It has been a little more than three weeks since I arrived in this majestic country, though I feel as if I've been part of this work for nine weeks already. That's because beginning six weeks prior to the start of this visit to Peru, the Lord allowed me to experience various types of spiritual warfare, including being gravely ill for 19 days right before I departed from the United States.
As I write to you, sitting here on this hot day, I'm aware of ongoing spiritual warfare. But I am greatly encouraged by our Lord Jesus. Nothing good is ever accomplished in life without a tough fight. Evil may beset our plans, bewilder our thoughts or even cause us to be discouraged at times, but greater is Christ that is within us than the prince of the air who battles against God's elect. I am encouraged by God's Word that shows us that it is the Lord who permits battles to occur within the realm of His grace. I am encouraged that God permits battles to bring us closer to Him, to teach us important truths, and to help arrange the circumstances for us to be in the right place, at the right time, serving the right people. Oh, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ is magnificent! His timing is perfect, and God's work in the details is tremendously better than our own. Praise the Lord so very much for His grace.
Since I've been here in Peru, the Lord has given me the privilege of taking part in helping one teenager and an older gentleman to call upon Christ for salvation. We understand that it is not a prayer that saves a person, but salvation comes through the conviction that people sense within their hearts concerning their sins, which in turn prompts repentance and the acceptance of Christ's atoning sacrifice for those sins as the only hope for redemption. It is a great joy to see people place all their faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. For it is Christ who finished the work of redemption on that bloodstained cross of Calvary. Hallelujah!
I am scheduled to be here for three months. The purpose of this trip is to serve and help a Peruvian pastor and his church with their youth. They have a lot of teens, so the work is vast in many aspects. In addition, I am beginning to try to encourage members of the church to evangelize--talk about Jesus with folks in the community, pass out tracts, testify to others and be a good witness for Christ. The Lord also has already opened some doors for me to teach.
The culture is beautiful here in many aspects, yet, in some ways it is quite different than the culture in the U.S. Daily my heart is deeply troubled for souls here in Peru and around the world. In God's strength, I purposely try to talk to individuals about the gospel wherever I am. But the grave reality is that most of the people are oblivious to spiritual matters. Yes, they have heard of the wonderful name of Jesus Christ, but they have no understanding of redemption, Hell, or the eternal consequences of their sins. Oh, it is so sad that millions of people here in Lima, Peru, live in spiritual darkness.
To make matters worse, the devil has been successful in deceiving and confusing these precious people. Various cults have a large presence in Peru, and the leaders of these cults wrest (twist) the Scriptures to teach another Jesus; these teachings bring about people's own destruction. But thank God for the Holy Bible! God's Law is truth, and the preaching of truth shines forth the light of Christ in dark places.
For example, yesterday I was on a city bus talking to a proud religious young man who is so confused about God. He has been taught that God is love, and only love. This young man has no fear of God nor remorse for sin. Nonetheless, he kindly allowed me to share with him verse after verse about sin and the judgment of God. Indeed, God truly is love; and indeed, the Bible clearly states that God also is the Judge, the Captain of His host, and the Fierce, Terrible and Almighty God who is to be feared (Revelation 14:7). I showed the young man Colossians 1:28, a verse in which we are commanded to "warn every man," and I asked him, "If God is not to be feared, then why are we commanded to warn every man?" He had no response.
Please would you daily pray for me, the Peruvian people, and the great work that God is doing here? One specific prayer that I request is that you beg God to open their understanding to the scriptures. Prayer is truly such an important arsenal that God abundantly allows us to engage, and your prayers are needed more than I can elaborate with words. Thank you!
February is an important month for me. I came to know Jesus Christ at the age of 15 on February 18, 1995. This week will be my 25th year that I have been walking with Christ. I will be hosting a big Spiritual Birthday Party here at the church in Lima on February 18th at 6pm. Everyone is inviting friends who are unsaved to come to my "Spiritual Birthday Party" to eat a lot of food, play games, and most importantly, to hear a gospel message about Christ. Please pray that God will use this celebration through the preaching of His gospel to gather in souls for Christ. I'm going to spend around $100 on food and supplies for this event, but I want to see people saved.
God made it very clear to me that I was to come down here to Peru in various ways, including giving me 1 Chronicles 4:10-11. God got me an airplane ticket. He's provided for upfront expenses, and thus I trust that He will also take care of upcoming future expenses and needs that are soon approaching. If you would like to financial be part of this project you can contribute at www.OrphanFrontier.org/donate.
Thank you for your partnership in this ministry!
Let's Love One More Child!