14

Jun

If I Do Not Have Love I Am Nothing

Written by Steven Frey

I greet you my dear brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus, members together in the same Body in our Lord, and awaiting the same soon return of our King. As the world around us accelerates into a meltdown how wonderful it is to have the glorious hope of our salvation and the imminent return of our Lord!

It is also a constant joy for me to be able to be a part, albeit vicariously of the missionary work that is so faithfully going forward in Mexico through our brothers and sisters. My hope is that through these blog posts I can keep you more up to date on the ministry, and in this way also keep you rejoicing in what God is doing there, and through them.

I recently came across a paraphrase of 1 Corinthians 13 that I believe makes this passage “pop”. I apologize because I don’t know exactly who to attribute it to because I got it from a John MacArthur message where he didn’t give the name of the author of the paraphrase except that it came from a group, I’m guessing of missionaries, in South Africa. However, it reminds me of the work of Javier and Cristina and all of the others who are so faithfully laboring for the Lord, pouring out their lives and energy for him:

“If I have the language perfectly and speak like a native and have not His love for them, I’m nothing.  If I have diplomas and degrees and know all the up-to-date methods and have not His touch of understanding love, I’m nothing.  If I am able to argue successfully against the religions of the people and make fools of them and have not His wooing note, I am nothing.  If I have all faith and great ideals and magnificent plans and not His love that sweats and bleeds and weeps and prays and pleads, I’m nothing.  If I give my clothes and money to them and have not His love for them, I’m nothing.  If I surrender all prospects, leave home and friends, make the sacrifices of a missionary career and turn sour and selfish amid the daily annoyances and slights of a missionary life and have not the love that yields its rights, its leisures, its pet plans, I am nothing.  Virtue has ceased to go out of me.  If I can heal all manner of sickness and disease but wound hearts and hurt feelings for want of His love that is kind, I am nothing.  If I can write articles or publish books that win applause but fail to transcribe the Word of the cross into the language of His love, I am nothing.” 

We have an immense privilege to be a part of this ministry through our prayers and financial support. The missionary team is pushing ever deeper into the mountains reaching the Pame people group. Churches are being planted and leaders established in these fledgling churches. 

Javier confided in me a couple of weeks ago that they often face sever spiritual opposition on these biweekly missionary outreaches into the Pame communities, and that they desperately need our prayers. The mountains where they minister are the center of deep demonic activity where witchcraft and brujería are deeply engrained into the tribal culture and ancient religion of the Pame people. Here brujos (sorcerers or warlocks) are very real and practice their dark magic through the power of the demonic. Javier told me that the team sometimes faces extreme and abnormal tiredness while there, and that at these times they can barely function due to strange weariness and exhaustion. At other times they have faced sudden and unusual sickness upon arrival into the region.

There is also something that he told me of again which I have heard often during my years in Mexico; something which seems like it must come from a horror novel, but which I have heard too often from very reputable Christians to disbelieve: the demonic power of these brujos to change form – the power to become “shapeshifters”. This is deep and very black demonic magic that they tap into in order to take on the shape of a bird or animal and to move around at will in order to control and wield power over others – even killing those who are not covered with protection of Jesus Christ.

I know that this whole concept is offensive to the sensibilities of our Western “scientific” minds, but this is the reality of the spiritual battle that these brothers and sisters are engaged in daily. This is not child’s play or fantasy but real warfare in the spiritual realm: “For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:12

So, please remember to pray for them that they will be covered by the authority and protection of the precious, powerful blood of Jesus Christ as they enter into these enemy regions. Pray that the Kingdom will continue to advance against the darkness. And pray that many will be added to the Body of Christ in these last days before the return of our Lord and King, Jesus Christ.

Yes, we must continue to give financially so that vehicles can have gasoline and that they will be mechanically sound in order that this mission work can continue. Yes, finances are needed to cover the expenses of food for the missionary teams, and so that buildings and facilities can be developed for these fledgling churches to meet in. But the real issue is spiritual. May we never forget that our role is primarily to be that of spiritual covering and prayer for these men and women in the trenches of spiritual warfare.

Below is a letter from Javier that I received today. They are currently up in the mountains ministering. Please hold them up in your prayers.

May this report bless you.

______________________________________________

My dear brothers and sisters,

I bring you greetings from Cd. Valles. May God bless each of you richly.

We continue to be very busy in the work of the ministry, for which I thank God. On Saturdays I spend almost the entire day with the students at the two Bible Institutes where I teach. Presently we have three students in the Casa del Obrero Training Center at the farm, and six students in the Juan Ramírez Bible Institute where I also teach classes.

Besides this there are the local missions of which I am responsible spiritually, the bi-weekly mission outreaches to the fledgling Pame churches in the mountains to the west of us, the children’s ministry in Buenos Aires, not to mention the local church where I pastor and care spiritually for the flock. I thank God for the ability that he has given us to serve him.

Today I write to you not with elaborate words, but rather with the thoughts and feelings of my heart. God has spoken to me recently from Micah 6.8: “Oh man, he has declared to you what is good and what Jehovah asks of you, only to do justice, and to love mercy and to humble yourself before your God”.

We are already halfway through the year. The only thing that does not forgive us is time. Our body is wearing thin. Every day our encounter with God is getting closer and our hope then will come true: “I do not want you to be ignorant brothers as those who have no hope.” We are those who have hope; the hope of his great coming and of the resurrection of the dead! Let us then walk in that holy way of living as worthy children ready to meet our father when the time comes of the sounding of the trumpet, full of joy because our reward is great in the Lord.

As I look around I find that everyone has needs. Some need understanding from their parents. I see grown men who act like children, couples who need direction for their lives, orphans, childless couples who long for children, widows who starve for companionship and sick people who need health. I see some who live in spiritual chaos, others who live in opulence but with empty hearts. The sad reality is that some poor live richly while others who are rich in worldly goods live poorly and in poverty of spirit.

Life is a fleeting dream. It seems like only yesterday that my children were born. Now I see that they are already young men with their own dreams. Twenty years have passed since God gave me my wife as my companion in life. Now there are five of us; three young men with dreams. Jasub, the eldest, dreams of being an engineer to take care of the environment. Our middle son dreams of being a lawyer or an industrial engineer, while our youngest is just beginning to dream.

Our oldest son has already finished his second semester of engineering, the middle one is going to university to fulfill his dream of being a lawyer, while the youngest is in high school. In this month of June their semesters will end and a new semester of school will begin, running from July through December. For this reason I place my hope in God that this time of Covid pandemic will end and that God will provide for the expenses of the boys for their university careers.  My God will supply according to his riches in glory!

Regarding the mission work among the Pame: I have now established local leaders in each of the communities where new mission churches have been planted – in Milpas Viejas, Sister Jerónima; in Tanlacut, Sister Mariana; in Santa Catarina, brother Tomas; and in El Coco, Sister Juanita. God will bless their lives according to their riches in glory.

Even though my body feels a little tired I know that God will strengthen me to continue forward. The harvest is great and the laborers few; pray to the Lord of the harvest to send laborers.

This week we are going out to the mountains again to baptize some Pame sisters who wish to be baptized in water. We will be having a family day for the celebration of the baptisms. Joy fills our hearts for this.

May God be with you my beloved brothers and sisters.

Your fellow laborer in Jesus Christ,

Javier Santos

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I trust that this will encourage you to continue to hold our dear brothers and sisters up in prayer. They are truly on the forefront of spiritual warfare – as we all are in reality. Only, sometimes we lose sight of the real nature of the battle because it is more masked here and less in-your-face than it is in the tribal mountains where Javier and Cristina and the team serve.

You can see from Javier’s very personal touches in his letter that he is growing weary in body, but that he remains strong in his spirit. He is no longer a young man, and age is creeping up on him as it is upon us all. As he said: “The only thing that does not forgive us is time. Our body is wearing thin. Every day our encounter with God is getting closer and our hope then will come true.” He is facing some physical issues that have been troublesome to him over the past years. Also Cristina has some rather severe physical issues that she is battling with including worsening diabetes and heart issues that would keep many others crippled and focused upon themselves. Cristina’s mother died from severe diabetes at a relatively young age after years of very severe health issues related to it.

Please pray for these dear servants of the Lord as they continue to pour out their lives “like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service” coming from the faith of these whom they so faithfully serve! (Philippians 2:17).

Blessings to each of you,

Steven and Theresa








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