Dear beloved family,
After many, many months without an update, we have been in great prayer about what to write you. Each newsletter we write to you comes through months of agonizing over how we may describe God’s work. The difficulty for this update is that we have rewritten this letter 9 times as a result of the unexpected and instantaneous changes since we last wrote you.
2020 began with us traveling and sharing the Whole Gospel (i.e. all of God’s Word, O.T. & N.T.) to any we met across the many cities of America. Of course this did not come without discouragement, persecution or “helpful advice” which could lead our family astray quickly from God’s will. It is often through rejection where a simple self-examination just isn’t enough and true Biblical exhortation is mandated. We each have chosen to take on the path of our Savior, knowing it is narrow with many enticements, sufferings and supposedly well intended worldly wisdom.
“Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it. Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves.” Matthew 7:13-15 NASB
In the verse above Jesus is warning, through a command, His disciples about the reality of how difficult the path can be. To better understand what He’s saying I want to share from the original Greek an expository translation of verse 14: “For the gate is compressed, contracted, distressing and even afflicting which leads to life and there are few who find it.” Why is it compressed or even afflicting? Just as we in our sinful state know that we don’t want counterfeit money, so God does not want counterfeit disciples. And thus our journey has been difficult since leaving Washington, D.C. to travel and share His Truth in love and because of this it has been most purifying, faith-growing and fruitful! The encouragement we have is from the Holy Spirit, to take God at His Word.
Throughout 2020 we traveled through 25 states of America living out of our car since February for the sake of Equipping & Edifying the saints and Evangelizing Everywhere we went. I would like to introduce you to a few of these people we have met along our journey:
In Oklahoma, I met a man named Archie at Scissortail Park in downtown Oklahoma City. He is a recovering addict and redeemed brother in Christ who needed help moving furniture. In the time spent helping him he was encouraged by our servitude and Biblical approach to strangers who in turn, became friends and a part of our family. He encouraged us to continue on as missionaries, no matter the cost.
In North Carolina, I met a man named Michael who is diagnosed with schizophrenia yet does not see it as a hindrance and was hearing from the Lord to carry out the great commission for weeks. It wasn’t until I knocked on his door and shared with him the truth of the Gospel, that within 12 minutes he said, “Hold on I’ll be right back. I need to go get my Bible to join you in evangelizing the streets.” He still continues to do this weekly.
In California, we met a young lady named Flor and a young man named Lijin who are attending university. They participated in our home church we had for 2 months during the summer of 2020. During the teaching they were shown the importance of studying God’s Word to show themselves approved genuine and not counterfeit in their faith unto God not man. This truly shaped the beginning of their faithful narrow path toward Christ.
Lastly in Idaho (April 2020), I met a lady named Dianna who grew up in Houston, TX. She is one of six children who was trained physically by her Marine father but spiritually by her mother. I was able to pray with her and encourage her in her time of difficulty and persecution for her faith. Just recently (December 10th 2020) did I meet her again. Her persecution has increased throughout 2020 and yet her prayer life multiplied beyond her persecutors. Her spiritual battle in her apartment directly reflects the prayer life of many missionaries who were greatly threatened just because of prayer. She looked into my eyes after updating me about her year and said, “I don’t want to sound creepy or weird but when I look into your eyes I see Jesus magnified in you, in your family and everything you do. You must continue living and doing what you’re doing.”
To share of each story and the impact God had would be pages upon pages. What we continue to learn and teach is that Christ must continually increase as we continually decrease. From this, we must share that at each stop we made this year God made many impossible situations possible and softened many hearts to His Word. To minister the unadulterated Word of God to Americans is not the same as in another country. In America we have an infinite supply of theological books, devotional study guides, online sermon archives and social media spirituality. What we don’t have is a Christianity that is free from the anxieties of this world pertaining to the cares, riches and pleasures of this life whereas faith is stifled leaving many Christians immature in their faith and in times of hardship, fall away from their faith (Luke 8:12-14 & Hebrews 3:12). The only answer is to continually know God and take Him at His Holy Word.
I leave you with this gentle exhortation. Turn in your Bibles to 2 Timothy 2:15 before reading any further. There are many translations you may have before you and it is my desire to share with you as I did in the beginning of this letter. I will again give an expository translation of this one verse from the original Greek. Keep in mind this is a command without regard to past, present or future time that is active in the life of the recipient: “Spare no effort and endeavor to give all diligence towards a full and complete lifestyle of personally approving yourself genuine, pleasing and acceptable unto Creator God through all trials, tribulations and hardships in life. Have no cause to be ashamed as a servant of Christ continuously cutting straight ways and paths in order to hold to a direct course of correctly analyzing, accurately dividing, rightly handling and skillfully teaching the Word of Truth as you handle all affairs of life.” Good Christian, we must respect, honor and fear God with His execution of His purposes through Christ living in us and participate in the stewardship of not only the great commission but in all things conducting ourselves in holiness. For too long I have personally witnessed church after church leaning more on the side of grace where sin is never dealt with versus holiness with not permitting sin to abound (Romans 6:1); Believers need BOTH. From the Holy Spirit inspired Word of God we have one message through both Paul and Peter from Ephesians 1:3 & 2 Peter 1:3 saying we are fully equipped and have access to all things pertaining to godliness and heavenly knowledge so that we may know God more. It is this simple. And this is where I leave you until the Lord permits us to update you further on living by faith and through faith as we equip, edify and evangelize everywhere we go!
In the love of Christ,