B.A.S.I.C. NEWSLETTER #172
B.A.S.I.C. NEWSLETTER #172
I Cor.. 16:9 ‘For a wide door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many adversaries.’
July 15, 2010
An Open Door? – Mission Opportunities in Lima, Peru
Peru lies in the west-central part of South America along the Pacific Ocean. It is the third largest country in South America. It is roughly three times as large as California (fifteen times the size of Minnesota). It has a population of just under 29,000,000 people, approximately 10,000,000 of which live in and around its capital city of Lima. The population is predominantly Roman Catholic (about ½ of the population).
In the spring of 2009 Pastor Paul Nolting of Immanuel-Mankato met and instructed Mr. Dimas Vivanco, a citizen of Peru and uncle of an Immanuel member, in the basic doctrines of the Christian faith in accordance with our Lutheran confession. Dimas was led by the Holy Spirit to agree with our doctrinal position. He attended the YC2009 in West Harrison, Indiana in June 2009 and expressed his unity with our CLC by communing at Immanuel in July 2009 prior to his departure later that month for his homeland. Dimas asked Immanuel congregation to help him introduce Biblical (Lutheran) teaching to his private Grade School (Stella Maris) and to establish a Lutheran Church in Lima.
At Immanuel’s July 2009 Voters’ Meeting a program to assist Dimas was approved. The program involved Daniel Pfeiffer, a pre-theology student from Immanuel, traveling to Lima to go to school to study Spanish. It was proposed that Daniel also help Dimas by teaching English and Religion at Stella Maris and further the goals of establishing a Lutheran Church by providing adult Bible Study if that possibility arose. Immanuel’s voters approved spending up to $6,000 over the next two years in support of this program. One case of Spanish/English Bibles (10) and one case of Spanish/English Luther’s Small Catechisms (24) were purchased and sent to Dimas in Lima.
In early January 2010 Pastor Nolting visited Dimas and his family in Lima. He was able to hold Bible Studies with seven individuals and had a lengthy spiritual conversation with three more individuals. He also met seventeen more of Dimas’ relatives and so established the beginning of a relationship with them.
On February 16, 2010 Daniel Pfeiffer left for Lima with a return flight planned for December 23, 2010. He is currently living with Dimas and providing instruction in both English and Religion for approximately 45 students in Stella Maris School. He is also enrolled in a private university and has successfully completed the first of several courses in Intermediate Spanish, a course of study he will complete by December. Daniel is currently providing five of Dimas’ family members with a course in Adult Bible Study. He is schedule shortly to begin another Adult Bible Study course, which will include approximately 20 adults, many of whom are parents of the children he is instructing in Stella Maris. It has not yet been determined whether Daniel will return to Lima for a second year, although both Dimas and Daniel believe the work is going very well.
Pastor Nolting was invited and encouraged by Dimas and numerous members and acquaintances of his family to plan a return trip, so that more work on establishing a Lutheran congregation can be done. No date has been set for that return trip.
The Lord, it would appear, has graciously opened a door of opportunity for us to pursue mission work in Peru. May God give us the zeal, the means, the patience, and the persistence to pursue this opportunity to share the message of Jesus’ love for all of mankind!
(Pastor Paul Nolting of Immanuel-Mankato,USA)
THE WILL OF GOD
HIS WILL BE DONE
There is an absoluteness to our God. The starting point for that personally for us is the unmistakable, “God is love.” 1 Jn. 4:8 There are no qualifiers to this. No if’s, and’s, or but’s. John was clear and He reinforced that concept of our God personifying love over and over again in his Gospel and epistles. The whole Bible is the background to the apostle’s presentation. At the same time as knowing our God is perfect love, because of sin in man’s heart and abroad in the world around us, things happen that we cannot explain beyond what God has revealed to us. Things can even seem to appear contradictory to “God is love”. Remember ‘paradox’ is simply beyond our understanding. We may at times think we have insights into God’s will, yet those insights must be guided by the lamp to our feet and light to our path, the Word. No matter though how convinced we may be in our insights, it is always as they said ultimately when Paul would go from Caesarea to Jerusalem, “The will of the Lord be done.” Acts 21:14
In heaven His will is always done, but not so on earth. The devil and his evils angels who opposed God’s will were cast out of heaven and down to where we now must contend
against these powers. Our Lord has taught us to rely on Him in all things and to pray, “Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.” Mt. 6:10 This earth has a curvature to it, so that standing in one place even with the most powerful binoculars we can see only so far. So it is with God’s will, we can only see so far as God discloses to us. God on the other hand can see all around the earth, beyond our limited horizon view. Relying on Him and what He knows and sees and ordains is the only way to go.
And beyond what our Lord taught in the 3rd petition we need to listen to Him pray to reinforce and deepen our understanding of how we aught to pray. In Gethsemane we have our Lord, who is God and man, facing what He knew would be His torture and death. While He prayed that if it were possible that the cup of suffering not be consumed by Him, yet “not as I will, but as Thou wilt.” Mt. 26:39 Jesus as true man knew what He must go through and as man he sought not to face the suffering. Though as true God He knew He must face it, and so He prayed for God’s will to be done. That will of God was decided in eternity that the Son must die for the sins of the world.
My puny will is like the breath I exhale compared to God’s will which is like the mighty wind that courses throughout the world and blows down all obstacles in its path. What is my will compared to His? How much better to rely upon the all powerful force of God than upon my own weakness and limitations. The waves of the ocean that pound upon the shores of land cannot be stopped. Instead of opposing such we should be borne by the waves to the shore. As a matter of fact who can oppose such force for very long? We can say that His will is done as surely as night follows day. The currents of a river run deep though on the surface there may be some choppy water. The river inevitably empties into the ocean. God’s will is like the current that despite all flows unceasingly to its conclusion.
At the top of the list of His will being done is the fact of Christ’s death as punishment for our sins and His resurrection proving that we are declared righteous in God’s eyes. This part of God’s will is throughout the Old and New Testament. Is. 53:10, Gal. 1:4 It then is a reminder that as this part of His will was done, so will it be with all of His will. If the greater is done, the lesser will follow.
What God ordains is always good. Though I the cup am drinking
Which savors now of bitterness, I take it without shrinking.
For after grief God grants relief, My heart with comfort filling
And all my sorrow stilling.
What God ordains is always good. This truth remains unshaken.
Though sorrow, need, or death be mine, I shall not be forsaken.
I fear no harm, For with His arm He shall embrace and shield me;
So to my God I yield me. TLH 521 st. 5-6
(The hymn is based on Deut.32:4 “The Rock, His work is perfect; for all His ways are justice. A God of faithfulness and without iniquity, just and right is He. “)
Apples of Gold in a Setting of Silver(3)
“The average pastor views his church as a local church with a missions program; while he ought to realize that if he is in fact pastoring a church, it is to be a global church with a missions purpose.” — Unknown
“The Christian is not obedient unless he is doing all in his power to send the Gospel to the heathen world.” — A. B. Simpson
“The will of God — nothing less, nothing more, nothing else.” — F. E. Marsh (also attributed to Bobby Richardson)
“If the Great Commission is true, our plans are not too big; they are too small.” — Pat Morley
“If missions languish, it is because the whole life of godliness is feeble. The command to go everywhere and preach to everybody is not obeyed until the will is lost by self-surrender in the will of God. Living, praying, giving and going will always be found together.” — Arthur T. Pierson
“The history of missions is the history of answered prayer.” — Samuel Zwemer
“A congregation that is not deeply and earnestly involved in the worldwide proclamation of the gospel does not understand the nature of salvation.” — Ted Engstrom, World Vision
“To stay here and disobey God — I can’t afford to take the consequence. I would rather go and obey God than to stay here and know that I disobeyed.” — Amanda Berry Smith
“I believe that in each generation God has called enough men and women to evangelize all the yet unreached tribes of the earth. It is not God who does not call. It is man who will not respond!” — Isobel Kuhn, missionary to China and Thailand
“God is a God of missions. He wills missions. He commands missions. He demands missions. He made missions possible through His Son. He made missions actual in sending the Holy Spirit.” — George W. Peters
“The best remedy for a sick church is to put it on a missionary diet.” — Unknown
“The Church must send or the church will end.” — Mendell Taylor