Sunny Point building project: The painting of the Sunny Point Church is finally finished! There are a number of other projects that they will want to complete at Sunny Point, including a fence and working on the grounds, but our direct financial involvement in the building is now complete. Unfortunately thieves broke in on Wednesday night and stole some paint which had to be replaced. We are nearly finished as well with the improvements at the main church. The third and final major project is replacing the ceiling and some of the support beams of the Efraimzegen church. Woodboring insects have destroyed several of the beams as well as the ceiling plywood.
Evolution versus creation lesson: Two weeks ago, Lynn Champlin asked me to speak about the subject of evolution to three college students whom she has been discipling. I was delighted to do so, as I had struggled with that very subject after I was saved in 1974. In fact, I studied several different texts before I sorted things out, and realized that evolution was not only poor science but basically a religious theory and not science at all. Science requires things to be repeatable, observable, measurable, and then varying usually one variable and repeating to see what happens. Evolution deals with origins, which is historical, not repeatable, and no human observers were present. Furthermore, the theory does not explain many many observable facts which we can measure. We had a very good time, and spoke together for over two hours. The students had a number of questions, especially one of the girls. They also brought two friends along. We topped it off with Lynn’s pumpkin pie, so the evening was a great success.
A startling dream and result: I am not into interpreting dreams, and I am usually very skeptical about persons coming to me and telling me about their dreams. However, I am aware that in recent years, a large number of Muslims have been reported to have had either dreams or visions of Jesus Christ and have come to salvation. When I preached last week at Winti Wai, a young man in his 20's came to me after the service with a big smile, and came apart to tell me his story. His family has been deeply involved in witchcraft, and his father is a well recognized witch doctor. His father had chosen him to follow in his footsteps, and taught him many things. Some members of our Winti Wai church had gone to his house, but had been turned away.
Over the last several months, however, he had had several dreams which greatly disturbed him. Twice he had a dream that the entire world was to be destroyed by fire, and the second time, he was involved in being burned. A third dream was that a huge number of persons assembled to hear a preacher (me, of all things), and I preached that they needed to get saved before they were burned up as the entire world would be destroyed by fire. Each of the individuals listened with bowed head, and many decided for Christ. Basically the same dream occurred a fourth and fifth time. On the final occasion, he could not ignore this message any longer. He had planned to go to the Jowjowstraat main church where I usually am located, but we were in the USA, so he went to Winti Wai. Their senior pastor Winston Zeeman led him to the Lord. When he told his family, they were furious. He had the same reaction when he told the others involved in the “craft.” They sent people repeatedly to call him back to the old ways. Finally he went to the group, who yelled at him. He “preached” that they must repent or be burned up as well. They then said: “Oh, he has really become saved.” Even his mother said to him that now that he had decided to follow Christ, he must not turn back.
I was rather taken back by the whole story, but have no reason to doubt the truth of what he said. He has been faithful at Winti Wai church since then and has begun to bring some younger siblings with him. My best conclusion is that although we must be very careful in not stepping out too far, we must allow God to work in His own ways too. I would assume that the Lord would use these unusual means sometimes to reach those who would probably not hear otherwise. And why did I appear in the dream? I can only assume that he had seen me on TV as we have two weekly programs there, as well as 16 radio broadcasts weekly.
Development of missions materials to teach: Two years ago, I taught a block course at the graduate level on World Religion and Worldview at Crown College. I am adding additional information and enhancing the Powerpoint presentations by illustrations of various religious beliefs. This is part of a larger project which I have been working on for the last two plus years. I hope to see the material from the various courses come together in a textbook which might be used in teaching missions. Would you join me to pray that that might be a reality if it is indeed God’s will, and also a help to those considering the mission field?
Our own spiritual growth
Our health and strength for the work
Reaching the lost
Independence of the four churches
Funds for the Efraimzegen church repair work
Arrival of the 4th printing of the Sranantongo Bibles - we have only 7 boxes of Bibles left out of nearly 300 boxes from the last shipment.
Arrival of the Sranantongo New Testament commentaries
Developing materials for missions college classes which will help future missionaries
In Him and Content: Bob & Liz Patton Missionaries to Suriname since 1986