This is an update from Hear Cry Missionary Society through their email updates about their missionaries in South America. If you have never heard of Heart Cry and would like to know more check out their website at http://www.heartcrymissionary.com/. Please keep those in prayer who are serving to bring the gospel to people around the world.
Peru and South America
The awakening that we are experiencing during this time in our part of the world, is the answer to the fervent prayers of brothers who went before us and who longed to see what our eyes are seeing. It is a blessed grace to be in the midst of such a move of God. Who could have imagined that we would be witnesses of the wonderful power of God working in a way in which only He is honored and glorified by all that happens?
God is producing a zeal for His name, His church is loving the Gospel of the glory of Christ, and in many places children, young people, and adults are spending time in prayer, meditating on the Scriptures, and inquiring into the counsel of God in order to follow faithfully in the footsteps of Jesus.
Many have suffered the loss of their titles, their goods, and their positions in their “congregations” and denominations. However, they are joyful that they have been considered worthy to suffer an affront for the cause of the Name. Baptists are suffering at the hands of Baptists, Pentecostals from Pentecostals, Charismatics from Charismatics. They are being despised for loving the true Gospel and for preaching it biblically.
The Church of the Savior in Barranco (Lima)
In the midst of this is The Church of the Savior in Barranco, where God is glorifying Himself for the honor and glory of His Name. It was just a few years ago that we went through some very tough times where we could not see a way out of several different problems, but the Lord, in his mercy, showed us that our sin was that we were looking for our own honor in all that we were doing. We had not understood that only He should be exalted and honored in all that we do. We have humbled ourselves before God and repented. We have confessed our sins and we have turned from them and the Lord has had mercy on us and has been pleased to glorify Himself among us.
For some time now we have been seeing the spiritual growth of many brothers and sisters. We have seen in them a hunger for the Word and a seeking to know Him better in order to be able to serve Him. This is something which has come to characterize the church. God has given us pastors, teachers, and evangelists for the building up of the saints. He continues adding each day to the church those who are being saved. The man-made methods and strategies have been eradicated in order to make way for the Gospel of Christ. We had never been witnesses to something like this before.
The preaching of the Gospel, the declaring of the virtues of the One who called us from the darkness to the light, is a daily practice that has come to characterize the great majority of the brothers and sisters. The defense of the faith is a daily battle, many brothers desire to know more of the Lord, and of His Word. These brothers are working to prepare themselves to be able to contend fervently for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. This they are doing with gentleness and respect.
Something which is amazing and unimaginable for us is that now we are helping other churches in Lima. Who would have thought this would happen after all that we had been through, but that is the way that God has seen fit to work. He is using the lowly and despised things of this world so that only He will be exalted and so that no one will boast in His work.
Glory to God for all that He is doing among us! May His name be made great among His people!
The Work in Latin America
But now God has decided to go far beyond our little faith. Many brothers in other countries in Latin America have called us asking for help. Many of them have heard the Gospel through the conferences that HeartCry had in Lima on the Gospel, and God has awakened them through the faithful preaching of the Gospel.
Thankfully we have been able to travel to several countries through the support of HeartCry, in order to respond to the invitations from Christ’s people and His church. The Word of God has spread and God has been exalted in all of this. God continues raising up, in each country, faithful servants who love the Scriptures, are zealous for the Name of God, and who are given to faithfully preaching the Gospel.
This is the first country that we visited in response to an invitation from some brothers. When they heard the truth of the Gospel, they wanted to be confirmed and they wanted to see if the teachings that they had heard fit with the Scriptures. The time that we spent with them, confirming them in the Gospel, was wonderful.
The awakening produced by the Lord in that country continues to grow, even into parts of the country where the people had been captive to the practice of superficial evangelism for many years. Zeal for the Gospel and for the defense of the faith is what marks these brothers who are willing to give their lives for the Lord.
One can see in these brothers a desire to share all things in common, not pretending or in appearance only, but rather in truth. To be among them is like living in the book of Acts. God has exhorted us through their testimony of growing love. We have been blessed by their humility and fervor in preaching the Gospel. They continue reaching out to other Christians, persuading them, in light of Scripture, to abandon all decisionistic practices in evangelism and to rest only in the power of the Gospel.
Thanks to God, in this country we have also been seeing an awakening among the different denominations. Many of these brothers have been expelled from their congregations, being despised by their friends and families. But the love of God which has been poured out in their hearts has led them to respond with gentleness and respect (something which is culturally rare among Argentines but common among the true people of God).
The brothers in Argentina are pleading for pastors and churches which preach the truth. This country was the first to receive missionaries and then to send them to other parts of South America. However, by not being faithful to the biblical and historical preaching of the Gospel, the Gospel was slowly diluted until it came to rest upon man-made strategies and methods.
Two young brothers from Rosario (five hours north of Buenos Aires), whom we met at a conference on the Gospel in Buenos Aires, came in order to learn about the way of God more adequately. After this meeting they gave themselves to studying to see if these things were so. After becoming convinced of the truth they went to the leaders of their movements. These leaders, after seeing that they could not resist the wisdom with which these young men spoke, expelled the young men from their congregations and prohibited them from speaking to others about Christ. But, Glory to God, they have continued preaching and by the grace of God they have established a testimony in their city. On this visit we baptized several people who were convinced that they had been saved during the recent months.
Please pray for these young men. Their names are Nicolás Serrano and Esteban Toloza. Nicolás is getting married in March and in April is coming to Lima where he will study at the Ministerial Academy that we will be beginning this year at the church. These young men are very devoted and valiant in the preaching of the Gospel and the discipleship of the saints.
Another place that we were able to visit in Argentina was Bahía Blanca (eight hours south of Buenos Aires). A group of brothers, that were kicked out of their Charismatic Baptist church, wrote to us to ask us if we would come and teach them the truth of the Gospel. When we arrived, they had set aside a great deal of time so that they could spend hours and hours learning of Christ. The brother who is leading this group is Victor Peralta.
It was wonderful to see the hunger that these brothers had. This is the same hunger that we had seen in Peru, Venezuela, Colombia, Chile, in the people of God all over the world. If there is anything that the Lord is using to encourage us to continue in thiswork, it is seeing the desire of the people of God to know more of Him. When we meet with these brothers, there are no set schedules, no set times to eat. Everything becomes relegated to a secondary level when we are studying the truth of who God is and the true Gospel.
This country has not been excluded from the great move of God. We have visited this country twice and we continue seeing the desire of the people of God to know their Lord.
Many brothers here are learning about their roles as husbands and fathers. We are seeing that this area of life is also impacted by the true Gospel. The brothers in Colombia are realizing that we can not neglect these responsibilities in the family which God has given us.
The sisters who have come from these congregations had previously been given to the “Prosperity Gospel” and had un-biblical roles in their congregations. They have repented of this and have asked the Lord to conform them to His grace. This has been a battle for them in light of the roles that they previously fulfilled, but they are humbling themselves and learning what the Lord has truly called them to do.
We give thanks to God for pastors like Andres Espinoza and for his wife. He ministers in a new congregation in Bogotá and his wife has a testimony of living in Biblical submission, something which is rarely seen among Colombian women. Another humble pastor who is fervently serving the Lord is Javier Gil (about 12 hours from Bogotá.) We were able to visit his church along with brother Junior Cuya and it was wonderful for the young people to be able to see that the Lord can raise up young people (Junior is rather young) for His glory and honor.
These brothers were very open to the Scriptures, receiving the Word with sincerity and they are praying for their country. In Latin America, Colombia is known for being a hot-bed for Charismatic churches. The G12 movement (a Latin American cult) was born in Colombia and the “Prosperity Gospel” is very strong among most of the pseudo-Evangelical churches.
Please be praying for God to send workers to His harvest in this country, which is overrun with the drug trade, embroiled in constant violence, and given to a very libertine lifestyle. But the people of God living there are not overwhelmed by the filthy conduct of evildoers. May God continue to be glorified in this country.
Chile is the country with the most deceptive statistics regarding its level of evangelization. A few years ago they were calling Chile “the country of the harvest” because of the thousands of decisions that decisionistic preachers were obtaining. But now the Gospel of the grace of God is bringing to light the dark side of this practice, that it did not glorify and honor the Lord.
We thank God for Flavio Miranda, a young man whom we visited in Antofagasta (about twelve hours north of Santiago). Flavio had visited several congregations in his city, looking for one that conformed to the Gospel of God. He did not find any in his city and God led him to begin meeting with a small group of believers to praise God and to learn from the Scriptures.
The wisdom that God has given to this brother is for His glory. Flavio is being greatly used for the building up of the people of God and he is growing in his fear and knowledge of God. Each day more and more brothers are being added who have the same desire and zeal for the glory of God. This young man will be getting married soon and, even though he has graduated from the university, he is serving God full time with the help of his father and some other brothers. It is a blessing to be able to count on brothers who love the Lord in this way. The true harvest in this country is happening. Praise the Lord!
Grace Bible Academy
Because of this awakening, God in his grace has led us to begin teaching, at our church, a basic eight month course called “Marrow of Theology.” This course covers basic and necessary doctrines that every minister of the Word should know. The idea is to build up some brothers, especially those in Peru, who want to serve the Lord better. However, the Lord has led other brothers from other countries to come and study with us. Brothers will be coming from Argentina, Colombia, Mexico, Chile, Brazil, and Panama. There will even be a Colombian brother who has been living in Canada. God has given us a great responsibility to help in the formation of these brothers. Pray for these brothers–this is a task that will require a great deal of effort. We hope that the fruit of this ministry will be the building up of the people of God.
It is wonderful to see what God has been doing among His people in the Spanish-speaking part of the world. The Lord has seen fit to give us a small part in this awakening and we rejoice in that. Our joy overflows even in the midst of attacks and afflictions. We are strong in our conviction and in the hope that God will continue doing His work. We will continue striving according to His grace.
Thank you for your prayers, many, many thanks. Thank you also for your financial support which has allowed us to respond to the need in these countries. We thank God that we are able to partner and work together in the advance of His Kingdom.
To Him alone be the glory!