To begin with, everything we hope to accomplish in the name of the Lord, in every place, and in every time depends on prayer (Eph 6:18), so our situation is no different than any other. None the less, looking at our situation-consider this: In our area, I’d estimate there is under 1% evangelical Christian. Everywhere you look, darkness abounds. At times, it can be overwhelming, especially considering the fact that there is only one other (Christian) English speaking family here. One day while driving to Pierda Gorda, I burst into tears thinking upon the fact that the dozens of people we were passing on the road here and there (all just going about their lives-scraping by to merely exist), were going to live out their difficult lives just to open their eyes upon their last breath to see the King of Kings and Lord of Lords pronounce judgment on them due to their sin against our Holy God, and thus be cast into a Christ-less eternity.
Also, consider this: One might think (as I did) that hearts would be more soft when there is not a lot of materialistic “things” to take pleasure in as we have in America. I was wrong. I knew about the depravity of man because the Scriptures teach it (Ro. 3; Eph. 2), but now I've seen it first hand. We have witnessed to dozens of people in our 2 months time here. Many will not even admit they've sinned against God. More will, but think they are merely backslidden, and have no need of repentance (sounds like folks back home). And then there are the ones who come to admit they are sinners and guilty before God, only to say they will “repent” another day. Four times, I've heard that already. Three times with indifference, and once with a genuine admittance that they just can’t. They just don’t see the glorious light of the gospel-Satan has blinded them (2 Cor. 4:4-6). What a death-grip he has- even on those who are not wallowing in abundance! How they throw eternity to the wind! Like Jesus, I want to say “this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting,” in reference to the enemy’s influence (Mat. 17:21).
And speaking of the enemy-there are the cults and false religions. Many are stronger Catholics then I’d believed. The Mormons and JW’s, out number us 2 or 3:1 at least (and in sharing their faith, 10:1). We are just another “choice” to choose from here, another flavor.
And then lastly, there is the church-the bride of Christ. God is doing a work in me in caring more for His bride, in loving her more and wanting the best for her. She is the bride of our Christ by the way, and I thank God that He is putting this love in me for her. But she has such a long way to go here, and my growing care for her growth creates within me a great burden. In teaching, preaching, and ministering to the church in 3 towns, we've seen so many ups and downs that I stay a bit numb. Just when I think the there is no passion, I'm surprised; and often when I'm excited because I think God is moving, something happens to undermine that hope. I'm sure many can relate to this.
I think the bottom line is this: the work is too great for us. I thought it might be like this, but I hoped it wouldn't. Now, I’m glad it is. Let me explain: Only God can do it. Nothing or no one else can. God has made that abundantly clear to us. If there is a work of God in this place, if there is a blowing of the Spirit-please know that no man, nor group of men can deserve credit. Only God, Himself, could reach down through this darkness and bring light. I don’t want credit. I’ll never deserve it, and I don’t want it. I pray for a pouring out of the Spirit of God here. I pray that there will a time when others ask, “What did you do for God to do such a work?” because I want to respond ONLY with these two words, “We prayed.” Oh, we’ll have done all we could, but no effort, no program, no creative act, no man-made system will prevail...just God. To Him alone be the glory! I want to be a part of something that can only be explained by the hand of God!
Oh, how I want all the glory to go to God. Any way other than prayer is not a way at all. Only God can fix this "mess" here, and He will do it through prayer-and much of it at that. We need to plead to God to strip us of anything and everything that smacks of self-reliance, and trust Him alone! Church back home-please pray, and then pray some more. I will not let a widow merely seeking vengeance on her adversary out beg me...will you? (Lk. 18)! Souls by the thousands all around us need to hear God’s voice, and they never will without the asking of His saints. Join me in this prayer (or one similar) if you would: “Father, for the glory due your name, and because of the grace you take delight in, pour out Your Spirit in this place to overcome stony hearts, and melt them before your gospel.”
Thank you and God bless you in the name of Christ.