THE STRENGTH OF THE ENEMY
Satan tries many ways to defeat the vision and the plan of God. He uses temptations, discouragements, and direct attacks.
In the life of Joseph, there was the temptation of Potifar’s wife, the discouragement when the cup bearer forgot Joseph in prison, and the direct attack from his brothers that Joseph’s enemy. However, finally the brothers became his true brothers in the love of God. All this was in the plan of God and His sovereignty.
In the ministry of Pastor Waldo there were all these things that the enemy tried: the discouragements, the temptations, and the direct attacks. The person that declared that he was the enemy of God and of Pastor Waldo was the shaman, don Librado. Don Librado controlled the people by fear of his powers even though all his family had converted to Jesus Christ.
Finally in the sovereignty of God, all these things were for good by God.
“…he hearkened not unto her, to lie by her, or to be with her.” (Gen 39:10)
“Yet did not the chief butler remember Joseph, but forgat him.” (Gen 40:23)
“…ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.” (Gen 50:20)
The Discouragements of the Past
“María is a woman that has borne much deprivation that we have had in the ministry. Never have I gone without something even though we have walked in the lowest economic level. When we were first married, we ate only once a day so that we would stay within the salary that they gave us in the church. We were church planters and my salary was the equivalent of $40.00 a month. When I was married, they increased my salary to $50.00 a month. I worked a lot because they required a lot from me. It was very difficult during that time, but she did not say anything to me of complaint, but with joy we served. When she was pregnant with Amy, we continued eating once a day. When we did not even have that, we visited Christian brothers at the dinner hour. That was bad, but I did it so that she could eat more for she needed it. Amy was born very under-weight because of that. Her weight at birth was 1.274 kilos. Already the Lord healed us of those memories and hurts that had marked me. The church grew there and the Lord began to bless us. However, when we ate three times a day and were more solvent, they changed us from that place. At that time, they did not send us to plant another church, but they sent us to a very problematical church that was already established. There the Lord blessed us, for in one year the church grew almost 100%, but the leadership there was very problematic. I had to set them all aside and that bothered me very much. It was the way by which the church grew. Also we had a salary that limited us very much. There we lost our son which was a very difficult time in that year. The Lord healed me of this barely two years ago, for when I remembered this, I cried a lot. Now, yes, I feel like crying but it is not as much as before. The leaders punished us by not paying us in almost two months. But María did not complain for a moment. She only cried alone, but we continued in the ministry. We are happy with the Lord, because of the people that we won for Him, they continue with the Lord: some are pastors and others evangelists. The rest are leaders in churches. From that place, we were sent to the state of Chihuahua, México to a church also very problematical, but it was a little easier for we carried with us the experience from the previous church. It was difficult there for only the first two years. After that we could open various missions in the villages nearby and bring the gospel to a very small tribe called the Tarahumara Indians of the ethnic group called Rarámuris. All this ethnic group is converted. From there in Chihuahua the Lord gave to us the call to go to Nayarit. Waldo.” (August 29, 2006)
The Discouragements of the Present
“The Van left us an hour and a half from El Ciruelo. The mountains were too high and the Van could not climb. The transmission began to throw oil. When the Van left us on the road, I hitched a ride to Rosa Blanca to obtain oil for the transmission of the Van. It took two more hours to walk. I arrived very dirty, full of dirt, tired, very hungry and somewhat worried because I had left the people (the mission group from the church) in a very lonely place amount the mountains. I obtained 15 liters and waited to hitch a ride back. Two hours passed before I went. I was too tired, and I began to think about if this was necessary to continue this ministry for it is very tiring, very difficult, very expensive, dangerous and risky, and the souls that are saved are few because it is a small group of people that live here. I asked myself all these questions. In the night while I slept under a tree, the Lord spoke to me in a dream and told me that one soul for Him was worth much, and that all these Indians are very important to Him. Still more remain in those places and in other parts of the state that have never heard of God’s love for them. All the effort that is done to bring them the gospel is worth the pain for only one of them has a great value to Him. At that moment I cried a lot for I had put in doubt all of this. On the following day everyone awakened without fatigue, with much encouragement, much joy, and with strong desires to return to continue with this Great Work in which the Lord has entrusted us. Waldo.” (May 24, 2006)
The Temptations of the Past
“Previously a brother offered us a pastoral work in Puerto Vallarta. There I was touched to plant a church but I passed it to another pastor for we could not attend to it. This brother told us that please would we come to live there. He had constructed an auditorium and gave us a house. It was in the most difficult time for us in Tepic. There was much oppression and very many economic problems. I cried much even for the basics. This brother offered me everything, but the condition was that I leave Nayarit. I felt that I could not, that I would continue in Tepic. He persisted with us for 6 months and did not convince us. Then I had a dream. I dreamt that I accepted to go but on going the Lord distanced himself from me and did not support me. I felt very bad because on praying for the people, nothing happened, and almost I did not feel His presence. I saw the people in Tepic crying because I had abandoned them. Although this was a dream that I had, this brother persisted for almost a year after that. I learned a lot and gave thanks to the Lord because I had not accepted it. Although, in truth, all that he offered was not a temptation to me, for I have never served for money and these types of things do not move me. Two months after he stopped insisting, the first Indians arrived at the church. Waldo.” (November 10, 2005)
Temptations of the Present
“The pastor of the church spoke to me…asking that we go to relocate ourselves (in the United States) and to plant a church, for they have this project. The Lord brought us here to Tepic, to Nayarit, and here is where we have the vision. I could not abandon the Work of God here nor the missions unless by His order. Apart from that I have some pastors under my charge to whom I extend spiritual covering. The Lord is very wise and very beautiful, and I trust in Him for His direction. Waldo.” (November 5, 2005)
“The Lord brought us to Nayarit and, even though there are limitations or needs, we are very happy, because the vision that we have is here. Also we are incapable of leaving the Work in this place and abandoning the people that we love so much. If the Lord wants a change of residence, He will make it felt, first to us, and rapidly I would ask for counsel from you and your husband to confirm it all. Waldo.” (November 8, 2005)
“Now that I was in the United States, the superintendent spoke with me about an invitation to go to plant churches in California. This offer very attractive, for he spoke to me of all the benefits that they give to church planters. However, I told him that I need to pray to the Lord for direction, and that I cannot leave the Work in Nayarit because here also there is much need. It is certain that the pay is not the same, neither the comfort, but I want to be in the place where He wants me to be. My uncle told me that I should think hard about it because other pastors are immediately approved when they receive an invitation like this. I told them I will continue attending to the speaking invitations that I receive from them to minister, for the Lord has blessed us also with this. However, for something like this I need to be very sure that the Lord is directing us. We will continue here in Nayarit with the same vision and with the same enthusiasm as always, because we know that our reward is there above. No the reward does not move us but the love of our precious and beloved God. That is the principal motive of our worship and service to Him. Waldo.” (June 17, 2006)
“Neither do I seek comfort. For that I would not be a pastor or a missionary, because they are very difficult ministries. The true comfort is to be in the center of the will of God and to walk in it. This is the way I think. There in the will of God is the real peace and life. And as the Psalmist said, ‘that is my delight’. It has never passed through my mind to abandon the Work in these places, because there still remains much to do. The time that remains to us in this life will barely reach to fulfill this ministry. Waldo.” (June 18, 2006)
“I am surprised at don Librado (the shaman). He is stronger than what I thought, even though he cannot do anything to us. The youth that accepted the Lord this past Sunday here in Tepic and were freed (from demons) on the following Monday, commented to my wife that all the witches have their secret meetings and that a Huichol Indian by the Spanish name of don Librado, who lives in the town of Yesca, is the one that gives ‘light’ and ‘spiritual strength’ to those that continue working in the occult. There in the mountains they told me all the ways that he threatens them, but that he has not been able to do anything. The witchcraft that he sends the Christians does not arrive because of the protection of God. Every time that we are going to go to the mountains, he knows the roads by which we are going to walk. According to him, he walks them first so we will not arrive and that we will turn back. He tells the people that he is going to confront me, but three days before, he goes very far up in the mountains and returns 4 days after because he says that he is afraid of me. We continue praying for him until he is converted to the Lord. It will be a very great testimony for all the people. I have much desire to chat with him and to pray for him personally. I told that to the people so that they would tell him. There is a new couple among the group that are very good for evangelism. His name is Manuel, the brother of Anselmo, and his wife’s name is Chuyita. Chuyita is the daughter of don Librado. Don Librado was told about the youth that accepted the Lord and that were freed from demons. When he knew that it was in our church where they were converted, he told their companions not to become involved with us because then it is going to go very bad for them, because the power that is around us no one can break. He spoke to them of another shaman that died trying to do very strong witchcraft against us. He only came to throw dirt on the church so that I would not go out from there. He did nothing to us, for on seeing the dirt, I only prayed before going to break the curse and to ask mercy on the people that threw the dirt. That happened two days before going to the missions. We hope that soon he will surrender himself to the Lord. Waldo.” (November 15, 2005)
“Something strange happened this past week end. Barely yesterday the Indians spoke to me. A son of don Lupe that did not want anything of God, began to feel bad. They told two people from the church that live near there, and when they arrived, he already was possessed. Supposedly it was don Librado that spoke through him and told them that he wanted to speak with me. The people of the church began to rebuke it rapidly in the Name of Jesus, and he shouted that told them that they should tell me not to build the church there because he was going to destroy everything, beginning with me. When they prayed to cast out this unclean spirit, he told them no, that it was a human spirit. They rapidly rebuked it strongly. Those Indians that came from the mountains said that don Librado was in a trance and that writhed and shouted saying that our God was more powerful and that he could do nothing that he wanted to do. He only fell as though dead and he remained this way for almost 12 hours. It is the first time that this happened. Don Lupe’s son, when he felt better, was very frightened and received the Lord in his heart. He is now very excited to follow the Lord, because he saw the reality of the spiritual struggle. Waldo.” (April 24, 2005)
“Already no one participates with don Librado (the shaman). Now he remains alone. The last of his children is already Christian. Don Lupe baptized him two months ago. We do not lose hope to see don Librado converted to the gospel. This time that I went to the mountains, I told the people that he is going to confront me but again he fled to the heights of the mountains, very far from where we go. I told the people that we love him and that we are praying for his salvation together with you. Waldo.” (June 5, 2006)
The Defeat of an Enemy
In our visit to Tepic, Mexico in the month of October, 2006, my husband, Jack, walked to the mountains with Pastor Waldo, don Lupe, Pastor Victor Raygoza and Rodolfo Araujo Ramirez with many blankets and vitamins for the Indians. They walked to the mission of El Majahual. In the sovereignty of God, who puts people in specific places in His perfect timing, don Librado was in El Majahual on October 25th , the same day that Jack and pastor Waldo were there. Don Librado thought that Waldo and the group had already left. When don Librado saw Jack and Waldo, he was afraid because he knew that the power of God was with them. He asked for prayer for pain in his shoulder. When Jack touched him, he felt the power and the love of God. Pastor Waldo prayed for don Librado to receive Jesus Christ in his heart.
“Don Librado is very changed and very happy. All feel very happy for Jack’s visit. Tony told me that no one had arrived from the missions that day because all the day before they had arrived. He was confused and made the appointment with the people on the 24th. But no, the 24th was the departure day from Tepic to El Majahual, and we arrived with the blankets on October 25th. He (Tony) came praying on the road for the people to arrive in El Majahual from the missions. Some of them arrived. We saw them come down from the mountains. It was a miracle that they had descended because they told me that only they felt to come. All was very good because don Librado did not go to the meeting, but he came to see how everything had gone with us on our visit. He did not expect to see all of us there, but he went there where he had an encounter with God. I told Tony that when he came near Jack, he was afraid and understood that it was the true God that was with Jack, and he did not resist Jack’s prayer for him. He says that he felt a heat that began to enter him through his head when Jack touched him and in a few seconds, he knew nothing of Jack. However, at that moment he woke up spiritually and saw everything differently. He did not understand what happened and finally when I prayed for him when he said goodbye to us, he spoke well his prayer of faith and received the Lord. He said that in this way it was done as we had prayed. Jack’s prayer prepared him to receive the Lord. Now they continue working with him, for he will be a means by which many villages will open their doors to the gospel, and those that feared what he told them, now remain free of threats. I tell you that all operated for good because if we had arrived earlier in El Majahual, on Tuesday the 24th, as they thought, there would have been more people there, but don Librado would not have been there. Waldo.” (November 6, 2006.)
“Don Lupe told me that don Librado was confused and thought that the meeting had been the day before. They prayed again for him, and evil spirits manifested themselves. However, already he is very good and very changed. He wants more of God and sent a request with don Lupe for me to pardon him for all the damage that he had done that came from him. Don Lupe told him that nothing evil had come to us, and that all of us were praying for his salvation. He said that he was deeply moved when we hugged him and gave him a blanket. He did not stop crying for the joy and the peace that he felt in his heart. He says that he never received love, because he was orphaned of his father and mother from the time that he was a child. He grew up alone in the mountains. He does not remember his parents. Now he says that the time that remains in his life, he is going to dedicate it to serving God. Don Lupe is going to be in charge of giving him a a personal discipleship. When I send him the gift that Jack gave him for his shoulder, he is going to be very happy. He is going to experience even more love from God, because although he is very far away, we love him. Once more, thank you very much for your visit and for all the help that we have received from you all. Your visit has challenged us and encouraged us a lot to continue serving the Lord, and with a vision still broader. With much love in God for you all, Waldo.” (October 30, 2006)
“Don Lupe returned to speak to be by telephone to give me a good report. It appears that with Jack’s visit the people want more of God. They were profoundly moved by his climb up the mountain. The news is already running through all the other villages. By your visit, the Lord brought a very great impetus to our lives and great challenges for the ministry. We will not be the same. Having people like you both on our side and behind us your group of classes in your house, it strengthens us a lot to achieve the Vision that the Lord has given us. Always a breath, a word of encouragement, and help in prayer is necessary for those like us in the ministry. Much thanks for blessing us with your prayers! I discern easily when you are praying for us. I am remembering now when we began to open the missions with the Indians. The first time that I climbed, I went alone, only Tony and I. We walked one complete day to arrive in El Majahual. From one village to another we walked from 6 to 8 hours. I remember that when they received the Lord, they wanted to be baptized immediately, and they burned their cult objects because they felt to do it. That bothered the shamans that gradually died when they lifted themselves up against us. The only one that remained alive was don Librado. Waldo.” (October 31, 2006)
“Don Librado is surprised by all those that were praying for his conversion. It appears that they have had to liberate evil spirits from him because on two occasions they manifested themselves. However, he has been rapidly freed. I believe that this is by grace, and he has not suffered anything, but that all provoked him to get more of God. Also it has brought him a profound conviction of his new communion with God. He sends you both thanks again for the blankets and for your prayers. Waldo.” (November 2, 2006)
“Already don Librado is testifying to the people what God did for him. Soon we will have one more Indian preacher. Waldo.” (November 27, 2006)
The Constant Dangers of the Ministry
“We were in a town in the state of Jalisco called Jilotlán. It is a very pretty town. It is somewhat large. There are no Christian churches. That town is an hour from the town of Tepalcatepec, Michoacán, to where we were going to arrive. We men with a somewhat serious problem. One older person that was going with us did not want us to go to Tepelcatepec because there there is much drug traffic. The people kill the people that are suspected of something. So far this year there are 423 deaths. They cut off the heads and exhibit them. I felt to go, but we did not go the rest of that day. We went yesterday, Friday, and only three of us went. We shared the Word. I knew the place that they donated to us to raise up a church. I sent to clean it, and we evangelized the neighbors of that place. The Lord gave us grace and they accepted Christ. The people there are terrorized for all that happens in their city, but we told them that Jesus is the solution, and that we are available to return and share the gospel in the whole town. Already we are praying for a couple to go to that place to raise up this Work. I have a couple from the church in mind, and I am praying for the Lord to confirm this feeling. Waldo.” (April 28, 2007)
“There in Tepalcatepec, Michoacán they kill just to kill. The people always walk around armed. It is somewhat dangerous, but I know that the Lord can bring very powerful changes in that region. We went to evangelize the municipal president. He thanked us for having entered that place to share the gospel. He is conscious of the very strong changes that the gospel brings to the people. He will give us the help that we need with protection, and corresponding permission. I ask that you please help us pray for the couple that we are going to send to that place and raise up a church. When we went, we evangelized around the local building, and the people were very happy and enthusiastic. It gave us much sadness to see large towns around there that don’t have a Christian church. We will see what it is that the Lord will do in that place. Waldo.” (April 30, 2007)