Life and Lemonade
Updated: May 30
“I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel, so that it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard and to all the rest that my imprisonment is for Christ. And most of the brothers, having become confide
We’ve all heard the “when life hands you lemons…” expression. Covid19 is our lemon as our plans have been interrupted, our schedules reconfigured, and life as we know it has changed. How should Christians respond? Paul wrote the book of Philippians while he was under house arrest in Rome, confined to his house and unable to leave for years. However, the apostle assured his readers that the gospel would not be hindered because of his imprisonment. that the opposite was the case. The word for “advance” is similar to our word “trailblaze” meaning to create a road where none currently exists. Paul states that His imprisonment actually created another road or channel for ministry and evangelism. The Covid19 is our lemons and the advancement of the Gospel is the lemonade.
Some lessons we can learn from Paul for our own ministry and evangelism efforts during our own quarantine.
Keep the sovereignty of God at the forefront of your mind.
Take time to pursue the Lord through His word.
It’s not time to relax or hibernate. Paul during his imprisonment didn’t relax; he advanced the Gospel. Likewise we need to advance the Gospel by means of communication with “social distancing,” using the phone, texts, social media, and anything at our disposal--leaving the results in God’s hands. The current crisis of COVID-19 is a vivid reminder that God is in control, and we are not. We make our pla
ns. God changes them. We trust Him.
Compassion ministries. Thank you – Gracias. Your gift has been a true blessing! We have been able to share groceries with
dozens of families over the last six weeks. Two of those we have been able to share with regularly are Venezuelan refugees. We are so grateful for those churches and individuals who have partnered with us financially to make it possible to share in a practical way.
This is a crisis and we are using it as an oppor
tunity. During this time of restrictions, Tara and Tia continue to teach their elementary and high school classes from home—through video and online classes--for Sojourn Academy (a Christian school for both nationals and mks in Costa RIca).
Tia has also started an online English-as-a-Second-Language course for pastors. We started in early April with six national pastors in Bolivia, Argentina, and Costa Rica. Pray for the learning of English – as we work not only with academics but also with using God’s Word in both languages.
Reaching the 95 %--Did you know that only 5% of the world's pastor have any formal Bible training? That is why we are spending more and more time in training believers through IBAC and EvanTell.
IBAC (Institutos Bíblicos de América y el Caribe/Biblical Institutes of the Americas and the Caribbean). In June we had planned to have our seventh training module of theological instruction THE DOCTRINE OF GOD with over 60 church leaders as we continue to equip leaders in the San Jose, Metropolitan Area of Costa Rica. However due to the world pandemic, and with Costa Rica’s borders closed at least through June 15, those seminars had to be postponed.
However, our team of ministry collaborators continue to work through compassion ministry deliveries and planning for their EvanTell seminars and other ministerial projects.
Keeping social distance and video seminars, the new norm: Kevin, Esteban Amaya, Jeronimo Ventura y Edwin Perez plan online courses to be done online with churches in Mexico and in Argentina. These courses were to have been done next year but the COVID-19 situation has pushed us to do the seminar now online for the first time.
Most courses share the ministry of EvanTell training (“Evangelism” plus “Tell”) which encourages and equips individuals and churches to reach the world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Beyond for EvanTell seminars, the ministry team is also developing a seminar called Discipleship Makers
In August and September, Lord willing, the team of Kevin, Esteban, Jeronimo are planning on taking the Evantell and discipleship seminar along with other ministry opportunities to the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua. In both countries the poverty level is high and using internet technology is not a reality. If you are interested in helping provide for materials and travel, costs for these two trips is $6,000. Please see information regarding how to give below the signature line.
Ministerio de Justicia y Paz Policía Penitenciaria (Ministry of Justice and Peace Penitentiary Police). The pandemic and its consequences have been very hard not only for prisoners but also for the guards. Encouraged by prison administration, we have been reaching out to both with virtual times of prayer. The penitentiary leaders have asked us to reach out to the prison guards as the guards feel very separated and alone.
Just a few weeks ago, we were able to obtain Gideon New Testaments--with the gospel clearly printed and explained inside--for the nearly 4000 penitentiary police of Costa Rica. We are currently in the process of distributing them.
Those who have given toward the compassion ministries have been a great blessing.
The Covid19 virus has not entered into the prisons of Costa Rica
The start-up of Tia’s English class for Spanish-speaking pastors, Tia and Tara’s teaching class from home.
That we a have been able to complete seminars online (Zoom) with churches throughout Latin America even though there is a pandemic (theology and evangelism training).
Various Trips have had to be postponed and/or transferred to online teaching: Bolivia, Nicaragua, Dominican Republic (postponed), Argentina (online)
Continued Personal spiritual growth for Tia and me
Funds for ministry needed (See below if you feel led to help with this need "ministry").
A desperate need for a vehicle for a Pastor in Bolivia (See below if you feel led to help with this need "Bol Vehicle").
The uncertainty of international travel and wisdom for making decisions in that regard. We need to visit new churches to raise support in July and visit family.
Effectiveness in ministry, especially in the stewardship of this crisis; as you know, things are changing daily, and we’ll do our best to keep you informed.
With faith in Him,
Kevin and Tia
OPPORTUNITITES TO GIVE as mentioned above. If the Lord leads, you may give donations online or by check. Details here:
On our home page of ReillysByGrace.com, clicking the Donate button will take you to Push Pay through our home church. Under “Giving Type,” choose Grace Global Ministries. In NOTES, indicate the gift for the ministry you wish to help: “Training in DR/N”; "Bol Vehicle"; "ministry funds."
Checks should be written out to Grace Global Ministries and please mail to Grace Global Ministries, PO Box 12, Cedarville, OH 45314. Again, provide a note indicating the gift for the ministry you wish to help: “Training in DR/N”; "Bol Vehicle"; "ministry funds"; "compassion ministries."