Friday, September 12, 2014

September 2014 Newsletter

Our Mission: To Equip the saints [In the D.R.] for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. - Ephesians 4:12-13

Dear Family and Friends,
Grace and peace to you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.  We thank God for all of you who pray, give, and encourage this mission. I say this on the onset of our latest newsletter (NL), because truth-be-told, without  the body back home (all of you believers reading this), this mission would not exist, and there would be no NL to write in the first place. The cooperation of the saints, and unity of mind and purpose towards the gospel is a beautiful thing, and I can’t thank each and everyone of you enough. Principally, we can’t thank Jesus, our Lord, enough. Praise Him!

Celia and I have faced what was probably our toughest month since we’ve been on the mission field. Maybe the most difficult month of our lives, spiritually speaking. Spiritual warfare is very real, and I feel that we are being targeted more prominently of late. I only say this due to the constant (and more recent) onslaught of fiery darts that manifest themselves as doubts, fears, confusion and despair. But greater is He, Who is in us (God), than he who is in the world (Satan)! Please pray for us, and then pray some more if you don’t mind! I know your intercession is in large part fighting off the forces of evil. We are not ignorant as to the key to our strength and endurance– the prayers of the saints. To be sure, it is Christ, yet He delights to manifest Himself when His saints assume the very mantle he wears, namely intercession.

I feel that in the short space of a NL, I often have to switch gears abruptly to say everything I want to, and so I move on to some exciting news. Just the other day, two couples from Boruco were legally married (the more important part-the ceremony before the church will take place later)! This is always incredible news, when you consider the culture here. The bride of Christ just became that much “cleaner”. Marriage has lost its meaning in these parts. Any man and woman living together call themselves “married.” Even in the church, this language pervades. However, we are working...rather God is working through us to restore this glorious institute, and to have the culture mold itself to Christianity, not Christianity to the culture.

In closing, hard times make you run to the throne of God and Christ. Better is one day in His courts than thousands elsewhere. Oh saint, do you believe that?

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Talking to God, our Father

A blog from Jared, that's not a monthly newsletter??? Most everyone knows I don't blog that much (except for posting newsletters as I mentioned). Deanna, my sister in California went to link my blog to hers or something like that so my posts would pop up for others to see but then found out I never posted anything so didn't :)

I don't think I blog that often, because I fear the flesh. I want an at-a-boy-Jared. I want people to like what I write too much. Plus, it takes too much time. I could get carried away writing all the time...but how could I when I have more noble things to do: a family to disciple, a Bible to study, churches to ministerto, a lost world around us, and most importantly, a God to pray to...oh yeah, and a language to learn better? Probably why I don't post on facebook that much as well (though I'm trying to do it a little more often).

All that being said, here I am posting something. But I feel none of the things I mentioned above to be factors pulling at my flesh with this post, so here it goes. As the title says, I wanted to say two quick things, both in reference to prayer:

1) God is our! 

Yesterday, I had a distracted day. It was one thing after another. I didn't pray like I wanted, I was looking at cars on the internet here (they actually have like an auto-trader website...and we're trading in our truck) for longer than I wanted; I got caught up in a study about an issue regarding the doctrine of hell to the neglect of my study for Wednesday night (unrelated teaching topic), and to the neglect of some of the more noble things I mentioned above. I finally hit the bed that night feeling like a loser. I didn't even want to pray with Celia, but she persuaded me. Gathering the strength, I muttered out one word..."Father..." and tears welled in my eyes. He loves me as a son I thought (oh glorious thought)! Even though I'm a rotten thing, He loves me through His Son, and as a son- His (John 17:23)!

Now this is what made it sweet also. I immediately thought of my earthly father. I thought of how much Dad loves me, and its not hard to tell. It was a good feeling. Even when I fail, he is there for me and always has been- always has loved me unconditionally. And the picture of his love reflected the love of my Heavenly Father (this is what parents are for above all else, and it really helped me!). And even though it was a very good feeling to ponder on my earthly father's love, I knew oh even how much greater is my heavenly Father's love (Mat. 7:11). That was a great moment and I wanted to share it to encourage others.

2) We can talk to God (our Father)!

And on to the second thing I wanted to share to encourage in. Today, I bowed my head a few minutes before my Wednesday night teaching, and asked God to speak through me. Just as I started to ask, Arianna ran over to me, and I heard Celia say, "Arianna, not now, daddy's talking to God." Again, instantly my eyes welled up with tears and the magnitude of the moment hit me...I'm talking to God...God!!! What are we doing with our mundane pursuits of life?! We have the living God to commune with...oh saint, we have God...forsake all and run to Him! Now, get off this blog, get off facebook, get away from it all and go commune with God!

Thank you Father for sending your Son to save us. Thank you Jesus for revealing the Father; may your Spirit, Whom you and the Father send, ever increasingly open our eyes to see the Father's glory and love in Your face, amen.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

January 12, 2014 newsletter

Dear friends,

Grace and peace to you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ! This newsletter will be short, as we are back in the States for Celia to give birth to our second. Celia is due to “give light” (as the Dominicans say) to the baby on my birthday, February 9th. But we all know how those due dates are, so we’ll see. Please pray for a safe delivery for Celia and the baby (we still haven’t settled on a name and we are pretty sure we are having a girl).

I am currently writing this newsletter from Georgia, where we are visiting family. We also had the privilege of visiting FBC Trenton, our only out-of-state church supporting us through giving. It was a wonderful time as they threw Celia a baby shower where we received tons of much needed baby “stuff!” Thank everyone who participated– it was truly a blessing! We also got to experience something unusual on our visit here...cold weather! The lowest we have seen in the D.R. is in the mid-60’s (maybe). We hit a little lower up here in N. Georgia. Only about 65 degrees colder at –1!!! And that wasn’t counting wind chill.

We are looking forward to returning back to Florida soon, and seeing the rest of our family and getting caught up with friends, before we have the baby. Then it will be our focus to obtain the birth certificate and passport and “all-go” from the doctor to head back (probably in March).

While we are away from the D.R. (I almost said mission field, but that would suggest while here, we’re not on mission! Not true!), please remember the Salgado family (the other missionaries serving alongside us), in your prayers, as Christen is suffering from Dengue fever. Tony is a bit overwhelmed with that and trying to get everything ready for the new church building to be built in Boruco this week. Your prayers for them, and for us regarding Celia’s pregnancy are greatly appreciated and needed. We have the greatest supporters, and are truly blessed by you all!

—Gracias y Dios los bendiga,  Jared and Celia