Friday, October 30, 2015

September/October 2015 But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, “With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.”

September/October 2015 

But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, “With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:36

Erén, Lorena and I are team-teaching the panorama of the entire Bible, an overview of God’s sovereign plan from Genesis to Revelation, in our Women of Excellence classes. My next class covers The Promise of Isaac’s birth to Abraham and Sarah in Genesis. Our obligation to glorify God by accepting His will for each moment of our lives could not be more obvious. Abram tried every possible way to help God out in fulfilling His unconditional promise: Maybe Eliezer? Maybe Hagar’s son? Certainly it couldn’t be fulfilled through Sarai, after all in 16:2 we read that it was the LORD, himself, who had made her barren!  And then to make matters worse, the biological time clock kept ticking away until it was obvious that fulfillment of that promise would be impossible; laughable…even for God? Again, our Sovereign Lord is glorified by making His children depend on Him exclusively as He determines and provides for the present and for the future.

The past two months have been filled with examples, too many to tell all in this short update, of impossibilities that only could have taken place because with God, all things are possible. 

Photo of Salvador courtesy of Clif Huntting.

“Operation Tutuyekuamama” is undeniable evidence that God’s ways are not always our ways, and He will be glorified in fulfilling His humanly impossible plan. In the process of airlifting nine members of a Huichol mission team to the nearest airstrip to the remote mountain village of “Tutu,” UIMA pilot, Clif, discovered in the air that the linkage in the nose wheel was broken, making a safe landing on the very rustic and short airstrip impossible. He aborted that planned landing, and instead, took his first load of five passengers to a relatively larger and smoother airstrip at Guadalupe Ocotán (That’s the village, by the way, that Joe and Barbara Grimes moved into in 1952 to begin the process of the translation of the Huichol New Testament). Clif loaned the travelers a tent and a hammock so they could stay the night at the airstrip, and he promised to send them a chartered backup plane the following day to shuttle them on to Tutu. He “limped” back to Tepic, landed creatively and safely, and ordered the replacement part sent “overnight” to Guadalajara from Tucson. Three of the remaining die-hard team members who were still at the Tepic airport awaiting their lift to Tutu (Toño, José Luis, and Zacarías) switched to Plan B and traveled an hour and a half to the Agua Milpa dam by bus, caught a boat for an hour’s ride upriver to Guaynamota, then hiked all night through the mountains to Tutu so they could be there for the promised teaching times and public celebration with the new believers. Salvador, the village shaman who recently gave his life to Jesus, is among that growing group. He chose publicly to burn all of his traditional religious relics. His is an amazing story of a humanly impossible changed life that only could have happened because with God all things are possible.

Photo courtesy of Clif Huntting.
Meanwhile, the seemingly-abandoned, but determined, group of volunteer missionaries on the airstrip at Guadalupe Ocotán, went about using their humanly-unforeseen and impossible circumstances to share the Gospel where they sovereignly had been planted. They met Josefina who agreed to loan them her earthen stove and several dry sticks so they could make tortillas for dinner. Before long, a group of curious villagers showed up for the unexpected gathering. Pastor Refugio; Nicolasa, his wife; Felipa, his sister; and Santiaga, another of the three lady teachers on the trip, shared the story of Kakaɨyari, the one true God, and His humanly impossible provision for our sinful condition. Before they left in the promised plane the next morning, Josefina vowed she soon would travel to their village of La Bendición so she could hear more about this omnipotent Savior.

UIMA pilots, Clif and Jasson, traveled to Guadalajara to pick up the replacement part they ordered for the plane. Installing the new part and flying to Tutu, making various trips to pick up the mission team and shuttle them back to Tepic at the end of the week, turned out to be humanly impossible and obviously not God’s plan. It took 3 days just to get the “overnighted” part out of Customs. The “stranded” Huichol mission team ended up hiking most of the day back to the river, catching a boat from Guaynamota to the Agua Milpa dam, and riding a rural transport back home to La Bendición. They arrived safe and sound and exhausted but exhilarated because, in spite of many obstacles, they fulfilled their teaching and evangelistic commitment, three Huichols trusted Jesus as their Savior, and the humanly impossible mission was accomplished.

A few days later, Salvador’s shaman apprentices, Benito and Cayetano, along with their wives, María Luisa and Regina, hiked across the Sierra Madre to La Bendición this past weekend to partake personally in the humanly impossible, to join the family of the true God by Whom all things are possible, and to Whom all glory is due! There are still others at Tutuyekuamama who want to know more about trusting the Savior Who loves them and gave His life for them. Please join us in praying for them.

In addition to divine arrangement and intervention at Tutuyekuamama, Samaritan’s Purse representatives have informed us that they will be sending Christmas boxes to our state again this year. Three years ago, the five-year allocation for Nayarit was reportedly over, but now they are back, making Christmas boxes available to IBBM-Tepic, as well as to the Huichol village churches. We have been allotted 600 boxes (More than ever!). Please pray with us that God will pave the way for the border crossing and transport of the boxes and that they will arrive according to His perfect timing. More importantly, please help us pray that many children and families will realize through the shoebox gifts they receive that the greatest gift of all was, and is, the Son of God, Who came to offer us the priceless, humanly-impossible opportunity to be forgiven of our sin and become His very own children. This is proof-positive that God always knows what is best, always opens and closes doors for His glory, and with God, all things are possible. May we find our joy with each moment of our lives in humbling ourselves to His plan to glorify Himself.


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