Wednesday, November 01, 2017

September/October 2017 The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.

September/October 2017

        The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.   Proverbs 11:30
King Solomon shared that there’s a permanent legacy awaiting those who make the wise choice to obey God’s instructions for building His Kingdom. There’s been a lot of fruitful, legacy-building, tree of life branch-expanding, and wise activity going on lately in Tepic, the surrounding villages, and worldwide.
I received a phone call from Pastor Phil from NVBC during the 36th Huichol OT translation workshop. He and Steve Evers from ITMI were headed to India for a teaching conference for 100 indigenous pastors in Madras; he wanted to know if there would be any Mexico volunteers who would commit to praying, one-on-one, for a specific national pastor, daily, for an entire year (With only 18 spots available). The Huichol mother-tongue-translators jumped at the opportunity to participate. Only one problem; they didn’t know where India is. And they wanted to know what language they speak--Tamil (Funny they should ask!). All of them left with a poster-sized world map in hand (India highlighted) and a firm promise that each one’s village church would pray for the trip, for the pastors’ conference, and specifically, for one pastor-partner from India for one year, at least. There were lots more ladies than available pastors left over to pray for, but 11 sisters from the ladies’ ministry that evening accepted the challenge for the same. Our worldwide vision and the tree of life grows by caring, sharing, and praying.
An observable result of winning souls and making disciples is the next step of obedience. Pastor Nacho baptized his beautiful daughter, Rebecca, adding even more branches to our bountiful tree of life and to his legacy. I wish I could take the space to tell the stories of each one. Our choices, whether wise or foolish, lead to ultimate consequences. Not only is the winner of souls wise, but he or she who chooses to receive the Truth, also, is wise.
That tree-of-life-legacy does not come easy, it’s not cost-free, and it often requires careful and tedious pruning along the way, but the fruit is a trail of real people whose souls, by God’s grace, have moved from death to life. IBBM-Tepic celebrated her 26th anniversary since she was first planted. New Life-Scottsdale sent Pastor Luis and Carrie to share in the wisdom-getting process this year. They did an excellent job of watering, adding nutrients, and a little expert pruning of undergrowth. Twenty-six years…and counting!
Huichol pastor, José López, came from his village to join in the 26th celebration. He’s doing a little celebrating of his own. He’s been praying for several years that God would send a companion to accompany him in his ministry. It’s been nine years since Benita graduated to heaven; Juanita from La Bendición (who has been widowed for 4 years) is the answer to those prayers. They will be married as soon as they can get their legal documents in order. This is the closest you’ll get to smiles.  J
Juanita went along on her first mission trip last week accompanying José and a team from Loma Alta to the fledgling village work in Paso de Álica. Lídia was born in Paso de Álica, and her life is a shining testimony to God’s grace. Before Lídia heard of the one true God Who sent His Son to pay for her sin, she lived with a man who constantly and violently abused her. The last she saw of him, she was expecting their first child, but he beat her so severely that she lost the baby. Meanwhile, God’s grace was extended to Casimiro, a Huichol man who spent most of his young life, drunk. That’s another long story, but both, Lídia and Casimiro, heard the Gospel message, and their lives were transformed from that day forward. They were married, and they have determined not to waste their lives. Lídia’s father, from the village of Paso de Álica, recently divided his property among his children. Lídia chose to donate her inheritance to the baby church they are planting in the village. Because of Lídia’s injuries, she never has been able to have children of her own. That problem, short of a miracle, never will be resolved, and that’s very sad; but her biggest problem, her separation by sin from her holy Creator, has been completely resolved, and she and Casimiro are committed to sharing that remedy with every person within their reach. They have “children” throughout the mountains and the best legacy ever, a fruitful tree of life that God gives to His special servants who wisely share His Truth.  
Neither foolishness nor wisdom is predetermined. Either is the result of an intentional choice. The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.   Proverbs 11:30


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