“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. …
With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints, and pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel,…”
This passage is a powerful reminder to the Christian of what we are facing spiritually. Some things we may not be able to see with our physical eyes but those spiritual things are just as, and many times more important than what we can see in the physical world. I don’t have much time here to elaborate on this thought but this was something I thought about quite a bit while I was on my trip to Queretaro, Mexico.
We were actually holding the “English Clinics” (something along the lines of a VBS with an English class component) about thirty minutes outside of Queretaro in a small town called Agua Azul (Blue Water). While working there we learned that there is no Bible believing church in many of the small towns in that area. Agua Azul is one of those towns without a church and there is a christian man in the community who feels a burden in his heart to reach out to these communities and start churches. One way to do this by reaching out to the children. My understanding is that he has been doing this for at least two years now.
The week we were working in Agua Azul was Easter week which is considered a holy week in the Mexican Catholic culture that predominates the area. We held the English clinics on Thursday through Saturday from 9:30-2:00. The first day we had a pretty good turn out…I’m afraid I didn’t take notes and don’t remember for sure but believe it was between 60 and 80 kids.
Our second day of the clinic was Good Friday which is a special parade day where a statue is carried through the town to the church before a special mass. It was amazing how the numbers of children which attended our clinic dropped to nearly half. Our last day there were a few more children back again but this also being a special celebration day the numbers were around 50 children.
I realize the numbers of children doesn’t dictate how effective the work was but it made me think of some things I have been learning in my Latin American culture classes. Our host Pastor and his wife shared with us that though the people may attend the Catholic church, for the most part none of the people are Christians and the truth about the Bible is not proclaimed.
During one class my professor who grew up in a Catholic family shared that generally in the Latin American culture, and especially in Mexico, the main focus during Easter is Christ’s death and not His resurrection and the free gift of life which God gives to all those who believe in the name of Jesus.
“…that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved;…” Romans 10:9
Satan will do all in his power to blind the eyes of people to the truth that no amount of good works can save us. It is only through God’s Son, Jesus Christ, that one can be saved.
“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.'”
” He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit,” Titus 3:5
“For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9
Thank the Lord for the wonderful trip we had and pray that He would use the seeds planted in the hearts and lives of the people who heard His word proclaimed during the classes would grow and flourish. The Christians in the area plan to continue sharing God’s word and discipling the children we were with during the trip.
I appreciate each one of you who have been praying for me…it is only with the Lord working through your prayers that I have been able to continue on with the language study and go through with this trip. There is a real, active and intense spiritual battle I and we are facing. We must stand firm in the strength of the Lord with His full armor on to be able to stand in the evil day. (Ephesians 6:10-19)
In the near future to share more details and pictures of the trip but must go for now. It was a huge blessing in a way to have worked ahead hard before the trip so I didn’t have to do homework while on the trip but I am having to hit it hard again now to be able to keep up especially after missing 1-1/2 days of classes.
Keep standing firm in the Lord with His full armor on and may He strengthen you to stand firm in the faith.
Blessings, peace and abundant life in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.