Sunday, January 10, 2010

Ministry Update - January 10, 2010

FOLLOWING THE CLOUD

This past week, we were able to secure housing for our next ministry assignment in Mexico. It is in the city of Jerez de Garcia Salinas in the central state of Zacatecas. Originally founded in 1563, Jerez once served as a military outpost to protect silver mining shipments going from the city of Zacatecas to Guadalajara. At 6,500 feet above sea level, Jerez is a small agricultural city with 39,000 residents. Most homes have family members working in the United States. They have many annual festivals including the El Festival de Primavera in the spring, which attracts visitors from all over Mexico.[i] Catholicism is the predominant religion with a few evangelical churches in town.

The Cave of Adullam planted a church in Jerez many years ago and we have seen it growunder the faithful ministry of Pastor Manuel and his wife Lula. They have been working to expand God's Kingdom in the area and feel the time is ripe for revival. This spring, the Cave of Adullam will be conducting a twelve-week training program for the first time in Jerez. Students will be coming from many parts of Mexico to deepen their walk with God and learn principles of evangelism and church planting. Incorporated in their training will be ministry opportunities in the area. Many believe the students will play a vital role in the next move of God's Spirit. My daughter, Molly and her husband Adam will be on staff in the school and I will be teaching some of the classes. We are all anxious to see God penetrate hearts and transform lives. God is raising up this generation to be living witnesses of His power and love. King David understood this dynamic when he declared, "One thing God has spoken, two things have I heard: that you, O God, are strong, and that you, O Lord, are loving.Surely you will reward each person according to what he has done" (Ps. 62:11-12 emphasis mine).

[i] "Jerez de Garcia Salinas," Wikipedia.

STORM CHASERS

One of the most fascinating and potentially dangerous occupations in the United States is storm chasing. Perhaps you have seen a documentary of these meteorological radicals chasing tornados on the Oklahoma and Kansas plains. They use sophisticated equipment and multiple vehicles to maximize their contact with the tornado. What they are able to record and experience becomes valuable information for those in the path of the storm. When others flee or hide in a safe location, storm chasers seek out the storm in anticipation of a close encounter. Rather than looking at the storm as a threat, the storm chasers look at it as an opportunity. It had not rained in Israel for over three years and the land was suffering from a terrible drought. To make matters worse, the nation groaned under the maniacal rule of Ahab and Jezebel. Never in the history of their country had life been so hard. However, there was a flicker of hope. God had anointed Elijah to be a prophetic voice to the people. Through Elijah, God would demonstrate His power and love. After Elijah successfully exposed the false prophets of Baal, he sought the Lord for rain. He contended in prayer until a cloud the size of a man's hand appeared on the horizon. Elijah then instructed his servant to warn King Ahab of the impending storm. It was not coming for Ahab's benefit so he would do well to run from it. On another occasion, God came upon Mt. Sinai in a cloud with thunder and lightning. It was so powerful that the Children of Israel refused to meet with God directly and begged Moses to speak on their behalf. Moses relented and then went up directly into the storm.

In this day, many people see storm clouds and respond with similar anxiety and fear. However, recently in one of our home prayer meetings, God gave us a different perspective. Like Moses, we must trust Him so completely that we can go into the storm rather than hide from it. By doing so, we will experience the essence of His power and love.

When God's wind begins to blow and storm clouds appear, it creates an atmosphere of fearful beauty. It is fearful for anyone who is not seeking Him with all their hearts and it is beautiful for those who are. "When the storm has swept by, the wicked are gone, but the righteous stand firm forever" (Prov. 10:25).

THE CLASH OF KINGDOMS

My next book, The Clash of Kingdoms, will be coming out in a few months. We are in thecopyediting stage and will soon turn it over for final proofreading. I am so excited about this project because I have never had a message so burn within my heart. The book will focus on disengaging from our culture and replacing it with the Kingdom of God. One key will be a reassessment of our definition of success. The book will show us the value of coming down as well as going up the mountain. It will offer many spiritual principles including the critical need of digging spiritual wells in our homes.

The Clash of Kingdoms will provide important keys for facing pending storms and transforming our communities. We are also planning a Spanish version. I am convinced, more than ever, that this message is vital for the entire Body of Christ.

CHRISTMAS IN MEXICO

Thanks so much for the generous Christmas offerings for the children. We were able to give all the kids in the San Luis Potosi church at least one gift. Without your help, some of the children would not have received anything for Christmas.

PLEASE PRAY:

We need your prayers in some key areas this coming month.
1) For safe transport of our furniture and household goods.
2) Finalizing staff and facilities for the Cave of Adullam.
3) For God's Spirit to fall on the city of Jerez.
4) For completion of "The Clash of Kingdoms" project.