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:
“Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice.” (Psalm 55:17)
Earlier this morning I heard George Beverly sing the song, “Did You Think To Pray.” I can’t remember how many times I have heard that song but today it seemed to resonate in my heart with fresh meaning. The chorus spoke to me in a special way:
“Oh, how praying rests the weary!
Prayer will change the night to day;
So in sorrow and in gladness,
Don’t forget to pray. ”
Several years ago in a Pastors’ conference, I had the privilege of hearing Dr. Jerry Falwell preach a message on prayer that moved me deeply. In his opening remarks he made a statement that has stuck with me all these years. He said that he had come to believe that in his personal life and ministry, the majority of his failures had been failures in PRAYER. As I look back over my 57 years of ministry, I would sadly have to agree. I have come to believe that prayer is an important “lifeline” for the child of God. Yet as important and essential as it is, it is often one of the most neglected privileges we have as believers. I blush in shame at how often that has been the sad truth in my own life, not just in the small things but even in the larger issues of life. The chorus of the song urges us to pray both in times of GLADNESS and SADNESS. In Psalm 55 we find King David praying in a time of painful crisis when faced with betrayal, even that of a close friend. His heart is wounded and the hurt of that betrayal is deep. And he cries out to God with the assurance that God will not only HEAR but ACT on his behalf. I have found in my own experience that it is easier to pray in the SAD times of life than in the GLAD times. Perhaps in your case it has been just the opposite. But whatever our experience, may each of us embrace the counsel given in the last line of that great song: “Don’t forget to pray!”
James tells us in his letter to the scattered church, that “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much (has great strength or power)” Kim and I, along with all everyone at David Wood Ministries, are ALWAYS aware of and GRATEFUL for the prayers of you dear friends. What a STRENGTH they give in the sad times and how they INCREASE the GLADNESS of the good times. We feel so blest to have such faithful friends! Thank you and please be assured of ours as well.
God bless and keep you all!
James & Kim Adams
The WITNESS Project
2 Corinthians 4:5