Being Here With Our Hearts There...
Since our arrival in the USA, many things back home took a turn for the better or for the worse.
A turn for the better: The church continues to grow in number, and the love of believers for the Lord and for gathering together overcomes all obstacles of transportation or weather.
Several baptismal services have been performed for new believers.
The food ministry has provided, without fail, food for all children and young people who attend church; and, by the grace of God, many adults have also been fed. This past Sunday 413 people attended our church!
The ministry of visitation with evangelism and food distribution is done every Friday afternoon at the hospital.
Weekly, there are rotating prayer and evangelism groups in the homes of Christians who live in different neighborhoods of Sanaré.
If you ask us, “How is the work of God in Sanaré?” the answer would be... the church is at its best moment of growth!
However, if you ask us how Venezuela is, the answer would be...
A turn for the worse: The electricity cuts continue to happen, so the loss of equipment and appliances that have been damaged is huge. This includes the sound system that we have used for 11 years. The car gas lines can easily be a 2- or 3-day wait in much of the country. The cost of food, medicine, and personal hygiene items is unattainable for our people. As one example: the minimum wage is barely $6 per month, and a carton of eggs is $7.
For us, being here in the US on furlough is synonymous with having our hearts there in Venezuela. We pray to God for the provision, security, peace, and faith of our church family and of all the churches with whom we have had the privilege of serving. We pray especially for the healing of the communities themselves, because there are many who do not yet have a personal relationship with God. We pray for them because without God, they will likely turn to evil in their despair.
While we count the days until our return, we cannot fail to appreciate the hospitality of the churches we have visited, the generosity of those who have sent help boxes for our people, and the constant prayer for God's care for us. It has been a true honor to be with you, minister in your VBS or summer camps, serve in your Hispanic ministries, or simply be able to say grace face to face.
In the darkest moment in the history of Venezuela, the church of Christ has risen and is strengthened to preach His name in every corner of the country. Let's continue praying for the Peace and the Freedom of Venezuela.