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Things That Are Different And Not The Same


Here’s a fun post for you. These are a few adjustments we’ve had to make here in Colombia having to do with daily life. This list is definitely not conclusive, but they are just some things we’ve found interesting and had to learn. ūüôā

"¬°Mira las monitas!" (Look at the little monkeys!)

“¬°Mira las monitas!” (Look at the little monkeys!)

At The Store

  • Fruit is dirt cheap. Just be sure to wash off the dirt.
  • Eggs are not sold nor stored in the refrigerated section but on a room temperature shelf.
  • Milk is not sold in jugs but in bags, also on the non-refrigerated shelf.
  • Cheese is used everywhere, but any type of yellow cheese is rare and expensive, that is if you can find any! (aka “Goodbye, Cheddar”)
  • Mountain Dew and Red Bull both are sometimes available, and are less than a dollar for what costs $2-4 in the States.
  • “Ragu” pasta sauce is imported and costs about $6 per jar.
  • Bottled carbonated water is as common as uncarbonated water.
  • Today we saw a tin of cookies (the same brand Aubrie used to buy for her Grandpa for Christmas at the Dollar Tree) for about $9.50 US.
  • We won’t be eating those cookies.

At Home

  • Hot water heaters are available, but not common. When we asked a real estate agent about this, he asked if the local water was too cold for us. We mentioned that we enjoy a warm/hot shower if we can get it, he gave us a serious look and asked, “But won’t that make you sick?” ūüôā
  • Tile instead of carpet, bars on windows instead of screens, and open windows instead of air conditioning (The AC isn’t too much of a problem since it stays moderately warm).
  • Many friendly Colombian neighbors love to play music loudly at night. Salsa, Reggaeton, Mariachi… oh yeah.
  • Rent is a bit cheaper than the US, but buying a house or property is much more expensive!

Around Town

  • Traffic signals, lines, and signs are merely suggestions and often ignored.
  • On a 3 lane road, many times there will be 4 small cars and a couple of motorcycles squeezed in between each car. True story.
  • For a city of 2 million, I’ve only seen 1 small wreck in the week we’ve been here. Not sure how that’s possible as I’ve seen how people drive here. Lol…
  • Seat belts are almost never used. Just hold on for your lives!
  • Many people have multiple cell phones. In fact, there are over 49 million active cell phones and Colombia’s population is only 47 million.
  • On many street corners there are people who carry 50-100 new-release movies with copies of the cover and a burned¬†DVD¬†in a plastic bag, selling them for 1-2 dollars each. Yes, pirated. Right next to the cops. They don’t sell many in stores. I wonder why…
  • Public restrooms are between 25 cents and a dollar to use, toilet paper is rationed, and most public toilets do not have seats.
  • People that are strangers will often stop what they’re doing for hours to help you. I find this unique and refreshing, even coming from the Southern US!¬†
  • As I mentioned in my last post, our little blonde haired girls are referred to as “Monitas” or, little monkeys. There aren’t many foreigners, even in our big city, so they get lots of attention!
  • Colombians are very proud of their heritage and superiority in society (what people group isn’t?!). I had a taxi driver preach to me for 1/2 hour last night about how terrible each other Latin American county is, and how Colombia and its people, of course, is supreme in all things. I just smiled and said how much I liked Colombia. ūüėÄ Inside I thought how great it would be if this man got the same passion for Christ and his glory… what a difference he could make!

Just because some people do certain things differently, doesn’t make them weird. Actually, it makes us weird, because we are prone to do things differently than them, in their own land. We try to have a student’s eye, watching and learning how people do things. We try to have a servant’s heart, helping and lifting up instead of expecting to be served. We try to have the Savior’s mind, who left it all, came to a different land, and gave his all for us so that we could be with Him.

5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:

7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:

8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:

10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;

11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Philippians 2:5-11

Let us all have the eyes of a student, the heart of a servant and the mind of our Savior!

Feel free to share, comment, or add to any of this. God bless!

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Hope In The Pope?


hope in the pope

 

“¬°Viva el Papa!¬†¬°Viva el Papa!¬†¬°Viva el Papa!¬†¬°Viva el Papa!”

I tuned in yesterday afternoon in time to hear multitudes of Catholics from all over the world chanting in expectation of their new leader. Flags were waving all over the Vatican. The cry of the crowd was a cry of enthusiasm, expectation and energy as the new pope was to be revealed.

Then, as the curtains were pulled back, it was announced that the pope was none other than Argentine Jorge Bergoglio, who chose the name Pope Francis. Indeed, this man is the first Latin American to ever be chosen as Catholicism’s Papal leader.

He is a simple man, choosing to be as much among the people as possible, live a simple life, help the poor and deny many of life’s dainties for the “greater good.”

He led the people in reciting the Lord’s Prayer, then a prayer to Mary.

You could see expressions of hope on the faces of all who listened.

Hope.

…But is there hope in the pope?

I need to be careful here, because my intention is not to carelessly offend those that hold to the catholic teachings. But could I be so bold as to say, Catholicism, at its core teaching, is leading over a billion people to hell.

Why is that?

Don’t Catholics believe in God? Don’t they believe in the Bible? Don’t they believe that Jesus died on the cross?

Yes, they believe all of these truths.

But what is different between biblical Christianity and catholic teaching? Simply put, it’s a matter of do vs.¬†done.¬†

The¬†Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church¬†states: “Christian initiation is accomplished by means of the sacraments which establish the foundations of Christian life. The faithful born anew by Baptism are strengthened by Confirmation and are then nourished by the Eucharist.”

Their teachings go on to express that there are 7 sacraments of the church, and in keeping these sacraments you will have favor with God and earn salvation.

But ask any catholic if they know where they will spend eternity and they always reply, “I don’t know” or “you can’t know” or “I won’t know until after I die.”

Why is that? Because salvation is depending on what they do. They are initiated into the church as a baby when they are baptized, they go through confirmation as a child or young adult, and they take the communion. They confess their sins to the priest, pray to Mary, pray to the saints and other idols, and help the poor, but it comes down to one question: What is their salvation depending on? DO or DONE!?

Friend, there is no hope in the pope. He is just a man. He may be a nice man, but he is a man who is leading people down a religious road straight to an eternity that is separated from God.

Salvation is only by grace through faith. It is either grace or it is works. It cannot be both. Jesus already bought our salvation, and offers it as a gift to all who will believe on him. Why are you trying so hard to earn it?

If you have never been biblically saved, if you are still trying to work your way to God, if you don’t know for sure if you’re eternity will be Heaven or Hell, I challenge you to do one thing. Repent.

Repent of your sin and your faith in works or religion. Then believe on Jesus. Run to Jesus. Throw out any other hope that you have and cling to the cross where Jesus paid for your sins. He says he will forgive you. He will accept you. He will make you his child and an heir to all promises. He promises to give you life. Don’t wait any longer.

The Bible says in John 5:24 “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.”

You have God’s word on it. He never breaks his promises. Don’t wait any longer. Believe on Jesus.

Christian, maybe you agree with all that I’ve written here. Would you pray with me for the billions around the world that are deceived by religion? Would you pray with me that God would raise up more laborers to take the GOOD NEWS to them, that Jesus paid it all? Would you pray that God would open their eyes, that they would know the truth, and this truth would make them free?

 

 

 

 

An Experience That Will Change Your Life


Last Fall, after thousands of man-hours of¬†planning, preparation & training, our home church hosted an event entitled “Hell’s Gates.”

Over the course of 7 sell-out evenings, more than 3,500 people walked through this outdoor reality drama depicting the end times. Many of these people left eternally changed. All of these people left challenged.

This October, you will have a chance to experience that same heart-pounding, thrilling journey of Biblical proportions. If you live anywhere near Atlanta or North Georgia, you MUST plan to be there. Bring a friend. Bring your family. Bring your church. You don’t want to miss it.

In anticipation of larger crowds, this event has been expanded to 11 nights. For detailed information and to buy individual or group tickets, visit: http://www.hellsgates.com/

If you are not able to attend, please pray that God does a magnificent work for his eternal glory.

Bogot√° — Day 2


 

 

What a day!

We saw much of the city today, but honestly we have hardly scratched the surface. We walked around several important neighborhoods, saw huge plazas and big museums, and we were able to go up to Cerro Monserrate, a Catholic church on top of the mountain by the city. We’re finding that the Colombians are very good at their Telef√©ricos (cable cars) as this is the third one we’ve ridden so far.

 

 

Here’s a few things we’ve learned while here in Bogot√°, many of which can also be applied to many other cities around the world:

 

1. People are Religious

This country is over 90% Roman Catholic, and it shows in many parts of their society. The Hotel we stayed at in Bucaramanga even had a chapel and held mass everyday for those traveling through. Catholics aren’t the only ones here, though. There are reports of Jews, Muslims,¬†Mormons, Jehovah’s¬†Witness, Taoists, Ba’hai, Atheists, several Evangelical denominations and others that claim this as their home. Everybody has religion. It’s that way in the entire world. So, what makes us different? Why would we want to come here when people already have something to believe? Read on…

 

2. Religion is Empty.

 

One person defined religion as “Man’s attempt to get to God.” But that’s just it… we can’t get to God. That’s why he came to us. Nearly every religion, including most of those found in this country, are based on works. My good deeds. You know, the scale system. Everything good I ever did is weighed against everything bad I ever did. Whichever is greater determines my eternal fate. If I were sincerely judged on that scale, I’d lose. There’s no doubt. I was talking to one of our taxi drivers about this today as I was explaining the Gospel. He seemed so¬†intrigued that we could actually be saved in spite of who we are. It’s the beauty of God’s salvation. But religion…. religion is empty. It leaves you wanting. That’s because it can only give so much hope. What we need is a relationship. When Jesus Christ becomes not only a figure of our church but our Savior and Lord, that’s when we have hope of life. That’s when things become different. That’s what sets us apart. It’s not what I do, it’s what He has done!

 

3. People are Searching.

You remember all those religions I listed off just a second ago? You know why those places are filling up? It’s because people want something else. They want hope. The dead faith of their fathers has left them wanting, and they are willing to look elsewhere for the truth that’s missing. Unfortunately, what they find many times, and even what they take a risk on and sometimes change their entire life for, is just another lie. That’s why we need to get the truth in their hands. The harvest is ripe. People are searching!

 

4. Christ’s Church is Growing.

In spite of all the lies in this place, in spite of all the deception, in spite of all the false prophets, and in spite of the need that still exists, God’s is building his work here. There are quite a few good churches that we’ve found in this city. We hope to visit two of them tomorrow. Be praying though, that God would send more laborers here. Would you pray about coming?

 

I’ll leave you a few more photos before going to bed. We only have a couple of days left before heading back to Georgia. Pray that God would help us redeem the time. Love you all….

 

Three generations grace a busy sidewalk with sweet music. You should have seen the kid on the harp. He was flying!

 

 

Plaza Bolivar is a huge open place, surrounded by official buildings, churches and... pigeons. Lots and lots of pigeons!

 

 

 

It has been common for us to see people such as this man looking through the trash for something to eat. In fact, many do whatever it takes to get by. We've seen many beggars, street performers (acrobats, jugglers, unicyclists, musicians, etc...), windshield washers (they sneak up on you while you're at stop lights), and quite a few that just seemed to have given up. Some sleep during mid day, some swim through trash for a moldy piece of bread and some stare off into nowhere, wondering if anybody cares. Do you?

 

 

Missions Quotes


Missions Quotes To Ponder

“Not called!” did you say? “Not heard the call,” I think you should say. Put your ear down to the Bible, and hear him bid you go and pull sinners out of the fire of sin. Put your ear down to the burdened, agonized heart of humanity, and listen to its pitiful wail for help. Go stand by the gates of hell, and hear the damned entreat you to go to their father’s house and bid their brothers and sisters, and servants and masters not to come there. And then look Christ in the face, whose mercy you have professed to obey, and tell him¬† whether you will join heart and soul and body and circumstances in the march to publish his mercy to the world.
William Booth, founder of the Salvation Army

“I have but one passion – it is He, it is He alone. The world is the field and the field is the world; and henceforth that country shall be my home where I can be most used in winning souls for Christ.”
Count Zinzindorf

“God’s work done in God’s way will never lack God’s supplies.”
J. Hudson Taylor

“He must increase, but I must decrease.”
John the Baptist

“If Jesus Christ be God and died for me, then no sacrifice can be too great for me to make for Him.”
C.T. Studd

“The greatest missionary is the Bible in the mother tongue. It needs no furlough and is never considered a foreigner.”
William Cameron Townsend

“Prepare for the worst, expect the best, and take what comes.”
Robert E. Speer

“The saddest thing one meets is a nominal Christian. I had not seen it in Japan where missions is younger. The church here is¬† a “field full of wheat and tares.”
Amy Carmichael

“I used to think that prayer should have the first place and teaching the second. I now feel it would be truer to give prayer¬† the first, second and third places and teaching the fourth.”
James O. Fraser

“It is just as proper, maybe even more so, to say Christ’s global cause has a Church as to say Christ’s Church has a global¬† cause.”
David Bryant

“If you are sick, fast and pray; if the language is hard to learn, fast and pray; if the people will not hear you, fast and¬† pray, if you have nothing to eat, fast and pray.”
Frederick Franson

“What are we here for, to have a good time with Christians or to save sinners?”
Malla Moe

“I tell you, brethren, if mercies and if judgments do not convert you, God has no other arrows in His quiver.”
Robert Murray M’Cheyne

“It’s amazing what can be accomplished if you don’t worry about who gets the credit.”
Clarence W. Jones

“I have seen, at different times, the smoke of a thousand villages – villages whose people are without Christ, without God, and without hope in the world.”
– Robert Moffat

“The command has been to “go,” but we have stayed – in body, gifts, prayer and influence. He has asked us to be witnesses unto the uttermost parts of the earth‚ĶBut 99% of Christians have kept puttering around in the homeland.”
– Robert Savage

“While vast continents are shrouded in darkness‚Ķthe burden of proof lies upon you to show that the circumstances in which God has placed you were meant by God to keep you out of the foreign mission field.”
– Ion Keith-Falconer

“I wasn’t God’s first choice for what I’ve done for China‚ĶI don’t know who it was‚ĶIt must have been a man‚Ķa well-educated man. I don’t know what¬† happened. Perhaps he died. Perhaps he wasn’t willing‚Ķand God looked down‚Ķand saw Gladys Aylward‚ĶAnd God said – “Well, she’s willing.”
– Gladys Aylward

“Brother, if you would enter that Province, you must go forward on your knees.”
– J. Hudson Taylor

“The man‚Ķlooking at him with a smile that only half concealed his contempt, inquired, “Now Mr. Morrison do you really expect that you will make an impression on the idolatry of the Chinese Empire?” “No sir,” said Morrison, “but I expect that God will.”
– Robert Morrison

“Here am I. Send me.”
– Isaiah

“And people who do not know the Lord ask why in the world we waste our lives as missionaries. They forget that they too are expending their lives‚Ķand¬† when the bubble has burst they will have nothing of eternal significance to show for the years they have wasted.”
– Nate Saint

“Jehovah Witnesses don’t believe in hell and neither do most Christians”
– Leonard Ravenhill

“Had I cared for the comments of people, I should never have been a missionary.”
– C.T. Studd

“Young man, sit down: when God pleases to convert the heathen, he will do it without your aid or mine.”
– said to a young William Carey

“Oh, that I had a thousand lives, and a thousand bodies! All of them should be devoted to no other employment but to preach Christ to these degraded,¬† despised, yet beloved mortals.”
– Robert Moffat

“We must be global Christians with a global vision because our God is a global God.”
– John Stott

“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.”
– Jim Elliot

“A tiny group of believers who have the gospel keep mumbling it over and over to themselves. Meanwhile, millions who have never heard it once fall into the flames of eternal hell without ever hearing the salvation story.”
– K.P. Yohannan

“I have but one passion – it is He, it is He alone. The world is the field and the field is the world; and henceforth that country shall be my home¬† where I can be most used in winning souls for Christ.”
– Count Zinzindorf

“God’s work done in God’s way will never lack God’s supplies.”
– J. Hudson Taylor

“He must increase, but I must decrease.”
– John the Baptist

“If Jesus Christ be God and died for me, then no sacrifice can be too great for me to make for Him.”
– C.T. Studd

“The greatest missionary is the Bible in the mother tongue. It needs no furlough and is never considered a foreigner.”
– William Cameron Townsend

“Prepare for the worst, expect the best, and take what comes.”
– Robert E. Speer

“The saddest thing one meets is a nominal Christian. I had not seen it in Japan where missions is younger. The church here is a “field full of wheat and tares.”
– Amy Carmichael

“I used to think that prayer should have the first place and teaching the second. I now feel it would be truer to give prayer the first, second and third places and teaching the fourth.”
– James O. Fraser

“It is just as proper, maybe even more so, to say Christ’s global cause has a Church as to say Christ’s Church has a global cause.”
– David Bryant

“If you are sick, fast and pray; if the language is hard to learn, fast and pray; if the people will not hear you, fast and pray, if you have nothing to¬† eat, fast and pray.”
– Frederick Franson

“What are we here for, to have a good time with Christians or to save sinners?”
– Malla Moe

“I tell you, brethren, if mercies and if judgments do not convert you, God has no other arrows in His quiver.”
– Robert Murray M’Cheyne

“It’s amazing what can be accomplished if you don’t worry about who gets the credit.”
– Clarence W. Jones

“Two distinguishing marks of the early church were: 1) Poverty 2) Power.”
– T.J. Bach

“Do not think me mad. It is not to make money that I believe a Christian should live. The noblest thing a man can do is, just humbly to receive, and then go amongst others and give.”
– David Livingstone

“From my many years experience I can unhesitatingly say that the cross bears those who bear the cross.”
– Sadhu Sundar Singh

“I pray that no missionary will ever be as lonely as I have been.”
– Lottie Moon

“All my friends are but one, but He is all sufficient.”
– William Carey

“How little chance the Holy Ghost has nowadays. The churches and missionary societies have so bound him in red tape that they practically ask Him to sit in a corner while they do the work themselves.”
– C.T. Studd

“I have always believed that the Good Samaritan went across the road to the wounded man just because he wanted to.”
– Wilfred Thomason Grenfell

“The more obstacles you have, the more opportunities there are for God to do something.”
– Clarence W. Jones

“Expect great things from God. Attempt great thing for God.”
– William Carey

“God’s part is to put forth power; our part is to put forth faith.”
– Andrew A. Bonar

“All the resources of the Godhead are at our disposal!”
– Jonathan Goforth

“The Indian is making an amazing discovery, namely that Christianity and Jesus are not the same – that they may have Jesus without the system that has¬† been built up around Him in the West.”
– E. Stanley Jones

“This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.”
– Jesus

“All roads lead to the judgment seat of Christ.”
– Keith Green

“Christians don’t tell lies they just go to church and sing them”
– A.W. Tozer

“I will lay my bones by the Ganges that India might know there is one who cares.”
– Alexander Duff

“Today Christians spend more money on dog food then missions”
– Leonard Ravenhill

“It will not do to say that you have no special call to go to China. With these facts before you and with the command of the Lord Jesus to go and preach¬† the gospel to every creature, you need rather to ascertain whether you have a special call to stay at home.”
– J. Hudson Taylor

“We talk of the second coming, half the world has never heard of the first.”
– Oswald J. Smith

“God cannot lead you on the basis of facts that you do not know.”
– David Bryant

“And thus I aspire to preach the gospel, not where Christ was already named so that I would not build on another man’s foundation.”
– Paul

“Why do we insist on building the largest and most impressive structures in our city when people on the other side of town are hungry, jobless and worshipping in storefronts?”
– K.P. Yohannan

“If every Christian is already considered a missionary, then all can stay put where they are, and nobody needs to get up and go anywhere to preach the¬† gospel. But if our only concern is to witness where we are, how will people in unevangelized areas ever hear the gospel? The present uneven distribution of Christians and opportunities to hear the gospel of Christ¬† will continue on unchanged.”
– C. Gordon Olson

“I spent twenty years of my life trying to recruit people out of local churches and into missions structures so that they could be involved in¬† fulfilling God’s global mission. Now I have another idea. Let’s take God’s global mission and put it right in the middle of the local church!”
– George Miley

“Oh dear, I couldn’t say that my church is alive and I wouldn’t want to call it dead. I guess it’s just walking in its sleep!”
– Church member

“When he landed in 1848 there were no Christians here; when he left in 1872 there were no heathen.”
– said of John Geddie

“At the moment I put the bread and wine into those dark hands, once stained with the blood of cannibalism, now stretched out to receive and partake the emblems and seals of the Redeemer’s love, I had a foretaste of the joy of glory that well nigh broke my heart to pieces. I shall never taste a deeper bliss, till I gaze on the glorified face of Jesus himself.”
– John G. Paton

“Save others, snatching them out of the fire.”
– Jude

“The evangelization of the world in this generation.”
– Student Volunteer Movement Motto

“Other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring”
– Jesus

“Missions is not the ultimate goal of the church. Worship is. Missions exists because worship doesn’t.”
– John Piper

“His authority on earth allows us to dare to go to all the nations. His authority in heaven gives us our only hope of success. And His presence with us¬† leaves us no other choice.”
– John Stott

“Today five out of six non-Christians in our world have no hope unless missionaries come to them and plant the church among them.”
– David Bryant

“Tell the students to give up their small ambitions and come eastward to preach the gospel of Christ.”
– Francis Xavier

“Christ for the students of the world, and the students of the world for Christ.”
– Luther Wishard

“We who have Christ’s eternal life need to throw away our own lives.”
– George Verwer

“Some wish to live within the sound of a chapel bell, I want to run a rescue shop within a yard of Hell.”
– C.T. Studd

“When I get to China, I will have no claim on any one for anything. My claim will be alone in God and I must learn before I leave England to move men through God by prayer alone”
– J. Hudson Taylor

“God has huge plans for the world today! He is not content to merely establish a handful of struggling churches among each tongue, tribe and nation.¬† Even now He is preparing and empowering His Church to carry the seeds of revival to the uttermost ends of the earth.”
– David Smithers

“The mark of a great church is not its seating capacity, but its sending capacity.”
– Mike Stachura

“Answering a student’s question, ‘Will the heathen who have not heard the Gospel be saved?’ thus, ‘It is more a question with me whether we who have the Gospel and fail to give it to those who have not, can be saved.'”
– C.H. Spurgeon.

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