"Now when they had gone through Phrygia and the region of Galatia, they were forbidden by the Holy Spirit to preach the word in Asia. After they had come to Mysia they tried to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit did not permit them" (Acts 16:6-7). One of my favorite letters written by Paul, is that to the church in Philippi. It is incredibly encouraging, uplifting and filled with reminders of God’s blessings. I also love the letter, because of how the church came about in the first place. And for that, we travel back to the book of Acts, chapter 16.
Paul so badly desired to preach the gospel in Asia...yet the Lord had a different plan. Acts 16:6-7 tells us that Paul tried, not once, but twice, to get into Asia, to preach the Word. However, these verses tell us that the Holy Spirit did NOT permit it. That seems strange if you think about it for a moment. Why would the Lord NOT want the Word to be preached? Why would God close such a great door of opportunity, rather then open it? Doesn’t He desire that, “...non should perish, but ALL come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). Yes He does, but the bible also tells us that His ways and thoughts are not our ways and thoughts (Jeremiah). Solomon also wrote that, “as a mans heart plans his ways, the Lord directs His steps (Proverbs 16:9).
Back in May of last year, it seemed like God had opened a tremendous door of opportunity. Everything was lining up, for us to begin caring for some 40 orphans, from an orphanage in Creel, as the current orphanage would close down. God brought together a great relationship between the director, Ray Wilson, and myself. He and his wife have been a great encouragement to Jackie and I. As you all know, we faced some serious difficulties (closed doors) that were very frustrating. God had orchestrated everything so smoothly up until September...why the challenges now? Why did it seem like more doors were CLOSING then OPENING? To be honest, I don’t know. BUT...what I do know, and want to encourage you today in, is what the Lord has been teaching me. God has shown me in a tremendous way, how to love, appreciate and EMBRACE, closed doors of opportunity. Just as much as you would an open door of opportunity.
You see if we believe that Jesus knows all things, created all things and has our best interest in hand...should we really be discouraged when we come up against a closed door? Even though we may think, or others, think it would be best opened, God may not think so. I have also learned that when God does close a door, its only because he has something BETTER for us. Yes, something better, like we see later on in Acts chapter 16. Because the Spirit forbade Paul to enter Asia, he got the call to go to Macedonia...and as a result of that, a woman named Lydia and her household were saved, a demon possessed girl was saved, the philippian jailer and his household was saved, and the church in Philippi was birthed.
Think about that...no matter how exciting it seemed, to preach the gospel in Asia, God had something bigger and better in store. Often times we look at something through a tiny magnifying glass...when God wants to pull us back a step and show us the bigger picture, through HIS lens. Though we had thought that once the orphanage building was finished, we would begin caring for those children in Creel, that door has closed.
Ray, sent out a wonderful letter to his supporters that I have included in this post. He does an excellent job explaining the new opportunities God has provided. Saints, I am just as encouraged as I was back in May. In fact, even more so, because though we face a closed door that once seemed open...I anxiously await the new door of opportunity that God DOES open, to care for those in need.
Letter from Ray Wilson...
There has been a new development in our Creel Mexico “Aljaba” Children’s Home that I can hardly wait to tell you about! We were recently approached by an organization of Mexican churches that have a concern, as we do, for the Tarahumara Indian orphans in the mountains around the Creel area. They had the desire to open a Children’s Home in that area, but had not found a suitable location. This group of churches has helped us periodically with food and supplies there for several years.
- They will be providing local leadership, and coordinating volunteers and workers to oversee and assist our current staff, which includes our directors, Lino and Lupe Balderas, who have been with us for the past seven years.
- We will continue to raise support and receive contributions here in the States and use those funds to help with the day to day expenses, as well as with construction and maintenance projects around the buildings and property.
- We will continue to support the ministry there by taking Mission Adventure Teams to the Children’s Home on a regular basis.
- This decision enables us to pursue the opening of our third Children’s Home in Retalhuleu Guatemala, where we already have an organization of 11 churches that are ready and able to take on the day to day operation and partial funding of caring for the children! We also have plans to open our second Leticia Colombia Children’s Home in 2014. We opened our first one there in 2004 and it continues to minister to and care for 75 children with funding from the Orphanos Foundation.
- Please join with us as we “Rejoice in the Lord always and again I say rejoice!”
Please don't hesitate to email me OR give me a call if you have any questions. Thank you all for your prayers and support!