We just got done with a marathon of conferences, and we have come out more challenged then ever in the great task of reaching the Amazon Basin, Brazil and South America. Ruth came out of it exhausted and a little sick, as she was very involved in the planning and implementation of the two conferences.
Our speaker for our last 2 conferences was Pastor Harold Weitsz of Little Falls Christian Center in South Africa. He and his wife Maude blessed and wowed us with their presence. Over the last 2 weeks we have learned so much about how to be a victorious Christian. Pastor Harold and Maude have plenty of room to talk about that area, being some of the largest, modern-day spiritual giants I know.
Pastor Harold told us about how, when he got serious about God, he thoroughly studied the Bible – going through New Testament 6 times in the first month of his studies – not just reading, but studying! The desire to know, understand and apply the Word never stopped, and his knowledge has ever since been growing. The man knew his scripture, quoted it backwards and forwards, and was able to bring it all together powerfully as he preached and taught.
Maybe even more impressive than his deep knowledge (not just of scripture, but of science, mathematics, geopolitics, etc.) was his prayer life. When he began his ministry, he would pray up to 8 hours a day, for months on end. God moved powerfully in his life as he become more and more sensitive to the spiritual world and to God. He and his ministry saw tremendous fruit as God worked miracle upon miracle in their midst.
God sent us the exact speaker we needed as, during our Leadership Conference (which involves many pastors and leaders from all over the Amazon), we launched 1000 by 2014: our 5-year goal of planting 1,000 churches by the beginning of 2014 (we have planted over 500 already). I was deeply involved in developing the theme, which is a short-term goal based off of PAZ’s long-term goal of planting 100,000 churches all across the Amazon, South America, and beyond. Maintaining a 15% growth rate, we would reach the Amazon Basin by around 2045! I designed all the artwork, logos, folders, t-shirts and will soon be putting a large update up on the PAZ website about this exciting goal.
It’s a huge goal that will involve huge investments of time, work, money, manpower and supervision, but God sent us someone who has already accomplished huge things and was able to show us the way: intense prayer and application of the Word of God. To apply the Word, you have to know the Word. These things sound so basic, but the results are profound. I have never been more convinced of our need for your prayers, the huge difference they make, and I myself am setting aside much more time in my life for prayer and study of the Word.
Speaking of study of the Word, I was thrilled to see that, for Mac users, an excellent Bible Study tool has finally emerged: Logos Bible Software for the Mac! Logos has been around for several years as one of the top Bible Study Programs on Windows, and the project for bringing it to the Mac has been in the works for almost 4 years. I first saw it in action when my good and respected friend Pastor Chuck Rife showed me the ropes when I was Worship Pastor at 1st Free. Now, after seeing another personal demonstration of what Pastor Harold was able to do with his software (he used PC Study), I was convinced that it was not only a sound investment, but it would be foolish to not invest in such a wonderful tool for studying the scriptures. I need to take my knowledge of the Word deeper.
I personally have never so clearly seen the power of prayer (done properly) and felt the need for much more of it. I’ve also seen clearly how vitally important an excellent knowledge of the scriptures is for being a victorious Christian. Now we set our hands to the task before us with more vigor and hope, knowing the power that is available for those who walk with God!
Enjoy the rest of our pictures! (Remember that you can click on any one of these pictures to see them larger, then use your arrow keys to see the rest of the slideshow)