Dear brothers and sisters,
Praise the Lord for blessing us with leadership. Men tend to see authority and leadership as something negative because of the many sins of human leadership through mankind’s history. But, since we are now in Christ, we also need to be honest with ourselves and understand that our rejection of leadership comes also because our sinful nature. Since an early age, we are in conflict against the authority and leadership of our parents, teachers, governments and pastors. We do not want to be told what to do. But praise God that He came to transform our hearts with a new perspective of His leadership. Let’s never forget that even though leadership can be wicked and unrighteous, we are called by our Creator to pray for people in leadership roles, like parents, teachers, church leaders, government leaders, bosses etc. There is a pure authority figure in the trinity; the Son obeys the Father. Let’s see leadership like God’s sees it, so if it is required, we can lead God’s way. Let’s continue praising and praying to God for the leadership that God placed and is placing in our homes, work, churches and lives: “First of all, then, I urge that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgiving be offered on behalf of all men for kings and all those in authority, so that we may lead tranquil and quiet lives in all godliness and dignity. This is good and pleasing in the sight of God our Savior” (1 Timothy 2:1-3).
Praise God for blessing hundreds of pastors and me with the opportunity to attend a conference about the marks of a healthy church. It was encouraging to spend time with pastors from Nigeria, Switzerland, France, Belarus, etc. and see what different backgrounds we have but at the same time to be united for passion for God, His gospel and desire to honor God leading healthy churches.
God showed me very clearly that His Holy Spirit always speaks to His people the same principles, no matter the language or culture. It was a blessing to see passion for His word and a God centered-Gospel. I was also reminded that healthy churches are not built only with prayers, or only with spiritual elements or only with earthly elements---a healthy church requires all this things to grow healthy. A church just with works or just with faith is dead.
Praise the Lord for another church anniversary! Last week our Lord gave us another year as a multicultural and multilingual church. In practice it is a contradiction because of our many differences, but we praise God that His word, truth and Gospel is what unites us. Sometimes churches are united because groups share same interests or backgrounds, but it is a blessing also to be part of a church where the members are very improbable and opposite, but very close and united in Christ, in being brothers and sisters of the same heavenly Father. Most of the time the only things that unites us is to talk about our same common God. Praise God for calling people from Peru, Brazil, Japan, America, Philippines, United Kingdom, Bolivia and Argentina to our church celebration.
Praise the Lord because we celebrated our anniversary with baptisms. Akira and Jose are two young men who surrendered their lives and placed their trust in Christ six months ago. I have been discipling them and they have been growing in their hunger for God’s word, to preach the Gospel and service. Akira and Jose are Japanese-Peruvian descendants and they came with us some days ago to help in our homeless ministry. Praise God because we were able to give more meals this time and some of them accepted the cards with bible verses in Japanese we shared. Please continue praying for God to help us developing friendships so we can continue making steps in the sharing of the Gospel (Ezekiel 36:24-25).
Please brothers help us praying for a building to congregate. We are now blessed by God to hold bible studies in restaurants, homes, and renting a community center with restricted times for our weekly church gatherings. But we also have the struggle of short times and inability to do more as a congregation because space is a very critical problem in Japan. Please pray while we again continue searching and praying for possible places so our church can congregate and grow in our service and worship to God. Please pray that God will bless us with something in our possibilities and that the resources will come from sources according to His will.
Please praise God because His mercies are new every morning in all the world for His people!