Well, I am just overjoyed at times when I see how God uses the body of Christ to work together to accomplish together what one could never accomplish alone. The need was to get a moto for Guillermo so that he could be able to transport his family as well as so that he could be more efficient as the ministry grows and we reach out to more and more people. The need was too great for Guillermo and his family, but they made sacrifices and did what they could do. We then made our own sacrifices and did whatever we could do to try and add money to be able to afford a moto for him. But the need was still too great, and so I asked of you all, the body of Christ, to pray and cheerfully give if God was putting it upon your heart. We were short about $300 and I was praying that the Lord would provide it through your giving.
Well, to my amazement, but certainly not to God’s surprise, within about a week, we had more than $1,700 donated towards the purchase of the moto! How amazing when the body of Christ works together for the ultimate purpose of glorifying the head of the body, Christ Jesus. So, with the money that came in, along with the money that both Guillermo and we contributed, we were able to buy a great quality moto that will serve the family and God’s Kingdom well for years! In addition, through the permission of some of you who stated that we could use the money elsewhere if the cost of the moto was already covered, we were able to buy a projector, speaker, and screen so that we can begin doing outreaches in the various neighborhoods where we hope one day to plant a church. We plan to show the “Jesus” movie as well as other movies or teachings that will bring glory and honor to God alone. We will also use it once we begin to develop a course for training pastors and leaders. So, God is certainly going to use what you all gave for His glory. Thank you so much for giving in the Spirit of Christ…with such generosity and love.
So, we also continue to develop our ministry in Adiac, where Guillermo and his family live. Our Tuesday Bible Study for youth and kids is growing. Now that Maria and Hacknier (Guillermo’s wife) have started working with the girls, many more are coming and hearing about the love and truth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. We have split the group of guys so that we can teach them at the most age appropriate level. Being the fact that I have zero patience for teaching little kids (unless they are my own), Guillermo is teaching the kids ages 11 and under (he certainly has much more patience than me), and I am teaching the youth from 12 and up. My group is only about three right now, but that is great because it affords me the opportunity to really begin to speak into their lives with the Word of God. All of us are using the same curriculum. It is called the “Gospel Project” from Gospel Coalition. Every lesson directly points the listener to the Gospel. Since it is not in spanish, Maria first reads all the material and then writes up about a 2 page teaching outline in spanish, including the verses that the lesson contains, then we pass that on to Guillermo and Hacknier so that they have time to prepare their lesson from this outline. Maria likes to prepare directly from the material that is provided. Me, on the other hand, I like to use the material as a guide, but often times I write up my own teaching that still conveys the main idea of what the lesson is about. That’s just the way I am. I like preparing my own material.
Maria and Hacknier decided that once a month they will do a special fun project with the girls such as cooking or sewing or arts and crafts. So, Guillermo and I also decided to do the same and have a fun night once a month with the boys. So, tonight, they will all pile into the back of my pickup truck and we will go to a nice park where they can run around and play. This will just be another opportunity to live and play along side of them as we continue to hold out to them the Word of Truth. We are also planning a trip to the beach with them sometime in the next few weeks. That should be really fun.
The training that I am doing with Guillermo continues to go great! He is learning so much truth from God’s Word and I can already see how it is impacting his life, his teaching, his prayers, and everything. Right now, we are going through material about God’s unconditional election of His people. How amazing is God! Maria recently started meeting with Hacknier to take her through the same book that I am working through with Guillermo called “Si, Jesus”. It is a book that scripturally defines the doctrines of grace, otherwise know as Reformed Theology (although this theology is not really “reformed” being the fact that it was what the church believed without question from the early church all the way to the 4th century,and then again from the 4th century all the way to the 16th century until Jacob Arminus wrote his 5 points against it which were later completely rejected not only by John Calvin, but by the church council as a whole. Okay, I digress.) Its a great book…its like John Piper in spanish! Anyway, the Lord is simply using the teaching and preaching of His Word to transform hearts and make disciples. Why do we see the need to complicate it so much by adding so many other “newer” or “post modern” or “cutting edge” or “innovative” ideas? God has said it so clearly in Scripture that faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. Its that simple. Why change it?
Also, since we are currently without a church home, Guillermo’s family and ours have been meeting each Sunday morning at our house for a time of worship, fellowship, and study of God’s Word. We are currently going through a video series on the Gospel that we heard at a reformed Baptist church that we were part of in Costa Rica. It is an incredible series that explains thoroughly what the true Gospel of God is. It has been enriching for all of us. These are the messages that are so desperately needed here in Nicaragua where we are surrounded by all the counterfeit gospels such as the works based religions of the catholics, or the legalistic extremists, or those that are pumping the health, wealth, and prosperity doctrine to all the poor, giving them a false hope that wealth will fill them and satisfy them because that is what God’s greatest desire is for His people…to be happy and satisfied by everything upon this earth.
But the saddest thing, my friends, and this is a great heartache, is that this nonsense that is so-called gospel, is being brought here to Nicaragua by people from America! How sad that the people of Niacragua are being led astray from big name “preachers” like Joel Osteen, Creflo Dollar, and all the other “cash” hungry people who have deduced the true Gospel to nothing more than a pyramid scheme, a way to make money. O I fear the judgment that these men will suffer if they do not repent of such wickedness. I was saddened just yesterday when Guillermo told me that a short-term missionary who was working nearby gave him and his wife a copy of a book called “Yo declaro” (I declare) by Joel Osteen. He asked me if this Joel Osteen guy is good because he heard that he has such a huge church in Texas. So, I proceeded to tell him that Joel Osteen is nothing but a false prophet who makes millions upon millions of dollars by propagating nonsense and calling it Gospel. But I told Guillermo to go ahead and read some of the book so that he himself could see just how different of a message is there compared to what we have been studying together in the Scriptures. So, I hope that God uses this book to show Guillermo and so many others that the Word of God is real when it says that “satan comes as an angel of light”.
It is sad that there are handfuls of missionaries here in Nicaragua that are promoting such godless filth. Something that completely makes a mockery of the cross of Christ…speaking as if the greatest gain of the cross is that now we can be able to get good things and make a lot of money and have our dream house and declare whatever it is that our heart desires! Just about completely ignoring the issue of sin and how it made us absolutely dead before a holy God and deserving of His eternal wrath if it wasn’t for the Son of God who became flesh and bore our sin and wickedness so that we could be brought near to God forever through faith and repentance. Christ rescued us from hell and eternal separation from God when He hung on that cross. He paid the debt that we could never pay. He died so that we could live in His presence, giving honor and glory and fame to His Name. Our lives should be all about living to make the glory of God known, not living to build our own kingdom of satisfying all our pleasures and dreams as those say that write such books called “I declare” or “Your Best Life Now”. Well, as I have said before, so shall I say again, “I declare that your best life is now if you live your life according to these lies because you will end up in hell having never come to repentance and faith by hearing the true Word of God preached. So, I agree with Joel Osteen…he is living his best life now…because unless he repents, his eternity ain’t gonna be no fun at all! If I offend you at all by what I write, please let me know and I would be most happy to take time and take you through the scriptures that completely refute everything that these false teachers are teaching.
Nicaragua needs to hear the truth of the Gospel so that the name of Jesus Christ is exalted above all other names. May He use us as imperfect and frail as we are to simply point people to Him through the glorious truth of His Word. Christ is worthy of glory, not because of what I can get out of Him by using His name as a genie in a bottle, but because He is God. He is powerful. He is loving. He is merciful. He is sovereign over all. He is just. And He is eternal. This is why we should be living for Him. Even if we suffer here and may seem to have to go without for a time…our best life is still yet to come.