Tuesday, February 12, 2008

And the Lord added to their number...

It is an indescribable feeling watching someone come to know the wonderful and fulfilling and purposeful life that we have in Christ. To hear those words, "Jesus is Lord!" and here in Chile, "Jesús es mi Señor y Salvador!" It almost makes your heart jump, remembering the day you made that confession and said with faith that you believe Jesus is the Son of the Living God.

In the last few weeks here in Santiago, we have been able to be apart of some incredible spiritual transformations. Sergio is the brother of one of the disciples here. He came a year ago to spend time with his sister and began to study the Bible. After a short time of studying he went back to Argentina. A few months later, he received a book of basic Bible studies. He did all the studies and realized his need for God. He came to Santiago again in January with the hope of being baptized. After a few times with the disciples here, he made the decision to follow Jesus. Like the Ethiopian Eunuch of Acts 8, "he went on his way rejoicing" back to San Luis, Argentina. You can check out a video of his baptism here.

Two Sundays ago, three of the disciples here in Chile had the honor of baptizing their mother, Laura. Five years ago, Frann was baptized, and began praying for her family to know the same joy that had changed her life. Not long after her sister was baptized, followed shortly by her little brother. They have fought and prayed together for the last 2 years for their mother to begin to reach out to God. There were many tears on Sunday as they shared about the miracle that God has done in uniting their family.

Last Wednesday, Marisol was able to baptize her 16 year old daughter, Thiare (video). It was such a special day for Thiare as she was also celebrating her physical birthday. She has already started studying the bible with her younger sister Stephanie who is 14.

This past Sunday, we were able to watch Walter and Carmen, a married couple, be baptized into Christ. Walter shared with the church in tears that he was broken before the cross. It was such a great victory to watch them start over as a family with God.

In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents. Luke 15:10

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

A woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.

I want to lift up some one very special to me: my mom. My mom came and spent almost a month with us during December and January and it was a super meaningful time to me, to our family and to the church here in Santiago.

Most people go visit their families over the holidays. That's normal. Going to another continent, to a country where the people speak a different language and going with a heart to serve is something very different. My mom came not only visit us but also to give her heart to the church.

In the weeks she was here, mom gave three classes for the "Aguilas" women's group and spent a number of hours with various other women in the church encouraging, teaching the scriptures and counseling people in various ways. She made a huge impact on the church and many people have already asked us when she'll be coming back. We love the church here in Santiago and it encouraged me so much to see how God used my mom, even in the midst of difficult times, to inspire and challenge the disciples here.

Mom, you're an example of faith, perseverance and servitude. Your life never ceases to call me higher. Thanks for letting God use you in so many ways.