Archive for October, 2008

PRAY FOR WIDESPREAD REVIVAL IN MEXICO! – MISSION UPDATE

Posted in Mission Updates 2008 on October 25, 2008 by filerofish

Mexico has never really experienced a wide-spread visitation like other countries have over the past 200 years. Those of us who continue to plant the gospel seed remain hopeful there will be a nation-wide harvest in the very near future. But, in view of present conditions, one has to wonder if Mexico’s Kairos (an ancient Greek word meaning the right or opportune moment) has come and gone. Judging by the general spiritual atmosphere that the country has fallen into recently, it appears that the nation is heading again toward a very dark period similar to the one that reigned previous to the 1910 Revolution.

The ongoing war among drug cartels in Mexico has led to the increase in violence along the nation’s northern border. The death toll has risen to over 3,000 during this year alone, and one third of those deaths have taken place in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua – a city already racked with the unsolved murders of hundreds of young women since the 90’s. Another important hot spot has been Tijuana and its neighboring community of Rosarito. Nearly a dozen deaths have been reported daily in the local papers during the recent months. Our friends who live in Tijuana tell us that it is no longer safe to drive on the streets afterhours, much less walk. [For further information, click here ]

Kidnappings, the most monstrous form of violence in my view, have also hit a record high. “Mexico’s rising tide of kidnappings is indicative of a society coming unglued.” According to a report published in The Spectrum & Daily News, “…official statistics show 751 abductions for ransom in 2007 – about 35 percent higher than 2006 – other sources claim the problem is much bigger. An independent institute says a more accurate number is 7,000 victims last year. Other private security consultants estimate 30 to 50 people are kidnapped every day in Mexico.” [For further information, click here] This report adds, “…a crime that used to be almost exclusively targeted at the rich has now ‘crossed over’ to strike at middle- and lower-income families. People are held for as little as $500. Criminal gangs have refined ‘express kidnapping’ techniques, where victims are held at gunpoint while they or relatives withdraw money from a cash machine. It’s all over in an hour.”

A weak and divided evangelical community has not been able to respond to the formidable challenges that these and many other societal ills present to the church. It appears that all those years that Pentecostals, Charismatics, and Third-Wavers have spent “railing against the devil” have been proven fruitless, but that fact doesn’t seem to faze them much. They continue to engage in these heterodox practices which only server to divide the church even further. They fail to acknowledge that only the “…effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” (Jas 5:16)

Please continue to pray for an unparalleled spiritual awakening in Mexico, one that would honor God and unite the remnant church. Also pray for our safety as we continue to live out our lives of service to Christ as best we can.

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“ON THE EVE OF THE GREAT DECLINE” – WHAT CAN WE DO?

Posted in Mission Updates 2008 on October 5, 2008 by filerofish

Wherefore, O king, let my counsel be acceptable unto thee, and break off thy sins by righteousness, and thine iniquities by shewing mercy to the poor; if it may be a lengthening of thy tranquillity. (Daniel 4:27)

On The Eve of the Great Decline

“Born amidst the wonder

Born among the lost

Watching the abandonment of reason

Taking in the moment

Taking up the years

Witnessing the end of our good season

Stirring strange emotions

Conjuring the fears

Each one sees the things they really want to see

Made a world of wonder

We made a world of pain

Now the days will come for the apostasy

I am watching it fall around me

I am listening to every sound I hear

I am doing what one man can do

As the daylight is fading on the Eve

Of the Great Decline…”

Click here for the complete lyrics:

Album: The Wait of Glory

Band: Proto-Kaw

@2005 Kerygmatic Music

It is the destiny of all great empires to eventually decline and fall. Only God’s Kingdom will endure forever! In our heart of hearts, we knew that this day was coming. Those in the know had been warning us of this for decades. Now that the economic collapse has finally arrived, it seems almost impossible to believe that it’s actually happening. Is this the beginning of the unraveling of the financial hegemony of the U.S. and of its might as the world’s lone superpower? In the words of William Cox, retired supervising prosecutor for the State Bar of California:

On this date, October 3, 2008, the American people were betrayed by those whom they had elected to represent them. The members of Congress who voted for the Wall Street “bailout” violated their oath of office to “support and defend the Constitution” … “that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same” … “and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: …”

Without holding any meaningful hearings or public discussions and listening only to those most responsible for the economic disaster, Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, Congress abdicated its responsibility to the American people. [Source: ]

With this disgraceful sell-out to the special interests, Congress has virtually sealed the fate of the nation. Sooner or later, the dollar will likely bottom out, thus prolonging the agony of recovery and possibly producing a mega-shift in the balance of power in the world. Our nation is bankrupt! It is bankrupt materially, morally, and spiritually. The sooner we wake up to that fundamental fact, the better off we will be. At least we will have stopped living in denial, and maybe we will seek refuge in the only One who can restore us to sanity: the Lord of lords and King of kings.

Likewise, churches today have fallen into a state paralysis and apostasy. In a message sent to me by a veteran educator in our brotherhood he laments, “I am so angry at the colleges who are bent to destroy the Restoration Movement.” This was his reaction to the inroads that the Emergent Church leadership has gained in our brotherhood schools.

A fellow church of Christ missionary also wrote me an email the other day, in which he expresses his sentiments as follows:

There is definitely a segment among currently/previously non-instrumental churches of Christ that has taken up some of the basic emergent philosophy. I agree that its roots are at least 25 years deep. It has only been able to take hold because of a gross ignorance of Scripture and a basic lack of personal commitment to the authority of Jesus and His Word among “average” Christians and too many elders. Nevertheless, I am convinced that it is driven by frustration with minimal or no growth and a carnal desire for numbers (which is very different from a spiritual desire for growth). Much of this has been occurring in some larger metropolitan churches.

Thankfully, there is a larger segment that rejects all of this. Sadly, they feel good just circling the wagons. The doctrinal and philosophical battle has become their passion instead of the real mission of Christ’s body. That is where my greatest dissatisfaction lies. There have always been movements away from Scripture. That is to be expected in every generation. Of course, I address it, but I am convinced that those movements will be taken care of in God’s way and time. My concern is with those who don’t get the connection between their commitment to the authority of Jesus and His teachings and our mission to the lost, the weak, the injured, the discouraged – souls!!

Closer to home, we have been virtually abandoned by the very body of churches that first sent my parents to the mission field five decades ago. Only a handful of faithful supporters continue to lift us up with their love and prayers. Without them, we would be out there on the streets begging. Three years have gone by since my Dad went on to be with Jesus, and we still haven’t been able to recover completely. Only a miracle can keep this ministry afloat for much longer. We are praying and trusting in God for such a miracle, but under the present circumstances the future doesn’t look too promising.

So, what should we do? God called me as an evangelist to the Mexican people – that’s an undeniable fact. Believe me, I have tried to seek for other avenues of ministry elsewhere, but nothing has materialized. So, unless God clearly shows me that it is my time to move, I’m staying put right where I am.

Secondly, I will try to do all that I can with what I have. With God’s help, we want to re-launch our ministry-training program starting in January. But even if this venture becomes implausible at this time, I will continue to preach and teach until the Lord returns or I go to be with Him. Anyone of these may be sooner than we think, so there is no time to loose. This very well may be the last email that you will get from me. I don’t know how much longer I will be able to afford the Internet or phone service. I don’t know how much longer I will be able to pay for gas, food, electricity, water, etc. But this one thing I do know, I must preach until I drop or He comes first. Nothing else even comes close to that priority.

Meanwhile, we would appreciate your prayers for our health. Miriam and I have been ill. I have been fighting a bronchial condition for almost a month now, and my wife has laryngitis. We continue on in spite of it all.