Swimming, Sports and Camps- OH MY!

January News

January was a month of unexpected surprises, good ones though! Some missionary friends had told me about a young adult camp that I should go to, to be able to meet other Christians my age. They didn’t know when it was, but they thought it was sometime in March. A couple months later, I was on the phone with problems with my computer for hours, so I just randomly decided to look up this camp while I was waiting. It just so happened that the young adult camp was actually happening in January. I started calling all the young adults in our church and four of us went to camp only 3 days later. The camp started on Thursday night and ended Sunday morning. We had a lot of fun together, learned a lot, and it was a great time of bonding.

All of our youth were super jealous of the young adult camp. I told them that we would have to save and do fundraisers and go to youth camp next year. It was something I had just found out about and next year we would try to go. I was talking to someone on the phone about our young adult camp, and the person asked me, “how much would it cost for your youth to go to camp?” I told her and she said, “you should do it, we will pay for it.” I was in shock!  We had already made our summer calendar for the months of January and February. January was super full already. We hadn’t given out the calendars yet, but it was almost impossible to shift all the activities. Even if we could make it work, getting youth camp together at the last minute seemed crazy. Although, my life here is always crazy, so I knew it wasn’t impossible to do. Elar, my intern, and I thought it through and we decided it would be best to start off the summer with youth camp instead of doing it in the middle of the summer. Since we live in Peru, most people we work with do not have money to do anything extra, therefore they are normally free to do things at the last minute. We got everything together in 4 days and 18 of us went to youth camp from Monday through Saturday.

We had a GREAT time. Our youth participated in all the camp activities. They really let loose and didn’t care about being “cool” like sometimes they are in their own neighborhoods. Some of our youth even won awards for being the best at soccer and basketball out of the entire camp. They learned cheers, played goofy games, had fun at the pool, but most of all they grew in their relationship with God. They had daily devotional times and worship services. We had five of our youth who have been coming for a long time finally put their faith in Christ. That was obviously the best part of camp!

Camp really bonded our youth together and this same group of youth helped almost everyday all summer long. They knocked on thousands of doors inviting people to Bible studies and all the other activities we did. They worked day in and day out in sharing the gospel and serving others. I am blown away by all God did this summer through these youth. We are still seeing fruit from this camp. Thank you to the generous donors who made this possible!

Right after camp, we took two different neighborhoods to the pool: Huaral and my neighborhood. We always share the gospel at every event we do, so all the parents and children heard the good news about Jesus at the pool!

We also had a sports tournament in the Keiko neighborhood. We used an illustration using a soccer field/ volleyball court to explain the gospel. I thought it would be a short presentation and that people would be in a hurry to keep playing volleyball. God had different plans, which I am so thankful for. We had a lady in the group ask all kinds of questions about who Jesus really is. She was very skeptical, but we were able to have great conversation with her and all the others listening. It is so amazing how God works in ways we never expect.

This is just the first part of our summer experience. February is packed full of other activities as well. Be on the lookout to hear about all of our water balloon fights in the month of February!

Swimming, Sports, and Camps- OH MY!

I’m Dreaming of a Hot Christmas

December News

WOW! There is no way to describe how many amazing things God did in the month of December! It was packed full of activities, but God’s love was definitely shared over and over again. I am just going to share the main things that happened this Christmas. The pictures hopefully will help you get a better glimpse of what December looked like.

  • 60 families from our church and other impoverished families received food baskets which included: sugar, rice, sardines, oil, chocolate, oatmeal, soup noodles, spaghetti noodles, spaghetti sauce, milk, beans, peas, cocoa, jelly, and tea.
  • 54 children and special needs women received clothes: pants, shirts, and shoes.
  • 3,500 gift bags were made for the Christmas shows. Each gift bag included: 2 bags of noodles, oatmeal, cocoa, cookies, tea, and candy. Besides the cookies and candy, everything other item in the gift bag are Peruvian staples.
  • Approximately 3,500 people came to our 10 Christmas shows.
  • 8 dress rehearsals for our Christmas shows, approx. 30 actors, and 10 shows in 10 different neighborhoods heard the entire Christmas story from birth to resurrection.
  • This year’s drama used 8 different presents to explain the story of the birth of Jesus to the resurrection of Jesus. In each box was a different item and a note/letter explaining the story. For example in one of the boxes were stuffed animal sheep, the letter in the box had the passage of scripture telling about the angels visiting the shepherds. The majority of people were very attentive and seemed to really like the drama. It was amazing to see thousands of people hear about Jesus.
  • We had our first ever Christmas celebration with the Special needs women’s home. My dear friend Yolanda lives there. We read the Christmas story, explained the good new of Jesus, made ornaments, decorated a Christmas tree, made Christmas tree crafts, ate lots and lots of snacks, and had a ton of fun. I hope this becomes an annual Christmas tradition.
  • We had 2 Carols and Candles services in both of our discipleship classes. Carols and candles, is exactly what it sounds like, it is where you sing Christmas carols and tell the story of Jesus birth using candles. We had a great crowd at both services. It is always one of my favorite times of the year. Of course, in addition to the Christmas service, we also always have to celebrate by eating Paneton (Christmas fruit cake) and drinking hot chocolate (even though it is the summer)!
  • Claire Van Arsdale, a UTA student and passionate follower of Jesus, came 3 weeks over her Christmas break to help us. It was great having someone to help at the last weekend of shows, help do the clothes shopping, and help with all the activities at the end of December. It was also great for me to make a new friend and get to celebrate Christmas with a gringa. Everyone hopes that Claire comes back soon!
Last but definitely not least, THANK YOU for being a part of everything that went on this Christmas. We could never do all of these Christmas shows/ activities without your generous financial donations and prayers. Every year, God uses people in the United States to provide for our all of Christmas expenses. We definitely could feel your prayers and see them at work. All glory to God for the great things HE has done. He is the only One who could pull all of this off, and we are so grateful to serve such a mighty and powerful God.

I’m Dreaming of a Hot Christmas- 12/2017