I hope you received the posted version of our year-end letter but we want to add a Merry Christmas and hope for Christ’s blessings in the New Year!
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” —1 Peter 1:3
I broke out our Christmas music early this year…a week before Thanksgiving. It’s impossible not to connect the two…Thanksgiving and giving thanks are connected to the birth of Jesus and the Salvation he would bring.
The first album Sharon and I listened to this morning was Michael Crawford’s “Christmas.” I choke up on every song, especially lines from, “Silent Night” (“Christ the Savior is born! Christ the Savior is born!”), “Mary Did You Know” (“Did you know that your baby boy was Heaven’s perfect Lamb, and the sleeping Child you’re holding is the Great I AM?”), and “A Strange Way to Save the World” (“And Joseph said, ‘Why me, I’m just a simple man of trade; Why Him with all the rulers in the world’”).
Christ the Savior is born! The Great I Am…come to save me…come to save you…come to save the world! Oh, how our world needs saving. Jesus is the hope of the world. The only hope.
Rejoice! Give thanks! Shout it to the nations!
We are excited about the fruit of our ministry in Uganda, Brazil, Nepal, Ethiopia, and most recently El Salvador. Here are just a few snapshots of what has happened through our GTN Divine Expedition training:
In Kampala, Uganda, there is a hub of 25-30 churches in place with a vision to raise up more leaders and churches.
In Entebbe, Uganda, the leadership we trained plan to plant 3 churches per year.
In Estrela, Brazil, the church birthed out of our training and nearby Hope Chapel Rom Retiro is repeating the Divine Expedition training because they have had so many new people join.
In Kathmandu, Nepal there is a vision to share the Divine Expedition vision and materials with the pastors and leaders of 35 churches in the eastern part of the country.
JUST CONCLUDED TRAINING IN EL SALVADOR
In El Salvador, we just completed phases 1, 2, and 3 of the Divine Expedition and we had 9 first time presenters: Roxana, Avy, Fernando, Carlos, Guillermo, Dennis, Roxie, Sharo and Steward (the first seven are El Salvadorans).
Part of our Phase 1 training equips participants to go out to share the Gospel, then they actually go out. There was an amazing response with 11 people coming to Christ.
One of them was a nurse named Francisco. His older brother had been partying and on the streets for three years…both his parents are dead. He was praying to God for help and to bring someone to tell him about the Lord, and accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior for the first time.
Another young man who received Christ was Jesus. He was on a motorcycle and the lid to a cooler on the back fell off in front of the team. Herbert brought it to him and shared the gospel with him. He was moved to tears and told us that he was going to sin that night. Jesus received Jesus and is now a new believer in Christ.
Our Phase 2 training helps people deal with wounds they carry and align their hearts with God as our Heavenly Father. There were lots of tears and emotions as past wounds and lies connected to them were exposed and the participants embrace how God sees them as his precious children.
One of the participants, Glenn, shared how five years ago his car was stolen and his house burned down. As he was rebuilding his home, some M-13 gang members came and stole everything. He came to our training a year and a half ago where Tom Vos (one of our Divine Expedition trainers) prayed for Glenn and his wife. The Lord moved in their lives and they have been getting their feet back under them since then.
Glenn has attended all 3 of our trainings in El Salvador and wants to be a Divine Expedition trainer. He took 4 different buses on a 3-hour trip from Zacatecaluca to attend the trainings.
Sharon and I thank you for partnering with us as we continue to shout the good news of Jesus through our ministry with Global Training Network. We are hopeful you will include us in your year-end giving and ongoing contributions as we enter the new year.
We look forward to what God is going to continue to do through our training throughout the world and thank you for partnering with us to proclaim Christ near and far.
So grateful for you,
Linus and Sharon