I enjoy more and more every year.
(Pictured: took a couple of Genesis’ siblings bowling with us. Fun times!)
“Mattix Coffee”: On Sunday night, our coffee shop was the main sponsor for a concert at the Christian School. Without knowing the total amount, I’d say there were some 400 present to hear the popular Christian band from Santa Cruz, “Como Callar”. The Gospel was clearly presented along with the worship music in their unique reggae style. The next morning I invited the group to breakfast at the coffee shop and enjoyed spending time with them, especially with their lead singer, Pastor Tonchy Oropeza. Looking forward to more opportunities with them.
We are sad to see Rudi Booher and his family return to the US, yet so thankful for all the help they have been to the coffee shop. We have a good team in place and Genesis is eager help with the administration, even though she has to do it from Santa Cruz.
Preaching: Over the long holiday weekend of Carnaval, the “festival of the flesh”, Christians all over the country go to camps and conferences to get away from the immorality. I was invited to speak at a youth conference in Montero, just north of Santa Cruz. There were nearly 300 youth at the camp, where I was thankful for the opportunity to share five messages on the life of Joseph as well as three more on Christian Worldview. It was fun to play soccer with them, counsel many of them, and hear testimonies about how the time was impacting them personally. Several of the youth attending the camp are now at the Bible School this year or are alumni, and many are interested for next year.
(Pictured: at the youth camp on the first day)
One young married couple told me that something very strange had happened late one night. Usually the campers stay-up way too late talking about anything and everything, but never anything spiritual. In this case, they heard the youth talking about their future, their spiritual lives, and the messages in general. Praise the Lord!
I also preached in Santa Cruz and Villamontes in February, and have plans to return this month. This weekend I’ll be speaking at two churches in Santa Cruz, as well as recording for the second time on live television on Saturday morning, this time on the topic of Homosexuality. The next weekend I’ve been invited to speak at the anniversary for a church in Yacuiba, on the border with Argentina down South.
(Pictured: “selfie” from the pulpit during a special dinner at the camp. Is this allowed?)
Writing: Still working hard to get the book, Confesiones de un inquisidor, published with the Colombian editorial. Lord willing it will be officially launched by Easter Weekend, for the start of my New York trip in April.
- For the twenty new students at the Bible School, that they might grow spiritually and be ever more useful in the Lord’s work
- Thankful for the success of the coffee shop so far and asking the Lord for wisdom as to how to improve it as time goes on
- That the young people at the conference would be impacted long-term and that the decisions taken to live for Christ would solidify, with the Lord’s help
- That the Lord might use me in the upcoming ministry trips, the book project, etc.
Thank you for the prayers, encouragement, and support.