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MAMA'S LETTERS OF COUNSEL TO JUAN, ABI & DUST!--Letter No.2, Part I Maria #117 DO 2621 5/90
--By Maria

       (Please read "Mama's Letters of Counsel--No.1," ML #2620 in GN 434/Vol19 before reading this Letter!--Tx!)

Dear Juan, Abi & Dust,

       1. Praise the Lord! God bless you! We just received the tapes you dictated right after Dust's arrival. And as usual, we're very thankful to hear from you & to get the assessment from each of you on how things are going in your part of the World! You're each so precious to us, & we look forward to hearing from you & appreciate your sacrifice of communication with which the Lord says He is well pleased, as we certainly are!--Heb.13:16.

       2. I know your sacrifice involves not only time, but real thought, prayer & effort to be honest, open & objective. I also know the Enemy fights you on it & tries to stop you & makes it difficult & makes you wonder if you should be saying some things or if you should be saying them the way you are saying them. And you're tempted to wonder how much of your trials you should be "burdening" us with, & how detailed or how general you should make such reports.

       3. Well, if it's any comfort, I probably go through just as difficult battles in writing you, though perhaps not the same kind of battle. Though I have a very strong desire to encourage, counsel & instruct you, the Enemy fights me very hard, & tries to put everything else in my way & get me involved in so many other things; as well as making me feel that I won't be able to express myself clearly or won't be able to help you.--All kinds of crazy things! It's mostly just a spiritual battle with no real particular reasons, but just a very big wall or hindrance whenever I need to dictate a letter. It's one of the hardest things for me to do, to start dictating a letter.

       4. So I certainly understand why the Lord said that communication was a sacrifice! Not only in our written communications, but also in our spoken communications most of us have to make a great effort to do so. So when your report tapes arrive I know they represent your hearts, & are therefore a very priceless gift to us. It's very precious to be able to listen to each of you pour out your hearts with such sincerity & honesty. It keeps us apprised of what's going on in your lives & helps us to be more desperate in our prayers for you, & to share in your battles.

       5. Juan, your reports have changed so drastically in their depth & their honesty & openness! It's so refreshing to hear you talking so openly about your battles & the tests you've gone through. It really keeps us close together & helps us know how specifically to pray for you.

       6. Abi, your last report showed so much progress in your maturity & walk with the Lord, as well as your understanding of various situations & what the Lord is trying to show you & teach you through them. You're really learning! Your realisation that the Lord is using these different battles to try to make you into more of a fighter & to make you lean more on Him & be less selfish & more sacrificial shows that the Lord is getting through to you. It shows that He's drawing you closer to Him & making you a better channel, & that you're hearing more from Him as you cling to Him & His Word. PTL!


       7. Your realisation that you need to stick close to Juan & continue to be an encouragement & support to him & not let other things or people get in the way was wonderfully reassuring. We had been praying for you particularly along those lines, that you wouldn't give up the fight & let the Enemy get your mind off your job by becoming entangled romantically with Dust.--Which we know would be very easy to do because he, too, is very lovable & personable. We do want you all to be very good friends & very close, but I think you all have learned that romantic involvements are usually very distracting & a hindrance to the important work that the Lord wants us to concentrate on.

       8. Of course, there are some exceptions to that, & we're open to anything that the Lord does & that is within His Will. But in your particular case, Abi, we were very happy to hear you say that you knew that the Lord didn't want you to lean on Dust, but He wanted you to continue to look to Him, & to continue to be the help & support & encouragement that Juan desperately needs right now in the midst of the tremendous transition & changes he's going through.

       9. We pray that all three of you will learn to love each other very much & will become a tight united team for Jesus.--Each of you working together as one & learning & growing together in open communication & sharing, & that there will not be any divisions among you or walls between you, & that you will never in any way pit one against the other.--But that you will fight to build a very strong team & unit that the Enemy will not be able to prevail against. The more all three of you share your hearts together openly, the more closely you will be drawn together & the more you'll understand each other & be able to work together more harmoniously & unitedly.


       10. Abi & Dust, you have to keep in mind that you must not fail Juan by withholding counsel or instruction from him that he desperately wants, just because you think it will hurt him or he might be sensitive. He has shown repeatedly that regardless of his sensitivity, he wants the help. So if you notice something, you must be faithful to share it with him. I think he's certainly proven that he can "take it," & thereby has earned the right to "have it." And I'm sure the more he continues to fight his sensitivity, the less sensitive he will be & the easier it will become for him to take it, & also for you to give it.

       11. I'm glad to hear that you appreciate what you're receiving from Juan as well, & you're being helped by it. And that, Abi, you appreciate Juan's fighting spirit & encouragement to keep going, & that you admire his good sample of going to the Word for his answers & his comfort.

       12. The other day Peter was asking me, "Mama, please tell me if I ever hurt your feelings, because I want to know so I won't do it again." I said, "No, I don't want you to know when you hurt my feelings, because I want to learn to 'take it' & I want to get toughened up! I don't want you to ever stop hurting me in that sense because how will I learn how to take things if everybody always says nothing but sweet & soothing things to me, & never any correction or contrary opinions that make me have to fight sensitivity!"

       13. I think, Juan, you probably feel the same. You don't want to tell people when they hurt your feelings because you don't want them to stop letting you "have it" because you know it's good for you & you're growing & learning from it. Of course, I want to make it clear here that Peter hardly ever does hurt my feelings, I couldn't even think of an example at the time. But I assured him that even if I could, I wouldn't want to tell him unless it was something that he really needed to learn to do or say differently. But if it was merely because of my sensitivity, there would be no good reason to tell him that my feelings were hurt, & in fact, there would be a good reason not to!


       14. Dust, I was happy to hear that you are glad to be back in South America & working with Juan & Abi.--And it was nice to hear the sweet things you had to say about both of them. I know you will do your best & the Lord's best to be fitly joined with them, & do all you can to work together smoothly, openly & honestly, & as a good sample of what genuine teamwork should be.--Always immediately going on the attack against any frictions or divisions among you, getting them out in the open & talking all together about them & praying for a solution.

       15. Dust, that was a very difficult thing for you to admit--your failings during your visit to Scandinavia--but I'm sure if you hadn't, the Lord would not be able to bless you. We appreciate your honesty.

       16. No matter how bad a thing you've done, we still would rather hear about it, & will love you more if you tell us than if you don't. It's really funny how that works, isn't it? No matter how "bad" it is & how badly we might feel about your sin or mistake, it still makes us feel more love & compassion, respect & admiration for you because, though you might have been weak in your failing, you are strong enough to tell us about it. So though you're weak in some areas, you're very strong in others, thank the Lord. I guess that's why we need each other & we need our teamworkers to help keep us in check. Of course, when we have to go off on our own like you were, it can be pretty difficult to stay in check.

       17. Although one thing I've always said to Juan, & about him, is that it's amazing how the Lord was able to trust him on his own all those years to stay pretty much on the right track spiritually & in tune with the Lord & His Word. I guess that's one reason why we could leave Juan alone so long, because even though he wasn't getting the training & didn't have instruction in many areas, at least he did not go off on some tangent spiritually, but was able to stand strong in his own spiritual life. Whereas I believe that all of our other top leaders have had to have correction at times for getting tripped off in this or that area, or at least have needed very close oversight so that they wouldn't.

       18. Maybe, Dust, the Lord was just trying to make you extra thankful to be with Juan & Abi, to help you realise & appreciate how they could guard you & help you in your weak areas. Of course, comparatively speaking, your drinking itself wasn't that serious a problem, it was what it led to--your letting the Enemy talk through you to your wife about other leaders' weaknesses.--Leaders that continue to be her overseers.--Criticisms you would never have yielded to if you hadn't been drinking.

       19. I think that probably the Lord let you go that far so you could see how very serious letting your guard down in this area could be. We'll pray with you that it won't affect your wife too much.


       20. Perhaps another reason why it happened, as you mentioned, is that the Lord may be trying to show you that your relationship with your wife is not altogether as fruitful as you thought it was, and is not that spiritually helpful or strengthening to either one of you, as is the case with many of our couples. I think the Lord allows this to happen so that you won't get too dependent on each other, & so that you'll look more to the Lord for your help & strength. Although you love each other very much & have a beautiful family, the Lord continues to require of you your being apart, & in fact seems to be able to use you better when you are working in completely separate ministries.

       21. Another reason why the Lord allowed you to make this mistake could be to humble you & help you go into your new teamwork knowing that you needed them as much as they need you.

       22. Well, one thing we know for sure is that "All things work together for good to them that love the Lord."--Rom.8:28. And it was probably a test for you as well to see if you would be honest with us & confess it. And you passed it, praise the Lord! I'm proud of you because I know that wasn't at all easy. There's another reason why I think maybe the Lord let this happen, but I'll tell you about it a little later on in this Letter, God willing.

       23. I hope you have already shared this confession with Juan & Abi. If not, I guess you'll do it now, won't you? Just remember, it always makes others feel good when they see that you're a sinner too.--Not that we want to glory in others' mistakes, but we do gain encouragement by them because we know that if the Lord can use them, as sinful as they are, then we have some hope of Him using us as sinful as we are! I guess you're all feeling like big sinners right now for various reasons, & I'm sure that that's the state that the Lord has been trying to get you to, & the attitude of heart that He is pleased with.


       24. God bless you, Dust, for writing Anne & apologising once more. That was certainly commendable & showed that you were sincerely sorry. It's good that you emphasised the need for her to disregard the things you had said, & made it clear to her that you didn't mean them.--But that you had allowed yourself to voice the Enemy's criticisms when you got on his channel through your drinking. You don't really feel that way when you're on the Lord's channel & He's in control.

       25. Anyway, Dust, you ought to know by now that we wouldn't fire you for your mistake since we need you too much! And even if we did have somebody to replace you with, I don't know of anybody in the whole Family that doesn't have some problem or another! So we would be exchanging your problems for somebody else's!

       26. When the Lord has invested so much in someone, we very rarely feel led to throw them out or demote them if they're sincerely sorry & try to remedy the situation & try their best to resolve never to do it again. And if they are generally bearing good fruit, we would be very hesitant to so severely penalise them for one weakness.


       27. Dust, you're feeling like a sinner because of your backslidings in the flesh, as well as what they led to in the spirit in the form of the spiritual sin of sowing discord among brethren. Abi, you're feeling like a sinner because you realise that many of the rough spots between you & Juan are because of your own lack of fighting & getting ahold of the Lord & being open & communicating; & as you mentioned, your tendency towards selfishness, which the Lord is working on. And, Juan, I guess you're feeling like a sinner because of all the weaknesses you're seeing exposed in your own life & also those of the Latin American Continent.

       28. At least you can all be sinners together! Nobody should think anybody is any better than the other, & all of you can just throw yourselves on the Lord's Love & grace & mercy.--And because you're all such sinners, you can have greater compassion on those you are working with, on their sins & weaknesses.

       29. Well, Dust, I don't have a problem with alcohol, I don't even care for it that much, but I can certainly relate to your food problems since I, too, often sin in overeating & haven't yet been able to get a complete victory over it. I so much love to eat, that I have to have others restrict my intake, & make sure they fix me small plates with small helpings. So we're all sinners together, but thank the Lord we're sinners saved by grace, only by the Lord's Love & mercy & compassion for us!--Which shows how much grace & mercy & compassion & love we should have for others.

       30. Because without Love we have nothing! So to whom much Love & mercy & compassion hath been shown, the same loveth much.--Luk.7:47. That not only means love for the Lord, but love for His people & His sheep, because "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these My brethren, ye have done it unto Me!"--Mat.25:40. Without Love it's nothing! The Lord has to get us to the place where we're solely dependent upon His mercy & His Love & know how much we need it & can't do without it, & that usually makes us more loving & compassionate with others when we see how much He has given us & how much He has put up with & forgiven us.


       31. Well, praise the Lord! Your reports were very good!--Just right, hardly any duplication. Abi, you just did beautifully. As you know, I listen to your tapes, & Peter reads the transcription of them later. Anyway, when Peter & I were talking about your report, I was mentioning some of the things that you had said in your tape & commending you for them, & Peter said, "Abi is making real progress.--With a capital 'P'!" So don't get discouraged even when it seems like you're really fighting but getting nowhere, just the fact that you're fighting is a real good sign.--Since it means that you are making progress in learning to not just give up & give in, but learning to continually overcome the Enemy with the Word & prayer.

       32. Your attitude was good, & the way you're handling things in the training programme you're setting up sounds good. As you mentioned, of course, you just have to take it by faith, knowing that what you're investing in people, because it is the Word, is going to bring forth fruit. The Lord has told us specifically that His Word won't return unto Him void.--Isa.55:11. So even if you can't see the results right away, or as much results as you'd like to, you just have to cling to His Promise that the good work He has begun in His people, He is able also to perform.--Phil.1:6.

       33. Training anyone is just like working with children. The same principles that you use with children apply in training adults as well. You work by the clinical method & you have to show them over & over how to do something. Actually, it's even harder with adults because often they have formed very bad habits which they have to break at the same time they're trying to form the new ones. With children you're often starting fresh & only having to teach them good habits. So you actually have a little added handicap with adults.

       34. Abi, you have a spirit of patience, peace & calmness that reassures people. You're the perfect one for helping in organisation & scheduling & laundry & food & the children & all that goes into teaching people how to live the Letters the Lord's way. Just remember that some day you're going to see the good results. So don't get discouraged!


       35. Abi, have you explained to Juan that you sometimes feel hurt when he first resists something you suggest but then later will give it as his own suggestion? Perhaps you haven't explained that but instead have just taken it as a lesson for yourself in trying to not care who gets the credit, & in resisting your sensitivity. In a case like this, though, Juan wants to know & he needs to be told.

       36. So it's more important that you explain that to him than to just use it as an exercise in your own spiritual life, & overlook it. When I used my little example about Peter requesting that I tell him if he hurts my feelings, & how I had said, "No, I'd rather not because I want to learn not to be sensitive," maybe this is the sort of reasoning you had in mind, Abi, in not telling Juan. But if Peter needs to learn something from it, then I need to tell him. In other words, if Peter hurts my feelings because he is not acting the way he should, or not doing something he should do, then I am responsible to him to tell him so.

       37. So in some cases it's not enough just to say to yourself, "Well, if I don't care who gets the credit, much more can get done," & pray, "Lord help me not to mind, help me not to say anything, help me not to be sensitive." Though, of course, you can still ask the Lord to help you not to mind & not to be sensitive, you should also explain things like this to Juan so you can teach him.

       38. I don't believe that Juan does any of these things intentionally, & he certainly wants to learn, & you owe it to him to teach him. That's why we sent you to Latin America. Juan probably doesn't even realise that something originally was your suggestion. I found this out with Jo, who does the same thing. Since it's been pointed out to him, however, he does it a lot less than he used to, & he catches himself now when he does it. When this was mentioned about Jo taking other people's suggestions & presenting them as his own, I explained to someone that I think he does think they're his own ideas because after he has heard them, digested them, thought about them, prayed about them, & finally regurgitates them to someone else, they've become so much a part of him that he's forgotten who gave the suggestion in the first place, & he figures that it was his original idea.

       39. Now, of course, while that may be an excuse, it isn't the very best excuse in the World because we should try to learn to be conscious of whose idea something was so we can give them credit. But I don't think that either Juan or Jo do that intentionally.


       40. Juan, I'm glad it encourages you when you hear that we would have done the same thing that you have done in giving counsel to others or making certain decisions. We're sure it's sometimes quite a step of faith to make some of these decisions, & of course, it's very encouraging for you to hear that we agree, or that we feel the same. I know I feel like that when I have stepped out on a limb by faith to give a certain talk or share a certain principle that is new or hasn't been discussed before. Of course, I pray about it & trust I'm getting something from the Lord. But it's always very encouraging for me to ask Dad about it & to hear him say basically the same thing. And I like to check with him as often as possible. So I agree, it's always very reassuring to have someone else with authority agree with our decision.--That's all a part of counselling together & teamwork.


       41. Juan, I agree that it's good to share not only the practical lessons & reasons for things, but also the spiritual motive & spiritual principles behind things when you're teaching people. I think it's real good that you & Abi can work together that way.--You, Abi, with your more practical & down-to-Earth health & safety rules, childcare rules, regulations & organisation, & then you, Juan, can provide the spiritual inspiration. In a sense, you act as the elder & Abi as the deacon in such a case. In other areas, of course, like counselling, Abi acts in an elder's capacity as well & counsels both spiritually & practically.

       42. But it's really good when in meetings you can share both sides, or both facets. Abi is very strong on organisation & the specific ways in which to do things. She's got the training & she needs to share that, but you can help to provide the spiritual principles. And because you're strong in the Word, you can give the Word & the reasons behind why we need to do these things. You need to have a good balance, & neither should take up too much time in your meetings. If you have one but not the other, it's not really balanced. So you both need to work together, & both the spiritual & the practical should have their proper place.

       43. As far as how much time you take for each side of things in a meeting when you're together, it would depend on the specific need & circumstances at hand. There are some meetings when you want to concentrate pretty much on the spiritual & emphasise that. Other times you're there for the purpose of concentrating more on the physical side, the organisational side, the setting up of the rules & the regulations by which you are going to operate. In that case, the organisational would take more of your time. But at the same time you can often still have a few minutes of inspirational sharing of spiritual principles & the motivation & reasons for which we want to do certain things, & why we're doing them certain ways.

       44. But it should never be in competition. We need to realise both are needed. You can work together in good teamwork, each doing your part. It's wonderful that the Lord hasn't given us all the same talents because that makes us need each other, & shows other people that it isn't just a one-person show, but that even the leadership need each other. It's a very good sample for them to see that we're not complete in ourselves but we need the help of others.

       45. Abi, I don't want you to feel that I'm saying you're not as spiritual as Juan, & that you can't take that kind of role. I don't mean that at all. What I do mean is that every team has to divide the job & the responsibilities, & one usually has to take more of the spiritual oversight & the other does more of the practical side. Now sometimes they divvy it up, each one carrying some spiritual & some practical. So, of course, you can divide it any way you feel led to. I was just taking for an example these meetings where your main job is to help with the details of the training programme, something which Juan doesn't really have that much knowledge of or experience in, so you have to do it. He can't do it. But on the other hand, he really does know the Word, has a very good memory for it, & is anointed & inspired when he speaks, as you have pointed out, & is much more outgoing in this area. So together, you make a very good team! But in other situations your roles might be reversed.

       46. With Dad & myself, he is the spiritual one, & comparatively I feel very shallow. I don't remember much Word. I very seldom get prophecies or revelations or dreams or visions, & I look at my role as very much more a practical deacon type role. However, when I'm with Peter & others, I assume more of an elder's role with them taking more of the deacon positions, carrying out many of the more practical details.

       47. However, when Peter held the recent Summit '90 Meetings, he assumed the spiritual role, with others taking more of a deacon's role. So it all depends on what you're working on & who you're working with. So, Abi, I don't want you to feel bad about that. It's just that Juan can't do the job you have to do, so you have to emphasise & spend more time now on all of the practical & more earthy aspects of our life for the Lord, while he can add his good sermons & confirmations from the Word to back you up.

       48. Dust, the reason I'm not including you here in this part of my Letter is because you've just arrived, & we don't yet know exactly what role you're going to play! I'm sure we'll find that out as time goes on. As you begin to work together you'll see where the Lord wants you & where He can use you the most.


       49. Peter & I were talking together about your problem with alcohol, Dust, & we were thinking it might be easier for you to stay in line if you just weren't allowed to touch it at all, ever. I know this might seem like a pretty "hard saying," but I'm sure that the thought of blowing it again as you did in Scandinavia right before departing for Latin America is even harder for you to think about.--And if this restriction on your drinking might help you to avoid other worse sins that can happen as a result of your drinking, wouldn't you be willing to do that for the sake of the Lord's Work?

       50. The problem doesn't come when you haven't had any alcohol, it comes after you've had a glass or two. If you would allow this restriction to be imposed upon you & request the help of your co-workers in not letting you have any, at least if you did ever fall again in this area, it would take a much bigger, more deliberate step on your part to disobey the rules by taking that first drink, than merely having one more glass after you had already begun. This is actually something that we advised Crystal in FSM 15 (see Pg.139), that it would be better that she did not drink at all; & of course, this is something that we would advise anyone who has a problem with alcohol. Certainly we have many people in the Family who could benefit from this same counsel, which we should probably make an official policy for those with alcohol problems.

       51. There are many other people in the World who have to abstain from various foods or drinks for a variety of reasons. Diabetics have to restrict what they eat, & there are multitudes of people with various food allergies who cannot eat certain foods. Some people like Dad are very severely restricted in their diet because of various health problems. So Dust, I would say that if you ever begin to feel bad & discriminated against because you can't drink any alcohol, it might make things easier if you'll remember Dad, who has many things that he cannot eat nor drink, yet he very cheerfully eats what he can, & is exceedingly thankful to the Lord for each bite. So when you have to forego that glass of wine or that piece of cake or those french fries or that dish of ice cream, it will help if you remember those who have much greater problems than yours.


       52. I'm not saying this, Dust, to sound harsh or unsympathetic. In fact, I was telling someone the other day that I think one of the best exercises that we can do is to compare ourselves with others from time to time!--Not in the way we usually think of comparing ourselves, that's negative, & of course, we don't want to get into that! But the way I'm talking about is to compare ourselves favourably with others who are much worse off than we are, & to count our blessings when we see others who are suffering greater hardships than we are.

       53. Whenever we are tempted to complain about whatever our problems are, it's very easy to find others with much greater problems than ours. And if we take the time for this little exercise in comparison, without exception we come out feeling much better & very happy & thankful for all our blessings! Basically, this is just another way of applying the counsel Dad's always given us to
       "Count our blessings,
       Name them one by one,
       And it will surprise us
       What the Lord has done!"

PTL!--Not only surprise us, but cheer us up!

       54. I was doing this myself the other day regarding my health, & of course, couldn't fail to see that I was very greatly blessed, & that my problems were nothing compared to most people in the World. After making this comparison I started realising what a valuable exercise this "Count Your Blessings" game is & how we should teach it to our children & to our Family Members & emphasise its use much more often than we do.

       55. We can even compare how things are for us now with how things were for us in the past, & almost always come up feeling or being much better off today than we used to be--perhaps not in every detail, but generally speaking, for most of us our lives have gotten better & better! I may have a few afflictions today, but when I look back at all the things the Lord has healed me of in the past that I no longer have problems with, I really have a lot to be thankful for!

       56. My health problems are much smaller now than they used to be. My eyes may be bad, but incredibly enough, I don't have as many headaches or colds as I used to. The funny thing about my headaches & my colds--I'm often on the verge of one, but thanks to the Family's prayers, the Lord almost always pulls me through without actually getting the full-fledged thing. I used to have frequent backaches, & now I'm completely healed. I used to have a problem with frequently getting a painful stiff neck & back, & I haven't had one of those for several years. I used to have very bad acne when I first joined the Family, & I haven't had that for years & years. Besides all the things the Lord's healed me of, there are innumerable things that He's prevented me from getting! I am most richly blessed & feel so loved & cared for! Hallelujah!

       57. I honestly think that any time we are tempted to murmur about anything at all, if we would start this little "Count Your Blessings" game immediately, we would compare so favourably that we would come out shouting with joy for all our blessings & how much the Lord has given us! Even with our worst problem, we can think of countless others who have even worse problems than ours. No matter how bad off you are, you're always better off than millions of others, & this is the way we should always look at it, & not the other way around.

       58. When we play this game, we should always compare ourselves favourably, never unfavourably. If you look at those who seem to be better off than you, you'll go into the depths of despair.--And actually, this is usually what we do when we murmur, we're usually looking at others who are better off or thinking of ourselves at another time when we were better off. But if we would think of all those who are worse off than we are, then it would be very difficult for us to murmur or complain about our lot, since there are many many more who are worse off than those who are better off!

       59. No matter how "bad off" we are, we're at the top of the heap, & we are of all people on the Earth most richly blessed! Even with our few small problems, we know they have a purpose & a reason & work for our good, & we should glory in them, that the power of Christ may rest upon us! PTL! (2Cor.12:9)


       60. Juan, you're such a good sample of someone who has a positive attitude in your problems & afflictions. The Lord certainly did test you by allowing you to get our note to another leader, which was confidential to them only, but was mistakenly sent also to you!--But you passed that test beautifully. As you know, in the note we were merely explaining to the leader that we had slightly edited their reports before passing them on to you to read. Your first reaction was the right one: That you felt loved to hear that I had edited the copies of their reports so you could take them more easily & not be hurt by certain points that might reflect on you.

       61. Actually, that's exactly what the Lord does with us: He edits things slightly or only allows us to get what He knows we can take & what will be good for us at the time. Later, as we get stronger, He can give us more. (See Jn.16:12.) All of us here agree that that was quite a test & that we probably wouldn't have done as well, although all things are possible with the Lord & He can give grace & strength if we want it enough & are yielded enough. But look how much you've grown & how much more you can take now than you could before! PTL!

       62. The Lord's trusting you with more all the time because He knows you're getting stronger & you've continued to yield & He's able to continue to show you things that you need to know so you can learn the lessons He's trying to teach you. You, as one of our top leaders, are having to learn & grow at the same time as everyone else in your area who's also being trained, & in some ways that's doubly hard, so God bless you! Through the big fight of faith you're having to wage you're going to become very strong in the Lord & in the power of His might! PTL!


       63. I'm so proud of you, Juan, that you're being the first to confess your weaknesses in front of all, & being such a good sample to them; also that you're going on the attack with sharing your heart with Abi & Dust & others & making a real effort to do these things, even though it isn't easy. Good for you for asking for prayer against familiarity, & also for taking the lead in asking for prayer in the "Flirty Little Teen" meeting you held. GBY for being willing to confess your weaknesses publicly, & even apologising. That was really sweet & needed, of course, as everyone's looking to you for a good sample.


       64. God bless you for backing Abi in the meetings. Just be sure you always decide beforehand, if possible, how much of the meeting each of you will take, so you don't encroach on each other's time. As I said previously, if it's a meeting mainly for organisational purposes or practical training purposes, then time designated for the spiritual principles should be just a fraction of what is taken up with the organisational part. On the other hand, if it's the opposite, then you can prepare & plan accordingly.

       65. As with all meetings, it's good to plan ahead & to give each speaker a time limit on his part, & try to stick to that, making an agreement to remind each other to keep to the limit. There may be some rare times where during the meeting the Lord seems to indicate a change of plans & you all agree that it is good, but remember that "the spirit of the Prophet is subject to the Prophet" (1Cor.14:32), & in most cases it would be wise to stick to the prayerful plans that were made previously.

       66. And of course, we hope you're trying to cut out impromptu meetings altogether, even the ones at the dinner table after meals, or the ones in the hallways, or whenever the impulse strikes you! Let's try to prayerfully plan ahead as much as possible so people can have as much prior notice as they need to prepare for any meetings. That way not only will you have plenty of time for prayer & preparation, but they will also have time to prepare their hearts & adjust their schedules accordingly.


       67. You know, Juan, I think it's hard for most of us who have been leaders on our own for any length of time to suddenly be thrown into a teamwork & have to do a lot more listening to others than we have in the past. It's even a little uncomfortable for us because we're used to doing all the talking & all the decision-making, & we almost feel like we should be. To be compelled to take the time to sit back & listen to others, especially undershepherds or those who perhaps aren't our equals in leadership, feels very strange to us. We feel like we should be the ones giving the answers, & that if we're not giving the answers, people might think something's wrong with us. Then we figure, "Well, maybe something is wrong with me if I don't have all the answers & I have to let someone else give some of the answers!"

       68. I had a twinge of that one time. It was in some meeting where, because I was very tired, I just sort of sat back & let Peter run the meeting, & I felt a little uncomfortable about it for those very same reasons. But I thought to myself, "Well, this is ridiculous! Why shouldn't other people have the answers? Why shouldn't other people get things from the Lord? Why do I always have to be the one to get things from the Lord? Why do I feel like I have to be the one to have all the answers?--Isn't it just pride if I want to have all the answers & don't want to move over & let other people hear from the Lord & show that they can be led by the Lord just as well as I can?"

       69. After all, others need the practice & experience of being the moderator of the meeting, & also being in the position where they have to get desperate with the Lord for answers, as well as draw out the counsel of others. So the many advantages of having others help us greatly outweigh that possible uncomfortable feeling of not being able to do everything yourself, & not making all the decisions on your own, & I think I got rid of that feeling pretty quickly.

       70. I think many of us leaders are so used to talking & issuing directives & giving orders, etc., that we really do have a hard time listening. Jo had to talk with Maggie, who he's training, about that the other day, & I think it's just another one of those habits that we have to ask the Lord to help us to break, so that we can decrease that He may increase (Jn.3:30), & that He in others may increase!


       71. You're right not to be overly concerned about your mistakes to where they get you down & get you discouraged & condemned. We know that even though you don't want to make them & you're trying hard not to, you're nevertheless going to have some slip-ups along the way. But don't worry about them! Just keeping going in spite of them & trust the Lord for Romans 8:28!


       72. I think it's wonderful that you're continuing to progress in your note-taking, Juan. Because you're faithful in some of these little things, the Lord's going to continue to give you even bigger things to be faithful in.--Which includes bigger tests & bigger lessons, of course. But because you've been faithful to change in many of these little things, the Lord can trust you to change in the bigger things as well.


       73. Abi, it sounds like you too are making great progress. Perhaps it doesn't look like it to you, but even your reports reflect changes for the better. I was real happy to hear that you have been stopping to take time with the Lord, in spite of how hectic & rushed everything is, just to go into your room & have some quiet time with the Lord. That's one of the best things you could possibly do, going to the Word & learning to rest in the Lord!--And one of the things you must do, if you're going to be a faithful Shepherdess of the Lord's flock.


       74. You mentioned that you had a battle knowing when to say things to Juan & when not to say things to Juan. Well, in your case, it's probably better that you err on the side of saying things than not saying them. You can always experiment, & if the things you bring up don't bear good fruit, then you'll know not to say them next time, or perhaps say them in a different way. But I think regardless of how you say them, Juan is going to be very thankful that you do say them if he can learn from them, & if they will result in good fruit being borne in the Lord's Work. If your heart is pure & your motivation is right & you've prayed about it & feel it's something Juan would want to know & needs to know, then you should probably go ahead & say it.

       75. I've always said about Peter & others that I very much prefer our people working with me to spill out what's bothering them & what's on their heart, rather than keeping it inside & my never knowing what they were thinking. I'd rather have the "bad news" than no news at all! Even if they don't agree with me or they are not happy with what I'm doing, I'd rather hear it than just have them hold their peace & not tell me what they are thinking. Because at least when you know the problem, then you can do something about it, you can talk about it & you can communicate & pray & explain & get things worked out!


       76. Abi, Juan says you're coming up with tremendous ideas in your scheduling & organisation. He says you're launching out by faith & the Lord is really blessing it. So we're real happy to hear that! And Juan, Abi tells us your talks are really anointed, amongst all the other things she says she admires you for. So I'm glad to hear that you love each other & appreciate each other, & in spite of the rough spots, you are still fighting for the unity that you must have, & that you're trying to stay positive & striving to work closely together in spite of the Enemy's attempts to divide you.


       77. You need to hit head-on anyone who criticises & who would attempt to divide you & Juan, or leadership in general, or sow dissension within the ranks. Some people seem to have a very bad problem with their mouth, & it's very bad for them to be vocal with their criticisms. Some would use the excuse that they need to get it off their chest to be able to get on with the Lord's Work. Usually, however, such people have already done too much of that, & it's just become a very bad habit. In such cases, they need to be shut up when they criticise & told how very bad it is, & that they must not do it!

       78. They can pass on constructive criticism, yes, but when most of what they share is rather destructive, that's a big difference! And if they don't know the difference, you need to start teaching them! Constructive criticism is usually manifested by people who are genuinely concerned for the Work & are just trying to share the ideas that the Lord may have put on their heart.--Which may not actually be criticism at all, but which is sometimes viewed by leadership as criticism if it in any way opposes or contradicts their ideas. We certainly don't want to squelch that kind of criticism, which is actually just helpful suggestions that people make out of genuine concern for the Work.

       79. But we cannot tolerate destructive criticism that's designed to divide & sow discord among brethren & cause disunity, disharmony, dissension & has as its motivation jealousy, envy, revenge, etc.! If people have bitternesses they have to get out, they should tell you, as their top leaders, & get it off their heart & ask you to pray with them, asking the Lord to rid them of that poisonous attitude. And then they should shut up about it. It should be stopped immediately! You have to look at the motivation & the fruit, & judge accordingly.


       80. Abi, I just want to encourage you to please go slow, take it easy, there's no big rush. The Lord isn't going to give you any more than you can do. You only have so many hours in a day, & He knows that. If He wanted to have you work longer He would probably decrease your need for sleep, & until He does that, you don't have to do any more than you're now doing. Just take it easy. Things were in operation before you got there, & though they're now doing better because you're there, the Lord's going to give you time to do your job.

       81. If He'd wanted it done faster He would have had you start it sooner, & since He didn't, He must know that you're going to have enough time to do what He wants you to do. So there's no deadline for getting the big job there done, & you should just take one day at a time. "Run with patience the race that is set before you!"--Heb.12:1. We're not pushing you, the Lord's not pushing you, so don't push yourself or let the Enemy push you!


       82. Juan, your people should not only obey you, but you should make sure they obey their other leadership as well. This is a lesson some people evidently need to learn, that with the Lord, obedience isn't selective, & you don't just obey some things & not other things; or more readily obey some leadership but not others. He's trying to teach us to obey all across the board. If we just choose who we want to obey or what we want to obey, then we haven't arrived at the state of yieldedness the Lord wants us in, because that shows we're just doing our own thing & independently deciding to do what we want to do.


       83. Also, be careful about getting too many animals, they can take a lot of time. If you do get animals, make sure you desperately pray that you'll get good healthy ones that are not diseased. There are many pros & cons to the animal situation. They can provide very good lessons for the kids as they learn to take care of them. They can also provide food. But they do take a lot of time, so I'm sure the Lord just wants you to find a good balance.


       84. I agree with you that [EDITED: "in some cases"] National disciples would probably be better off not remaining in the cities where their parents are, as the old fleshly family ties are just so strong, & being compelled to visit regularly will really sap their spirits. [DELETED] Tackling this at your Delegates' Meeting sounds like a good idea.


       85. As you say, Juan, it's a victory that people are desiring to meet together & counsel together & to get on new schedules & try new ideas, & to ask for prayer for their personal problems. There is a lot to be encouraged about! We're real happy & inspired to hear such good reports. It sounds like the Lord's getting through & a lot of progress is being made! PTL!


       86. You probably realise, since reading the new "Marriage Rules" Letter about teen marriages, that we're more or less de-emphasising teen marriage for the time being. (See ML #2589, GN 416.) We probably need to get the marriages that we already have on a better footing, & do more spiritual foundation work with the ones who are not yet married before they can be considered ready for marriage, don't you think?


       87. Thanks so much, Juan, for your rundown on the political situation there, it was very interesting. We had heard on the news that Mario Vargas Llosa had not won a clear victory, & that there would be a run-off election at a later date, so thank you for adding more of the details.

       88. Dad says, "Llosa has sad eyes & looks like a man who has suffered a lot. He's a fine-looking man. He's got a very strong face. I'd say he's sincere. Of course, he could be sincerely wrong."

       89. We don't know anything about the other candidate, Fujimori, but because we have prayed, I'm sure the Lord will have His way as to who wins the elections. I still have a burden, whatever happens, to pray for Llosa's Salvation. As so many have, he probably has confused God with the church, & since he's failed to find any life in the church, he feels that God doesn't exist. It's a sad situation, but I definitely think the Lord can get through to him by our prayers!


       90. Wasn't it wonderful how the Lord worked the situation out for Chris to stay in North America long enough to meet with the leadership there, after having to break his Europe-to-Latin America route unexpectedly due to a visa oversight? Chris said in his message that he felt so foolish that he had forgotten to get his visa for his destination, but upon hearing about it, it seemed obvious to us that the Lord had completely blotted it out of his mind for that very purpose: So he would be available to hold that meeting. Again, Juan, thanks for your very good attitude about this. We know the Enemy must have certainly lied to you & told you that you & Abi didn't do a good enough job in your U.S. meetings & that we were having to have Chris redo the meetings, but I hope you didn't give any place to the Enemy, because of course that couldn't be further from the truth!

       91. The fact was, at the very time that we got Chris' message saying that he'd forgotten to get his visa & he was stuck in Toronto, Canada, for several days until the next flight out, I was listening to a tape that he had made at the Summit '90 Meeting, & at one point he mentioned the States & how he had a burden for the people there (as you know, he had made a trip there for a visa some months back), & he wished he could do something to help them. He was also thinking that maybe some of the methods that they had used in Japan might be applicable to the States.

       92. When I heard that, coupled with the fact that at that moment I had just gotten the message that he was stuck in Canada, it wasn't too hard to get the point that the Lord might be wanting him to meet with the North American leadership. I think actually he was ready to take off the next day, & we made the fleece that if our message could reach him in time & he could change his reservations & wouldn't mind & had the burden, that it might be good for him to stay for a week or so to counsel with the leadership there.

       93. Juan, we also told Chris that he could read portions of my letter to you & Abi, to the U.S. leadership, & portions of your good report that we had sent to Chris to show him what a sweet precious attitude you have had about the changes presently taking place.


       94. We just heard a brief message about the Portuguese translators in Brazil being held at gunpoint for some hours & their Home cleaned out of many valuables. We were at least thankful to hear that no one was hurt & that all our precious folks there are safe & sound along with their files, most important equipment & bulk of their finances. Thank the Lord for His protection!

       95. As we recall, your ministry Home in Argentina also recently had a break-in, during which time some of their main video equipment was stolen. We would therefore recommend that you address the need for our Homes in Latin America to be really prayerful & to step up their security in order to avoid tempting thieves or the desperately poor. Perhaps this is a subject that could be specifically addressed at the upcoming Delegates' Meetings throughout Latin America. (Editor: The "Heavenly Security" FSMs--Nos. 119, 126, 143 & 145--have lots of good advice along these lines.)

       96. To the outside observer, we probably look quite wealthy, living in the beautiful properties & houses that the Lord has supplied for many of our Homes. We are wealthy compared to most of the people of Latin America! And now with the worsening economic situation, obviously more & more of the poor are willing to commit armed robbery, theft or break-ins in order to survive, so the Homes' safety & security is definitely an issue that should be discussed. We'd suggest that you pass this point on to the other Latin American leadership, who could set down some specific guidelines for their individual situations as well.


       97. In a recent report, one of our leaders there mentioned a point that we're wondering if you could give us your opinion on. They said, "In meeting the nationals, & from different reports I've been reading over the past six months, I'm wondering if the term that some people use here of 'on-fire nationals' has perhaps been misinterpreted as being strong in themselves, strong characters & personalities? The nationals do seem to be on-fire in the sense of being very nationalistic & Latin, but not necessarily on-fire in the sense of yielding & obeying or in their relationship with the Lord & prayer & the Word.

       98. "It's more like a soccer team rah-rah spirit of 'being nationals', than of being one little part of the big worldwide Family & on-fire for the Lord & His Word & for Dad & the Message. I think they are on-fire witnesses, & I admire them for that, I think it's really a plus. Yet when it comes to obedience to the Word & the Folks & the Lord, & prayer & all of that being a major part of their lives to fuel their fire, it often just doesn't seem to be there.

       99. "Maybe it's just a misinterpretation that they have to be strong & pushy & loud & boisterous & kind of like a Singin' Sam type of personality. Many of them seem to strive for that type of strength rather than really striving to be obedient & humble & helpful. I'm sure not all of them are like this, but a lot of them that I've met seem to be. This is just a small observation & not really documented fully as I haven't been here all that long, nor have I seen all the nationals here."

       100. Perhaps this is a subject that the three of you could pray about & discuss. If this is a major problem in Latin America as a whole, then you might need to address this attitude in the context of helping our nationals to better understand the Lord's strength. Perhaps you could even do for them a little study & application of this based on the "Strength & Weakness" GNs, etc. (See GNs 402 & 415)

       101. I'm sure any problems along this line are due mostly to a lack of training. If well-trained leaders can begin working with people in local situations to show them the correct sample, it should begin to take care of this problem, D.V. Also, we expect that the new training push introduced by the TLCs (Training, Lessons & Counsel Newsletters) & the Continent-wide Delegates' Meetings will do much to clarify how to become truly dedicated & yielded to Jesus, as well as the ways in which true Godly attitudes are manifested.


       102. Another issue that's been mentioned that seems to be predominant amongst some of the nationals is watching television, & specifically TV sports events! Again, to quote a recent report: "One brother was caught watching the car races on television in the middle of the afternoon the other day. One of his Shepherdesses corrected him for it, GBH--because she & the other Shepherds have been rather reluctant to approach this brother on these kinds of things.

       103. "When she sweetly asked him to turn off the TV because he knows it's against the rules (since we've stressed that before, as TV watching is almost a sort of sport here), he snapped back & seemed to feel that his 'rights' were being infringed upon! This is certainly not something that we promote in the Family, watching car racing on television, nor wasting our time watching TV in the middle of the day.

       104. "There was also an incident where another national brother was watching the car races. When approached about this, he justified it by saying his leaders did it. Apparently he'd seen his leaders watching televised sports events, almost like a nationalistic type of thing to do."

       105. Again, we don't know if this type of thing, that is, watching car racing or football games, etc., is more prevalent in one than in other countries of Latin America, but if this is the case elsewhere, you'll probably want to address it sooner or later.

       106. In countries where national sports are such a major part of life & of everyday conversation, it would, of course, be wise to know at least the general idea of how the game is played & understand the terminology used, know the names of the major teams, & who has won the final championship games, but this doesn't require hours of TV viewing.--Just an initial briefing for those who don't know anything about the main national sport, etc. In your witnessing, all you have to know is enough so that you won't seem like an alien just arrived on Earth.


       107. Moving on to another subject, I wanted to pass on some excerpts from a couple of Chris' reports to us where he talks about you, Juan. Dust may have already spoken to you about Chris' good attitude toward his new job & toward you, his leadership. I felt this would encourage you:
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       108. (From a report by Chris:) "The direction you gave Juan on the video he's making for the Latin American Family was really good (see ML #2620:51-61, GN 434), & I know that Juan addressing these different points directly to the Family is going to be a big key to folks being able to change throughout Latin America. When they see their top leader sharing from his heart the changes that the Lord has wrought in his life, I'm sure it will really blow the fresh breeze of change throughout the Continent. God bless Juan.

       109. "Honestly, Mama, I really admire him for being able to 'take it' like he is. Having been in a similar situation myself, I can only look at him with real admiration, as well as really pray for him because I know it's a hot & heavy battle, & one that the Enemy doesn't give up easily. He usually has a pretty good handle on us in our pride, & we can usually only take so much bringing out the old & bringing in the new. And sometimes when some of the old things get picked on that we just don't honestly feel are all that bad or wrong, it kind of goes against our thinking, against our carnal mind, I guess.

       110. "What I mean to say is, with most of the changes, it's easier to take them by faith because you can see the reasons why this new way is right & this old way was wrong. But there are a certain number of things that are kind of a matter of opinion, or just a matter of someone else's style or way of doing things. And so you see them change things that you feel were quite all right, & you sort of feel like, 'What was wrong with that?'--And those are the things that you still have to kind of swallow & take by faith, more so than the things that you can see & understand. But when big changes are taking place, there always seems to be a need to sort of flow with a certain amount of things that you sometimes don't understand.

       111. "There can be a real battle with the tendency to rise up & defend things that you feel are being picked on that aren't necessarily wrong. Because so many other things are getting exposed that are wrong, you may finally have something you feel you did right, or it's a personal decision or policy that you set up, & it can be a real battle to not let your hair stand on end & really grab that point & ride it into the ground & hang onto it tenaciously because you're so tired of seeing everything else that you did in such a mess.

       112. "It's not really such a mess, but it looks like it when you're in Juan's position, when every change can seem almost like another personal dig, another expos of something that you didn't implement, another policy or practice that you saw somewhere or you heard in a meeting, you read it in someone's newsletter, but you didn't apply it in your field.--At least that's what it was like for me in Japan when I was relieved from my job some years back. With every change that came up, I just couldn't help but feel personally responsible for not having implemented it earlier. This happened with me even when many of the changes were just fresh & new things that were coming up, new things that the Lord was leading into. It really wasn't necessary for me to be so sensitive.

       113. "All that to say, I really do admire Juan for how he's 'taking it', & I'm really praying for him. Also on this topic of change & what it was like for me, I'd like to again thank you for the loving way that you handled me. I know I certainly was much more of a problem than Juan is. Juan is embracing these changes wholeheartedly & really desiring to change & doing all he can to change, & I was just the opposite.--Sinking into my problems & doubting & lacking in faith & in trust.

       114. "So to me, it's just all the more amazing the way you handled me & the love that you showed me, & the faith & trust that you had that the Lord could make these changes in my life. The only way that you could see that I was changing was by my reactions to the things that I read, & by how I was doing at Marianne's Home; whereas Marianne is so easy to work with, it seems like anybody could be good there, & make progress.

       115. "But you really had faith in me & you really believed that the reactions I wrote were true & honest, & from my heart, which they were. I'm really thankful for that time. I know I needed that time & that change & that breaking. I needed to make a mess & to know that if I don't follow & stay close to you & to the Lord & really strive to contend for the Family & the Work & people's lives & training, that I can make just as much mess of a Work as anybody ever has anywhere! That may sound dumb, but I really didn't realise that.--And I didn't realise the responsibility that we have as leaders, just how much we affect the Work. Anyway, I'm really thankful for the love & faith that you showed me. One thing I know is that if the Lord can change me, then there really is hope for anybody!

       116. "I was also really thankful to see that in training, we're not talking about the 'Eastern' way or the 'Latin' way or the 'European' way, we're just talking about the Family way!--And that we can all do it the Lord's way no matter who we are or where we are! That's another key element of training. I know that in going into my new job I really want to be mindful & careful to not refer to Japan too much. It is a place where a number of experiences & experiments took place that I can draw on, but this point about doing things the Family way is a really good one to put into words throughout this training programme, especially when making initial changes.

       117. "We're not just talking about doing things the way they were done in the East. We're not talking about doing things the way they were done in Europe. We're talking about doing things the way the Lord wants them done! So I think that's a good point to dwell on & refer back to quite consistently so that people don't get this impression or allow the Enemy to cause them to doubt or question that this is just the 'Eastern' way that is being imposed on them.

       118. "I also really liked your comment about correction not having to be severe & harsh & cruel, & how it can be loving & gentle & challenging & fulfilling. That's the kind of correction that really is effective. I feel that's the only kind of correction that means anything, when the person who has been corrected walks away not discouraged & condemned but happy that he is getting molded & made into the man or woman that the Lord wants them to be.

       119. "I also felt that your comments, Mama, were very good on how it's good for us to have our actions & decisions questioned.--That point about regardless whether or not the questioner is right or wrong, their questioning slows us down, gets us to pray more, gets us desperate with the Lord, & we're then either more convinced that yes, what we're doing is right, or we hesitate & we aren't quite so sure, which means we need to take a closer look at things. I think that's just a tremendous attitude to have towards people that question us. I know that I'm personally much more comfortable working with someone who tends to be a bit critical. I personally feel very uncomfortable with someone who doesn't ever question what I'm doing, or present the opposite side of things, just to look at the opposite side, just to make sure that we're looking at all angles."

       From another of Chris' reports:

       120. "Juan's been pretty much on his own for 8 years, & without a shadow of a doubt, there is not one of us who could have done as good a job as he has done! And that, coupled with his sincere desire for change, certainly provides sufficient reason for him to keep his job, despite the various weaknesses on the field.

       121. "I consider it a real marvel to see Juan go through these things, knowing that he has been the 'king of the mountain', so to speak, for so many years there, the top dog with no one to correct him. Now here come all these people from the outside who have new ideas, & in many ways, better ideas, because they're coming in with more experience & training that they've received in the East. Having been through a similar experience myself, I honestly just marvel that he is able to take it so well! GBH!

       122. "At the same time, he has had his influence on South America, & those who have questions about it do need to be able to have the freedom to talk about it, at least with the right people, their top overseers. But there is a twist here, the catch comes that these people also need to be willing to 'take it' & to allow the rest of the Family on levels beneath them to sort out what was right or wrong in the sample that they gave.

       123. "For others to see & believe in those changes that I knew the Lord was working in me, was not always so easy. But knowing that you believed that the Lord was changing my life, that you had faith for me, gave me the faith myself to keep going & to trust that the Lord was really doing it. I know that when I returned to Japan after my retraining at Marianne's, there were some people who had trials about seeing me in leadership. I wasn't very aware that I myself had offended people, & it was somewhat of a shock to me that someone would have trials to see me again! I learned a lot through that experience. The fact that you expressed faith in me, that the Lord could change me, & change me so quickly, is what helped me pull through & make it, despite some battles with discouragement. I think it's such a need for people to see & realise that the Lord really can make changes in people & manifest changes in their lives.

       124. "The thing that helped turn the field around was when people stopped pinning the blame on their leaders & started accepting the responsibility for their own shortcomings themselves. The sooner you take responsibility for your own mistakes, the sooner & the quicker you grow. The more you do it, the more you grow."
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       125. Well, Juan, I think you can see that Chris has a very good understanding of the situation, & loves & respects you very much, & should be a wonderful co-worker to have in Latin America. PTL!

       "CREATE IN ME A CLEAN HEART..."--Psa.51:10.

       126. Juan, you said that your prayer is "Create in me a clean heart, & renew a right spirit within me." Actually, Juan, I think your spirit has always pretty much been right. It's just that your sample has been a little short of the mark in a few things. But, as you mentioned, it was because you didn't know what to do. Your heart was in the right place but your head just didn't have the knowledge to know how to implement everything correctly.

       127. The bad examples you'd seen & the bad training you'd received in the past disadvantaged you in some ways, Juan, but I believe the Lord is going to help you overcome & catch up.--As I believe He's going to do with all of those in Latin America who sincerely want to grow & learn & change! Even though you & those there in years past went through a succession of very bad & wrongly motivated leaders, I believe that out of the ashes of these experiences, the Lord can bring forth real beauty! "The God of all grace, Who hath called us unto His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, will make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you!"--1Pet.5:10.

       128. You, Juan, have been a wonderful sample to me of sacrifice, loyalty & love for the Lord & the Word & us & your flock.--A true Shepherd who gives his life for his sheep. I think your statement in one of your recent reports to us speaks for itself: "Mama, if you think the Latin field would do better without me, or if you think it's time for me to be replaced, please do so. I don't want to be a hindrance to the Work in any way."


       129. Here is an excerpt of a letter I received recently from someone in one of our Creations Units. He said, "During my time in Latin America, I remember watching Jeth & Deb & Alexander's antics (as well as some of the other leadership) & thinking, 'I don't care what they say or do, I know Dad is not like that! The Letters say something different!' One thing it did was really drive me to the Word & the Letters, thank the Lord! I won't go into the horrible pre-RNR 'cesspool' state of Latin America at that time, since that's all over & done with.--I just wanted to say that, in a way, I think it was one of those 'all things' of Rom.8:28 that made me more desperate & kept me closer to the Lord.

       130. "--And I think the constantly changing leadership in Latin America in years past has probably had the same effect on a lot of the Family there. They've probably figured, 'Well, despite Corny or Jethro or Deborah or any other faulty leader I've had, or poor example I've seen, I know from the Letters what Dad is like!' (I definitely wouldn't include Juan in this 'faulty leader' category. I've known him almost since he joined, & I think he's a real 110-per-center, God bless him!) It sure makes you admire the Latin Family for sticking it out, their dedication & perseverance, not to mention Latin America being such a difficult field in other ways as well."

       131. So, Juan, after this long succession of very poor leadership who had been your only examples of leadership in operation, you were pretty much left to pick up the broken pieces, put them together & try to keep Latin America intact almost single-handedly for the last 7 years.--And have kept the Family there doing their most important job for the Lord--witnessing to the World through His Wonder Working Words! With all the handicaps of bad training, then lack of good training, lack of specific counsel & the monumental size of the job, I don't think that anyone in the entire Family could have done any better a job than you did!

       132. The Lord obviously wanted you in the job since He didn't provide anyone else. The few other top leaders we did have were all being trained elsewhere & would not have been ready to take over such a monumental job anyway. We had to let you hold the fort, Juan, until some leaders could get trained in the East to come & help you.--Again, as you've already pointed out, it's a fulfilment of the "Japanese/South America Dream." (ML #325C)

       133. Although we did send Leah to work with you for awhile, she herself hadn't really been trained all that much either. So TTL she's now having the opportunity of receiving further training also, & doing well, GBH. At least she was able to stand in the gap until we were able to send Abi & Dust to help you.

       134. Even the leaders who have been trained in the East have just recently learned the importance of honesty & communication & teamwork & counselling & listening, so we can't expect that you, Juan, who never received any such personal on-the-field training by the clinical method, would know how to do these things. Or if you did know in theory that you should do them, you didn't know how to, without the training!

       135. I believe that we all have to take our share of the blame for problems that have occurred in Latin America. No one is entirely to blame, & no one is entirely guiltless. And sometimes, in the things for which we are to blame, it is because of circumstances beyond our control, or things done out of ignorance.

       136. Personally, I believe the Lord has had His way in all of this, & you & Latin America have done the best that you can under very difficult circumstances. You have obeyed in the most important commission you have been given: Preaching the Gospel to every creature! You've done a tremendous job in giving a broken-down, brokenhearted Continent & people hope for the Future by influencing them greatly with our Message. As in the verse, Proverbs 24:27, "Prepare thy work without, & make it fit for thyself in the field; & afterwards build thine house."--You've taken care of your work in the field.--And have done what you could, like Jesus said about the woman in the Bible, "She hath done what she could."--Mark 14:8. "All things are working together for good to you who love the Lord, to you who are called according to His purpose!"--Rom.8:28.

       (Don't miss the lesson-filled continuation of this Letter, as well as Juan, Abi & Dust's reactions to it in {\ul \i GN 43}8!)

Copyright (c) 1998 by The Family


Copyright (c) 1998 by The Family