MAMA'S LETTERS OF COUNSEL TO JUAN, ABI & DUST!--Letter No.1 DO 2620 3/90
--By Maria Maria #112
--Encouragement, Guidance & Timely Counsel from the Lord to Our Latin American Leadership Teamwork!--Vital Lessons for Everyone Who Wants to Keep Growing, Going & Revoluting for Jesus!
(Intro: The following Letters were originally written by Mama as personal letters to Juan & Abi, & then after Dust joined their teamwork, to Juan, Abi & Dust. Due to the major retraining revolution that the entire Family in Latin America is now undergoing, & also due to the major personal changes that Juan has recently undergone, Mama wanted to try to share as much direction, counsel & advice with them as she could, by means of these Letters of Counsel.
(It was after writing these Letters that the Lord inspired her with the idea to publish them as leadership lessons for the entire Family, as a means of challenging us all to "ring out the old & ring in the new!" These Letters should also encourage us all to be more yielded & open to change, & willing to forsake any of our old ruts in favour of new attitudes & fresh methods of operation that will help us become more fruitful for His glory!
(Although much of the counsel herein is of a very personal nature to Juan, Abi & Dust, they cheerfully consented to having these Letters published for the World, foregoing any personal sensitivity or pride about many rather private issues, so that others may benefit from the lessons that they have been learning.--God bless them! So we trust & pray that the following lessons on prayer, honesty, openness, communication, counsel, teamwork, humility, changes, personal relationships etc., will be of great personal benefit to you, & that you will look on these Letters not as the "inside scoop" on some of our Family leadership, but as lessons & challenges to apply to your own life, that ye may grow thereby! GBY!)
Dear Precious Juan & Abi,
1. Praise the Lord for all His marvellous benefits & the blessings that He has poured out upon us all! And I especially thank Him for the wonderful opportunity to correspond with you both, & that you can communicate so freely & readily & easily with us by means of the tapes that you've been making for me. As you know, because of my eyes I'm unable to read reports any more, so I'm so very thankful to be able to keep abreast of your progress & activities by listening to your tapes, TYJ! It certainly is a blessing when we're able to hear from you, as we do love you so much, & it helps us to pray more specifically for you & the problems that you face & encounter daily.
2. I've been praying that the Lord would help me to encourage & inspire you & give you some needed counsel. Most of all, I've been praying to just be able to start, since that's usually the hardest part. Once I've gotten over that hurdle, I do pretty well, thank the Lord! But the Enemy really fights me in starting to dictate these Letters. I guess he fights you in getting the time to do your reports as well. But when we just push through those "iron bars & brazen gates" with prayer & determination, then we win the victory & are able to have the satisfaction of knowing that we've done God's Will, PTL! (Amen!--D.)
3. As I was just about to start dictating this tape, the verse came to me, "Faithful is He Who hath called you, Who also will do it!"--1Th. 5:24. And I also thought of the related verse, "He Who hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ."--Phil.1:6. Those are the Lord's Promises for you. So please do claim them & keep them in mind in every aspect of your responsibilities, & know that He is going to do it no matter how difficult it may seem or how high the problems seem to mount! He is faithful & He can't deny Himself, He can't go back on His Word, & He's going to do the work through you that He's promised, the work that you, in faith, have asked Him to do.
4. I can see by your reports that you have been contending for the faith & fighting the good fight, & that you're continuing to press forward & to drive back the Enemy! I'm real thrilled at what the Lord is doing through you as a result! I think you saw in your recent meetings in the U.S. that the Lord could do the wonderful miracle of helping you to work together in harmony & unity, to thus accomplish much for His Kingdom! "One can chase a thousand, but two can put ten thousand to flight" (Deut.32:30), & it was a real thrill for us to hear of both of you working together as equals as if you'd been functioning together as a team for years, although it's only been months since the Lord put you together as a leadership teamwork!
5. Your fighting the battles of the Lord side-by-side proved to the other leaders that it could be done, & that the Lord could effect a great change in your lives almost instantaneously!--That it didn't have to take months & months & years & years, but when the situation demanded it, He could do the miracle & help you to unite together & fight the battles & win great victories! You were a wonderful sample, a truly united sample, & I'm sure that sample is going to carry very far in its influence.
6. I think that's what we prayed for the most, that you would be united & in harmony, & that there would be no divisions among you, that the Lord would break down any walls of partition & help you to operate as one.--And He did! Thank You Jesus! (1Cor.1:10; Eph.2:14.) You had a job to do & you knew the Lord was depending on you & you were determined to do it no matter what! And thank the Lord, the Lord really honoured that determination & that desire, that yieldedness, by doing great things through you!--Things that I believe are going to have a greater influence than you have ever dreamed of! PTL!
THE DANGER OF BEING IN TOO COMFORTABLE & FAMILIAR SURROUNDINGS
7. Now again, Juan, there at your Latin American base, you're facing another battle situation. You're on the battlefront & the lines are drawn & it's time to fight! In my opinion, this is going to be an even greater battle than the meetings in the U.S. For one thing, the battlefront may not be so obvious, & therefore you may be prone to let down your guard. You're home now. You can relax. You can take it easy. You can get rested up. You're with people who know you very well, who love you, care about you & will take good care of you, will be there for you whenever you need them, who are very loyal & feel comfortable around you.--And whom you also feel comfortable with.
8. However, for those very reasons the danger is greater! When we are in a situation where we can let down our guard, when we relax, when we take off our uniform even just for a moment, when we let people get away with things because we love them, when we have been with people for so long that those strong habits of familiarity & doing things a certain way have been formed, then is the time to watch out! Even in such an environment of close loved ones, we must still fight on--"wrestling against principalities & against powers & against the rulers of the darkness of this World, against spiritual wickedness in high places!"--The Spiritual Warfare goes on!--Eph.6:12.
9. In such a situation--a comfortable one, which as Dad says, is the most uncomfortable & even dangerous place for a Christian to be--my natural inclination might be to say, "Juan, hurry up & get out of there before you get enveloped by it, before you get drowned in it!" But in this particular case, you can't really do that, you've got to stay there for now, so the Lord must have a solution!
10. He says, "Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day! And having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with Truth & having on the breastplate of righteousness, & your feet shod with the preparation of the Gospel of Peace. Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked! And take the helmet of Salvation & the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God! Praying always with all prayer & supplication in the Spirit, & watching thereunto with all perseverance & supplication for all Saints."--Eph.6:13-18.
11. Abi, since Juan is there in his familiar surroundings, you should be praying for him that "utterance may be given unto him that he may open his mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the Gospel, for which he is an ambassador in bonds. Praying that therein he may speak boldly as he ought to speak."--Eph.6:19,20.
12. These next Scriptures express my prayer & burden for you very clearly: "And grace be unto you, & peace, from God our Father & from the Lord Jesus Christ! I thank my God upon every remembrance of you. Always in every prayer of mine for you making requests with joy, for your fellowship in the Gospel from the first day until now. Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the Day of Jesus Christ! And let your conversation be as it becometh the Gospel of Christ, that whether I come & see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the Gospel. And in nothing terrified by your adversaries, which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of Salvation, & that of God. For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ not only to believe on Him, but also to suffer for His sake!"--Phil.1:2-6,27-29.
13. "And forgetting those things which are behind"--those old ways of doing things in Latin America--"reach forth unto those things which are before!"--Phil.3:13. The new things that you have heard from us! "Those things which ye have both learned & received & heard & seen in us, do! And press towards the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus! For you can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth you!"--Phil.3:13,14; 4:9,13.
NEEDED CHANGES MUST BE ENACTED DRASTICALLY
14. I really think you're going to have to make a clean sweep in Latin America, Juan. You're going to have to have a genuine revolution! The needed change has to be enacted drastically! You can't just gradually & little-by-little impose change on people who after years & years of familiarity & rocking along have been doing the same thing for so long. If they're going to have a change, they're going to have to have a complete change!--If it's really going to be the extent of change the Lord wants.
15. Look at the big change you've just been through, Juan. You might have never gotten up enough momentum to change so thoroughly & to such a degree if we'd said, "You need to make this change...But you have 5 years to do so." You knew you had to make a complete turn-around! You had to be absolutely rewired by the Holy Spirit. You've "put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts" & you've "put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness & true holiness!"--Eph.4:22-24. And now you're commissioned to "speak the truth in Love & to put away lying." (The old ways that are no longer right, no longer true.) "And to speak every man truth with his neighbour & to give no place to the Devil!"--Eph.4:25-27.
16. "Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us. Unto Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages! World without end." Amen!--Eph.3:20,21. Hallelujah! Thank You Jesus!
MAKING THE BREAK WITH THE OLD!--LIKE WHEN WE FIRST JOINED
17. When we first get saved & join the Family, it's one thing to preach our new-found faith before people we don't know, but sometimes quite another to do so before our personal flesh family & friends. It's usually quite a test to radically stand up for our convictions, to stand up for what's right!--To go home & testify to our parents & our family & our sisters & our brothers & our friends, "Look what Jesus has done! He's made me a new creature! Old things are passed away. Behold, all things are become new! I'm a new person now! I have a new life! I'm going to be different! I'm going to forsake all! I'm going to go do what Jesus said to do & preach the Gospel in all the World! I have new likes & new desires & I'm forming new habits. I'm no longer interested in the old & the old things & the old school & the old church & the old friends!"
18. Didn't you have to do that when you got saved?--And when you decided to really live for Jesus? Didn't you have to tell them, "Look, I was dead before in trespasses & sins, & now I'm alive & a child of God!" Didn't you have to make a clean break? Could you have done it by just putting in a little word here & a little word there & a little word maybe a little later?
19. When I was thinking about you now attempting to present your new-found views & lessons to the Family in Latin America, Juan, this little picture came to me of how many of us had to go home to our parents, to our Egypt, & we had to proclaim the Truth to them in no uncertain terms.--Not denying our faith, not denying our beliefs, but putting all our cards on the table, standing up for our convictions & telling them whether they agreed with us or not, whether they believed us or not, whether they thought we were insane or crazy or on drugs, regardless of whether they persecuted us, or whether it broke up that wonderful sweet familiar relationship that we'd had for so many years that was very dear to us! Because we had found a higher cause to serve & one that we were commissioned to love even more, we had to break off those relationships.--No matter how loving & how dear they were to us, we had to put Jesus first!
20. And in relationship to the way we now love Jesus, by comparison we had to almost hate our old familiar loved ones! (Luk.14:26) We couldn't give in to their entreaties & their cries & their tears to come back & be the person we used to be, & have the relationship with them we used to have. No matter how much it hurt them, no matter how much it hurt us, no matter how close we'd been to them before, we had to harden our hearts to the past & forget the past & press forward toward the Future, & toward the mark of the prize of the high calling which is in Christ Jesus!
"NOW IS THE DAY OF SALVATION!"
21. When we went home to forsake all & say goodbye to our parents & tell them that we were leaving to join the Family, if we didn't make a sudden declaration of our intentions, if we didn't explain immediately what we were about to do, but instead hesitated & put it off, it probably would have made it all the more difficult. If we thought, "Well, I'll wait for a more expedient time, I'll tell them next week when they're in a better mood" or, "I'll explain to them when they're not sick." Or, "Maybe I can tell them when I've read more Letters & when I've memorised more Word & I can explain it more clearly to them," many of us probably would have never done it!
22. There never seems to be a more expedient time than now! That's why the Lord says, "Now is the day of Salvation. Today if you will hear His voice, harden not your heart!"--Heb.3:7,8. So sometimes, no matter how difficult & how many obstacles seem to be in the way, you just have to get in there & you just have to do it & just let the chips fall where they may, praying desperately for the Holy Spirit to do the work in their hearts & to show them & give them the vision that you are trying to impart to them!
FAMILIARITY'S RESISTANCE TO CHANGE!
23. I also got another little picture of a husband & wife who have been married for years & years & have grown very familiar with each other. Now I don't mean that all marriage relationships have to grow this way, & thank the Lord all of them don't.--Look at the beautiful & precious relationship that Dad & I have together, & a few others I've seen. But sad to say, it seems most relationships--even many of those in our Family--after years have grown very familiar & the partners have become very disrespectful of each other. They refuse to listen to each other. They don't respect the Lord in each other. They refuse to heed suggestions from their mate that they would value if they were made by someone else.
24. They become so aware of the negative qualities in their mate that they can't really appreciate all the good ones. Or in some cases they do love their mate very much, but because of years of living together in the same old ruts, in the same habits, they could never see their mate changing, or expect them to change, or even accept it when they do; nor would they accept that they need to change with them.
25. Their attitude is, "The old ruts are too comfortable. Even though there may be a better way, the good ol' way is working fine, so please don't disturb me! It would take too much change, too much effort, too much sacrifice to change after all these years!"--That's the kind of attitude people often develop when they're so familiar with each other after being together for years & years. So that could be something you'll be facing there with some people.
ACCEPTING THE CHALLENGE TO CHANGE!
26. Now, Juan & Abi, when I say that there is going to have to be a quick change, a real revolution, & you're going to have to stand up for your convictions, lay down the law & point out the rules, I don't mean that everyone individually has to make a complete overnight change. I think you realise that what I mean is that we definitely have to show that we, as a body, are making a major change. We have to first make that clear to everyone so they can make a decision whether they want to get on the bandwagon & be part of it & roll with the punches & ride the wave.--Or whether they're going to resist, stay in their ruts, continue to be old bottles, & just fade into oblivion while the Move of God rolls on right over them!
27. As with Salvation, the initial change is quick, it's immediate, it's instantaneous. What takes time is for our lives to become more & more like Jesus', learning to grow in Him & learning to get His Word within us & letting it change us & melt us & mold us together to learn more of Him & His ways. That takes a long time.--In fact, it takes a whole lifetime!
28. Accepting change, accepting a whole new way of doing things, drinking in the new vision for training--or putting the Word into practical use in our lives--is like Salvation. We've got to make the initial decision that we do want to change & that we are going to have a clean sweep & we are going to go with this new vision! Then once we've made that decision & put our will on the Lord's side, change will occur in our lives, though the rest of the change will be more gradual & will consist of many old habits being broken & many new habits being formed, which takes time.
29. In a training revolution such as is needed in Latin America, practically everything will need to be changed. It's like a chain reaction.--Once you change one thing, you then have to change the next thing, & you end up changing everything! When you initially go into a situation, you have to observe & see what the need is. But once you start with the changes, it's pretty all-encompassing & each situation affects the other, & everything & everybody has to move, & is affected by the change, & needs to become part of it.
30. It takes effort. And it takes a lot of prayer & a lot of the Word. But the first step in all of this is personally accepting the vision & need to change. The decree has to be made, the proclamation has to be proclaimed. And people have to know what's going on. They have to know that they're headed in a new direction! They have to know not only where they're heading but specifically how they're going to get there!
31. They have to "count the cost" to see if they're really going to do it or not. And after they've counted the cost, after they've seen what it entails & what they need to do & how they need to do it, then they can make an intelligent decision & one that they're going to be able to stick with. Since they've counted the cost, since they know what is ahead, then they can make the decision & be more willing to stick to it to keep going no matter how hard it may get.
32. And for those who don't want to make the change, to know specifically what is taking place is going to be the best thing for them as well, because then they'll know from the beginning what to expect. You can even pray that the Lord will weed out any such individuals at the beginning instead of having to pull them along & strain to get them to follow, & have them make it only a third of the way, or maybe only half of the way, but finally fall by the wayside & go back because their heart wasn't really in it in the first place.--As has happened with a lot of disciples that we've pulled into the Family through our overwhelming persuasion & our convincing them that this was what they wanted instead of really letting them make the decision with the Lord. They were going on our faith instead of their own, when actually it was a personal decision that needed to be made between them & the Lord.
GO AHEAD & DELIVER THE MESSAGE!
33. I know that our words often seem to fall far short, but the Holy Spirit, by the Lord's power, can crystalise our words in their hearts so they can understand & so they can feel the eloquence of what you may so poorly be saying or trying to express. The Holy Spirit can fill in the meaning, fill in the details that we fail to include. Like Paul said, "My speech & my preaching was not with enticing words of Man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit & of power, that your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men but in the power of God!"--1Cor.2:4,5.
34. So, Juan & Abi, if you ever feel unlearned & ignorant, just go ahead in the power of the Lord, realising that when you're weak then you're strong.--And that His strength is going to be made perfect in your weakness, & that when they hear you, they're going to know that you've been with Jesus. And they're going to know that what you speak is the truth.
35. Don't be afraid of their faces, just go ahead & give them the Message.--In love, but with firmness & with conviction!--Just like you did at the meetings in the States where the two of you were on your own & desperate with the Lord, knowing that the two of you, together with the Lord, had to do the job. You couldn't look to anyone else, or lean on anyone else. Everything was new & different & you had to come through victorious! And you did, the Lord did it, & He can do it again! PTL!
36. You're probably going to have to go ahead & issue your proclamations & your challenge sooner for the people there in your city, & hopefully you can get them rolling & get them on your side, get them envisioned & get them willing to change & in the habit of changing. Then hopefully you'll have a small team of people who are all behind you & all striving together to work for the same goal when you have your Area-wide meetings. You'll need people who can stand up & testify, "Boy, it's really going a lot better now! We're thrilled with this new challenge!"
37. Of course, if some of the people there do poop out, don't worry about it! The Lord will help you anyway, even if just you & Abi & Dust are the only ones left & everyone else has forsaken you or thinks you're a little crazy or doesn't want to go along with what you've suggested! Just go ahead & do it anyway! You'll have to go ahead without them & leave them behind.
JO'S LESSONS ABOUT BECOMING MORE PRAYERFUL
38. I believe by now you've probably received Jo's "Dear Teamworker" letter (See coming FSM) which he wrote just after Peter & Paul talked with him during the last days of the first Summit Meeting, just after you left them. Some things had come up which they became concerned about. They were just little things that had come to the surface, I don't even remember what they were right now. But the Lord used them to point out a more major problem that they hadn't really dealt with yet, & that was Jo's very bad longstanding habit of operating in the arm of the flesh instead of going slowly & prayerfully & depending on the Spirit to lead him in all of his activities, deliberations & moves.
39. The Lord was trying to point out to Jo that a fast, "efficient" spirit of getting so much done & always being on top of everything & always having everybody working feverishly & everything moving swiftly, & being able to accomplish so much more than anyone else, was not necessarily of the Lord. The Lord is trying to get Jo to slow down, to take more time for prayer & to let the Lord move, to let the Lord work, & to see what the Lord wants to do. He's learning that he needs to take time for rest, take time to think & to pray & to hear from the Lord.--And to let others do the same.
40. Well, needless to say, this struck at the very foundation of Jo's whole approach to leadership!--And was quite a blow to him when he realised that his whole way of doing things was coming into question & needed to be replaced with the Lord's way of doing things! So it turned out that in the last few days of their meetings with him, the Lord initiated a major change in Jo's life & he was able to see that many of his NWOs that had been discussed earlier in the meetings which you also attended were just symptoms of the larger problem of going too fast & frequently operating prayerlessly & in the arm of the flesh.
41. While you, Juan, may have had to have a major change of direction & learn many new ways of doing & looking at things, Jo has had to establish a whole new foundation! I'm really happy to say that both of you have risen to the occasion, have taken up the challenge, have fought the Enemy & have been victorious! PTL! I'm really proud of you both!--And you, too, Abi, for how you've been changing as well.
42. Since Jo had worked closely with several of the leaders who were at the next Summit Meeting, & his sample & ways of doing things had been looked up to & followed closely by them, they too were in need of the same lessons & the same rewiring in their habits & ways of looking at things. So God bless Jo for his willingness to yield to the Lord's correction! Where he had perhaps been a bad influence before, he's now become a good influence, confessing his mistakes & making the needed change in his life. He's been a real sample of portraying a willingness to try to remedy any delinquencies in his leadership.
43. God bless Jo! In many areas he has done very well, & he certainly is to be admired for that!--And now even more admired for his willingness to confess his mistakes & make the necessary changes.
44. Since Chris & Dust had been quite affected by Jo's sample of leadership, it was certainly the Lord's foresight & timing that they could be at the next meetings, where this whole subject was discussed at length. A major emphasis was placed on prayerfulness; not simply praying often but being prayerful or full-of-prayer always, running over with prayer!--Not only at specific times throughout the day, but moment-by-moment. What a boost to Latin America that Dust & Chris could also get rewired & redirected & reprogrammed before starting their new jobs.
"SUMMIT '90" FSMs COMING!
45. You'll also be thrilled to know that, Lord willing, we'll be able to get all of these notes of the meetings out to the leadership in a very comprehensive form, as well as shortly thereafter publishing these notes, along with the attendees' reactions, in a series of FSMs. We were very burdened that all of this tremendous counsel & information not be restricted to only a handful of leaders, but instead be disseminated to the entire Family. As you know, even at this present date only a portion of the ELC notes have been published, which is a real shame.
46. So after the leaders discussed the problem of how to get these things out to the Family as soon as possible, they came up with the idea of keeping most of the leadership together for two weeks after the meetings ended, & working on it in a concentrated effort to get it all done during that time. This involved bringing in extra secretaries--two of whom were even sent from one of our Creations Units to help! As you can imagine, it will be a very huge job editing all the meetings & putting all the talks into point form, as well as transcribing & editing all the reaction tapes & excerpting reactions for publication.
47. I think we could consider this the biggest, most intensive pubs push by mostly non-pubs people that we have ever had! So thank you for your patience in being willing to wait a little longer for Dust, as well as Chris.--Both of whom will be among those helping on this project. This Summit '90 pubs push will not only prepare the FSMs, but the actual notes for our soon-to-be-held worldwide Delegates' Meetings as well.
48. During the meetings, Peter was also able to talk to Chris & Dust about the new vision for Latin America, filling them in on some of the talks that he & Paul had previously had with you, & even letting them read some of the excerpts from your reports that you had done while meeting with them, & also from your meetings you held in the U.S. Needless to say, they were very thankful & impressed at all the Lord is doing. Both of them are very much looking forward to working with you in Latin America. Chris says that he thinks you, Juan & Abi, will really like working with Dust. He says he is very easy to get along with & cheerful & was always a big blessing to be around.
DELEGATES MEETINGS & COUNSEL TO JUAN ABOUT HIS VIDEO TO LATIN AMERICA
49. I asked Peter to discuss with Chris & Dust what Chris could do to most help out when he gets to his destination, & what would be the best way to implement training there on a nationwide scale. Upon praying about the whole worldwide situation, they came up with the plan of worldwide Delegates Meetings using these Summit notes. In other words, to hold this same type of meeting in every major area of the World.
50. In a phone message that we received after their discussion they said, "It was very beneficial for all of us to discuss the retraining of a field such as the country Chris is going to. We were especially thankful to have leaders present who had been involved in the retraining of the Philippines, Japan, Thailand & Europe." Actually, Juan & Abi, when I had asked Peter to discuss this with them, I had asked them to discuss what they would do if they had to go into any new field to start a training programme. Of course, since Chris is very interested in his new assignment & knew he was going to have to have some answers, it made a good example to discuss his country specifically.
51. Their message continues, "We thought it would be beneficial for Tiago & Ebed to share & confess on video some of their past mistakes in their country, & some of the beautiful lessons they've learned & how happy they are now & how much they've grown after over two years of training. We feel that hearing it from Tiago, formerly one of their main national leaders, & Ebed, their ex-NO, could be a real added asset & could help allay some of their fears of training.
52. "And we're also wondering if it might be good to ask Juan if he could make a video-taped message that could be played at the various Delegates' Meetings throughout the continent, in which he could share how thrilled he is about the retraining vision, & perhaps even share some areas in which he is learning lessons, as it might help them to hear from him & also to see that even though his area came up short on some things, that he didn't lose his job & he wasn't fired or screamed at etc."
53. Well, I agree with them, Juan, I think such a video could be very inspired & very effective, & you could also really lead the way with your sample, explaining the big changes you've had in your own life & how all the lessons you've been learning & training you're receiving have really helped you, & how you see what a blessing it all is & how valuable it is & how much you need it. For example, you could certainly extol the virtues of teamwork now, having realised what a valuable asset it is to leadership. And also the need for counselling together.
54. And you could talk about how you've really learned that the key to relationships or teamworks or any group of people working together is communication. You could give examples of that & how you've learned it with Abi, & how when you didn't communicate, the Lord just didn't bless it!
55. You could also explain the value of meetings & of really sitting down & planning & preparing beforehand for whatever needs to be done.--Not working by impulse, but doing everything in "decency & in order," & drawing ideas from a multitude of counsellors.
56. You could also explain how you have learned the effectiveness of newsletters & of taking notes, & of being more specific & detailed in your instruction. I'm sure it would be extremely helpful to also share how you've learned that you don't have to be afraid of correction, & that in fact, NWO meetings can really be very satisfying & fulfilling & not bad at all!
57. You could also share how you've seen the need to confront people when you notice problems, disciplining them firmly but lovingly, rather than just letting things pass, or being afraid of hurting their feelings.--Or letting your own pride hold you back from doing so.
58. By the way, Juan, I really was impressed with how you went on the attack & how you talked to some of the different ones in the U.S. You really hit the problem head-on & gave it the attention that it needed & the help that was necessary. I'm real proud of you for that! You really are doing a good job!
59. In the area of communicating with others, you could mention the importance of being more open with your feelings & letting others know what you're thinking by putting this into words, rather than expecting them to read between the lines or correctly interpret your actions! And remember, Juan, the more little examples that you can bring out, the better. People will really remember those examples.
60. If you wanted to, you & Abi could even talk about some of those examples together, how you misinterpreted each other etc.--And how when you openly talked & prayed about it, the problems just dissolved. The only problem was lack of understanding of each others' actions, not that you were necessarily upset with each other, etc. (As I say, such examples would be nice to share, but you may be limited by time on this video, so you might have to save these examples for your written newsletters, or the meetings that you hold personally.)
61. You could explain to them that if you've been able to work in teamwork--you, who had previously been so independent, but have now been able to learn to work together & discuss everything with your co-workers, accepting so many new ways of doing things--then certainly there is hope for them! And that even though you've been somewhat sensitive or hurt when others have pointed out things that needed to be changed in Latin America, nevertheless the Lord has given you the grace.--And if He can do that for you, He can certainly do it for them!
THE "FAMILY WAY"!
62. You could also bring out how it doesn't really matter what nationality we are since we're not talking now about the "Latin" way or the "Eastern" way or the "European" way, but we're talking about striving for the Family way, the Lord's way! We can all do it the Lord's way, no matter who or what we are!
63. The Latin Family should try to look at everything, not with an "It can't be done" attitude, but with an attitude of "How can it be done?" Because the Letters can be lived! And now that our Latin Family have fulfilled their commission of witnessing, if they meet the new challenge of training, they'll be able to do the job of reaching Latin America even better!--They'll be happier witnesses because they'll be overcoming their personal problems. They'll be more efficient witnesses because they'll have more time for witnessing because they'll be better organised. They'll be better samples of love, unity, teamwork, cleanliness, health, everything, to new disciples who come into their Homes, & as a result, they'll be able to keep more of those new disciples. After all, all we're going to try to do in the training push there is to put into greater effect the things that have already been written in the Letters, to get closer to the standard of the Letters so we can do our job even better! PTL!
64. I know the Lord will really inspire you as you make this video, & help you to convey to your flocks the wonderful privilege it is to have an opportunity to receive loving training so we can grow & change to overcome the obstacles in our lives. You're such a good example of that, Juan, & if you can really convey that spirit to others with the enthusiasm & inspiration that He's given you, I think they'll be jumping for joy & really wanting to follow your good example.--Plus it'll show that you're not asking your people to do anything that you aren't willing to do. As you show your enthusiasm & excitement about it, I'm sure they will as well!
CORRECTION: LOVING, GENTLE & FULFILLING!
65. Of course, correction & a change of direction in everyone's personal lives may be part of this, but correction doesn't have to be severe & harsh & cruel. It should be loving & gentle & fulfilling & challenging!--To know that we are becoming better equipped to be the men & women of God that He wants us to be!--To be more prepared for the role that He wants us to fill.
66. In fact, anyone administering any other kind of correction than that, is out of line. We'll forgive folks for the past, they may not have known any better, but starting right now, correction must be done lovingly.--Firmly, yes, but lovingly--without harshness or raised voices. You can lay down the law, or issue an ultimatum to someone without yelling or screaming at them. You can do it very gently & lovingly.
67. You'll get your point across a lot better if you do it lovingly. In fact, if you yell at them, they may be so scared & fearful they won't even understand anything you're saying anyway!--All they'll get is the harsh severe overtones & harsh spirit of it, which will only make them fearful, & will not teach them. However, if you can lovingly correct your people, they will leave the correction with the feeling of having been in a class & having been challenged to do better for the Lord, to go on to the next grade.
68. Of course, there are two basic kinds of correction: What I'm mostly referring to in this Letter is the training kind of correction, where you're trying to help people to see that they're on the wrong track, & gently guiding them onto the right track.--When people don't even realise that they're doing the wrong things, they just need to be taught what the right things are. This is what I'm talking about as correction here.
69. The other kind of correction, of course, is the kind where you have already been taught what is the right way, but you deliberately & wilfully choose to do the wrong thing.--For that kind of correction, some punishment usually needs to be attached to it. We're not talking so much about that kind of correction right here because most of the people who will be participating in your training revolution will be primarily needing the instruction kind of correction. They're not so much deliberately doing things wrong; I think very few of them are, so I hope we're not going to have to enact much punishment.
70. Nevertheless, both the instruction in the right way & the admonition for wrong-doing with attached discipline must be done lovingly. Even those who have repeatedly been very wilful & rebellious must still be treated lovingly, although sometimes chastened seriously.--Because no matter how greatly punishment is needed, the Lord indicates that He even does that because He loves us, & He does it in Love. (Heb.12:6.)
71. A good example of this is someone who we had to relieve of their WS ministry because of their continual spiritual problems & wrong attitude & unwillingness or inability to change despite many counselling sessions & opportunities to do so. Even though they were virtually getting fired, had we been there personally, we could have sat down & put our arms around them, cried brokenheartedly & told them how much we hated to do it, but we were going to have to let them go. We wouldn't have had to say one stern or harsh word to them for them to get the point. The punishment & fact that they were relieved of their job was plenty point enough.
72. So if this type of correction with serious discipline does not call for shouting or screaming, neither should any other kind of correction! Correction, if not serious enough to require disciplinary action, certainly shouldn't be serious enough to yell at someone about.
ONE PERSON CAN'T DO EVERYTHING!
73. I know it hurts sometimes, Juan, to see others with more training come in to your field who seem to be able to help it to progress in ways that you haven't. But maybe this is the Lord's plan to help you realise that one man simply cannot do everything.--And that we all need each other. The Lord uses it to keep us broken, humble & dependent on Him.
74. I'm sure it also hurts sometimes to know that under-shepherds & others may even be critical of you when they compare you with more trained leaders.--For example, those leaders who have come in with all their training to help you there in Latin America, especially when some of them are effecting changes without your direct personal involvement. But just remember, dear Juan, that you're only one person & you couldn't possibly do everything!--Even if you had had the training. You've had to run the whole continent while some of the newly-arrived leadership are involved in only a small part. So in many ways it's unfair to compare yourself with them.
75. On the other hand, your talents in many areas far outweigh theirs, or any of the others who will be coming from the East. This is obvious by the fact you were able to pick up the broken pieces & put them together & thereafter keep Latin America intact almost single-handedly, doing their most important job for the Lord!--Witnessing & ministering the written Word to your part of the World! Even though communication & dealing with people are not your strong forté yet, I know you are very sincere & willing to learn. You're a very precious man in tune with the Lord, loyal, obedient, full of faith, vision, initiative, & with a good sense of organisation & business.
76. I love you very much & I know the Lord has put you in this leadership role, & that the Lord still wants you in this position! While we've been so involved with the East & pioneering & counselling different outreaches & ministries, such as the Military Ministry in the Philippines, zeroing in on the Work in Japan & the East, as well as all of the new pubs pushes & everything else but Latin America, you have done your best to hear from the Lord & guide the entire continent practically without any direct or specific counsel from us whatsoever, outside of the Letters!--Almost half the World! I'm sure if I had been in your place that the whole Work there would not have done nearly as well!
77. So we're going to be praying very desperately for you & Abi (& Dust when he joins you soon)--that you can be melted together in unity & in love & that you can make great progress together for the sake of the Lord's Work! Even though you are disadvantaged in some ways because of lack of training, Juan, I believe the Lord will help you overcome & catch up! You've been a wonderful sample to me of sacrifice, dedication, loyalty, loving the Lord & us & the Word, openness to change & willingness to do anything for Jesus! So I'm going to continue to expect great things of you!
SENSITIVITY: HOW TO FIGHT IT!
78. If you feel sensitive at any time, Juan & Abi, remember that we all have that problem at least occasionally!--Even me! And when you get sensitive, maybe you can do the same thing I do, which I expressed to the Summit '90 leaders in writing the other day. I'll just quote you what I said:
79. "As far as sensitivity goes: If you really love the Lord & you really love the sheep & you really love your job & you really want to do the Lord's Will, you're going to just say to others, `Sock it to me anyway! Don't hold back! I'm going to grit my teeth, smile, & bear it!'--And then just learn to `take it' for the Lord & His Work's sake! And as you do, it will become easier! And you will get more used to it & you will have less problem with sensitivity!
80. "If I ever feel sensitive because of something someone else says, I immediately fight it, resist it, & say to myself, `I can't let myself feel that way! I won't let myself feel that way! It's not the Lord! It's ridiculous to feel that way! It's selfish to feel that way! If I feel that way & show it, I won't be able to benefit any longer from their candidness & openness because they'll be afraid of hurting me!' So I resist it with all I'm worth & refuse to be sensitive!--Because I know that it's just pride!
81. "In fact, I greatly appreciate people who will tell me things openly & honestly. I like to have them around because I know I need them! I like them to disagree with me by bringing up other sides or opinions! And I try to put them at ease when they do & when I know they feel uncomfortable doing it."
NOTE TAKING & GOOD REPORTING:
82. Maybe I can take the opportunity here to comment on a few points you brought out in your last tapes. If I hadn't taken notes as I'd listened, I would have no idea what you said or what I wanted to answer! I see that you have done the same. And I really want to commend, especially you, Juan, for the good habit you are forming of taking notes.
83. I have really enjoyed listening to your tapes, Juan. Between you & Abi we've gotten quite a good balance where you, Juan, summarise the major points & you, Abi, fill in more of the details. We do appreciate both your reports very much, & especially appreciate your honesty & candidness, as well as the love & loyalty which you not only express in your letters, but which you show daily in your actions.
HOW TO KEEP A GOOD WORKING RELATIONSHIP!
84. We're so encouraged to hear how well your working relationship has been going. I know it's a constant battle since the Enemy is really going to fight to try & divide you. But I want to just encourage you to keep going & keep talking & keep praying together. And keep open!
85. Juan, don't be fearful to bring things up to Abi just because you had one minor difference there in the U.S. The Lord helped you to overcome it, didn't He? You guys need to keep being fighters! Keep going! Don't give up!
86. And, Abi, if Juan--as he has admitted--has difficulty expressing thanks & appreciation to others, teach him. That's what you want, don't you, Juan? Juan wants to learn, & wants to form good habits. If you feel he is living in his own little world sometimes, knock on his door! Ask if you can enter too, & I'm sure he'll let you in.
87. Remember, sometimes conflicts arise just because you're tired or because you're worried about other things. So don't forget to always pray & talk things out.
PERSONAL COMMENTS TO JUAN & ABI
88. Juan, Abi said that you are a new man!--And that I'd be so proud of you. She said that you were a real shining example, & that during the meetings your honest confessions were the best sample of all! Hallelujah! Praise the Lord! The Lord did it! I really am proud of you, Juan!
89. Abi, Maggie wrote that when she read the part in FSM 152 about your drinking, that it made you more real. She commented, "Abi said she wouldn't do it again, & I just know she won't! It made me feel closer to her & made me appreciate her more than ever." See how the Lord can use even our mistakes to encourage others?
90. Abi, you know that Juan doesn't mind if you speak up, & in fact, he would like you to speak up. And he knows that even if you're not always right, your hesitations will slow him down & will make him even more desperate with the Lord to come up with the right answer. It's really good for us when we have our actions & decisions questioned, because whether the questioner is right or wrong, it makes us slow down & pray more & get more desperate with the Lord, & either more convinced that we're right, or hesitant that we might not be. So when you question each other, it's good for you & it's good for your decision-making process!
SHIPPING OUT CHANGE-RESISTERS!
91. You know, you might wind up having to send some of those old-timers there in your city out to various other cities or even countries if you find that they are displaying too much resistance to change or hesitation or too many reservations. Getting people out of their old ruts & their old positions & their old Homes after having been in them so long is sometimes the only thing that puts the fear of God into them & makes them desperate with Him!--Helping them to be open to new things. (Psa.55:19) That would leave places open for you to bring in others from other cities or countries within your area to take their place in your training centre, people you feel are potential & yielded & will be trainable. Usually, when new people come in, they are more willing to change, more malleable, which makes things easier for you too.
92. Of course, you have to get your programme rolling & see how people take the changes & how they respond & give them a chance. But you can't wait around too long wasting time & investing training in adults & teens who "don't want the books" or aren't willing to try new methods, or aren't going to be a worthwhile investment.
THE HINDERING POWER OF UNYIELDEDNESS!
93. Regarding the fellow you reported who's had quite a serious problem with self-righteousness, pride & criticism: You're right, he's had that problem for some time now, & has been dealt with about it several times, but so far it seems he hasn't gotten a real solid victory. For some people it doesn't seem to matter how much Word time they have. As you pointed out, Juan, if they don't yield to it, obey it & let it sink into their hearts & change them, it really isn't going to help them that much.
94. It's sad, isn't it, that though we've invested so much in some people, they still refuse to let go of the things that hold them back & the weights & sins that do so easily beset them. Their unyieldedness hinders them from ever developing into the man or woman of God that He would like to make them.
TEENS NEED SUPERVISION!
95. I certainly agree with you that a teen, especially a young teen, should not be teaching the older children all on their own, without an adult supervisor. Teens, too, must have supervision.
96. Well, dear Juan & Abi, as you know, I don't write long personal letters frequently, & I can't promise that I'll write you again like this, but I can promise you that I'll certainly be praying for you! I love you both very much, & I'm just really thrilled with your desire & determination to serve the Lord together & to do your best for Him! I thought it was so sweet, Juan, where you said that you have turned the page on your old way of doing things & that you're slowing down & that you have a set time with Abi for prayer every day, & that you're sharing your NWOs together, which as you pointed out, is just the Lord! And that how before, you had to go by faith about the need for training, but now the Lord has made it very clear & obvious to you. As you obey, He shows the way! Praise the Lord!
97. And Abi, I don't think Juan could ever do it without you! The Lord has used you to help make it possible. Thanks for loving Juan. I sure do! I love you, too!
NEW KIDz MAG & GP VIDEO SERIES IN THE WORKS!
98. P.S. You might be interested to know that we're working on a new KIDz Mag publication for our younger children. Sara put in a very desperate plea for something of this nature, & others have voiced a similar request, so we've been praying & discussing how we could take on another publication, & Lord willing we think we can do it, with His help, & make it even better than the old one.
99. Also please continue praying for the new Video Ministry, which is very detailed & a very complicated project with lots & lots of questions & policies to be addressed before they can even start. But praise the Lord, Jo is putting into practice what he has recently learned, & is going slow & is being prayerful along with his helper, Maggie, & the Lord seems to really be blessing them & the Video team's efforts.
100. However, it's a real fight in the Spirit for visas for the Video crew, so please pray that the Lord will make a way for them to stay where He wants them.
101. OK! I guess that's it for now! I love you! God bless you! We're looking forward to receiving your next tapes!
Copyright (c) 1998 by The Family