Thank you for your prayerful support for the work of Langham Preaching around the world. This week Igor Améstegui, our Director in Latin America, shares some thoughts that lead our hearts towards prayer.
Jews demand signs, and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God (1 Cor 1:22-24).
We are in the middle of Holy Week. Throughout the world, Christians of different confessions remember the passion and death of our Lord Jesus and celebrate his victory over death through the resurrection. In my Latin American context, we see two opposing realities. A large sector considers this week as vacation time. But there is also a significant sector that religiously lives the Easter festival. There are traditions linked to Holy Week in our countries, from foods that people must avoid to foods that should be on the table. But this popular religion does not necessarily foster a genuine encounter with Christ.
Paul's words are appropriate for us. He is unequivocal that the content of our preaching must be ‘Christ crucified’. However, we must recognize that such preaching, with its impact on our salvation, seems crazy nonsense to our society. Many will say that it is inconsistent to believe that God himself can become a man only then to die. A God who dies? A death that brings life?
Paul encountered similar objections in his time. He says that ‘the Jews ask for miraculous signs and the Gentiles seek wisdom.’ For both groups, the message of the cross was total madness. And yet a verse earlier he writes: ‘God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe.’
Let's pray for our colleagues who will be preaching about the cross of Christ over these days. And let us also pray for an exceptional sensitivity in our audiences to the message of that cross.
Let’s remember to give thanks …
Slowly, travel restrictions are being lifted across the world — and our people are making plans to gather in-person again. While we are grateful for all that can be achieved virtually (and this will keep happening), people are aching to be together again. Give thanks for the plans which the Africa team have to meet later in April in South Africa — with the Latin America team planning to meet in Colombia in May, the Asia & South Pacific team planning to meet in August and the Europe & Caribbean team later in the year.
Please pray for the work in places around the world…
FEBE/Eurasia: The next training is planned for Friday & Saturday, with participants from Moldova, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Georgia. The situation has been impacted by the ongoing war in Ukraine. Everyone has personal connections with what is happening, while the conflict has intensified the tensions between different countries of the former Soviet Union. Please pray for peace in the region to be restored quickly. Pray that God ‘will work in the minds and hearts of participants, not just to help them learn new skills, but also to meet him personally through our Scripture engagement together and to be encouraged by our Lord and receive the peace and joy of salvation that he offers us.’ Also pray for one of the facilitators who lost a loved one in February and has been finding these recent weeks to be difficult.
Thank you for your faithfulness in prayer!
The Langham Preaching Team