Following Fausto (a short term missionary tale)

80F267FE-2F53-4486-8A94-30597487B57ELast week I went on my first mission trip. Four people from my church joined a team of Christians from all across the United States to go to Loja, Ecuador.  We never met before this trip but came home as if we had known each other for a long time. This statement is also true of the translators that we worked with. My family of brothers and sisters in Christ has grown.

My assignment on this trip was to go with my team member, Pastor Jase, and our translators Christopher and Cyndi, to a town called Catamayo. There we worked with Pastor Fausto.

Upon meeting Pastor Fausto he took us to his church office and asked us a few questions. He asked a little about us personally and some about our theology. Then he spoke some about himself then introduced us to his lovely family. Then he said “Haku” which means “let’s go!”

BD28CD6F-3215-4E06-85EF-828300929090.jpegSo we left the office and followed him. He seemed to know where he was going as if he had walked this path several times. He took us to a man who was sitting in a chair on the sidewalk cutting coconuts. He spoke to him for a minute then turned to us and gestured basically saying “You’re up. Do what you came here to do and share the gospel.” So Pastor Jase shared the his story then God’s story and the coconut cutting man said he wanted to trust in Christ. Praise God!

16080423-7DC7-4DA4-AE4E-BA0DE1569742.jpegWe prayed with the man, got his info for follow up, then Pastor Fausto said “Haku.”  And he was off to the next person. And we followed him.

This was the pattern for 5 days of ministry in Catamayo. We followed Pastor Fausto from house to house. From business to business. From person to person. This man has laid ground work with so many people in Catamayo. He is building relationships. He is sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ.

When Pastor Jase and I shared the gospel with people we could tell Pastor Fausto had already spoke the words of life to them. Some just needed us to come water the seeds that were already planted. We even visited people who he has already planted and is watering. His church members know their bible. God is bringing growth.

356DFA11-D774-464A-8043-4C8D3FA512B4The thing that sticks out most as I reflect on following Fausto is how he loves. He can just decide to be content in his church office and pray people come to Christ. But that’s not what he does. Pastor Fausto goes to the people. He talks to them. He cares about them. I don’t think he goes just once either. He keeps going. He brings others with him. He prays over them. He not only tells them about Jesus Christ, he shows them Jesus Christ. This is how I want to be. I want to live the great commission as I saw Pastor Fausto live the great commission.

This is the text that came to my head after 5 days of following Fausto. Paul writes,

Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ. 1 Corinthians 11:1

Pastor Fausto, thank you for showing me Christ as we followed you around your lovely city of Catamayo. I pray to come back and see all the fruit God grows through your obedience.

Haku!!!!!!!

Soli Deo Gloria

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Our Best Offense is a Solid Defense

Last Sunday I had the honor to preach at Island Baptist Church in LBI, NJ.  My good friend Luke Fraser is the pastor.  He is a great man of God and it was a tremendous privilege to be in his pulpit.

I preached on 1 Peter 3:15 and how this vs teaches us as Christians how we are to honor Christ as holy, have an assured answer for people who ask us why, and answer like Christ.

Please take a few minutes to watch.

Finished

imageThere is nothing a person can do on their own to get right with God. It takes perfection. We are not perfect so we must die. But there is a work that has been done to make sinners right before a holy God. The finished work of Jesus Christ alone saves sinners. When a sinner turns from sin and trusts in Jesus Christ God sees the wage/penalty of sin, which is death, paid in full. Trust in Jesus Christ today.

Therefore when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished.” And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.

Love

cropped-ocean.jpgWe are called to love one another. Jesus says this is how men will know we are His disciples.

“By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:35

The two greatest commandments He says (paraphrasing) are to love God with everything and love everyone else as ourselves. No one does either. We disobey God showing we can’t love Him as He commands and hence we can’t truly love neighbor. But Jesus fulfilled this and by His love we can love.

Repent and believe the good news.

 

 

Speeding

imageI’ve been pulled over before. The occasions are rare but they have happened. I’m blessed to have a family member who is a police officer. He has given me a PBA card that I hand to the officer that pulls me over along with the required documents. The card has a statement that asks the officer to extend all courtesies. The officer can extend courtesies on the authority of the officer who issued me this card. He basically can treat me as if I was the issuing officer and show mercy on his authority.

Watch this video and see how this is a small picture of the Gospel.

On His authority we can receive mercy and grace.

Turn to Christ and live today. You ticket has been paid!

Set Free

imageAs we celebrate our independence in the United States of America lets remember those who fight for freedom everyday. Let’s remember those who have fallen in battle. I thank you. You put it all on the line for freedom.

There is One who can give true freedom.

So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. John 8:36

Watch this to see how