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 Prayer & Ministry Partners:
Brethren, pray for us. (1Thessalonians 5:25)
Prayer is always an essential part of the Christian experience. Someone has rightly said, “The prayerless Christian is a powerless Christian.” We need prayer for fellowship with our Heavenly Father and it is a vital in our private worship of Him. Every effort in service and ministry for our Lord must be anointed with the ointment of believing prayer. Paul realized that need in his ministry. In his letter to the Corinthian Church he wrote, “For a great door and effectual is opened unto me, and there are many adversaries.” (1 Cor. 16:9) Paul was keenly aware that with OPPORTUNITY comes OPPOSITION. The “great door” of OPPORTUNITY was accompanied by “many adversaries.” That was true then and it is true now.
Not only do we need prayer for our fellowship and worship with God and our ministry efforts, we also need prayer to intercede for the needs and burdens of others as well as for our own needs. What a blessing to know that we can lift those we love up in intercessory prayer for their needs expecting God to hear and answer. At the same time, what strength and comfort we experience when we realize we and our struggles and needs are the objects of the prayers of others who intercede for us!
So…just as Paul wrote to the young Christians at Thessalonica with the simple request, “Brethren, pray for us.” Kim and I offer up the same request. Kim has been ill now for almost 2 years without a definite diagnosis. The doctors have now given a preliminary one after months of testing. She has a compromised immune system due to Lyme’s Disease with coinfections. She is taking several medications and we are awaiting the results of tests done this past week. Pray that they will shed greater light on the right treatments for Kim’s situation. This has been a severely challenging time for both of us, but especially for her. We know God is able and greater than any problem we face, and His GRACE is sufficient for ANY challenge.
Thank you for your prayerful support.
James & Kim Adams