Thursday, December 24, 2015

Christmas in Cusco

Like everyone else we have been busy as we approach Christmas.  We had several events at the church that went very well.  The women of the church had a Christmas party, which had a great turn out with great fellowship.

We also had a Chocolatada, which is basically a church Christmas party.  A Chocolatada usually involves panatón (a Peruvian fruit cake), hot chocolate, and gifts for the kids.  We had a tremendous turnout, almost 100 people showed up, which was way beyond the capacity of our church building.  Wehrner started out preaching the gospel in a short message concerning the birth of Christ.  After, Anthony Olson and his family with their Bible club kids put on a Christmas program.  We sang a few songs and then broke out the hot chocolate, panatón and presents for the kids.  It was a little chaotic, but good fun and fellowship.  Here are some pictures below.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Jehu and Boniface, a zeal for God

And they demolished the pillar of Baal, and demolished the house of Baal, and made it a latrine to this day.       2 Kings 10:27

Jehu had a zeal for the Lord.  His zeal was manifested in his actions when he assassinated Joram and Ahaziah, the two evil kings of Israel and Judah.  He went on to execute Jezebel, possibly the most vile woman in all of Scripture.  His zeal for the Lord led him to kill all the descendants of Ahab, Israel's most wicked king.  His zeal led him to gather all the prophets of Baal, all his worshipers and all his priests, and then strike them down.  After the slaughter of the Baal worshipers, Jehu went into the house of Baal, brought out their sacred pillar and burned it and demolished the house of Baal.  To further demonstrate his hatred for Baal, he turned the demolished temple into a public toilet.  Some would say the zeal of Jehu was extreme, and maybe it was, but Christians today have a greater problem with a lack of zeal than with too much.  

A missionary to barbarians in the eighth century named saint Boniface had the same zeal of Jehu.  The pagan and hostile German barbarians worshiped a giant oak tree.  

Boniface, in his zeal and courage, walked into the village with an axe, and began to chop down the giant oak.  

As he was chopping, the Lord sent a wind, and the tree fell over.  He challenged the pagans to allow their god to kill him for what he did.  Nothing happened.  From the stump, Boniface spoke of the true and living God, which when the pagans heard, they fell in fear and worshiped God.  

These men had a hatred for sin and zeal for the Lord, which is lacking today.  Killing abortion doctors or demolishing statues is not the way we fight the battle, but we should have zeal to fight the battle.  We must zealously fight by the means of preaching the gospel and prayer.  “For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds” (2 Corinthians 10:4).

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Why do we go to the unreached?

Over the years of taking the gospel to the unreached indigenous groups of the Amazon, I have often received criticism from people.  Most of these people are not Christians and they have a completely different world view.  For example, a few years ago I received this comment on a You Tube video from a guy named Mike Hunt:

You should leave these people alone....They're fine without you....They probably have more to teach you....600 years of Conquistadores and it's still going on..Why not let them be who and what they are??...white folks destroyed the indigenous folks in N.America now you searching them out in Peru?....Got to Detroit, or the Bronx or something....

I will attempt to answer the question of why we go to the unreached.

Why do we go to the unreached with the gospel?

It is a good question.  First of all I must say that it is not easy to go to the unreached, nor is it a fun vacation.  The people are unreached for good reason. To arrive in these places is very dangerous in many aspects and they are very hard to get to.  Sometimes we must travel by plane, bus, truck, boat, canoe, and by foot, for several days just to get to the villages.  On these trips almost nothing goes as planned.  Plans change because of the weather, people, trails, transportation, and superstitions.  To get out of the jungle we are often dependent on hitching rides on cargo boats that may or may not travel upriver that day.  The unreached places of the jungle are the last strongholds of the terrorists, who would gladly kill us or take us for ransom if we are found.  The same threats come from the innumerable drug traffickers that rule the jungle.  If the people do not put us in danger, the jungle itself does.  It seems that everything from the smallest bacteria to the giant Anaconda snakes want to kill you.  Even things like ants can be deadly.  A bite from a particular ant can produce the greatest pain known on earth, and eventually lead to death.  So why do we go to these places?  It is certainly not for the adventure.

I can answer the question in one sentence.  We go to these unreached people in difficult places because we love God and we love them.  

We love God which causes us to glorify Him by obey the great commission.  Someone must go to all nations and make disciples, teaching them to observe all the Jesus taught.  In our love for God, we want to see the Kingdom of Christ advance and His name made famous among the nations.  In our love for God we want to see Him worshiped by every tribe, tongue, and nation.

We also love people.  We understand that all these unreached people are slaves to sin and will be in Hell when they die unless they hear the gospel and respond to it in faith and repentance.  We understand that faith comes from hearing the word of God.  If missionaries do not go to the unreached people of the world to preach the good news, they will never be able to respond to the good news.  We have good news!  Why would we selfishly hoard this cure for death in our own homes?

In my experience of working with the indigenous tribes in the Amazon, I have found that God has given His people a thirst for Him.  The Christians hunger for the Word of God.  Whenever we travel to these faraway places, we are welcomed and treated very well because the people are so grateful that we are with them.  Grown men are often overwhelmed to the point of tears that we cared about them enough to come and teach them the Word of God.  These dear brothers and sisters beg us to come more frequently to teach them.  They have been abandoned.  Their kids die of malaria and other jungle hazards.  Their kids are often killed for their organs by the organ traffickers.  They drug traffickers and terrorists steal their food and animals, and rape their women.  They are the bottom of the barrel.  Everyone takes advantage of them.  They live in fear of men and spirits.  They live without hope.

Why don't we leave these people alone and let them be who they are?  Because we love God and we love them.  They are not fine without God and His Word.  They are dying in their sins and going to Hell.  Without the gospel they have no hope.  Unlike Christianized countries like the United States, these people have no access to the gospel.  They can't make a choice to seek the true God through His Word.

We go because we love God and we love them.