Our family has experienced several crisis type situations. Earlier this year, we were implicated in a nasty ring of violence that put our lives in potential mortal danger, possibly making us a target for "professional" murderers. This situation, among others, made it necessary for us to take a brief furlough into the United States for several months. We had to move out of our home, go into hiding, and trust the Lord for financial provision that was well beyond their means as we made these movements. He is always been so faithful to provide. Thankfully, the situation has cleared up and I feel that the family is a bit safer. We’re grateful for those who were faithfully praying for our safety and our future as a family during this time.
Ordination of a Pastor
Hector Bustamamante, the brother who has been laboring alongside me these last couple of years, and who I’ve had the privilege to mentor during this time, has recently been ordained to the pastoral ministry. Many were in tears of solemn joy, rejoicing with trembling, as Aaron Block and I laid hands on him and prayed for the grace, blessing and power of the Holy Spirit to endow him for the work of the ministry, having been set aside by the church to give himself to the ministry of the Word and prayer.
This event is an answer to many prayers as it enables us to multiply our labors. Please remember brother Hector in your prayers, that the Lord will bless and keep him, keep his affections inflamed with the zealous love for Christ, continue to bless him with a healthy and happy marriage, and for the Lord to have mercy on the soul of his daughter and on the baby to come, to grant them the gift of the new birth.
The theme this year was “Returning to the Old Paths: Truths that Reform and Revive the Church”. The expositors were Aaron Block, Miguel Fattel, Hector Bustamante and I. All of the subject matter revolved around the subject of practical, experiential Reformed theology. We talked about how theology should impact all of life, resulting in subjection from the heart to the Lordship, supremacy, sovereignty of God, in order to glorify Him in every sphere of life.
We also spoke about historic revival and prevailing prayer, Trinitarian devotion and spirituality, engaging in our vocations and earthly labors for the glory of God, Biblical meditation as a spiritual discipline, and about the place of self-examination and confession of sin in the prayer life of the Christian.
We also spoke about the pious family, and how to walk godly in the home. This was a big theme of the conference since this is such a great need in the church of Latin America. We emphasized the need for applying sound theology to our everyday family life. We talked about family devotions, exhorted men to lead their families as the prophets, priests, and kings of the home, and gave practical advice on how to conduct family worship in the home. We also exhorted parents to diligently teach their children the whole counsel of God, and to strive to give them a thoroughly biblical education from the days of their youth.
On the third day of the conference, a lady approached me with an encouraging testimony. She was attending the conference with her husband (who is also a believer) along with their children. This family was not from any of our sister churches, but had heard about the conference and decided to attend. After the exhortations and teachings about family worship and discipleship, this family returned to their home that night. The husband called a meeting with the family, asked for their forgiveness for not leading them in the worship of God, and solemnly committed to teach them the Bible and lead them in family worship every day. According to the wife’s testimony, he then began to lead them in prayer. And his prayers broke her heart. She said she had never heard him pray like that before as he wept and cried out loud, begging God to have mercy on his family and save his children. She said that the earnestness and solemnity of his prayers even caused her to fear, as the presence of God was so tangible in the room. Oh, may the Lord revive the excellent practice of true worship in the homes of believers all over Latin America. May we see a genuine move of the Spirit of God that shakes the status quo and revives genuine piety in the midst of a Christianity that is so superficial and shallow in our day!
Many other testimonies have been trickling in. It seems like dozens of men who had previously been slothful in teaching the word of God to their families and in the worship of God have made a more conscious commitment to doing so. Please pray that these resolutions wouldn’t be the result of a momentary excitement but of a true and lasting work of grace that bears much fruit for years to come (should our Lord tarry).
Here are some pictures of the conference:
Aaron Block preaches on the phenomena of genuine revival and its practical implications for the Christian life. He was able to teach much along of the lines of what is found in Ian Murray's excellent book, "Pentecost Today":
Thanks so much for your prayers and support! There's so much more to tell you about, dear friends, but the contraints of time and space press us with the necessity of submitting to the limitations of brevity. I'll try to send another update soon.
- Hector Bustamamente: his personal piety, hunger for the Word of the Lord and for the Lord of the Word, his prayer life, marriage, daughter, ministry, preaching, travels, etc.
- For the heads of household in our churches and in greater Latin America, that they would be faithful to lead their families in the Word, in genuine piety and in worship.
- For the catechism project, that the families would use it, and that it would bear much fruit.
- For the fruit of the conference, that it wouldn't be a momentary excitement but a true and lasting move of God in Latin America.
- For the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, sound conversions, biblical churches to be raised up, and leaders to be raised up and confirmed and sent into the harvest.
- For our literature distribution and publication ministry.
- For Aaron Block and his family.
- For Josef Urban and his family. For faithfulness and grace to press on. For health to travel and preach and servce. For financial provision for our own living expenses in Mexico and for the projects we have underway.