Upcoming Trip to the U.S.A.

This will be the last newsletter I will write while I am in Peru. The next one I will write will be when I am in the STATES! Please pray for me as I have only 17 days left here in Peru before I board a plane to go the states for a time of sabbatical and furlough. I have so many things to do. Would you please pray specifically for:

  • August 18th, 17 mormon missionaries will be coming over on their off day to eat tacos and play games. This is ONLY something God could put together. Please pray that I will share the gospel with truth and grace and that they would be receptive.
  • I have several people I need to talk about salvation with before I leave. Please pray that they would understand and put their faith in Christ. These people have heard the gospel for years through Para Peru ministry; please pray that these seeds would come to fruition. A couple of these conversations are going to be extremely hard for various reasons. Please pray for me for wisdom.
  • Please pray that I would be able to get everything set up with appointments and speaking engagements in the States. I still have a few more openings to speak at churches that I would like to fill up. If you would like for me to share with your church; I would be happy to do so!
  • Also, Elar, my intern will be coming to the states for 3 1/2 weeks while I am there. Please pray for our church as we will be both be gone for almost a month. Pray that leaders will step up and really take the lead in the ministry. There is so much to do to prepare for furlough, but I know this is exactly what God has for me to do at this time.

I would love to see you while I am home, send me a message on facebook or by email so we can set up a time to hang out. Elar is friends with many of you guys too, and he is looking forward to hanging out with people that he has met on mission trips over the years. Let me know if you would like me to set up a time to get together with him. I am so excited to see my family, friends, and eat some Chick-Fil-A! See you soon!

Baptisms, Birthdays, and Beaches- OH MY!

May was definitely a month to remember. We baptized 9 believers, I turned 30, and so much more. I am going to share briefly some of the main highlights of May.

  • May 2018 was one of the best months up to date. It was incredible to see people asking to get baptized. They had actually been waiting on me to set up the service; they were so excited. Each of the 9 people that got baptized are new believers. I talked to each one of them individually about their salvation, each one explained to me in great detail their belief in Jesus and the gospel. We also then talked through exactly what baptism means and everyone fully understood it before they were baptized. Most of these people’s families are Catholic which made it a harder to take this important decision as a Christian to publicly announce to the world that they are believers, yet they did! I am so proud of them. They invited their non- believing family members and friends and many came. One lady experienced great persecution from her family, and she backed out of getting baptized, but the night before she decided she was going to do it. She understood that Jesus was more important than what her family thought/ how they treated her. All glory to God for the great things He has done.
  • May 23rd was my 30th birthday. I have almost lived in Peru a decade; almost all of my 20s have been here serving Jesus in Peru. My good friends Michael and Jessica were coming down to visit me on my actual birthday, so the Peruvians were super sneaky and did a surprise party before my actual birthday! The entire church was there and everyone pitched in to help. It was decorated beautifully, there were great snacks, two cakes, a piñata, a clown, a person in a bugs bunny costume, and a girl made me this beautiful box that unfolded with a tons of cards from our church members. I felt so loved! It was a great celebration!
  • We also went to the homeless shelter again where my good friend Yolanda lives. We decorated visors and made name cards to go over their beds. We went to visit on a Peruvian holiday, so several youth from our church went and did a great job helping. We have been sharing the gospel using hand motions and using lots of repetition. We all explain the story of Jesus together, using simple phrases with motions. Some of the ladies there really understand the things we are teaching because they verbally express it. I have great hope and confidence that the others are learning too, just because they can not express themselves verbally does not mean they are not learning. The picture of Yolanda with a book is because they found out she knows how to read! I was in total shock. The therapist was working with them one day and found out she can read. She barely speaks, but she can read almost anything. That was just a great reminder of all that God is doing in Yola’s life. We don’t know much about her life, but sometime before I found her on the street she had been educated and had a different life. I am hoping to take her a children’s Bible story book so she can start reading about God. I am so excited!

Baptisms, Birthdays, and Beaches- OH MY!

Noticias de Abril

April was a month filled with all kinds of different ministry activities. I am going to list a few highlights of the month.

  • We had our church-wide birthday party celebrating the birthdays of January – April. It was a great time of celebration, learning about how God forms us even inside of our mother’s womb, and the piñata as always was a blast.
  • Estefany aqquepucho graduated with her undergraduate degree in Administration. She was one of my very first friends in the orphanage. She is Elar and Max’s sister. I am so proud of her; she worked her way through college by herself and is the first one in her family to graduate with a college degree. I was also able to spend a lot of time with her mom, who I officially met for the first time after all of these years of knowing and loving her kids. Max, Elar, and I spent a couple of hours sharing the gospel with her. Please pray for Susanna as she doesn’t understand the gospel, that the Holy Spirit would reveal Jesus to her.
  • One of my favorite parts of the month was taking Jhon, Marta’s son, to Arequipa to start drug rehab. Marta had been pleading with me for years to get help for her son. A few years ago, CrossPointe community church gave money so that Jhon could go to rehab. It took him several years to finally get his ID card from problems in his paperwork that hadn’t been fixed from when he was born. He was so excited to get his ID card and was ready to go. He took his first plane ride with me and off we went to the mountains of Arequipa. He will be in a Baptist rehab center for a total of 9 months. It is a great place; the director and his family were amazing, the other staff members were so encouraging, and God’s creation is SO beautiful in this area. I am so excited to see what God will do in the life of Jhon with his addiction recovery but more importantly what He will learn about Jesus. I have hope that he will put his faith in Jesus during his time there.
  • Baby Liam, whom many have been praying for,  because he was 22% burned is out of the hospital! It is a miracle that ONLY the Lord could do. He is now walking, playing, has a smile on his face, and is SO much better. He still has a long road ahead of him with all kinds of therapy. Please pray for his continued recovery and that his parents will stay on his track with all of his many appointments as they are busy raising 3 other kids. Please pray for God’s provision for this family and wisdom for Liam’s parents.
  • I got to spend a weekend with my “Peruvian kids,” and we went to celebrate my other Peruvian son, Max’s, birthday. We ate pizza and watched a movie together. Then my kids helped me clean the ministry center and helped/ attended our Bible studies. I just love hanging out with my “Peruvian family.”
  • School started in March, and many of our church families still did not have school supplies even though it was April. Thanks to our regular donors we were able to buy them the essential supplies/ uniforms that they needed.
  • It has been so encouraging watching our neighborhood Bible study grow with more youth boys. After our youth retreat, several teenage boys who didn’t come before have started coming and even participate in all of our goofy games. Other young adults that normally play soccer on the court have also started coming too. I am excited to see God moving in these teenagers. Please continue to pray for them.

Noticias de Abril

March Madness

March News

March was an EXCELLENT month. I want to focus on the two main things that happened in the month of March: Meadowbrook Baptist Church coming for the first time and our 4th annual youth retreat.

Meadowbrook Baptist Church has been supporting me for many years financially and in prayer. They have been such a faithful church to the help Peru on the stateside. I have been really wanting them to come and experience Peru here on the field and see what their support has been going to. In 2017, Amy, minister to families from Meadowbrook, came down and checked out Peru. She helped with so many things, on a personal note; I had so much fun with her! This past March she came back, but this time brought 10 others with her. This group did not disappoint. They all had different gifts the Lord had given them and they used them for His glory!

The week was packed with tons of activities. We had 2 discipleship classes which Amy did a great job teaching. We did 6 carnivals which involved tons of fun game stations for the kids, the group acting out “Jesus feeds the four thousand” (which was hilarious), snacks, songs, and of course the most important, a gospel presentation. Since it was the last week of Peruvian summer we had a GREAT turnout. We had over 600 kids and adults come.

We also had a youth day to finish off the summer. Most of these youth helped me all summer in all of our Bible studies and summer events. They had a blast getting to take photo booth pictures and getting their pictures printed out immediately. They played all kinds of games with the group, we all ate lunch together, Gregg taught a devotional, and we ended the day with a water balloon fight that had over 500 balloons. I had been promising the youth all summer since they weren’t allowed to play in the kids balloon fights that we would have a huge epic water balloon fight at the end of summer. It did not disappoint,  I was pounded with balloons that hurt, the youth drenched me, but it was so much fun.

Also there was another amazing thing that happened while Meadowbrook was here. I did not realize this until they got here, but the team had 3 nurses that came. While they were here, I got a call that a boy named Liam, had fallen backwards into a huge frying pan on a camp style fire. These nurses all got together and talked about what needed to be done. God used them to help save this little boy’s life. One of the nurses took her tourist day and went with me to the hospital where he had just gotten admitted. We were able to jump through a lot of hoops and find out this was the best burn unit in all of Peru. We were able to talk with the doctor that would be part of his treatment plan, and we felt confident that they would be able to treat him there. If the team had not had nurses, I would have been so lost. Now little Liam after having 22 % of his body burned, is out of the hospital, doing therapy, and making an amazing comeback. This is just a reminder that God always knows what He is doing.

This was our fourth annual youth retreat. It in my opinion was the best of them all. We had 59 youth and sponsors, one pastor from the US, and 7 different cooks to pull the retreat off. The theme for this years retreat was: “The reasons why the resurrection really happened and how that impacts our lives today” Larry Reynolds did a great job sharing the historical and Biblical evidence why we can have 100% confidence to believe that the resurrection really did happen. Everyday we had a praise and worship time with a teaching time about the resurrection. After the teaching time, we split the guys and girls up to have a time of devotion, get to know each other in a deeper way, and discuss what we learned from our devotions. The youth wrote approximately 300 questions for Larry to answer about Biblical topics. Over 2 different days, he answered all of those questions Biblically. Some of the questions were very deep and the youth learned a ton.

Apart from the spiritual aspect, the theme was all about the world cup, since Peru is finally going to the world cup after 36 years of not qualifying. We had the youth divided into the same teams for the entire time: “Fifaton” vs. “Mundialon.” They did cheers, had team captains, were constantly competing with group games, and individual games, sports tournaments, and more. It really brought a fun excitement to the youth retreat, especially since the majority of the youth that came are not believers, so it really helped engage them.

Members from our church cooked almost all of the meals for the youth, we split the kids into guys and girls, and approximately 25 girls slept on the floor in the mission’s house and 25 boys in the ministry center. It was basically a 4 day youth camp with only two houses to do everything in. Everyone is already looking forward to the next retreat!

March Madness

Fabulous February

February News

Wow, SO MUCH happened in the month of February. There is no way to really describe it in a newsletter. The main thing that I saw happen was a group of youth faithfully come almost every single day of the summer to serve God. They would get here sometime as early as 8:30 in the morning on their summer break! A lot of days were very long (some 12 hour days) and super hot, but these youth did an outstanding job. On a daily basis there was normally 11 youth that would help Elar and I. Sometimes we would even have up to 22 people help us during some of our events during the summer. They knocked on thousands of doors, shared the gospel, read the Bible story, explained the Bible verse, lead the games, and the music. They sometimes actually argued over who got to share the gospel in the Bible study. It was an absolute joy to watch them grow in Christ and SHARE Him with others.

One day after Calle 10, our group had to split into 2 taxis because there were too many of us to fit into one. When I got out of my taxi the other youth from the other taxi excitedly told me how they shared the gospel and talked about Jesus, and what we were doing the entire way home to their taxi driver. They were so excited about doing it and my heart couldn’t have been happier. A lot of times it is hard to see the fruits/results here when you are in the midst of everything. It is such a refreshment when God gives me a glimpse of all that HE is doing. This was one of those moments.

Another huge highlight of February was that Jeremiah Smith and Holly Randall came to visit me and pour into me and the ministry. Holly and Jeremiah have become great friends of mine. This was Holly’s 3rd time to Peru and Jeremiah’s 2nd time. They were a great encouragement to me; they are so much fun to be around. They helped in all of our Bible trivia competitions, beach days, and lead a great youth night  which included a “snowball fight” in the desert. We are excited for them to come back soon!

Another great joy was that my Peruvian son stayed with me over summer break. He lived with me for about 6 weeks. I have known him and his brother and sister since they lived in the orphanage. I met him when he was 5. Since the first day I met him, he stole my heart, 8 years later he is still so precious to me. His older brother and sister had to work this summer, but he was able to spend the summer with me. It was so neat to watch him participate in everything. He gave his life to Christ at camp and his transformation was immediate. He LOVES sharing the gospel. He even told me one day that he  he had been thinking about creative ways to share the gospel, and he had thought up a way using rocks to explain the gospel. His rock idea was a little off and we had to correct it a little bit, but his passion is so great for Jesus. Please pray that his great passion for Jesus would continue now that school has started.

February activities:
  • 2 Pool days
  • 14 Bible studies in our weekly neighborhoods. At each Bible study we had water balloon fights using approximately 4,650 balloons in the month of February. In Peru, February is “water balloon fight” month. People literally throw water balloons at each other all during the month sometimes even hitting people they don’t know on purpose. We take advantage of the water balloon fun and add it to all of our weekly Bible studies.
  • 2 Sports tournaments
  • 6 discipleship classes
  • 4 Bible studies/outreach events with water balloon fights in neighborhoods that are prospective Bible study sites
  • 2 Beach days with our two discipleship groups
  • 1 youth night
  • 4 Bible trivia competitions in our 4 weekly bible study neighborhoods
  • 2 Bible trivia competitions with our 2 weekly discipleship classes.
As you can see it was a packed month. My favorite activity was watching the Bible trivia competitions and seeing how much the kids, youth, and adults have learned about the Bible. I can honestly say there were a lot of kids/adutls that didn’t know answers to the questions, which is disappointing to me, yet there was a very good group of kids that really knew the answers anda lot of the Bible verses.
The competition had 20 Bible verses that they had to know by memory. It was so impressive because a lot of the kids knew a lot of the verses. Mostly all of our youth knew between 13 to 20 verses by memory. In the youth and adult competition they couldn’t even miss one word or it didn’t count. There was one girl that knew all 20 verses perfectly. I was amazed. The Spanish language has a the word “el” or “la” in front of most of their nouns. They couldn’t even mess up with even one of those tiny words because the competition was so tight. I was so stressed being the judge because the first place winner of the verse competition literally one by two little words out of 20 verses.

I love seeing people memorizing God’s word. We do these competitions to encourage them to really retain what we learn in our weekly Bible studies and to help in their scripture memory. It is so neat seeing the timid ladies in Huaral that I met 7 years ago who would barely speak to me, competing in the competitions and knowing the answers! Praise God only He could accomplish this in the hearts and minds of the People in Peru.

Thanks to your generous support we are able to buy prizes for Bible trivia competitions, buy water balloons, do pool days and so much more. None of this would be possible without the financial and prayer support from each one of you. Thank you SO much!

Fabulous February