NewsDear friends, As always happens during our trips to Colombia, the schedule changes! God shuts some doors and opens others, so I am attaching the latest version of what we are about below. Our time thus far has been blessed, with numerous times of meeting/talking/praying with a variety of Colombians. Yesterday was especially busy and blessed here at Monte Sion, from the Sunday morning meeting with its rich worship, ministry, and prayer, to the luncheon afterwards, to an evening dinner with relatives here in Chía.
On Friday night, we had a blessed evening with Iglesia Rompiendo Cadenas in Chía. They are a small church, but a very warm one with a pastor who has a heart for unity among the churches and revival in the nation. We have known him for years, and he is one of the most cooperative and supportive pastors in the area. He is also someone who suffered much in his youth, and now has a deep love for God and genuine humility. I spoke on the theme from Song of Songs 1:4: “Draw me, we will run after thee…,” as well as speaking from Revelation 2:4-5 about returning to our “first love.” As we surrender our lives to the Lord and draw near to Him, He will use us to draw many others as well. Three people prayed with us to receive the Lord, and the entire church stood up quickly at the second invitation to give their all to Jesus.
On Wednesday evening, I preached at Iglesia Cristiana del Norte in Chía with about 15 people praying to receive the Lord. We had the great blessing of having the Cuban a capella chorale, Monte Sion de Cuba, with us that evening. We have known them for at least 7 years now, and they are tremendous singers and a shining light for the Lord in Cuba. We actually did our own songs afterwards with a combined chorale of those of us from Monte Sion in Chía together with Monte Sion de Cuba! On Thursday morning, I spoke at a gathering of about fifty pastors from all around the south of Bogotá, the same group that I had spoken to back in April. This time I spoke on the restoration of the fullness of the Biblical church with all her gifts, ministries, and callings upon every member to take their place as active servants of the Lord. The message was warmly received, and many of them asked me to sign copies of my book for them afterwards, to the point where my hand was getting tired!
We had a powerful time at Rompiendo Cadenas yesterday. In the afternoon, we drove into the most dangerous part of Bogota where the church owns several buildings on the same block. We talked with the pastor and his wife about the wonderful work they are doing among the most lost young people in this country. He was involved in drug trafficking himself working with Pablo Escobar, but the Lord saved him out of all of that, many times rescuing him from death. He has the scars to show for it. Since being rescued off the streets, he has given his life to rescue others out of similar lifestyles and has been recognized by the government for the work he does. They have around six hundred people undergoing rehabilitation at any given time, in these buildings and on the three farms that the Lord has given them outside the city.
The two meetings this weekend were the best yet by far! Our time with the youth on Saturday at Alianza con Dios was very special. The church was largely full with young people from several different churches. The worship was definitely high energy, and the young people were attentive and responsive as I spoke about God’s high calling on their lives. The passages focused on were Romans 12:1-2, 2 Corinthians 5:17, and Psalm 139. There were about eight young people who responded to the call to receive Jesus as their Lord and Savior, and nearly everyone in the house responded quickly to the second invitation to surrender their lives to the Lord and to seek His will for their lives. The youth pastor spoke, an excellent singer from the Dominican Republic sang afterwards, and then the evening closed with a wonderful time of worship and dancing before the Lord with much rejoicing. Many young people came up to talk with all of us afterwards, wanting to know more about how they could serve the Lord, with specific questions about their current circumstances. We were not able to escape until quite late that evening, but it was a blessing to be with such eager young people!
We had a smaller crowd Thursday night, but it was still a blessed time. My Colombian translator got deeply into the message, studying it intensely before the meeting began and asking me questions about it so he could understand what I was saying. He also told me that his two teenage sons wanted to be there because they love to hear me speak, and they were in fact an eager presence in the room. It is always a blessing to have young people present who are desiring to find their way in Christ! My sons Jacob and Joseph were there as well.
We had a wonderful time at Alianza Cristiana last night. I spoke on the theme "The Character of a Disciple of Christ" and the message was well received. People were very responsive during the message, and many were quite broken during both invitations. There were seven people who prayed to receive the Lord, and then every person in the place responded quickly to the second invitation to surrender their all to Chris and become disciples of the Lord and not just believers.
We just completed a blessed two weeks of evangelism and ministry in Colombia, South America. We flew down to Bogotá on Wednesday, April 6th, after much delay due to mechanical issues with our original plane, and then had a couple of days to recover and prepare. My oldest son Joseph and his friend Justin joined us, flying in from Austin, Texas to take part in the outreaches. On Saturday, April 9th, we had a lovely pancake breakfast at Monte Sion in Chía north of Bogotá, together with the Leon family. He is a pastor from Bogotá and a good friend. We also had other guests join us throughout the day, and then rehearsed that evening for our singing in Briceño on Sunday morning.