Our exploratory step into Colombia was successful! And that is due to the faithful prayers offered by so many of you. But this is only the beginning of the need for Divine wisdom and guidance. So, let me tell you how things went and why prayer is still greatly needed as we move forward.
Colombia: We Have An Enemy
We should never doubt that where God is at work our enemy is trying to deceive and distract. The following verses will serve as a quick reminder:
- I Peter 5:8
- II Corinthians 2:11
- Ephesians 6:11
I mentioned in the previous post that our teaching effort would be done virtually. And we all know it takes a computer to mess things up really well! There were some connectivity issues on the Colombian end. And phrases like Put up with it and Work around it went through my mind more than once. But so did some other things that were more important.
On Friday evening, as the technical issues challenged all of us, I was encouraged. Make no mistake, I was frustrated, but still encouraged. As the work of EquipUs has grown I have become accustomed to the resistance of our enemy. And when I see that, I expect even greater things from our Father! And that brings me to the next reality!
Colombia: Our God Is Able
We started class Saturday morning and it seemed the technical issues got worse instead of better. As I as teaching, I stopped and apologized to the class. I told them that as challenging as things were for me and Franklin, I knew they were having a tough time as well. Privately, I wondered if I had been in their position would have stayed through the entire morning.
My other Saturday morning thought was this: If they are blessed and ministered to by this particular class then the only explanation is God has answered and turned not enough into Divine abundance. Just think of a little boy’s lunch (not enough) being used to feed 5,000 (Divine abundance). And Ephesians 3:20-21 is never far from my thoughts:
Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
Remembering our guiding Scripture for this year, we pressed on. We got the end of the teaching sessions. And We doesn’t just mean Franklin, me and the pastors. My friend Stan joined us Saturday morning and helped teach. And never forget I John 4:4 –
…greater is He Who is in you than he that is in the world.
We entertained more questions regarding EquipUs. And when it was all said and done the pastors gave a round of applause that I could hear over our challenging audio connection. But there’s more.
As I was speaking privately to Franklin, the pastors took a quick vote on whether or not they wanted to have us onsite to walk with them through a cycle of teaching, training and growing together. If I understood Franklin correcctly, the vote was unanimous.
That means several questions have to be asked and answered.There are State Dept.issues to learn, logistical questions to ask, questions about accommodations, food safety, cultural differences and much more. We will have to work together with Pastor Jose to answer those questions.
Now, let’s assume all those questions end with positive answers. How would we open a ministry in a new country? The very first step would be taking one or two others with me to go down and do an inaugural week of teaching. That gives us the opportunity to meet people face to face, see everything up close and personal and that would prepare the way for taking volunteer teams into Colombia.
Until then, two things can be done here at home. First, as always, is prayer. As these investigative steps take place wisdom will be needed. Second, that initial trip is going to put a red spot on the EquipUs budget. So donations will also be needed. Why would I relate these things as if I expect to make the trip?
Our God Who Provides
Have I said our Father can do more than we ask or imagine? Did I say He is able? I did. I was in a Zoom meeting the day before we did our teaching in Colombia. Who did I meet in that meeting? I met a man who served as a missionary in Colombia. As I have said numerous times: Our Father is not into random. And I don’t believe for one nanosecond that was accidental.
So, please pray. It is essential. If you can, please donate. This is the end of the year. As you know, end-of-year giving keeps us pretty busy. It’s also very necessary in planning for the New Year.
FINALLY… please share this post. Share these needs with other in email or on your social media platforms. The more people who know about these needs the more likely it is that others will engage with us. And additional engagement is a must if we are to meet the needs before us in 2023.
Soli Deo Gloria!