Miguel Esparza spearheads the team on an open-air preaching mission to Antigua.
it was welcome to the way the Master as always friends. It’s a delight to have you with us 13 countries in 13 days. That is Ray comfort’s idea of missions and Ray, we still don’t forgive you for that 13 countries in 13 days. Yeah, if it were up to your it would have been 13 countries and 13 minutes on jet powered roller skates. But somehow we escaped that today. We’re gonna be talking about missions and specifically we’re gonna be talking about Antigua Guatemala. There’s no one else on the face of the earth. I’d rather have with me when I travel south of the border than our good friend Miguel. As far as a Miguel would have delighted us to have you, not only with us but as a part of our ministry and brother, it’s been 11 years now since you came on board here with living waters with the aim of helping us take the ministry to Latin America, How exciting has that been? And what has the Lord been doing? Well, first of all, I’m Excited to be here. Thank you. And second of all, you know, I can’t believe it’s been 11, sorry it’s been since 2011. It’s now going to be eight years since we started the Spanish outreach or since we formally started the outreach. And I have to say easy, I have to say that it’s it’s been it’s been a huge blessing to see the Lord working using our spanish outreach to actually take the Biblical Gospel on to Latin America and yeah, especially with the founder who can only say what pronto just I was gonna say that I want to thank the girl for teaching me spanish and I’m fluent in that’s perfect. But I was saying is that it’s just amazing to see really what the Lord has done with our ministry in latin America because now as we speak we’ve already done over 30 conferences for latin America, 30 30 conferences a little bit over 30 conferences in latin America Mexico and the United States and now in spain. We recently yes yes right so you know we’ve done over 30 conferences, we’ve just completed our latest academy is the eighth version of the spanish academy. We graduated for the first time. 100 and 62 Saints. Seriously, what a thrill. You know, I mean what we think about two when the ministry started, you know our hearts passion was well you started in new Zealand right way back when but here in the United States when we started to gain steam. I mean to to to think of our desire to impact the U. S. But now beyond that and to think of 160 plus people praise the Lord. Yes and this is our eighth academy, we had three in Mexico, we had one in Colombia to in chile one here in the United States and the eighth in Argentina and now we have Graduation from the Academy 531 Saints Which is amazing on top of that. We uh last year we were able to train up more than 13,000 brothers and sisters in Latin America. That’s an amazing number. We are in over 20 TV networks that are broadcasting the Spanish version of the way of the master. We have season two, season three and just recently we finished dubbing Season four. So just to have that perspective of how the Gospel is being preached and how we’re equipping and we’re inspiring and equipping the church To fulfill the Great Commission. I mean 13,000 is a great number, right? It’s a big number. But every time I share in a conference or an academy, I say it doesn’t matter if there’s 10 people or 100 people or 100 and 50 people. I always say it takes one person to create a revolution. It took one ray comfort 40 plus years ago, 80. Sorry. Yes. It took, it took one person to, to ignite a fire that the Gospel is the biblical version of. Yes, one drip to start living waters. And to me it’s just amazing. I love, I love you know for conferences to be fooled etcetera. But it just takes one person and I, and I have some examples Of that, of some of the fruits of the academy. I have two quick examples from our academy in 2000 in 15 uh, in uh, in bogota Colombia, we had, that was the largest academy we’ve done in ec. You were there, we were for that academy. We had 92 people attended that academy. But one single pastor from that academy in the past couple of years has been in front of over 30 churches. Has trained up 204 pastors has trained up 695 liters and have inspired over 2500 saints singlehandedly. He’s traveled and he took this mission really. He took the calling not just for Columbia. He’s traveled to Panama Peru Mexico as our ambassador in Latin America. He’s even taken it to himself to go abroad. And another example is a pastor That graduated from our 1st Academy back in 2012 Pastor Eduardo Martinez. He when we graduated, he said Miguel, I was praying, I was praying earnestly, forgot to show me a way that we can preach the gospel. He didn’t know anything about living waters. He didn’t know anything about the academy. He just googled biblical evangelism or training. And the announcement of the academy came, he traveled to Guadalajara. He got inspired, he went back home and back to his home state and church. He created a ministry of evangelism called Alinea or on the line Since then he has single handedly done over 28 trainings. He’s trained over 2000 saints in his state and he is a great example of how it takes one person to create a fire and his um and more importantly his evangelism team in Lithuania. They go out every saturday afternoon to a park called la Floresta and their faithfully preaching the gospel every saturday. That group that started with about five people. He has over 30 people now on that team. And that’s just two examples. There are many, many testimonies that I could share because as you guys know, art passion has been to duplicate to whatever degree God desires what’s going on through our english speaking branch. And I just think of a couple of examples, I mean, Mark you were uh involved with Kirk Cameron, getting ahold of our ministry and talking about what one person can do. Miguel look at how God used Kirk through our ministry and how many millions have been impacted around the world and in connection even with television, I think about Eddie roman, right, who’s our producer here? I mean, he’s bringing this to all of you who are watching today. And he went online, was looking for evangelism stuff found our ministry came to the academy and who would have thought he would be the producer of the Tv program. You know, so it’s so exciting to see that happening now. Miguel in the, in in latin America and in the spanish speaking world, we want to talk today specifically about antigua in Guatemala, which Ray and I joined you before, but before that I want to talk a little bit about missions. So Mark you and I served together as pastors in the church that had a real focus on missions, give us the biblical paradigm for that. Well, the idea of missions has always been to reach out, right. My motto has always been, uh, if I’m gonna fail, I’m gonna fail by falling forward. No, nobody, it may, it may be comfortable inside the living room on the couch, but you’ll never get anything done. So many people have said, you know, if, if God calls me to go, I’m willing to go in the meantime, I’m going to stay. What we need to say is I’m willing to stay. But in the meantime I’m going to go, I’m gonna take the words of christ, serious, going to the highways, the byways and the cutaways and compel people to go to compel people to come. Right. So I’ve always been a part of a work that has had a desire to want to reach the loss. From the very first time when you grabbed ahold of me and you said, let’s go to my neighbor. And I said, what do you mean? Easy. I want to go knock on my neighbor’s door and she’s getting up in age and I want to share the gospel with her. I was terrified, Absolutely terrified. But I went and there you are sharing the gospel. I don’t remember how old she was 1919 92 ish or so is what it was. You fell forward and I fell with you. But the thing is we fall into the hands of God’s faithful hands for the first time you and I, when we went out open air preaching with Ray, Ray spoke at her church and he said, hey, listen, I want to go open air preaching. Would anybody like to go with us? And I’m thinking I will go. But there’s no way I’m gonna open up my mouth, right? You did not hesitate. The very first time you open air preaching, I remember and you talked about abortion, you gave your testimony. You know how your mom attempted two, wanted to abort you, but the doctor said, no, not this one. And I was just mesmerized by your guys. Tenacity to grab ahold emissions by the horn and say, listen, this is the heartbeat of God and I want to be a part of it. And then you say, I could never do that. I never want to do that. You qualify for God’s sake, You’re the one. That’s right. Yeah. And you know Ray, you know a little bit about missions because actually when you think about it, you’re a missionary. When you came from new Zealand to the U. S. You sense the Lord wanted to plant the ministry here. And what was your passion behind that? Well, my passion is to fulfill the Great Commission. Um, one of my favorite things to do is when I’m teaching is teach Mark 16 verse 15 and I what I’d like to go back to the Greek word, go and find out what actually means and it actually means go and into all the world. The word all means all. And the word every in the original greek means every, so when jesus said go into all the world, preach the gospel to every creature. He meant all every go. I remember the first time I heard you share that, I’m like, yes, absolutely. You know, and and that’s the biblical call, right? You cited Mark 16 obviously, Matthew 28 go, you know, to all nations, go into all the world. You look at acts one right before the the apostles were empowered by the spirit, jesus says when the spirit comes upon you, you will be my witnesses right to, to Jerusalem, judea samaria and the remotest parts of the earth. And that’s the biblical call. It’s to go everywhere and to proclaim the gospel. I was now I was in the remotest part of the right. That’s right. That’s as far as you could get. If you put the needle through the earth, which is a very dangerous thing to do, you come out of my city. That’s so amazing. And think of the name to write christ christ well we want to go to the video Miguel and then we want to jump into talking about what happened in Antigua. So let’s roll it Great. Take one go american money, but it’s going to have to do, it’s real money? I’m just going to ask them questions and if you get it right, you get the money. What’s your, what’s your name? Little boy. That’s right. There’s your money. Okay. What is the capital of England? Can anyone tell me? There you are. Thank you. What is the capital of the United States Washington D. C. Give me a hand. Capital of japan. The capital of Germany capital of Australia. That’ll do. I don’t know what it is. That’s wrong. But you can have some money. The number one killer of drivers in the US. It’s treats what’s the number one food People choke to death on in restaurants? Hard boiled egg yolk. It’s not it’s not funny. Okay. Does anybody here think they’re a good person and would like to go for $20? What’s your name? Get in show. I’m right. Give me one of those. How many lies have you told in your whole life? We need someone who’s on us? We’ll do two. Okay. How old are you? How many lies have you told in your life? You told a lot? Okay, what do you call someone who tells lies? That’s right. Now. Have you ever stolen something in your whole life? Okay. Have you ever used God’s name in vain. Okay, now one more question to go, jesus said whoever looks at a woman and lusts for her has committed adultery already. With her in his heart. Have you ever done that. Okay. Yeah. You’ve just told me you’re a lying, thieving, blasphemous, adulterer at heart and you have to face God on judgment day. So are you going to be innocent or guilty on judgment day? Does that concern you? That if you died today, you’d end up in hell? Okay. Now folks, listen very carefully, God did something wonderful. So we wouldn’t have to go to hell. All of us have broken those commandments. All of us are guilty and there’s nothing we can do to make ourselves right with God, that God made a way for us to be forgiven. God became a human being, jesus of Nazareth and on that cross he suffered and died for the sins of the world. Now you probably know that. But did you realize what was happening, God is the judge? You and I are guilty criminal. We’ve violated God’s Law, the 10 Commandments and hitting for God’s prison a place called hell. But Jesus stepped in and paid our fine here in court. And yet you’re guilty and someone pays you find the judge can let you go. God can forgive your sins because of what Jesus did on the cross. He can let you live forever. The bible says the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life, folks. Jesus rose from the dead and defeated. Death. And if you repent, don’t just confess your sins to a priest, confess them to God and turn from them and put your trust in jesus. And the moment that happens, God will wipe you clean and sin forgive every sin you’ve ever committed and grant you the gift of everlasting life folks. This is the teaching of the bible. Every year 54 million people die. So you don’t know if you’re gonna be here tomorrow. So today in the quietness of your heart just say God forgive me, I’m a sinner and I put my trust in jesus do that and you’ll be born again Now you two men were not good. Okay? You like the rest of us. But I’m still gonna give you $5. You know why? Because I like you And that’s how God gives everlasting life. We don’t earn it by being good because we can’t be good with sinners. We don’t earn it by being religious. God gives everlasting life because he loves us and because he’s good and kind. Mm hmm. Oh man I was just reliving that right now Ray Miguel what what an amazing trip that was. And even watching the video and seeing that crowd we had. And I’ll tell you the difference between what we experienced there and then most maybe third world countries versus the U. S. Is the crowd was captive. Like you didn’t have to try to hold them with anything. They were captive. They were humble. They were attentive. I mean Ray, how was that? You could have knocked me over with a feather because Mark and I have been to different countries and different cultures react differently went to one country, we had the titanic tract which always goes down well, but it wouldn’t, no one would take it in this country. So, but when we did magic, a little bit of sleight of hand, not real magic, the crowd started coming around. So different cultures act differently, but they were just like a magnet different which amazed me. And one thing that I recall from that trip is that you know, we got there, there was a big march going on. They were protesting around the park, it was very loud and it was raining and we were waiting and suddenly the rain took a break and the people that were marching took a break. So we said we have to do this right now. And we had exactly about an hour that we were all able to do open air preaching and share and share the gospel. And the other point that I remember is that there were two men, there was one man that was really angry. I don’t know if you remember this at the beginning, when you when Rae started preaching and he just wouldn’t have it. But he went to the back and he was talking to two other people there and they were pointing at us and I was translating for Ray, but I kept looking at them, I kept looking back this, I didn’t know if they were gonna try to do something, but the thing is that they stayed, they were very mad, but they stayed through all the open air preaching of Ray Easy. And then when I finished, so they heard the Gospel, you know what’s really as important as having a good translator. I was in one country once where I was talking about how to get on fire for God and say God wants to set you on fire and he go, so it’s good to have a translator that mimics not just what you’re saying, but the passion was saying it, you know, Ray, the guy at the beginning of the video, the one who said he had never told a lie. Now we all saw the crowd’s reaction to that. It was just classic. But but Ray, you were you were so intrigued by that guy. You actually took a snapshot of a video and put it up in the ministry is a big man, but we blew him up even bigger to about three ft and put them on the wall because his face was so full of character when he had that look of unbelief, what you know, we just had to capture. It’s great. It was exciting. And if you look at the video we were watching right now to your point, people were engaged, they were listening attentively to it. So it was it was a blessing that day. Well, it was a slap in my face and I didn’t really want to go. I came back just delighted. And we’ve got to speak at a big conference about Â£5,000. Just just wonderful. Yeah. And I think Ray’s waiting for beam me up scotty technology traveling to other countries. That would be nice. But yeah, and you know, you talked about how sometimes with certain crowds you have to hold their attention or get their attention with, with things that are intriguing and it’s universal. So when we’re out there, I use the docks, track what do you know what happened? And it just right, it just appeared. But yeah, the dots track this. This is one of my favorites and you know, you’ve got, you know, the typical dominoes, Uh, six sided or six dotted track. And over here you’ve got two and on this side you’ve got four. And on this side you’ve got one, we should put my eyeballs on there and we need to put an applause, we’ll put on some applause. But but no things like that. You know, whether it’s sad or like you said, the money or the dissipating scarf or whatever. These are silly things, but it’s amazing how they capture people’s attention. I mean, mark, you’ve used sleight of hand things for a number of, you know, I’m always looking for a new sort of gimmick to get somebody’s attention. Not a gimmick for the Gospel. Don’t don’t the Gospel doesn’t need any help. It’s the fact that we live in a fallen world and people need a bit of a burst of energy in order to be intrigued by anything that anybody is going to say. So I’m always looking into difference by the hand tricks and things of that nature. 11 reason I use that mark is because I’ll share the gospel of someone say, do you like magic and do some magic? And they go, whoa. And it gives them pleasure. So they are quite meeting you and the conversation you had with the pleasure was given to the magic. So it’s a good thing. And then again breaks the ice really breaks the ice because oftentimes when you go up to people you don’t know, especially when you’re doing 1 to 1, They don’t know who you are. They think you’re crazy. But you do that, you show a little bit of humor and it breaks the ice. It opens the door. I was hungry years ago and I had a crowd. It must have been 200 kids that didn’t speak my language. I had an interpreter. I did some magic and they just loved it because it’s universal. It doesn’t need a translator. And I said, uh, you want to see me make some chocolate disappear and one person ran off and came back with some chocolate. This from them now and we didn’t need an interpreter. That’s yeah, that, that was quickly understood. Well, I want us to to answer a few questions again. We’re talking about latin America today. And by the way, Miguel, I tried to find a green and white jacket to match the Mexico theme. That is that is very clever. Yes, that works great. Sure. But guys, I want you to answer this question. What do you say to people who say you have no right to go into another culture and to try to change their beliefs? Well, let me, let me tell you that, that the same people that say, what about people have never heard, you know what’s going to happen to them and say, well, that’s why we send missionaries and we’re not, we’re not trying to change their culture. We’re trying to say this is how you can find everlasting life because all these different countries and religions, religions have the same name. They want to find everlasting life and they can’t find it because their works righteousness. And we say God has done all the work he’s made away, jesus is the way the truth and the life to come to him. So we’ve got good news for every culture. It’s not we’re trying to change them. Amen. Oh Mark, hi, listen, you’d be surprised at how many objections and questions that are raised that are self refuting. If you just pull back just a little bit, somebody says you have no right to change somebody else’s belief? That’s what you said to, which I would say, is that your belief, is that your belief that we should not change somebody else’s belief. And if that’s your belief, why are you trying to change my belief? Right? I love it. Yeah, absolutely. You know. Yeah. And in many countries in latin America Catholicism is the religion is the home religion. So what I do is when I’m speaking to someone, I break the ice by by saying this by saying or asking him this question or saying uh, yeah, but you believe in God, right? You’re not an atheist. And they’ll say, oh yeah, I believe in God. I mean everybody has some fear of God. So that’s a way for me to to break the eyes. And they immediately say, oh yeah, yeah, no, I believe in God. And then, you know, we could go on with the conversation. So I yeah, that’s great. And you know, Mark Ray brought up this objection when he was speaking that people bring up as well. Hey, what about the people that have never heard? Right? What about them? What about them going to heaven? You can’t say God’s gonna judge them because they’ve never heard, you know, we can answer the question one of a couple of different ways, let’s say it’s legitimate And let’s say it’s legitimate that if somebody dies in the 1040 window of Africa that they’re gonna go to hell, which is my belief. This is why we send missionaries, otherwise we should be sending contractors who can build a wall around their hut in hopes and anticipation that a missionary does not go preach the gospel to them and then they’re accountable, right? This is why we send missionaries because the message is important enough to where they need to hear, they need to respond and if they don’t, they will go to hell. So what do we do? We send missionaries? Otherwise we send contractors, What’s gonna happen? Well they’re gonna go to hell. Are you concerned about that? Yes. Why don’t you get saved and go tell them if you’re really concerned about them, why don’t you go tell them how they can find everlasting life? I dare to say you’re not interested in doing that. You really don’t care about them. You’re using this as an excuse to try to hide away from God in Christianity. That’s so, so true and things, they won’t go to hell because they haven’t heard, they’ll go to hell for lying, stealing, murder, rape, last pride hatred. Listen, where you live doesn’t exonerate you from facing the judgment of God and we have to remember that God wrote the works of the law in our hearts and the conscience is bearing witness of what we do. So there is no excuse from that. People when they do something wrong, they know and twinkle they know inside in their heart that they’re doing something wrong and Miguel, that’s why even in latin America, we’ve seen that the law which is a biblical principle works effectively because it’s universal that everyone has sinned and violated the law of the Holy God. And so uh the word of God applies everywhere. Amen. Alright now we’re going to watch a video from one of mine and Mark’s favorite people. Our pastor Philip DeCourcy, the pastor of Kindred Church and Anaheim, we went to Israel a number of years ago, I think we were like two or three years old when you see the video. But pastor Philip is an amazing Man of God. You have to talk about the grandeur of God’s creation. Check this out. How can any human being look at a sunrise at the dawn of a fresh new day or a sunset as it ushers in the starry night and that stand in awe at the genius and greatness of the creator’s hand. The bible says the heavens declare the glory of God and the sky proclaims the work of his hands. Did you know that the sun is rising and setting somewhere on the earth every minute of every day. It’s amazing to think that at the same time that it’s a warm summer in the United States. It’s a cold winter down under in new Zealand the sun sets in the sky 93 million miles from the earth. And yet it’s just warm enough to ripen your tomatoes in the winter, the sun. So lax heat in Alaska that even on a sunny day, you could die of cold. Yet the same son in the Sahara desert is so blisteringly hot. It can kill you without the sun. We would die because its rays of multiple properties that keep life alive here on the earth from providing vitamin D. To the miracle of photosynthesis for vegetation. So the next time you admire a sunrise, let your soul expand in the worship of the creator. In fact, the bible calls us to this very thing when it says from the rising of the sun to the going down of the same, the Lord’s name is to be praised. How awesome is the creation of God. You know that that is just one glimpse into God’s multifaceted creation that ball of fire that hangs in the sky that everyone on the planet can all see. It’s the same son. It’s not like you’re seeing different versions of it and yet it has all these effects throughout the world. And that’s our desire. It’s that the light of the Gospel will shine on souls all across the planet and that we as christians will be like the moon reflecting that light. So that when people see it as the bible tells us, they’ll glorify our father who is in heaven. Friends, that is our desire for you. And that’s why we have way The Master television programs. So please, whatever you do, make sure to be inspired and encouraged to get out there and proclaim the Gospel for the glory of God. 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