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:
“…a new creature…” (2 Corinthians 5:17)
The verse above from the Holy-Spirit-directed pen of the Apostle Paul became one of my favorite verses when I first heard it as a teenage boy recently introduced to Christ in August of 1960. Its encouragement and blessing has only grown in my life and ministry over these almost 59 years. It speaks of the miraculous work of the Holy Spirit in the life of a believing, repentant sinner, regardless of condition or status, who chooses to accept God’s gracious offer, unmerited and free, of a new beginning. A new life with new HOPE, new DESIRES, a new DIRECTION, a new ….!!! If you have been blessed to have experienced this personally, then you know exactly what I mean and you can continue the list.
Over my years as a Christian and in my ministry I have also seen, first-hand, the absolute truth of that promise in the lives of countless men, women, young people and even children. I think of a dear lady, now with the Lord, who at almost 80 years of age, received Christ and became one of our faithful ladies in the church I was privileged to pastor for 33 years in Waco, Texas. Or the young boy, 6 or 8 years of age, who today pastors a thriving church in Southlake, Texas. These are just a few of many whom I have known personally and witnessed the transforming truth of that wondrous promise.
And another glorious thing about this promise is that is works the same where ever, whenever and with WHOMEVER! I witness this repeatedly as I travel and preach. I also have the JOY of meeting some in whose lives that promise is now a reality because of the faithful witness of those who have received our training in the Institutes we conduct in Latin America. Their testimonies inspire me and motivate me to continue on for the Lord. Their joy and new lives also make me enormously grateful for each of you who stand so faithfully with this ministry, not only for Latin America but in Asia and Africa and wherever the WITNESS Project has a presence.
Thank you for giving to the Lord! Your ministry in giving and praying has and CONTINUES to TOUCH and BLESS thousands of national pastors, national church leaders and NEW BELIEVERS who are and will be the fruit of their labors! It is a great comfort as I travel to feel the your prayers and to see their results. The WITNESS Project could not have the reach nor the fruit without your partnership. From ALL of US to EACH of YOU…God bless!
James G. Adams
The WITNESS Project
“The final step in creating fully-devoted disciples circles all the way back around to evangelism. The mark of a fully-devoted disciple is a disciple who is making other disciples, a disciple who is bringing others to the faith either through personal evangelism or bringing others with them to church to introduce them to Jesus.” (Evangelism Is The Greatest Form of Discipleship)
Special Prayer Request
“For we are labourers together with God:…” (1 Corinthians 3:9)
Good afternoon to all my Partners in Prayer and Ministry. As you know from my previous communications, God willing, I will be ministering in Cuba for almost all of October. My departure date is October 4 returning October 28. I will be conducting 3 of our Training Institutes on Soulwinning and Discipleship (IIDEP in Spanish). I will also be meeting with a group of key pastors who have been trained in past Institutes and have begun soulwinning training ministries in their own local churches. This meeting will be a critical step going forward in developing a strategy for raising up national leadership in Cuba. This is one of our major goals in every country where we have a partnership and ministry presence and it is a MUST in establishing a fruitful and fully functioning ministry.
I just received a text from one of those key pastors who is working with us in planning and coordinating this trip and its venues. He writes in part “…Cuba, in this moment, is in its worst economic and transportation times… All public transportation has been suspended because of the fuel crisis…” I share that with you because of the impact this could have on our time there. These issues can create serious challenges for me as I travel as well as for the many Cuban pastors and leaders whose attendance could be affected.
As always, our adversary is at work in all this but as Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 2:11, “…we are not ignorant of his devices.” Thank God that the weapons of our warfare are MIGHTY and HE that is IN us is GREATER than he that is in the world! Please join me in earnest prayer for God’s Presence and Power NOW and as we TRAVEL and minister in this ripen harvest field!
Your prayers are a great COMFORT and ENCOURAGEMENT! God bless and keep each of you dear friends!
The WITNESS Project