Dear friends and supporters:
We send you greetings from Sucre, Bolivia! We trust and pray that you are all well. Since we wrote you last we have been exceedingly busy. If anyone thinks that being a missionary might be boring, we have found it to be the opposite: there is never a dull moment!
Every year I try to get alone with the Lord over the 24-hour period of Yom Kippur to receive what the Lord wants to show me for our ministry for the coming year. In this I have tried to follow the example of Bob Jones and Bobby Conner, only on a much more limited basis–to receive from the Lord guidance for our own ministry. This year I was not disappointed. I received that it is time to look for “the ancient paths,” as brought out in Jeremiah 18:15: “Because My people hath forgotten Me, they have burned incense to vanity, and they have caused them to stumble in their ways from the ancient paths, to walk in paths, in a way not cast up….” This is also brought out in Jeremiah 6:16, where “old paths” are translated from the same words as “ancient paths” in the previous verse quoted here. Jeremiah 6:16 reads: “Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls.” I understood by these verses that the Lord is leading Starr and me to focus in the coming year on basic things in our ministry to the Bolivians. For us the “basic things” include teaching on the five ministries (listed in Ephesians 4:11) that God is restoring and raising up. And our role is to train and equip them to function in the body (see Ephesians 4:12, NKJV and ESV, as well as other modern translations).
Through the month of October Starr has been continuing with her Tuesday afternoon prayer meetings with wives of pastors here in Sucre. She has been greatly blessed participating in this weekly event. She and I both continued with our Wednesday night prayer meetings at a church around the corner from where we live. We also continued with our Thursday morning prayer and teaching meetings in our home. As I was able I attended Saturday morning prayer meetings hosted by the ministerial association of Sucre.
The month of November has brought a couple of major additions to our schedules. The vice-president of the ministerial association had asked me previously if he and several other pastors could meet with me on an on-going basis to learn how to function in prophetic ministry. I had agreed to get together with them and offered to have the meetings in our home. There were two other couples in ministry who could not meet with us at night but could come for an early morning meeting once a week on Wednesdays. One of these couples was passing through a difficult time both in their marriage and in their ministry, so they came over one night seeking help. They asked Starr to teach one night in the Bible study they hold every week. Starr did and it went very well.
Also in the middle of November I received an email from a couple who were and are leaders in what became known as “the Toronto Blessing.” Starr and I had met Jeremy and Connie Sinnott at the beginning of March this year when they put on a training session in tools for revival at a retreat we attended with them in Bolivia. They were the assistant pastors and worship leaders at the Toronto Vineyard Airport church back in January of 1994 when the revival started there. Both the senior pastors, John and Carol Arnott, and the Sinnotts are now traveling all over the world giving training seminars to pastors and leaders in many countries. In their email they told me that they were coming to Bolivia again in the beginning of January of next year to put on a five-day seminar in Santa Cruz for pastors and leaders. They asked me to help them with their ministry team, which I have agreed to do.
Just the day before receiving the email from the Sinnotts, a pastor and his wife whom we had met previously in Santa Cruz came to our home to stay for a couple of nights in order for me to take them to one of our weekly Saturday morning prayer meetings hosted by the ministerial association in Sucre. As the organizers of the coming event for pastors and leaders in Bolivia, this couple wanted to show a power point presentation and talk about this training seminar that the Sinnotts and their team are putting on this coming January. There was some good interest generated by their presentation and I offered to be the contact person in Sucre for those interested in attending.
Just days after the presentation concerning the seminar in Santa Cruz, the new group of pastors that was coming to our home held a three night special time of worship and ministry in one of the public auditoriums in Sucre. I went to all of these meetings. Shortly before this Starr and I decided that we could not continue with the Wednesday night prayer meetings that we had been involved in since over a year ago. With the two new teaching sessions for pastors that we were starting, it just seemed to be doing too much. However, our Thursday morning prayer meetings have been such a blessing for all of us that we have continued holding them.
Now in December, we held our first Wednesday morning teaching session with the two couples in the ministry who expressed the desire to come. It went very well. In the afternoon I flew to La Paz for a week. There I attended a retreat where I had been asked to speak. I also preached at the church meeting in the home I stay in when I am in town. I met with other friends while there.
We want to thank each of you once again for your prayers for us. For those of you who contribute to our ministry on a regular basis, as well, we are very grateful. Thank you so very much!!
PRAYER REQUEST: For the revival that seems to be beginning here in Bolivia, that the Lord will give the leaders the wisdom and the anointing to teach the Biblical truths needed to give us His orientation for what He purposes to do.
We love every one of you and pray that the Lord’s blessing continue to rest upon each of you and upon the members of your families.
In His love,
John & Starr