Stay With Jesus
In the chaos of today, in the midst of the pandemic, in the sufferings of war, the season of Lent begins – the 40 day period leading up to Easter. I want to prepare for the coming, death, and resurrection of Jesus. I want to take the journey to hope; but some days, I am struggling. This Ash Wednesday Devotional by Alicia Britt Chole captured my heart and challenged me to stay with Jesus. I hope it does the same for you.
WHAT EXACTLY ARE WE ALL BEGINNING? A SOJOURN.
Yes, I too like the word. And its meaning is, well, meaningful. A sojourn is a temporary stay.
HERE, BETWEEN THE FULL MANGER AND THE EMPTY TOMB, WE WILL STAY WITH JESUS AS HE JOURNEYS CROSS-WARD…
and hear Him weep over stubborn hearts and turn over temple tables. (Luke 19:41, Luke 19:45-46)
and see the crowds shout “Hosanna!” and “Crucify him!” (Luke 19:37-38, Luke 23:21)
and witness the disciples pledge sincere faithfulness and deliver fear-filled abandonment. (Matthew 26:35, Matthew 26:56)
DURING LENT, WE WILL STAY WITH JESUS AND REMEMBER…
that we are the stubborn hearts
and the temple tables.
We are the fickle crowds
and the fearful disciples.
And He is our Savior.
SO WE WILL STAY WITH JESUS…
and feel His grief when He calls Judas, “friend.” (Matthew 26:50)
and believe His voice when He tells Peter, “And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” (Luke 22:32)
and love His mercy when He cries, “Father forgive them. They don’t know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34)
WE WILL STAY WITH JESUS THESE FORTY DAYS OF LENT
And on that morning, when the silent tomb gives way to an earth-shaking shout, and together we celebrate Jesus’ resurrection, our hope is that these forty days prepare us to continue to stay with Jesus…until we see Him face to face.
“WHAT A DAY, GLORIOUS DAY, THAT WILL BE”
1. Pray for Ciudad Corazón in Bogotá, Colombia. The house church movement, Ciudad Corazón, in Bogotá launched its High Season for 2022 (a nine-month season of intense rhythms of studying and gathering) with the first five Sundays all together for groundwork on the Gospel of John. This groundwork provides a toolbox for the house churches to meet the rest of the year and study this amazing gospel narrative in deep ways. Please pray for the words of Jesus to take a foothold in the lives of the church community and transform them in unimagined ways.
2. Pray for Marshall and Becca Kitron in Pucallpa Peru. Marshall teaches high school students at SAM academy. He teaches Bible, history, and PE. This year’s Bible class is Doctrines, and the history class is US History. Marshall also has a heart for discipleship. Often missionary kids are faced with the world in a different way when they return to their home countries for college. Please pray for him as he serves these students as a teacher and also a mentor. Please pray for the students that as they grow, they grow most in their faith in the Lord.
3. Pray for Dana Wilson and Proclama in Bolivia. Proclama exists to mobilize local Bolivian churches for world missions. This ministry informs, equips, and accompanies local churches in order that they may become actively and strategically involved in evangelizing the least reached peoples around the world. Proclama also orients, trains, and accompanies Bolivian missionary candidates in their journey to serve the Lord cross-culturally.
Pray for Dana and local leaders as they continue to expand this ministry. They desire to have a viable business model that could serve as a training ground and/or as a model for missionary candidates going to creative access countries. They are seeking ways to make Proclama self-sustainable and less dependent on foreign donations. They are also trying to think outside the box about how to register Proclama in Bolivia. Pray for wisdom and guidance from the Lord.
4. Pray for the Therefore Alliance LatAm Leaders Gathering. Ministry leaders from SAM, TEAM, and Crossworld will gather March 13-17 in Medellin, Colombia to discuss needs and opportunities for Latin America as the world emerges from the pandemic. Pray for their time together as they pursue new harvest fields and look to be and work better together for the Kingdom.
5. Pray for Henrique Terena in Brazil. Henrique is the director of CONPLEI, the Council of Indigenous Evangelical Pastors and Leaders in Brazil. He and his wife Corina are looking forward to a full year of traveling for conferences, teaching, and fellowship. Please pray for good health for their family while they travel.
They will be participating in the CONPLEI Youth conference on March 17-20 in Boa Vista, Roraima State. Pray for the youth of the indigenous church to experience deep fellowship with God and each other.
6. Pray for Comunidad Viva Youth in Bogotá, Colombia. Over the next 22 weeks, the Comunidad Viva team (including SAM missionaries Jorge and Ginny Enciso) will be investing in the lives of young people who have grown up as orphans in institutions and are about to exit. Viva Youth’s mission is to “jumpstart young people’s life projects by plugging them into faith-based communities where sonship with God is restored and kingdom connections are strengthened.” Please pray for the Comunidad Viva team and youth.
7. Pray for Pablo Scetti and La Casa Azul in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. Pastor Pablo Scetti leads a children’s ministry called La Casa Azul (The Blue House) in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. Using puppets, La Casa Azul engages children and teaches them gospel truths. The AIEO, a local church association, has also asked Pastor Pablo to form a children’s ministry committee. Pray that this committee and this ministry will reach children with God’s Word. Pray for Pablo, SAM missionary Jeff HAuse, and other local church members who serve with La Casa Azul and in children’s ministry that they would be rooted in God’s love and truth.
8. Pray for the Peru Field Conference. The Peru field missionaries will gather together March 21-25 for worship, teaching, and fellowship. Pray that God would deepen their collective identity as an abiding, loving, redemptive, suffering, and growing community to the praise of His glory.
9. Pray for the Ami Training Center in Brazil. Classes for the new year begin this March. Pray for the multicultural staff (pictured) as they teach, disciple, and serve the students. The students are multicultural as well, coming from different indigenous tribes. Pray for grace, unity, and love to cover this school year to the praise and glory of God.
10. Pray for the outreach of Iglesia Biblica y Verdad in Lima, Peru. The church has begun an outreach to children and their families in Luces de Villa Maria, a district on the outskirts of the city. The children have been learning about the Attributes of God, and the mothers have been studying the Gospel of Mark. Pray that this ministry would bear much fruit in the lives of these children and their families as well as in the lives of the church members as they serve together. SAM missionaries Larry and Bonnie Secrest serve and minister with this church.
11. Pray for the river ministry in the Beni, Bolivia. SAMAIR and a Bolivian pastor, Enoel, recently helped to repair and restock a boat in the small community of La Soga. This boat will be used by a local pastor-missionary to evangelize and establish churches along the river in the Beni, a logistically hard area to reach in Bolivia.