16 May 2022
April flew by, May is accelerating, and I have a plane to catch early this Friday, May 20th, for my teaching trip to Guatemala (May 20-31). Let me take a break for a few minutes, sit down, and share with you some of April’s highlights.
I’m reminded of a line from Peter’s sermon at Cornelius’ house. Speaking of the Lord’s earthly life, Peter said, “God anointed Jesus with the Holy Spirit and with power… He went about doing good and healing…”
What a down-to-earth description of the Lord’s ministry! Jesus is still “doing good” and healing today, and April is a great example.
Successful Spinal Surgery in Perú
Many of you have been praying for Pastora Janine Watanabe in Perú. For years she has been living with excruciating pain caused by degenerating spinal discs. The wait for her surgery has stretched over nearly two years, for medical and financial reasons. Well, that surgery took place in April and seems to have been an astounding success. Her pain levels have gone from “beyond 10,” to a modest “2,” (owing, in part, to healing from the surgery itself). And between the contributions you sent through Finest of the Wheat and those sent through LendAHand Mission Teams (“LAH,” the organization that first introduced me to Guatemala and Nicaragua), Pastor Jorge Watanabe reports:
I want to testify that God is very good, that with the money you have sent me (plus what you just sent me) [and] with the help of LAH, I have been able to cover the entire account [a bill of more than US$10,000]; there has been no excess or lack. I thank God and you all!
And Jorge reported several days ago that
“…the doctor… discharged her… that means that she is fine and that she does not need rehabilitation therapy.… God has been very good!”
To all of you who have been praying and giving, here’s a practical example of how you have been working with Jesus as He still goes about “doing good and healing”!
Three Weeks in Florida
The two of us beneath a giant, ancient kapok tree in Palm Beach, Florida3
“Doing good” moved us on to Florida, as it seems to each year, because the annual “April tradition” has been for me to teach at North Florida Theological Seminary in Middleburg, Florida. The topic the Lord chose was Dividing Soul and Spirit and the day’s teaching was especially well-received. The next day, Easter Sunday, I preached on a related subject, “Touching Jesus.”
After spending the next week with family, Denise and I embarked on a week together — just the two of us — to continue the celebration of our 50th wedding anniversary. On our actual anniversary in January, we were snowed in; not so this time in Palm Beach! Several of you channeled the Lord’s “doing good” to us, making this week possible. Thank you! Jesus has certainly “done good” to me in giving me such a wife!
On to Guatemala!
After missing my yearly Guatemala teaching trip for two years (due to COVID restrictions) we are on for this year. The annual pastors’ retreat, for which they invite me as their speaker/teacher, will take place May 26-28. That starts only ten days from today!
It will be a blessing to fellowship with old friends. And I highlight the word old for two reasons. My first visit to these beloved brothers and sisters was in 2008, and many of us have, ahem, matured together. And…
…it so happens that I will have the privilege of celebrating my actual birthday with them, on the last day of the conference. It will be my 70th. Like I said: OLD! Viejo. Anciano. Entrada en años.
The subject will be Dividing Soul and Spirit, as with my teaching at the seminary last month, but (unsurprisingly) the Holy Spirit has morphed the subject matter in a unique way, such that the focus will be considerably different from the last presentation. May the Lord allow and help me to “do good” during my visit!
A Milestone for The John the Baptist Experience
Once I was finished ministering in Middleburg, Florida, my pre-dawn writing hours were re-directed primarily to work on The John the Baptist Experience. As promised, Deeper Dive #5: “Malachisaiah”? and Deeper Dive #6: Verb Voices and Violent Vocabulary both appeared on the website in April.
Chapter 5 — Squaring John with Elijah — is scheduled to appear on our website on May 23rd, the first Monday I’m in Guatemala. Chapter 6 — The Angel and the Speechless Priest Prophesy — is queued and ready to show itself on Monday, June 22. It’s the last chapter of Book 1 (The Exceptional Messenger).
The Milestone: With the last chapter completed, everything seems to be on schedule for the entire e-book version of Book 1 to be available by mid-July and the paperback by the end of July.
Your continued prayer support is appreciated for Holy-Spirit-inspired writing as I work on this project. I’m juggling drafts of several chapters from Book 2 (The Extraordinary Message) and Book 3 (The Fellowship of the Forerunner). A few chapters from both volumes are finished, but there are many more to write; and only what is “birthed in the prayer closet” (yours and mine!) will be of lasting value.
Prayer for Guatemala and Beyond
Is there rest in the Lord? Yes. And it’s a good thing, too, because there’s not much “rest” built into my itinerary for the next five weeks! The main prayer focus is this month’s teaching trip to Guatemala. Please pray
- That the Holy Spirit would bear witness to the teaching (at the pastors’ conference) and the preaching (in various churches) and move leaders and believers forward in Christ.
- For wisdom and spiritual discernment in counseling.
- For divine encounters. And,
- For travel mercies, health, and protection.
Praying ahead into the summer:
- June 9-16: The “last hurrah” of our 50th wedding anniversary, as our extended family and friends gather at our home from various parts of the country. We want to honor the Lord for His faithfulness and goodness to us. And we are grateful for special extra time with family.
- July: Publish The John the Baptist Experience, Book 1: The Exceptional Messenger, in e-book and paperback formats.
- September(?): A return trip to Honduras, as the Lord leads.
Feel free to send your prayer requests to us, as well. Thank you for your faithful prayer coverage and support. They make the teaching meetings and the written teaching possible and fruitful, allowing us to walk with Jesus as He goes about “doing good.”
Much love in Jesus,
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- Graphic by Jim Kerwin, quoting from the New American Standard Bible, published by The Lockman Foundation. ↩
- Photo by Pastor Jorge Watanabe ↩
- Photo by Jim Kerwin (with the assistance of a tripod and a delayed-shutter feature). ↩
- Photo by Denise Kerwin ↩
- Temporary cover: Detail from Mathias Grünewald's altarpiece Crucifixion-scene painting for a church in Isenheim, France (c. 1515). Courtesy of Wikipedia, but copyright is held by Zenodot Verlagsgesellschaft mbH and licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. The Latin phrase in the “crook” of John's arm declares, “Illum oportet crescere me autem minui,” the Vulgate reading of John 3:30 — “He must increase, I must decrease.” ↩
- Photo probably by Superintendent Atilio Chávez (since he’s not in the picture) ↩