By now many of have heard about our friends from Delicias and Benigno in particular. Benigno was the gentleman who gave his life to Christ during one of our services within the village. Since our visit the village has encountered episodes of persecution and no doubt public rejection. The Hike with Hope teams heart is very heavy for Beningo and other professing believers within the village. We’re thankful for the persecution as it confirms to us that God is at work. Specifically and intentionally God is at work within the hearts of this village. This is very evident through the resistance being shown and the thickness of a religion that is depending on man rather than relationship with the Father, through Jesus Christ. Our prayer here is anything. Anything it takes God for your glory to have maximum exposure in my world. That’s a tough prayer but we’re thankful for Benigno and his stand for the Gospel and glory of Jesus Christ.
We encourage and beg you to pray for Benigno. He didn’t accept Christ amidst a loving congregation that would accept, equip, and love him. He accepted Christ amidst the stares, whispers, and soon coming persecution. He’s likely to be shut out from the inner circles of the village. Maybe not allowed to walk a certain trail or share in a meal. We really don’t know the truth of it because truth is our world is different. But is it all that different? How well do we rejoice when one soul comes to Christ? How well do we come along their side to equip, accept and love? Maybe a quick hug or pat on the back and then it’s back to our usual routine? Truth is those who accept Christ often have to backslide or “calm down” before they’ll ever fit in at an average American church, and that’s sad. So this is post is both an encouragement and challenge. Be encouraged, thankful and mindful of the freedom we have here. Bondage exists within religion but freedom is there for those in Christ Jesus. Walk in that freedom! Be challenged to pray for Benigno and resist religion. Stand strong with those around you to be the hands and feet of Christ as we possess His mind.
As I pray for Benigno and the people of Delicias this is my prayer, this is my hope, and a great reminder of how specific and intentional our prayers should be for Benigno and those around this world, even within our own communities:
“For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, the you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills in all.” Eph. 1:15-23