Heading to the States…

So, it is with both excitement and sadness that we head back to the states tomorrow for a month. We are excited to see our friends and family, we are excited to share all that God is doing, and we are excited to bite into a nice juicy cheeseburger from Five Guys. But truthfully, we are sad to have to leave our friends here…those whom we have already come to know and love…those whom we are reaching out to with the love of Jesus…and those whom we are ministering along side of. I’m going to miss the group of kids that my friend Guillermo and I teach and mentor in God’s Word.

Yesterday was my last day with them before I leave for a month. We had a great time together. I continue to teach them about the importance of knowing God above all else. Yesterday I shared with them the importance of truly knowing God…who He is and what He has done…that we have to know this before we can truly obey Him. I know these kids need to learn to behave well…need to learn to obey God, but the reality is that obedience without intimate love, knowledge, and relationship is virtually impossible. It only leads to religious performance and moralism. And God’s greatest desire for us is not merely to obey Him, but to know Him…to adore Him…to love Him…to exalt Him above all else. So, this is what I have been teaching this group of kids. When I get back, we are going to start learning about the different attributes of God.

I am also super excited because I had a talk with my friend and ministry partner Guillermo. He has told me that He feels that God is calling him to be a pastor. So, I proposed that we start meeting regularly each week one-on-one so that I can help him learn the Bible more and help equip him as best as possible. I told him that I am no super saint nor super professor, but that all that I have come to learn over twenty years of following Christ I would be more than pleased to share and teach someone else who is hungry to grow in God. He was super excited about this and so we will plan to do this when I return. I have an extra kindle that I am going to give to him. I want to download a bunch of spanish resources (commentaries, systematic theology, etc) so that he can begin to read and feast upon such deep scriptural knowledge. I also hope to buy some books for him when I am back in the states. I would love to be used by God to come along side this younger guy to help him walk in all that God has called him to do.

Maria and Isabela came to the group yesterday as well. Maria and Guillermo’s wife baked cookies, and after the study we all enjoyed them. There was also a mission team from the states that is working with the church. They came out and a few of the team members shared their testimony…and I had to translate! Yikes! It was my first time translating…I was kinda nervous, but overall I did pretty good. It made me think of my translation professor Ana from the Spanish Language Institute in Costa Rica and the times in class that we were practicing oral translation. So, I’m thankful to God for her and the other professors that helped me learn Spanish enough where I can clearly articulate the truths from Scripture…and now I can translate when others are sharing and giving testimony to God. I still have a ways to go, but I am so thankful to be able to be fluent enough to understand what people are saying to me and to be able to clearly communicate what I want to say. Its so far from perfect, but at least I’m understood and can have conversations with whoever I want.

So, please pray for our trip back to the states. Please pray that God opens people’s hearts to the need of the Gospel to reach all nations and that many people decide to partner with us. Thank you so much. Well…I’m not sad to leave rice and beans behind for a month. As a matter of fact, I better go now because I’m beginning to salivate as I think about that nice juicy cheeseburger that awaits me. Peace.

Elias and Josue...some of the kids in our group