As Paul and Sheri prepare for “Home Service” in the summer of 2022, they are taking a look at what the Lord’s been doing through their ministry over the past few years. “…to prepare the saints…” has been their moto for many years now, and that has been the center of their work, preparing God’s saints for works of service.
One of the most important aspects of ministry is preparing others to minister as well. After all, there is only so much that any one person or couple can do. By teaching others to use their own talents and gifts in service to God by serving their fellow man, it is possible to multiply and increase the results of one’s ministry.
The recent pandemic of Covid-19 was the reason given by the Colombian government for shutting down the country in 2020. This lead to a lot of adjustments by the people and also of the church. For several months there was a program in place that required people to “stay at home”. As a result, the church was forced to find new ways of reaching out. Paul and Sheri shifted to online Bible studies which they presented to the church via Facebook Live and YouTube Live. This gave them an opportunity to reach out not only to the local church but also to people living far away. They gained contacts from Chile to Canada and even over into Europe as people were looking for a voice of hope in the middle of dark circumstances.
Yet the preaching of the word is done also through actions, not just words. The local congregation in Pereira took up special offerings (via online giving) in order to supply needed food and other necessities to needy people around the city. They would visit several super markets in order to acquire the materials for distribution and by pass the rationing that was in place in some of them and then use the mission vehicle to deliver those supplies. In this manner they were able to alleviate some of the suffering engendered by the radical measures that kept people from being able to work and provide for themselves. It was a blessing to see those who were able to work at home look after the needs of those who had no way to do so.
Another area of their ministry is in helping people to build solid marriages and families. This is not easy as the world around us continually attacks marriage and family and seeks to destroy these basic building blocks of a solid society. Romans 12:1-2 tells us that we should offer our bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is our true and proper worship and that we should not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of our mind. Then we will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—His good, pleasing and perfect will. A lot of Paul and Sheri’s ministry lies in teaching these principles and helping others to do the same. It is an occasion for joy when they receive news from people in whom they have invested time, prayer and effort and who are now ministering to others as well, teaching these basic truths of the Gospel of Jesus the Christ.
Paul and Sheri hear a lot from contacts in the US about their concerns for immigrants who are flooding the US in search of a new life, materialistically speaking. They also hear a lot from their contacts in Latin America about people who have been “seeking the American dream”, yet found only disappointment and heartbreak. They believe that the greatest help to those seeking a new life is to help them to put their life in order where they live, to “seek first the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness”, because all that they are TRULY seeking will be added to them. You see, often people believe that a new location, a new opportunity or a different country all together will result in great blessings – yet the source of their problems truly lies in a life that is in conflict with their Creator. Too often people think that their problems are due to lack of resources, when actually their problems lie in misuse of the resources they have due to a life lived in conflict with the purpose for which God created them. By reconciling people to God through Jesus the Christ, a new life is found in which true blessings abound.
Paul and Sheri are looking forward to spending a few weeks in the U.S., reporting directly to their friends and supporters about the work that God has been doing through their ministry and seeking more prayer partners who will continue to lift them up in prayer as they reach out to the world around them.