Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Sunday, December 6, 2009
Thank you so much for your prayers. We've had a good and busy week. We are anticipating a busy couple of weeks as Jeff will be in a jungle area with a team from Mississippi and Liesa, Haylee, and Jackson will be finishing up this semester at school and getting ready for our trip to the States for Christmas.
Haylee had a guitar recital here at the house this afternoon. Here is a video of some of that...
As you can see she has certainly learned a lot in a short amount of time.
Thank you so much for your prayer support and for all of you who support us financially through your giving to the Cooperative Program through your local Southern Baptist Church and the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering. Please pray that the financial situation improves for our mission organization, International Mission Board. Without financial support, our missionary force will continue to see a decline in number.
Thursday, December 3, 2009
- Grace Baptist Church from Kentucky.
- McNeese State University Baptist Campus Ministry.
- West Heights Baptist Church from Pontotoc, Mississippi.
- Immanuel Baptist Church from Colorado.
- Bryan Baptist Association from Oklahoma.
- Oklahoma Baptist University Baptist Campus Ministry.
We are grateful for each of you. Thank you so much for your prayers!
Monday, November 23, 2009
Please join us in praying for...
- Our Language School (Costa Rica!) friends will be joining us for a Thanksgiving Day celebration. Even though Peru is missing out on the Thanksgiving holiday, we plan to celebrate with the Bredbenner's, Pennington's, and McLamb's. We were all neighbors in Costa Rica during Language School and its going to be good to be together for the week. Please pray for safe travel for the Bredbenner's and Pennington's.
- Student Teams from Mississippi (Several colleges!), McNeese State, and Oklahoma Baptist University will be working in Peru during December. Please pray for them as they prepare to come and serve.
- Pray for the missionaries who suffer during this time of year as they are separated from their families.
- Pray for the Henderson family as they finish up in Costa Rica and head to Peru in just a few days.
- Pray for increased giving to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering.
Sunday, November 22, 2009
9. No calls to Mr. Hovious' office at OHS because of my top ten list.
8. Sling Box!
7. Vonage and Skype.
6. Unlimited Travel Accounts. (Just kidding, Boots!...And Terry and Jerry, too.)
5. Caleb, Luke, and Elijah, Jack, Katie, Grace, Jordan, and Trevor...and Hope on the way although we don't know her personally yet but we're sure we're gonna love her.
4. The night sky in the jungle.
3. Our REAP North Peru Team.
2. The prayers of so many people.
1. Being supported by so many Southern Baptist Churches.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Monday, November 16, 2009
Thursday, November 12, 2009
We want to thank all of you who pray regularly for our family. Every day we sense the prayers of many people as we try to do the work the Father has called us to do. Thank you so much for the way you love us and support us through prayer. We do want to share with you some prayer requests...
- Please continue to pray about your part in giving to this year's Lottie Moon Christmas Offering. It was announced this week that there will be a 10% reduction in the IMB missionary force during the next year. This is terrible news for so many around the world who have yet to hear about Jesus.
- Please pray for our REAP North Peru team. Although this month only 7 teams are working with us there is much work to be done for 2010. Pray that we will have wisdom as we plan for the upcoming year.
- MOST OF ALL... please pray that those here in Peru who have never heard about Jesus will hear about Him.
Sunday, November 8, 2009
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Monday, November 2, 2009
This past week has been a great one. Our home folks from First Baptist Oxford, MS came to begin their ministry among the Lamista Quechua people in Northern Peru. A team of ten doctors, nurses and helpers came to do four days of medical ministry in Lamas, Bella Vista, and Pamashto.
Here's a photo of the team...
This team of folks did an amazing job of visiting in the homes of many people. They used medical ministry to gain access to the homes of hundreds of people. Over 140 people accepted the offer of eternal spiritual healing through Jesus. Hundreds more received temporary physical help. We were able to distribute a large amount of medicines, vitamins, and worm/parasite treatment. Thank you to all of you who prayed for this project.
Sunday, November 1, 2009
Thursday, October 22, 2009
- The team from Grace in
Kentuckydid a medical clinic as their way of beginning relationships in the de Andamarca region. This love shown by members of this team for each other and for the people was evident enough to the people that in more than one pueblo, they were asked if they were Christians. Just their service to the people gave opportunities to share the love of Jesus with some in the communities and helped lay a foundation that will be useful for other trips in that area. And, the good name that was created on this first trip will hopefully bring benefits in the future. Santa Cruz
- Bryan Baptist Association sent a team down to work in Atalaya,
and Ungurahual. They did house to house witnessing. San Antonio
- One of our translators was asked to lead the Saturday service for the church on the Nanay river one day. He storied and I think that it was great to have a Peruvian lead the service and there were 4 adults that came forward to accept Christ and several children.
- The school children of Tucna sang the Peruvian national anthem for us. They then wanted me to sing the Star Spangled Banner. Another team member and I did, then we sang Jesus Loves Me. We then shared the gospel with them and several said they had accepted Christ. (It is reported that 20 kids accepted Christ.)
Monday, October 19, 2009
Friday, October 16, 2009
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Thank you so much for praying and supporting the work here. Your prayers are such a blessing in so many ways. September has been a good month with some time to catch our breath from a busy 'winter'...that's summer in the United States. We've had a good month of work and we're getting ready for things to get turned up a notch as October and November are looking to be busy months for teams coming to Peru.
Please pray for our Vision Conference this week. This is a new idea where we invite churches to come to Peru for training and to go on a Vision Trip. We have groups headed to the Amazon region and to the mountain areas. We have churches coming from Texas, Kansas, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, Colorado, and Florida. This is going to require a lot of work but we are excited about the possibilities.
Please pray for:
- The serious budget shortfall at the IMB.
- Wisdom for the church leaders attending the Vision Conference.
- Safety for our REAP North Peru personnel and the leaders from U.S. churches who will be traveling thousands of miles this week.
- Haylee and Jackson as they grow up here in Peru.
- Wisdom for Jeff and Liesa as we make decisions for our family and our REAP North Peru team.
Sunday, September 20, 2009
- BOOTS AND KATIE HOLDER
Leaders for REAP work in North Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia
- JEFF AND LIESA HOLEMAN
Leaders for REAP work in North Peru
- JEREMY AND CRYSTAL NELSON
Iquitos / Amazon Region
- TOMMY SMITH
Huaraz / Huaylas Valley Region
- DAVID AND CAMERON OLSON
- JOHN WILSON
Huancayo / Mantaro Valley Region
- MINDY McCORD
Lima / Student Ministry
- CHRISTINE JACKSON
Lima / Research and Logistics
- JESSICA DOOLEY
Lima / Media
- SANDI BRIDGES
Lima / Interpreters
- And pray for Amber Smith, Jake and Dodie Glover, and Brian and Felicia Henderson who are in language school in Central America.
Thank you so much for your love and support.
Monday, September 14, 2009
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Most of you who know us well know that our journey to serve as missionaries has been a lengthy one. It was several years ago that we first began to sense God's leading to serve Him in this way. We can look back and see how God has provided for our every need and has given us strength to overcome the challenges that we face. Your prayers for us have been so important in this journey. Thank you for praying.
As we've said all along...even to those hiring us as missionaries...we don't have long range plans. We stopped doing that several years ago when we didn't really have a clue as to where our Father was leading us. We are simply taking one day at a time...seeking to be faithful to the One who is the definition of faithfulness. We are very fortunate to work with some great people in a very blessed mission agency but our commitment is to our Lord. We are always praying for God to show us where He wants us to serve. As we pass two years of mission service we want to continue to seek His plan and to obey it at all costs.
We are so blessed to have so many praying for us. Thank you for your partnership with the work here in Peru. Your prayers are much more important than any work we can do. There are so many people more qualified and could be so much more effective at doing what we are doing. Your prayers fill the gap between our inadequacies, fears, and failures and what the work here actually requires. Thank you so much.
Friday, September 11, 2009
Monday, September 7, 2009
After many long weeks of helping our mission teams do their work we enjoyed a weekend of REAL football. The blessings of SLINGBOX are too numerous to count, but, the biggest was seeing the Ole Miss Rebels defeat Tiger High on Sunday afternoon. We even pulled out the box of Velveeta we had been saving for a special occasion and made Ro-tel cheese dip this weekend. Fun times!
This week was a busy week as we have been preparing for an upcoming conference here with churches from the United States who are interesting in working here in Peru. We also were blessed to have the folks from International World Changers here to do some site visits for ministry projects in 2010. The summer of 2010 is looking to be huge summer for students here in Peru.
We are excited to have completed our second phase of language learning requirements. Kaleidoscope is finished! Our fellow IMB missionaries serving in the Americas Affinity will know what that means.
Haylee and Jackson have had a busy week at school. Haylee is looking forward to her 13th birthday this Friday. Jackson is continuing to learn the value of school...well, not really, but we plan on helping him with that.
We are so thankful for those of you who are praying for us. During September we have 4 mission teams from the U.S. coming to work in Northern Peru. We also are preparing for our Vision Conference on October 1 when 7 churches will be coming to investigate Peru. Please continue to pray!
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Jeff traveled to the Tarma, Peru area with a representative from a church in California so that they could investigate an area where churches might be planted in the future. They traveled mountain roads for 3 days searching for villages that were looking for help in starting churches. They found people hungry to know more about the story of Jesus and the hope He brings to life. Many of these people live within the shadow of decades old Catholic church buildings that are open only once or twice per year. Many have no copy of God's Word, and if they do, they don't know how to study it. Pray for them.
Liesa has been busy working here at the house in the office. Her job involves coordinating the logistics for the teams that are working here in Peru. She makes sure they have all they need to get their work done. Pray for her as she has so many things to keep up with.
Haylee and Jackson continue to grow up every day. They amaze us by the way they adapt to the challenges of living in a foreign place. We are thankful for those of you who make sure they are 'covered' in prayer each day.
We are approaching two years of service with the International Mission Board, working for our Southern Baptist Churches. We are thankful for your support through prayer and through giving to the Cooperative Program and the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering. There have been some weary days as of late and the knowledge that so many are supporting us is a great reminder and a wonderful encouragement.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Thursday, August 13, 2009
You're going to need to take the time to read all of this. So many of you pray and never get to see what God does. Through these words of testimony you can SEE where YOUR WORK THROUGH PRAYER is having such an impact here in Peru...
From the Mantaro Valley...
We went to Huancayo with the NOBTS group and I was expecting to assist in small ways and teach my assigned class. However, God had a different plan that involved 14 plus hour days of buying food, watching the budget, delivering food to the church for about 30 people for breakfast, 50+ for lunch and around 200 for supper each day. That meant we shopped for supper for one day and breakfast and lunch for the next day after breakfast each morning. It required us to go to the “open air” market each day where everyone seemed to operate in a different “time” zone, then go to Plaza Vea for everything else each day.
Then we returned to the church and attempted to get everyone on the same page for preparing supper which was trying and sometimes funny as much of the help was not used to preparing for 200 people and they also seemed to operate in the same “time” zone as the people in the market, where one is not concerned with the clock, just concerned with finishing the task whenever it gets done. And, we were trying to do this with just one faucet that worked.
But, as the week progressed we were able to get a second faucet working, buy enough cups for all to have a drink at the same time, get some needed items for the kitchen, get dishes washed between the feeding of the two shifts, and, most important, by the end of the week we had learned to love one another and put aside differences for the sake of the cause/task God had laid before us and at the same time come to appreciate each other much more through mutual respect and the fact that we recognized each other as brothers and sisters in the same family, the Family of God.
And, with the efforts of all we were under budget and were able to give those involved in the conference very good meals and on the last day they were able to use that training to the joy of a large number who came to know Christ through God blessing the efforts of the attendees. And, each of us, once again, were amazed at how God puts the right people in the right place to get accomplished the tasks that need to be done.
We storied the story of Peter and John going to the temple and healing the paralytic and then we went over the questions and had good participation from the group of listeners in the pueblo joven. Before the prayer I asked that anyone who might want to have a relationship with Christ talk to the pastor’s wife and before we departed one woman asked to talk to the pastor’s wife and accepted Christ.
From the Amazon (Student Missionary from Ole Miss)…
A special memory for me while sharing the Bible came about when we came to a village that we knew did not have much knowledge of Jesus. This meant setting a foundation about God, so we started memorizing the Bible, yes the entire Bible. When the day came we went to a man's house and started telling stories starting with creation and ending with the ascension of Jesus. That was exhausting and I wasn’t even responsible for the majority of the stories. Nevertheless, God was at work and by the end of the day a man accepted Christ as his Savior.
From the Amazon Storying Team…
“On the first night in the village of Catalan Urco, when our team was explaining what we would be doing during our stay, a man in the village asked if we would share about repentance. Later in the week this man received Christ!”
“I really enjoyed going into a member of the community’s home and sharing our Bible Stories for hours. The men and their wives listened so intently and asked questions about what they had heard. We took a break and they came and found us later that night and asked to hear the rest of the stories. It was encouraging to me that they were so interested in hearing stories from the Bible.”
“The reception that we got in Vainilla was amazing. We were met at our boat by the community. They helped us load and unload all of our stuff. A girl named Caila would come to walk me to church every evening and then walk the “gingas” home. It was so refreshing to see the community welcome us with open arms, through their children as well as their adult church family. We were shown the pure love of God by them.”
“One of my most special moments was when we were in Vainilla at the church there and I got to share the Bible story about the fall of man and then later the gospel. I’ve never shared the gospel in front of a large group of people and especially not in relation to an Old Testament story. “
“I will never forget sharing the story of creation and other cherished Bible stories as well as the gospel of Christ to a people group (segment) who have never heard before while under a huge gorgeous sky of stars. It was amazing to directly share the goods news that has given me life, hope and purpose! I felt so confident and filled with joy because I was investing all that I had, every day into things that are eternal and of infinite worth and value.”
More from the Amazon Basin…
“To be in such a remote area with the Iquito people and to see their friendly welcome was a fantastic blessing. They are a simple people with many needs. We planted many seeds of the gospel this trip that will come into fruition someday. The team did a wonderful job in working with the people. We saw some really encouraging results at this early stage in our ministry with the Iquito. We pray that we will see a mighty spiritual awakening take place among these unique people over the next five years.”
“ During the trip we went and talked to people daily and people came to church and we saw a lot of fruit after a couple of days of being there. We saw several people give their lives to Christ. Another lady was really sick and not able to move and we found out a little later that she is stable. Seeing one person healed and seeing a person accept Christ is enough. Praise the Lord for His plan and our roles in it.”
“Sunday morning was our first full day in the jungle. Before church, Scott Thomas, a summer missionary, gathered up all the children and played a game with them. Too see their smiling faces was something so simple but a huge blessing to me. All Scott did was invest a little bit of his time into their lives and attempt to show them a good time and to show them the love of Jesus. It paid off for the children and for us as well.”
“I was thrilled to see the light of Christ in the eyes of a new believer in the village of Nueva Atalaya. Several came forward the last night of our meetings in San Antonio but this new believer in Nueva Atalaya was special. This young lady, as I understand it, is the first new believer there in over 10 years.”
From riding around Lima in a taxi…
A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to converse with a taxi driver about the major differences between his Catholic beliefs and my relationship with Christ. He was very receptive and agreed that it is a relationship with Christ, yet he was still very proud of the mini saint shrine on the panel of his car and the importance of that to his faith. I pray the Holy Spirit will do a work in the feeble words I had to offer during that afternoon ride.
Keep praying. You are so important to the work here!
Monday, August 10, 2009
Friday, August 7, 2009
We have been blessed with the arrival of Steve Griffin from Mississippi. Steve was in the youth group at First Baptist Oxford during our years there and Steve's mom and Liesa worked together at the Mississippi Tax Commission. Steve (and his buddy, Elliot) left on a bus yesterday for the mountains around the Mantaro Valley. They'll be there for two weeks teaching discipleship and loving on the people there. Hopefully he'll lose all of his Mississippi State shirts while he's up there.
We have said good-bye to all of our summer student missionaries. We had over 200 high school and college students serve with our team this summer. What a blessing! We are so grateful for the hard work they have done and the sacrifice these students made during their time here. Some were in some incredibly difficult situations and were able to do some great ministry work.
Haylee and Jackson have a few more days remaining in their winter break. They begin their new school year on August 12 with Haylee entering 7th grade and Jackson going into 5th grade. They are growing up fast! Pray for them as their new school year begins.
August is a 'SLOW' month with only 12 teams coming in to work with us. Pray that their work would be effective and multiplied.
As you may know, giving to the Cooperative Program and Lottie Moon Christmas Offering has seen a steep decline over the past year. Because of this many of our team members may be leaving us within the next few months. Please pray with us that more workers will be available for the harvest fields of Peru.
Monday, July 27, 2009
Thank you for praying! On this ministry trip...
- 27 kids responded to a clear presentation of the gospel. Their names are Sheila, Leonela, Matilde, Cani, Luci, Cacilda, Gladys, Borac, Victoria, Franklin, Oseas, Werener, Octilia, Marilia, Mayolixa, Jessica, Ibelia, Floripe, Bocio, Milca, Lurde, Yois, Edgar, Manger, Cleve, Malqui, and Elodia.
- Church leaders from 5 area villages were trained in Chronological Bible Storying from the books of 1 & 2 Samuel and 1 & 2 Kings. They do not have these books written in their native language.
- Medical help was provided to over 30 villagers for parasites and other various infections.
- Eyeglasses were provided for several villagers.
Thank you for praying for us and God's work here in Peru. Thank you for giving to the Cooperative Program and the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering.
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
- We had 20 different mission teams work with us in June. Each did a tremendous job taking the LIGHT of JESUS to the dark places of Peru.
- One team shared the gospel with 250+ people in their village!
- One team came across a jungle village that had never heard of a CREATOR. The process of telling the story of the Bible has started with them.
- While walking the streets of Tarma doing evangelism a man asked the group to come to his house and tell his wife the good news of Jesus. They did. She is now a follower of Christ.
- One team was able to distribute 125 Bibles to people who did not have one.
Here are some other stories for you...
- From the Amazon Region...
Bryan Baptist Association are holding morning & evening services in 3 villages for an 8 day period. Each message/story from the Bible is centered around forgiveness of sin, Christ’s love & God reaching out to us and that he desires a relationship with us.
- From International World Changers...
There is so much to tell about the International World Changers that came to work in and around Canta! The group I had the privilage of working with was incredible. We spent most of our time in Obrajillo at the preschool, sharing the love of Christ with the children and teachers. Though we encountered opposition and were not welcomed in the elementary, we were able to spend some great time prayer walking through the village. Later in the week, we travelled to Huacos and were warmly welcomed to spend several hours with the few students there and share the storying beads with them.
- From the Northern Conchucos...
In June, a group of 22 from First Baptist Church Jackson MS shared the Gospel and held a medical clinic in the village of Conopa in the Northern Conchucos. While there, we invited those who were "serious" about being disciples of Jesus to come to a special Bible study on the following Sunday. The video La Esperanza was shown. A crowd of over 70 people responded and some had walked as long as 1 1/2 hours to get there. It was obvious they were there as a result of what they had seen and heard during the medical clinic.
- From one of our Journeygirls…
When I was with the Canta group, I served on the San Buenaventura team. One of the things the whole group had learned was the Redeemer skit. We were working in a very small school of very young children. There was some doubt as to how well the young kids might understand the meaning of the skit. Someone, however, came up with the idea to teach the children the skit and have them act it out. They were explained the meaning of the skit as well as able to interact with the team and be part of the skit. The Gospel was presented several times throughout the week, but I think this one truly helped them to be part of it and see what the Gospel really means.
- From the Amazon Region…
Where do I begin….? Satan tried to attack our mission in almost every aspect of this trip but we stayed faithful as individuals and as a group and God prevailed! I feel so blessed and humbled and happy to be able to witness to people so hungry to hear God’s Word. To witness to someone, them accept Christ, and then ask you to speak to their family is the most amazing feeling. I know I have grown spiritually during this mission.
- From a faithful prayer warrior….
After praying for 19 years the Lord allowed me to come to Peru. I have prayed for this country because of friends who have served here. To come and feel the presence of God as we served was amazing. What stands out to me was how the Holy Spirit broke through the language barrier and it was as if we were no longer strangers but friends. In Catalon Urco we shared and asked questions. None of the people knew who had created the Earth or where they would spend eternity. We started with the story of Creation and stopped. My prayer is that seeds planted will be received and grow. The darkness was so evident.
- From the Andes mountains….
Baptism is a tough topic to teach, explain, and discuss with a lot of these Peruvians because of the Catholic influence in that area. There was an old man who wanted to know more about baptism. We explained it and the next night, in front of all his people, he said he wanted and needed to be baptized! That meant that we were actually getting through to them.
Thank you for your prayers and your giving to the Cooperative Program and the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering!
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Liesa has been busy coordinating the logistical arrangements for our mission teams that are coming and going. It has been great to be able to serve our partner churches and enable them to minister more effectively here in Peru.
Just a reminder...our work here in Peru is to partner with Southern Baptist churches to plant churches among the unreached, indigenous peoples of Peru. We have seen amazing things happen here through our REAP North Peru Team and through our partner churches. Thank you for praying.
Liesa, Jeff, Haylee and Jackson are off to the Tambo River for the next two weeks to help a team from South Carolina minister to the people in a village there. We'll be traveling for two days...one by truck and one by boat to reach this community. Please pray for safety for those traveling.
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
One BAD thing that is happening is a transportation strike here in Peru. Strikes like this are not uncommon but are definitely a nuisance to our work. We have had teams from Clarksdale, MS and Hernando, MS have to stop their work and return to Lima. Jeff is trying to get out of Lima today with a team from Georgia. We have 9 mission teams in different parts of Peru today.
Please pray for their safety and that the work would be able to continue.
Sunday, June 28, 2009
Hey you all. Thank you so much for your prayers for us. You are a vital part of the work here.
We've had a good, busy week with all of our REAP North Team members busy doing their work. God has been good to protect us as we've traveled and worked in so many different places.
On Monday, Jeff, his mom, and Courtney Hunter traveled to the Huaylas Valley to check on two teams of college student missionaries working there. It was good to be able to be with them for a couple of days and to see and hear about the great things they are a part of in Recuay and Aija.
Liesa has been busy coordinating the work of our volunteer teams from the office here in Lima. She has to schedule transportation, hotels and handle other logistical needs for our Strategy Coordinator churches. She has to deal with flight cancellations, road blocks by striking Peruvian groups and a host of other distractions.
Haylee and Jackson are busy finishing up their school year. Their 'winter' break begins on July 2 and they'll be out of school for about six weeks. They are looking forward to the break. Haylee will be traveling with Jeff on a trip to the Mantaro Valley...this will be her first translating assignment. Jackson will be enjoying a little time on the couch with the Wii and Playstation. We all head to the jungle to a village on the Tambo River during the last two weeks of July where we'll be working with a church from South Carolina.
We have more college students arriving this week to work on various projects. We're excited that Ole Miss is sending us Scott Thomas and that USM is sending us Danielle and Whitney and Mississippi State is sending us Eric English...they're Mississippi folks so we're especially proud of that. They are among the almost 200 students that will work with us on different projects this summer.
Please continue to pray for the safety of our volunteer teams and our REAP North Team members. Pray for health as well. Most of all, pray that the gospel will be communicated clearly and that the process of discipleship would continue in the lives of the indigenous people here in Peru.
Please pray specifically for...
- Haylee and Jackson as they wind down their school year.
- Courtney Hunter as she travels back to the States Sunday night.
- My mom as she travels back to the States on Tuesday night.
- Our new team member Christy Holcomb as she arrives this week.
- Our new team members David and Cameron Olson who arrive this week.
- Leadership to develop for church starts in Aija and Recuay.
Thank you so much. We'd love to hear what is going on with your family! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Thursday, June 18, 2009
- I had a group of college students down in the area where I work and I think we had about 9 people come to faith from all of the places that we worked at. Six of these new believers got saved in a little place called Orcotuna and these people are ready to be apart of the church that is there and to start growing. Most of the students from the US taught in schools about how to be a person of valor. They taught about respecting others, respecting themselves and loving God. It was neat because I think from all of the places we taught nearly 1,000 kids in the Monterro Valley about Jesus that week. It was overwhelming, rewarding and something I will never forget!
- There were two events that happened while we were in the Huancayo area: One was the amount of community interest that was created by seeing Americans being willing to get dirty scraping, cleaning and painting the community building. The second was when we went (God says go) to meet with the group in Sappallanca the second night and only the pastor and one other person showed up. We were supposed to be sharing how to witness, but we instead spent and hour with the pastor talking about a vision for the community and what was needed in al the churches to help them be better organized and learning how to go and witness.
- The Citadel (Charleston) BCM team that I helped with a few weeks ago were amazing gospel sowers!! They were able to share their testimonies and speak words about christianity in the schools they entered on a "ESL only" invitation. In most of the schools we were told we shouldn't speak about Christianity, only about English,and in every one of them they ended up sharing more about Christ than English! In one of the schools, after two shared their testimonies and one shared a Bible story, a girl came up to our translator and asked what she had to do to be saved. The translator was able to speak with her and pray for her right then and the girl accepted Christ! This same translator shared her testimony during another session at one of the schools and it was her first time to share it in English in Peru.
- Liesa, Haylee, Jackson and I were able to travel to Recuay to work alongside the Ole Miss team in a sports camp for kids/teenagers. We were able to play with kids and spend time getting to know them. The pastor of the Baptist church in Huaraz came and led in a time of commitment where about 10 students responded to an invitation to begin a relationship with Jesus. I was able to do some counseling with 4 young boys…about 10 years old…about their decision. They claimed to understand the presentation of the gospel and wanted to begin a study of God’s Word. The Ole Miss team planned a bible study for the kids who had made decisions and they returned later in the week for two bible studies.
- The Ole Miss team has had the opportunity to share the gospel in Recuay and has seen at least two new believers who they have also been able to begin discipling.
- Lifepoint team- primarily worked in school in Tapacocha doing a very basic English classes. Also showed film in the Catholic church. Presented Bibles to religion teacher and class. Testimonies were given by the team after the film.
- Liberty Team-Showed film in Chavin on colegio soccer field and in also in Quercos. Also Bible storying in the several villages.
- This month was awesome, one of the highlights of my journeyman term to date. For the first time I got to see beyond "planting the seeds". We spent one whole day in a village called Orcotuna near Huancayo. We held five different sessions over values in the schools. We talked to kindergardeners through jovens altogether around 600 heard the Gospel presentation. Then two nights later we held an event at the Alianza chruch. At first we were disappointed that it was mostly young kids, but we soon realized there were parents and teens outside the church listening in. Before the night was over we saw six young ladies step forward to receive Christ. Later that night one of them pull me aside. She was crying and told me how she was scared. Her family was "Catholic" but her dad didn't believe in all this stuff. She wasn't sure how she was going to live out her faith with her friends and family. I could go on about everything we talked about, but I'll stop there. There was also another girl who pulled me aside later to discuss her new faith. I was fighting back the tears of joy to know that God allowed me to be a vessel for Him!
- There was a day in our trip to the small village of Topacocha when some of the team and I were overlooking a vast array of mountain peaks. The leader of our group spoke out in our silence and said, “I wonder if the rocks are cyring out?” Then we came up with the idea toyell Jesus as loud as our pathetic lungs could hold. After screaming Jesus from where we stood we stopped to hear the brief echo of our voices shoot across the valleys and peaks. Our leader said, “Well, at least for a few moments the rocks didn’t have to cry out.” This is one moment that put the rest of the trip into perspective.
- Wanted to thank you for having our Charleston team come to Huancayo and serve. It may have been the best and most productive mission trip I've been on. All the Journeyman/girls did an amazing job. John Wilson did a great job setting up ministry. Jim (masters) and I hung out all week and he was a hoot. The interpreters (Gladys, Clara, and Martin) did a great job as well. I hope and pray the Kingdom work we did will benefit the ministry of John and the local pastors/Christians there. We saw at least 11 people come to know the Lord and probably over 1000 people heard the gospel. I've been several places around the world and Peru is by far my favorite-it's a wonderful country/people. Thanks so much for working our team in this summer as you are busy with ministry and summer missionaries/teams.
We have 15 more teams that we are serving with over the next two weeks with more than 220 volunteers from our Strategy Coordinator churches, International World Changers and college student teams. WE NEED YOU TO PRAY!
Monday, June 8, 2009
We have some busy, busy times coming up so we need to redouble our prayer efforts. Please join us in praying for...
- Haylee and Jackson as they finish up their school year. They have done extremely well in school and continue to adjust to life here. They do miss their friends in the US and in Costa Rica. Please pray that they would continue to build friendships here in Peru.
- Pray for Jeff and Liesa as these are busy days. Pray for healthy bodies and a great memory to remember everything that has to be done.
- Please pray for our friends and team mates Jeremy, Crystal, and Karis Nelson. They just moved from Lima to their post out in the jungle in Iquitos. Setting up a house, getting supplies, taking care of a newborn, traveling with mission teams...lots of things to do. Please pray for them as they adjust to jungle life.
- Pray for International World Changers. The first wave of students arrive Thursday morning, June 18.
- Pray for the unreached people of Peru who think because they have a catholic tradition that they have a relationship with Christ. Pray for those in jungle communities who worship trees, the mountains..they worship created things but not the CREATOR.
- Pray for the International Mission Board. Southern Baptists decided not to give as much this year so we must trim already thin budgets. We will be unable to have new missionaries to work with us and some of the short term missionaries we now have will not be able to stay as long as they had planned. This seems alarming but God is never caught off-guard and will work through all of this.
God's blessings to all of you!
Monday, June 1, 2009
These next few weeks are busy weeks as we anticipate the arrival of over 40 mission teams during June and July. Please pray that things would go smoothly.
Jeff's mom arrives Tuesday Evening, June 2 and will be with us for four weeks. She'll be on the road several times going to International World Changers and to other ministry sites around Peru. Pray for her health as she is here.
We'll post more later!
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Lauren Cullen, Wood Dabbs, Susan Dempsey, Andrew Henry, Courtney Hunter, Brandon Lewis, Sarah Meadows, Sunni Meadows, Joseph McQueen, Scott Parkin, Lynn Riley, Morgan Riley, Bubba Robinson, Nicole Robinson
They will be here in just a few days to work with us. WE ARE EXCITED!
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Sunday, May 17, 2009
Monday (May 18) a team from Calhoun Association, Mississippi arrives. They are one of our partner churches and have a great ministry up in the Chachapoyas area. Students from William Carey University, Mississippi arrive on Tuesday. Please pray for these teams as they travel this week. We have 19 different groups headed our way over the next few weeks so pray for the REAP North Peru Team as we prepare for their work here in Peru.
The work here in Peru is doing well and the gospel is going to unreached places. We continue to hear great reports from our teams as new bible studies are starting, existing churches are being strengthened and new churches are being planted. We continue to focus heavily on training Peruvians to do the work of missions here in Peru. We also are busy recruiting new partner churches in the U.S. who will adopt unreached people groups so that they will be able to understand the gospel.
Thank you so much for your prayers! Check out the new REAP website at http://www.reapsouthamerica.org/.