27 July 2018

Summer Update - 2018

As we step into our new network of churches, Arco Ministers Alliance, remembrance is prophetically ringing in our hearts, minds, and experiences. We began this adventure 30 years ago, totally unprepared and completely dependent on the Lord’s mercy and favor.

Marilyn and I recently returned from our first visit to Israel, where we were invited to participate in a conference with leaders from around the world. While there, we celebrated the 70th anniversary of the founding of the modern nation of Israel, the day of Pentecost, and the establishment of the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem. After all we heard, saw, and felt we are more convinced than ever that we are living in a powerful prophetic time on the earth.

The Lord God is demonstrating His great faithfulness to His people to the nations of the world, by miraculously bringing them back to the land, fulfilling numerous Old Testament prophecies. What a powerful sign of the Lord’s remembrance. “Save us, O LORD our God, and gather us from among the nations, that we may give thanks to your holy name and glory in your praise. Remember me, O LORD, when you show favor to your people; help me when you save them, that I may look upon the prosperity of your chosen ones, that I may rejoice in the gladness of your nation, that I may glory with your inheritance.” Psalm 106:46, 4-5
About 33 years ago in our small home group in Southport, North Carolina, three men who were traveling through town visited us. We had never seen them before, nor have we since. During the meeting they began prophesying. When they got to me they said; “God will send you to the nations, your full time staff will be much larger than the group assembled here today and you will minister in several cities and nations.” At the time it seemed completely absurd, way beyond anything we could imagine. We put it soundly on the shelf. Now the Lord has brought it back to our hearts in blazing color as He reminds us that it is His work done through His grace and power.

While speaking with a young mother at church, we asked how long she had been with us. “Oh, I’ve recently returned but I started attending about 30 years ago.” What? It turns out she gave her life to Jesus when she was 7 years old during our first Vacation Bible School program. She had faithfully attended for about 5 years and had fallen away, but never lost her faith in the Lord. We rejoiced together in our shared experience of the Lord’s goodness and in her renewed faith. 
In Covenant remembering we are in communion with the living God and transformational faith is activated. Our God who performed the mighty deeds of the past is present with us as we remember His deeds. He is the same loving God, bound to us in election and covenant, for he is Yahweh, "I am who I am."
About a week later, a couple came in for marriage counseling, about half way through the session he asked; “Don’t you remember me, you brought me to the Lord many years ago?” I was embarrassed to say, “No” - I didn’t, he seemed a bit sad but we moved on and had an excellent time with him and his wife.

The next week, in a second session, he looked me straight in the eye and said, “Are you sure you don’t remember me?” As I looked into his face the Lord brought me into remembrance and I was able to recall to him exactly what had happened 30 years ago on that eventful day. I had shared the gospel with him and his cousins through a translator and they responded, giving their lives to Christ. He said the experience had changed his life, he recalled the power and blessing he felt as I laid my hands on his head and prayed. He too had fallen away, but never lost his faith in Christ and is now back in church with his wife and three children. Later I remembered that he was the subject of our first prayer letter.
In the entrance to our church in Cuenca and throughout our network we are celebrating a prophetic vision given to us by separate sources on four distinct occasions. They saw lights going out from Cuenca to various cities in Ecuador and into countries around the world. God was going to make us a sending church and we were called to be a blessing to the nations. At the time, we were a church of less than 100, but we guarded these words in our hearts. Now as we see all the Lord has brought us into, this prophetic vision is brought  into remembrance, affirming His will and sovereign working in our lives.

Thank you for your faithful and generous support and encouragement through the years. We pray that the Lord bring you into remembrance of all the promises, visions, and plans He has given you for;

“Faithful is He who who calls you,  He will bring it to pass.”   1Thess. 5:24

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