My three main areas of ministry are helping the poor, homeless, and chemically dependent, maintaining three Portuguese language Christian websites, and training and equipping leaders, a lot of which I do through International Leadership Institute seminars. What really fires me up is when I can integrate all three of these areas of ministry.
Over the years the websites have been a very effective means to promote our ILI seminars. Through the Portuguese language websites we’ve connected with people who either came themselves or sent others to our ILI seminars from as far north as the Amazon and as far east as Africa. The sites have also given me a place I can send Christland graduates for ongoing Bible study and devotional material. And in this digital age they are simply one of the most effective means for carrying The Message to as many people as possible in our time.
The past two years I was thrilled to see even more integration of these areas. In the 2018 ILI seminar, eight of our eighteen graduates were from Christland, all of them serving there in some form of leadership. Even more exciting was the fact that the three men who graduated had come to Christland seeking to overcome drug addiction and had gone on to become leaders in Christland, leading others out of the darkness! Through the ILI we were equipping them to become leaders of leaders.
A couple of weeks back I asked prayers for our latest ILI leadership seminar. Well, what a blessing it was! This time, of the fourteen who graduated the program, only Paulo from our Jesus in the Streets ministry was not from Christland. All of the other thirteen graduates all serve in some kind of ministry position at Christland. We are all involved though in some part of the process of helping men and women out of the darkness and into the Light.
I’m telling you, those young people really soaked up the lessons on Intimacy with God, Discipleship, Evangelism, Family, Stewardship, all of the eight core values the ILI promotes. They opened their hearts about struggles they were having in finding time to nourish themselves spiritually while trying to care for the men and women in the Christland recovery program. They asked terrific questions, and gave some amazing testimonies about the transformation they are seeing in themselves and the lives of the men and women they serve through Christland. Powerful! Please keep them in your prayers!
To me this was one of the best ILI’s I’ve ever had the privelige to teach in. I could tell this rich, Bible based material and the hands-on, practical sharing sessions that weave through the seminar really touched some hearts that needed a breath of fresh air from the Lord. We were blessed to have top notch teachers in Pastors Francisco, Gildo (Christland’s director in Pernambuco) and three of the four pastors from my discipling group (Joel, Davi, and Jesiel). What a blessing.
Pray the Lord will continue to use these three areas of ministry effectively to reach many people with the Good News and to expand the Kingdom. Just as Jesus shared the Gospel with large groups of people across what for that time was an extended geographical area, and at the same time was close to, reached out to, and cared for those near him, I hope to do the same.
I can’t pretend to have known how God was going to use these three ministries together. I’m not that sharp. All I know is, developing and maintaining the websites, helping the poor and dependent, and mentoring leaders are at the center of what I see God having equipped me and continuing to call me to do. When it all comes together, it’s as close to Heaven as I think I’ll get here.
Thank you so much for your prayers and YOUR part in our service to the King.
Grace and peace,