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Unswervingly Determined and Committed! A Letter from Abogar’s CEO…

By April 10, 2024No Comments

Dear Friends, Interested Parties, and Supporters of Abogar International Ministries,

I write you today from a place where I have never imagined that I would be. I’m not referring to my physical location, though that is quite surprising as well, as I am sitting in a cafe in Ensenada, Mexico. I am referring to my current life circumstances and situations, that are a bit overwhelming and tenuous at times. Jedidiah, my dear boy, is in great need for the best medical help available, as he is developmentally delayed and has some very challenging diagnoses and special needs to be attended. My wife, Irene (ee-RAY-nay) also needs to learn English and get established as a US citizen, before we can or would relocate to another Latin American country for ministry.

As I now reside in Pennsylvania, with my beautiful wife and precious son, the reasons behind our physical location are also important to understand. While I love Guatemala, and all that God is doing there, the medical system is far less developed than it is in the United States, and I need to fight for my son to have the best medical attention, due to his special needs that seem so numerous. I also am working to get my wife full US citizenship, for the purpose of freedom in travel, so that we may serve God wherever and however He calls us, throughout Latin America, with Abogar. As Abogar also was sensing a call from God to pivot the focus of ministry to Mexico, the timing was well planned by God for our relocation.

With all the above being said, I feel a bit of pressure to explain why I am currently so far from my wife and son. Obedience. Pure and simple. It is in obedience to my Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ, that I am now traveling and developing relationships and connections in Ensenada, Mexico! NO, it’s not MY spring break, nor am I ‘beaching it up’ nor surfing! Hopefully it will be received without a perception of selfish pride, but I am unswervingly determined and committed to be in the very center of God’s will for my life, and for my family’s as well. I am here in Ensenada, working to connect with local pastors and ministries, to watch and listen to where and how God is already at work here in Ensenada. AND He IS already doing a great work here. I’ve already connected well with three different pastors and congregations, and God seems to just be opening doors here. Also, this decision to continue on this already-booked ministry trip was encouraged and suggested first by my wife, when I doubted if it’d be ok to be away from them. Irene (ee-RAY-nay), my dear wife, told me that God already knew this situation in which we find ourselves with Jedidiah, and that the recent diagnoses that we received do not change at all the reality of what it looks like to be present with and loving on Jedidiah! Praise God for good members of our local community, who have been willing to step up and help out in a number of ways, to be around and support Irene and Jedidiah while I serve on this ministry trip.

However, this letter is meant moreso to give a challenge to each of us. Are we truly calling Jesus Christ our Lord, if He is NOT the first and foremost authority of where and how we live our lives? Many desire the gift of salvation, but do not want the responsibility that is inherently attached to that great gift! While salvation was/is a gift from God, completely free, the responsibility is fully ours to receive and steward that salvation well! Even Paul, an apostle and incredible servant of God in the New Testament, encourages and admonishes fellow followers to… “work out your salvation with fear and trembling…” (Philippians 2:12 NIV). Is Paul calling us to live in fear and literally tremble? By all means, no! What he is doing is encouraging true followers of Jesus Christ to the very hard task of being unswervingly determined and committed to live the life of love and obedience to Jesus, who gave up His own life to save us! Paul continues in chapter 3, verse 12, to state, “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.” Jesus’ lordship in our lives demands obedience and surrender, humility and love, faithfulness and perseverance. If our lives are not marked by these attributes, are we truly unswervingly determined and committed to serve Jesus? Is Jesus really our Lord? Not all are called to serve abroad, but all are called to serve the Lord, however and wherever HE may call you to. It requires obedience.

Now I know that this letter may rub some people wrong, maybe even because we have started to pursue our own kingdoms here on earth rather than the Kingdom of God, but I want to ask us to humbly and quietly reflect on our lives, and ask ourselves, is Jesus truly my Lord? Will I obey Him at all costs… even if it means sacrificing my self-pleasure, self-fulfillment, selfish pursuits, comfort, and plans? Can we ask this question without trying to justify our current pursuits? I must confess, this trip is one of the least timely trips of my life. With the recent diagnoses for my son, and all his appointments and needs, as well as my wife needing my help and presence to alleviate her at times, caring for Jedidiah, I must be transparent and honest that it would have been easy and preferable for me personally to cancel this trip, and remain at home. However, keeping God at the center, and seeking His will first and foremost, it has been made evident that His call and plan is for me to be here in Ensenada. As I press on, I’m relieved and blessed with the many confirmations that God has given on this trip, that I am exactly where He wants me at this time. Irene (ee-RAY-nay) and Jedidiah have been doing wonderful in my absence, due to many people extending a helping hand. I am satisfied and content! Satisfaction and contentment truly come from being unswervingly determined and committed to the will and authority of God, first and foremost! May we be blessed as we each grow in our obedience and surrender to His will and way in our lives, that we may live satisfied and content, for God’s glory!

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