Walter Isse is a native of Argentina, and is currently pastoring “La Iglesia del Salvador” church in Barranco, Lima, Peru.
One of my primary responsibilities is to preach the Word of God every Sunday. Some years ago I was carrying out this responsibility, but at the same time I had a full-time job alongside the ministry. The job was located far from my home, and between the two and a half hour commute and a nine hour workday it required much of my time. I devoted the additional time that I had to serving and being with my wife Gabriela and our two children, visiting the brothers and sisters of the church, preparing sermons each week, nourishing my own soul through personal times of devotion with our Lord Jesus Christ, and developing my own personal studies with the goal of growing in the knowledge of Christ and the Scriptures. I also tried to find time to spend with other pastors and friends in the faith to mutually edify one another and hold one another accountable in our lives before the Lord.
Perhaps at this point some of you are wondering why I am giving so many details about my life in the past when I worked a full-time job. I do so to show that a life of ministry has many demands and responsibilities, and with a full-time job, a pastor is often left without the necessary time to devote to the study of God’s Word, sermon preparation, and service to the members of the local church. While being a bi-vocational pastor or missionary can be a wonderful experience and at times necessary, it is also very difficult and even stressful to balance our responsibilities with family, friends, work, and ministry. But two years ago, through all those who are faithfully part of HeartCry’s ministry, the Lord began to give me the financial support I needed to be able to carry out my ministerial responsibilities full-time.
We do not cease to bless the Lord for this incredible mercy toward us! As a family we now find ourselves in a substantially different situation than what we had some time ago. Our time together as a family has increased and to be sincere, many of our financial concerns have been dispelled. Through the monthly support that we receive I can spend my time each day fulfilling my ministerial responsibilities before the Lord and to the church, and my wife is able to spend the day taking care of our children and our home. Through your offerings and sacrificial donations we have been enormously blessed.
Being completely dedicated to the work of the ministry has had an impact on me, now that I am able to spend more time in the study of God’s Word. As a result, it has also had an impact on the church that I serve, since they are being taught and nourished through the Word and their lives are being conformed to godliness. The time that I have to prepare to preach the Word with power and effectiveness is very important and crucial. We do know and understand that our sufficiency does not come from ourselves, but from God, and that we do not preach in words of human wisdom but in the demonstration of the Spirit and of power. Nonetheless, the time that we spend preparing to preach in order that our sermons will be used by the Lord Jesus Christ for the edification of His body is extremely important.
For an effective ministry and powerful preaching it is important that the minister spend time preparing himself before God. The work that we carry out is done first of all before God, and to seek to rightly handle the Word of Truth is a serious duty because we are not teaching our own ideas, but the Word that God Himself inspired in order for His people to know His will.
For all of the reasons that I’ve mentioned, I give thanks to God for being able to now spend the necessary time carrying out the important ministry of studying the Scriptures to faithfully teach them. I must say that I would not be able to do so without the support that my good God and Father provides through those who give sacrificially. I finish by profoundly thanking the Lord for all the brothers and sisters that contribute through HeartCry in order that I might devote myself full-time in service to God.
May the words of the apostle Paul in I Corinthians 15:58 be a continual encouragement for all those who participate in the Great Commission by means of giving and praying for those who go: “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.”