“And this is life eternal, that they might know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou has sent.” John 17:3
Dear Brethren in Christ,
Praise the Lord, he has taken care of the Ricker family for many years, and your servant for 100 years now! Our joy and work is to continue to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ so that sinners might repent from their sins and come to know the only true and living God, and Jesus Christ the Son who was sent to be the blood sacrifice that would cleanse us from our sin through faith in Him.
We give praise to the Lord for two couples who were married in special park location this past April. (See our last prayer letter.) Fewer people are using churches these days. The marriages were beautiful with their vows of faithfulness to the Lord and each other. One couple is going on happily married, but the other couple is having their problems. They have separated; the bride is willing to be reconciled but the groom is not. We are counseling them and ask for your prayers that God would bring husband and wife together again.
21st ICCC WORLD CONGRESS
This past June, God gave us safe travels to and from the US to attend the ICCC Congress in New Jersey. The fellowship was sweet with brethren from many different countries and languages. We grew in grace and knowledge from the various good Biblical messages and the fine music prepared our hearts for the Word of God. We were treated to a special sacred music concert by an orchestra and choir made up mostly of Mennonite young people. There were other musical numbers as well. Some new churches joined, and we ask for prayer for our President, Rev. Brad Gsell, so that he can put all the pieces together to carry on in the future. The Congress voted that, Lord willing, the next Congress will be held in Kenya, in 2026. Men from the Executive Committee will travel to Africa to evaluate economical and spiritual aspects. On Saturday, the “off”day of the Congress, they pre-celebrated my 100th birthday. I appreciated that as well. We praised the Lord again and again for a wonderful Congress! (Pictured above is at the Congress: David, Hal, Stephen and Juanita, and friends.)
CIEF-GUATEMALA (Confederation of Evangelical Fundamental Churches of Guatemala)
We planned for the main yearly conference for August 15th, which is a holy-day in Guatemala City. The meeting was in two sessions, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. The theme was “The Difference Between the WCC and the ICCC”. In the morning session, Rev. Stephen Ricker gave the overall picture of the contrast between the two councils. This was followed by a time with many good questions and answers. After lunch, we continued with information given by some pastors and elders, members of CIEF, about the four pillar groups that support the WCC, and the groups that support the ICCC.
The four pillars are: World Council of Churches, the Roman Catholic Church, World Evangelical Alliance (WEA), and the Pentecostal World Fellowship. The WEA is one of the “four pillars” of apostasy on the path to form a One World Church. Another group that supports the World Council’s Ecumenical movement is the World Christian Forum. One of the elders gave information on the World Evangelical Alliance, another gave information on the Roman Catholic Church, and I gave information on Pentecostal World Fellowship. All these support the World Council of Churches, which is the father of the ecumenical movement.
Two groups that support the ICCC are: ALADIC (Latin American Alliance of Christian Churches) which was discussed by its President, Rev. Stephen Ricker. Information of the CIEF-Guatemala was presented by elder Cesar Xocop. There were more excellent questions, one of which was: “Did the Evangelical Alliance of Guatemala truly come out from the World Evangelical Alliance?” Apparently, they departed from the Alliance indirectly by speaking to a secretary of the WEA, and the reason was for not paying its annual dues.
The Guatemala Evangelical Alliance had a wonderful opportunity to write a letter directly to WEA and say they are taking their membership out because WEA is supporting and is part of the four pillars, to form a One World Church that supports worldwide apostasy, but they did not write a letter.
AUGUST, MONTH OF THE BIBLE
Hal had the privilege on August 20th to preach on “The Greatest Book The World Has Is The Bible” and on August 27th (Bible Day) he had the privilege again to preach on “How Do We Know That The Bible Is The Word Of God?” Hal gave an invitation, asking for hands and hearts to promise God to read His Word faithfully, daily, and without excuse. Pray for the brethren that they will take this promise seriously and carry it out for the honor and glory of our Lord.
The first election in Guatemala was held June 25th, with a runoff election set for August 20th. One strong candidate, who was strongly against corruption, was eliminated by the Election Board on technicalities and its decision was upheld by the Supreme Court of Guatemala. Unfortunately, there was only a small turnout of voters for the runoff because they didn’t have a good selection of candidates. The woman leftist candidate received 37% and the male leftist candidate received 58%. We do not know how fast the new leftist president will be able to implement his programs, But we know they will not be conservative! Only about 45.11% of the people voted on the runoff election.
As always, we thank you for your prayers and kind support.
Yours missionaries for Christ,
Hal, Stephen, Juanita, Samuel and Joshua