Celebrating God’s Goodness

It has been a great few weeks as we continue to see the hand of the Lord moving in a mighty way in those places where He has led us. Today, being my daughter’s 9th birthday, is a good day to celebrate the life that we have in Jesus and the new life that we have seen birthed in others.

Our Saturday Night Leader’s Group has been going great! We continue to receive feedback all the time from the group members on how valuable this group has quickly become for them. During our teaching time, we have been taking them through the Biblical view of salvation…what it is and what it is not, why we need it, how does it occur in our lives, etc. Last week, I taught on the atonement. It was kind of shocking to see how little any of them understood what the atonement was, but then again it was great because they are eager to learn and we have been able to teach them awesome biblical truths that have been poured into us throughout our walk with Christ. The small group time is really beginning to bring honesty and true sharing to the table. People are starting to get really “real” with where they are at in their personal lives, family, marriage, etc. This is opening doors for further relationship in which we can bring Godly counsel and compassion into the lives of our church body.

Last week, we had an outreach in the neighborhood where my friend Guillermo and I lead a Bible Study for a group of kids. We are really trying, not only to reach the kids, but the adults in the community as well. Well, most of the kids do not live with both parents as “Dad” is very much a foreign concept to most. Many of the kids in our group don’t even live with their Mother all the time as often times “Mom” is out of the area trying to find work or whatever. Anyway, we had an outreach on Tuesday where we played some games with the kids, had a big bike race, and played soccer. After the games, I shared an evangelistic message. Thankfully, my Spanish felt pretty good that day and the message rolled off my tongue like butter. Definitely not always the case. haha.

Thursday, we had our computer ministry at El Anexo. Last week, 2 of the guys from El Anexo came to church with me. It was great. One of them recently received Christ and seems very hungry to grow. The other one is an alcoholic who had not been in a church for years and years. It was awesome that he wanted to go. We have reached out to him, showing him both our friendship and our love for his soul. Because he has seen that we truly care about him, he allows us to speak very directly to him without getting offended. So, I always tell him that he will never find what his heart truly needs at the bottom of a bottle. He knows the truth, but he just doesn’t want to let go. Its really sad that he is in bondage to alcohol, but we love him and hope and pray that God would get a hold of his heart and show him his need for Christ. Yesterday, at the end of the class, I shared a Biblical message with the group from John 7, Isaiah 55, and Jeremiah 2, sharing with them the invitation that God has given us to come to Him for something that will truly satisfy our souls, but we have rejected that invitation and have dug for ourselves cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot truly hold water, but God in His love for us, still gives us the invitation to come to Him and find life. I pray that the Lord uses these words to open their hearts.

This Sunday, I am preaching again at church. I am super excited because we are in the Book of Hebrews and I have the amazing joy and privilege of expounding on Hebrews 7:10-19 as we learn about Christ coming in the high priestly order of Melchizedek rather than in the Levitical order, and therefore brings to us a much better covenant than the covenant of law, as well as a much better system of the priesthood. There is so much rich truth found in this passage of Scripture. My only problem will be keeping my teaching to 45 minutes as truly I can talk for hours about these truths. The Book of Hebrews is one of my favorite books of the Bible. Anyway, please pray that the words I share will be prompted by the Holy Spirit, and pray that I seek to minister to myself with these words as well as with the people.

Prompted by Maria’s “suggestion”, I have started reading “Dangerous Calling” by Paul David Tripp. It is a diagnostic book for pastors and leaders that calls them to search and examine their own hearts to make sure that what they are doing for the Lord is truly something that is God glorifying and that they are not just focused on building their own kingdom. It is a powerful book. I can’t read more than a chapter at a time because there is so much to think about and requires a time to go before the Lord and say, “Search me O God…” With all my heart, I want whatever it is that the Lord leads me to to bring Him all the glory and honor and not for myself. I want to not only preach the Gospel to others every day, but also to myself. I want to remember each and every day that I am nothing special…but He alone is everything beautiful. I want to know my Christ better. I want Him to be my first love with nothing even close to a distant second. This is what I desire. Please pray for me that God would have His perfect way in my life and that people would see more of Christ and less of me.

We are preparing for our trip back to the states in July. We are looking forward to sharing with people and churches all the things that God is doing. We will be sharing in several churches and meeting with many people. Our schedule is filling up nicely. We look forward to seeing what God will do.

Friends, please lift us up in your prayers. Life on the mission field is not easy. We want to honor and glorify God in all that we do. We want to trust Him even when we can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. We want to maintain the right balance between sowing into our family and sowing into the lives of people around us. And we are all needy. Please pray that God will give us the grace and the wisdom to minister effectively wherever He calls us. We are blessed to be making some really good friendships with Nicaraguense people, but with every friendship that we make, another door is opened to us of the brokenness, suffering, and hardship that they are experiencing. Broken lives, broken marriages, broken homes. It can be overwhelming as we try to minister God’s love and truth as best as we can, realizing that we ourselves are broken and in great need. May we ourselves be lavished with God’s sufficient grace and life changing truth as we seek to share the same with those around us.

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