From Bogota with Tears of Joy
Joel Van Hoogen
"I saw God turn hearts of stone into hearts of flesh." "I saw the power of prayer." "I was reminded of the process of my salvation as I witnessed it in the lives of others coming to Jesus." "In the past I realize I have defended my faith and not shared it. This week I learned to share my faith." These are just a few of the comments made by team members at the end of a great time of ministry with the Kennedy Alliance Church of Bogota Colombia. Our team had counted at the end of the week 55 individuals who had made decisions to give their lives to Christ. Pastor Abraham Martinez was quick to correct that number to 70. We may ask, "Who is counting?" The answer is, "God is. He is counting everyone who truly repents and His angels are throwing a party for each one!"
I'll remember my visit with Church Partnership Evangelism's missionary in Peru, Ignacio Mireles. We visited Javier and Paola in their home late at night. Ignacio did a wonderful job of guiding the dialogue with them. They were straight and honest in their answers, expressing their doubts and their sins. They asked questions about God's justice and about the real cost of a sin. They were all the time quite stoic and logical. In the end I expressed my satisfaction with our time together and suggested that after we left they could consider the ramifications for their lives of what we had discussed. Ignacio wasn't satisfied it was time to leave. He asked them if they were ready that night to give their lives completely to the Lord Jesus. Straight faced they paused and then nodded in the affirmative. Ignacio led them in a prayer of faith which they repeated. That prayer concluded a two hour conversation. Once it was finished they both immediately stood up and we were drawn to our feet with them. Instantly Javier and Paolo began weeping. Javier threw his arms around Ignacio. Paolo set her head on my chest crying with relief and joy.
Watching our Colombian brothers and sisters join us in the conversations with their friends and family members was another great joy; Returning for discipleship and the new converts ushering their other family members to us; hearing them exhort their family members to also come to Christ; seeing them come to services and times of instruction to learn more... for all this we rejoice.
Javier, staff member at Kennedy, volunteered that he is raising up a standing team of ten persons from their church to do CPE in their church and with other churches. Abraham is the senior Pastor of Kennedy and also the Superintendant of 34 other churches. He too asked if we would support a CPE team to go out to work with these churches. The answer was, "Yes. You raise the team and we will provide initial funds to send them out to the work. "
Your donations and prayers will make this possible. You can donate at our web site by credit card or you can send your checks to us at our ministry addresses in the United States or Canada.
By the way on these trips I attempt to post to Instagram images of the ministry. If you are interested in following please sign up and look for me as CPEJOEL. We are also working on having a Church Partnership Evangelism facebook page. Find us and like us if you have the time.