I saw this write up from years ago and I asked Pastor Leonard Navarre (pictured above during one of his mission trips to India) if he thought I should post it, even thou it was written a few years ago. Leonard said it ”needs to be said.”
The other picture attached to this story at the top is of the filth and poverty in India.
My Dear mentor Pastor Leonard Navarre is such a giving man, a humble man who has spent his entire life serving God and all people, has been to India on mission trips. That is how I first met Leonard, he had just returned from India and another mentor of mine, Pastor Don Kimbro called me at KKIM Radio and said ‘you have to interview this Pastor from Edgewood about his mission trip to India’. Thanks to Pastor Don it was the start of a wonderful, blessed friendship.
I am always sadden when Christians ‘flash’ their wealth around, while many starve and live in filth. Not acceptable in my favorite book, which is the Bible. I love what the great evangelist Smith Wigglesworth said, “I want people to see Jesus in me, not Wigglesworth!” I do not think people see JESUS in fancy cars, homes, Churches. When I travel New Mexico I see such poverty. We our at the bottom in the well-being of children, many only have one good meal a day. My son Lars called me yesterday weeping at all the homeless people in his walk to work. My mentors have never drove or lived in a fancy, dancy car or built a mansion for themselves. I remember Pastor Marvin Capehart, who at the end of his life was still a circuit preacher here in New Mexico, he was always driving a van or car that was all ‘beat up.’ The JESUS Car’ that was donated to us by Pastor Ruben and Lucy Gomez of Midland, Texas is still running and on its way to 160,000!!! When Pastor Leonard lived here here he drove a truck with many miles on it. I know more than one Pastor that has gone without a car for a long period of time until they were able to get one. One time the Pastor that was filling in at FBC in Reserve had his van destroyed by an ELK! One of my mentors lives in the Church he serves. I don’t know a Pastor with a new car or a fancy, dancy home, we walk in faith that JESUS will provide for us and HE sure does, in ways that AWE ME! If JESUS were here on earth I do not beleive he would live a fancy, dancy life. I also shake my head on why Churches don’t look like Churches anymore. That is going to rub many the wrong way, but that is my thoughts. No steeple, no bell..yes I am an old man who loves the Churches of old…….Churches now look like the world. Many look like college campuses. We will see what JESUS says all about this when we get to Heaven.
Throw me up a tent and we will have Church! Amen!
When Pastors Live in Multimillion Dollar Mansions, It’s Not a sign of God’s Blessings, But Our Sinfulness
From Pastor Leonard Navarre:
On of the greatest joys accorded to me has been able to travel to numerous countries to preach the Word of God and represent Christ body here in the US to other countries. One of my favorite mission trips was to India of which I have been 6 times. The visual of deep poverty, sheer hopelessness in the faces of so many is overwhelming. However, the bright shining faces of fellow believers as we shared the Lord’s Supper together. Hope in Jesus Christ is the difference between sad faces and joy unspeakable in the lives of fellow believers.
One of the highest joys (of which I have hundreds) was able to share Jesus Christ to an Indian Air Force soldier on the train to Agra, home of the Taj Majal. He accepted Jesus and our missionary evangelist discipled him and baptized him. Praise the Lord.
Another joy on our trips was to provide for the physical needs of so many. The needs are so overwhelming.
Here’s the stats as to where the funds were used on my one of my India Mission trips.
* Funded meals for over 500 orphans and staff at the Tribal Childrens Home for 1 year.
* Provided rice, wheat, blankets and sari’s (clothes) for over 100 widows in a village near the mission. These widows were to receive $5.00 per month (YES, per month) but by the time the local officials had skimmed the top, the widows only received @ $2.00.
* Provided funds to buy 55 children out of slavery. Each child bought AND their family are placed under the care of a local congregation so that the slavery will not be repeated. Also, the congregation and evangelist are able to witness and disciple these families for our Lord Jesus Christ.
* Provided rice, wheat, candy, cookies, pencils and vitamins to over 200 children of the Children’s Food Project.
* Provided funding for food, lodging and expenses for over 300 evangelist who attended the two day Leadership Conference.
*Provided 12 motorcycles for mission evangelist.
*Provided bicycles to all the Bible college students.
Those are just the “hard” facts. But, there are many stories that go along with these facts. In future blogs I will share my experiences especially the sacrifice of mission evangelist who travel to unreached areas of India and suffer unbelievable persecution from the opposing religious organizations.
Our team was able to preach to thousands and witness many, many decisions for Jesus Christ. During this pandemic our missionary team and mission have ministered to thousands who have lost their income, their homes, suffered poverty and displacement. This mission has provided food, shelter and clothing plus providing medical assistance to a district of 3 million where the mission hospital is the only source of medical care in the area. More importantly they have gone under the banner of our Lord Jesus Christ and witnessed for Him to thousands.
I don’t mention their names for fear of further hardship and persecution.
However, I do ask you to join me and pray for our missionaries around the world. Pray for the persecuted church. Pray for those who are witnessing for our Lord Jesus Christ inspire of persecution, hardship and even death.
May we all be humbled by their dedication and perseverance. I pray that we believers will be strong in our faith and in our witness to our family, neighbors and co-workers as shining examples of what our Jesus Christ has done for us. May we bonding share the grace, mercy and salvation of Jesus Christ to all.
I am praying for you and your families,