LATIN AMERICA UPDATE
Latin Americans are no strangers to suffering and hardship whether from the ills of their respective societies or the day to day struggles that many face in just trying to have a life and raise a family. In addition, all that, this great region of our world in recent days has been pummeled by natural disasters that have brought death, destruction, and misery.
Less than one year ago parts of Cuba were devastated by hurricane Matthew. Just last month, Cuba took a direct hit from hurricane Irma, the first Category 5 hurricane to make landfall there in more than 80 years. In the 72 hours it battered the island, it killed at least 10 people and brought destruction on nearly every region of that nation. Parts of Havana was chest-deep in water. This afternoon I received word that the Cuban people are again bracing for the possibility of more water and wind from hurricane Maria but praying that it will turn north. The impact on the already strained economic situation has been enormous. Tourism, a large part of Cuba’s income, is virtually non-existent. The agricultural sector has been hard hit, creating food shortages that are not expected to improve quickly. As a result, after consulting with the pastors there and with their counsel, we have postponed the Cuban Project at least until February or March of 2018. To try and host the numbers we were anticipating in the various meetings would be an additional burden on the churches there now. We have the literature already printed there and waiting until this current crisis is over. Please pray for the churches there who will use this hardship to demonstrate Christ’s love to their unsaved friends, family, and neighbors. One pastor in an area in eastern Cuba especially hard hit by last year’s October hurricane told me that this has been the most fruitful year for the churches there because of what God has done in people’s hearts through that disaster. God has HIS Plan in all this!
Our neighbor to the south, Mexico, is another nation of the region that is suffering new hardships right now. Early last month, hurricane Franklin made landfall there twice causing widespread flooding and damage. Just a few hours ago, a strong 7.1 earthquake brought death and destruction to a large area of central Mexico, including its capital, Mexico City. The current death toll stands at some 139 and expected to rise. Tragically, it is feared that many of those have been children. Tuesday afternoon’s earthquake comes just 11 days after an 8.1 earthquake shook southern Mexico killing some 100 people and destroying more than 45,000 homes. It has been termed the “…strongest in a century.” I am scheduled to hold 2 meetings there in these areas in November and December. These meetings will be hosted by pastors who received training in two of our previous International Soul Winning Directors Institutes in Mexico City. The training materials for these meetings are already there these pastors are excited about our ministry in their churches and to the pastors and church leaders who will attend from other local churches. Please pray for our brethren there as they go through this crisis time.
These events of recent days and those that are still unfolding remind my heart again of the uncertainty of this life and the URGENCY of seizing every opportunity to get the Gospel to as many as possible. Thank you for your prayers and encouragement as we seek to serve our Worthy Lord!
Special Note from James Adams
Dear Partners in Prayer and Ministry:
“The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.” (Proverbs 11:30)
The book of Proverbs is all about WISDOM. However, it is important to understand that “wisdom” is much more than mere “knowledge.” It is the ability to apply knowledge in a correct and beneficial manner. But, to do that requires that a person possess the ability to discern between knowledge that is good and knowledge that is bad. That can be the difference between the “good success” spoken of in Joshua 1 and its alternative, “bad success.” As believers, we have the indwelling Holy Spirit and the Book He has given to aid us in this critical area of daily living. Unfortunately, we do not always avail ourselves to those two marvelous and much needed resources. That error on our part can spell disaster for us, and, even at times for those around us. This is especially true when it comes to soul winning.
The Scripture is clear – “…he that winneth souls is wise.” Sharing the Gospel with an unsaved individual – family, friend, or strange – is a wise practice for several good reasons:
- It is obedience to a direct command from the dear Lord Jesus – Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15-18; Luke 24:45-49; John 20:21-23; Acts 1:8
- It is the ONLY way by which a lost soul can miss an eternity in Hell and obtain an eternal salvation – John 3:36; 14:6; James 5:20
- God is glorified – Matthew 5:16; John 15:8
- Winning a person to Christ has great rewards both here on earth and in Heaven – Ecclesiastes 11:1; 1Thessalonians 2:19
Earlier this month I was privileged to serve with some of our wonderful Witness Project Team members in South Texas and Mexico. Among them was our regional director for Central Mexico, Pastor Hector Ramirez. He pastors a great and growing church in Xalapa, Veracruz. He is a precious brother, humble in spirit and faithful and diligent in his service for our Lord. He attended one of our Institutes in Mexico City about three years ago and committed to establishing Operation GO in his church. The results has been phenomenal. His church has more than tripled, he is constantly training new soul winners there in Xalapa as well as in other churches in Mexico. A little over a year ago he was in the hospital at death’s door gravely ill. He shared with me a wonderful account that illustrated the importance of soul winning at least in one aspect. He was having difficulty breathing, his organs had begun to shut down but the hospital staff was largely unresponsive until a doctor came into his room and realized the crisis Hector was experiencing. He immediately ordered his transfers to ICU to better treat his condition.
Bro. Hector told me that, although he did not recognize the doctor the doctor recognized Hector. It turns out that Hector has won that doctor to Christ when the doctor was only a lad. With great emotion, Hector said to me, “My dear brother, God sent that doctor into my room just at the right time. He saved my life. He became a TREE of LIFE to me!” What a wonderful testimony of God’s faithfulness, the power of the Gospel…AND…the WISDOM of SOULWINNING!!!
Thank you for your continued partnership in PRAYER and GIVING. Because of that many more precious souls have been and will be RESCUED and pass from DEATH to LIFE! May our dear Lord richly bless you all!
Your servant for Jesus’ sake,
James G. Adams
The WITNESS Project
Special Prayer Request
Dear Prayer Partners:
Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, (Eph 3:20)
Once again I lay before you an urgent request for prayer concerning a valued and beloved member of our Latin American Team. Pastor Roberto Gómez has served as our WITNESS Project Director in Central America for some 8 years. He is a dedicated and faithful pastor and beloved friend along with his precious wife, Sonia who is also an important part of our ministry. The majority of the success of our work in Central America is due to the tireless efforts, prayers and influence of this dear couple.
For several years Sonia has suffered from macular degeneration and has lost a considerable portion of her vision. She has undergone several surgeries and treatments. At this writing she and Pastor Gómez are in Puerto Rico awaiting another surgery critical surgery tomorrow. This is an attempt to halt the progression of her condition and preserve the vision she currently enjoys. I know that many of you will be attending Prayer Meetings in your churches tonight. Would you please join with me in lifting up these dear ones in FERVENT PRAYER? Would you add them to your church’s Prayer List as well as to your own and would you pray EARNESTLY TOMORROW for God’s Hand to be upon the surgeon as he performs the surgery? Pray also for the nursing staff that will be attending her and for every decision that is made concerning her care. I believe completely in the POWER of PREVAILING PRAYER and what God does when His people PRAY!
Thank you for allowing me to share this burden with you! Just knowing that HUNDREDS of people will be praying for this need is a GREAT encouragement and blessing to me and to the Gómez Family. What a BLESSING you are!!
The WITNESS Project