“The Lord repay your work, and a full reward be given you by the Lord God of Israel, under whose wings you have come for refuge.” Ruth 2:12
For over twenty-five years, our partners have sat down and written checks to enable us to go to other nations with the prayer seminar ministry. From the very first check to the very last one I am encouraged, but am humbled. Both Naomi and Ruth were encouraged by the kind acts of their Kinsman-Redeemer, Boaz. In their very first conversation, Boaz acknowledged Ruth’s faithful acts on behalf of Naomi, “you left your father and your mother and the land of your birth, and have come to a people whom you did not know.” Then he said memorable words, “The Lord repay your work, and a full reward be given you by the Lord God of Israel, under whose wings you have come for refuge” (Ruth 2:11b-12). To our prayer and financial partners, this is my daily prayer for you. Thank you for your partnership. May the Lord reward you fully.
Venezuela Update. In my last letter, I reviewed how the Lord blessed our efforts in 2010 in western Venezuela. Hundreds received instruction in the prayer seminars. Hearts were prepared to evangelize four mountain states. 6,010 came to Christ. “Do it again, Lord” has been the thrust of our praying. The schedule was finalized as April 3-25, twenty-three days. Isaiah Rojas, leader in the National Convention of Baptists in Venezuela, and a missionary asked that we come to Yaracay in western Venezuela, the recognized center of idolatry worship and witchcraft for the nation. When the request came, I agreed, and added five days to the schedule. Our partners provided the needed funds for 2,000 Spanish prayer seminar workbooks and the expenses for Adam Nathanson and me to travel. You can follow the work day-by-day on the “My Blog” section of our website. This is the entry for Friday, April 8, which is Day 6.
I was pleased with tonight, but it was difficult. We were in a large stadium-type building and the people were in the bleachers on one side. There were sixteen Baptist churches/pastors involved. The intention is to conduct these meetings quarterly. There was a little over an hour praise and worship. Many, many young people with blasting music with all the different instruments/drums were among the crowd. Adam translated the words they were singing and they were generally good. The missionary-coordinator indicated that the consensus of remarks was that deep conviction had fallen over many. How we will see what happens during the four hours today. After we finish, we drive four hours east toward Caracas and the Sunday prayer seminar.
Yaracuy State is the center of witchcraft and open idolatry (worshiping statues are all around, including one for John the Baptist). The center of worship is a black lady on a horse, as I told you yesterday. There is a practice common of putting a curse on someone. I termed this spiritual darkness and shared about the Pakastani Lighthouses of Prayer.
Five of the twelve prayer seminars will be completed by the end of the day. Attendance has been remarkable. Well over fifty have made professions of faith. Adam was receiving text messages all day yesterday from people who attended the Caracas seminars speaking how their lives have changed. Sam Olson, the pastor who has 6,000 attending and who is chairman of the evangelical council in Caracas with over one million members, prepared a DVD of the six-hour seminar in his church. We hope to make this available throughout Venezuela. Hugh Bryan would say "the wheels are turning" and I will say, "God is working.
You won't believe this. Isaiah Rajas, the Baptist convention leader who is scheduled to drive us this afternoon, was on his way to San Felipe (around 700,000 and capital city of Yaracuy) and was robbed enroute with everything taken, including his cell phone. He hoped to be here by midnight. This is so difficult to believe since he is a seasoned traveler. Of course, we will learn more when we see him this morning. I feel so badly for him.