Monday, January 01, 2018

November/December 2017 - finishing well

November/December 2017

He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. Philippians 1:6

Paul echoes the Master/Teacher’s exemplary words: “I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do.” (John 17:4) What a privilege it has been to be with my family this week as we have said, “good-bye” to another year and embark on a new one. Seventy-some immediate family members (of my parents’ 90 offspring) gathered at their house the day after Christmas to share, sing, praise, and celebrate our Savior and His provision for our tribe. What a privilege to hear my dad’s words of wisdom to his family, “I am so blessed … We will finish well.” Our patriarch will turn 86 this week. Life for him has not always been easy or painless, but it has always been in the perfect company of a sovereign and loving Lord. “Finishing well” is to set an example for the generations that follow and ultimately, to bring glory to Him Who began the good work.

Finishing well is a goal that also has been foremost in plans and activities lately in Tepic and the surrounding villages. The nine Mother-Tongue Translators (MTTs) who each had promised last October to pray all year for a pastor-partner from India were saddened to hear that Pastor Phil, from NVBC, was injured in a fall while teaching in India. When he returned to the US, he had a severe infection and a brain bleed requiring hospitalization, surgeries, and continued rehab. The MTTs are persisting with their prayer-commitment for the pastors in India, and every day of the 37th two-week Old Testament translation workshop, they prayed diligently for their convalescing friend. Not only are they committed to finishing well the enormous, laborious task of the translation project, but also, they are dedicated to putting into practice the application of its Truth.

Pastor Phil brought back a woolen Sherpa hat for Pastor José López. He was thrilled to have been remembered and to have a nice warm hat for the mission trip that he and 9 other Huichols planned for Christmas week. They agreed to leave their own villages and rendezvous in Tepic to travel together to the remote mountain village of Los Aires to share in teaching, discipling and encouraging the “family” this Christmas. This faithful Huichol pastor is determined to finish well, the good work that God has given him to do.

“Finishing well” is to set an example for the generations that follow and ultimately, to bring glory to Him, Who began the good work. This year’s IBBM-Tepic Christmas Celebration was designed, directed, and finished well exclusively by the “next generation” of young church leaders who did a wonderful job of working together on the task they accepted for community outreach: Celebrating Jesus.
We have made the plans, written the curriculum, and begun the preliminaries for the upcoming 7th annual Huichol youth camp during Easter week. Seven is the number of completion, and we will finish well with the theme: Jesus is Coming. This will be the last year that Martín, Erén, Nacho, Lorena, and I will select the theme, write the curriculum, organize the activities, and be “in charge.” Next year, the year of new beginnings, will see Huichol leadership taking over that task. Of course, we, along with the IBBM-Tepic youth staff, are working and will continue to work alongside them, hand-in-hand, as they go about the job of learning to lead. We held a 3-day workshop at the village church of La Bendición to teach key leaders who came from their various mountain villages how to dig out what the Bible says and doesn’t say about the Rapture, the Tribulation, the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, the Millennium, the Judgement Seat of Christ and the Great White Throne, and at last, Eternity. The Huichol team is excited to have learned what God has shared with us in His Word for those who finish well. They are determined to make sure that every single Huichol teen who comes to camp hears, understands, and has the opportunity to make the choice to finish well. Preparing the next generation of leaders isn’t easy. It involves teamwork, sacrifice, and God’s grace. It involves a future-focus, essential to finishing well.

He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. Philippians 1:6

Enjoy more finishing well pix here

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