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Edition for EUROPE

THE MAGAZINE THAT EDIFIES YOUR LIFE

March 2019 / Edition 782

evangelistic www.impactoevangelistico.net

YOUTH

YOUNG PEOPLE NEED TO BE LISTENED TO LIFE STORY

THE MAN THAT FORGAVE

OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE

WORLDWIDE MISSIONARY MOVEMENT

DEVOTIONAL

THE HARVEST IS PLENTEOUS The list of countries where Christians are persecuted continues to grow

CHRISTIANS

AT RISK


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WORLDWIDE MISSIONARY MOVEMENT America • Europe • Oceania • Africa • Asia


EDITORIAL

THE ORIGIN OF CONFLICTS Rev. José Arturo Soto B. International President of the WMM

“And he shewed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him. And the Lord said unto Satan, The Lord rebuke thee, O Satan; even the Lord that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee… And he answered and spake unto those that stood before him, saying, Take away the filthy garments from him. And unto him he said, Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment. And I said, Let them set a fair mitre upon his head. So they set a fair mitre upon his head, and clothed him with garments...” Zachariah 3:1-5

T

he people of Israel was wandering off and

so that He can reveal to them what is not working

had adopted a spiritually ambiguous and am-

properly.

bivalent stance. For this reason, the message of Zacha-

The prophet Zachariah had a vision where he saw

riah was a call to renovate and deepen the relationship

Joshua dressed in filthy clothes and Satan at his right

with God and to respond to His demands in an abso-

accusing him before the Angel of the Lord. Joshua’s

lute and definitive manner.

battle was not earthly nor physical, but spiritual, and

God’s order to rebuild the temple had a symbolic

not even he was fully aware of what was going on.

meaning from different perspectives. Firstly, it is the

However, in the vision the Angel of the Lord looked

need to restore their broken spiritual life. How can

at Satan and rebuked him and ordered to take the

there be spiritual life, sacrifice and worship without

filthy clothes from Joshua (Zachariah 3:1-5). From

an altar? How can there be priesthood without a holy

that moment on, Joshua the high priest overcame his

place? How can the spiritual, physical, emotional and

inaction and neglect.

material needs be fulfilled without a physical place to

In the same way, the Church have to know that

come closer to God? Secondly, it represents this peo-

the enemy lurks among the indifference and apathy

ple’s thirst and hunger for God and the effort to attract

towards the search for God, and in this situation, it is

other souls to Him.

necessary to rebuke the devil.

The high priest Joshua was experiencing a decline,

Christ publicly exposed the devil on the cross of

a feeling of failure, a weakness that did not let him be-

Calvary, showing his true colors and putting him un-

gin his spiritual task (Zachariah 3). Thanks God for

der His feet. His victory is also ours and the devil is

those who bend their knee and search for God’s face

under our feet too. Amen.

March 2019 / Impacto evangelistic

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evangelistic Founder Director: Rev. Luis M. Ortiz MARCH 2019 / EDITION N° 782 (USPS 012-850) OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE WORLDWIDE MISSIONARY MOVEMENT The World-Wide Missionary Movement, Inc. is a non-profit church with a vision to plant new churches in the United States of America and its territories, and also with a missionary vision to plant new churches wherever God opens new doors all over the World. PUBLISHED MONTHLY BY Movimiento Misionero Mundial, Inc World-Wide Missionary Movement, Inc San Juan, Puerto Rico Washington, D.C. Periodicals Postage Paid at San Juan, Puerto Rico 00936

POSTMASTER: send address changes to Impacto Evangelístico P.O. BOX 363644 San Juan, Puerto Rico 00936-3644 Phone (787) 761-8806; 761-8805; 761-8903

BOARD OFFICERS OF WMM INC. Rev. José Soto President Rev. Humberto Henao Vice president Rev. Rubén Concepción Secretary Rev. Gustavo Martínez Treasurer Rev. Rómulo Vergara Director Rev. Luis Meza Director Rev. Clemente Vergara Director Rev. Carlos Guerra Director CHURCHES ESTABLISHED IN: Germany Argentina Aruba Australia Austria Belgium Belize Bolivia Bonaire Brasil Cameroon Canadá Chile Colombia Congo Ivory Coast Costa Rica Curacao Dinamarca Ecuador El Salvador Spain United States The Philippines Finland

France Gabón Ghana Guatemala Equatorial Guinea French Guiana Guyana Inglesa Haití Holland Honduras India England St. Andres Island (Col.) Saint Martin Island Island of Mauritius Rodrigues Island Canaries Islands (Spain) Hawaiian Islands (U.S.A.) Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Kuwait

Madagascar Malaysa México Myanmar Nicaragua Nigeria Oman Panamá Paraguay Peru Portugal Puerto Rico Dominican Republic Romania Sri Lanka Sweden Switzerland South Africa Surinam Trinidad and Tobago Ukranian Uruguay Venezuela

The Worldwide Missionary Movement is a religious nonprofit organization duly registered in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and in the federal capital, Washington DC, with headquarters in both cities and in every state of the United States and other countries where we have established missionary Works. Important The offerings and donations in cash, equipment, real estate and bequests by will, in the benefit of the Worldwide Missionary Movement, Inc.’s Work, are deductible from the income tax, and receipts issued by the WMM are recognized by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) of the Federal Government of the United States of America and of the Free Associated State of Puerto Rico. n

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If you wish Write to us at our postal address: Worldwide Missionary Movement, Inc. PO Box 363644 San Juan, P. R. 00936-3644 n

Copyright © 2009 Impacto Evangelistic Movimiento Misionero Mundial, Inc. (World-Wide Missionary Movement, Inc.) All content of this magazine and each subsequent edition are duly registered at the Library of Congress, Washington, DC USA. All rights reserved. Total or partial reproduction in any form and translation into other languages without prior permission of the Director are prohibited. Under international copyright agreements, they are crimes punishable by law. n

Doctrinal Statement The Worldwide Missionary Movement adheres to the fundamental doctrines of Scripture, such as: n

Legal deposit made on the National Library of Peru Nº 2011-02530 Christian Pentecostal Church-Worldwide Missionary Movement: Horacio Cachay 388 - La Victoria - Lima 13 - Perú

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Printout: Quad/Graphics Perú S.A. Segedinski put 72 / 24000 Subotica / Republic of Serbia WORLDWIDE MISSIONARY MOVEMENT office@rotografika.rs / www.rotografika.rs America • Europe • Oceania • Africa • Asia

• The inspiration of the Holy Scriptures: 2 Timothy 3:15-17, 2 Peter 1:19-21. • The Adorable Godhead in Three Persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit: Matthew 3:16-17, 17: 1-5; 28:19, John 17: 5, 24, 26, 16:32, 14:16, 23, 18:5, 6, 2 Peter 1:17,18; Revelation 5. • Salvation by Faith in Christ: Luke 24:47, John 3:16, Romans 10:13, Titus 2:11, 3:5-7. • The New Birth: John 3:3, 1 Peter 1:23, 1 John 3:9. • Justification by Faith: Romans 5:1, Titus 3:7. • Water Baptism by Inmersion, as commanded by Christ: Matthew 28:19, Acts 8:36-39. • The Baptism in the Holy Spirit subsequent to salvation, speaking in tongues according to: Luke 24:49, Acts 1:4, 8, 2:4. • Divine Healing: Isaiah 53:4, Matthew 8:16, 17, Mark 16:18, James 5:14, 15. • The Gifts of the Holy Spirit: 1 Corinthians 12:1-11. • The Fruits of the Holy Spirit: Galatians 5:22-26. • Sanctification: 1 Thessalonians 4:3, 5:23, Hebrews 12:14, 1 Peter 1:15, 16, 1 John 2:6. • Ministry and Evangelization: Mark 16:15-20, Romans 10:15. • Tithing and Maintenance of the Work: Genesis 14:20, 28:22, Leviticus 27:30, Numbers 18:21-26, Malachi 3:7-10, Matthew 10:10; 23:23. • The Rapture of the Church: Romans 8:23, 1 Corinthians 15:5152, 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17. • The Second Coming of Christ: Zechariah 14:1-9, Matthew 24:30, 31; 2 Thessalonians 1:7, Titus 2:13, Jude 14, 15. • The Millennial Kingdom: Isaiah 2:1-4, 11:5-10, Zechariah 9:10, Revelation 19:20, 20:3-10. • New Heavens and New Earth: Isaiah 65:17, 66:22, 2 Peter 3:13, Revelation 21:1.


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DEVOTIONAL

SUMMARY Search us on:

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6.- Cover THE WORLD WATCH LIST

Open Doors presents its annual ranking of the 50 countries where Christians face persecution. 14.- Infography PERSECUTION OF FAITH Information about the harassment endured by Christians around the world. 16.- International WHAT IS HAPPENING TO THE WEATHER? Heavy rainfall, floods,droughts and storms cause ravages on earth. 18.- Current news THE FLOATING BOOKSTORE A ship sails with almost one million books of 5,000 different titles. 20.- Youth I NEED TO BE LISTENED TO Young people and adolescents need unconditional support. 22.- Women THE TRUE VALUE OF WOMEN AS GRANTED BY GOD The consolidation of the dignity of women as coheiresses of the grace of life is essential. 24.- Music TELL ME THE OLD, OLD STORY Article about the hymn written by Katherine Hankey, which is focused on the Lord’s life. 26.- Literature HE BECAME A MAN A book that describes the political, social and religious scenario at the time of Jesus-Christ.

30.- Hero of faith FAITHFUL UNTO DEATH

John Frith preached the Word in the early 16th century, when spreading the Gospel was a suicidal mission. 34.- Life story THE MAN THAT FORGAVE Biographical note of a Christian that now lives in peace because he learned to free himself from hatred and resentment. 40.- Interview A LIGHT OF HOPE IN THE PHILIPPINES The missionary Deyle Laguado speaks about the Work's growth in Southern Asia. 42.- Apologetics JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES Revelations about the message of this group, which is full of distortions, deceptions and false doctrine. 44.- Devotional

THE HARVEST IS PLENTEOUS 46.- Devotional

ONLY THE VIOLENT ARE WORTHY OF HEAVEN 48.- Devotional

WALKING WITH GOD 50.- Events

THE WMM EVANGELIZING ACROSS THE WORLD 66.- Letters

MESSAGES FROM OUR READER

March 2019 / Impacto evangelistic

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COVER

THE WORLD WATCH LIST

The World Watch List is Open Doors’ annual ranking of the 50 countries where Christians face the most extreme persecution. Eliseo Aquino Curi

March 2019 / Impacto evangelistic

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COVER In 2018, 4305 Christians were killed and 3125 were arrested according to the World Watch List

(WWL) made by Open Doors. This organization supports persecuted Christians in more than 70 countries where Christianity is legally and socially discouraged, oppressed and rejected. The ranking also reports that 1847 churches were attacked last year. There are currently more than 245 million Christians facing intimidation, imprisonment and even death for their faith in Jesus. Marco Cruz, director of Open Doors for Latin America, highlights the importance of the WWL: “The list is a tool to monitor and measure the scale of persecution against Christians worldwide.” Asia Bibi’s story is a very clear example of Christian persecution. She was sentenced to death in 2010 and spent eight years in prison awaiting the fulfillment of her sentence. After many trials, meetings and attempts to appeal the unfair decision, her sentence was revoked and she was finally released in October 2018. Despite the demonstrations and efforts of Islamic extremists demanding the review of the final decision, Asia Bibi’s acquittal was confirmed in January 29 of the same year. “This proves that God is miraculous and powerful,” says Marco Cruz. Open Doors’ report is based on questionnaires distributed among local Christian leaders and experts in more than 100 countries where persecution against Christians is an issue. These questionnaires analyze the level of oppression faced by Christians in their private, family, community, national and church life. Then, the level of anti-Christian violence is established based on an exhaustive research that determines the minimum number of Christians killed and churches attacked because of their faith. The sum of the six factors gives a final score that establishes the country’s position in the WWL. THE BIGGEST PERSECUTOR

According to Open Doors, North Korea leads the WWL as the biggest persecutor. There, the State is the primary driver of Christian persecution due to its communist (anti-Christian) ideology. Christians are seen as hostile elements in society that have to be eradicated. As a result of an ongoing indoctrination, neighbors and family members remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity to the authorities. Children are particularly subject to this indoctrination, and they even report against their own parents. “Growing up, the first time I saw a man being executed was a Christian. They said he had smuggled Christian things into the country and had enticed people into the church. The whole village was told to come and watch.

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WORLDWIDE MISSIONARY MOVEMENT America • Europe • Oceania • Africa • Asia

The children were allowed to sit at the front to get a good view. It enforced this belief that Christians were dangerous.” This is an anonymous testimony from the Open Doors USA webpage. MORE CRIMES

Nigeria is once again the country with the largest num-


According to Open Doors, North Korea leads the WWL as the biggest persecutor. There, the State is the primary driver of Christian persecution due to its communist (anti-Christian) ideology.

ber of deathly crimes against Christians. 3731 people were killed in 2018, almost twice the number of 2000 deaths registered in 2017. In addition, Christian towns have been abandoned as a consequence of the violence in the country. Believers had to flee from their attackers, who move across the region and go unpunished, according to the report.

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COVER

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According to the WWL, India is the country in which the most attacks against Christians have occurred, with 12 512 cases. Hindu nationalist extremism has been on the rise over the last years. Radical groups and furious mobs incited by Hindu religious leaders mean a serious threat for Christians.

CAUSES OF PERSECUTION Islamic extremism: Violent or non-violent actions taken to submit Christians to Islam.

Religious nationalism: Use of the predominant religion

of a country (generally Hinduism and Buddhism, but also Orthodox Judaism and other religions) to suggest that Christians do not meet citizenship requirements. Tribal antagonism: Use of cultural and tribal norms based on traditional religion to determine that Christians are foreigners. Ecclesiastical arrogance: Imposition of one Christian denomination as the sole legitimate expression of Christianity in a country.

Communist and post-Communist oppression:

Control of churches through impartial registration systems. Secular intolerance: Eradication of religious expressions from the public eye to impose atheistic secularism. Dictatorial paranoia: Absolute state control to stay in power, including the prohibition of organized groups, such as religious ones. Organized corruption: Creation of an anarchic and corrupted environment as a means for self-enrichment. Christians that speak out against this become targets.

Open Doors USA also reports that several Nigerian towns were razed over by Fulani militants in June 2018. These communities were located nearby Jos, a city known as the heart of Christianity in the middle belt of northern Nigeria. Around 200 Christians were killed, but the number may be even greater, as many are still missing. MORE ARRESTS

According to the report, China is the country with the biggest number of Christians arrested, tried or imprisoned: 1131 victims. Communist authorities are limiting freedom in an

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A pastor said that more than 50 heavily armed Fulani herdsmen surrounded the village of Nghar, in Gashes district, at around 3:30 a.m. They burnt down all the houses and two churches. attempt to control society and stay in power. Since the Communist Party took over the implementation of the regulations on religion, the treatment of religious groups, especially Christians, became much harsher across the country, as they are the biggest social force in China that is not ruled by the State. “The situation is tense, but we know God is on the move in spite of the restrictions. We held a regional leaders’ meeting and agreed that when one of us is arrested, another will pick up the work.” This is the testimony of a Chinese sister posted in the Open Doors USA webpage. MORE ATTACKS

According to the WWL, India is the country in which the most attacks against Christians have occurred, with 12 512 cases. Hindu nationalist extremism has been on the rise over the last years. Radical groups and furious mobs incited by Hindu religious leaders mean a serious threat for Christians, and they go away with it because authorities at all levels are under the influence of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), a radical Hindu party. The body of Pastor Gideon Periyaswamy in Adaiyalachery was found hung from the roof of his house on January 20, 2018, a week after he complained to the police about opposition from radical Hindus. In contrast, 569 churches attacks were attacked in Nigeria in 2018. Many Christians have been dispossessed of their lands or means of livelihood, while others face discrimination and social exclusion. Corruption has weakened the State, making it ill-equipped to protect Christians from violence perpetrated by groups such as Boko Haram and Fulani. According to Open Doors USA, a pastor said that more than 50 heavily armed Fulani herdsmen surrounded the village of Nghar, in Gashes district, at around 3:30 a.m. They burnt down all the houses and two churches. 27 people died in one same house on fire. Only one person, the younger brother of the pastor’s wife, survived as he managed to escape through the roof.

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COVER

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4305 1847 3150 Christians killed

churches attacked

Christians arrested

North Korea

Engines of persecution (POST-) COMMUNIST OPPRESSION

DICTATORIAL PARANOIA

39

Authors of the persecution RULERS AND AUTHORITIES

POLITICAL PARTIES

FAMILY MEMBERS

CITIZENS AND SOCIAL MOVEMENTS 47

Causes of persecution of Christians in North Korea.

PERSECUTION OF FAITH The persecution of Christians is a complex issue with many nuances. Every act of persecution deprives people from their basic rights for their faith in Jesus-Christ. Among human rights, the right to religious freedom is undoubtedly one of the most fragile as it concerns other rights, such as freedom of thought and conscience, freedom of belief and

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freedom of speech. This fundamental right is stated in Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Open Doors’ report gathers information from more than 100 countries worldwide and prepares a ranking of the 50 countries where Christians are the most persecuted.


High persecution

Extreme persecution

Very high persecution

41

34

26 37

35 22

25

24

49 4

11 31

12 6 21

23

13 38

15 7 28

45

29

It is forbidden

27

2

9

43

16

1

17

50

to be 5

32

48

10

44

Christian in

33 18

North

20 19

Korea.

8 46

3

40

42

36 30

14

There are approximately

245

million

Christians persecuted worldwide.

Christians are persecuted in many countries, but mostly Asian and African countries are included in the World Watch List. In fact, 1 out of 3 Christians in Asia suffer high, very high or extreme persecution, while 1 out of 6 in Africa.

1. North Korea

18. Myanmar

35. Morocco

2. Afghanistan

19. Laos

36. Brunei

3. Somalia

20. Vietnam

37. Tunisia

4. Libya

21. Central African Republic

38. Qatar

5. Pakistan

22. Algeria

39. Mexico

6. Sudan

23. Turkmenistan

40. Kenya

7. Eritrea

24. Mali

41. Russia

8. Yemen

25. Mauritania

42. Malaysia

9. Iran

26. Turkey

43. Kuwait

10. India

27. China

44. Oman

11. Syria

28. Ethiopia

45. United Arab Emirates

12. Nigeria

29. Tajikistan

46. Sri Lanka

13. Iraq

30. Indonesia

47. Colombia

14. Maldives

31. Jordan

48. Bangladesh

15. Saudi Arabia

32. Nepal

49. Palestinian Territories

16. Egypt

33. Bhutan

17. Uzbekistan

34. Kazakhstan

50. Azerbaijan Source: opendoors.org

March 2019 / Impacto evangelistic

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INTERNATIONAL

WHAT IS HAPPENING TO THE WEATHER? Temperatures have dropped to -50 degrees in the northern United States,; high temperatures have been recorded during the European winter; snow has fallen at its lowest level in Hawaii; there have been heavy rainfall and floods in several South American countries. What is happening to the world? ¿El clima está alterándose realmente? Is something really wrong with the weather? Many fear that there is. Meteorologist Dr. Peter Werner from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research says: “When we observe global weather—the extremes in precipitation, floods, droughts, storms—and note its development, we can rightly say that these extremes have quadrupled over the last 50 years.” Many feel that the unusual weather patterns are evidence of global warming—the so-called greenhouse effect run amok. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency explains: “The greenhouse effect is the rise in temperature that the Earth experiences because certain gases in the atmosphere (water vapor, carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, and methane, for example) trap energy from the sun. Without these gases, heat would escape back into space and Earth’s average temperature would be about 60°F [33°C] colder.” Many charge, however, that man has unwittingly tampered with this natural process. An article in Earth Observatory, an on-line publication of the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration, says: “For decades human factories and cars have spewed billions of tons of greenhouse

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WORLDWIDE MISSIONARY MOVEMENT America • Europe • Oceania • Africa • Asia

gases into the atmosphere… Many scientists fear that the increased concentrations of greenhouse gases have prevented additional thermal radiation from leaving the Earth. In essence, these gases are trapping excess heat in the Earth’s atmosphere in much the same way that a windshield traps solar energy that enters a car.” Skeptics point out that only a small percentage of greenhouse gas emissions are man-made. However, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a research group that is sponsored by both the World Meteorological Organization and the United Nations Environment Programme, reports: “There is new and stronger evidence that most of the warming observed over the last 50 years is attributable to human activities.” Climatologist Pieter Tans of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says: “If I had to put a figure on it, I would say that it is 60 percent our fault… The remaining 40 percent is due to natural causes.” What, then, has been the apparent result of the buildup of man-made greenhouse gases? Most scientists now agree that the earth has indeed heated up. Just how dramatic has this temperature rise been? The 2001 IPCC report says: “Global surface temperatures have increased between 0.4 and 0.8°C since the late 19th century.” Many researchers believe that this small rise could account for the dramatic changes in our weather. Since many view this problem as man-made, cannot man solve the problem? A number of communities have already enacted laws to limit pollution emissions from cars and factories. However, such efforts—commendable as they are—have had little or no impact. Pollution is a global problem, so the solution would have to be global! In 1992, the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro was convened. Ten


years later, in Johannesburg, South Africa, the World Summit on Sustainable Development was held. Some 40,000 delegates attended this meeting in 2002, including about 100 national leaders. Antipollution measures are costly; often, poorer nations simply cannot afford them. Some experts thus fear that energy restrictions will send industries fleeing to poorer lands where they can operate more profitably. Even the best-intentioned leaders, therefore, find themselves caught in a bind. If they protect their nations’ economic interests, the environment suffers. If they push for environmental protection, they endanger the economy. Severn Cullis-Suzuki, of the World Summit advisory panel, therefore argues that change must come through

individual action, saying: “Real environmental change depends on us. We cannot wait for our leaders. We have to focus on what our own responsibilities are and how we can make the change happen.� It is only reasonable to expect people to behave with respect for the environment. But getting people to make needed changes in their life-styles is not so easy. To illustrate: Most people agree that automobiles contribute to global warming. Hence, an individual may want to cut back on driving or do without an automobile completely. But doing so may not be so easy.

(*) Based on information from the Internet.

March 2019 / Impacto evangelistic

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CURRENT NEWS

THE FLOATING BOOKSTORE A ship sails with almost one million books of 5,000 different titles. This charity initiative, operated from Germany, aims at providing equal access to literature as well as carrying out social and humanitarian aid work.

This is Logos Hope, a ship that is operated by GBA Ships (Gute Bücher für Alle, in German), a charitable organization registered in the German city of Mosbach, which since 1970 is responsible for floating bookstores navigating the world “to bring knowledge, help and hope”, according to its creators. The Logos Hope – whose name comes from “logos”, which means “word” in Greek – entered service in 2009. It is one of four ships of its kind operated by GBA Ships. The first GBA Ships bookstore was called Logos and in 1971 it traveled to Madras, India, where in a single day it was visited by more than 15 thousand people. The boat added to its nautical list more than 250 ports in 130 countries and territories. The second ship, acquired in 1977 by the same organization, was called Doulos (“servant” in Greek) and was recognized in the Guinness book as the oldest ship still in activity making interoceanic voyages.

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During the 70s and 80s, the two boats went around the globe. Later, due to the high demand of countries that asked to be considered by the humanitarian organization, it was decided to acquire a new, much larger, 12,000-ton vessel. CULTURAL EXCHANGE

“We want to visit countries and share knowledge through books and also with our culture. You have to integrate all the experiences”, says in an interview with DW Ji Hyeon Lee, crew member of Logos Hope. Ji Hyeon Lee is from South Korea and joined the project in 2016. Logos Hope volunteers can choose between short stays of 3 months and longer stays from 1 to 2 years. Likewise, no member of the crew receives a salary, regardless of whether it is the captain or a cleaner. Each member is responsible for managing their funds through sponsorships to cover the cost of their time of service. On land and sea, crewmembers are always very active. The GBA Ships organization is responsible for training them during the period of service in areas such as communication, ethics, leadership, intercultural perspectives and conflict resolution. FOR EVERY TASTE

The books that Logos Hope carries are as diverse as its crew. Most of its titles are in English, although there are also in other languages, such as German and Spanish. “The ship is sailing all the time, so we receive mate-


rial through shipping containers. Therefore, books change constantly. We try to offer book in the language of the visited country. Last year we toured Latin American countries, therefore, we have 70 percent of books in Spanish and 30 percent of books in English,” the volunteer explains to DW. Almost all books come from the United States. These are donations from publishers, but also members of the Logos Hope are responsible for buying literature when they visit different corners of the world. The subjects of the books are endless: art, science, personal growth, sports, philosophy, gastronomy, history, hobbies and religion. Regarding this last topic, the ship has a space dedicated to show Bibles in different languages. “It’s not just about religion. It’s about helping, sharing knowledge. It is our slogan and main objective,” says Ji Hyeon Lee. “But in addition to selling books, in each country we

visit we try to do some social project, especially when there are natural disasters, wars or diseases,” says the South Korean crewmember. The missions in Papua New Guinea (1999) and Ghana (2010-2016) marked a historic event for Logos Hope. In the case of the oceanic country, leaders of opposition groups of a civil war met in order to achieve a reconciliation. In the case of the African nation, hundreds of tribal chiefs left their differences aside to attend cooperation seminars aboard the bookstore. Other projects that stand out are the HIV awareness programs carried out in West Africa; the construction of orphanages in Myanmar; donations of more than 50,000 books to community groups and universities in Liberia; sewing workshops for women in Sri Lanka; and the reconstruction of homes on Antigua and Barbuda Island. (*) Taken from www.dw.com.

March 2019 / Impacto evangelistic

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YOUTH

I NEED TO BE LISTENED TO Steven López

Human beings in general, and young people and adolescents in particular, may not always know how to face hardship. They need unconditional support, even when they do not ask it. In difficult times, friends, family members and partners play a vital role.

29-year-old VanDamme Hirakota would spend his afternoons at the central metro station of Tokyo, Japan, with the only intent to listen to others. He carried a sign saying “I listen,” and many people approached him. He would not give any piece of advice, he just lis-

tened. He listened to around 12,000 souls, including businesspeople, entrepreneurs, teachers and youngsters. They opened their hearts to him and talked about their problems, and thus fulfilled their need to be listened to. In today’s society, very few listen to others. People live their lives in a hurry and fail to see those around, which sometimes are silently crying for help and end up making terrible decisions due to the lack of attention. Young people suffer the most for this modern phenomenon and are ignored even by their own parents and relatives. Empathic listening is not everyone’s forte. Even close friends fail at it by ignoring those in trouble so as not to be seen as meddling, or by becoming a useless shoulder to cry with phrases such as “I told you so,” “You are so naïve,” “That’s what you get for trusting everyone,” which do not help much, or nothing at all, those who need to unburden themselves of worries and concerns. According to Ángel Peralbo, psychologist from the Children & Adolescent Clinic, the life stage when people needs to be listened to the most is youth. “Young people are in a difficult stage in their lives where they need to make key decisions. Stressful and confusing experiences may hurt something as important as their self-esteem. We need to remove the pressure and boost their self-confidence,” says Peralbo. In difficult times, the role of parents towards their children is extremely important. It is essential to establish a friendly communication, without lectures or rejection.

DANGERS OF NOT FINDING HELP In hard times, most young people need to listen to words of encouragement from family, friends or partner to move on. But sometimes they are judged, criticized and discouraged instead. The consequences of not being listened to may be the following:

DEPRESSION:

LONELINESS:

SOCIAL NETWORKS:

Every year, 800,000 people commit suicide around the world. Suicide is the second leading cause of death in the age group 15-29.

Nowadays, around two million people aged 19-32 live in complete loneliness, with no one to listen to them, love them or support them.

They may become a dangerous shelter. Many young people look in social networks for a helping hand, a word of encouragement or a friend to trust, but this can lead to unexpected and serious situations. * Source: World Health Organization (WHO)

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JUST LISTEN Normally, human beings need to be listened to after a bitter disappointment, a failure or a specific pain. They are not looking for concrete answers. • A truly supportive person can listen without judging or questioning and create a warm environment where it is easy to communicate. • A true listener watches out the words used with the person who needs to be listened to and avoids expressions such as “It’s not a big deal”, “Don’t worry, everything is OK”, “It’ll be over soon.” • People who need to be listened to cannot make sense of phrases such as “Everything will be alright” because nothing is all right to them. They only create an emotional gap.

“To create an honest and close bond with their children, parents need to teach them how to communicate in an effective way by becoming a role model themselves.

Parents need to be supportive and inspire trust,” reveals the Psychotherapy Center Specialized in Family Therapy of Barcelona in its report “Communication between Parents and Children”. Not being listened to leads many young people to depression, suicide and self-abandonment. Social networks have become an easy and simple way to vent their problems. However, the misuse of these tools has serious consequences such as human trafficking, porn or video game addiction. MORE ACTIONS

When young people want to be listened to, it is not enough to say “Call me whenever you need me” or “Call me when you feel down.” People appreciate actions more than words. People that offer their help without being asked to are the most appreciated. An empathic and wise support is characterized by gestures that heal the soul and heart. Young people need to surround themselves with true, honest people, and to put their trust in the hands of God. “Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.” Psalm 55:22

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WOMEN

THE TRUE VALUE OF WOMEN AS GRANTED BY GOD Eliseo Aquino

It is very important to know the true value of women because their role is currently manipulated for ideological purposes. The consolidation of the dignity of women as co-heiresses of the grace of life is essential.

* They provide clothing for their family. Proverbs 31:13, 19. * They provide food and clothing as needed. Proverbs 31:21. * They manage their home wisely. Proverbs 31:27.

* They bring food from afar. Proverbs 31:14. * They are wise in business. Proverbs 31:16. * They are wise managers. Proverbs 31:16. * They are resourceful and productive. Proverbs 31:18. * They know how to deal with merchants. Proverbs 31:24.

* Their husbands trust in them. Proverbs 31:11. * They do their husbands good. Proverbs 31:12. * They are a source of respect. Proverbs 31:23. * They are praiseworthy. Proverbs 31:28.

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The view of the role of women throughout history has always been unfavorable, according to historian César Vidal in his interview “The Bible, the Reformation and Women’s Dignity.” “Women were seen as second-class citizens in different ancient cultures. Besides being assigned to certain roles, they were also seen as expendable human beings. For this reason, women were humiliated and despised to the point of being considered as animals,” he states. All of this changed when Jesus arrived. He, through his messages, restored women’s dignity. If we read the biblical stories, we can see how Christ raised up many women and gave them a place among the disciples. In the first stages of primitive Christianity, women played an important role. There is evidence of this in

THEY CARE FOR THEIR FAMILY

THEY ARE EMPATHETIC WITH THE DISPOSSESSED

Proverbs 31: 13, 19, 21, 22, 27, 28.

Proverbs 31:20

* They stretch out their hand to the poor. * They reach forth their hands to the needy.

THEY DO BUSINESS EFFICIENTLY

THEY DEVOTE THEIR LIFE TO GOD

Proverbs 31:14, 16, 18, 24

Proverbs 31:30

THEY HELP THEIR HUSBANDS

THEY DESERVE A SPECIAL REWARD

Proverbs 31:11, 12, 23, 28, 29

Proverbs 31:25, 28

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Virtuous women Women face specific challenges and therefore have specific qualities, as stated by the Lord in Proverbs 31.

* They fear the Lord. * They have spiritual maturity and beauty.

* Their children call her blessed. Proverbs 31:28a. * Their husband praise them. Proverbs 31:28b. This proverb presents the value of a Christian woman.


Galatians 3:28: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus,” according to Vidal. Apostle Paul talks in his letters about the love and sacrifice of the women that supported him in his ministry. According to Roman philosopher Porphyry, Christian women had a very important role in the evangelization carried out by the primitive church. César Vidal states that this Christian view of women disappeared in the Middle Ages, and was replaced by a misogynistic interpretation that came from the classic Greek culture and was absorbed by Catholicism. The role of women was distorted and they were ostracized from society, which still occurs in modern times. Another change is produced by the Reformation. Women were allowed to learn to read and write. The great reformers wrote about women’s dignity and value in marriage, love, and society. This becomes evident in the countries that embraced the Protestant Reformation. In more recent times, the role of women has been restored once again, not only in social but also spiritual terms. Many women have become missionaries and travel around the world. God’s hand has manifested in many countries through these women.

Nowadays, the condition of women is still evolving. Feminist groups have been created to face injustice towards women and to restore their dignity. Unfortunately, some of them try to do so with ideas that oppose the Bible. They even try to distort a very important role of women: motherhood. For many, being a mother is an obstacle to attain success. In John MacArthur’s book “Twelve Extraordinary Women,” he states that the value of women in society is immeasurable. The Bible acknowledges their importance (Proverbs 12:4; 31:10; 1 Corinthians 11:7); from the first to the last page, the Bible describes women as extraordinary beings. In the Scriptures, God grants women a special honor and He states that they must be treated with utmost respect (1 Peter 3:7). He tells husbands to love their wives as Christ loved the Church and give themselves to them (Ephesians 5:25-31).

Sources: “Twelve Extraordinary Women,” by John MacArthur. Interview to historian César Vidal, “The Bible, the Reformation, and Women’s Dignity.” “History of Rome,” by Francisco Javier Lomas Salmonte.

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MUSIC

TELL ME THE OLD, OLD STORY The hymn, written by Katherine Hankey more than a century ago, has touched the hearts of millions of people with its message about the Lord’s life. “Tell Me the Old, Old Story” was written by Katherine Hankey on January 29, 1866, as an introduction for a small Christian leaflet. Nevertheless, due to its direct and clear message about Jesus-Christ’s life, it soon became a popular song to praise the Lord. The hymn has been translated into several languages. Hankey, born in London on January 12, 1834, wrote her famous poem while she was recovering from a serious illness. In these difficult times, she prayed and reflected on what the Son of God did to save humanity, and this inspired her to make a long composition that was later set to music by writer William Howard Doane. Doane listened to the poem when it was recited by a British Major General in a convention in Montreal in 1867. He, who is the composer of more than two thousand songs, made a sweet melody for Hankey’s poem which is still played. Soon after, the version by the American composer, who also set to music many hymns by Fanny Cosby, became a very popular song. LOYAL SERVANT

As member of a Christian family, Hankey served the Lord from a very young age. Inspired by the evangelistic work performed by English preacher John Wesley, she became teacher at a Sunday school and organized a biblical study group in London’s West End in her adolescence. From that moment, her greatest joy came from witnessing the conversion of the poor and humble of heart to Christianity. Guided by the Redeemer, she travelled to South Africa to help a handicapped relative who wanted to go back home.

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TELL ME THE OLD, OLD STORY 1 Tell me the Old, Old Story, Of unseen things above, Of Jesus and His glory, Of Jesus and His love. 2 Tell me the Story simply, As to a little child, For I am weak and weary, And helpless and defiled. 3 Tell me the Story slowly, That I may take it in, That wonderful redemption, God’s remedy for sin. 4 Tell me the Story often, For I forget so soon; The “early dew” of morning Has passed away at noon. 5 Tell me the Story softly,

With earnest tones and grave; Remember! I’m the sinner Whom Jesus came to save. 6 Tell me the Story always, If you would really be, In any time of trouble, A comforter to me. 7 Tell me the same old Story, When you have cause to fear That this world's empty glory Is costing me too dear. 8 Yes, and when that world's glory Is dawning on my soul, Tell me the Old, Old Story: “Christ Jesus makes thee whole.”

During her journey, she preached the good news and learnt about the missionary labor of different faithful people who preached the Gospel in the third largest continent of the world. She also worked as a nurse in South Africa. The author used her poetic skills to praise and spread the love, glory, and power of the Lord. Her verses, based on the Holy Scriptures and her personal experiences, were mostly written to draw the attention of the non-converted. She also published a book with useful lessons for the spiritual education of children. Katherine Hankey died on May 9, 1911. She was a loyal servant of the Lord until her last moment. Currently known for her popular hymn “Tell Me the Old, Old Story,” her memorable composition has touched the hearts of millions of people of all time thanks to its lyrics, which lucidly praise the old story of the victorious life of the Messiah on Earth.

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LITERATURE

HE BECAME A MAN Written by the theologian Pablo Hoff, “He Became a Man” describes the political, social and religious scenario at the time of Jesus-Christ. This read is recommended after studying the New Testament. How were the political, social, and religious conditions during Christ’s times? From a mere hu-

man perspective, many things that happened when Jesus was alive were related to the social context at that time. The displeasure of the Jews with the Roman government, the institutions of Judaism, the emergence of religious parties, the lessons taught by Jewish sects, and the imperial Roman system were factors that influenced the way Jesus would be perceived and how his message would be spread after his ascension. To truly understand the New Testament, we must know its historical and religious background. “He Became a Man” was written by Pablo Hoff to provide biblical institutes with a book about the Synoptic Gospels. According to its author, it is based on a detailed research that summarizes Jesus-Christ’s life and sheds light to the historical situation that He had to experience. It also explains the Holy Scriptures according to the principles of hermeneutics.

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How was the real Jesus? What did He teach? The founder of Christianity did not write down any of his lessons. He rather entrusted their oral transmission to his followers. Everything we know about the life and ministry of Jesus of Nazareth can be found in “the Gospels.” How was the real Jesus? What did He teach? The founder of Christianity did not write down any of his lessons. He rather entrusted their oral transmission to his followers. Everything we know about the life and ministry of Jesus of Nazareth can be found in “the Gospels.” Even though some contemporary historians, such as the Jewish Josephus and the Romans Tacitus and Suetonius, mention Him in their writings, they do not add anything new to the stories told by the inspired Evangelists. Besides, it is clear that the socalled “apocryphal gospels,” written in the coming centuries after Christ’s times, have no foundations whatsoever nor shed any light to any aspect of our Lord’s life. Published in 1990, Hoff ’s book spreads a message of spiritual life for these times, based on the stories shared by Matthew, Mark, and Luke. The author, an experienced American missionary with many years of service in Latin America, offers an interpretative approach on the earthly life, ministry and teachings of the Redeemer. REVEALING BOOK

Jesus’ teaching method is based on parables. Mark says, “And with many such parables spake he the word unto them, as they were able to hear it. But without a parable spake he not unto them…” (Mark 4:33-34). We have seen in chapter 6 that Jesus always used figurative language to portray and enlighten his ideas. His speeches are full of rhetorical figures. Nonetheless, the parable surpasses the metaphor; it is a wellthought-out simile. The Synoptic Gospels have 30 parables in total, while John has none. Most of them are distributed in three parts: a) Parables in Matthew 13 and the parallel verses in Mark 4 and Luke 8; b) Parables in Luke 15 and 16; c) Parables in Matthew 20-22. Recommended to be read after studying the New Testament, “He Became a Man” describes the political, social, and religious scenario at the time of Jesus Christ. The author, a servant of the Lord who preached the Gospel in Argentina, Bolivia and Chile, offers a brilliant book with a valuable message that takes us to the first century of our era, making us relive the most important story of humankind. In the beginning of his ministry, our Lord made various evangelistic journeys throughout Galilee. He preached

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in the Decapolis and even Caesarea Philippi, located in northernmost part of Palestine. He managed to evangelize the region of Judea with the support of the seventy disciples. He was only missing Perea, so He preached there many months. Luke tells us that “And he went through the cities and villages, teaching, and journeying toward Jerusalem” (Luke 13:22). John gives other details. Jesus went to the place where John had been before and remained there to avoid his enemies from Jerusalem. Hoff is an American theologian from Taylor University and the author of various books that are used in Christian centers and biblical seminaries throughout Latin America, such as “Historical Books,” “Pastors as Counselors,” and “The Pentateuch.” He divided “He Became a Man” into sixteen chapters and two appendixes dedicated to Jesus’ miracles and parables and to study questions. We have come now to the great eschatological speech of Christ in Matthew 24 and 25, with parallel texts in Mark 13 and Luke 21. As a reference, the Sermon on the Mount has three chapters, while this has only two. The Sermon on the Mount comprises many subjects, but the Olivet Discourse has only prophecies. English speaker John Gibson talks about “Olivet Prophecies.” Our Lord made this speech after leaving the temple for the last time. These prophecies are related to the ruin of Jerusalem, the trial that the Christian community would endure, the great evangelizing work in the world, and his second coming. ESSENTIAL BOOK

Those interested in knowing the truth about God’s incarnation through His Son will find in “He Became a Man” key subjects such as the historical and religious background of the New Testament, the sources of Jesus Christ’s story, the Messiah’s birth and childhood, the beginning of his ministry, the Sermon on the Mount, his method of teaching in parables, and the preparation of the 12 disciples. This is the final day in the mortal life of our Savior. Approximately a third of the content in the Synoptic Gospels is about the last week of Jesus’ life, and more than a tenth of the story is used for his last 24 hours, that is for his passion and death. This shows us the great relevance of these final events, especially those related to Jesus’ afflictions. This is the core message of the good news: Christ died for us to atone for our sins. This way, He

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LITERATURE

Jesus-Christ’s resurrection and ascension constitute the Father’s “seal of approval” on the statements and sacrifice of His Son. These two events marked the end of the earthly life of the Savior, transforming his humiliation into exaltation and establishing the beginning of his heavenly ministry.

brought salvation to everyone who believed in Him. This book is a must-read for all Christians who want to learn about Jesus-Christ’s life. In the last part of the book, Hoff speaks about the victory and glory of Jesus, as well as the key aspects of the Church’s foundation. In addition, the author portrays the life of the Savior, who worked merciful miracles, had a flawless behavior, and redeemed humanity from sin. Jesus-Christ’s resurrection and ascension constitute the Father’s “seal of approval” on the statements and sacrifice of His Son. These two events marked the end of the earthly life of the Savior, transforming his humiliation into exaltation and establishing the beginning of his heavenly ministry. The resurrection of the Lord is the greatest miracle in the Bible. Paul states that Christ’s resurrection is the cornerstone of Christian faith (1 Corinthians15:1-20). Cook accurately notes, “Even though Christ’s death makes us feel deeply sad, his resurrection gives us great joy.”

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HERO OF FAITH

FAITHFUL UNTO DEATH Frank Clark

John Frith preached the Word in the early 16th century, when spreading the Gospel was a suicidal mission. He was burned at the stake at age 30 when he denied the validity of indulgences, purgatory and transubstantiation. A peaceful man in a violent time, John Frith promoted Christianity and used non-violence and compassion to spread the good news at the dawn of the 16h century, when preaching the Gospel was a dangerous mission. Faithful to the Holy Scriptures, he fought for God in England and paid with his life the “audacity” to preach the Word of the Almighty and to question the false interpretations of the Bible. Born in 1503 in the English town of Westerham, Kent, Frith was raised as a merciful man. In his youth, after living and studying in the town of Sevenoaks, he was educated at Eton College, a renowned boarding school near Windsor, between 1520 and 1522, and received a strict spiritual and secular formation for his future life.

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After graduating from Eton, he was admitted to Queens' College, although he received his Bachelor of Arts degree as a member of King's College, a constituent college of the University of Cambridge founded in 1441 by King Henry VI. While at Cambridge, his tutor was Stephen Gardiner, the future Bishop of Winchester who later took part in sentencing him to the stake.


FAITHFUL BELIEVER

In Cambridge, Firth stood out for his academic skills and learned Latin and Greek. He also met Thomas Bilney, a graduate student of Trinity Hall who played a decisive role in his life. He revealed to him that he had discovered in the New Testament dogmatic truths hitherto unknown to him and encouraged him to search the

Scriptures. Bilney died at the stake in 1531 for believing in the Gospel. In 1525, due to his extensive knowledge of the Holy Scriptures, John was recruited to join the newly formed Cardinal College of the University of Oxford, headed by Cardinal Thomas Wolsey and supported by the Catholic Church. There, under the influence of re-

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HERO OF FAITH Due to his extensive knowledge of the Holy Scriptures, John was recruited to join the newly formed Cardinal College of the University of Oxford. There, under the influence of the reformer Robert Barnes, who had nurtured himself with the ideas of Martin Luther, he steeped in the true principles of the faith in the Lord.

former Robert Barnes, who had nurtured himself with the ideas of Martin Luther, he steeped in the true principles of the faith in the Lord. As member of the group called the “Germans,” who met at Cambridge’s White Horse Inn to learn more about the Bible and debate the ideas of Luther, Frith soon fell victim to the intolerance of the authorities of Cardinal College. His position in favor of the Reformation of the Catholic Church quickly aroused the hatred of those in favor of maintaining the status quo that marked the religious life of the time. Exposed to a spiritual climate less invigorating to his ideas from what he had experienced at Cambridge, Frith joined a group of biblical scholars led by John Clarke, who sought to deepen their wisdom of the Bible through the systematic study of the Old and New Testaments. Then, suspected of being a heretic, he and nine other students were confined in a college cellar where fish were stored and exposed to unhealthy conditions. PRAISEWORTHY EVANGELIST

In December 1528, once releaased, the theologian left the country to save his life and went to Germany, where he met with the English Bible translator and martyr William Tyndale, who was hanged on October 6, 1536 by the Inquisition. He engaged in the task of translating the Bible into English, a dangerous task at the time because it was prohibited by the authorities. Tyndale, who had attended Oxford and Cambridge, was a source of inspiration for the work that Frith subsequently carried out for the sake of spreading the sound doctrine of the Lord. Against the ecclesiastical vices and in favor of the evangelization of all people, he injected John with an enormous willingness to face any danger when preaching the Word of the Savior. Pioneer of the freedom of thought, Frith devoted most of his time to the translation and publishing of works that served as spiritual food for his contemporaries. In one of the books, the great contrast between the figure of the Pope and Christ is drawn, denouncing

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Based on the Bible, he proclaimed that God sent his beloved Son to redeem us from sin. To him, the indisputable truth in matters of faith and practice was found in the Word, and Christians should only believe in the truths contained in the Scriptures.

the clear incompatibility between the behavior of the Bishop of Rome and that of the Son of God. John defended the evangelical cause with theological ideas inspired by the Lord that stand to this day. Based on the Bible, he proclaimed that God sent his beloved Son to redeem us from sin. To him, the indisputable truth in matters of faith and practice was found in the Word, and Christians should only believe in the truths contained in the Scriptures. CRUEL DEATH

In 1532, while preaching the Gospel in Europe, the exegete felt touched by the fact that people in England did not know how to come to the Lord. Wanting to reveal the true message of the Messiah, he decided to return, although his safety was not guaranteed. Back in his homeland, he was arrested as a vagabond, but was released soon after time by the grace of the Almighty. After his release, the preacher secretly went from place to place preaching the doctrine of the Redeemer. His reckless actions led to an arrest warrant issued by Thomas More, chancellor to King Henry VIII and opposed to the Reformation, who put a price on his head. Caught in flight, he was held in the Tower of London, a historic castle located on the north bank of the River Thames, where he continued to defend the truth of God. Chained in his cell, Frith challenged the authority of More –who fought the heretics– with his objections to the Eucharist, a Catholic rite in which bread and wine become the body and blood of Christ, which from his point of view was not a practice instituted by Jesus Christ. That, coupled with his denial of purgatory and the validity of indulgences, earned him the sentence to death. On July 4, 1533, the story of this hero of the faith came to an end in a cruel and ruthless way. Burned at the stake at age 30 for refusing to change his position on indulgences, purgatory and transubstantiation. Incriminated by his beliefs and labeled a traitor by the Catholic Church, he died for the cause of the Almighty and became one of the first English reformers to be martyred.

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Edelmiro Ivina Dicombo learned to hate from a very young age, and thirst for vengeance made its home in his heart. He was raised under the only wing of his mother, who managed to make him a good man. However, he kept a deep rancor that did not let him be at peace. He was born on July 31, 1964 in the city of Malabo, capital of Equatorial Guinea, in central Africa. His family led a comfortable life because Félix Ivina, his father, was a distinguished politician. Back then, Equatorial Guinea was in the middle of an intense struggle for power. The 1963 referendum led citizens to independence, leaving behind more than 50 years of Spanish rule. However, emancipation brought about a time of violent political upheaval. One day, Félix Ivina was apprehended and imprisoned. The family was overwhelmed by anguish. Only his wife, Manuela Dicombo, was allowed to see him, but one sad day she was informed by his cellmates that her husband was gone. “Don’t come anymore, your husband is dead,” they told her. Grief-stricken as she was, she claimed the body for Christian burial, but the guards refused under different pretenses. What is more, they did not tell her the cause of death, although she suspected that he had been tortured, murdered and buried in secret. As new head of the family, Manuela had to provide for her family, and so she entered the car business. In this way, she was able to raise her children and give them quality education. However, Edelmiro grew up with visceral hatred against those who had destroyed his happy home. He was unsociable and apathetic; sometimes he would even hurt himself to feel good. He did not believe in God or the devil, he was his own god. He had but one thing in mind: revenge and, for that reason, he began to practice martial arts as a teenager. He also learned from his few friends to make weapons and explosives. One day, Edelmiro read an announcement that the Police was seeking drivers. There he saw the chance to approach those who he thought had killed his father, and finally get his revenge. He got the job and it was not long until his skill in driving different vehicles earned him the trust and respect of his bosses. Soon after, he was promoted to third driver of the presidential guard. At that time, Edelmiro was living with a young woman who was a member of the Christian church. The frequent visits of her brothers of faith to his house made him so uncomfortable that he forbade his girlfriend to go to the services. She did not obey and continued to attend, and so Edelmiro decided to look for the pastor and beat him.

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LIFE STORY

THE MAN THAT FORGAVE Young Edelmiro was thirsty for revenge after the death of his father in a prison in Equatorial Guinea. For years, he came up with gruesome plans against the alleged culprits, but his life took a radical turn when he met the Lord. Now he lives in peace because he learned to free himself from hatred and resentment. STEVEN LÓPEZ PHOTO: FAMILY FILES


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LIFE STORY I WANT THAT POWER

One night he sneaked out of his house and went to the temple. He saw the preacher in the pulpit, he was about to share the message. A sister spotted him and invited him to come in and take a seat. He refused, but she insisted. “I’ll stay here, I’m waiting for the pastor,” Edelmiro said in anger at the insistence. “Come on in, or are you afraid? replied the sister. As far back as he remembered, the words ‘fear’ or ‘cowardice’ had never applied to him; he had always been brave. However, when he heard the woman's words, his body began to tremble for the first time. To show that he was not afraid, he accepted and entered. “I’m not afraid of anyone or anything. I'll show you,” he said. Sitting on the last bench in the temple, he listened to the message of God. He began to feel uncomfortable because, while the preacher talked about the love of Jesus, he could only feel resentment and desire for revenge. At some point, the preacher began to tell stories that seemed to speak about his own life and that he thought to have forgotten until then. Edelmiro believed for a moment that his girlfriend had talked about him to the minister of God. He was furious, but then he realized that his plans of revenge were secret. No one but he knew about them, and yet the preacher seemed to refer to them: “If you have come to avenge yourself, let God do justice, He knows you.” Edelmiro trembled at such a revelation. After the preaching, the pastor invited those who wanted to surrender to God in the altar. “He who does not accept the invitation is a coward,” he said. Because he did not want to be called a coward, Edelmiro decided to answer the call, without realizing that it was God working in his heart. “God is all-knowing. He is in all places at once, and you too can experience His power. Accept God as your Savior and you will see His power in your life,” said the preacher as the young man thought about going up to the altar. He was following the call, and that could give him the power that the pastor was taking about, he thought. That power could help him with his revenge and even make him invisible to achieve his goals. After the service, he returned home. Edelmiro had failed in his plan to beat the preacher; instead, he had answered his call. AN UNEXPECTED CHANGE

After dinner, he went to bed. He dreamed that he was about to fall into a ravine over 100 meters deep when a saving hand rescued him. At that moment, he woke up and heard a voice: “Edelmiro, you should be thankful that you did not fall into it.” It was the first time in his whole life that he had felt

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afraid. He looked up to heaven and asked God for forgiveness and mercy. His neighbors heard him screamed and came to see what had happened. “Please call the pastor, I want to tell him I’m sorry. I wanted to beat him and now I regret it. I want him to pray for me again,” said the young man. Those present praised God for the miracle and called the preacher. The missionary arrived and prayed once again. The change seemed to have arrived in his life. Edelmiro began to attend church more often, but doubt and hatred wanted to get back into his life. He told his bosses about it and they suggested him to leave the congregation, arguing that churches change people's minds. A new dream strengthened his decision to serve God. He dreamed about the Rapture of the Church, where there was only one coin and one church: the Christian church. The few that remained after the event began to preach on the streets and walked with a candle before them. Then, he woke up and knelt to pray to God and ask for mercy. Edelmiro continued to work as a driver and preached the Word of God to his coworkers and bosses. His thirst for revenge had been completely quenched. He had finally forgiven. MISSIONARY CALL

Six months after his conversion, God baptized him with His Holy Spirit. During a rehearsal in the church, he sang: “Christ is coming, there are signs, saved souls He has come to seek. Those who slept will stay, those who watched will go with him. I'm going with him, I'm going with Christ.” At that moment, he heard a voice that asked him: “What did you say?” Edelmiro fell to the ground and began to pray. “You say you're going with me, but only you?” the voice added. The young man replied, “What do you want me to do?” “I want you to take other souls to heaven,” said the heavenly voice. Edelmiro made many excuses; that he did not know how to preach, or speak other languages ... but he eventually accepted God’s call. “Lord, if you need me, here I am willing to go where you want me to go,” he exclaimed. The prayer lasted from seven in the evening until three in the morning. The missionary call had been answered. One year after his conversion, he was baptized and began to work in the Work of God. His prayers at dawn became an example for young people, who were able to see the miracle of God after making their prayers. They would find coins every morning, which were used for their daily breakfast. One year later, Edelmiro went to missionary work in Gabon, where he spent around 10 years. He married Sister Diana Usuro, and together with his family, he serves the Lord in Equatorial Guinea.

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LIFE STORY

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INTERVIEW

A LIGHT OF HOPE IN THE PHILIPPINES Eliseo Aquino Curi

The Philippines is an Asian country with more than 100 million inhabitants. There, with God’s favor, the Worldwide Missionary Movement is growing and the Word spreading. Colombian missionary Deyle Yurley Laguado Carreño has been in the Philippines for seven years.

The growth of the Work there is in direct relation with the effort she puts into the task entrusted to her by the WMM. The beginning of the Work in the Philippines was not easy; in fact, it still faces many difficulties. How was God's call for you to come to the Philippines? In May 2012, in the church of Bucaramanga, Colombia, Supervisor of Asia Samuel Mejía told us that he was preparing a missionary trip to the Philippines for November 26. I had already quit my job by that time because I wanted to dedicate more time to the Lord. I thought that maybe when I came back I would appreciate and accept one of the job positions I had been offered. On December 1, we arrived in the Philippines. The pastor told us he was praying that one of us would stay in the country to take charge of the Work of God. By the end of the trip, he came to me and told me he thought that I should stay. He asked me if I was willing. I said, “Amen.” After the brothers left, what difficulties did you face? One was the language. We thought that English would be enough to do the missionary work, but reality proved us wrong. English was a starting point though, but to better communicate we needed to learn Tagalog or Filipino. Thank God, one of the brothers served as an interpreter to start preaching. We learned their language for nine months and began to preach the Word of God to the Filipinos.

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There was also the problem of the weather. The Philippines is a tropical country. In Manila, temperatures are very high and I was not used to such a hot weather. Moving from one city to the other is also stressing, because it takes hours because of traffic. How is the society in the Philippines, its culture, family life, religion? The Philippines is an archipelago of 7641 islands with more than 100 million inhabitants. As it was a Spanish colony, 80% of the population is Catholic. In Manila, families live in very crowded spaces: children, parents, grandchildren and grandparents live in 350-square-foot rooms. The Philippine society is like no other. Here, many men stay at home to raise the children and women go out to work. Do Filipinos embrace or reject the Word of God? Filipinos embrace the Word of God. However, every day is a new challenge because the Word goes against their culture and religion. They tell us that it is very hard for them to live the Gospel. Filipinos receive the Gospel when they have the opportunity to go somewhere else. We prepare them, they are taught the doctrine, they attend the services and they are happy. The day they move, they say, “Pastor, thank you very much, I'm going to another island, but I’ll look for a church to attend” and they leave. Is there persecution against Evangelical Christians in the Philippines? There is persecution of Christians only in a part of the Philippines. Here, in Manila, thank God, there is no

such problem, but in the south, in the Mindanao Region, there is persecution by Muslims. In January, a bomb was blown up in a church, killing 20 people. Is the Work of God growing in the Philippines? In June 2013, the Church was officially registered in the Philippines. With this registration we can now preach freely in the city. The Work of God here is seven years. We have bought land to build a church and a mission center. We have opened two preaching camps in two cities, Antipolo and San José del Monte. They are small groups, but God is working in those places. We are bringing the Word through outdoor campaigns and door-to-door preaching. We also visit those who ask us to and we pray for them. What message would you give to the brothers who wish to go to the missions? You must be filled with God’s Word and presence because when we do the missionary work we only have Jesus Christ. Serving the Lord and being able to give Him your best years is the most rewarding mission there is. Seeing with your own eyes how people are changed, transformed, broken, seeing their delight when they rediscover something in the Bible or when God answers their prayers, it fills you with joy and satisfaction. We always need the prayers of our brothers. What would you ask the Church all over world to pray for? I would like God to raise up native Filipino workers so that they are filled with the Holy Spirit and the power of the Word of God and preach in all the islands of this country.

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APOLOGETICS

JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES Andrés Ferrer (*)

There is probably no religious group that is more faithful than the Jehovah’s Witnesses at getting their message out. Unfortunately, the message is full of distortions, deceptions and false doctrine.

The group known today as the Jehovah’s Witnesses started out in Pennsylvania in 1870 as a Bible class led by Charles Taze Russell. Russell named his group the “Millennial Dawn Bible Study,” and those who followed him were called “Bible students.” Charles T. Russell began writing a series of books he called “The Millennial Dawn,” which stretched to six volumes before his death and contained much of the theology Jehovah’s Witnesses now hold. The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society was founded in 1886 and quickly became the vehicle through which the “Millennial Dawn” movement began distributing their views. Group members were sometimes disparagingly called “Russellites.” After Russell’s death in 1916, Judge J. F. Rutherford, Russell’s friend and successor, wrote the seventh and final volume of the “Millennial Dawn” series, “The Finished Mystery,” in 1917. That was also the year that the organization split. Those who followed Rutherford began calling themselves “Jehovah’s Witnesses.” THEIR BELIEFS

Close scrutiny of their doctrinal position on such subjects as the deity of Christ, salvation, the Trinity, the Holy Spirit and the atonement shows beyond a doubt that they do not hold to orthodox Christian positions on these subjects. Jehovah’s Witnesses believe Jesus is Michael the archangel, the highest created being. This

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contradicts many Scriptures which clearly declare Jesus to be God ( John 1:1, 14, 8:58, 10:30). Jehovah’s Witnesses believe salvation is obtained by a combination of faith, good works, and obedience. This contradicts countless scriptures which declare salvation to be received by grace through faith ( John 3:16; Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:5). Jehovah’s Witnesses reject the Trinity, believing Jesus to be a created being and the Holy Spirit to essentially be the inanimate power of God. Jehovah’s Witnesses reject the concept of Christ’s substitutionary atonement and instead hold to a ransom theory, that Jesus’ death was a ransom payment for Adam’s sin. Therefore, they believe in a combination of faith and good deeds, with which sin and death are generously atoned for by Christ; but physical perfection is achieved through personal effort, coupled with faith in Christ.


THEIR ARGUMENTS

Jehovah’s Witnesses claim that the church has corrupted the Bible over the centuries; thus, they have re-translated the Bible into what they call the New World Translation. The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society altered the text of the Bible to make it fit their false doctrine, rather than basing their doctrine on what the Bible actually teaches. New World Translation has gone through numerous editions, as the Jehovah’s Witnesses discover more and more Scriptures that contradict their doctrines. The Watchtower bases its beliefs and doctrines on the original and expanded teachings of Charles Taze Russell, Judge Joseph Franklin Rutherford, and their successors. The governing body of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society is the only body in the cult that claims authority to interpret Scripture. In other words, what the governing body says concerning any scriptural passage

is viewed as the last word, and independent thinking is strongly discouraged. This is in direct opposition to Paul's admonition to Timothy (and to us as well) to study to be approved by God, so that we need not be ashamed as we correctly handle the Word of God. This admonition, found in 2 Timothy 2:15, is a clear instruction from God to each of His children to be like the Berean Christians, who searched the Scriptures daily to see if the things they were being taught lined up with the Word. May God open the eyes of the Jehovah’s Witnesses to the truth of the gospel and the true teaching of God’s Word. (*) Source : https://www.gotquestions.org/

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DEVOTIONAL “Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few.” Matthew 9:37.

Rev. Luis M. Ortiz

THE HARVEST IS PLENTEOUS Matthew 9:35-38 states: “And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest…” What did he mean by saying that the harvest is plenteous and the laborers are few? Did you know that at the beginning of time, the world’s population was only two people? Did you know that, 1600 years after the Creation, the number of humans had increased considerably but was reduced to only eight people after the Flood? Did you know that it is estimated that in the time of our Lord Jesus Christ there were around 250 million people in the world? Did you know that the world's population increases by more than 100 million a year? Did you know that there are currently over 7.5 billion people in the world? Did you know that more than half of them has never listened to the Gospel of Jesus Christ? Did you know that 94% of American Gospel preachers preach to 9% of the world's population? Did you know that the rest of American preachers (6%) are missionaries and, together with national preach-

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ers of other countries, have to make titanic efforts to take the Word to the other 91% of the world's population? Did you know that in the United States and Puerto Rico, there is one preacher of the Gospel for every 1500 people? Did you know that there are countries in the world where there is not even one preacher of the Gospel for every one million people? Did you know that, as Christ and the Apostles proved, the most effective and permanent way of winning souls for Christ is personal work? Did you know that if mass evangelization media –such as campaigns, radio and television– are not combined with personal missionary work, their permanent benefits are reduced to 5%? Did you know that 96% of the members of the church do not win souls for Christ? Did you know that there are many ministries without ministers, and many ministers without ministry? Did you know that, when the Lord fed the crowd, he made them sit down in groups of fifty and one hundred so that not one would remain without eating? Did you know that no one has the right to listen to the Gospel twice, as long as there is one in the world that has not yet listened to it? Did you know that for every dollar received in churches in the United States and Puerto Rico, only three pennies are used for missionary work? Did you know that in recent years, in Puerto Rico, millions of dollars have been raised for fabulous projects that


have never been fulfilled, with both the money and the collectors now missing? Did you know that what is really important is not giving but knowing how to give with God's wisdom and direction? Did you know that when I asked the Lord why there are so many Christians who prefer to do other things rather than being His laborers, He answered me that it is because most of those that He calls do not obey Him? Did you know that you, who are reading this, are likely one of those who have not obeyed the Lord? Did you know that God, as the Lord of the harvest, is the one who pays best to His laborers, now and in eternity? Did you know that the WMM is a work of obedience, faith, sacrifice, self-denial, surrender, and at the same time, much fruit?

Did you know that in 56 years God has helped us raise more than 9000 congregations in 70 countries? Did you know that in several countries we have beautiful indigenous congregations? Did you know that works of innovative evangelization, missionary action, clean testimony and sound doctrine like this deserve generous and permanent prayers and economic contributions from all the people of God? Did you know that the money best invested is that which is invested in the true work of God, directly in the salvation of souls? Did you already know all these things? Did you know that "to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin�? Do good! Pray and contribute! Write us! Amen.

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DEVOTIONAL “And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.” Matthew 11:12. Rev. José Arturo Soto Benavides

ONLY THE VIOLENT ARE WORTHY OF HEAVEN Matthew 11:12 reads: “And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.” This passage talks about a positive kind of violence against the forces of evil, against the usurper of the Earth, Satan, who through different means and resources continues destroying humanity. Any fair and noble activity on Earth can be performed based on just and spiritual principles governed by the fear of God. No one should think that by keeping these principles they will no longer be good workers or professionals. The devil wants to corrupt everybody, regardless of their education, financial resources, wealth or even religion, which by the way is not the solution that humanity needs. What is the weapon of the Church? “The gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth…” (Romans 1:16). History has proved that when people embrace the true faith in God Almighty, they are positively transformed. For example, between the 16th and 19th centuries in Europe, whole nations embraced the Gospel and soci-

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ety was transformed: brothels closed, as customers were scarce; bars closed, as there were no longer people thirsty for alcohol; centers of corruption and depravity closed, as there were no libertines and people found other ways to have fun other than sin; judges rested, and the judicial and legal systems entered a time of peace. It is said that even donkeys knew that there was a change in society, as they were not punished or beaten as before. The Gospel is transformative; it “is the power of God.” The Gospel of Christ is no political movement; politics has its place in human schemes. God gives us the


power to watch, observe, analyze and choose. Politics are a good thing, but cannot solve the spiritual problem of humanity; only one can do it: He who said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” ( John 14:6). Someone came to Jesus and asked him, “Lord, are there few that be saved?” (Luke 13:23). God looked at him and said, “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat, because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be

that find it” (Matthew 7:13-14). God told his disciples, “No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God” (Luke 9:62). He also said, “Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or parents, or brethren, or wife, or children, for the kingdom of God's sake” (Luke 18:29). Those are the violent who take the kingdom by force and stay with Him. As Levi, i.e. Matthew, whom the Lord called when he was the chief among the publicans (tax collectors). Picture him at an office by the street, watching those who had to pay taxes to Rome, maybe charging more to keep some money for himself, which was why he was rich and hated by the Jewish people. When Jesus passed by, He looked at him “and said unto him, Follow me” (Luke 5:27b). And that simple phrased drilled into the heart of Matthew. Imagine the struggle that took place within him. Jesus was expecting an immediate answer, and so Levi did not resist, but his will broke in a thousand pieces. The Bible says, “And he left all, rose up, and followed him” (Luke 5:28). Others like “Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. And they straightway left their nets, and followed him” (Matthew 4:18-20). There is the Lord waiting; when He calls there is no choice, we must obey because that is the path of victory. Beloved brothers, these are examples of spiritual violence. God calls you to make a decision, God wants you to do it now, for yourself and your family. Beloved readers, do you want to bring blessings to your home? Accept Jesus Christ as your only and sufficient Savior.

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DEVOTIONAL “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20. Rev. Ramón L. Aponte

WALKING WITH GOD If we want to be God’s people and walk with Him, we must agree with His precepts. First, we must agree with the Lord about sin. God clearly and categorically states in the Holy Scriptures that we have all sinned and that we have all chosen our own path. “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good. The Lord looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God. They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one” (Psalm 14:1-3). The first thing God wants us to do is to repent, to change direction. We have been going the wrong way, walking on the path of selfishness, always focused on ourselves. We must change course and leave, confess and give up our sins, and come to the Lord and ask Him for forgive us and set us free in the name and love of Jesus. There is a religious repentance that only cares about preventing the punishment, but we must take a step further and attain what we can call the true Christian repentance. This kind of repentance embraces both the fear of punishment and a sincere grief for having offended and sinned against the Heavenly Father, who has loved us and allowed us to be forgiven and cleansed. Secondly, we must agree with the Lord about the lordship of Christ. We must undoubtedly accept Him as our Redeemer and Savior. The Scriptures constantly mention that “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:13). Two words stand out in this verse: “saved” and “Lord.” We have not been forgiven and reborn to do as we please. We have been redeemed and restored to fulfill God’s purposes. We can find true relief, peace, and joy only when we find our true place at the service of Jesus-Christ. The Holy Scriptures state that Christ bore our sins in the cross: “Who his own self bare our sins in his own

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body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed” (1 Peter 2:24). He saved all of us, but we will not fully enjoy the benefits of salvation unless we are aware of what He did and make moral and spiritual adjustments, such as confessing and abandoning sin and acknowledging Jesus-Christ as our Lord and Savior. This means that we must surrender to God com-


pletely, unconditionally, and irreversibly. In other words, we must take our own cross and follow Him. Apostle Paul experienced this and declared: “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20). Walking with God also means to endure this symbolic crucifixion.

We find another mandate in Ephesians 5:18: “… Be filled with the Spirit.” The Holy Spirit lives in every believer, but we need to be filled with the Holy Spirit to strengthen our Christian character and be like Christ. We need to be baptized in the Holy Spirit, as this is an unction of power that makes our life meaningful. A very detailed study of the Bible would also help us find other ways to agree with God and walk by His side. Amen.

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A quick report of the work that Worldwide Missionary Movement is making in America and throughout the world. The Holy Bible states: “And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple... And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved”. (Acts 2:46,47).

SPIRITUAL MATURITY Event: National Pastors Retreat Date: December 26 - December 29, 2018 Place: Génova, Italia

The Worldwide Missionary Movement in Italy

held its National Pastors Retreat in Genoa, capital of the region of Liguria. The event took place under the motto “Immerse Me in the River of Your Holy Spirit” and was attended by all the pastors of Block B of Europe. Reverend David Echalar, national supervisor of the WMM in Italy, announced the good news through the

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message “Spiritual Maturity,” based on 1 Corinthians 14:20 and Ephesians 4:11-16. He focused on explaining how to tell right from wrong. In the second service, Reverend Jimmy Ramírez, national supervisor of the WMM in Switzerland shared the message “Swimming with Vision,” based on Matthew 9:35-38. He motivated the believers to work in the vineyard of the Lord and said that the best reward comes from Him. LEADERSHIP IN THE CHURCH

In the third service, Pastor Echalar preached the Word


EVENT

once again through the sermon “Consequences of the Lack of Depth,” based on Hosea 4:9. He invited the attendees to assume the leadership of the church and its reputation because the progress of the Work will depend on the efforts of its members. The National Pastors Retreat ended with a service in which Pastor Luis Valderrama, National Secretary of the Worldwide Missionary Movement in Italy, evangelized the believers. Based on Ezekiel 47:2-5, the servant shared the message “Immersed in the River of Your Holy Spirit.” In his preaching, he said that it is important to be immersed in the presence of God. The meeting of faith allowed the participants to search the face of the Lord Jesus Christ and to welcome the new year. In addition, the WMM’s agenda for 2019 in the Old Continent was established.

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EVENT

THE GLORY OF THIS LATTER HOUSE SHALL BE GREATER THAN OF THE FORMER

Event: First fruit Fasting and 15th Anniversary of the church of Burgos Date: January 3, 4, 5, 25 and 26 Place: Barcelona and Burgos, Spain

On January 25 and January 26, the Worldwide Missionary Movement in Spain celebrated the 15th anniversary of the church of Burgos, in the autonomous community of Castile and León. The event took place under the motto “Shekhinah,” and was attended by faithful from the cities of Zaragoza, Arnedo and Soria. In the opening service, Pastor Wilson Santillán, Peruvian missionary who spreads the Gospel in Israel, announced the Word. Based on Haggai 2:1-9, he shared the message “The Glory of this Latter House Shall Be Greater Than of the Former.” Pastor Santillán said that Christians must know that the Lord is always there to help those who

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need His protection, and that we need to follow in Jesus’ steps In the second worship, Reverend Fisher Torrejón, presbyter of Zone 4 of the WMM in Spain, preached the Gospel of the Almighty through the message “The Presence of God,” based on Exodus 33:9-15. FIRST FRUIT FASTING

From January 3 to January 5, the WMM in Spain held a first fruit fasting at the temple of Barcelona, under the motto “Honoring God with the First Fruits.” The event allowed the brothers of the capital city of Catalonia to come


be closer to the Lord. In the first service, Reverend Carlos Medina, national supervisor of the Work in Spain, spread the Gospel through the message “Heavenly Treasure in Earthly Vessels,” based on 2 Corinthians 4:1-10. In the second worship, Brother José Barrera preached the Word through the sermon “A Happy Year with Jesus,” based on Colossians 2:9-15. In the third service, Pastor Carlos Medina announced

the good news of Christ. Based on 1 Timothy 6:12, he delivered the message “Effective Weapons to Fight the Good Fight of Faith.” In the fourth worship, Brother Renato Lizama shared the message of the Lord entitled “Shekhinah, Continuous Presence of God,” based on John 17:22-24. In the last service, Reverend Medina spread the Word once again and, based on Exodus 33:12-18 and 34:10, he gave the sermon “The Glory of God.”

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EVENT

IT WAS GOD WHO CALLED ME Event: 3rd Fellowship of Women Date: January 25 - January 27 Place: Berlin, Germany

With the special attendance of Sister Rossana Marte de Roggeband from the church of Rotterdam, the Worldwide Missionary Movement in Germany held its 3rd Fellowship of Women at the church of Berlin. In the first service, Sister Marte de Roggeband shared the message “It Was God Who Called Me,” which was based on Ruth 1:8-16. She said that Christians, even those who go to church, sometimes fail to get rid of those things that move them away from God. She also pointed out that the Lord, in His infinite mercy, is always calling courageous women to accept the challenge of following Christ.

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EDIFYING PREACHINGS

On the second day, Servant Marte was God’s messenger once again. Based on the Holy Scriptures, she gave a sermon that touched those who came to Berlin to listen to the Word. Through her biblical analysis, Marte de Roggeband explained the faithful that the time of the Lord is perfect, and that the Almighty’s plans for His followers cannot be changed by anyone or anything. In the last worship of the event, Sister Rossana preached the Gospel with a message entitled “Called to Intercede,” based on Esther 2:12-18 and 4:10-16. In her speech, the missionary spoke about Esther, wife of King Ahasuerus, and her faith in God. She also said that Christians today have to be determined and brave like Esther in order to see the hand of the Creator. Finally, she advised the believers of the Work of God to take Abigail as an example of wisdom and prudence.


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EVENT

OBEY THE LORD Event: Bible schools for children Date: January 12 and January 26 Place: Melbourne and Perth, Australia

The Worldwide Missionary Movement in Australia held, through its Bible schools, two activi-

ties aimed at children from the cities of Melbourne and Perth, who were preached the Gospel of the Almighty. The most recent event took place on January 26 at Coulson Gardens, Melbourne, under the motto “Obey the Lord.” Sisters Karla Beltrán and Susana Mejía, who

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are teachers at the local Sunday School, preached the Word and shared their biblical knowledge with a group of children of different ages, who were happy to get to know God. Sister Beltrán shared the message “The Angel and Balaam’s Ass,” based on Numbers 22:21-33. After announcing the good news, she asked the little ones a series of questions and they answered correctly.


FIND THE TREASURE

Two weeks earlier, the WMM in Australia held a similar event at Wellington Square, Perth, to evangelize the children of Australia’s fourth most populous city. In the event of the Work, whose motto was “Find the Treasure,” Sister Silvia Grande share some teachings with the children. Based on Matthew 18:10-14, she shared the message “The Lost Sheep.”

A significant group of children who wanted to know more about the Bible came to the square in Perth and enjoyed the opportunity to discover the Gospel through Sister Grande. Likewise, adults came to Wellington Square to listen to the good news. The brothers of the church of Perth took the opportunity to preach the Word to them and talk about the eternal salvation offered by the Lord.

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EVENT

GOD NEEDS MEN AND WOMEN

Event: National Fellowship Date: January 27 Place: Oppama, Japan

With the participation of all the congregations

from southern and northern Japan, the Worldwide Missionary Movement held its first National Fellowship of 2019 in Oppama, in Kanagawa Prefecture. The event was attended by pastors and brothers from the churches of Narita, Saitama, Hamamatsu, Komaki

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and Fuji and by Reverend David Veramendi, national supervisor of the WMM in Japan. Rildo Cueto, pastor of the church of Saitama, welcomed the attendees and Pastor Eraldo Hokama, from the church of Narita, motivated them not to give up and to go on serving the Lord. Pastor Veramendi was in charge of preaching the Word of God. Based on Isaiah 66, he shared the message “God Needs Men and Women,” and called for the reconciliation with the Savior. “God seeks men and women


willing to do His will so that He can do great deeds in favor of others through them,” he said. COME CLOSER TO JESUS

On December 24, the Work in Japan, through its Summer Bible School, held a spiritual training event for children from the city of Narita, in Chiba Prefecture, under the motto “Come Closer to Jesus.” Sister Julia Murakami, one of the teachers of the Sun-

day School of the church of Chiba-Narita, preached the Gospel with the message “Come Closer to Jesus,” which was based on John 3:16. The biblical teaching, which was translated into Japanese by Sister Yuriko Yara, allowed the children that attend the church of Chiba-Narita to have a great experience of faith and strengthen their love for the Lord. Afterwards, the children and their parents shared a meal.

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EVENT

JESUS CAN CHANGE YOU Event: Regional Fellowship of the North and Pastors Retreat Date: February 13 - February 15 and February 20 - February 22, 2019 Place: Chiclayo and Lima, Peru

The Worldwide Missionary Movement in Peru held

the Regional Fellowship of the North at Coliseo Cerrado of Chiclayo and a Pastors Retreat at the central church of Chiclayo. The event was held under the motto “Jesus Can Change You” and was attended by Reverend José Arturo Soto, international president of the Work of God, as well as pastors and brothers from Chimbote, Trujillo, Piura and Tumbes. In the opening service, Reverend Josué Ascarruz, national president of the WMM in Peru, preached the Word

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through the message “The Coming of the Lord!” based on Matthew 24:35-44. He spoke about the Rapture of the Church and the second coming of Christ. On the second day, in the morning worship, Reverend Soto shared the sermon “The Danger of Crossing the Line,” based on Jeremiah 18:1-6. In the meantime, at Coliseo Cerrado, Reverend Eugenio Masías, national supervisor of the WMM in Ecuador, announced the good news to God’s people.


THE WORD OF THE LORD

Hours later, in the night service of the Fellowship, Reverend Soto shared the message “God Goes After the Sinner, no Matter Where or How,” based on John 4:6-14. On the third day, Reverend Soto preached the Gospel once again to the believers gathered in the main church of the WMM in Chiclayo. Based on Revelation 11:3-11, he developed the topic “The Two Witnesses as a Powerful Example of Faithfulness.” Meanwhile, Pastor Masías, based on Luke 10:42, evangelized the faithful at Coliseo Cerrado. In the evening, the Summer Bible School (SBS) of

the church of Chiclayo held an end-of-year ceremony. The event took place at Coliseo Cerrado under the motto “Now I Am Happy” and with the attendance of a large number of children. In the closing service of the Regional Fellowship of the North, Reverend Eugenio Masías was God’s instrument to spread His message. Based on Mark 1:21-28 and 1 John 3:8, he shared the message “Defeating the Enemy.” The Pastors Retreat of the WMM was also held in the city of Lima from February 20 to February 22, with the presence of Reverend Gustavo Martínez, international treasurer of the Work.

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EVENT

FIRE ON THE ALTAR OF THE HOLOCAUST Event: 23rd National Convention Date: January 31 - February 3 Place: Tarija, Bolivia

Under the motto “Shekhinah 2019,” the World-

wide Missionary Movement in Bolivia held its 23rd National Convention at the Universidad Autónoma’s Juan Misael Saracho Stadium, located in the city of Tarija. A large group of believers of the Work of God gathered for four days to praise the Lord. The event was led by Reverend Mario Lima, national supervisor of the WMM in Bolivia, and was attended by Reverend José Arturo Soto, international president of

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the Work; Reverend Clemente Vergara, supervisor of Africa; Reverend Gerardo Martínez, supervisor of the Southern Cone of South America, and Reverend Luis Rivera, national supervisor of the WMM in Paraguay. At the opening day, Pastor Soto shared the message of Jesus Christ, “Fire on the Altar of the Holocaust,” based on Leviticus 6:8-13. The servant emphasized that the flame of God must be kept burning through private devotion, a holy life and a search for the Lord. In the morning service of the second day, Reverend José Gómez, national officer of the WMM in Paraguay, preached the Gospel through the message “Keeping Our Faith Steady,” based on Jude 1:3. He noted that the Word fuels our soul.


SPECIAL SERVICES

In the night service, Pastor Vergara, international officer of the WMM, announced the good news of the Lord. Based on 1 Samuel 16:1-5, he shared the message “Fill Your Horn with Oil” and said that sometimes we are so busy with other things that we neglect evangelization. On the third day, Pastor Rivera shared the message of Christ, “It Is Time to Seek God,” based on Isaiah 55:6. He pointed out that it is time to look for the Lord and to feel His presence, and claimed that without the presence of Jesus in our life we are the perfect target of the enemy. Later, in the night worship, the attendees sang songs and prayed so that the Lord works in favor of the media of the WMM in Bolivia. Likewise, the pastors of the Work motivated the Bolivian faithful to give a special offering for the acquisition of another radio and television channel to preach the Gospel. Afterwards, Reverend Martínez shared the message of the Lord, “Absence and Presence of the Glory of God,” based on Exodus 33:12-16. The preacher pointed out that the Spirit of God shapes and offers victory and that it is therefore essential to stoke the fire of Christ in our lives. In the closing worship, Reverend Vergara had the privilege, once again, of announcing the Gospel. Based on 2 Timothy 2:1-2, he gave the sermon “Vision and Missionary Work.” Bible in hand, he stated that the Lord answers to our prayers and requests and that we have to stay motivated to serve God. Finally, a worker promotion ceremony was held, and 47 servants were recognized for their work in favor of Christianity. NEW CHURCH

After the 23rd National Convention, the Worldwide Missionary Movement in Bolivia held a touching ceremony to officially open the central temple of Tarija. The temple was built in three years thanks to the hard work and sacrifice of the congregation led until then by Pastor Marcelo Valenzuela. The brand new house of God and gate of heaven, with a capacity for more than one thousand people, is located in the district of La Salamanca and stands on a five-hundred-square-meter plot. After the opening, Pastor Valenzuela, who has been transferred to the city of Santa Cruz, handed over the keys of the temple to the new presbyter of Tarija, Reverend Arturo Saavedra. The event was broadcast live by the media of the WMM in Bolivia and the Work of the Lord. The spiritual event covered with the Gospel this city located nearby the borders with Argentina and Paraguay.

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OTHER EVENTS

EQUATORIAL GUINEA Thanksgiving for Year 2018 Under the motto “Thanksgiving for Year 2018 and Preparation for Next Year,” the Worldwide Missionary Movement in Equatorial Guinea held the General Retreat of Zone 1 in Malabo on December 24 and 25. The event was attended by a large number of believers and by Reverend Edelmiro Ivina, head of the Work in Equatorial Guinea. On the first day, the Word of God was preached by Pastor Diosdado Mbila who presented the message “The Doctrine and the Elders,” based on Titus 2:1-14. He stressed that the doctrine must be practiced. In the evening worship, Reverend José Mariano shared God’s message “Be Careful of False Prophets,” based on Matthew 24:4-5. The following day, in the morning service, Pastor Orencio Biyogo announced the good news of the Lord. Based on Matthew 2:1, the minister gave a sermon about the birth of Jesus of Nazareth. In the last service, Reverend Ivina, based on 1 Kings 14:23 and Isaiah 57:5, exhorted the attendees not to be influenced by pagan customs.

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BRAZIL

GUATEMALA

Training of Teachers Baptisms in in São Paulo Usulután

Fellowship in Zone 7

On January 19 and 20, in the city of São Paulo, the Worldwide Missionary Movement in Brazil trained a group of teachers and assistants from WMM Summer Bible Schools. The event was held under the motto “Now I Am Happy” and was attended by Sister Priscila González On the first day, Sister González, who is part of the WMM in Peru, spoke about the Summer Bible School program, the characteristics of the age range and profile of the Christian teacher, and how and where to work with children. On the second day, she shared the message “Now I Am Happy Because Jesus Loves Me,” based on the life of the Apostle Paul. The participants also made crafts and group exhibitions. In the end, certificates were given to the attendees.

On January 27, the Worldwide Missionary Movement in Guatemala held a Fellowship in Belén, Mixco, a city located 17 kilometers from Guatemala City. The event brought together the churches and temples of Zone 7. The event, held under the motto “Searching for the Lost,” began in the morning with an evangelistic march through the main streets of Belén in order to announce the good news. Then, in the afternoon, the worship took place. In the service, Reverend Marlon Hernández, national secretary of the WMM in Guatemala, preached the Word with the message “What the Church Has Stopped Doing,” based on Acts 8:26-39. He remarked that the responsibility of the church is to announce the Gospel.

WORLDWIDE MISSIONARY MOVEMENT America • Europe • Oceania • Africa • Asia

EL SALVADOR

On January 10, the Worldwide Missionary Movement in El Salvador held a baptism in the eastern department of Usulután, and two believers received the sacrament established by Jesus Christ. Thus, the members of the temple of the municipality of San Francisco Javier sealed their submission to the Lord and officially joined the Work of God. In addition, Sister Juana de Jesús Flores preached the Gospel through the message “Dead to Sin.” Reverend Rafael Parada, national supervisor of the WMM in El Salvador, attended the baptism ceremony and stressed the importance of fulfilling what is established in the Holy Scriptures.


URUGUAY

MÉXICO

Evangelistic Campaign for Children in Pando

Baptism, Fellowship and Campaign in Zone 2

The Elena Quinteros Square, in the city of Pando, hosted an evangelistic campaign organized by the Worldwide Missionary Movement in Uruguay on December 22. The event, whose motto was “Jesus Loves You,” was aimed at the Uruguayan children in the department of Canelones. Sister María José Pereira, from the church of Pando, shared the message of Christ to the more than one hundred and fifty children who participated in the campaign. Based on Luke 8:4-8 and 10:27-37, the preacher spoke about the parables of the sower and the good Samaritan. After the activity in the Elena Quinteros Square, which was attended by Reverend Carlos Magallanes, national supervisor of the WMM in Uruguay, twenty children joined the Work of God and the Pando congregation.

Under the motto “Only God Makes Man Happy,” the Worldwide Missionary Movement in Mexico held a series of events from December 22 to December 25 in the town of Las Guacamayas, located in the state of Michoacán. Members of Zone 2 got together to worship God. On the first day, a baptism ceremony was led by Reverend Alejandro Roblero, national supervisor of the WMM in Mexico. Eight brothers from churches in Zone 2 were baptized and thus joined the army of Jesus Christ. On the second day, a fellowship of young people was held at the temple of the locality of Las Guacamayas. In the morning service, Pastor Roblero shared a message for married couples entitled “What does God Think of Marriage?” based on Genesis 2:18-24. In addition, Pastor Sergio López gave the sermon “Your Best Offering Can Cost You Your Life,” based on Genesis 4:3-15. On December 23, 24 and 25, night worships were organized as part of an evangelistic campaign.

UNITED STATES

Regional Fellowship in California

From January 24 to January 26, the Worldwide Missionary Movement in the United States held the 6th Regional Fellowship of Zone 8 and Zone 18 in Concord, California. The event took place under the motto “Expansion USA, Advancing with Power” and was attended by Reverend Arturo Hernández, national supervisor of the Work in the U.S. On the first day, Reverend Pablo López, presbyter of Zones 4 and 14 of the WMM in the United States, developed the preaching “Requirements to Guarantee the Continuous Presence of God.” On the second day, Pastor Hernández shared God’s message, “Hearts that Please God,” based on John 11:5, 35 and 36. In the closing service, which was aimed at the youth of the WMM in the United States, Reverend Mario Pascual, presbyter of Zone 10, presented the message “The Holy People of God,” which was based on Deuteronomy 7:6-11.

ENGLAND Spiritual Retreat in Camberwell The Worldwide Missionary Movement in England held a spiritual retreat from January 18 to January 20. The event took place under the motto “Defending What God Has Given You” and gathered the members of the temple of Camberwell, in southern London. Reverend Roberto Riojas, leader of the WMM in England, preached the Gospel. On the opening day, he shared the message “Defending What God Has Given You,” based on 2 Samuel 23:11-12, and stressed that salvation must be preserved. On the second day, Pastor Riojas spread the Word with the message “When You Lose Hope, God Gives It Back,” based on Ezekiel 37:11-12, and stated that only in Christ there is hope. On the last day, Riojas shared the message “God Demands Total Surrender from His People,” based on Romans 12:12. He said that everything we have belongs to Christ and pointed out that the Almighty asks for sacrifice from his followers.

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EVA RIVERA Dear brothers, your magazine is enriching. I love it and share it with a group from church. I have magazines from 2014, I didn’t want to let them go, but

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GLOBAL AGENDA 2019

they need to be shared. Keep forward. God bless you. From Camuy, Puerto Rico.

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Magazine Evangelistic Impact / Edition March 2019 / English language