Ignoring God’s voice does not make it less real. In James 4:7, the Lord tells us, “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.”
Why does our Lord is continuously working in us? Not for our own sake but so that we will take his Kingdom further. He is also permanently calling those who are to be saved. All in all, His perfect purpose in us, to clean us from sin, is being carried out. Are we being permanently purified to be used in his fields? The world out there is groaning for Him!
The following is the testimony of God’s work in Angola. Pastors from my hometown’s church (Iglesia Evangélica Pentecostal) were directed by God to start a mission there, after a believer from Angola connected with this church in Spain. It is difficult work. But God gives strenght to his children!
Being transformed by God in order to take the Gospel everywhere is God’s purpose for every believer. Are you a part of it?
The following is what Pastor David Fuentes (Chilean), currently a pastor in North Carolina, USA, told the church in Chile during his visit to the Annual Bible Studies in the southern city of Punta Arenas on December 2011.
May you be blessed! He who has ears to hear, let him hear!
I visited Angola around December 2010. Angola has about 15 million inhabitants. It was colonized by the Portuguese so they speak Portuguese. There are places from where the slaves were taken to many parts of the world. We visited some Museums and also this church, a very little church: the black went through its narrow aisles and at the end of the aisle a priest would put water in the heads and they were taken directly from there to the ships. They took all the women, men with strength, children, to Brazil, the USA and other places. Slavery still exists in Angola, though. I mean, slavery inside themselves – black people being slave to black people, there is a huge gap between the wealthy and the poorest of the poor.
So the Lord brought us there. In His mercy, He allowed us to tell of the Gospel and the response has been so different to any other place we have been before. Social pressure is so high. The police come and chop the dogs’ head with their machetes and they leave the corps in the street. The Pastors with me saw the dirt everywhere, piles and piles of dirt. What does that cause? Many illnesses. They also have these worms that they eat, big worms, as the finest meal. They also have this meal that is like a heavy paste that if you don’t eat with a salsa, it sticks inside and you can even die – delicious for them; like bread in our contry. Parents take their children downtown and when the child is not looking they run away and leave them. When I saw this I said, ‘Such evil parents!’ but someone told me ‘no, pastor, they can’t bear to see their children starve to death. They leave them so that a social institution will take care of them’. There is hunger, there is need. God has taken us there to share his Word, to share the love of God, the power of God that heals the mind, that transforms life, countries. We can see his love has made wonders in Chile.
When I visited Angola for the first time, I regretted to have bought the return ticket so late in the trip. I wanted to leave, the psychological pressure was so much! And one of those times, a kid came and sat by my side and told me, ‘Pastor, I want to be like you when I grow up’. That gave me strength and I kept on working. Once I was invited to eat at a restaurant and as I was going to eat my sandwich, I saw through the windows like 10 kids watching us and moving their mouths as if they were eating. I told my brother, ‘Brother Gabriel, let’s go outside and give them this food’. Who can eat when someone else is hungry?
Maybe it is difficult to understand this. Here (Chile) the word of God goes out every night. There, no one is teaching the word of God. Once, we found a long line of people waiting for a bus. We just said one or two words in the name of Jesus and the line dismantled completely, people started seating on the ground, avid to hear the Gospel. When we were on the bus, we gave them tracts with more information and suddenly we were out of tracts. Their eyes wide open, their hands clinging to us, all of them were saying, ‘Please, Pastor, please give one to me!’ My heart broken, I tell them ‘I don’t have any more’.
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Then when I was back in the USA – where the Lord has blessed us with a house, air conditioner, great roads, hot water, shower. When I visited Angola for the first time, I didn’t even have a toilette where to sit… And when I’m back sleeping in my big comfortable bed in the USA, I can’t sleep. There are people groaning, ‘Help us, pastor’! They don’t ask for money, but rather ‘Are you coming back tomorrow?’, ‘Where is the meeting going to be?’, ‘I want a Bible’.
Some time ago, I was in Florida with Mario Hoover, grandson of pastor Hoover [missionary from the USA to Chile, who experienced the first revival in Chile and was fired from his post as pastor by the Methodist Church in the USA for that reason]. He told me, ‘my grandfather wanted to go to Africa when he was called to Chile’. This foreigner saw the Holy Spirit falling over Chile and now we are called to Africa. We cannot go against God’s goals. We are missionaries at heart.
In the USA, after the 2nd World War, the hippies, rock music started; children also started leaving their homes, they started disobeying their parents, moral degradation started to develop. The church started replacing ‘ignorant pastors’ with pastors who went to Seminaries. There was classism inside the church! Originally, in places very simple and humble, people could hear the gospel and were converted by the blood of Christ.
Such a meeting we had in Angola too. One night, in a place that they called a Prayer place, it was very dark night, everyone was covering their faces because of the mosquitoes… people without a pastor, sheep without a paddock, and there are children who are praying to the Father there. So it’s 3am, a woman comes and tells me, “Servant of the Most High, I have brought you from a place where my fire is extinguished, there are only ashes, and before that, I brought you from a place where my fire is still burning. I brought you to this land to see the hunger”. God was describing the USA where I live currently and our country, Chile, Alleluia! There is a glorious blessing in this country, which moves us to go and do this.
The problem is that what happened in the USA is happening in our families in Chile. The only thing that is destroying what we have is the lack of authority. And when the father hits the table saying to his wife or children, “I am the one in charge here!”, it means he is no longer in charge because in order to have authority there is no need to yell or hit the table. And now the children go and do this and that, Do you want to know what is going to happen here in Chile? Look at the USA; consider their laws, What a terrible thing it would be to have homosexual pastors taking ownership of our pulpits as it is happening there! And what is God doing to warn us? In events like this the Holy Spirit tells us to recover the authority of our homes, of our churches, over our own lives. Because, what is happening when the Holy Spirit comes? Like last night, such a wonderful meeting, but it is all just leaf litter, the fire gets extinguished too fast; these is not oak wood what is burning but just leaf litter. It comes and goes, it dies, and in a moment we are just as we were before. The Lord is coming and today more than ever we need to cry out like Peter, “Lord, save me!” We have to fight with the angel, “I will not let you go until you bless me!” Or cry out like the leper, “Jesus!” and he was told, “Be quiet!” But all the more he kept on crying out, “Son of David!” They kept on saying, “Be quiet, man!” And he would continue, “Have mercy on me!” Like them, we need to cry out, Lord, have mercy on us, on my home, my children, and my church!
As someone said, when there are no tears in our pulpits, there is no revival. When you keep your mouth shut in a service, no “Amen”, “Glory to God” “Yes, Lord” our enemy is content. But when you are participating in worship with those words, the Lord starts doing, healing. There is so much need, and He doesn’t give his children crumbs, but bread from heaven, Alleluia!
Do we want to be like those that are withering? Will a curtain come one day and enclose this altar to star the dance in a couple more minutes? Will this beautiful temple be rented to a rock band to entertain this city because the church has lost all authority? A church that doesn’t satisfy the need of the lost does not deserve to be called a church. Chile needs to be on fire once more – the fire of the Holy Spirit.
We have to go. We have to tell everyone, “I am going to this or that city because in this city God opened up our eyes of what it’s going on. The apostasy is walking in our aisles and we let it!”
But the Spirit says, “Resist the devil and he will flee from you”. When we leave this place, if we are not spiritual, the pastor is going to start receiving complaints from the congregation… complaints against each other. But the Lord calls us to something better. My heart has been worried these days. For the glory of God, 17 people have heard the Gospel these days, the taxi driver, the person in the kiosk… Are we working for the Lord? Pastor, brother, there is so much need. And you have a great blessing by just hugging someone, that hug may be the answer from God to a person. God has promised blessing for us. I would like to finish by inviting you to meditate on this. I know there is need for God here too.