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, that 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 Ministry and Prayer:
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” (Romans 1:16)
Paul’s words to the Christians at Rome have long served to inspire and encourage those who are committed to sharing the Good News of the Gospel. How grateful I am those words are not only INSPIRING and ENCOURAGING but also TRUE words. The Gospel is more than a religious message. It is a message that gives LIFE and HOPE to those who dare to believe it and receive it! Why? Because it is the POWER of GOD! And it takes THAT power to give life and to set the captive free. It is THAT power that can change and transform a person in a way that is nothing less than miraculous.
One of the great blessings I have been privileged to experience as I travel and a minister is not only to SEE the Gospel demonstrate its power but to interact and fellowship with those whose lives are living example of THAT power. Thank God, you can meet them everywhere! Taxi drivers, newspaper vendors, the man who shines shoes in the street, the barber who cuts your hair or the lady receiving training so that she can be a better soul-winner and witness for her Lord! They are all DIFFERENT and ORIGINALS but the one thing they each share in common is that they were ALL sinners SAVED by the Grace of God! And one thing I’ve noticed in each one is the JOY that lights their faces as their share their experience of saving Grace. The JOY of NEW LIFE in CHRIST! The JOY of SINS FORGIVEN! The JOY of JESUS Himself!
I was honored to witness all that again this past month while in Cuba. God is moving there in such a marvelous way. The church in Cuba is ALIVE and WELL in spite of the great challenges unique to that beautiful country. The FAITH of Cuban Christians is sincere, bold and contagious! Their JOY is genuine! And their commitment to Christ and the Great Commission is humbling!
Thanks to your faithful prayers and generosity, our ministry there was fruitful and successful in every way. We are working now on plans to return in November to train some 200 Cuban missionaries from every area of the island. Plus we have invitations to two new large cities as well as to cities where we just ministered. So God has presented us with “…a great door and effectual…” (1 Cor. 16:9) and we are compelled to do all we can to respond.
May our dear Lord continue to richly bless you all and fill each of you with the JOY of our dear Lord and the COMFORT and POWER of the Holy Spirit as we serve HIM together!
James & Kim Adams
The WITNESS Project