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 & Ministry:
“…hope thou in God:..” (Psalm 42:11)
Recently I received an unsolicited email with an interesting subject line. “I can change your life!” was its appealing promise. After future investigation, I saw that it came from a self-proclaimed “psychic,” one of the hundreds that troll the internet looking to profit from the sufferings of the wounded and disillusioned. And, unfortunately, they are successful in their search despite the falsity of their claims. According to recent statistics, the “psychic services industry” has grown 2% in the last five years and produced a revenue stream of $2 billion in 2018. That’s just here in the U.S. Worldwide, psychics are peddlers of false hope and their victims countless. That reality makes a sobering statement about our world and the hopelessness that abounds.
The liberating power of hope that is genuine is an established fact. The Bible is both a hope-FUL and a hope-FILLED book for a trouble-FILLED world. Regardless of who you are, where you live, your social position or current circumstances, the Bible offers a word of hope that we can trust. The 42nd Psalm is a prime example. It is a plaintive psalm of suffering. The psalmist is troubled, even to the point of desperation. We see him struggling, worn out and thirsting for answers and an end to his dilemma. Twice he challenges his soul to ”…hope thou in God:..” Why? Because God and He ALONE is the Source of all genuine HOPE. What message is there for us today? I believe it is this. No matter how challenging or how impossible the circumstance, the beginning of any solution is to HOPE in GOD and in His Goodness and Sovereignty. Psalm 42 begins with a SOB but ends with a SHOUT! And our HOPE is in the same God!
This message of HOPE is the spiritual birthright of every child of God to experience in our daily lives. But it is NOT given to us just to selfishly embrace. It is given to SHARE…to GIVE AWAY…to those who are hurting whom God places in our path. I have seen the power of that hope as it becomes a reality in someone’s life. And it works in ANY human heart!
What a privilege to be a “carrier of HOPE”! And thanks to all of you dear friends who allow us that privilege by your faithful partnership! God is doing some wonderful things in our world today and YOU are a part of that!
The WITNESS Project