Previously on…the Wilsons
We arrived back in the US in late June ~~ Doctor appointments ~~ Visited with family & friends ~~ Helped out at Vacation Bible School ~~ Joshua arrived in August ~~ More doctor appointments ~~ More visiting ~~ Helped at church ~~ Phoebe turned 2 ~~ More doctor appointments…
Paul got a chance to get away with the men of South Potomac Church (SPC) on their annual men’s retreat. Located in the hills of Maryland away from traffic and city, the SPC men were able to focus on God’s design for man. The refreshing outdoors and insight from Genesis 2 was powerful. We looked at how God took Adam from man, to husband, to father. Godly men are few in today’s society. Satan wants to destroy our families and attacking fathers is a priority. Destroy the family and you destroy a society/nation. As men of God we need to ensure we are training up the next generation of godly men. Read the rest of this entry »
Read the rest of this entry »
- In the shower past dark
- In the middle of a movie, especially at key moments – what a bummer!
- When it is hot and we are trying to go to sleep, it quickly goes from really hot to miserably hot
- When our water tank on top runs out – without a pump we now have a water and electricity outage
- At a time for a scheduled skype meeting, often people in the states forget we can lose power.
- When company is over or about to come over
- When we already had more work to do than we had time for
- When the last power outage was long enough ago that we forgot what we did with our flashlights.
- When anyone is sick – stress added to discomfort is never a good combination
- When everything I need is in the fridge or freezer and the fridge has already been open too many times– so frustrating!
All of these have happened to us at one time or another and I was reminded of them as our power went out tonight. In fact I am even writing this by flashlight, which is not nearly as romantic as it sounds. I needed something light hearted to lighten the load. Tyler fell sick with high fevers Saturday, but thankfully it only lasted 1 day. The fridge is hanging in as well, although we did lose it for one day – also last Saturday (which was a stretching day to say the least). 5 more days until Joel is home…we are surviving one day at a time.
“What’s the point of life?” One middle school student shouted out during a Wednesday night youth meeting. Astounded by the complexity of the question, I in turn asked, “Is there any meaning in life outside of Christ?” Though the room was mostly filled with chaos and screaming kids she sat back and pondered the great depth of my own complex question. As I left the church building that night and began to rethink that question, it caused me to break free from my own personal opinions and go back to the beginning of it all. After all, the only opinion that truly matters is God’s. Why was man created? For what purpose did Jesus come? Why am I currently doing what I’m doing? On and on the questions raced through my brain. I was brought to the point of realizing that indeed life is truly pointless without justification by faith in Jesus. A man named Charles Spurgeon once said this, “Now, remember, you will never know the fullness of Christ until you know the emptiness of everything else but Christ.” You see, way back at the beginning of time, man was created for relationship with God. As we know, mankind willfully
chose disobedience and separation from God rather than relationship and fellowship with Him. This choice impacted anyone and everyone who would ever come after them. Including you and I. Romans 5:12 says, “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned…” That choice that Adam and Eve made affected you and I in a very real very negative way. Growing up I used to struggle thinking, “How on earth could a man way back at the beginning of everything affect me?” But now it makes complete and perfect sense. Why? Because I make choices that impact people all the time! I’ve made choices that have impacted my wife and my kids negatively! It’s a fact of life. And it’s been happening ever since the beginning. Thank goodness, however, God decided to make a promise. In Genesis 3:15 we see God promising to send someone who would ultimately restore the relationship between mankind and God. We know Him as Jesus. All throughout the Old Testament men were looking forward to this “deliverer”, this man who would indeed free men from their sin. And Jesus ultimately did that. But it doesn’t count for everyone, it only counts for those that believe! Romans 1:16 says, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” The all time classic John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” It only counts for those that believe! Then and only then do we have peace with God through faith as Romans 5:1 clearly states this saying, “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ…” Outside this glorious faith, life is truly pointless. The quest for meaning in life is literally 24/7, 365. Mankind will always be searching for meaning and fulfillment, yet coming up short time and time again apart from the life of Christ. Oh, how I long to share this good news with the tribal men and women of Paraguay. But recently the Spirit of God has convicted me of my farsightedness. What I mean is that so often as a missionary preparing for the field we can’t wait to get there and share the gospel in a full fledged tribal context. But is that really what God desires? Absolutely! However, are we then exempt from sharing the gospel where we’re at currently? Absolutely not! When I look at the life of the apostle Paul, he was willing to share the gospel anywhere. Even in prison! Nowhere that I can think of in the Scriptures do we find him saying, “Once I get out of prison I’ll begin my work of sharing the gospel again.” Instead we find the opposite. He was willing to share the gospel with anyone he rubbed shoulders with in or out of prison. My farsightedness has previously caused me to miss out on opportunities like I had on Wednesday night. Thankfully, God is faithful and consistent. Recently He has given me new opportunities for discipleship with a teen, giving the gospel to a group of unreached middle school kids, and meeting with a girl at AWANA’s once a week to share the gospel with her as well. Aren’t you glad that we have a God who cares and desires to continue pursuing us even when we don’t want it? Miles Stanford in his book entitled, “The Complete Green Letters” once said this, “Only those who have sought to grow by effort and failed are in the position to realize that God is the aggressor in the realm of development.” God has a commitment to our transformation. And He desires our transformation into the image of His Son more than that we even do. After all, He’s the one who said in Romans 8:29 that he has a desire for every believer to be transformed. It says this, “For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren…” Please continue to pray that we would be a light unto the world here and when we arrive in Paraguay. There are so many who do not know Him. Also, pray that the Lord would continue to place us in situations where we would have an opportunity to trust Him and share the gospel.
We received a text message Sunday evening (Sunday morning USA time) that Astun had just gone to be with the Lord. When we told Piduy he said, “We who are left behind are the ones to be pitied.” Please PRAY for Astun’s family.
Here at the school, we’ve had a great time the past couple of weeks celebrating harvest time, autumn, and Thanksgiving. We had a fall festival where I narrowly missed ‘winning’ the pie in the face auction. We also had a cricket game with the Junior High and High School students playing against the teachers. (The things you learn when there are so many different cultures represented in one school.) I am glad to say that the teachers won the game.
Many of the teachers and their families (including me) celebrated Thanksgiving together. Everyone contributed to the huge meal and afterwards we sang hymns around the piano. We had a great time remembering all the things we have to thank God for.
However, it is winter now. Here in Mexico, I am finding it difficult to remember that it is the middle of December. During the last 2 days, I’ve been driving around with the windows down in the car because the weather was so nice. I’ve even been out on walks in short sleeves. So… who’s coming to visit me???
Actually, I will be visiting the cold USA in just a couple of weeks. So please pray for travel during this time as I will be doing quite a bit of it.
Shots from the nearby annual culture show.
Cait having fun on the basketball court playing a local school.
Thank you Bible Fellowship class for the fun surprises from home!
Shirley at the Ephesians workshop.
Caitie at the local market.
We just finished up with a Nagi wedding. Which seemed to be more of a cooking feast for all sorts of snakes, birds, fishies, grub worms and the like. The event lasted for over a week! Here are a few pics to compare to your wedding photos – some of you might be inspired to add a few reptiles to your wedding celebration.
[cid:image002.jpg@01CEF29B.DFA46A30][cid:image004.jpg@01CEF29B.DFA46A30]HALELUYAHHHHHHH! We just finished up FIVE intense, hard working weeks of revision of portions of the Guahibo New Testament and celebrated with cake and Colombian coffee!! They all did a good job! We are thankful that the Lord chose not to take my father during this time as it is quite involved to bring them here. My father is still hanging in there but close to meeting his Saviour. Tomorrow morning the faithful Guahibo co-translators head down the Andes mountains on their way back to the tribe. Jhon (far left) will first go out to a new area to evangelize with our partner Alberto for a week before he returns home, so they’d appreciate your prayers. THANK YOU for standing behind us. Your prayers were answered! Rejoicing, Mark and Joyce Cain and the Translation team