Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places…Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm…praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance…
The team began the morning at 7:00 am with a focused time of prayer for the trip. Due to the recent series of circumstantial setbacks, which have felt very much like Satanic opposition, we wanted to begin this trip reminding ourselves of the reality of spiritual warfare, the importance of prayer, and the power of God.
Oye, Oye – off we go. After prayer and breakfast, we headed to the La Costeña terminal at the Managua airport. Jim Wilson, Don Wagner, Melvin Loza, Chico (Oye, Oye) Avendaño, Jessica Fariñas and Cairo Fariñas. This was Jessica’s first time to fly.
Tomorrow we begin the Bible Institute in Puerto Cabezas. We’re expecting over 100 pastors and leaders. We will be teaching our first course, To Trust and Obey – The Reliability and Authority of Scripture.
PUERTO CABEZAS – DAY TWO
Bible Institute Begins
WHAT A GREAT START! We ran out of books. We had expectations for around 100 pastors and leaders, and we ended up with 128. The people were receptive, and Tommy and Oracio, our lead pastors, are enthused about what we’re bringing to this neglected and needy part of Nicaragua.
After one of our sessions this morning, we were asked to have someone who speaks Miskitu to review what we had just taught in Spanish.
It was fun to listen to this brother “reteach” the lesson in another language.
(He really enjoyed it)
CULTURAL CHALLENGES: Cairo had some really good conversations today and learned about two of the specific challenges we’ll face in this area – Syncretism and Racism.
This area has a heavy influence of witchcraft and occult practices. Unfortunately, the untaught Christian community attempts to blend in these cultural influences with Christianity. There is also a significant divide between Nicaraguans from this area (Atlantic coast) and those from the Pacific Coast. Fellow Nicaraguans (like Cairo, Chico, and Melvin) are not called Nicaraguans – they’re called Spaniards. Interesting inter-national prejudice.
PUERTO CABEZAS – DAY THREE
Bible Institute Continues
ENCOURAGEMENT OF THE DAY: Pastor Horacio has picked up our team at the hotel each morning, and he has given us a ride in his pickup. This morning, Melvin, Chico and I (Jim) were riding in the back of the truck. We stopped and picked up three guys (Kevin, Steven, and Benjamin). During our conversation they guys were telling us how much they enjoyed the first day and how much they were learning. Then Benjamin (aged 28) addressed Melvin and Chico, and he said – When I see you young guys up there teaching and serving the Lord, it motivates me. I’m impressed that you guys, even though you’re young, you are giving your lives to serve God. It makes me want to do the same.” That was a great encouragement to Melvin and Chico. Of course, then Melvin took the opportunity to point out the fact that I’m not young…
¡LAS DOS COSAS! So I was teaching this afternoon on the Canon of Scripture and why the sexual content of Song of Solomon made it a debated book. When I’ve taught this in other places, I’ve talked about how the book is both romantic and erotic. Then I’ve asked the women, what they prefer – romance or sex, and I’ve asked the men the same thing. The women have always said, romance, and the men have always said, sex. Until today. The delightful lady in the front row, made the afternoon so much fun. When I posed the question to the ladies, almost instantly, and with energy, and a hand in the air, she said, las dos cosas (both things). She had the place in tears with laughter. It was a great moment – to enjoy laughter, to build rapport – and it gave me a great opportunity to teach about marital fidelity – something Pastor Tommy told us earlier in the day was a message these people need to hear.
FUTURE BLESSINGS: In Ken’s absence, I’ve been working on making things comfortable for him for future trips. So, the guy with the bike has assured me that he’ll lend Ken his bike for getting around on future trips. And… I’m going to see if I can arrange for Ken to stay in the house behind the guy with the bike. What it lacks in comfort it makes up for in convenience – its right next to the Bible Institute location. Your Welcome, Ken. Anytime.