Monday, February 16, 2015

Bringing hope and the Gospel to Iquitos

I love ministering in Iquitos, Peru -- in the Amazon basin (a. k. a. jungle). We have two LACCC schools there: Victoria de Jesus in Belen and Luz del Saber in Punchana. The district of Belen floods every year, so our students have to walk to school on a network of planks, above the water. It's often scary, dirty and stinky. But it's also a blessed adventure filled with lovely people (like Venice, Italy, but without plumbing). I thank the Lord that we can bring hope, food, education and (most of all) Jesus to these beautiful kids. Thanks for making it possible. Below are some of my favorite photos from my trip last March, when the flood waters were high. You can find more pics from this trip here: 2014-03 Iquitos.

Pastors Fernando and Jose are great friends and I'm honored to work with them bringing the Gospel and hope to Iquitos.

Where did you drop it?

You can see more from this trip here.

Saturday, February 07, 2015

University Evangelism

This from Bill:

Lena and I began the past year with a strong emphasis on University ministry. Here, in Peru, we call Chi Alpha, La Red Universitaria de Las Asambleas de Dios -- the University Network of the Assemblies of God. It's been an exciting experience for both of us. Lena is doing multiple evangelistic Bible studies with students from various campuses, and both of us have taught at churches and national youth leaders conferences about how to start a campus ministry. The pictures above and below are of us teaching on Evangelism. These pics were taken at the "Christ - Light of the World" church in Trujillo, which has six small groups on 5 campuses! I'm a big fan of using a white board, instead of PowerPoint slides (because I like the organic nature and the intentional emphasis on content over form). After I teach, I take a picture of the white board and invite the students to do the same. Looking at these boards reminded me of what a great time we had! After taking the college students and leaders through some basics of university evangelism, we hit the streets and had a blast talking with people about Jesus. I was very proud of Will, my younger son, who (with unassuming warmth and friendliness) is an incredibly effective evangelist! 

For this event, we were joined by our friends Shawn and Melissa Pallotta, who (along with their kids) have a very prophetic ministry. Shawn and I taught on making godly decisions.

Some of the evangelism themes we covered included: 

1) The power of your personal testimony (Rev. 12:11). 
2) Basic components of the Gospel (1 Cor. 15). 
3) Apologetics -- explaining why the Christian faith is reasonable (that is, it's requires faith, but not blind faith). Also, Jesus claimed to be God, therefore he is either a Liar, a Lunatic or the Lord (hint: it's the last one!)
4) The best 3 questions to do Evangelism: If you died tonight, do you know where you would go? If you were in front of Jesus and he asked you why he should let you into heaven, what would you say? And, the best question of all: How can I pray for you?

Peruvians love their late night soccer matches, which provides a great way to make friends and share the Gospel with your neighbors. These pics are of Colton (above) and Antonio Pallotta (below) playing.

Colton and Antonio also teamed up for some street evangelism, outside the C&T Restaurant.

Why I disciple

This from Bill:

Matthew 28:18-20 is the Great Commission, in which Jesus commands us to "make disciples." But, that isn't what motivates me. On an emotional or motivational level, the reason why I disciple people is that I’ve had a life changing encounter with Jesus that is real and profoundly positive. It’s not like everything that happens to me is positive, but experiencing Christ and being transformed by Him – that has been overwhelmingly positive. I strive to introduce others to Jesus and his way of life because I want them to have as good a life as I have. I frequently challenge young adults who are making self-defeating decisions to imitate my life, because I know that I have a better marriage and a happier life than the vast majority of the world. “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. (Romans 1:16)”