Sunday, October 23, 2011

A recurring theme in my husband’s messages has always been the need to reach the lost. Most who have walked alongside him for a few days will attest that he does his best to be ready in many situations to meet people and bring the topic of Christ into the conversation. It has often been the unofficial encounters at stores or paying bills which have led to some of the more amazing stories of “divine appointments” rather than the official outreach activities, but in our training, we believe God calls us into obedience to both. I shared with Julian the other night how a theme has been woven through several different sources recently and how they tie together.

I’ve had varying experiences with homeschool curriculums which try to give a “Biblical worldview”. I was tempted to abandon the idea of finding really fair, academic American government and history programs for my older daughters, when, by chance, I heard an online lecture by a gentleman who has authored some homeschool products. He was clearly stating what my challenge was: many Christians are so bent on the godliness of our Christian heritage and its recent losses that they can overemphasize US history’s merits and put much hope in the salvation of our government and the re-Christianizing of our country. Fixing all the ills of our government policies and returning to the freedoms of prayer and public nativity scenes may do very little in changing lost souls for eternity. The hope comes in sharing Christ and representing Him well in our society. This hope is the same, no matter what country we live in. When the Church and her members do this, our society will have a healthier moral fiber, no matter what our laws are.

Recently I read a Christian fiction novel, “The Debt” by Angela Hunt. It was a fast read for me, mostly because I so thoroughly enjoyed the allegory. The plot involves an upstanding pastor’s wife in a large, nationally recognized ministry. She spent decades striving to live a holy, sanctified life and support her husband in every way, but failed to tell him of her past life out of which came a child she gave up for adoption. Her teen pregnancy led her to a Christian girls’ mission and her dramatic conversion. Her life comes in contrast to her recently discovered, adult biological son. This son, as a type of Christ, dedicated his life to something he called “ministry”; but his ministry drastically differed from the “churchianity” that she and her husband had been thriving in for many years. He simply went into the streets, and the dark, ugly, sin-filled parts of town to meet people, where he shared Christ’s love and tended to their needs.

These combined thoughts allowed me to think afresh about what we consider success in ministry. As a child, I prayed the sinner's prayer on the steps of a white-steepled church. Ideal, huh? But today, most children have never been brought through the doors of a Sunday school or church. So, we as Christians, must be involved in seeking those who may never come through church doors for curiosity's sake. Are we meeting people who don’t know Christ? Are we ministering to those who are outside of the church? Do we purpose to cross paths with those who are not even sure if a church would accept them or whether church would be of any interest to them? Are we building those who are in church into soldiers for the same cause? Consistent, growing church attendance is an awesome thing to be blessed with when we are missionaries or church planters, but there are many who have shown themselves skilled in managing the sheep and providing programs for them, but their priorities are not in the realm of reaching those without. Thousands remain without Christ in this world.

Our days stay very full with ministry activities, homeschooling, and kids’ activities. One young man who has been most active in church has been transferred to San Juan for his employment. He’s hoping to come back on weekends for a Bible college class, outreach and services. Additionally, he's going to help get a Bible study going in the San Juan area during the week. There are a number of really good contacts in the SJ metro area along with a clear interest in a Bible study, so pray for this. Several men are taking the early Saturday am Bible college class (7:30am-9:30am). One young man just started offering to do his best with guitar accompaniment in worship (yeah!—very needed indeed!). The Bible studies on University of PR campus have been going very well and the young people have joined Julian in evangelism. There have been some awesome conversions and several have come to the fellowship/Bible study. The last couple of weeks, we have hosted the Mayaguez church Bible study in our house and it has been well attended. Most of the attendees are over 70-yrs-old and drive at least 1/2 hr to church and Bible studies. We are amazed by their consistency and fervency. Julian is still slated to be the replacement pastor, and has increased his assistance and presence, but the present pastor is still trying to secure employment in the states. Please pray for this detail.

Our years here in PR are filled with the stories of people’s lives God has put us in contact with. Because the precious people here are not in some far-off land, oblivious of internet, and newsletters, many of the stories cannot be published, but God has been faithful to provide that simple, “out-with-the-people” ministry. It’s not the kind that is highlighted when speaking of amazing church programs and growth, but it’s the crucial one-by-one, personal stuff that I believe Jesus spent a large percentage of his time doing. We are encouraged by this one verse: Luke 19:10 "The Son of Man is come to seek and to save that which is lost."

With the above said, there are many ministerial needs that we encounter daily and must remain diligent to cover. We encourage you to pray and ask God if you can be a prayer or financial partner with us: a "team member". Any financial support can be directed to the missions office of Greater Grace World Outreach. We also covet your words of encouragement and edification through email ( or blog comments.