The Ever Expanding Kingdom
Dawn and I are in regular communication with a number of pastors and church planters in Mexico and on the Big Island in the Caribbean (which I’m purposely trying to be more discreet about mentioning during these days). Our desire is to come alongside them so that they will be more effective in their work. We are working and praying for multiplication, a church planting movement that brings about life transformation.
I like the way that Luke describes Paul and Barnabas’ ministry as they traveled to various cities when the church was just beginning.
They were “Establishing and strengthening the souls and the hearts of the disciples, urging and warning and encouraging them to stand firm in the faith, and [telling them] that it is through many hardships and tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.”Acts 4:22 AMPC
Difficulties in the Midst of the Pandemic
One of the challenges that we’ve faced recently is that we haven’t been able to have many face to face meetings with our pastors. The pastors that live near us are still dealing with a lot of restrictions, and they are not able to hold live services yet. We thank the Lord for Zoom and similar video calling platforms, which enable us to stay in touch with these dear friends, our pastors.
On the positive side, I would say that we are able to meet with our pastors more frequently, because of Zoom. We give thanks for the technology that allows us to see each other while we talk. Yet, there is something we miss when we can’t meet face to face.
Connecting Face to Face and Via Zoom
Dawn and I were able to drive down to Ensenada this last week for the first time in five months to meet with Pastor Petri and his wife, Yudy. It was so good to be together again, and the Lord gave us a beautiful day.
We’ve also been able to meet with Pastor Davis and Luz who are planting a church in Tijuana. They aren’t very far from us, so it makes it easier. Although there are still a number of our friends in Tijuana that we’ve not been able to see.
Of course, it’s easy to focus on the negative and get down during these days, but I believe the Lord has something good for us even during this time. I know a number of people have to use Zoom now for their work, so I’m not alone. Just think if this pandemic would have hit 5 – 10 years ago it wouldn’t have been as easy to stay in touch. Life could have been much worse.
Pastoral Work is Often Lonely Work
On the bright side, I’ve started having more contact with church planters that live a long ways from me. Couples that are ministering in Ciudad Obregon, Hermosillo, Culiacán, Durango, Queretaro, La Paz, Tapachula, Monterrey, Mexico City, Guadalajara and on the Big Island. The church planters often tell me that they feel alone and isolated, so I’m working on bringing them together on Zoom calls so we can create a community to pray for and to encourage one another.
I’ve spoken to all of these church planting couples individually and now we are planning on having our first meeting as a group in August. I appreciate your prayers as we come together. Church planting and pastoral work can be a lonely job, so it’s so important that they know that they are not alone. We are in the trenches with them.
I’m often amazed when a church planting couple or pastoral couple tells us how thankful they are for us. Some have told us they’ve never had someone that’s come alongside them to encourage them and help them in ministry. This is huge because it gives them greater confidence knowing that they are not alone. It also confirms for Dawn and me that we are using our gifts wisely as we love and minister to these dear friends. As I’ve said before many of them become like family to us.
Extend Your Hands to Help Families in Need
Our family on the Big Island continues to struggle to come up with the basic needs to live. There is an ongoing shortage of chicken, beans, rice, cooking oil, soap, toothpaste, and other essential items. Dawn and I have been able to help more than 300 people on a regular basis since March, because of your generosity. Since the needs continue your gifts make a BIG difference. Please extend your hands to help by giving to these families in need. Also, help by praying for them and the other pastors that we are working with in Mexico.
In His Grip, Dave