Amazing Grace

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye.” Psalm 32:8 

God is so amazing. I am just astounded at Him and how He works. This last Sunday was my third Sunday teaching, which means next week I will have been teaching here for a month. Time really goes by so quickly. It went a little rough last Sunday since I had been sick from Wednesday night until Saturday night and didn’t have all the time I wanted to have to prepare. I also didn’t realize until the day of that we would be doing communion this last Sunday, thankfully the church already takes care of buying all the stuff for it. I prayed about it the morning of and asked the Lord how he wanted the order of service to go. After praying I had decided (hopefully by the influence of the Lord) to change the order of service to be a little more like it was back in Phelan for communion. Thankfully the guy who sings for worship, Brian, adapts quickly even though I sprung a last minute change on him and asked if he knew Amazing Grace and if we could play it during communion. I also found four men to help out pass out the elements (they normally just form a line and go get it and bring it to their seats) for communion. Thankfully everyone did a great job, but I am going to try to get that more organized in advanced for next time. After that we did a study on the life of Barnabas that I had been wanting to give for a while, but just didn’t get the chance yet. Since I was sick in bed most of the week I didn’t get a chance to study John and decided that I would just have to go with the Barnabas study. At first I had a hard time starting the study out, a moment without the anointing on the Lord while your teaching seems like an eternity, but then the Lord came through and gave me the grace to finish the study. The lesson to learn is that without God empowering you, you can’t last five seconds on the pulpit. I don’t even want one second on the pulpit without the anointing of the Lord on me, since I am nothing without Jesus.

After church we headed over to Gualaceo to do some baptisms. Freddy offered for me to help him so I accepted. It was the first time I have ever baptized anyone. The whole time leading up to it I was a little nervous, while at the same time just completely amazed at the grace of God. On the way to Gualaceo I was laughing to myself about how crazy all this had been and how quickly God was moving in my life, but that is why waiting on the Lord and his timing is perfect. While we were baptizing I prayed that the Lord would keep me warm, since the water was freezing and I would have to be in it the entire time. Amazingly enough I wasn’t cold the rest of the time. I am not sure if I should credit that as a miracle or that I just got so cold I couldn’t feel my limbs anymore. I am going to go with miracle, since seriously it was like warm currents passing through my legs in what should have been ice Andes water. I wasn’t shivering at all, even though the day that had started out sunny now looked like it might rain. I think the Lord just blessed me. Even when I got out of the water, and the air hit me, I still wasn’t cold. Pretty awesome. Its just amazing to see what God is doing in my life, and how He is the one calling me and the one raising me up into this. All I have done is just been willing to do what ever God wanted and have been along for the ride. It was just such a blessed day. Freddy was saying the same thing. On the ride back home we were talking about how it is days like those that make the bad days worth it.

Don’t let me give you the wrong impression about being a missionary that everything is roses and chocolate, most of what I put on here is the good news of what goes on. I leave a lot of the bad out, mostly since it would be too close to gossip. What I can tell you is that already people have been coming against me and spreading lies about me, but I knew that this was part of my calling. The Lord told me there would be opposition and I am sure this is only the start of it. There are hard days of serving the Lord, where people will hate you for doing the right thing… those are the days where your love for the Lord is put to the test. Then there are good days of serving the Lord, where you go home so blessed and content that the memory of the bad day just becomes that, a memory.

I waded into the water first to find the best spot, only to realize Freddy wanted to give a message before we started… so I headed back to shore.

On my way back to shore, was too cold to wait in water fed directly from the Andes.

Freddy giving the message.

This guy literally jumped in, total trust in us haha. Almost caught us off guard.

Can’t tell you how joyful it was to be a part of this.

Jessica (the church secretary) was feeling anxious, but she was so happy and excited afterwards. She said this was a big step of faith for her.

It is just so cool to see God keeping the promises He told me. He told me to “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,” (Matthew 28:19) and then God actually made that happen. He brought me to another nation and allowed me to be a part of baptizing disciples of Jesus. You are amazing God.

Today was also a really blessed day. I went to my usual hideout, the CoffeeTree, to drink a great cappuchino and spend some time studying. I like to move around when I study, since if I stay in the same room or the same place the whole time its a lot more difficult for me. Not to mention, going to a coffee shop for me is where the Lord meets me. Its my garden of gethsemane. I love coffee and I love coffee culture. I love just sitting around at a coffee shop. Its just part of who I am. When I go, the Lord always meets with me and its often where I get instructions or where He has divine appointments for me. Today I ran into Hannah, a young adult woman who decided she wanted to spend a year teaching English in Ecuador, her Dad and their friend Jesus. Hannah’s first week at the church was last Sunday, she is looking for a place where she can come and serve. There is a lot of people in the English service that feel like that, they all want to serve. I am still trying to wait on the Lord though and not move fast, but it is nice having so many people who want to help. Hannah’s Dad, Chuck, was a former missionary here in Cuenca but had since moved back to the states to teach at a Bible College. Today just so happened to be his last day in Cuenca, so it was great to meet him before he left. Hannah said she would be back next Sunday. I really want to be able to reach out to the young adults here more, but we are still praying about how and when. There are a lot more English speaking people like Hannah here in Cuenca that we are just not reaching.

Overall things are going great, the Lord is with me and His hand is guiding me. I am just so thankful and amazed that He would use me. He really is a God of mercy and grace. Sometimes I feel like I need help or that I don’t know what I am doing, then the Lord gives me verses like Psalm 32:8 assuring me that He will help me, He will guide me and He will instruct me. As you can see there is a lot to pray for over here, and with all that has been happening I am sure you have already been praying, so thank you for that…. its making a difference.

God Bless you all,

Mateo

7 responses to “Amazing Grace

  1. Matt, no matter what people say or think or perceive, you are where you are meant to be!!!! The lord will be with you always!!! Keep on keeping on my friend!!!!!!

  2. I find joy everytime I read your blog! You answered God’s call and I know that He will be faithful to keep you through any of the bad things. Stand strong and be the man of God that He has called you to be. Everything else will be in His timing and for His purpose and for His glory!

  3. For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ (2 Cor. 10:3-5). God is using you in mighty ways, but He’s also gonna mature you in the process; you’re learning some valuable lessons :)) God bless you Matt; I’ll be praying for you!

  4. Hello Mateo, glad to hear about your Sunday teaching and your 1st baptism. To me you are doing just fine by walking with the lord. The lord has our hand & sometimes he is holding us in his arms. The same love is always there. Be strong my friend cause you are giving me
    strength too.

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