Doors Wide Open

We have turned a corner! Something has changed! For many years, doors in Latin America were closed to the field of apologetics. That is no longer the case. In the last 2-3 years I have seen some amazing things happen. Earlier this year I spent 10 days in the Dominican Republic, alongside 3 other apologist friends. We held the first ever National Apologetics Conference in Santo Domingo and we visited numerous schools, pastor’s meetings and churches throughout the island. God allowed us to impact thousands of people with the reason for the hope that lies within us. I have already been to Colombia twice this year—a huge Apologetics Conference in Bucaramanga—where I spoke alongside three other apologist friends, including members of Ravi Zacharias’s ministry team. We were able to speak to an audience of over 1500 people live, plus over a thousand who joined the live-stream of the event. Before this year is done, I will be speaking in Honduras, back to the Dominican Republic, 10 days in Costa Rica, twice in Bogota Colombia, Cali Colombia and 10 days in Buenos Aires Argentina. In addition, we have already booked several very large events in Colombia and in the Dominican Republic for 2019 and 2020. We are seeing doors opening faster than we can keep up. Praise God!
Pereira, Colombia – Pastors Conference
It hasn’t always been that way though. For many years, the doors have been closed hermetically. That closure could be attributed to many factors. One important factor is the religious heritage of Latin America. Because Latin America was settled by the Spanish—Catholicism is deeply ingrained in every aspect of life. Practically everyone in Latin America believes in God, in one way or another. Up until recently, atheism was practically non-existent. Generally speaking, there has been no real concern about someone “losing” their faith, because faith has been more of a cultural expression than a spiritual or personal journey. You are basically born Catholic, because your parents were, and so were their parents.  The typical Latin American community is primarily Catholic, which means going to mass 2-3 times a year, and nothing more. In other words, there is no real faith to lose. Superficiality is another important factor for the rejection of apologetics. To paraphrase Darío Silva Silva, a Colombian journalist, pastor and friend, Christianity in Latin America tends to be analogous to a huge ocean, but only a few centimeters deep. Lack of depth in biblical knowledge and theology goes hand in hand with cultural religiosity. Because religion in this context is not personal—there seems to be very little interest in personal growth and in-depth bible study. Others seem to care only for the emotionalism! Self-help motivational speakers seem to have no problem gathering the masses. Among other factors, these have led to a lack of interest in apologetics. So, what has changed?
Santo Domingo Apologetics Conference
Why are the doors currently busting wide open for apologetics? I believe there have been some key developments in Latin America that have brought the importance of apologetics to the forefront. First, the internet. Today’s Latin American young person is exposed to heavy dosages of skepticism, atheism, cults, eastern philosophies, secularism, etc. This exposure is responsible for an ever-increasing number of people questioning their faith. To aggravate matters, many of the new professors beginning their careers throughout Latin America have been trained in the United States and Europe where they have been exposed to secular humanist philosophies and the deep-rooted skepticism that permeates secular academia. They have been indoctrinated and they are now passing the poison along to the next generation. The effects have trickled down to the churches, who have begun to lose young people. For the first time in history, atheism and skepticism has taken a foothold in Latin America and most Christians are clueless on how to respond. The unquestionable is being questioned and parents, pastors, and Christian young people are not prepared to respond.  Rampant activism in the area of sexual immorality has also swept across Latin America creating animosity between the church and culture. Young people, for the most part, take the side of culture. These developments have awakened a hunger for answers—thus the hunger for apologetics. The opportunities are very encouraging, but the task is daunting for numerous reasons.
 
This amazing opening is also accompanied by many challenges. Here are three challenges that I consider to be among the most serious. First, there are very few Spanish speaking apologists. Second, most churches and ministries in Latin America cannot afford the expenses of bringing in someone from abroad. Therefore, ministry to these communities requires a large financial commitment on behalf of the apologist. Third, a fierce spiritual battle is taking place—since the enemy does not want to relinquish his hold on these communities. However, greater is He who is with us than he who is in the world. I believe God is calling us at such a time as this to penetrate the darkness and let His light shine!
Bucaramanga, Colombia – Apologetics Conference
What are we doing at Reasons for Hope in response to these new and exciting developments?  We are being BOLD! First, we are committed to preparing a new generation of young Spanish- speaking apologists. This year we will be leading several three-day intensive trainings for Spanish speaking pastors, youth leaders, and young people who feel called to engage in apologetics in their circles of influence. Our first will be in Costa Rica this August. I will be joined by three other Spanish speaking apologists to train a group of 40 apologists on the basics of doing effective apologetics in the Spanish-speaking world. We will be donating four key apologetics books that are available in Spanish to each student (over $50 value per student). In addition, we are each paying our own airfare and expenses. This will be an expensive endeavor, but we are trusting God for the provisions we need. In October we will be doing our second intensive training in Elizabeth, New Jersey. Here we will be training another group of 40-45 pastors, youth leaders, and young people. We are anticipating Spanish speaking students from Mexico, the US, and Canada. We are super excited about this project. The third training will be held in Buenos Aires, Argentina in December. There too we will be training 40-45 pastors, youth leaders and young people. That too will be an expensive endeavor where we will have to donate the books, and cover all of our own expenses, but Reasons for Hope is committed to doing what God has called us to do.  In addition to the trainings, we are investing as much as we can, of our limited resources, in response to this amazing opportunity. Finally, we are praying! We are engaged in this battle and we know the importance of wearing the full armor of God.
 
As I close this article, I can’t help but be excited with what God is doing! Imagine the impact of 120+ new Spanish-speaking apologists from all over Latin America and the US giving a reason for the hope that lies within us! Imagine the impact of having an additional 6-8 training camps in Colombia, the Dominican Republic, and Central America in 2019! We don’t have the resources to pull that off yet, but we know a God who does. I pray you get excited and help us pray that God will do abundantly more than we can ever imagine! Please join us in this battle. Your support and your prayers are making a difference and will continue to do so.  God Bless you and STAY BOLD!
Posted in
Tagged with

Recent

Archive

Categories

Tags

1 Chronicles 16:8-12 1 Chronicles 22:14 1 Chronicles 29:11 1 Corinthians 10:31 1 Corinthians 13 1 Corinthians 15:12-19 1 Corinthians 15:21 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 1 Corinthians 15:33 1 Corinthians 9:26-27 1 John 2:15-17 1 John 4:10 1 John 4:19 1 Peter 3:15 1 Peter 4:12-13 1 Peter 4:12-19 1 Peter 5:10 1 Thessalonians 5:11 1 Timothy 6:10 1 Timothy 6:3-10 100 miles 1Peter 1:17-21 2 Chronicles 9:13-29 2 Corinthians 12:9-11 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 2 Corinthians 3:17 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 2 Corinthians 6:18 2 Peter 3:9 2 Samuel 23:8-12 2 Timothy 1:7 2 Timothy 2:15 2 Timothy 3:12 2 Timothy 3:16-17 2 Timothy 4:11 25% are staying 50k 55-mile race Abraham was very rich. Abuja Acts 11 Acts 13 and 15 Acts 17:11 Acts 1:8 Acts 9 Albert Einstein America waited too long. Apostle Peter Barna poll Barnabas Be a Berean Be bold! Be bold Be happy! Be part of the process. Be still and know that I am God Best Evidence God Created Bible Bob Gillespie Brian Miller CRT Candace Nordine Carl Kerby Jr. Carl Kerby Choosing for Two Christ in me Christ opened my eyes. Christian witness Chruch Colossians 1:27 Colossians 2:14 Colossians 3:17 Colossians 3:1 Colossians 4:5-6 Columbo Tactic D. Mark Jacobs Jr. Dan Lietha Dave Glander David Tautofi DeBunked 15 DeBunked TV DeBunked Deuteronomy 11:13 Deuteronomy 6:6-7 Deuteronomy 6:6-9 Did Jesus Commit Suicide? Dr. Andrew Fabich Dr. Francis Schaeffer Dr. Jason Lisle Dr. William Beal Draa Mackey Easter Ecclesiastes 12:13 Ecclesiastes 4:10 Eleazar Ephesians 1:13-14 Ephesians 3:17-18 Ephesians 3:19-21 Ephesians 4:29 Ephesians 5:15-17 Ephesians 6:4 Exodus 17:11 Exodus 17:12 Exodus 33:14 Facing the Giants Frank Figueroa Galatians 2:20 Galatians 5:1 Galatians 5:22-23 Galatians 6:9 Gen Z Genesis 13:1-2 Genesis 1:14-15 Genesis 1:27 Genesis 1:31 Genesis 3:10 Genesis 3 Glendive Montana God created you God is rich in mercy God loves us. God loves you God won the battle God-shaped vacuum God's Word God's character God's joy God's plan God's pursuit God\'s Word God\'s character God\'s joy God\'s plan God\'s pursuit God\\\'s character God\\\'s joy God\\\'s plan God\\\'s pursuit God\\\\\\\'s character God\\\\\\\'s joy God\\\\\\\'s plan God\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'s character God\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'s plan God\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'s character God\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'s plan Gods Word is truth Gods Word Gods care Gods character Gods divine plan Gods light Gods love story Gods plan of redemption Gods plan Gods wisdom Good Shepherd Gospel message Grammar matters Groggy Hawaii He is always faithful. Heaven Hebrews 10:19-22 Hebrews 11 Hebrews 12:1-3 Hebrews 12 Hebrews 13:5-6 Hebrews 13:5 Hebrews 13:8 Hebrews 7:25 Hell His glory Holly Varnum Holy Spirit How can I fight and overcome fear? Hubble Huntsman Center I Peter 3:15 IMPACT Impact Curriculum Is it okay for a Christian to be rich? Is life good? Isaiah 26:3-4 Isaiah 40:28-31 Isaiah 40:29 Isaiah 40:31 Isaiah 41 Isaiah 43:1 Isaiah 45:9a Isaiah 55:8-9 Isaiah 55:8 Isaiah 64:8 It is well with my soul Jamaica James 1:12 James 1:15 James 1:17 James 1:2 James 4:10 January 2022 Jeremiah 29:11 Jeremiah 29:13 Jesus and me Jesus chose to die. Jesus comforts the broken-hearted. Jesus saw their faith Job 1:3 Job 2:8 John 10:17-18 John 10:27 John 11:25 John 14:6 John 15:13 John 15:16a John 16:33 John 1:12 John 1:35-42 John 3:16-17 John 3:16 John 8:32 John 8:36 John Mark John Ray Joni Eareckson Tada Joni and Friends Joseph A. Kennedy Joshua 1:9 Joshua 22:5 Joshua 24:15 Juan Valdes Justice Kaimuki Bulldogs Kaimuki High School King David King Solomon Know It! Live It! Share It! Lacey Reitz Lamentations 3:22-24 Leviticus 18:24-30 Leviticus 25:23 Liberty Institute Life in layers Life is good because God is good. Life is good Listen to His voice. Listen Loose the Lion Luke 12:12 Luke 18:1 Luke 22:32 Luke 5:1-11 MTD Malachi 3:3 Malachi 3:6 Mark 10:8 Mark 16:15 Mark 1:16-18 Mark 2:3-5 Mark 5:19 Mark 6:31 Martin Luther Master Potter Matthew 10:20 Matthew 10:32 Matthew 11:28-29 Matthew 11:28 Matthew 11:29-30 Matthew 11:29 Matthew 13 Matthew 14:22-33 Matthew 16:24 Matthew 19:16-24 Matthew 19:23-24 Matthew 27:75 Matthew 28:18-20 Matthew 4:18-20 Matthew 5:13 Matthew 5:16 Matthew 6:19-20 Matthew 6:19 Matthew 6:27 Matthew 6:33 Matthew 9:35 May 15 1987 Memory Lane Mere Christianity Mic'd Up Mic\'d Up Mic\\\'d Up Mic\\\\\\\'d Up Mic\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'d Up Michigan State University Money is their god. Moralistic Therapeutic Deism Mosaic NRB National Religious Broadcasters Nigeria Parable of the sower Pastor Baba Peter Philippians 1:6 Philippians 2:3-4 Philippians 3:12-16 Philippians 3:7-8 Philippians 4:6-7 Philippians 4:8 Plan C Please say Yes! Please say "Yes!" Please say \"Yes!\" Please say \\\"Yes!\\\" Potter Proverbs 12:26 Proverbs 14:12 Proverbs 15:4 Proverbs 16:3 Proverbs 18:12 Proverbs 18:24 Proverbs 19:21 Proverbs 1:20 Proverbs 3:5-6 Psalm 100:5 Psalm 103:2-5 Psalm 119:105 Psalm 119:11 Psalm 119:160 Psalm 122:1 Psalm 138:1-2 Psalm 139:14 Psalm 139:17 Psalm 13:6 Psalm 147:4 Psalm 16:11 Psalm 18:1-2 Psalm 19:1 Psalm 1:1 Psalm 23:1 Psalm 23:2 Psalm 23:4 Psalm 23:6 Psalm 27 Psalm 34:19 Psalm 40:2 Psalm 40:8 Psalm 42 Psalm 68:19 Psalm 69:9a Psalm 8:3 Psalm 8:4 Psalm 92:1-4 Pursued Put God first Reasons for Hope in the Mosaic of Your Life Reasons for Hope* Reasons for Hope Respond to God's voice Respond to God\'s voice Respond to God\\\'s voice Respond to God\\\\\\\'s voice Resurrection RforH Romans 10:14 Romans 10:15 Romans 10:9-10 Romans 10:9 Romans 12:1-2 Romans 12:9-21 Romans 1:16 Romans 3:23 Romans 5:12 Romans 5:17 Romans 6:23 Romans 8:14 Romans 8:26 Romans 8:28 Sanctity of Life Schaftlein Report Scriptures September 11 Shelby Pruitt Spurgeon Stay bold! Stay bold Supreme Court Surprised by Joy The Right Ingredients The Screwtape Letters There is no truth Think before you post. TikTok Tish Kerby Trust His heart Trusting God Use God's Word correctly. Use God\'s Word correctly. Wade Wacker Wealthy Christians What is a Christian? What is my purpose? Who Made God? Why am I here? Why did Jesus have to die? Wooed Word of God Your grace still amazes me. a little at a time a process; not an event abortion absolute truth accepting help achieving the impossible angry another child of God struggling answering questions antidote to fear anxious apologetics astronomy astrophysics be not afraid biblical Christianity biblical creationist biblical perspective biblical worldview blindfold boldness bold brokenness butterfly caged called to encourage cancellation cease striving certainty challenge character check your attitude children clay coercion come alongside comfort zone comfortable Christian commas save lives compromised confidence confused conjunction created in Gods image critical race theory critical thinking curriculum cut the head off the snake debate defend depressed depression design of the eye desperate passion dinosaur dig don't fight alone don't stop don\'t fight alone don\'t stop don\\\'t fight alone don\\\'t stop don\\\\\\\'t stop dont stop doubt encouragement entrusted by God to do good eternal life eternity without God evangelism examine the scriptures eye fair and impartial faith walk family circle family first fear not fearfully and wonderfully made fear feeling lost feeling overwhelmed filled with joy and worship flight cancelled football coach former athiest freedom of choice galaxies give a defense give thanks glory in His holy name good news of Jesus Christ good news grace gratitude grog having conversations heroes of the faith hope human eye humble ourselves illness impact lives impact your teammates positively impulsive incomprehensible God isolation keep moving keep progressing largest church in the world layers light year speed like Christ live in freedom loss of loved ones love of money love made for another world made in His image marriage memories memorization without application memorizing Scripture missing opportunities more like Christ multiple meanings mystical truth never compromised no complaints no hope no pain no gain no quitting nonconformist not a fetus not ashamed objective right and wrong one foot in front of the other opened doors opportunity to bring hope overwhelming distance part of a team passionate patience patriotism paying it forward persecution persevere perspective physics plans positive messages postgame prayer potsherd pottery potter power of the Word praying preposition progress quadriplegic quiet time reach the younger generation reality exists reality reassurance red cardinal redemptive work of Christ refining refocus what church looks like relationship with God relentless forward motion represent Christ resolutions rest right time right words root of all evil sacrifice salvation see God move seed experiment seek the Lord shine a light silversmith situation slavery social media son of encouragement speak life speak your truth spiritual apathy spiritual harvest stagnant church stand boldly on the Word of God stand up against evil star-gazing starstruck stars step by step stranded stress statistics stress study for yourself suffering symbol of God's love and reassurance symbol of God\'s love and reassurance symbol of God\\\'s love and reassurance symbol of God\\\\\\\'s love and reassurance symbol of Gods love and reassurance teaching science telescope thankful the apple of his eye the finish line the lion will defend itself the seeing eye think for yourself thriving in Christ traditions traffic trials tribulation troubles truth turn to God ultamarathon ultrarunner unborn child uncage the Lion uncertain uncover the truth unfair universe unpredictable use your gift visual reminders wethering the storm where two worlds collide windows to the soul worldview worth fighting for your circle matters youth ministry youth zeal for worship