Here’s an update on my Master’s studies at Columbia Biblical Seminary. I am currently studying “The Theology of Jonathan Edwards.” It is perhaps one of the most difficult classes I have taken so far. The books use a font size that is unbelievably small, and Jonathan Edwards makes you think. He was a genius and had a great impact on American Christianity. I’m learning a lot, but please pray that I’ll have the time and diligence needed to complete the class on time.
Okay…I knew this before today, but the last week especially has reminded me a lot about how difficult ministry is. We have been dealing with a lot of “situations” lately. None of them have been personal problems, thank God, but nonetheless, we are involved in them through relationships, and we have seen numerous people hurt. I know that God is in control, but ministry is a difficult calling. It’s a good thing we’re not alone and that God is in control of it all.
After Thursday and Friday’s difficult times with the family of Roman, the weekend just picked up steam. On Saturday morning, we had a leadership team meeting for the youth ministry at our church, Dios Es Amor. We had fewer people there than expected, but we went on with the planning for the next 4 months of youth ministry activities. It was an exhausting but productive day.
Sunday morning we went to church and then we had youth group on Sunday night. We had a sort of “individual worship experience” at youth group. We set up 4 stations that dealt with the Tsunami, Sickness, Death, and Personal Problems. The idea was that each young person could reflect on what they thought about each and what God says about each, as well as giving them the opportunity to pray for their requests and the requests of others. It went well, but it was a lot of work. Please continue to pray for the family who lost their son and also for the rest of the youth ministry at our church.
Last night, around 5:20, pastor Josue called me to let me know that “Romancito”, a 15 year old boy and son of active new members of our church, had died of Leukemia. We went to his funeral service at 6 pm and 8 pm. There are a lot of things to comment on about this.
First of all, the number of young people that were at the services was amazing. I couldn’t help but think that this young man, through his death, was sharing the gospel with more people who needed to hear it than he had during his lifetime. I also couldn’t help but thinking that these young people were so desperate for Jesus last night. No event that we would have programmed could have brought the gospel to all of them, but the life of their friend did just that.
Secondly, Patti, his sister, is only 14 years old. How difficult it must be for her to go through this. She didn’t want to leave the casket. She stood up there with her brother the whole time during the 6 o’clock service. Please pray for her during this time.
Thirdly, Roman and Patti have recently accepted Christ and been baptized. God’s working in their lives allowed the funeral to be in a church where the Truth is preached, allowing many people to hear the gospel last night and in the days to come. We didn’t realize this was taking place in the “Master Plan” of God a while ago, but now I can see His fingerprints all over it. Roman was the one singing praises the most to God last night, with his trademark wide smile. What a testimony.
Lastly, it shows me that we as Christians are not guaranteed a posh lifestyle or a life free of suffering. I have been thinking about that a lot lately. God doen’t guarantee us that following Him will be easy. He does guarantee to be with us through our trials.
Please pray for Roman, his wife Patricia, and their daughter Patti during this time. Also pray for their many friends and relatives who will no doubt, in the next few weeks, be pondering their eternal destination and beliefs about Jesus.
Tonight at youth group, I talked about “How to be Naco.” Naco is the word used for someone who doesn’t really know how to act in a certain social stratus. The key verses were 1 Corinthians 13:1-4. Basically, the way to be Naco is to not have love. We can have abilities, but without love, we’re nothing. We can have knowledge, but without love we are nothing. We can sacrifice everything, but without love, we are nothing. Next Saturday, we’re having a leadership team meeting. I am hoping to have a “plan de trabajo” in the next 2 weeks for the rest of the year.
Janell has been feeling the baby for quite some time now. Everytime she says, “The baby is moving, maybe you can see my belly move,” I look. I hadn’t seen anything until yesterday afternoon. I put my hand on her belly and felt the kicking, and then I watched and saw him kick. It was awesome! I am so excited to share that with Janell and him. We are so excited for his arrival. Please keep praying for the pregnancy. Thanks!
We went to the doctor today, and our baby proudly showed himself to be a boy. We are excited! As we watched the ultrasound, we saw that his backbone has formed, counted 5 fingers on one hand (that’s all he’d show us), saw that his head is the right size, and found out that he will be a boy. Everything is normal and going fine! Praise God! We will go back on February 21. Thanks for praying for us.