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 & Ministry:
“…and his name shall be …The Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6) (KJV)
The angelic announcement of the birth of the dear Lord Jesus to those humble shepherds promising “… on earth peace, good will toward men.” (Luke 2:14) must have been received with mixed feelings. The world they lived in, although experiencing a short period of relative peace, was filled with turmoil, suffering and uncertainty. The death of Herod the Great in 4 B.C. had plunged that part of the world into a dark period of political intrigue and violence as well as all the social ills that accompany such things. The corruption and deception of the times had tainted even the religious leadership creating a spirit of skepticism that robbed the people of their faith. It was an empty, hopeless, sad and desperate world that greeted the Birth of our dear Lord. Peace must certainly have been something greatly desired and needed at that moment in human history.
The word “peace” (e.g. “Shalom” in Hebrew and “Eirene” in Greek), is a familiar and important word in Scripture. “Shalom” is used in the Old Testament some 250 times in 223 different verses. “Eirene” is found 91 times in the New Testament, 24 of which are in the Gospels. Those more than 300 occurrences emphasize the importance of “peace”, not only in the minds of the human writers but also in the heart of God, the Author of Scripture.
Isaiah’s prophecy in Isaiah 9:6 promised the birth of a child that would bring to this world, not just the absence of conflict and war (“peace”), but also a healing and wholeness (“shalom”) that would enable His followers to experience the completeness of life that God desires for all His creation. That promised Child would be the embodiment of justice and righteousness under His rule, of virtue and goodness in His Person, of truth and wisdom in His Word, of power and authority in His purposes, of love and care in His never-ending Presence and of a life that is whole and complete to those who would embrace Him as their Prince and Master!
Oh, dear ones, what a MESSAGE we have to PROCLAIM to this suffering world! How glad I am to be among the “all people” of the angel’s announcement! What confidence I have when I speak to all those to whom I’m privileged to minister! What a REALITY we can DEMONSTRATE to this skeptical world! What a HOPE we can SHARE during this season and throughout the coming year should Jesus tarry His Coming! How blessed we are to be part of the household of faith, heirs and joint-heirs with the King of Kings and Lord of Lords! We can certainly join with the Apostle Paul in saying, “Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.” (2 Corinthians 9:15)
Please accept my sincere and heart-felt thanks for continuing to stand with us in our efforts to reach, teach and train more precious souls with the message of Christ. Your faithfulness is a constant encouragement and blessing. A very MERRY and CHRIST-FILLED CHRISTMAS to all!
Your servant for Jesus’ sake,
James G. Adams
The WITNESS Project
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