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 Prayer and Ministry:
“Americans' trust in honesty, ethics of clergy hits an all-time low in Gallup ranking of professions”
The above headline grabbed my attention recently. It was from an article that appeared last month in The Christian Post. It is another tragic commentary on the failure of integrity in our culture. While it certainly saddens my heart, it is not, unfortunately, some new phenomenon among those of us who lay claim to being called servants of our dear Lord. In many Old Testament passages, Jehovah pronounced woe and judgment on the priests of Israel for their moral failures and loss of uprightness. Nor is it something that cannot touch the lives of any of us. The Scripture abounds with warnings concerning that real possibility, e.g. Proverbs 16:18;1 Corinthians 10:12; 1 Peter 5:8. They are just 3 passages that the Holy Spirit has brought to my mind more times than I can count during my more than 50 years of ministry. This is a reality that we must never forget. Proverbs 28:14 emphasizes this. I remember years ago while a student at Tennessee Temple University hearing Dr. Roberson saying that he could throw away all that he had accomplished in ministry with just one decision. It was a sobering thought then and more so today. At the end of the day, the only thing we will carry with us when we leave this is our integrity. I believe that can be one of the things that will be a vital part of whatever crowns we have to lay at the feet of our wonderful Lord.
The absence of genuine integrity has become an infection that has spread to every segment of society. Every day we see evidence of that in business, government, and society at large. The only remedy is to fill our hearts and minds with the purity and wisdom of God’s Word and to allow the Holy Spirit to fulfill His daily ministry in our lives. That will surely help us to say with ancient Job, “…till I die I will not remove mine integrity from me.” (Job 27:5) That is certainly the desire of my heart. If we are to make a difference in this lost world, we must have integrity. The billions of precious souls among the almost 8 billion that remain without Christ and some without ever hearing the Gospel deserve that from us claim the title of Christian. Pray for me that I may be found faithful when He comes.
2019 will be a year of challenge and opportunity. Already the doors are opening to new fields. As never before the WITNESS Project needs your partnership. The harvest is there to be reaped, the door of opportunity stands wide open. Thank you for partnering with us so we can walk through those open doors this year.
Thank you for your continued intercession for Kim’s health and her special needs. God is both GRACIOUS and FAITHFUL. Nothing is too much for Him. We remain confident in that truth.
Your servants for Jesus’ sake,
James & Kim Adams
The WITNESS Project