Greetings! My family and I are doing well here in Venezuela despite all of its challenges. There are major shortages of many basic staple things like food and gasoline. Another difficulty is they are rationing electricity every day. Lately it’s been around 6 hours a day. When they turn off the electricity during the night it makes it difficult to sleep because of the heat. They say in the months to come it could be up to 12 hours a day and it is expected to be rationed until April. Also, it’s very difficult to find cash, and the credit card/ debit card machines many times aren’t working because the credit card/ debit card platform isn’t good. But other than that, we are doing well.
A lot of people here in Venezuela are going hungry. I decided to start helping the most needy- those who rummage through the trash in the city dump. They live in little shanties next to the dump and the children and adults try to make a living by searching through the city’s trash. They are looking for something to eat or something recyclable that they can get money for to buy food. Well we started going there once a week. I play the guitar and I preach or sometimes a friend of mine does. After service we serve the people a meal- soup or rice, bread etc. There are hundreds who attend and many give their lives to Christ. I am praying about starting a church in this area around the city dump to be able to minister to these people.
This past month, I’ve printed out a lot of books to give away. I also preached at many different churches and had crusades where we fed the people and preached the Word. People’s lives were changed as they prayed the prayer of salvation. People also heard the Word on the 5 radio stations that I teach on every week. Some of the radio stations play my messages on a daily basis and others 2 or 3 times a week.
In December I had my monthly indigenous Bible school. 40 of my Indian leaders came down from their mountain tribes and we had school day and night for 5 days. At the end of our day the Indians sleep on hammocks in the church. I bought another cow this month to feed them. The topic we studied was faith. I gave out the books I had printed. On January 10th I am sending out my teams of Indian leaders to the mountain Indian tribes to minister and preach the Word. I will be sending them to the faraway tribes in the mountains of Venezuela and Colombia. I will send out 3 groups of 4 Indian leaders. I am buying food and medicine for them to bring to the mountain Indians. Of course, most importantly, we bring them the Word of God.
I started a new cell group on Wednesdays at a friend’s house who lives close by. We are currently studying Kenneth Hagin’s book, The Art of Prayer. Every week I have them read a few chapters. Then when we get together, I teach, expound on the book, and ask questions. It’s going well.
There is a testimony that I wanted to share. One of the Indians that we ministered to from the Shirata tribe told this story to my Indian leader, Victor. The Indian from Shirata said: “A few years ago I accepted Christ in my heart, but my parents refused to receive the gospel. I prayed for years for them and nothing happened. Then I prayed that the eyes of their understanding would be opened. (He was praying the prayer in Ephesians 1:17-23. Praying scripture is one of the most powerful things you can do. It’s a great idea to pray this scripture every day.) The next day my father told me that he had a dream which he shared with me. My father said: ‘During my dream I saw a very bright light and in the middle of that light there was a tall man from which a refreshing wind came. He began to sing in our language (the yukpa indigenous dialect), a song when translated said: This is the Lord's day…, and then he said verses from Matthew 24. I woke up singing and my wife was very surprised. Because of this experience that my father had, he accepted Christ as his Savior and his life and his family’s life changed. Now he believes the Word and he assists in the church service and is a faithful Christian.”
Well I wanted to say “thank you” to all that pray and give to the ministry, which makes the work possible. Have a blessed New Year!
In His Service,
Doug, Veronica, James and baby Ana