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The Ninth Wave

Rich and Jo Ann Davis on August 12, 2008

The Ninth Wave painted by Russian artist Ivan Aivazovsky in 1850 (click to enlarge) The Ninth Wave painted by Russian artist Ivan Aivazovsky in 1850 (click to enlarge)

Fear of the Wave "Quick Prayer and Praise" list on our web site or by clicking on the link in quotations.

Riding a wave to Mexico:

Immediately following Candidate Classes, we flew to Mexico City to work with our ABWE team in that fantastic city. This is the largest city in the world and the place which most captures our hearts when we consider how many still need to know Christ. We shared the concepts from the teamwork seminar and shared our vision of partnering with Mexican pastors and churches to see multiple churches started in the near future.

Rich also taught a 14-hour seminar on the use of the ABWE ?Good Soil? evangelism and discipleship material. Jo Ann and I are convinced that church planting will be greatly enhanced by improving our presentation of the gospel. That is the aim of this gospel presentation.

Back to Peru:

We returned to Lima following the Mexico City trip and there plunged into several ministries. Jo Ann jumped right into teaching full time the fourth grade class at the Monterrico Christian School (MCS). She also taught ?Adolescent Development? in the Lima Seminary along with her teaching responsibilities at MCS.

Rich began translating the students? workbook for the Advanced Evangelism course and then taught it in the Lima Seminary. This material is based on the ?Good Soil? evangelism and discipleship material that ABWE has recently developed which emphasizes the chronological presentation of the story of redemption which makes clear the reason for Christ?s sacrifice and what He accomplished by His death and resurrection.

It was a joy to see the seminary students go over the top in their enthusiasm for this presentation. It was also a joy to hear the students as they came back to class sharing testimonies of leading friends and family to Christ.

Speaking of sharing the gospel using a more through chronological approach, Jo Ann and I had a wonderful experience which truly underlines why we are so enthusiastic about this type of presentation. One of the couples who had a daughter in MCS was having marital problems. We invited Jorge and Cecilia to our apartment to see if we could help them with some biblical counseling. In the course of our conversation, it became clear that Jorge did not yet understand the gospel and needed Christ as his savior.

Because we had spent some time in working on the conflict in their marriage, it seemed necessary to present the gospel quickly using presentation developed in the US many years ago. Jorge did understand each of the points, but still had a question plaguing him. He told us that he had asked priests and others this question but no one could give him a satisfactory answer. "If Christ was perfect and sinless, why did he have to die?" I thought that I had clearly presented the gospel but Jorge still didn't understand. I then started back in Genesis and quickly traced the redemption story to the New Testament. When I had Jorge read out loud John 1:29, he said; "Now I understand!" Jorge was wonderfully saved that night.

Rich began doing the immediate discipleship using the recently translated booklet "The Way To Joy" (published by ABWE), but between trips that both Jorge and Rich had to make it was hard to keep a constant schedule. Jorge had to travel often to Argentina to try and save his marriage. Then, just a few days ago, we received an e-mail from Jorge asking us to log onto a web site to see him on a radio broadcast from Argentina. To our surprise, there was Jorge on the Internet giving his testimony of how the Lord had used us to clarify the reason for Christ's death and help him to trust in the only possible Savior of sinners. Not only that, but Jorge and Cecilia were back together and they were rejoicing in the Lord. It turns out that Jorge is just beginning to host his own weekly Christian radio broadcast from Argentina! Only the Lord knows how this young family will be used for His glory.

Riding a wave to Costa Rica:

Our ABWE team in Costa Rica is experiencing an influx of new and highly skilled missionaries and it was a blessing to Rich to fly to San Jose, Costa Rica for a week to teach the seminar on "The Five Dysfunctions of a Team.? What a blessing to see veteran missionaries blending together with a younger generation of missionaries to form a true team. The team is now ready to develop their strategy for seeing multiple churches started in the next couple of years.

Back to Peru:

We were back in Peru for the wild finale as we finished up the courses we were teaching at the seminary, and packed to leave Peru in anticipation of our return to the states in order to participate once again in the summer ABWE Candidate Seminar, Missionary Enrichment conference where Rich team taught the Good Soil evangelism course.

This trip back to the US will also include taking the time at last to visit our supporting churches and report in person. We are looking forward to planning our schedule in supporting churches after returning from a trip to Nicaragua and hopefully getting a bit settled.

Because we have a burden to reach the Peruvian military officers sharing the Monterrico Church Property, Rich was also able to organize a committee from the church and seminary that will provide counseling and seminars for them and their families. Discovery booklets from Radio Bible Class are being placed in a special rack on spiritual themes relevant to today's needs for these officers and their families.

Another ministry that Rich managed to squeeze in was to participate in a mobile medical clinic with an ABWE medical team visiting Peru. He was able to spend two days taking the medical history of people coming to see the doctors and sharing the gospel with them. During the two weeks of ministry in Peru, the mobile medical clinic saw almost 1,400 people profess faith in Christ. What a fantastic evangelistic outreach!

Riding a wave to the US:

On July 3, we arrived in the US after experiencing an unplanned emergency landing in Panama . A tire blew out as the plane hit the runway causing us to miss our flight to Pennsylvania and arrive a day late. The reason for the emergency landing was that a passenger suffered a heart attack (no, it wasn't Rich!) Praise the Lord for keeping us safe on that flight and throughout these many thousands of miles of traveling.

After a couple of days of meeting with other ABWE administrators from all over the world and then a week of Candidate Seminar, the ABWE Missionary Enrichment conference began. This year's conference was exciting to us for a couple of reasons:

The President and Board of ABWE recognized Jo Ann and me for 35 years of service. It was an honor for us to realize how faithful the Lord has been to us allowing us to serve Him on the mission field for this length of time. Many of you have loved and prayed for us during much or all of those years and we are truly thankful to you too.

Rich was able to team teach the Good Soil course to veteran missionaries on furlough in the US. This was a valuable experience and honor teaching these faithful missionaries who still desire to grow in their evangelistic skill.

The painting seen above, by the 19th century Russian artist Ivan Aivazovsky, is called "The Ninth Wave." It depicts a huge wave about to crash down on the survivors of a shipwreck, who are desperately clinging to the broken mast. The question is, are some of us about to suffer the fate of the people in the painting? Could we find ourselves drowning while trying to keep up with such a fast changing world and the pace of ministry?

Riding the wave with joy (click to enlarge) Riding the wave with joy (click to enlarge)

Fun of the Wave

On the other hand, is it possible that, like surfers who actually wait for the ninth wave, we somehow manage to climb to the crest of this technology and information and use its enormous energy? One thing seems clear: if that happens, it will be a fantastic ride.

To catch a wave it is necessary to get moving in the direction and speed of the wave. It seems that lately Jo Ann and I have been paddling hard to keep from being swallowed by the "big one .?

After a three-day weekend of R & R, we are recharged and ready to go again. It almost seems like we're just getting ready to stand up on our surfboard and shout "Glory!" By God's grace, we'll be ready to do something more exciting than "hanging ten" in the days to come.

Riding a wave to Nicaragua:

August trip - At the end of August, Rich will meet with the pastors and students in the Institute of Church planting to teach a class in church planting and to plan his 1-2 week training visit to Nicaragua in October. Please pray for this multipurpose trip. To see new pictures of this ministry please click here and view the new album "Training in Nicaragua".

Rich is also going to meet a medical team from ABWE to help our missionaries in Nicaragua prepare correctly to receive Dr. Pat Ryal and his wife Bonnie. Dr. Ryal is anticipating a "black bag" ministry in Nicaragua as an evangelistic outreach. After seeing what mobile medical clinics can do, we are excited about this new opportunity. However, we do need to do our homework and make sure what the Nicaraguan government requirements are concerning medical missions. We also need to make sure that the missionary team already on the field has their strategy coordinated to most effectively incorporate Dr. Ryal's ministry.

October trip ? We will be returning to Nicaragua to teach an entire section in the Institute for Church Planting. We may also be able to spend another week teaching the Good Soil evangelism material. There is nothing we enjoy more than the opportunity to have the direct hands on ministries that we have had for over 35 years.

Traveling to Supporting Churches:

Between trips to Central and South America as well as the Caribbean, we hope to schedule meetings to report in our supporting churches. Please pray that the Lord will use us in this wonderful time of rejoicing with those who sent us.

We do feel like we are riding the "Ninth Wave" in our ministry and we can't wait to share with you the plans and vision we have for the next 10 years! There are fantastic opportunities in the Caribbean, Central America and Mexico and our spirits sore to think of what the Lord may do in the next few years before the return of Christ to meet us in the air.

God's provision has never failed and it surely won't now! Please pray. God's provision has never failed and it surely won't now! Please pray.

Missing the Wave

We do need to raise more prayer and financial support as we ride this huge wave! Many factors have contributed to the need to improve our support situation. Yes, the dollar has lost much power over seas and expanded ministry naturally requires the necessary funds to do the job. There have also been increases in things like the ABWE Blue Cross group medical plan. We are asking God to supply that need and asking you to pray with us during this year of establishing the support base for the "Ninth Wave" of ministry.

Please pray that the Lord would provide so that we can have the freedom to serve without being financially handcuffed. Wouldn?t it be a shame to miss the wave because of anemic economic strength?

Thank you for your faithful prayers and generous provision for these ministries. We truly believe that the Lord is being lifted up and glorified as we labour together with you to win the lost to Christ and disciple them churches that are being planted in Peru, the Caribbean, Central America and Mexico. Let's keep on keeping on until Christ returns.