The Multiplication of Church Then & Now
It’s fascinating to read about and observe the growth and multiplication of the church when reading through Acts. In Acts 1:8 Jesus told the disciples to wait until they received the power of the Holy Spirit and then to go out and make disciples in Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.
Then in Acts 2 the prophecy from Joel 3 was fulfilled and the Holy Spirit was poured out on the disciples. Many started coming to Christ and the church began to grow like wildfire. As the church grew they experienced persecution, which the enemy meant for evil to defeat the church, but instead it spread out and began to grow in other regions fulfilling Christ command to make disciples to the ends of the earth.
Our familia on the Big Island has experienced unbelievable persecution as a church, and they have to live in such scarcity. They struggle just to feed their family with basic food like rice and beans. They lack medicine, so when they get sick which is often there aren’t any easy remedies. As I write this blog a number of the families that I am in contact with have dengue, because of all the rain and mosquitoes. Young children as well as adults are in the hospital being treated, because of their high fever, and the lack of medicines to treat it.
These are just a few of the challenges our familia faces, and this is why we are sending them monthly aid to help them minister and to buy the food, medicine and supplies that they need to live.
One of the things I’m seeing is that because of these challenges to live on the Big Island a number of people, pastors and leaders are leaving the country. Just among the group that we have contact with we know of two pastors that moved to the Dominican Republic in the last year. One couple that minister to children just moved to Brazil. Three pastors that we know moved to the United States in the last year.
These friends, our familia, all have tremendous faith. They love Jesus and they are committed to extending the kingdom of God wherever they go. Dawn and I have been able to stay in contact with them and continue to support them in their ministries.
Multiplication on the Big Island & Beyond
The two families in the Dominican Republic are good friends of one another. They used to minister together on the Big Island. They are taking what they learned there to plant churches, and train others so that the church grows in the DR.
I met Pastor Adnier and Mariesly Padron and Pastor Nelson and Betsy Beltran on one of our trips to minister on the Big Island a few years ago. The Lord has given Dawn and me a special relationship with them. We were supporting them and encouraging them while they lived and ministered on the Big Island. We continue to work with them now that they are in the DR. I’m amazed at how quickly they’ve begun reaching out and sharing the good news in their new country.
I see a parallel to how God is using these faithful servants to take the gospel to the nations in a similar way to how the church spread out and grew in the New Testament. The enemy tries to squelch the growth of the church, but God uses what the enemy of our soul intended for evil, God uses for good. The church of Jesus Christ grows and multiplies, which is truly something to celebrate.
These pastors need prayer as they adapt to living in a new country. Our familia also needs our prayers as it’s hard on the pastors and leaders who continue to minister on the Big Island, and it can cause some discouragement for them when they see their friends leaving. It’s important that we pray that the Lord will comfort and encourage them, and help them to continue strong in the strength of His might. I’m sure that even in the New Testament it was hard to live through the persecution, and it was hard to see friends being treated poorly. Yet the Lord has a way of turning these bad and difficult situations and circumstances into something good.
Praise the Lord for His good work as the gospel goes forth. Stand with us and our familia on the Big Island and as they go out and minister in other countries like the Dominican Republic, Brazil and the United States.
Extend Your Hands to Help Those in Need!
Dawn and I ask you to prayerfully consider extending your hands to help! Send a gift today to help a needy family, and extend the gospel on the Big Island. We are also sending aid to our familia in the Dominican Republic as the gospel is being planted there.
Support one family for as little as $25 a month! Click below to make a donation today.
Video: Life and Times on the Big Island
We put together a short video to give you a glimpse into how God is at work on the Big Island. At the end of the video some of the people share their thanks. I love seeing these families and hearing their heart felt testimonies!
Thank you for joining us in prayer, and for considering making a gift to help our precious familia.
In His Grip, Dave
P.S. Help take the gospel to the Border, the Baja, and Beyond