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THE MAGAZINE THAT EDIFIES YOUR LIFE

April 2017 / Edition 759

Categorical Response to Stephen Hawking

BIG BANG DID

NOT EXIST OFFICIAL PUBLICATION

WORLDWIDE MISSIONARY MOVEMENT

LIFE STORY

CURRENT NEWS

EVENT

Luis’ True Freedom

The Bus of Dignity

Costa Rica prepares Central American Congress


Jesus says: If two of you agree as touching anything that they will ask, it will be done for them by my Father. Matthew 18:19

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MISSIONARY MOVEMENT 2 WORLDWIDE America • Europe • Oceanía • África • Asia


editorial

AN ENCOUNTER

WITH GOD

Rev. Gustavo Martínez International President of the WMM

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God…” Romans 8:28.

S

ometimes it may seem like we are doing

knew how to worship and love God.

better than other people, but we do not

The prophet Isaiah fixed his gaze on the

realize that those areas we are doing better in

temple, and there he had a vision. Isaiah

make us lose contact and communion with

looked up and focused on where God’s thro-

God. We are winners when it comes to the

ne is. This is how he left the worldly things

world, to our friends, to the people who are

behind, even himself.

at the same spiritual level, but we are losers

When someone has an encounter with

when it comes to God. It is better to lose

Good, that person surrenders to God. “The-

before everybody and win before God. The

refore, if any man be in Christ, he is a

Lord said: “For whosoever will save his

new creature: old things are passed away;

life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose

behold, all things are become new” (2

his life for my sake shall find it” (Matthew

Corinthians 5:17).

16:25).

Dear reader, you need to have a true en-

We sometimes get involved in things that

counter with God, break out of your routi-

seem unimportant but they carry us away from

ne, break with religiousness and live in the

God. King David said: “For a day in thy courts

Holy Spirit. God wants you to answer now.

is better than a thousand. I had rather be a

He wants you to say the words of Isaiah and

doorkeeper in the house of my God, than

other men of God: “Here I am.” And if you

to dwell in the tents of wickedness” (Psalms

do, Jesus said: “…him that cometh to me I

84:10). These are the words of someone who

will in no wise cast out” ( John 6:37).

April 2017 / Impacto evangelistic

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evangelistic Founder Director: Rev. Luis M. Ortiz APRIL 2017 / EDITION N° 759 (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

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INTERNATIONAL BOARD MEMBERS OF WMM INC. Rev. Gustavo Martínez President Rev. José Soto Vice President Rev. Rubén Concepción Secretary Rev. Rodolfo González Treasurer Rev. Álvaro Garavito Director Rev. Margaro Figueroa Director Rev. Rómulo Vergara Director Rev. Humberto Henao Director Rev. Luis Meza 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

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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: Av. 28 de Julio 1781 - Lima 13 - Peru Printout: Quad/Graphics Perú S.A. Av. Los Frutales 344 - Lima 03 - Peru MISSIONARY MOVEMENT 4 WORLDWIDE America • Europe • Oceanía • África • 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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DEVOTIONALS 40 / THE MINISTRY OF SUFFERING. Rev. Luis M. Ortiz 42 / BE OF GOOD CHEER, I HAVE OVERCOME. Rev. Gustavo Martínez

Response to Stephen Hawking

6

Don’t Mess with My Children!

Life stories

30 / HERO OF FAITH. Messenger of love

Interview

28 / MUSIC. Seek ye first the kingdom of God

Current news

24 / LITERATURE. More than a carpenter

Cover note

20 / INTERNATIONAL. The Bus of Dignity

Luis’ true freedom

Costa Rica, Capital of Faith

22 16

34

44 - 64 / INTERNATIONAL EVENTS. Breaking the silence 65 / OTHER EVENTS.

52 / Event.

66 / LETTERS-AGENDA.

April 2017 / Impacto evangelistic

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RESPONSE TO

STEPHEN HAWKING

A

ccording to Hawking, the laws of physics, not the will of God, provide the real explanation as to how life on Earth came into being. This is the forceful reply of John Carson Lennox, Professor of Mathematics at Oxford University. John Carson Lennox (*)

There’s no denying that Stephen Hawking is intellectually bold as well as physically heroic. However, in his latest book, the renowned physicist mounts an audacious challenge to the traditional religious belief in the divine creation of the universe. According to Hawking, the laws of physics, not the will of God, provide the real explanation as to how life on Earth came into being. The Big Bang, he argues, was the inevitable consequence of these laws: “because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing.” Unfortunately, while Hawking’s argument is being hailed as controversial and ground-breaking, it is hardly new. For years, other scientists have made similar claims, maintaining that the awesome, sophisticated creativity of the world around us can be interpreted solely by reference to physical laws such as gravity. It is a simplistic approach, yet in our secular age it is one that seems to have resonance with a skeptical public. But, as both a scientist and a Christian, I would say that Hawking’s claim is misguided. He asks us to choose between God and the laws of physics, as if they were necessarily in mutual conflict. But contrary to what Hawking claims, physical laws can never provide a complete explanation of the universe. Laws themselves do not create anything, they are merely a description of what happens under certain conditions. What Hawking appears to have done is to confuse law with agency. His call on us to choose between God and physics is a bit like someone demanding that we choose between aeronautical engineer Sir Frank Whittle and the laws of physics to explain the jet engine. MISSIONARY MOVEMENT 6 WORLDWIDE America • Europe • Oceanía • África • Asia


cover note

April 2017 / Impacto evangelistic

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PHOTO: AFP MISSIONARY MOVEMENT 8 WORLDWIDE America • Europe • Oceanía • África • Asia


cover nota

That is a confusion of category. The laws of physics can explain how the jet engine works, but someone had to build the thing, put in the fuel and start it up. The jet could not have been created without the laws of physics on their own but the task of development and creation needed the genius of Whittle as its agent. Similarly, the laws of physics could never have actually built the universe. Some agency must have been involved. To use a simple analogy, Isaac Newton’s laws of motion in themselves never sent a snooker ball racing across the green baize. That can only be done by people using a snooker cue and the actions of their own arms. Hawking’s argument appears to me even more illogical when he says the existence of gravity means the creation of the universe was inevitable. But how did gravity exist in the first place? Who put it there? And what was the creative force behind its birth? Similarly, when Hawking argues, in support of his theory of spontaneous creation, that it was only necessary for “the blue touch paper” to be lit to “set the universe going,” the question must be: where did this blue touch paper come from? And who lit it, if not God?

[…] physical laws can never provide a complete explanation of the universe. Laws themselves do not create anything, they are merely a description of what happens under certain conditions.

SCIENCE AND RELIGION Much of the rationale behind Hawking’s argument lies in the idea that there is a deep-seated conflict between science and religion. But this is not a discord I recognize. For me, as a Christian believer, the beauty of the scientific laws only reinforces my faith in an intelligent, divine creative force at work. The more I understand science, the more I believe in God because of my wonder at the breadth, sophistication and integrity of his creation. The very reason science flourished so vigorously in the 16th and 17th centuries was precisely because of the belief that the laws of nature which were then being discovered and defined reflected the influence of a divine law-giver. One of the fundamental themes of Christianity is that the universe was built according to a rational, intelligent design. Far from being at odds with science, the Christian faith actually makes perfect scientific sense. Some years ago, the scientist Joseph Needham made an epic study of technological development in China. He wanted to find out why China, for all its early gifts of innovation, had

April 2017 / Impacto evangelistic

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PHOTO: AFP

FOTO: AFP

fallen so far behind Europe in the advancement of science. He reluctantly came to the conclusion that European science had been spurred on by the widespread belief in a rational creative force, known as God, which made all scientific laws comprehensible. Despite this, Hawking, like so many other critics of religion, wants us to believe we are nothing but a random collection of molecules, the end product of a mindless process. MISSIONARY MOVEMENT 10 WORLDWIDE America • Europe • Oceanía • África • Asia

To use a simple analogy, Isaac Newton’s laws of motion in themselves never sent a snooker ball racing across the green baize. That can only be done by people using a snooker cue and the actions of their own arms.


cover nota

It is fascinating that Hawking, in attacking religion, feels compelled to put so much emphasis on the Big Bang theory. Because, even if the non-believers don't like it, the Big Bang fits in exactly with the Christian narrative of creation.

This, if true, would undermine the very rationality we need to study science. If the brain were really the result of an unguided process, then there is no reason to believe in its capacity to tell us the truth. We live in an information age. When we see a few letters of the alphabet spelling our name in the sand, our immediate response is to recognize the work of an intelligent agent. How much more likely, then, is an intelligent creator behind

April 2017 / Impacto evangelistic

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cover nota

the human DNA, the colossal biological database that contains no fewer than 3.5 billion “letters”? It is fascinating that Hawking, in attacking religion, feels compelled to put so much emphasis on the Big Bang theory. Because, even if the non-believers don’t like it, the Big Bang fits in exactly with the Christian narrative of creation. That is why, before the Big Bang gained currency, so many scientists were keen to dismiss it, since it seemed to support the Bible story. Some clung to Aristotle’s view of the “eternal universe” without beginning or end; but this theory, and later variants of it, are now deeply discredited.

THE EXISTENCE OF GOD But support for the existence of God moves far beyond the realm of science. Within the Christian faith, there is also the powerful evidence that God revealed himself to mankind through Jesus Christ two millennia ago. This is well-documented not just in the scriptures and other testimony but also in a wealth of archaeological findings. Moreover, the religious experiences of millions of believers cannot lightly be dismissed. I myself and my own family can testify to the uplifting influence faith has had on our lives, something which defies the idea we are nothing more than a random collection of molecules. Just as strong is the obvious reality that we are moral beings, capable of understanding the difference between right and wrong. There is no scientific route to such ethics. Physics cannot inspire our concern for others, or the spirit of altruism that has existed in human societies since the dawn of time. The existence of a common pool of moral values points to the existence of transcendent force beyond mere scientific laws. Indeed, the message of atheism has always been a curiously depressing one, portraying us as selfish creatures bent on nothing more than survival and self-gratification. Hawking also thinks that the potential existence of other lifeforms in the universe undermines the traditional religious conviction that we are living on a unique, God-created planet. But there is no proof that other lifeforms are out there, and Hawking certainly does not present any. It always amuses me that atheists often argue for the existence of extra-terrestrial intelligence beyond earth. Yet they are only too eager to denounce the possibility that we already have a vast, intelligent being out there: God. Hawking’s new fusillade cannot shake the foundations of a faith that is based on evidence.

(*) John Carson Lennox is Professor of Mathematics at the University of Oxford, Fellow in Mathematics and Philosophy of Science and Pastoral Advisor at Green Templeton College, Oxford University.

April 2017 / Impacto evangelistic

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SCIENCE AND THE BIBLE Does the Bible have any relation with science? The scientific statements of the Bible are reliable. Many people think that the Bible and science are incompatible. How is it possible that the Bible anticipated science? The Bible is a book that was written many centuries ago

(between 750 BC and 110 AD), but it is the only one in the world and in history that contains statements that modern scientists have ‘discovered’ over the last five centuries. What the Bible tells us in the following verses:

When Christopher Columbus said that the Earth was round, many scientists laughed at the idea, as it was also in the Bible. Now, no one doubts that the Earth is round! Between Columbus and Isaiah there are more than 2,000 years of difference. So, for more than 2,300 years, those claiming that the Earth was round “because the Bible says,” were mocked, scorned and even persecuted.

Isaiah 40:22/Proverbs 8:27

“It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in.” Isaiah, speaking of God, makes this statement about the roundness of the Earth. Today, we all know that the Earth is not flat, but round.

Jeremiah 33:22

Incalculable number of stars. At first glance, around 5,000 stars are visible. God stated that man was not going to be able to count the stars of heaven. In the 17th century, Galileo glimpsed the immensity of our universe with his new telescope. Today, astronomers estimate that there are one septillion stars –that’s a 1 followed by 25 zeros.

Genesis 1:1

he universe had a beginning. With Albert Einstein’s studies in the early 1900s and those made to date, science has confirmed the biblical view that the universe had a beginning.

Genesis 1:20-22

The chicken or the egg dilemma is solved. What came first? This question has challenged philosophers for centuries. The Bible states that God created birds with the ability to reproduce according to their species. MISSIONARY MOVEMENT 14 WORLDWIDE America • Europe • Oceanía • África • Asia

Genesis 2:7 y 3:19

3:19 Our body is made of the dust of the ground. Scientists have discovered that the human body is composed of elements found precisely on the earth crust.


If someone had said before this discovery that the wind “weights”, they would not have been taken seriously. But if the postulate had been made “because the Bible says,” mockery was assured. Yet the Bible already said, in Job 28:25, that the air weights, about 3,500 years before Torricelli. Before Torricelli, everything that the Bible stated was ridiculed in the name of science. Today is not different, but there is a difference: It is no longer considered “madness” claiming that the air weights.

Jonás 2:5-6

There are mountains on the bottom of the ocean floor. It was not only until the last century that the invention of sonar proved this. Today we have accurate maps of the ocean floor, which show mountains and volcanoes.

JOB 28:25 “To make the weight for the winds; and he weigheth the waters by measure.”

JOB 28:26 - 38:25 “When he made a decree for the rain, and a way for the lightning of the thunder” “Who hath divided a watercourse for the overflowing of waters, or a way for the lightning of thunder?”

What physicists discovered over the last centuries –that electric shocks such as lightning follow a way– was already stated in Job 28:26; 38:25. The best-known application of this discovery is the lightning rod invented by Benjamin Franklin in 1752.

Hebrews 11:3

Creation is made of subatomic particles, indiscernible to our eye. It was not until the 19th century that it was discovered that all visible matter consists of invisible elements.

Genesis 1:24

Life is classified in species. There are genetic barriers that do not allow a particular species to reproduce into another totally different species. The wide variety of known species only reproduce according to their own species.

April 2017 / Impacto evangelistic

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DON’T MESS WITH MY

CHILDREN!

T

Foto: Obed Diaz

his was a mass protest that gathered over a million people simultaneously in different cities of Peru. The rejection of gender ideology was firm and categorical.

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current news

April 2017 / Impacto evangelistic

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Fotos: Allison Alcántara y Winny Chávez

Over one hundred thousand Peruvians gathered in Lima last Saturday, March 4, to reject gender ideology and the intentions of the Peruvian Ministry of Education to introduce these ideas in the curriculum of children and teenagers. Despite the hot weather, which reached around 30 ºC, men, women, children, teenagers and the elderly walked a long distance towards Plaza San Martin. There they gathered for a mass meeting attended by leaders of citizen groups and MISSIONARY MOVEMENT 18 WORLDWIDE America • Europe • Oceanía • África • Asia

The meeting started soon after midday with a huge number of people. There were four previous meeting points throughout the city from where the sea of people moved towards Plaza San Martin, crowding streets and avenues.


current news

representatives of Christian churches. The meeting started soon after midday with a huge number of people. There were four previous meeting points throughout the city from where the sea of people moved towards Plaza San Martin, crowding streets and avenues. There were similar protests in the countryside. Carrying banners rejecting gender ideology, thousands of people spoke up in streets and avenues.

Promoters of gender ideology tried to mount a countercampaign on social networks, but this did not make those who are against this threat to education step back. The group #conmishijosnotemetas (don’t mess with my children), which gathers parents, professionals and representatives of other sectors of society, was founded in Peru 4 months ago due to the intention of introducing gender ideology at schools.

April 2017 / Impacto evangelistic

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THE BUS OF

I

DIGNITY

t is surprising to see how far things have come and how upside-down everything is, up to the point that mere common sense is now considered a crime. Wenceslao Calvo (*)

The advertisement shown on a bus of the Hazte Oír organization in the streets of Madrid —with a message about gender identity and sexuality— has triggered a storm of outrage. The City Council of Madrid has named it “the bus of shame.” Many political leaders from different parties have condemned the message. Even legal actions have been taken to stop it from running. It was accused before the District Attorney’s Office for promoting hatred and threatening diversity. They say that in an “advanced society” like ours, there is no room for such ideas. It is surprising to see how far things have come and how upside-down everything is, up to the point that mere common sense is now considered a crime, which means that common sense has been replaced by something that could be considered “common nonsense.” A sane and pure society is led by the first, while a corrupted and decayed one embraces the last one. The message on the bus is as far from being shameful as the Earth is from the Sun. For its message, the bus should be named “the bus of dignity,” as it has dared to defy the hegemonic dishonor reigning over Madrid and all Spain for a while now, and to spread a blatantly obvious truth —that boys have a penis and girls have a vagina, so if you are born a man, you are a man, and if you are born a woman, you will always be one. For its message, the bus should be named “the bus of courage,” as it has dared to go against the flow and pay the high price of rejection and threat for doing so. It is pathetic to see how those who stated not long ago that some truths are “common sense” have now become persecutors of that said common sense. For its message, the bus should be named “the bus of commitment”, as it has committed to protect a position that MISSIONARY MOVEMENT 20 WORLDWIDE America • Europe • Oceanía • África • Asia

PHOTO: AFP

does not allow neither half-measures nor collusions because humanity itself is at stake. This commitment is even more praiseworthy if we consider that the Hazte Oír president’s boss is the current resident at Vatican, who comfortably remains on the sidelines, making no compromising statements that may incite the promotors of common nonsense against him. For its message, the bus should be named “the bus of freedom of speech,” a right denied long ago to any dissident of


current news

the hegemonic thinking, though available to its full extent to its followers. Next summer, when Madrid becomes the worldwide capital of the Pride Parade, many buses will run the city promoting shame with the consent of many, with no obstacles, no threats, no accusations, no limits. In those days, we will have no option but to see and hear 24/7 the message of common nonsense, talking about their ideas and glories that are in fact nothing but lies and devia-

tion. But this is how far things have come, to an “advanced society� that is certainly advancing, quickly, towards collective suicide. But this is not the first time something like this happens. There is nothing new under the sun after all. The bus of shame? Shame is an ambivalent word, which may mean different things. It can be a feeling coming from consciousness, but also mean disgrace and disrepute. The shame of this bus falls, in any case, into the first category.

April 2017 / Impacto evangelistic

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COSTA RICA,

CAPITAL OF FAITH T

he Central American Convention of the WWM will be held from July 4 to 8. The meeting will be attended by numerous delegations from different countries of the region. It is a meeting of faith. More than six thousand people will gather in San Miguel to attend the Central American Convention of the WMM. Rev. Carlos Guerra, organizer of the Convention, is determined to make of this important meeting a success. Reverend, where will the Central American Convention be held? It will be held in Casa Oasis, San Miguel, Costa Rica. When will it be held? From July 4 to 8, that is in less than three months. How many people do you expect? About 6500 people coming from most of the Central American countries. What is the capacity of the place? It can host 8000 people. What is the motto? “Victory is ours,” based on Psalms 70:12. Did the government grant you any support to ease the access of visitors to the country? We have met with officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and they gave us the support necessary to welcome all the visitors to the Convention. If there is not enough room to host the whole congregation, is there a backup plan? We have our own media, so we will broadcast live on channels 50 and 45 in Costa Rica, on the site www. mmmcostarica.com and on Bethel TV. Did you have any problem to organize the event? Not really. The only issue is the accommodation times. We need foreign visitors to confirm their assistance before April 30 to the national office of Costa Rica since it is peak season for hotels. We have nego-

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tiated with them, but there are limitations. Is the zone safe? It is very safe. The place is located by one of the main highways that lead to the Atlantic Ocean. There are enough facilities to provide services to all the participants. Have you met with any government representative? We have met with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and we have the support of the government, which has made all its possible to support our work.

GENDER IDEOLOGY Pastor, you travel regularly and you know the reality of the WMM in different countries, which are the challenges that the Church faces nowadays? We live in very difficult times, as never before in history, and that clearly shows that we are near the end of times. Brother Ortiz said that “it is good that things are going bad,” as it is a sign that Christ is coming soon. We deal with an incredulous generation, a generation that does not use faith, a generation that wants to understand things but question everything because of what they learn at school. Do you refer to gender ideology? Yes, since it is one of the big forces that affect the world. The laws that exist in the US and Europe want to be reproduced in Latin America. They want to impose gender ideology at schools and through laws as absurd as the one stating that physicians should no longer be allowed to determine the sex of a child at birth, but the child must make his/her own choice at the age of 7 or 9. It is ridiculous! It goes against nature and everything that is normal. We, as children of God, do not accept that at all. We are facing an attack against family, a family terrorism—I dear to use that word—that wants to


Interview

destroy the natural order of men and women and the normal and traditional family. What is the objective you perceive in this gender ideology? What benefit would this group have by promoting it? They speak about their rights. They want their rights to be respected, but when it comes to our rights and we demand respect for them, who defends us? They have the right to speak and give their opinions, but when we reply with an opposite opinion to theirs, when we quote the bible, they do not like it and attack us. They are supported by media and governments, and they take advantage of that; they have learned how to organize themselves and how to receive the support of key players. They did that better than us and we have to admit it. Although they are minority, they move media. How to counteract the advance of gender ideology? How to counteract the offensive developed during last years? Our best defense is the Word of God, but we also need medical science. We have to prove scientifically that what they believe has not scientific basis, much less biblical basis. A man who believes is a woman has a serious problem; a woman that believes she is a man has also a serious problem. And that is what they do not like; they don’t like it when we say they have a sickness. A Spanish doctor traveled to Costa Rica to give a conference at the University of Costa Rica. He was going talk about homosexuality being a sickness from the medical and scientific point of view and the possibility of curing it. When the members of the Gay Movement of Costa Rica heard this, they were against the doctor; they didn’t want him to give the conference. They even protested with placards to prohibit his entry to the country. They talk about right to liberty and human rights, yet they do not respect our rights to express ourselves. George Orwell said: “If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.” Photo: Roberto Guerrero

April 2017 / Impacto evangelistic

23


MORE THAN A

CARPENTER T

he book written by writer Joslin McDowell, one of the most influential apologists today, leads us to the person who changed his life: Jesus Christ.

Sometime after my discoveries about the Bible and Christianity, I was riding in a cab in London and happened to mention something about Jesus to the driver. Immediately he retorted, “I don’t like to discuss religion, especially Jesus.” I couldn’t help but notice the similarity of his reaction to my own when the young Christian woman told me that Jesus Christ had changed her life. The very name Jesus seems to bother people. It embarrasses them, makes them angry, or makes them want to change the subject. You can talk about God, and people don’t necessarily get upset, but mention Jesus, and people want to stop the conversation. In the book More Than a Carpenter, published by Tyndale House Publishers, evangelical writer Joslin ‘Josh’ McDowell leads us to the person who changed his life: Jesus Christ. With more than 30 million copies printed in the world, the book contains a series of convincing and conclusive arguments for skeptics about the deity of Jesus of Nazareth, his resurrection, and his claims as Lord in the lives of those who do not believe in his restorative power. One thing about the Christian faith that has especially appealed to me is that it is not a blind, ignorant belief but rather one based on solid intelligence. Every time we read that a Bible character was asked to exercise faith, we see that it’s an intelligent faith. Jesus said, “You will know the truth” (John 8:32), not ignore it. Christ was asked, “Which is the most important commandment?” Jesus replied, “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind” (Matthew 22:3637). The problem with many people is that they seem to love God only with their hearts.

RELY ON THE TESTIMONY Divided into twelve chapters, McDowell’s book, in its introduction, refers to the personal testimony of the American author about the importance of the Gospel of God in his life. Josh, born on August 17, 1939 in the United States, points out that “Christianity is not a religion. Religion is humans trying to work their way to God through good works. Christianity is God coming to men and women through Jesus Christ.” MISSIONARY MOVEMENT 24 WORLDWIDE America • Europe • Oceanía • África • Asia

Since the Christian faith is historical, our knowledge of it must rely heavily on testimony, both written and oral. Without such testimony, we have no window to any historical event, Christian or otherwise. In fact, all history is essentially a knowledge of the past based on testimony. If reliance on such testimony seems to give history too shaky a foundation, we must ask, How else can we learn of the past? How can we know that Napoleon lived? None of us was alive in his time period. We didn’t see him or meet him. We must rely on testimony. Published in 1977, More Than a Carpenter contains historical explanations that clearly represent, with little religiosity, what makes Jesus Christ unique. McDowell, who in his youth was agnostic and questioned evangelical faith, began to study the life of the Son of the Lord to demonstrate his “Christian” friends that they were wrong. However, at the end of his research he ended up becoming a great defender of God. In order to understand the apostles’ relationship to Christ and why the Cross was so incomprehensible to them, you must grasp the national attitude about the Messiah at the time of Christ. His life and teachings were in tremendous conflict with the Jewish messianic understanding of that day. From childhood, a Jew was taught that when the Messiah came, he would be a victorious, reigning political leader. He would free the Jews from bondage to the Romans and restore Israel to its rightful place as an independent nation that would shine like a beacon to all the world. A suffering Messiah was “completely foreign to the Jewish conception of messiahship.” Half biographical and half apologetic, McDowell’s book is a short, but carefully prepared to attract a broad and general public, not only Christians. It is undoubtedly the type of publication that many believers can eagerly offer their skeptical friends or unbelievers with the hope and confidence that

Basically, we know God through his attributes. However, his attributes are not parts of him in the same way that the attributes you have adopted are parts of you. You may realize it is good to be courteous and adopt this attribute as a part of your overall makeup. With God it works the other way around. God’s attributes, his very being, include such qualities as holiness, love, justice, and righteousness.


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they will read it and become convinced of the existence of Jesus Christ. A classic approach to the defense of the faith, it also exposes a direct path to the feet of Christ. MISSIONARY MOVEMENT 26 WORLDWIDE America • Europe • Oceanía • África • Asia

GOD’S ATTRIBUTES Over and over Jesus appealed to Old Testament prophecies to substantiate his claims. Galatians 4:4 says, “But when the right


literature

Since the Christian faith is historical, our knowledge of it must rely heavily on testimony, both written and oral. Without such testimony, we have no window to any historical event, Christian or otherwise. In fact, all history is essentially a knowledge of the past based on testimony. If reliance on such testimony seems to give history too shaky a foundation, we must ask, How else can we learn of the past? How can we know that Napoleon lived? None of us was alive in his time period.

time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law.” Here we have reference to the prophecies being fulfilled in Jesus Christ. “Then Jesus took them through the writings of Moses

and all the prophets, explaining from all the Scriptures the things concerning himself” (Luke 24:27). Jesus said to them, “When I was with you before, I told you that everything written about me in the law of Moses and the prophets and in the Psalms must be fulfilled” (Luke 24:44). McDowell, one of the most influential apologists today, is a mentor for all those who wish to know the power of God, because his life changed dramatically after discovering the Lord’s love. Since 1961, when he joined the evangelical organization Campus Crusade for Christ, he has held more than 27,000 Christian conferences to more than 25 million people in 125 countries. He is also the author of more than one hundred books. Basically, we know God through his attributes. However, his attributes are not parts of him in the same way that the attributes you have adopted are parts of you. You may realize it is good to be courteous and adopt this attribute as a part of your overall makeup. With God it works the other way around. God’s attributes, his very being, include such qualities as holiness, love, justice, and righteousness. For example, goodness is not a part of God but rather something that is true of God’s very nature. God’s attributes have their source in who God is. Creator of endless avant-garde events to help young people stand firm in their faith in the face of the rapidly evolving modern culture, Joslin McDowell ends his book with an analysis of the freedom surrounding Christianity. On this point, he states, “You can’t force Christ on anyone. You’ve got to live your life, and I’ve got to live mine. All of us are free to make our own decisions. All I can do is tell you what I’ve learned.” What I have shared with you in this book is what I learned after digging through the evidence for Christianity after my friends at the university challenged me to prove the truth of their claims. You would think that after examining the evidence, I would have immediately jumped on board and become a Christian. But in spite of the abundant evidence, I felt a strong reluctance to make the plunge. My mind was convinced of the truth. I had to admit that Jesus Christ must be exactly who he claimed to be. I could plainly see that Christianity was not a myth, not a fantasy of wishful dreamers.

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SEEK YE FIRST THE KINGDOM

OF GOD

I

nspired by Matthew 6:33, the hymn of Karen Lafferty is considered iconic of contemporary gospel music. It says, in simple words, that the Creator is the only one who can give life its meaning. Created in 1971 by American musician Karen Lafferty and included in most hymnals around the world, “Seek Ye First” are the words of a Christian committed to the Lord. Inspired by Matthew 6:33, it is considered an iconic song of contemporary gospel music that says, in simple words, that the Creator is the only one capable of giving anyone’s life its meaning. Born on February 28, 1948, Lafferty has been a wellknown exponent of gospel music for more than four decades. As she was raised in a Christian home, she developed a strong passion for the gospel of God from a very early age. Nevertheless, it was not until after she earned a degree in music education from the Eastern New Mexico University and tried to become a secular singer that she listened to the call of God.

SPECIAL STORY After resigning a well-paid job as a singer at a restaurant in the city of Costa Mesa, California, she discovered that God needed her as a full-time artist. Jesus became her boss, and her faith and spiritual strength were put to test. Without money and feeling confused, she thought she had lost the guidance of God, but she never doubted and turned to Him. Holding on to the Gospel, she decided to study the Holy Scriptures with great dedication at the church she attended. She realized once again that the Creator had called her to preach His Word through her voice by reading the verse 33 of chapter 6 of the book of Matthew. Once back at home, she took her guitar as she usually did and started playing a melody to go with the verse. Karen’s song was published for the first time in 1974 as part of a Christian music album by the Maranatha Music record label, a nonprofit ministry founded in 1971. The hymn MISSIONARY MOVEMENT 28 WORLDWIDE America • Europe • Oceanía • África • Asia

gained immediate popularity among evangelical congregations worldwide and later turned into an international sales hit, consolidating the artistic career of Lafferty. Nowadays, talking about “Seek Ye First” is talking about its author. Karen says, “I’m very grateful and happy for how


music

SEEK YE FIRST THE KING­ DOM OF GOD

the Lord has made use of my song for more than four decades to share His message with humanity. Many people have never heard about me, but they know that my creation helps to remind believers that they have to seek the kingdom of Jesus Christ before anything else.�

1 Seek ye first the kingdom of God, And His righteousness, And all these things, shall be added onto you, Alleu, alleuia 2 Man shall not live by bread alone, But by every word That proceeds from the mouth of God Alleu, Alleuia 3 Ask and it shall be given unto you, Seek and ye shall find. Knock and the door shall be opened onto you. Alleu, Alleuia 4 Alleluia Alleluia Jesus be my first love Alleluia Alleluia Lord you will guide me As I seek You

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MESSENGER OF LOVE

T

he life of the missionary John Geddie, “the Father of Missions in the South Seas”, is an eternal homage to the power of God, who allowed him to preach the Word among savage and cannibal tribes. Eugene Myers

— “Hey, do you hear the screams?”, ask the wife of the missionary. — “Yes”, he replied. Then, he added, “someone died and, according to the tradition of the island, a relative is being strangled.” A few moments later, on a nearby beach, the preacher saw a group of natives throwing the bodies of a men and a woman. He approached to them and talked about that evil action. Some of them, who had already received Christian education, agreed with the pastor and started looking for the woman’s murderer. In a couple of minutes, the group brought the offender. The murderer set his eyes on the minister of God and shouted: “I will never strangle a woman again.” In that moment, the missionary asked the natives to free the murderer. However, they replied that he should remain tied up to a post and be flogged by the village for some days. —“No”, said the pastor. Then, he asked: “Was not the love of Christ, which changed your hard hearts? Do not use any other weapon apart from the one used by our Lord, which is love.” This story happened in 1851 in the New Hebridees (Oceania), which is now part of the archipelago of Vanuatu. The protagonist was the missionary John Geddie, who dedicated his life to serve the Lord and preach His Word in the South seas.

FIRST STEPS Geddie was born on April 10, 1815, in the city of Banff, Scotland. His father, a watchmaker, was a loyal believer of the Gospel who served the Lord as a deacon. Likewise, Mary Menzies, the mother of John, was a member of a Christian family. They had four children together: three girls and a boy. In 1816, the Geddie-Menzies family moved to the city of Pictou, located in the colony of New Scotland (Nova Scotia), after leaving the Scotch territory. In that place, which is now Canada, John learned about the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. Nevertheless, there is no further information about his MISSIONARY MOVEMENT 30 WORLDWIDE America • Europe • Oceanía • África • Asia

Geddie fought with effort to spread the good news. He spread the Holy Scriptures in schools, through individual conversations and constant visits. On his personal battle, he faced different obstacles and dangers. While he traveled through forests and mountains during his evangelistic journeys, he was almost murdered many times. The tribes threw rocks and lances to him and as a result of it, he was wounded many times.


hero of faith

first steps into the path to faith until he turned 19 years old, age in which he joined a local congregation on June 22, 1834. As he was passionate about books and articles related to the success of the Gospel in remoted places, he followed a Theology course after finishing studies at the Pictou Academy. Being a man of small height and known as “Little Johnie�, he overcame different diseases thanks to the love of God, whom he promised to carry His message of salvation to a pagan land. On March 13, 1838, he was ordained pastor of a congregation in the Prince Edward Island.

While he was tirelessly working on his pastoral duties, Geddie promoted in his congregation the idea of carrying out missionary work abroad. This was a new idea, because until then, churches of the British colonies sought to receive financial aid for themselves instead of sending missionaries abroad. For the first time, he started to take action with a mission on his own to save pagans. Many people disagreed with his idea, so it took him years of effort to convince them. Thousands of hearts were finally moved to action by his passionate request: “Carrying out a

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hero of faith

mission to save pagans is our duty and a privilege. I beg you to wake up and take action in this noble mission, which will help to redeem the world.” When his congregation committed to carry out a mission in the South seas, he was accepted as the first missionary. His skills in mechanics and his knowledge on medicine made him ideal to work in a remote land among Melanesian and Polynesian savages. On November 30, 1846, with his wife and children, he departed from Port of Halifax.

THE FATHER OF MISSIONS On October 17, 1847, after a trip of more than 20,000 miles, Geddie arrived at American Samoa. As he had to wait for six months for the next ship to the Eastern Melanesia, he decided to study Samoan. The knowledge on this language was of great help when talking to Samoan masters, who had already settled

The female gender was degraded and killing not wanted babies happened frequently. If a man had died, his wife was strangled immediately; if he had a child who was too young to take care of himself, he was killed too, but if he was an adult, he had the task of strangling his mother.

in different Melanesian Islands. Geddie, “the Father of Missions in the South Seas”, arrived at the Aneityum Island, of the New Hebridees archipelago in 1848. This remoted place, was inhabited by savages, of whom he was afraid and with who he had little or nothing in common. His family and him studied immediately the Aneityum language. The task was titanic because there was neither a dictionary nor a book to study from. After accomplishing that objective, their first task was to print some materials to educate people. When he arrived at the Aneityum Island, there were two Samoan masters, Simeona and Pita, and no native had been converted. The inhabitants of this island, just as those from the New Hebrides, looked like savages. In Aneityum, each person would paint his face according to what they like. Men would have long hair, while women had it short. Hair made men very be proud. To have a big hole in the ear was common as well as piercing the nose. Women covered up with a type of belt made of leaves and men were practically naked. The female gender was degraded and killing not wanted babies happened frequently. If a man had died, his wife was strangled immediately; if he had a child who was too young to take care of himself, he was killed too, but if he was an adult, he had the task of strangling his mother.

Cannibalism was frequent in Aneityum. Natives considered human flesh as the most delicious food. It was common for bosses to kill their workers to make a cannibal feast. The city was immersed in moral degradation. Revenge was a sacred duty. Forgiveness was a word that did not exist in that language. Their deities included idols and spirits called Natmasses. Their sacred men possessed great powers, such as producing thunders and lightnings. Where did John Geddie take strength from in order to overcome these circumstances and what kept him firm despite so much horror? What was the message he wished to carry to a such degraded city? In relation to this, he wrote: “The love of Christ keep us strong and constrain us to act correctly. My heart wishes to tell this village the greatness of redeeming love”.

ETERNAL HOMAGE Aneityum was the preacher’s base of operations, while his church reached vast territories of Eastern Melanesia. His evangelization job included the recruitment of new missionaries. To do this, he requested help from Canada and Scotland and the London Missionary Society. However, he had to work by himself for many years. Geddie fought with effort to spread the good news. He spread the Holy Scriptures in schools, through individual conversations and constant visits. On his personal battle, he faced different obstacles and dangers. While he traveled through forests and mountains during his evangelistic journeys, he was almost murdered many times. The tribes threw rocks and lances to him and as a result of it, he was wounded many times. From the beginning, he educated natives to transmit the truth of God. He reinforced his teaching serving as example and encouraged them to testify among the other tribes. He also taught all his disciples to read and love the Word of God. As they were learning about Christian life, he taught them the importance of evangelization in the other islands. Many of them offered voluntarily and risked their lives for Christ. Responding to the help request, believers from Canada and Scotland sent Geddie enough money to acquire a ship, thanks to which he could travel around New Hebrides Islands, New Caledonia and the Loyalty Islands. In addition, John founded Christian schools in every possible place. Thanks to his effort, the Bible was translated and placed on the hands of the village that took him in. Then, hundreds, even thousands, left the paganism behind and became Christians. Back in those days, he managed to fill 25 temples with believers. The life of John Geddie, who left the earth on December 14, 1872, and his accomplishments in Eastern Melanesia, particularly in Aneityum, remind us the power of God to convert savages into saints and places owned by cruelty into lands of the Lord.

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LUIS’ TRUE

FREEDOM L

uis Huaura lived in sin from the age of six. He spent more than a third of his life in prison, where he believed he was king and boss. He could leave this wicked world of filth with God’s help. Johan Pérez Photo: Allison Alcántara y Archivo Familiar

The first time he stole something, he was just ten years old. Abandoned to his fate, he grew up amidst crime, poverty and neglect. Leader of a group of little thieves, he was always willing to fight, make trouble or commit crimes. His boldness, of which he boasted, led him to spend more than a third of his life in jail. However, today, after knowing the Gospel in prison, Luis Huaura Arroyo is a bold servant of God. Standing by the door of a church of the Worldwide Missionary Movement, on the outskirts of Lima, Luis tries to explain the transformation that changed the course of his life. Holding on to his Bible, he says that, as in any story, he must start from the beginning: “I was born in San Juan de Lurigancho, one of the most dangerous districts of Lima, on August 24, 1982. My parents separated when I was about six years old.” According to his testimony, the divorce of his parents, Isabel Arroyo and Guillermo Huaura, was the trigger for what he later lived: a childhood without love. From then on, the streets of the Huascar neighborhood became home. Together with his brothers Víctor and Juan, the mischievous child liked to hang out on street corners bothering people, as far as possible from his shanty. Evil took hold of him little by little and led him down the wrong path.

CRUEL ADOLESCENCE Accustomed to sleeping with his brothers and father on the same bed, Huaura recalls that his malice increased in the early nineties, when he was a teenager. Alcohol became his best friend and he earned the nickname “El Chato Lucho” because of his short stature. His boldness also led him to lead a gang of slackers called “La Frontera,” with which he stole at markets and put up fights with enemy groups of his neighborhood. Back then, filled with hatred due to the lack of family protection, he discovered that his fists and cleverness could help him fit in the underworld. He dropped out of high school and, short after, learned that sniffing glue gave him an ephemeral sense of joy. He also expeMISSIONARY MOVEMENT 34 WORLDWIDE America • Europe • Oceanía • África • Asia


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rienced the rigors of police stations at a very young age, when he was captured for robbery. When he became a full-time criminal, his older brother, Alberto Huaura, welcomed him in his home, located in the district of Comas, on the other side of Lima, in order to take him away from bad company. Far from his “colleagues,” he was still into making easy money. So, as soon as he got a job as a collector at a store, he behaved badly once again.

MOTORCYCLE THIEF In Comas, the fourth most populous district of Peru, Huaura was not an apprentice thief anymore, but he graduated from MISSIONARY MOVEMENT 36 WORLDWIDE America • Europe • Oceanía • África • Asia

At the end of September 2001, after celebrating the first birthday of his daughter Andrea, Luis Huaura was arrested for stealing a motorcycle with his brother Juan. Authorities processed him and, in less than a week, he was imprisoned in Lurigancho –one of the wildest prisons in the world according to Amnesty International and the InterAmerican Commission on Human Rights– where we was welcomed by criminal friends.


life stories

In September 2013, after serving his sentence and helping to develop the evangelizing work of the Work of God at the Lurigancho prison, Luis Huaura Arroyo was released. He immediately devoted himself to testify to how the Lord had managed to rescue him from the clutches of crime. He was later received by the WMM in Peru.

crime school, as he showed his skills for misdeed on more than one occasion. On September 25, 2000, thirty days after turning 18, he also became the dad of a girl whom he called Andrea Isabel. Unafraid, he got involved with fearsome thieves, thugs with huge criminal records and bad guys of all kinds. At that time, he used the privileged information he had as a collector for his illegal activities. On his motorcycle, he was an effective informant of delinquents, providing them with accurate data on simple targets. He also specialized in stealing motorcycles, which he then sold on the black market in Lima. Gun in hand, and seconded by a gang of outlaws, he

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sowed terror in the suburbs of northern Lima. At the end of September 2001, after celebrating the first birthday of his daughter Andrea, Luis Huaura was arrested for stealing a motorcycle with his brother Juan. Authorities processed him and, in less than a week, he was imprisoned in Lurigancho –one of the wildest prisons in the world according to Amnesty International and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights– where we was welcomed by criminal friends.

RE-OFFENDER Inside Lurigancho, protected by a “taita” (leader of a prison block), he lived among the worst criminals of the city but remained unharmed. Skilled in hand-to-hand combat and

sharp with knives, Luis was always mingling with the most fearsome prisoners and gained the respect of the other inmates by force. He used the eighteen months of confinement to cut his arms and gather information on people who contacted him as soon as he was released. Upon his release from prison, “El Chato Lucho” was back to misdeeds. More seasoned and violent than before, he executed many robberies to drug stores, gas stations, shops, companies and malls. Freedom lasted only sixteen months. On July 26, 2004, after a failed robbery, he was imprisoned once again in Lurigancho. On his return to prison, he was MISSIONARY MOVEMENT 38 WORLDWIDE America • Europe • Oceanía • África • Asia

hailed and considered one of the most feared inmates. When remembering his second stay in Lurigancho, Huaura says that it was marked by anger, misfortune and bribes. He witnessed the shady actions of the Peruvian penitentiary system, and when he failed to take the power from the leaders of his block, he paid his audacity with the exile to the worst area of the prison. Soon, living among lunatics and men with AIDS, he became the right-hand man of one of the psychologists of the penitentiary, who helped him reentered society after five years of confinement.

LAST TIME BEHIND BARS The second release of this former criminal, converted today into a man of faith, lasted only two months, a time in which he never stopped being a criminal. Accustomed to stealing an average of one thousand dollars a day, he was arrested on September 26, 2009 and immediately taken to the Huacho prison, 150 kilometers from Lima. There, he first became a “taita” then a “prison boss” thanks to the sale of drugs sent from outside. However, one day in 2011, his empire was taken down by criminals from Callao. Surrounded by misfortune, after being battered, he was transferred to Lurigancho. Back there once again, among fellow thieves, he hit rock bottom because of cocaine paste. Without hope and on the brink of madness, he lived through the worst moments of his existence. However, on December 22, 2011, the Word of God came to rescue him from the filth in which he had sunk. He says that the Gospel of the Lord helped him change and turn into a good person behind bars. He discovered the good news thanks to the evangelizing work of the Worldwide Missionary Movement. From the very first moment, he committed himself to the Creator and submitted to His guide. Amazed by the Scriptures, he made a covenant with the Gospel which led him to the feet of Christ and back to the path of good. MAN OF GOD In September 2013, after serving his sentence and helping to develop the evangelizing work of the Work of God at the Lurigancho prison, Luis Huaura Arroyo was released. He immediately devoted himself to testify to how the Lord had managed to rescue him from the clutches of crime. He was later received by the WMM in Peru and, on March 14, 2014 he was baptized and accepted Jesus as his Savior. Ever since then, the Gospel has become the core of his life. At present, while waiting for his superiors to tell him where he will be sent to preach the Word, he assures that if he, a complete sinner, got rid of sin with the help of the Almighty, any repentant creature can be part of the flock of the Lord. With a broad smile on his face, he claims that salvation is in each church and temple that the Work has established in the five continents.


historias de vida

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THE MINISTRY OF

SUFFERING

“For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake; Having the same conflict which ye saw in me…” Philippians 1:29-30.

Rev. Luis M. Ortiz

If there is something that human nature can handle is suffering, even though we try to avoid it. “For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps” (1 Peter 2:21). When the shadow of the cross was already looming over Christ, his human nature cried: “O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me…,” but his divine spiritual nature prayed: “… nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt” (Matthew 26:39). The way of the cross is therefore a way of self-denial. We cannot do our own will, but the will of God. “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me” (Matthew 16:24). The apostles left everything and followed him. The apostle Paul says in this regard, “Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ” (Philippians 3:8). The way of the cross is a way of persecution. 2 Timothy 3:12 says: “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” The immaculate Son of God perished by the hands of the wicked, as stated by the Bible: “And some began to spit on him, and to cover his face, and to buffet him... And the servants did strike him with the palms of their hands” (Mark 14:65). “And they clothed him with purple, and platted a crown of thorns… And they smote him on the head with a reed, and did spit upon him … And led him out to crucify him… And it was the third hour, and they crucified him” (Mark 15:17-25). Neither time nor space allow me to talk about all the sufferings of our Lord Jesus Christ, the prophets and the apostles, of whom the world was not worthy (Hebrews 11: 36-38). The Lord says, “Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.” (Matthew 5:11-12). Whosoever therefore will be a friend of world is the enemy of God (James 4: 4). If you go down the way of the cross and self-denial, do not expect to be popular; you will be misunderstood, defamed, treated like the filth of the world, the offscouring of all things (1 Corinthians 4:13). But the Scripture also says, “If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you...” (1 Peter 4:14.) MISSIONARY MOVEMENT 40 WORLDWIDE America • Europe • Oceanía • África • Asia

The way of the cross is a way of physical suffering. The Scripture of Christ says, “Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered” (Hebrews 5:8). The apostle Paul had a thorn in his flesh and he said, “And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure… And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:7-9.) He also wrote: “Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses” (2 Corinthians 12:10.) When we recognize our insufficiency, then we seek His divine help and we are strong. Many followers of Christ today are enduring physical pains such as torture, imprisonment and other forms of physical punishment at


devotional

the hands of the enemies of the Gospel of Christ. But these brave soldiers of the cross also say, “The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me” (Hebrews 13:6). The way of the cross is a way of solitude. When Christ was arrested, “they all forsook him, and fled” (Mark 14:50). But He who knows well the way promises us, “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” (Heb. 13:5.) The way of the cross is a path of self-denial, persecution, suffering, solitude and much more; it is the way that Christ went down, and it is the way that we must go down; no matter what we find on it, we must face obstacles with joy and decision (Acts 5:41). Accept your cross, wear it with honor and without shame, for Christ says, “For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his

own glory” (Luke 9:26.) “Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to a faithful Creator” (1 Peter 4:19), because “If we suffer, we shall also reign with Him...” (2 Timothy 2:12). God showed me and told me that a more fruitful ministry would require more suffering for the Lord’s cause. The extent to which God can use a life is the extent of the sufferings in it. The price of a true ministry is suffering; the true ministry is affliction, pain, thorns, agony. Do you want a ministry without suffering? In the Bible, there is not such a thing, you would have to find another kind of ministry (2 Corinthians 4: 1, 2; 6: 4-10; 11: 23-28.) I chose the one that the Lord gave me, the one of the suffering. You will learn to say, “God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ...” (Galatians 6:14).

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BE OF GOOD CHEER, I HAVE OVERCOME

“Behold, the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me alone: and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me. These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” John 16:32-33. Rev. Gustavo Martínez

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Jesus Christ came into the world and perfectly fulfilled the Father’s plan of redemption. And through this sacrifice, both the love and justice of God were satisfied and the doors of grace were opened to all those who would accept him. In fact, through his death, the Lord defeated forever darkness and death.


devotional

VICTORY OVER THE DEVIL AND SIN The Gospel according to Matthew 4: 1-11 tells about the three temptations Christ faced during his retreat in the wilderness. However, He overcame Satan through the Word. Note that Christ defeated the devil as a simple man in order to grant us freedom, and so that we could defeat him as well. “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage” (Hebrews 2:14-15). During the dispensation of the law, atonement for sin was imperfect. Firstly, because it only covered sin; and secondly, because those making the sacrifice in the name of the people had to present their own sins first. In contrast, our Lord dwelt in a mortal body and was tempted in every way as any human being, but sin never ruled Him. This made his atoning sacrifice perfect, and so he could cleanse us from sin and annihilate its condemnatory power. Through his sacrifice, the throne of grace was opened for us and we can approach God without fear. “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16.) It is also the duty of him who is born of God to abstain from sinning and to keep himself (1 John 5:18). VICTORY OVER DEATH The devil had enslaved mankind by sin and by the fear of death. But Christ came to overthrow the empires and the powers of darkness, and publicly shamed them by triumphing over them on the cross of Calvary (Colossians 2:15). The tomb could not keep the Son of God buried; and on the third day after the crucifixion, the Spirit of God came upon Him, and raised Him from the dead. The Bible says:

“And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great. And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were affrighted. And he saith unto them, be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him” (Mark 16:4-6). The Scriptures reveal that the sting of death was sin and that the power of sin resided in the law that condemned us. However, when Christ annihilated the power of sin on the cross of Calvary, death could no longer frighten us: “Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:54-57). Beloved readers, we do not have to fear death or anything. “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear…” (1 John 4:18).

VICTORY OVER SADNESS AND IGNORANCE Before knowing that Jesus had risen, the disciples were in such a state of unimaginable prostration and sadness, that when Mary Magdalene came to announce the resurrection, they kept on weeping and crying and did not believe her (Mark 16:11). Christ had announced several times that he would die and rise again on the third day. However, to the disciples, the crucifixion had marked the end of their discipleship, and each one returned to their respective house and profession. But Christ appeared to them to give them back joy, for when he showed them his wounds and his side –irrefutable evidence that it was he–, they rejoiced greatly. The Lord Jesus Christ said that we would not be exempt from tribulations, but he also committed himself to give us his divine peace. “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world” ( John 16:33). On the other hand, Christ overcame not only sadness but also ignorance. After his resurrection, he appeared to two disciples who were going to the field, but they did not recognize him, and even called him “stranger.” The Savior reproached them for their ignorance by saying: “O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken” (Luke 24:25). Christ, therefore, turned to the Word to give them back the joy that comes from faith. But when they told the other apostles about it, no one believed them (Mark 16:12). When Christ appeared to them, he reproached them as well for both the hardness of heart and their lack of faith. Beloved, God is now calling you and giving you the chance to accept Him. If you do, He will welcome you and instantly make you heir to the Kingdom of Heaven.

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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).

The 27th National Convention of the Worldwide Missionary Movement in Panama took place in Arena Roberto Durán, a coliseum located in the Panamanian capital. It was attended by thousands of members of the Work of God from February 25 to 28. The spiritual party of WMM in Panama was graced with the visit of the international board members such as José Soto, Rubén Concepción, Rodolfo González, Humberto Henao and Magaro Figueroa. The event was also attended by reverends Manuel Zúñiga, National Supervisor of WMM in Costa Rica; Evangelisto Sánchez, National Supervisor of WMM in Nicaragua, and Carlos Guerra. MISSIONARY MOVEMENT 44 WORLDWIDE America • Europe • Oceanía • África • Asia

JESUS,

T

OUR JESUS

he WMM in Panama carried out its 27th National Convention counting on the presence of the international board members of the Work of God.

A Peruvian delegation of 40 people also had the honor of participating in the 27th National Convention of WMM in Panama. Likewise, a Nicaraguan group attended the event.

Rev. Epifanio Asprilla, National Supervisor of WMM in Panama, led the opening worship, in which Rev. Soto welcomed the attendees and Rev. Concepción shared the Word through a


events Photos: Deisy Soto

message called “Jesus, our counselor”. On his preach, Concepción stated: “We will face difficult situations. However, we must not forget that our path is guided by Jesus, the good counselor, who gives us words of encouragement and renews our strength”. During the second worship, the exposition about the verb of God was made by Rev. Zúñiga. After it, Rev. Henao shared the good news in the third part of the event. The fourth worship was carried out by Rev. Masías, who transmitted the message of the Lord. Afterwards, in the fifth ceremony, Rev. Figueroa was in charge of preaching. Then, in the sixth worship, Rev. González shared the words of the Gos-

pel. Finally, to close the event, Rev. Guerra shared a message with the people of the Lord.

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YOUTH AND PASTORS CONVENTION IN GUATEMALA

T

he Work settled in Guatemalan territory celebrated its growth with the convention, which was attended by delegations of Mexico, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Belize. The Youth and Pastors Conventions of the Worldwide Missionary Movement in Guatemala took place from December 8 to 11, 2016 in the premises of the La Certeza Convention Center, located in the city of Guatemala. MISSIONARY MOVEMENT 46 WORLDWIDE America • Europe • Oceanía • África • Asia

Photos: Salvador Carrillo

This event, in which the Work of God showed its progress in the Centro American territory, was graced with the presence of delegations from Mexico, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Belize, who supported the evangelistic work of WMM in Guatemala. Some important members of the Worldwide Missionary Movement who participated in the event at the La Certeza Convention Center were Rev. Álvaro Garavito, international board member of WMM; Rev. Gustavo Chay, National Supervisor of WMM in Guatemala; Rev. Alejandro Roblero, National Supervisor of WMM in Mexico; Rev. Edwin Parada,


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National Supervisor of WMM in El Salvador; Rev. Alejandro FĂşnez, National Supervisor in Nicaragua; and Rev. Reinaldo Valenzuela, National Supervisor of WMM in Belize. During the Young and Pastors National Convention of WMM in Guatemala, the Word of God was transmitted by the Rev. Chay and Rev. Parada, who, through their messages, highlighted the importance of the Work of God to people in need. The graduation of students from the Biblical Institute was also carried out during the convention. Eighty-five brothers and sisters received their diplomas after satisfactorily finishing theological education.

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SHINE LIKE

A TORCH IN THE DARKNESS

W

ith the presence of about 3,200 women, the Worldwide Missionary Movement in Costa Rica carried out its Sixth National Women’s Convention.

Graced with the presence of sister Carmen Valencia de Martínez, wife of the International President of the Work of God, the Worldwide Missionary Movement in Costa Rica carried out its Sixth National Women’s Convention from January 19 to 21 at Rogelio Alvarado Cubero Sports Complex, located in the province of Limón. The National Women’s Convention MISSIONARY MOVEMENT 48 WORLDWIDE America • Europe • Oceanía • África • Asia

of WMM in Costa Rica, which was carried out under the motto “Shine as a Torch in the Darkness”, was attended by about 3,200 women from different con-

gregations of the Costa Rican territory. During the inauguration, Rev. Manuel Zúñiga, National Supervisor of the WMM in Costa Rica, thanked the fo-


events Photos: Gerson Agüero

llowers of God who traveled to Limón. In addition, sister Valencia preached the Word of the Lord through a message titled “Triumphant Woman”, which was based on Judges 4:8. On the second day of the event, sister Karol Castrillo was in charge of sharing the good news. Her message, called “An Honorific Mention” and based on

John 5:35, allowed the parishioners to reaffirm their commitment to the Almighty. On the third day, sister Valencia preached for the women of the Worldwide Missionary Movement in Costa Rica. Her speech was called “Having strong convictions”, which was based on Hebrews 11:1.

At the end of the convention, sister Carmen Valencia de Martínez preached once again for the attendees of the Sports Complex Rogelio Alvarado Cubero. Her message titled “What Happens When God Visits Us” emphasized that the experiences with the Lord are the ones that encourage us to keep moving forward.

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BREAKING THE

SILENCE

T

he WMM held its First National Youth Camp in San Lorenzo Almecatla with delegations from different parts of the country.

The First National Youth Camp of the WMM in Mexico was held from December 22 to 25, 2016, in San Lorenzo Almecatla, located in the state of Puebla. This activity was led by Rev. Alejandro Roblero, National Supervisor of the WMM in Mexico. The young members of the WMM came to Almecatla from different parts

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of the Mexican territory to praise the Lord and strengthen their union with the Creator through a series of Christian activities performed during the four days of the camp. Under the motto “Breaking the Silence,” Pastor Roberto Ruiz preached the Word of the Lord on the first day of the event with a message entitled “God Reveals His Designs to His Servants,”

based on Amos 3: 7. The preacher talked about the duty of looking for the face of God. The following day, Sister Norma Leal de García shared the good news of the Lord at the opening service. Her speech, entitled “Clean the Vessel and Refill It Again” was based on 2 Timothy 2: 20. At night, Sister Adriana Villeda preached the Word.

On the third day, Sister Paty Mota preached the Word to the young audience with a message based on 2 Timothy 3: 1. Pastor Joel Salas gave then a speech on forgiveness inspired by Matthew 5: 44-45. Finally, Rev. Roblero, leader of the WMM in Mexico, closed the First National Youth Camp with a summary of the event and a reading of Romans 7: 14-25.

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GO AND PREACH THE GOSPEL

T

he WMM in Italy preached the Word of God on the traditional streets of Torpignattara, located in the city of Roma: The Worldwide Missionary Movement in Italy, thanks to the members of the congregation settled in the city of Roma, preached on March 5 the Word of God around the streets of Torpignattara, a famous urban area of the Italian capital, making many non-converted people to know more about the Holy Scriptures and the good news of the Lord. With the bible on their hands, a group of WMM members followed what our Creator said in the Holy Scriptures: “…Go ye into all the world, and MISSIONARY MOVEMENT 52 WORLDWIDE America • Europe • Oceanía • África • Asia


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preach the gospel to every creature.� (Mark 16:15) The devoted members of God’s Work went all over Torpignattara, which includes the neighborhoods P. VI Tiburtino and Q. VII Prenestino-Labicano. Being a place full of history and many important archaeological sites such as the catacombs of Marcellinus and Peter, it was blessed with the Gospel and the Christianizing work of Jesus Christ believers, who preached about the redeeming power of God. This is how the Worldwide Missionary Movement in Italy, whose National Supervisor is Rev. David Echalar, kept transmitting the message of the Holy Scriptures and preaching the Gospel of the Almighty, with the only objective of helping people in Italy reach the love of God.

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MISSIONARY MOVEMENT 54 WORLDWIDE America • Europe • Oceanía • África • Asia


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IMPACTED BY GOD

T

he WMM in Equatorial Guinea carried out a brotherhood event for the Zone 2 in Ikunde. The event gathered donations for the Work. The Worldwide Missionary Movement in Equatorial Guinea, with

more than two decades, carried out the brotherhood event for the Zone 2 in Ikunde from January 27 to 29. The event, whose motto was “Impacted by God”, helped to spread the Gospel in one of the most important nations of Centro America. In the inauguration of the event, Rev. Edelmiro Ivina, one most important members of the Work of God in

Equatorial Guinea, was in charge of preaching the Word. Based on the biblical passage Matthew 18:7, pastor Ivina make a speech called “Judas in the churches”. On the second day of the event, Rev. Ivina shared the good news of the Almighty again. This time he preached a message called “A disloyal attendee”. Complying with his evangelistic mission, the servant based his message on Luke 16:12. In the closing ceremony of the WMM event for the Zone 2 in Ikunde, Equatorial Guinea, pastor Ivina addressed the followers of the Lord to share the Creator’s message. His speech, titled “Economic crisis”, was based on Ecclesiastes 10:19. During the worship, God’s people gave donations with the objective of building a convention center for WMM in Equatorial Guinea. Cameras, tripods, cellphones, watches, shoes, among others, were donated by believers facing the material need in God’s Work.

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TIME FOR REVIVAL

G

raced with the presence of the Work’s leader, Rev. Gustavo Martínez, the WMM in Honduras carried out its 20th National Convention. Under the motto “Time for Revival”, the Worldwide Missionary Movement in Honduras carried out its 20th National Convention from March 2 to 5 at the premises of Capensi Convention Center, located in the city of Comayagua. The spiritual celebration of the WMM in Honduras was attended by Rev. Gustavo Martínez, international president of the Work; Rev. Álvaro Garavito, Missionary Supervisor of CenMISSIONARY MOVEMENT 56 WORLDWIDE America • Europe • Oceanía • África • Asia


events Photos: Erik Hernandez

tral America; Rev. Gustavo Chay, National Supervisor of WMM in Guatemala; and a great number of believers from El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Ecuador. On the inauguration day, Rev. Garavito was the servant in charge of transmitting the good news to the WMM members attending the Capensi Convention Center. After the morning service of the second day, Rev. Parada made a speech called “Clean hearts” which was inspired in Matthew 5:8. Some hours later, at night, Rev. Martínez preached the Word through a message based on Matthew 27:11-26; its name was “the responsibility of decisions”. At the beginning of the third day, Rev. Martínez gave the pastors some pieces of advice about how to take care of parishioners. In addition, Rev. Chay shared a message of the Gospel called

“You, who is asleep, wake up” basing on Ephesians 5:11-17. At night, Rev. Garavito, inspired on Genesis, made a speech titled “Why do things on our hands die?” One day later, at the end of the

event, Rev. Martínez preached God’s Word through the message called “Do not run away, obey and wait for God”. Moreover, 17 new workers graduated: 11 lay preachers, 3 licensed preachers, 2 ordained ministers.

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GENERAL FASTING IN

MADAGASCAR

T

he Worldwide Missionary Movement in Madagascar held a spiritual event that strengthened its faith in the Lord. The Worldwide Missionary Movement in Madagascar held on February 15 a general fasting in the town of Amhibao, located in the city of Antananarivo. The event was attended by a great number of children, teenagers, MISSIONARY MOVEMENT 58 WORLDWIDE America • Europe • Oceanía • África • Asia

young brothers, women, and men who belong to the Work of God in this African country located in the Indian Ocean. Missionary Suhé Reenis, member of the WMM, led the fasting which aimed to get the attendees closer to the Almighty. Based on Hebrews 10:25, the preacher shared the good news and highlighted the importance of assembling for the people of the Lord. The growing congregation of the WMM in Madagascar holds this kind

of spiritual activities the first Sunday of each month. The idea is that the faithful of God have time to consolidate their faith and to share their testimony. Located off the eastern coast of Africa across the Mozambique Channel, Madagascar is getting to know the Gospel of the Creator thanks to the work of Christianization performed daily by the WMM. With an estimated population of 22 million of inhabitants, this country is one of the countries conquered by the Work of God.


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YOUNG MAN, GO AFTER GOALS

THAT HONOR GOD T

he WMM in Chile held its National Youth Retreat with the attendance of the Rev. Álvaro Garavito, who preached the Word of the Lord.

The National Youth Retreat of the Worldwide Missionary Movement took place from February 19 to February 22 in the city of Santiago. This event full of preaching, praises, songs and faith gathered a great number of members of the Work of God. Rev. Álvaro Garavito, International Officer of the Work, shared the Word MISSIONARY MOVEMENT 60 WORLDWIDE America • Europe • Oceanía • África • Asia


events Photos: Maria Gracia Bernaola y Camila Bustamante

through a message entitled “Young Man, Go After Goals That Honor God.� Pastor Garavito was excited to preach the Gospel to the Chilean youth who decided to follow in the footsteps of Jesus Christ. The officer of the WMM spoke about the service to God and a life devoted to being far from worldly pleasures. Likewise, the servant of the Almighty encouraged the young brothers of the WMM in Chile to keep place where the Lord has placed them and to use the opportunities offered by the Gospel. Also, Garavito stressed that one should love God above all things. Several testimonies were shared during the four-day retreat of the Worldwide Missionary Movement in Chile. In addition, God touched each attendee and strengthened them with His Word.

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WOMEN AND YOUTH IN GOD WILL ALWAYS

TRIUMPH

T

he WMM in the United States held its 1st National Women Convention and its 19th National Youth Convention in Dallas. The Worldwide Missionary Movement in the United States held from November 23 to November 25, 2016, the 1st National Women Convention and the 19th National Youth Convention at the Friendship-West Baptist Church & Conference Center, located in Dallas. The event was attended by a great number of believers of the Lord. Rev. Joaquín Parra, National Supervisor MISSIONARY MOVEMENT 62 WORLDWIDE America • Europe • Oceanía • África • Asia


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of the WMM in Colombia, shared the message of God at the opening service, which was held under the motto “Women and Men in God Will Triumph.” Supported by the Holy Scriptures, the pastor encouraged the attendees to fight, along with the Work, for the spread of Christianity around the world. The next morning, Sister Carmen Valencia de Martínez, wife of Rev. Gustavo Martínez, preached the Word of God through a message called “What Makes Us Successful Women.” Based on Judges 4:8, she talked about the characteristics of a faithful believer. Then, at night, Rev. Parra addressed American believers once more and shared

the good news of Christ. In his speech, he encouraged the people of the Lord to be filled with the anointing of the Holy Spirit. On the last day, at the morning service, Sister Valencia shared a message in which she encouraged the attendees to testify to the faith in God. The wife of Rev. Martínez also emphasized the achievements of the Work of God in the United States. Hours later, at the night service, Rev. Arturo Hernández, National Supervisor of the WMM in the United States, shared a message of reflection through which he called the American people to join the evangelizing work of the Worldwide Missionary Movement.

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THE POTTER’S AUTHORITY

OVER THE CLAY VESSEL T

he Worldwide Missionary Movement in Puerto Rico held the Fellowship of Zone 3 of the Work on the Lamb Island.

In an atmosphere of faith, praise and Christian songs, the Worldwide Missionary Movement in Puerto Rico held on February 11, in the city of Trujillo Alto, the Fellowship of Zone 3 of the Work of God on the Lamb Island. At the opening service, Rev. Margaro Figueroa, National Officer of the WMM, greeted the faithful who gathered in Trujillo Alto to honor the glory of the Lord. In addition, the servant urged the Puerto Rican youth to remain faithful to the cause of God. During the preaching of the Word, Rev. Alberto Santana shared with believers a speech that was based on Jeremiah 18:1-4 and Timothy 2:20-21. In his message titled “The Potter’s Authority over the Clay Vessel,” the pastor highlighted that the Lord is our potter and does His work in our lives every day.

MISSIONARY MOVEMENT 64 WORLDWIDE America • Europe • Oceanía • África • Asia

Photos:Grabaciones Impacto


Other Events

CURACAO Principles and Values Campaign

The church of the Worldwide Missionary Movement in Curacao held its Principles and Values Awareness Campaign from November 17 to November 20. The event’s motto was “Adorning the Sound Doctrine” (Titus 2:10). On the first night, Rev. Ricardo Manrique, Supervisor of the Work in Venezuela, preached the topic “Withdraw About a Stone’s Cast” (Luke 22:41). He taught that we have to get away from all that prevent the blessings of the Lord from reaching us. On the second day, Rev. Manrique continued sharing the Word through the message “Palm Tree, Symbol of the Sound Doctrine” (Psalm 92:12). He highlighted that the palm tree is a plant that symbolizes holiness due to its qualities. On the third night, the Lord continued talking through Rev. Ricardo Manrique, who presented the topic “God Always Has a Man on Duty” (Acts 10:1-8). The pastor stated that the Lord always has a man to accomplish what He wants. On the last day, the teaching, based on Revelation 21:9-12, was entitled “A City That We Have Never Seen”.

ITALY Anniversary of the Church in Lavinio

The churches in the south of Rome gathered on the first days of February to commemorate the fifth anniversary of the Work in the city of Lavinio. The celebration was attended by pastors from Naples, Ancona, Ischia, Rome, among others. The presence of our great God and Lord Jesus Christ could be felt at the meetings. In the morning, the Word of God was shared by Sister María Brito. Rev. Daniel Ortega, leader of the Zone South of Italy, was in charge of preaching in the afternoon. The event was also attended by the National Supervisor of the WMM in Italy, Rev. David Echalar, who based his preaching on Mark 5.

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COLOMBIA Fellowship of Indigenous Communities

The church of Zone 81 of the WMM in Mitú, located in Vaupés (Colombia), held its Fellowship from October 27 to October 30, 2016. Rev. Eduard Sánchez Mosquera, along with his wife, Sister Martha Medrano Rada, was the host of this glorious event. The event was attended by more than 40 delegations from the indigenous communities of the departments of Vaupés and Guainía and from Brazil. This activity gathered more than 15 ethnic groups in the region. Rev. Aris Solís and Rev. Walter Sambrano attended the beautiful fellowship as representatives of the National Board of the WMM in Colombia. The event was also attended by the mayor of the city of Mitú, Brother Daniel Bernal, who participated in all the worships. The children were taught with the Bible. In addition, a group of indigenous young men decided to go to the baptismal waters and make public their commitment to follow Christ.

BOLIVIA 3rd National Women Fellowship

The church of the WMM in Cochabamba (Bolivia) held its Third National Women Fellowship from November 10 to November 12, 2016. The activity, called “Open the Chest of Your Heart to God” was attended by the servant of God Luzmary Floriano de Mendoza, who came from Cucuta, Colombia. Due to its importance, the event had a wide coverage of the Bethel chain media (Radio and Television) in the country. It was broadcast by the network of radio stations and social networks headed by the national and departmental communication team led by Pastor Enrique Valenzuela, Head of Communications in Bolivia. This coverage allowed thousands of people in the country and the whole world to be part of this beautiful event. The Fellowship ended on Saturday, November 12, at night. Sister Luzmary Floriano visited for a week some churches of the country and left after her additional blessings.

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LETTERS TO US... cartas@impactoevangelistico.net LUISA MARTÍNEZ God bless you. Thanks for sending me the magazine, which is a great blessing to my life, as it is to be in the path of my Heavenly Father. When I receive the magazine, it becomes a great blessing to my life and to the lives of my brothers; we all want to read it at the same time. Greetings to all people working in the magazine. From Holguin, Cuba.

NATALIA MARTÍNEZ God continue to pour abundant blessings. You’re a great blessing for my life, thank you so much. From Barcelona, Spain.

GLOBAL AGENDA 2017 JANUARY 2-5 National in Puerto Rico 9-16 National Convention in Colombia 26-29 National Convention in Bolivia (Cochabamba) FEBRUARY 3-5 Convention in Paraguay (Asunción) 9-12 Convention in Argentina (Rosario) 25-28 Convention in Panama MARCH 2-5 Convention in Honduras (San Pedro de Sula) 9-12 Convention in Australia (Sidney) APRIL 13-16 Convention in Guatemala (Guatemala City) 13-16 Convention in the Guianas, Trinidad and Martinique (Surinam) MAY 4-7 Convention in Japan (Hamamatsu, Shizuoka) 17-20 Convention in India 26-28 Convention in Holland

JOSÉ HERNÁNDEZ

ELENA CARHUAS This magazine has been a blessing for thousands of lives, especially for young people’s and mine. I encourage you to continue with this magazine, always with the Word of God, the one that does not come back empty. Blessings to all. From Cochabamba, Bolivia.

ANTONIO SÁNCHEZ Beloved brothers, I would like to thank everyone for the amazing work that you do to win over souls for Jesus Christ. May God Almighty continue to bless you greatly. I send you much love and gratitude for your hard work. From Massachusetts, USA.

JUDITH RODRÍGUEZ God bless you, beloved brothers in Jesus Christ. I’m taking this moment to greet you and thank you for the Impacto Evangelistic magazine, which is a great blessing for my spiritual life. I’m glad that I can still enjoy it, although I am an 84-yearold woman. God bless you and strengthen you to move forward until the King of kings comes. From California, USA.

Brothers, may the peace of Christ Jesus be upon you all. I want to tell you that I’ve read your magazine and I think it’s great as it provides edification and blessing. Glory to God for magazines like this! From Guanajuato, Mexico.

MERCEDES CORREA God bless you, as He has largely ministered my life through this magazine. The testimonies of what the Lord has done for people who how serve Him are great. God bless the pastors, evangelists and especially the whole team of Impacto Evangelistic. From Santander, Colombia.

ROBERTO ERNESTO ÁVILA El Señor Jesucristo permita que sus familias y demás hermanos de este ministerio se encuentren bien. Soy pastor evangélico, ministraba en una pequeña iglesia en Las Tunas, Cuba. En una ocasión, explorando en internet, el Señor me mostró su sitio web, y así pude conocer de su importantísimo ministerio. Pido a Dios que los siga usando con poder en esa valiosa labor y a la vez les ruego que oren para que Jesucristo haga realidad sus verdaderos propósitos, por los cuales Él nos trajo a este país, donde llevamos la Palabra de salvación a la comunidad cubana que reside en esta ciudad. Por favor, oren e intercedan ante el Señor por nosotros, lo necesitamos.

You can download the free QR code reader from these platforms:

JUNE 21-24 Convention in Brazil (Manaos) JULY 4-8 11-14 13-16 16-18 27-30

Central American Convention in Costa Rica (San José) Convention in the United States (Woodbridge, Virginia) Convention in Netherlands Antilles (Curaçao) National Fellowship in Canada Convention in Mexico (Puebla)

AUGUST 3-6 Convention in Spain & Block A, Europe (Madrid) 8-11 Convention in Venezuela (Barquisimeto) 10-13 Convention in Italy (Milano) 16-19 Convention in Africa ( Equatorial Guinea) 24-27 Convention in Haiti (Port-au-Prince) 24-27 Convention in Ecuador (Guayaquil) 24-27 Convention in Belize SEPTEMBER 17-19 Convention in Peru (Lima) Saturday 30 Mission World Day OCTOBER 20-22 Fellowship in Madagascar 26-28 Convention in Dominican Republic 26-29 Convention in Chile (Santiago) 27-29 Convention in Mauritius NOVEMBER 9-12 Convention in El Salvador 16-19 Convention in Uruguay (Montevideo) 23-26 Convention in Nicaragua DECEMBER

n Past events n Future events MISSIONARY MOVEMENT 66 WORLDWIDE America • Europe • Oceanía • África • Asia


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