Sunday, October 26, 2008

Risk is Right

Over the past week since I sent out my update letter, two responses have come in.  There are those who sent a word of encouragement.  They are praying and continuing to give in faith that God will provide them the means to take care of their families as well as take part in furthering God's global kingdom.  For them my heart give thanks.  They are choosing to actively have a hand in the work of God.  They are willing to be tools in the hand of the master craftsman.
The second response once more discouraging.  Their concerns were of safety and provision.  Times are difficult world wide financially.  Countries from the 1st to the 3rd world are being effected.  Times are tough and will likely be tough for a while.  Also, it is not safe to be here in Ecuador.  Over the past two months I've been here there have been multiple robberies, muggings and murders on the very streets I walk each day.  The community here is not safe.  It does not help to not carry money because it just makes the ladrones (thieves) more angry.  
There is a man in my building that has lost may basic motor skills because he was shot in the head by a man trying to mug him.  The guy had five dollars on him, and was shot on the street in front of a popular shopping mall down the street from the school.
Not only am I and the missionaries here in danger from muggings, but also from unclean water and unclean foods.  God has spared me from stomach diseases thus far so I can do the work He has called me to.  Terrible traffic and dangerous drivers flood the streets.  We are fortunate to be more welcome in this country than despised as white people, discrimination still happens.  
Still I live on ready and willing to preach the gospel as God has called me to.  There is still so much to do here.  Everyday has held a ripe opportunity to be Christ and share Christ to someone.  Galo, the guard here at my apartment building is a testimony to this.  The students of the Alliance Academy and their initiative to worship God and pursue Him on their own is a testimony to the work of God here.  He has put me here for His purpose.  Those around me are carrying on their hearts the testimony that I bear.  It is being written each day as I show Christ love.  Many times I fail, but those times also bear witness to how God works bad things out for His good.  He will show me how much I must suffer for His Name that my life and my death will be a testimony to the greatness of God.  I will gladly give both my life and death that I would know Christ, for all other things have become rubbish to me.  Oh that I might gain Christ and be found in His love.  And I also pray that you will be of the same heart and mind, having the same desire.
Finally, it has been suggested that I ask for no more money and soon discontinue the work here and then return "home".  To this I say, "My home is in Him, where else can I go?"  My King is King over all and I can find no place where He does not rule.  Over money, government, man, body and soul, He rules.  What should I fear but His might hand?  Who should I fear but Him who made every man?  No it is not in safety that we see God clearly, but in risk and in suffering and sacrifice do we show Him as more precious in our lives, treasured far above money, comfort and earthly security.
Now may we each risk much that we would find find much.  He is proved more satisfying when we risk much to see Him.  Please continue to pray for the work here and around the globe as He is God and is in love with the people of this earth.  Too many people are lost and still don't know that they are loved by their Creator.  So continue in faith that He will be your provider and he will see His kingdom come.  Freely you all have received your life and the gifts of God, now freely give life to others.  I pray for you as you encounter your own mission field each day.  May God have His glory and His praise from our lips and the lips of all people.


  1. Loren,

    You are one crazy luchador. And we love you for it. We do pray for your success and safety there in Ecuador. Admittedly, I hope we can work together again sometime, so I don't want you to get gunned down.
    Ok, I wouldn't want you to get hurt even if we're never in the same country again anyway, but I hope you catch my drift.

    I've been struggling with the idea of what "trusting in God" really means. I'm not exactly sure what it DOES mean, but I'm pretty sure I know what it DOESN'T. He doesn't guaranty us or the ones we love safety. In fact, he straight-up tells us "all men will hate us because of [him]." Quite the sales-pitch to follow the Son of God, eh? He doesn't promise us health or wealth or good families or even stretchy-pants. He doesn't really promise us much anything. Oh, except for the fact that he will never leave us or forsake us, and in the end of the end, we will shine with him like the stars. This whole delayed-gratification thing is a real chap in the butt. But don't let anything shut you down or stop you. You're gonna die, but so is everybody else. This is YOUR chance to serve Ecuador in a way that only YOU can in THIS season, and God has brought you there for such a time as this.

    So go on, get gunned down for the Lord, just do it with a smile on your face and love in your heart.
    I know you will.

    you are missed,

    PS: If you get all shot up, can I have your laptop?

  2. Loren,

    Excellent post and know that I am praying for you each week. Thank you for knowing that God is worth the risk and that as your doorman can testify, your "finding your home in God" has eternal benefits, despite the risk.

    I'm proud of you and am blessed to have served with you.

    Dan Gildner