“Moving Christians from the pew to the harvest.” Matthew 9:36-38
I am writing this from Hermosillo, Sonora where I have just completed a wonderful weekend of seeing lives changed by the Word and the Spirit. The opportunities that lie before us are exciting and daunting. It would be impossible to remember, much less recount, all that God is doing. For me, the challenge now is to listen to God to see what I can commit to, and what I must either turn down, or find someone else to carry the torch. Judy and I are so very grateful that we are able to keep this pace in the season of life we are in. I ask your prayers for wisdom in choosing wisely as we plan for the next phase. Here are a few highlights from the month of May.
Panama is alive!
On May 14 I left for Panama with a team that included Eduardo and Rosa Andrade from Hermosillo, and Doug Dolan from Prescott, AZ. Eduardo is my helper and interpreter, and an able minister of the Gospel, as is Rosa. Doug is COO of Recovery in the Pines, a Christian-based addiction treatment facility in Prescott. I have worked with them for two years. On this trip part of our commission was to evaluate a budding treatment program in Darien, and see if we could find ways to help them be effective. Doug came as my expert consultant. God had much more in mind.
We stayed busy. Thursday and Friday we visited villages, including a day in Meteti at the beautiful new facilities being built for the housing and treatment of addiction by Elixandri Sanjur-Alvarez. He is using our 7 Principles of Recovery material as a paradigm for treatment, and his wife is studying the IEMFe classes on a flash-drive in order to teach the Bible in their church and to the men in recovery. On Friday, I also did a one-hour live radio program on marriage on Estereo Vida with Dennis and Jeanne Cook Then on Saturday I taught a 6-hour seminar on Divorce and life after divorce at Vida Ministries. Saturday night, Doug gave his testimony at a service in the village of Arimae. A few highlights:
- We formulated a plan to begin helping the folks in Meteti move to the next phase of their vision for helping alcoholics recover. They have done much and have much in their hearts, but the next steps will require some work. Doug is helping put together administrative materials to get them moving. Eduardo and I will be staying in regular touch with them to monitor progress and speak into the lives of leaders there.
- The Saturday seminar had 40 in attendance. That is a huge turn out for this area. We think the radio broadcast on Friday probably helped, bur there is also a real hunger for good information about marriage and divorce. The testimonies are still coming in from pastors who were set free from religious traditions. It was powerful.
- Saturday night, Doug’s testimony of deliverance from addiction was perfect. He told about losing a friend to suicide and how painful that was. The village had lost a much beloved young man the week before to an intoxication-induced suicide. They were hungry for some answers. The place was packed, and people were sitting outside to listen. At the end the altar filled with young people and whole families. We will be seeing the impact of this meeting for a long time.
Here’s the prayer need: Pray for us and the ministry to alcoholics in Meteti. We want to see them succeed. Pray that we have wisdom about how to help the village leaders in Arimae. I can’t share details at the moment, but we have a rare opportunity to speak into this usually closed community. This is a big deal. We need God’s guidance.
Hermosillo just keeps on ticking.
The doors of opportunity continue to open for us. I have at least 2 places that want us to come help them get Bible schools started or to teach classes ourselves. It seems every week I get another contact. Pray we have wisdom on which doors to walk through, and how to be most effective. Our commitment to the current classes lasts until April next year. We are actively planning on how to transition from our team doing the work to people in the local churches carrying the program forward. Pray we have the right people and the right plan
I preached Sunday morning at Casa del Rey, with Pastor Gildardo Lamadrid Vásquez. He is a 2003 grad of FMTI. They started this work 6 years ago and are doing a great job. The atmosphere was electric in the place. The worship and prayer just made me want to shout and run, but the place was too packed to move much. God did wonderful things. Pastor Gildardo is teaching IEMFe to his people using his own old notes from 16 years ago. We are providing him with a flash drive with all the new material so he can print it with all the great updates in format and translation. (And have videos of Rev. Eric Sonera teaching the classes in Spanish!) This thing works!
Instituto de Entrenamiento Ministerial de Fe.
May 23- 24 we started the Healing Truth class in Hermosillo. There were more than 70 students there each night, and you could feel the hunger for the Word. We were emphasizing the will of God to heal everyone, which is a foreign idea to many. Pastor John Smith and I shared the teaching chores, and you could almost hear the traditional chains of unbelief being broken. After the last class, the whole team (Revs. Brenda Mangen, Joyce Hughes, Eduardo and Rosa Andrade joined Pastor John, myself, and our newest teammate, Xavier Vela) Afterwards people were grabbing us to give testimonies of how they had been healed and their thinking changed. We return June 20-21 for the next class. Pray for our students and the team that will be coming down. Don’t forget that the Word is never preached without resistance and the attempt to steal what was sown. PRAY! (If you are interested in the Healing Truth material for you or your church, check it out at www.fmtionline.com )
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I’m Headed to New York!
I leave on Friday, May 31 for 10 days in New York state. Please note the schedule below if you know people in the area and let them know to attend. I believe God is going to impact lives and allow people to catch the flame of the move of God that is going on in Latin America. As my friend Pastor Jose Santos Ramos said, “We are excited about this move of God. The people are hungry for the Word.” Can I get an, “Amen?”
June 2: Believers Church at Glenville, NY. Call (518) 399-0039 for info
June 4: Believers Family Church in Johnstown, NY. Call (518) 762-0185 for info
June 6: Back in Glenville at Believers Church. Call (518) 399-0039 for info
June 8: Addictions seminar and evening service. Faith, Hope, and Love Christian Church in Canajoharie, NY. Call (518) 673-5128 for info
June 9: Living Water Faith Fellowship in Oneonta, NY. Call (607) 433-2234
June 20 & 21— Hermosillo Divine Healing Class continues
June 23rd. Faith Christian Fellowship of Tucson. 10 AM
June 25-28 FCF Family Conference in Tulsa
July 18-19. Hermosillo Divine Healing Class concludes.
September 13-14. Hermosillo, Sonora. IEMFe Lever 2 – Planning for Success
September 19-20. Hermosillo Money, Ordinances, and Music class begins
October 17-18. Hermosillo Money, Ordinances, and Music class continues.
October 26. Faith Family Church, Chandler Arizona. 25th anniversary celebration.
November 8-9. Southern AZ Pastors and Leaders Gathering. Living Faith Christian Center. Tucson
November 14-15. Hermosillo Money, Ordinances, and Music class concludes.
Now Scheduling: I still have a few openings this year, including July and August. Don’t be bashful. Contact me. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 520-792-3238.
As you can see, this season of life is quite busy. Thank you for your prayers and contributions and for believing in us. You make it possible for us to continue. God is doing things I never dreamed of, and I am just along for the ride. I do believe He wants me to do some more writing, so I am praying about how that is going to work. He has been very faithful to strengthen me and provide for our needs as we continue to go where we have never been. Working together, we are making a difference for people you may never see until we hit heaven. It is important.