As you know, this month has been difficult for me physically because of my broken leg. I still can’t walk on it, even with crutches, and I can’t stay sitting up for very long because it begins to swell and it causes a lot pain. Still, this hasn’t kept me from moving forward in certain areas of the ministry. I’ve been able to prepare a lot of material that I hope will be useful once I recover for strengthening churches in the province of Oxapampa, including the biblical commentary I’ve been working on to give out for free to those who have no other resources. And I’ve also done a lot of doctrinal study for my own growth. This Sunday I’ll return to the pulpit for the first time to preach, but I’ll have to be seated for obvious reasons. In two weeks,
During this time, I’ve also been able to see the fruit of my discipleship meetings with the pastors in the mountains. One of these men has been reading Paul Washer’s book, The Gospel Call and True Conversion, and we’ve been talking through it together. After reading the book, he was really helped in his understanding of the great truths of the gospel. This gave me the opportunity to continue exhorting and encouraging him to be faithful with the message of the gospel and he also agreed to read another book by Charles Leiter, called Justification and Regeneration. This brother is really wanting to study all that I am able to teach and to read all that I am able to give him. Unfortunately, he doesn’t have a lot of time available to study because he’s a coffee farmer and works long hours, and because he is the only pastor of two churches. Please, pray for him; for perseverance, physical strength, wisdom and that he would continue to be encouraged in the ministry he’s received.
Another pastor from these discipleship meetings is an older man that also lives up in the mountains. He’s a humble and faithful man, and is rooted in the word of God. He hasn’t had much access to theological training, but he knows and fears the Lord. I have a lot of respect for this brother and the work that he does in the church of Christ. What has encouraged me is not just what I’ve heard from his own mouth, but what I’ve heard from the members of his church. A couple of the brothers from the church he pastors were in my home last week, and they shared with me about the growth they’ve seen in their pastor since we began meeting with us. While he has always been a faithful man and a wonderful pastor, he always struggled in his preaching. But these brothers shared with me that since we began our studies together about how to interpret and preach the Scriptures, they have seen an obvious improvement in his sermons. His sermons are much clearer and they are now learning a lot about the Bible as a result. He has such a desire to learn, and the last time I spoke with him he told me that throughout the week he reads and re-reads the lessons that I pass out to them each time we meet. I give glory to God for this! May the Lord bless the ministry of these two pastors for His glory and for the edification of the church!
Please continue to pray for my recovery. My bones have been aligned, but are still broken. Not being able to walk around or sit up for very long is often very frustrating. This temporary debilitation has kept me from a lot of the ministry activities that I was doing here in the area around Oxapampa and in many ways it can be discouraging. I often wish I were in the mountains preaching the gospel and encouraging the saints.