Saturday, July 31, 2021

June/July 2021 Citizens of Heaven and Ambassadors in this Foreign Land

For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him. 2 Chronicles 16:9a 

This world is not our home. We are citizens of heaven and ambassadors in this foreign land. Why are we so easily coaxed into placing our hope on things like governments, bank accounts, education, and people from this place that’s spinning out of control? The Lord of hosts exclaims that it is “not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit.” His work will be accomplished through His grace alone. Oswald Chambers maintains that the goal of “a perfect heart toward Him, (faithfulness) is not that we will do work for God, but that He will be free to do His work through us. God calls us to His service and places tremendous responsibilities on us. He expects no complaining on our part and offers no explanation on His part. God wants to use us as He used His own Son.” He is not our last option. He calls us to be faithful; He will do the job.

Despite the obvious physical limitations brought about by current world affairs, the past two months in Tepic have been filled with numerous opportunities to choose to put His faith in action and be faithful; as J. Hampton Keathley calls it, “the root and the fruit,” and true to promise, He has shown Himself strong.  

After a very long “quarantine,” I arrived back in Tepic the first week of June. I pray that this past year’s investment will help make a difference in the lives of some precious grandkids. Our oldest grandson, Anders, who will be 16 this month, came back with me. He spent three weeks getting a handle on Spanish, renewing friendships, loving, and being loved by the “fellow citizens” whose faith we share. His grandpa must be ecstatic! Anders’ little sister, Tenley, came along with their family for the last few days. She followed Jesus’ example and was baptized by Pastor Martín at IBBM-Tepic…the root and the fruit.

Thankfully, there was a little more “normalcy” in Mexico than there had been, and though there were still strict Covid-based restrictions in place, the local government was beginning to lighten up some of them. With a new wave of contagion, businesses and government offices are closed, and masks are required everywhere (except in the Huichol villages). We celebrated the 9th anniversary of the dedication of the beautiful church building at La Bendición and 15 years since the salvation of the first believers there. It's ironic, not one single person from that village has contracted Covid. It’s that survivor blood running in those Huichol veins! Again, God has shown Himself strong. 

At least for now, we are allowed limited public occupancy at church including ladies’ ministry, music ministry, men’s prayer meeting, and discipleship classes with masks, hand and foot sanitizer, and electronic thermometers at all entrances, of course¬¬. We hosted an amazing ladies’ retreat, Teachers of Good - Titus 2, at the IBBM-Tepic with about 70 ladies a few weeks ago. Previous restrictions made us super-grateful for our “freedom.”

The men followed with a retreat of their own. The theme was Men of Valor. In Spanish “valor” has a double meaning: courage and value. Perfect! Yet again, God has shown Himself strong…faith and faithfulness -- the root and the fruit.

Sadly, things have taken a sharp turn for the worse this past week. Several IBBM members are battling the virus. The government has changed our state “safety signal” from green to yellow, to orange, and it’s likely heading to red. Hospitals are beyond capacity again. All of that brings with it renewed government-imposed restrictions. Ministry methods are still different and most likely will be, but praise God for creativity and daily options. Please pray with us for more.


Despite the crazy changes to our methods of ministry (temporary, I hope!) due to the pandemic, there have been many answers to prayer, for which we can be thankful. We all are recognizing our need for gratitude for the blessings we have had all these years. We know that the Church is not a place to come and sit; instead, it’s a movement to help people know and follow Jesus. No pandemic can stop the advancement of God’s Kingdom!

For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him. 2 Chronicles 16:9a