Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Gringos, children, and a divine appointment

Earlier this month a group from CC Gainseville came to help and minister with us. I went street witnessing with them twice. The first time we went to a park in the nearby district of Villa Maria. The park authorities allowed us to preach in a small amphitheatre there. I had brought along my mic and amp, which proved to be real useful. We drew in many children using songs and games, and balloons the gringos had brought. Then a friend and I preached the Gospel to them and to the parents and adults there.
A few days later, we went a couple blocks away from the church to the front of Ricardo Palma University. We walked around the area handing out tracts and getting into conversations with people. We split up into groups, and I went with Connor, one of the Floridians. We walked up and preached the Gospel to several people. He seemed real anxious to approach strangers and witness to them. In fact, he had more of a desire to do it than I had. And with good reason--I was doing all the talking! He didn't speak Spanish fluently. But I can tell he really did want to preach; he felt more bold being in a distant country with people he'll never see again. And I had to suffer because of it. :)
So as we were walking around I commented to him that most people here are reserved when you talk to them, not very open, don't like confrontation that much, and tend to agree with you a lot (sometimes because they just want you to leave). I told him I missed having a "challenge"--like and evolutionist or something. I haven't come across many people that don't believe in the Bible (as most here are Catholic and claim to believe it's the Word of God). Well, walking further we decided to talk to a young man sitting down. I got out a piece of paper and a pen and did the "survey approach" on him, asking him to answer some questions about his religious beliefs for a project (I use the info to remember and pray for them). Right off the bat he told me he was an atheist, with no religion. Wow. The Lord is amazing. One prayer answered. I thanked Him in my mind. "This has to be from You, Lord," I thought. I asked him why he was an atheist and he gave me some of the common objections, like "How can a God of love allow so much suffering and misery?" Well, as we talked a little he told us that he spoke English; he had lived in Miami for 5 years. Miami, Florida! Out of all the places in the world! Now I knew this was from the Lord. So Connor, his desire to witness to someone being granted, started to talk to him in English. We reasoned with him a bit, and he went from being an atheist to an agnostic. And then, after going through the Good Person Test, hearing the Gospel, and me explaining to him about the reality of eternity, he fully backslid into admitting there is a God. I told him, "You know there is a God." He looked down and agreed with me, but said he had very little faith. As we were talking the Lord gave me much love and compassion for him. Near the end of our conversation he wanted to know why we were out here preaching to him. We explained that it was because we cared about him and didn't want him, or anyone else, to go to hell. We talked a little more and gave him a Gospel of John. He thanked us and told us he was going to read the Bible. As we left we thanked the Lord for this divine appointment.
Please pray for Jean Paul.

Thursday, May 15, 2008


"The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that wins souls is wise."
Proverbs 11:30

One morning in April I sought the Lord in prayer. I had been fed up with my lack of zeal for the lost, and had purposed in my heart to try to witness to at least one person a day. Evangelism on Saturdays just wasn't cutting it--the fire was slowly fading and I needed to get my focus back on eternity. It's great to deliberately go out once a week to witness to people, but what about those I encountered the rest of the week? Sometimes I would be so wrapped up in my own things that I would forget that the people that walked past me in the streets and sat next to me in buses were precious souls headed for one of two eternal destinations.
Another reason I decided to do this was because I was about to start the evangelism classes and didn't want to be a hypocrite, telling others to preach the Gospel at every opportunity when I wasn't doing it myself.
So that morning in prayer I asked God to give me the strength and boldness to be able to carry this out, and to open many doors for me.

...Well, it's been a month since I started, and to be honest I haven't been able to do it every day. But the days that I have, the Lord has anwered my prayers in helping me stand up boldly for Him, handing out tracts wherever I go and approaching strangers and witnessing to them. Sometimes I've been tired, and many times I've been nervous, but God has always been faithful to help me. And many of the encounters I've had have been from the Lord, people with hearts prepared to hear the Gospel.

And these last four weeks have also been an answer to prayer in that God has opened up more doors for me to go witnessing. A couple weeks ago the Lord provided me with some money and I bought an amplifier and microphone for open air preaching. Several times this month a few fellow laborers and I have been able to go to the market of Gamarra in the center of Lima. It's a huge shopping center with dozens of closed-off streets and TONS of people, which is perfect for evangelism. I love it.
Again--many great witnessing encounters.

There are so many stories to share...I'll put some up later when I get a chance.

Well...through all this God has once again reminded me that He rewards those who step out in faith. Even though I was serving Him full-time, I was growing colder, busy with "ministry." But now He's renewed me with a zeal and a hunger for souls, and most of all, for the glory of His Gospel.

I close with the following inspiring quotes:

"Brethren, do something; do something, do something! While societies and unions make constitutions, let us win souls. I pray you, be men of action all of you. Get to work and quit yourselves like men. Old Suvarov's idea of war is mine: `Forward and strike! No theory! Attack! Form a column! Charge bayonets! Plunge into the center of the enemy! Our one aim is to win souls; and this we are not to talk about, but do in the power of God!'"
Charles Spurgeon

"You have nothing to do but to save souls. Therefore spend and be spent in this work. And go not only to those that need you, but to those that need you most...It is not your business to preach so many times, and to take care of this or that society; but to save as many souls as you can; to bring as many sinners as you possibly can to repentance.”
John Wesley

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

April Updates

Well, a lot has happened last month...many new and exciting opportunities to serve the Lord and glorify His name. One of these exciting things has been the incredible opportunity to teach at my church. I've been teaching an "Evangelism Course" on Saturday afternoons for the past three weeks. It's been great, I've been pleasantly surprised by the good turnout--about 16 steady attenders, most of them youth, whose hearts are hungry, willing, and open to learn how to share the Gospel with the lost. On the first week, the introductory class, I talked about the Gospel and what it is, going through Romans 3:23-26 and the subjects found therein--the depravity of man, justification, propitiation, and the meaning of the Cross. The class lasted two hours but I wish I could have expounded further on these basic but profound themes. While I was teaching some would look at me in utter shock and amazement, as if to say, "I have never heard this before!" They had many questions for me during and after the class. Through this the Lord showed me the incredible need there is among the Church here in Peru to learn and know biblical doctrine.

One of the things I emphasized in the class is that the Gospel is not an elementary truth, from which we go on to bigger and better things in our walk with God. No, the Gospel is THE Truth, and our whole lives should revolve around it. We need to dedicate our lives to understanding more and more the amazing work of our Lord Jesus on the Cross of Calvary. Our lives and spiritual growth depend on it.

But anyway, I thank the Lord for what He's been doing. On the other weeks I've been going through many of the lessons from the School of Biblical Evangelism textbook by Ray Comfort. They have likewise been a blessing for the students and for me. It's amazing to see how God has been working in the hearts of my brothers and sisters, giving them a desire and a zeal to preach the Gospel to their friends and loved ones, and to strangers.

This Saturday is the last class of the first part of the course. God willing there will be many more parts following (as there is so much more to cover).
Please pray for me: that God would use me to glorify His Son in these classes, and that He would give me much wisdom and patience, and the ability to teach. And for all of us who go on Saturdays: to be able to learn more and more from Him, for more zeal and boldness to preach, to be united as brothers, and to be full of His Holy Spirit and love.