We had our pastor and his family over for dinner a few nights ago, and I learned that he used to be a semi-professional baseball player here in Nicaragua. He is one that really has a heart to reach out wherever he goes in order to build relationships with the people and seek to share the message of Christ. As a result, he has been the unofficial chaplain for many years for the semi-professional baseball team here in León. He goes to the field every morning where they practice in order to build relationships with the players and managers as well as to share a devotion from the Word of God. How cool is that! Anyway, he invited me to join him yesterday, so I went. It was great getting the opportunity to meet these players, coaches, and managers, and see them listening to the Word of God that the pastor shared before their practice. After meeting several of the players and managers, they asked me if I would be the one to lead them in the devotional the following day. Of course, I gladly accepted. What a great opportunity to bring the Word of God to those in Nicaragua who would be deemed famous and successful.
So, I just got back from the stadium this morning where I was able to share in spanish from the Word of God a message that would both encourage and challenge them to seek Christ. It was awesome! Since they are just about to begin their season, I spoke about Moses when he had brought the people to the very edge of the promised land and gave them specific instruction so that they would remain successful in the land and enjoy its blessings. I shared three things with them that Moses told the people of Israel. 1. Moses told the people to remember that it was the Lord who brought them to the promised land, they did not do it themselves. As a matter of fact, 32 times in the Old Testament is the phrase repeated “I am the Lord who brought you out of Egypt. So, I told the team to remember that it was the Lord who brought them here. They did not get here on their own. All the abilities that they have and the success that they have had thus far is not from themselves, but rather it is the Lord who has carried each one of them. And because of this, they should glorify God with all that they have rather than think that it was solely themselves who accomplished these things. 2. Moses told the people to listen…to hear the Word of the Lord and to be careful to do all that was written in it. So, I told them that God is calling them also to listen to the Word of the Lord, to follow it, to love God with all their hearts and honor Him above all. But I also told them that because we are sinners, we simply cannot follow the laws of God no matter how hard we try. Then what was the purpose of the laws? To show us that we were helpless and were in need of someone to redeem us. And this is how I shared the message of Christ with them. I told them that all of the Word of God points to our need for a redeemer and God sent us such a redeemer whose name is Jesus. And I encouraged them to surrender their hearts to Christ and to seek Him above all things. 3. Moses gave the people the choice. He set before them life or death, blessing or curse, and asked them to choose life. So, I also shared with them that God has showed us the way…and that is through Christ. Through Him we have the promise of eternal life, but if we reject the way of God and seek to make our own way, we are left only with the fearful judgment and wrath of God. And I encouraged them to choose life…to yield their hearts to Christ who gives eternal life.
That was the message that I shared. I praise God for the opportunity to bring God’s Word to many different people in many different places…today just happened to be in the stadium with the professional baseball team of León gathered around second base. May God’s Word bring forth fruit for His glory.
Last night, it happened to be in a completely different location with a completely different group of people. I visited a home group through our church. It was more like an evangelistic Bible study, but it was cool. When I say “home group”, don’t think of a home with nice walls, sofas, fireplace, table for refreshments and snacks. No, think more like four big pieces of corrugated tin and a roof…think of dirt floor…think of no running water…think of 10 plastic chairs in a circle on the dirt…think of mothers nursing babies…think of dogs roaming in and out…and now you have a good picture of the home group. haha. It was great. I had the opportunity to share also from God’s Word some about the topic of faith that we were discussing. I also played a song in spanish for them on the guitar. It was cool.
I’m taking these next few weeks to check out all the ministries in the church just to get a better idea as to what the church is doing and how we might help serve in various areas. Maria is talking with the pastor’s wife (Maria) about starting up a new believers discipleship group. I also have hung out with the pastor a few days and have just been talking with him about various ideas. He is excited to hear what I have been saying and the observations that I have made and he wants to discuss some further ministry ideas. So, please keep all that in prayer.
Also, today Scott and I are beginning our computer training/Bible study ministry in this very poor barrio called El Anexo. I’m looking forward to meeting these youth and trying to connect with them in hopes of bringing them the message of Christ.
Thanks so much for all your prayers.