- 03 Mar 2023
Hegeman Update for February
How do missionaries prepare for mission work? How do you know what to do? Christian missions is based on God calling us to respond to His people calling on God for help and deliverance.1 Often, I become aware that God is answering prayers that I did not pray. This is noticeable in prison. Prisoners are not free to go to the village church to hear preaching, to participate in praise, and to freely worship. Some prisoners pray a lot. That is the perfect position to be in because the true God answers prayers. Prayer draws us into prison and the other mission fields and causes more prayer. Holy Spirit prompted prayer is the “GPS” or road map for missions. Paul’s apostleship to the Gentiles begins with Christ encountering him and Paul prays. “Behold, he is praying.”
February 1 – 11. The first part of February is taken up with local church and prison ministry. I am teaching hermeneutics (principles of Bible interpretation) with the Spanish group at Mumford, as well as with the prisoners on the 6th at Walker State Prison. I made my way to northern Florida. My visits to the Wakulla Annex and Main, included showing how to use the hermeneutical circle (starts with God, then His revelation, the Bible, the gospel, transformation, church doctrine, ministry, missions, and ends with devotion to God.)
I ask for prayers for our Tallahassee region volunteer emeritus pastor Steven Bradford. He has lost a lot of weight and he is under doctor’s and sometimes hospital care. We ask prayer for Chuck Loopstra, our mission committee chairman, as he will undergo surgery and two weeks of chemotherapy, and for his family as they face health issues.
We give thanks that the MINTS Hispanic Program Coordinator, Esau Reyes, was invited to go to Chile, together with another pastor, Dr. Ernesto Ucan, to a conference of the National Presbyterian Church in Chile. The lectur es went well but Esau came home ill and had to recover.
The big project that has come to the foreground is to supply close to 300 inmate students with six issues a year of the magazine The Outlook.2 This will give our students solid reformed reading materials for this year.
On the local level it was good to participate in group Bible study as well as help a friend move his earthly possessions into a storage space. My four summers during university days as a United Van mover came in handy. February 12 – 18. I prepare sermon material in English and Spanish for 7 sermon assignments, that I will preach, Lord willing, in New Jersey, Michigan, and Texas in March. If you would like a copy of my sermon on THE LORD TAKES HIS PEOPLE TO COURT, Malachi 4: 1 – 6, email me at the end of March when I am finished preaching it. Feb. 19 – 28. The closing days of February are spent in reviewing my commentary on Matthew, upgrading my course on hermeneutics, reading doctoral and master level courses for students in Venezuela, Canada, and the US. Sandy takes care of our grandchildren, Ella Kate, and Jon Henry, while their parents, Jon and Amy competed in Wisconsin for the National Outstanding Young Farmers contest. They, and three other couples, won in their categories. We thank the LORD and are grateful for Jon and Amy, and all the family, friends, and farmers who have helped them in their life’s vocations! Granddaughter Ella Kate also played in her first basketball league. There were
4 teams of 8–10-year-olds boys and girls. The first game they only scored one point. They finished last after two months of practices and games. Then in the tournament, they beat the first place and second place teams and won the championship 17 – 11. Ella Kate “ruled the boards” and scored over half of her team’s points. She had learned well because her team practiced well, going over the plays and skills until they were committed to memory and motion. Just like Bible study. We must repeatedly study the Word, committing it to memory, and practice it.
The final days of February saw the approval of chaplain Charles Dause commentary on Revelation, a lecture on Times of Revival for a Venezuelan group, and lots of prison ministry administration and a zoom meeting. We are very encouraged by how the LORD is using His people for global as well as local missions.
Prayer list 3
Besides the Loopstras, Bradford and Reyes, pray for a minister whose daughter struggles with depression. March 6 Second presentation on Hermeneutics (in Spanish) at Walker State Prison
March 10. Classis meeting at Pompton Plains, New Jersey.
March 12. Preach at Preakness Valley and Pompton Plains Bible Church in New Jersey. March 17. Zoom lecture on “Times of Revival” for Venezuelan group.
March 19 Preach at Bethany and Dutton in Michigan
March 24 – 25. MINTS class with English speaking group in Houston, Texas.
1 Joel 2: 32; Acts 2: 21, Romans 10: 13.
2 The Outlook has a web page. You can also write to: Reformed Fellowship, Inc., 10857 W Parmalee Rd., Middleville, MI 49333. Or email@example.com 616-532-8510
3 Recommended reading: Paul E. Miller, A Praying Church. Becoming a People of Hope in a Discouraging World. Wheaton: Crossway, 2023..........................
March 25: Preached at Spanish service of Oaklawn PCA in Houston.
We still need about $2,400 to reach the goal of $8,100 for 6 issues of The Outlook, for 300 prisoners. We give thanks to all who have contributed. Is there someone who would like to manage this project for 2024?
Pray for MINTS workers who are struggling to raise support for their work. If you are able to help them, please contact me.
Sandy and I give thanks to the LORD for you, our faithful supporters. Thank you to the brothers, sisters, and families who sent cards this month. I spread them all around my library to remind me that we are a great team praying for the advancement of the kingdom of God through this small, insignificant teaching ministry called MINTS, that God is using to teach thousands of Christians in more than 70 countries, and 18 prisons.
Cornelius (Neal) Hegeman