that He might have mercy upon all
Dear brothers and sisters, I’d like to take some time and share with you about how God has been working near and far these past few months. We can see through the Scriptures that God has revealed His righteousness in the faith of Jews and the faith of Gentiles alike. If read through Romans 1 you will see all of mankind completely condemned. Jew and Gentile become utterly condemned under the scope of the Law. Yet, here we also see such a powerful jewel in this book: "the righteousness of God revealed.” Some would claim that good must be equated in the universe by evil. How do you have a “proper balance” of good and evil though? God does not need a diametrically opposed being to exist for Him to be righteous. God is righteous, period. For man, though, God’s righteousness is revealed by faith. Our faith reveals the righteousness of God to the world. Whether you look at the faith of a Jew like Paul, the author of Romans, or you look at the faith of Ruth, a Gentile from the Old Testament, you will see the righteousness of God. So then, faith becomes a powerful tool of the Lord. The just live by faith thereby revealing the righteousness of God. I believe that this is the reason that whatsoever is not of faith is sin. Faith is the glorious working of the righteousness of God. If you don’t have that then what do you have? Yourself, being completely rife with sin in your flesh? Live by faith. It is the only way to true righteousness.
Immediately following my last update down in Argentina, the remaining few volunteers packed up and went home. I stayed there in the area for about a month focusing on local evangelism by going house to house, and getting in some training for the long slog we had planned up in Peru. Dylan and I were to rendezvous with Jesse up in Lima to do an eight- day trek in the high Andes Mountains, reaching out to large groups of Israelis and other nationalities that populate the hike. This proved to be such an excellent place for evangelism! Not only were we able to reach the foreigners, we also had incredible encounters with the local Peruvians. This trek was pretty difficult too. I ended up opting for a horse by the third day. It was just too much for me to do while seeking to actively witness. But, we were able to have incredible encounters up there. Dylan ended up speaking with a group of locals in a village about very deep theological matters in the book of Leviticus. That really humbled me. These men had no teachers around or books to fill their heads. They just had the Bible. Yet, they were discussing spiritual matters on a level that would shame many pastors in America. After this, Jesse and Dylan ended up having a very moving encounter with an illiterate matriarch who was under heavy conviction from the Lord. Albeit foolish, they decided to give her one of the only Spanish Bibles we were carrying with us. You see the wisdom in this is found in that she rejoiced to receive this gift. Now she has her own Bible! And, with her being the matriarch of the area many others will read the Bible as they read it out loud for her. See what God did there? The Lord really did incredible works up there that week.
The crowning moment for the hike was late one night when a religious Jewish man was lost in the dark and was led to our campsite by the Light. (Seriously, we saw him way off trail and flickered our headlamps so that he could come to the “light.”) It was incredible. We stayed up late that night in the frigid cold discussing Messianic passages from all over the Old Testament. The next morning we continued the conversation and the young man brought up lots of questions he had about Christianity that he wanted answered before he would consider Jesus as the Messiah. “Can Christians keep the law?” “Why do Christians worship three gods?” “Why do you think there is a heaven and hell? Isn’t there only a garden of paradise after resurrection and the grave for the evil man?” He had a very carnal view of the world which really is typical in the different sects of Judaism. But no doubt after his miraculous encounter with three men in the high altitude of the rugged Andes, he was spiritually hearing the voice of the Father draw him. We were hiking in opposite directions (we wanted to reach multiple people on the circuit rather than a few, so we did the hike backwards), and after breakfast he packed his things and started to leave. I gave him one last plea to search the Scriptures for Jesus. The last words he told me before saying goodbye were, “I’m going to search all the places you told me about. I want to see it in the Hebrew. And I’ll see if Jesus is really Messiah.” I could hardly contain my joy at the sound of these words! Many Jewish people make a similar statement before coming to Christ. I have no doubt that the Lord worked something miraculous out there. Please pray for Obed. My heart is still affected for him.
After our hike, Jesse and I met up with a local ministry in Lima that focuses on caring for needy children and street evangelism. Brother Tj and his wife Pamela were great hosts down there and we had a great time out there preaching all over the city. Then, Jon Lane flew down there and met up with us for a tireless sprint up through Ecuador to Columbia and back. It was really such an incredible time going from town to town preaching in the town squares and in front of Catholic churches. It was a blessing to me while in Quito, Ecuador as we preached in one of the main squares. A group of about 10 men came over and listened. They turned out to be evangelists! Glory, Lord Jesus! They came over and thanked us and told us about how they regularly do evangelism in the area. It was so encouraging to see the believers there. It made me think about the missionaries, Jim and Elizabeth Elliot, who spent much of their time in Ecuador. God has the elect all over the world in some of the most unique places. Though the world might come and kill us, the Gospel of Jesus Christ still triumphs and fruit eternally remains. After going through Quito, we rented a small car to drive up to the Columbian border. This let us stop in several towns along the highway and share with the people as opposed to being stuck in a bus from point A to point B. The night we arrived at the border, we met a Columbian man who grew up in California. He was newly saved and in a very bad situation. He had been deported from an American prison straight back to his home country. We stood on the sidewalk and talked for a very long time and then prayed with our new friend. I then challenged him to start reading through Proverbs and the book of John. We went on our way and once we returned to the States, Jesse received an email from him stating that things were going well for him and that he took heed to the challenge. He started reading through his Bible and was very grateful to have met us in such a faraway place. What a comfort to meet likeminded believers.
Well, such as our custom is, we tracted constantly and we preached from cities to towns and even in random places along the roadside. Jon Lane was such an encouragement and vital partner during that time. We found ourselves in some pretty adverse situations. We even had to guard ourselves from the plague of male transvestites in the larger cities of Ecuador and Peru. Once Jon flew back to the States, Jesse and I made our way south. It was our last few days in South America so we decided to reach out to the small towns on both sides of the border of Chile and Peru. We even took a trip up into the mountains again and crossed over into Bolivia for a day. That little trip to Bolivia was about all my feeble body could take. To be honest, I was quite tired and fed up with this whole missionary life by that time. But the Lord has not changed His will and I will press on (I Corinthians 9:16). As we looked for a ride back from the Bolivian border, we ended up tracting about 100 semi-trucks waiting at the border. What a great opportunity for someone to get a tract! They literally have nothing to do while they wait in line to cross the border. Then, we finally found a ride and made it back down from the mountains. We went back to Lima. Then, we flew back to the States. I found myself back in North Carolina after a whirlwind of nine months of evangelism in South America. And what did I face when I returned?
Once we returned, we found a place to go preach. It was the Bele Chere music and arts festival in Asheville, NC. What a strange welcome back to my country! I had not seen such delusion and wild profanity at all in South America. The festival was crowded with many wicked people delighting in their sinful ways. A few women were even walking around topless. This is the country I was born into. What a shame! I’m not welcome here at all. The people here hate the watchmen that I know, those who are out all over the country bringing the good news of Jesus Christ to them. More and more, I see magistrates and police officers hindering the gospel while public nudity is carelessly allowed at a family event. I have been here for a couple of months now, and we have preached at a few festivals and a couple of college campuses. It breaks my heart to see that delusion and chaotic idolatry is so common in America. No, it’s not just a few on the fringe of society that openly imagine evil. The hearts of Americans everywhere imagine all kinds of evil as a normative way of life.
As evil as things seem, I do still feel called to preach. Who needs a doctor when everyone is healthy? We must keep preaching. In order for me to do so effectively going forward, I decided to move up to North Carolina. Logistically this will prove a better missionary base in terms of my labor with Full Proof Gospel Ministries. For a couple weeks, I made my way out to Oklahoma and back, enjoying fellowship believers along the way. I was so blessed to be able to see so many of you and report to you about the great things God has been doing. Many people reading this, no doubt, have sent support to me and the ministry. I want you to know that when you pray, send financial support, and/or open up your home for ministry, you bare the fruit of the ministry. When you give, you need to know that God blesses your sacrifice and offering in heaven as a reward of your suffering. Thank you to those of you who have given in faith to Full Proof Gospel Ministries
Like I said, I have been on a few campuses since I came returned to America. I was up at Appalachian State the other day during the Jewish New Year, Rosh haShanah. The crowd was mostly apathetic, but many other students would come and sit nearby to listen. When we packed up and left, I was walking to the vehicle and Janine Ward, who came with us, was telling me that there were a couple of Jewish guys there listening to me preach. You see, I really believe the Lord has called me to focus primarily upon Jewish evangelism. So, this made my heart leap. I was preaching a very relevant message about God’s mercy that day too. I preached from Romans 11 about God’s mercy passing from Israel to the Gentile and then back upon them again. And with this very message, I will conclude:
You see, there is great wisdom in the way God worked in the lives of the Jewish people to bring mercy upon Gentiles like me. Their unbelief brought mercy to Gentiles all over the world. And likewise, God has used the Gentiles to bring mercy to the Jewish people. When the Jewish people see a genuine love for the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, they become fascinatingly provoked to seek the Lord. The Lord has shown His own righteousness by the faith of the elect throughout time. What a glorious God we serve! Even if all men refuse to praise Him, the stones will cry out! Praise God for His mercy. Please continue to pray that while I am out preaching to people all over the world, I will be diligent to share with the Jew first at every opportunity.
Shortly, Jesse and I will be leaving for another college campus tour around the States. Pastor James Jipu Roy from Bangladesh, who we worked with early last year, will also be joining us for a month. He has come to America for a short time to preach the Gospel and get further training in bold evangelism. I’m personally very grateful that he would come to my country as a missionary, calling men to repentance. Pray that the Lord heavily convicts this country by the sounding of James’ voice. We will be going up through the Midwest, across to some Rocky Mountain States, and then out to southern California before making our way back to North Carolina across the southern frontier. This will be a long trip, so pray that the Lord would fill our cups with death to self and life in Christ for all to see. May the righteousness of God be revealed!
Please make a point to specifically pray for:
- Opportunities for Jewish evangelism
- Expenses to pay for the upcoming trip and recent moving costs
- James Jipu Roy
- The college campus tour
- Conviction to fall upon the Church
Thank you for keeping up with the work here. These updates are for the believers that I know and desperately desire to encourage and strengthen in the Lord. May they be a blessing to you and to the Lord!