So, what did we do after having 3 conferences in a row? We went to a 4-day family conference with speakers Jeff & Becky Hrubik (Ruth’s parents)! That’s right, 4 conferences in a row- for the most part the whole month of January was conferences. Conferences are great, but now we’re thankful that our next conference isn’t until Feb 20. The only difference with this conference compared to the others: Ruth and I are the speakers!! It’s a youth conference at our PAZ base in Rio Branco, located in the Amazon Basin near the border of Bolivia and Peru.
It’s thrilling and scary to think that we’ll not only be preparing around 10 sessions of material, but we will be teaching it Portuguese! That’s no big deal for Ruth, but for me it will be a huge stretch. We certainly covet your prayers for the conference. PAZ churches hold youth camps and retreats all over the Amazon during the weekend of Carnival to provide a good alternative to the otherwise spiritually destructive weekend. We have plenty of great things to say, so it’ll be a matter of putting it all together and presenting it well.
Not only we will be speaking at this conference, but the Saturday before this (Feb 14 or Valentine’s Day in the states), I will be speaking at a local PAZ church to the worship teams about developing their worship ministries. All of these opportunities have come up since the recent PAZ Missionary Conference, where the speaker Pastor Harold told me that I had a gift of teaching and that I should develop it alongside my other gifts. Ruth had also been praying God would give her opportunities to use her gifts more, so when these came up, even though it’s a huge, HUGE stretch, we said “yes!” We don’t want to be the people who say “no” to the LORD just because we feel in over our heads. Anything that the LORD calls us to do will be bigger than us and stretch us beyond our “limits.” We better get used to being stretched!
Remember Moses’ response to the LORD’s call at the burning bush? He said “LORD, but I am slow of speech.” I sure identified with Moses this last week, but I know that if I say no, the LORD will respect that, and find someone else to do His will. I want to be the person who does His will – His “yes” person! The LORD just continues to grow us, challenge us and use us. We feel like this is also the start of a new chapter in our lives here, as the LORD so obviously has opened up the doors in this area.
In the meantime, I am a bachelor until Saturday, Feb 7, as Ruth is traveling with a medical team and helping to translate. In addition, we, the staff of Project AmaZon, are seeking more of the Lord in a corporate 21-day Daniel fast that started last Thursday. A Daniel fast is basically a fast of just fruits and vegetables – forget any meats, animal products, soda, etc.! I always thought being a vegetarian would not be any fun, and especially a vegetarian on a vegan diet. Now I can confirm it is true. I am certainly a meat and potatoes kind of guy. But there isn’t anything I wouldn’t give up to walk more closely with the Lord. (If something is standing in your way, it’s called idolatry and it’s pretty serious in the LORD’s Book). I think I will be ready for a meat-lovers pizza once the fast ends! Now if only we had a Pizza Hut here. Please lift us up in prayer as we prepare and participate in these upcoming events. God bless you!
P.S. – Check out the brand new wallpapers I created at http://www.projectamazon.org and read more about the great things going on with PAZ!