(Featured Image: Celebrating Genesis’ 24th Birthday!)
Dear friends and family,
“Man is but dust and ashes,” is what Job, Solomon, and so many others in Scripture asked the Lord to remember. This life can be so full of activity and monotony, joy and sorrow. We are the children of God, an apt illustration, for we are like a small son with his father, walking through sunlit fields and then dark valleys. Do we trust His way? Do we trust His time?
August was a very full month for me, having arrived back from my trip to Peru and the US, trying to organize my things back home, at the coffee shop, etc. preaching engagements, teaching at the Bible School, yet longing to be able to spend more time with Genesis (a 5-hour bus ride away). Through it all the Lord has been good, for as Solomon declared: “There is a time for everything.”
Engagement Party: Genesis and I were engaged in May, yet with her father’s passing a month later, we decided to postpone announcing the official date until a better time. We had a special lunch over a week ago to celebrate this with our families, hers being much larger here, of course. After some words from my father, Genesis and I shared and announced the date for our upcoming wedding. It will be on January 6, 2018 in Santa Cruz, Bolivia! We can hardly wait!
We have been working on getting things ready for the wedding, having already reserved the place, and now contacting photographers, decorators, etc. In a world that so often looks down on marriage and family, we decided we wanted to go “all out” and do something memorable, as well as encouraging to the believers. It will be a lot of work and we will do our very best, for I consider it the least I can do in gratefulness to have been blessed by such a lovely and virtuous woman. Please pray for our wedding and our future life together, that the Lord would ever be at the center, teaching and guiding us.
ExpoLit Miami 2017: A month ago, I was at this event in Miami, the single biggest Spanish-speaking Christian literary event in the world. Upon arrival, my parents being with me for the first day, I was told that the next morning would be the most important opportunity in the event – 6 minutes in front of the Spanish distributors. Obviously, I felt nervous and being jet-lagged a few hours wasn’t wonderful, but I prayed to the Lord and gave it my best. It wasn’t until the night before I left the event, after several days full of interviews, great conversations, and memorable experiences, that I found out the full extent of our success that first morning. Turns out that there was not a single distributor who did not make an order to buy the book, and out of over a hundred books presented, mine was said to have made the greatest impact. Praise the Lord!
My next book Héroes (in Spanish) is coming out later this month. The English version of the first book, Confessions of an Inquisitor, has already been translated thanks to the hard work of my father. We are hoping to have this book out by October.
Preaching: Since returning to Bolivia, I returned to my routine, speaking weekly at a local church, and travelling to Villamontes and twice to Santa Cruz. This past weekend I was asked to give a special series to celebrate the “Month of the Bible”. We had four messages together, mostly on the importance and transformative power of the Scriptures, illustrated specifically in the lives of Francis of Assisi, Martin Luther, and William Tyndale.
My only longer trip, previous to my wedding, will be to La Paz for a Pastors’ Conference on the Reformation, celebrating 500 years since its beginning. They have asked me to be one of the speakers at this event, giving the first message on the historical context of the Reformation, as well as being part of the panel throughout the weekend. The contact for this event was made at the book event in Miami.
Mattix Coffee: As stated in the previous ministry update, our small town of Camiri is going through a serious economic recession. Many businesses are closing and at the coffee shop we have had some challenging months. Our plan is to move downtown and expand the menu and staff next year, once Genesis is settled in. With the wedding upcoming and so many other things to do, the coffee shop doesn’t have all the support we would like to give it and the economy surely doesn’t help. Please pray for us to be wise as we proceed.
Bible School: On Friday, I finished teaching Christian Worldview, a class that can be very difficult for many students. The students this year are somewhat quiet, especially compared to last year, yet they are attentive and overall seemed to fare quite well.
On Monday, they begin their week of preparation for the ministry trip (I won’t be going). Our brother Jaime, who is part of our team, will be teaching the first two days, then I’ll finish this week with a course on Homiletics – the art of preaching. Looking forward to seeing what students may have this gift, as well as equipping all of them to be better suited, should the opportunity arise.
- Thankful to the Lord for so many opportunities, may none of them be wasted
- For strength for Genesis and me, balancing so many different activities as well as preparing a wedding
- Thankful for the incredible impact Confesiones de un inquisidor is having, may the Lord bless the next two projects in a similar way
- That we might have wisdom with regards to the coffee shop and the town, as many here are suffering for lack of work
- For the Bible School’s upcoming ministry trip, that they might go prepared and be a blessing
Thank you for the prayers, encouragement and support.