The month of December was a good, yet challenging, month here in Santa Marta. Right now I am still on vacation from school as most schools start their new school year the first week of February. A few weeks ago I felt God spoke to me about my future ministry with a foundation here in Santa Marta. It was decided that I won’t begin working there now and will stay with OBED through the beginning of June until I need a new visa and I can decide then. I had the opportunity to visit the towns of Cienaga and Pueblo Viejo with that ministry and attend a few Christmas parties. I also had the opportunity to visit a poor neighborhood to help a lady from my church who ministers to kids there. I have also experienced God’s protection as I was almost robbed and another time I lost my ID (extremely important and expensive), another card, and some money. A lady that found my money returned it and another woman (who I didn’t know) sent me a facebook message with a picture of my documents and gave them back to me the next day, which is pretty much unheard of.
Above all the many things God is teaching me, He is giving me opportunities to practice patience. I am reminded that I can’t do ministry alone and that I need to have God’s covering and backing in what I do. God’s plans are at times very different than mine. Instead of rushing into my next step in ministry, God is constantly reminding me that what I really need is to focus on love and loving Him well. Everything in ministry must come from love or it’s not worth anything. In the meantime, God has been purifying me and removing many things in my life – emotionally, selfishness, etc. It’s been quite uncomfortable and confusing at times, but it’s necessary for what God wants to do in and through me. I am learning patience, trusting the process, and keeping my emotions healthy and in check.
Just Around the Corner
I am currently in the process of deciding which schools I will work with in Santa Marta starting in February. Right now I will be at least working with Colegio Fundadores and Centro Educativo Jireh, both in very poor and spiritually heavy neighborhoods. I hope to work with at least one more, too. Praying about whether or not to do some work in public schools in the afternoons as extra work as there is much need there as well. I have been asking God to place me in the schools where I can make the biggest spiritual impact.
God continues to bless my relationship with María, and we have decided to take the next step and begin preparing for marriage. There are many details and things to work through, but we hope to get married April 13 if it be in God’s timing. We are growing more in love with each other each day and feel the time is right. We are praying for God to show His plan for us together, not just both of us individually. God really uses her to push me to be a better man and has changed me in many ways through her. For now we just keep walking forward in faith.
I have also been learning and growing a lot in prayer, spiritual warfare, and tongues. I am also learning to speak biblical truth to myself and prophesy over myself. I have been able to feel a lot more of the spiritual realm and have been asking God for wisdom and discernment. I am looking forward to how God will continue to grow me in this area. Santa Marta needs Christ, and the children especially need to know they have a loving heavenly Father that desires a relationship with them. I trust God will use me to draw them to Himself. God is good!
“For my thoughts aren’t you thoughts, neither are your ways me ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” – Isaiah 55:8-9
“Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” – Colossians 3:2
“…Let us lay aside every weight and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus…” – Hebrews 12:1-2