Friday, October 01, 2021

August/September 2021 He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.

But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that comes to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. Hebrews 11:6 

This life is just the dot, not the line; and the purpose of it is not this life. English Puritan, Richard Baxter in Dying Thoughts understood that “Heaven is won or lost on earth; the possession is there, but the preparation is here.” He maintained that this life was not intended to be the place of our perfection, but the preparation for it. It’s sad how preoccupation with this world distracts from the goal of diligently seeking Him, demoting Heaven to little more than the “inevitable next stage in man’s existence.” 

The year after we arrived in Tepic, 1979, José López and José Carrillo, young Huichols who believed and were discipled, gave their lives to diligently share the Gospel with their people. They were admonished and ordained by their leaders, Román and Kirt, in a simple ceremony in Atonalisco. That was over four decades ago. José López has trekked relentlessly and devotedly through the Sierra Madre mountains sharing the Gospel, leading many to Christ, and teaching them. José Carrillo pastored his church at Cortes. When things got tough and discouraging for him, he abandoned his calling, his church, and his village for a 10-year interval. José López never ceased to pray for his friend. At long last, José Carrillo made his way back to a Good-Friday gathering of believers from villages throughout the mountains at José Lopez’s church. He confessed his sin of deceitfulness, and he was marvelously restored to fellowship with his God and his Huichol brothers. Years have passed, and he has not wavered since that day. José Carrillo died a couple of days ago. Pastor Martín gave a stunning challenge at his burial in the rustic graveyard on the outskirts of José’s village. He reminded the grievers that God says that better than going to a banquet is going to a funeral where distractions are eliminated, and we confront our mortality alongside the gaping hole. One-by-one, tearful testimonies were shared of biblical counsel that José had given, and of resultant changed lives. Three days prior, in Zapote de Picachos, José López also buried his biological brother whom he will never regret leading to Jesus. Within a short week, four friends have been buried, two who “diligently sought him” with their lives and two who up to the very end, refused to believe by faith that “God is.” For them, the “dot” is over; for others, the urgency remains. 

The message is the same, the methods have evolved, the faithful who diligently seek His will and serve, persist. The brothers and sisters at the village of Zapote are determined to use every option at their disposal to reach the next generation of Huichols for Jesus. They have expanded their auditorium, they have built a ramada structure for outside activities, and they have classes and activities every single day in their much-appreciated church building. 

Zapote de Picachos now has electricity, and of course, that leads to the desire to use technology like never before! They have worked hard planting, picking, fishing, and whatever else they can find to earn wages, and they pooled their resources with ours to buy a video projector for the church. There is a group of about a half-dozen sharpies from the village who asked Jonatán Garcia, the most sacrificial, tech-savvy guy around, to purchase the appropriate equipment and travel upriver to Zapote with it and the pile of accessories necessary for set-up. Not only does Jonatán know that God IS, and have the faith to please Him, but also, he recognizes the need to diligently seek and serve Him, dropping what he is doing to work alongside his neighbor. He and his wife, Paulina, and Martín, his dad, and Christian, a young disciple from the Tepic church, took the day to get the system up and running and train the Huichol brand-new-chomping-at-the-bit techs to use it. Jonatán and Pau were both ill, but they had made the commitment for the much-awaited day, and they followed through. It’s marvelous to watch them in action serving God and the much-loved family from Zapote. God is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him. The Zapote OANSA kids, back in session, 88 of them, were the very first to benefit from the new equipment.


Post a Comment

<< Home