Doing God’s work leads us to others who are also His fellow workers, so that together we might join in furthering His work. When I first was asked to teach at the Seminary for Expository Preaching in Honduras, some seven years ago, I welcomed the opportunity to get back in the classroom. Preaching and teaching is what the Lord called me to do, what He has enabled me to carry out, and that with which He fills my heart with joy. I never imagined what this would mean in terms of the ministry with which He entrusted me over twenty two years ago at Spanish World
At about the same time, Melvin Zelaya, our missionary in Honduras, had begun to study at the Seminary. In classes and in conferences sponsored by the school, he made contact with Pastors and other Christian workers who took samples of our broadcasts and through the years many have placed the programs in radio stations in different parts of the country. Now that Melvin has graduated, my time of teaching and interaction with the students allows for additional contacts through them. This often results in more transmissions and further outreach. This year, as in 2012, I have taught three different two week modules, and each time someone has approached me about receiving our programs in order to place them in other stations. In Nicaragua we do not have a missionary, thus the number of stations transmitting our programs is minimal, but this year a student made a contact for us that resulted in another broadcast and possibilities for even more. El Salvador is another country where we lack a missionary, but in January a student from that country volunteered to make contacts and is now an “official volunteer representative”, taking every possible opportunity to place our programs in additional stations.
The opportunity for working together goes beyond the area of radio. A number of years ago, Spanish World began working in a mountain village in central Honduras where a church was established. The access to La Vereda is very difficult and it was impossible for our missionaries, the Zelayas, to visit the place on a regular basis. But two former
students and seminary graduates have a ministry much closer to that village, and they have agreed to take up the oversight and teaching in that area. In fact, they are already going there on a regular basis. No, they are not Spanish World Missionaries, but they are God’s fellow workers and ours in the ministry of the Gospel. In addition, both, Melvin and I get the opportunity to minister the Word in churches where the pastors are seminary students.
When Paul went to Lystra, the Lord led him to Timothy who became “God’s fellow worker in the gospel of Christ” (1 Thes. 3:2). Likewise, upon arriving in Corinth “he found a certain Jew named Aquila . . . with his wife Priscilla” (Acts 18:1-2), and they became his “fellow workers in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 16:3). When we do what He calls us to do, He takes us to places and people sovereignly prepared for the extension of the Gospel. We thank God for the privilege of being His “fellow workers”, and for taking us to others with whom we can join in this great work entrusted to us.
Our next stop is Florida. Fleeing from Indiana winters, we are now purchasing a house north of Tampa. We have spent some time there, and we might make our move more permanent in the Fall. WE ARE NOT RETIRING! How can one retire from God’s call, unless clearly and providentially limited in accomplishing it? Our address will change, but not our ministry. I shall continue to produce the radio programs and send them to the office via e-mail for as long as our Directors at Spanish World consider it viable. We will also continue to accept invitations for Bible conferences in the different countries where we can instruct others in the Word. This we will do for as long as the Lord gives us the spiritual, physical, and mental capacity to accomplish it.
Thank you for being our fellow workers through your interest, finances, and prayer. May we continue doing what He bids us to, while He graciously brings about growth in us and in those to whom we minister (1 Cor. 3:6).
Laboring and striving according to His power, which mightily works within us, (Col. 1:29)
Cornelius and Aída Rivera