Greetings in the Lord. We hope and pray you are well and that the Lord is blessing you in every way. Over the last month, we have journeyed through South America, where our latest expeditions have brought us through the Andes mountains of Peru. One of our specific missions in the Andes was to the highest inhabited city in the world — La Rinconada, Peru (16,700 feet). La Rinconada was a challenging, high altitude journey where the inhabitants of the city all work inside the gold mines at nearly 18,000 feet. The city itself is completely contaminated with mercury runoff, mining fumes, and trash that is disposed of in the most rudimentary manner (thrown over the hillsides). One would think, this is the last place anyone would want to live, but people from all over Peru come to the gold mines in the hopes of striking it rich. In fact, La Rinconada has doubled in size since 2009 and continues to attract new citizens every year. Life in this high altitude city is hard, but it is hard by choice. No one is forcing anyone to work in these gold mines, but instead, it is a choice for riches at the sacrifice of health. Extreme alcohol abuse and violent crime give the city a dark reputation, and even when a person does strike it rich they tend to waste their money upon vices found in the city. This cycle found in La Rinconada is a cycle that all mankind tends to follow, it is just displayed in more extreme ways in La Rinconada. Greed is not exclusive to people with money. In fact, greed, more often infects the souls of those in lack even more than those in plenty. The gospel is the only true source to bring contentment and peace to the heart of man. It cuts through the desires of the world and speaks to the true yearning of mankind. We preach the gospel around the world, in places like La Rinconada, because people there are without the light of Christ. It is with your partnership in prayers and finances that we can reach those who are unreached. The journey ahead continues and shortly we will be in Africa preaching the gospel to many tribes. Your prayers and support are needed more than ever and we truly believe the best is yet to come.
This month, we would like to share a message about Decisiveness.
Imagine life is like a river. The flow of time is the rush of water leading you towards your final destination. Along the way, there are tributaries and many different paths the river can take, but time is always leading you in one direction. Now, imagine you are in a raft on this river of life, and as the flow of time pushes you forward, you have to make choices as to which tributaries you will navigate. Some tributaries are safe and well charted, some are dangerous and unknown, but each major direction you choose will define your life. So how do you choose the right path? Most of the time, people just follow what everyone else is doing and cruise on the rivers of certainty. It is easier to follow the lead of others or have someone else make a decision for you. People hate making decisions because they fear they will make the wrong decision. But indecision is actually a decision itself. The river of life is always flowing forward, and thus, will make a decision for you...if you can’t. Time after time, Jesus put people on the spot with a question that would affect their path in life. Matthew 19:21 “If you wish to be complete, go and sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” Wham! That is decisive moment. Jesus is asking the rich young man to give it all up and take a totally different direction. And His response, Matthew 19:22 “When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.”
Here is a good thing to remember: When you ask God what you should do in life, expect His answers to be towards your heavenly goal, not for the confirmation of a comfortable path. Matthew 7:13-14 “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.”
Decisiveness: So if life is a flowing river, and we are constantly making decisions about which path to take, decisiveness is an important trait to develop. The quicker you make decisions, the clearer your path will become. Unfortunately, the pain and suffering of indecision has caused many people to be swept downstream into the waters of regret. People who are indecisive usually live tormented and fearful lives because they are double-minded and paralyzed by inaction. Faith does not exist in an environment of indecision. But fear not, even if you don’t have the wisdom in a situation, you can ask the Lord in prayer and He will lead you. James 1:5-8 “But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.” Being decisive in your faith and everyday actions will begin to dramatically change you. Act on what you know is right, and when you receive answers in prayer, follow it up with action. Many times, Christians will use the term “waiting on the Lord” in such a way to justify indecision. Don’t be one who uses religious terminology to procrastinate, just do what is right and move on. The more decisive you become, the more your fears will abate. If you have a problem right now in life, it’s most likely you are struggling to make a decision. Start trusting the spirit of the Lord inside of you and make your decision. “In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing. The worst thing you can do is nothing." — Theodore Roosevelt.
Decisiveness is also a key ingredient across other facets of life. For example, people who are successful in business seem to all share decisivness as a common trait. In Napoleon Hill’s classic business book, Think and Grow Rich (1937) he states after studying 500 self-made millionaires, "Analysis of several hundred people who had accumulated fortunes well beyond the million dollar mark disclosed the fact that every one of them had the habit of reaching decisions promptly." Additionally, Hill writes, "People who fail to accumulate money, without exception, have the habit of reaching decisions, if at all, very slowly, and of changing these decisions quickly and often." So even in business, being decisive is a key to success. Decisiveness shows faith and faith is the key to everything. If you are lacking direction, pray, and God will show you. But act upon the answers you get in prayer. Be decisive in your faith and watch your world change.
At Travel the Road we have always committed to a decisive way of life. We know there are people out there without the knowledge of Christ — so we go to them. We don’t wait for everything to be perfect or places not to be dangerous, we simply trust God and follow His path. And every time we do this, we see opportunities arise and the gospel going forward in power. From ministering in the jungles of Papua to the Himalayas of Nepal, God uses us in every situation to share His Word. If there is an earthquake we help and preach, if there is a war we go and are protected, if there is a hardship, we press on. We decide to believe God, and in that faith He brings opportunities. Our desire is to see a decisive generation of missionaries that are bold and ready to go out to serve the Lord. It is through your partnership that we are able to raise up more workers to reach the lost. Ahead, we have missions to the southern countries of Africa (Namibia, Botswana, South Africa, Madagascar) and we trust the Lord will open doors of ministry as He always has. Your financial partnership is the means by which we can undertake these Gospel Expeditions and your prayers keep us safe every step of the way. Thank you so much for your giving heart and we ask you to partner with us through your monthly tithes and offerings as we continue to reach the unreached. Together we are accomplishing much! Peace be with you.
Tim and Will