Our family is in Peru for two years to serve with Extreme Nazarene. We are living in the jungle city of Puerto Maldonado supporting our team of 8 missionaries as 12 churches are planted here in 18 months! Please keep checking in to keep up on our our ministry and adventures in Peru!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Last Baptism

We had our last baptism here in Puerto last Saturday. People from all the 40/40's communities and the mother church were there getting baptized or celebrating the baptisms. In all there were 9 people baptized and a group of about 70 there supporting them. It was a wonderful time!

The group worshiping together before the baptisms

Pastor Freddy with those who were baptized

Baptisms are always exciting, emotional and amazing but it was even more so this time knowing it was the last one we would be at. We are excited for those who made this commitment and we know there will be more in the future! Please keep them in your prayers!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Lessons in Faith from Edith

In El Triunfo, Ana and Elisa have a contact by the name of Edith who has cancer of the tongue, which has been recently growing and causing significant pain. Over the last few months, it has been a beautiful thing to see her faith and the help of the cell group as she deals with this very difficult situation. I can’t think of a more honorable request than believing and asking her cell group in faith to fast and pray for her situation. The cell group gladly did and not only that helped organize and hold a BBQ chicken dinner to help raise money for her to go to Arequipa for exams. The cell group is doing their part to help a fellow sister with what little they have…this is Acts 2:44-45 happening in this cell group. And this last month God answered a different prayer of Edith’s...just two weeks ago her husband met Christ during a film recently showed in their neighborhood. For anyone that reads this, we want to ask for your continued prayer for Edith as she is currently in Arequipa for medical testing.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Prayer Update

March flew by and now we find ourselves with only 3 1/2 weeks left here in Peru. Just so you know, I just looked at the calendar 3 times to make sure that was right. I can't believe our time here in Peru is coming to a close so fast. I don't think I have really panicked about that until just right now. Okay, that will be another post:) For now I really just wanted write a little update as to how we could use prayer in the next few weeks.

Leadership Transition: This is huge! Right now almost all of the cell groups our team has started have leaders from the mother church taking over. In most cases the leaders are now in charge and our teams are just there for support so that they are confident and ready when we leave. Please pray for this transition, that the people in the groups would begin to see the new leaders as their leaders, and that the new leaders are committed to the groups and in continuing to share the gospel in those communities. Please pray Pastor Freddy as he is overseeing all and working with the leaders to grow in their leadership and walk with Christ.

Sending of Leaders/Pastors: There is talk of getting a leader/pastor for a couple of the church plants. Please pray for this possibility!

Baptisms April 16th: Our team is planning one last big baptism event on April 16th. Please pray that the Lord would touch the hearts of the people to have the desire to be baptized. Pray for those who do have the desire to be able to come that day. Pray for it to be a day of rejoicing and celebration!

Transition: There is lots to do as we prepare to go home. Our entire team leaves Puerto on May 2nd to return to our homes. Please pray for all the legistics of getting everything ready to go, packed or sold. Pray for our hearts as we prepare to leave the place we have called home, the people we have called family and the work we have poured our lives into. Pray for the transition back home for each of our team members...for jobs, homes, family and returing to our home culture.

Thank you all for your prayers, love and support. I feel like I say this every time, but it is true: we could not do this without you! Thank you!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

La Joya

La Joya is a community outside of Puerto. Andrew and Daniel have been discipling and holding cell group meetings there for the past 9 months. They just recently united their two groups and the group is meeting at a home of one of their contacts, Hermana Guadalupe. Last weekend we celebrated Guadalupe becoming a member of the church! Andrew and Daniel have two leaders from the mother church in Puerto who are working with them and will be continue with the group when they leave. Brother Mauro and his mom, Sister Lurdes are already acting as leaders in the cell group and we are thankful for their commitment to our brothers and sisters in La Joya. Please pray for the believers in La Joya and Mauro and Lurdes as they grow as leaders.
The group gathering outside where they meet.
Sister Lurdes leading the group in scripture (Mauro on the very left)

Sheep welcome

Andrew and Daniel heading out for another discipleship meeting

Monday, February 28, 2011

Mining Strike Taking Place

Hello everyone, we would like to take a second and explain a little of what's going on in our town over the last week and ask for your prayers of protection for our family and team. Gold mining in Puerto Maldonado is the number one industry and brings in a ton of money. The miners have had roughly a year to stop their illegal dredge mining on the river. Just this last week the Peruvian government took action against many dredges and torched them. It is our understanding that they also found underaged prostitutes in the small mining camps and shut them down apparently adding to the already elivated tension. All of this is now resulting in a mining strike in Puerto that just today (Monday) got considerably more involved and borderline violent. Today our motokar was surrounded by 10 miners ready to slash our tires and tonight about 300 ran by our house destroying property while being chased by the police. While it's too early to tell their intent and what will become of this situation we want to ask for your prayers for our team and the ministry over our last few months in Puerto, which are extremely important to the continued success of our cell groups. And since we will not be having our teams go out with this going on, we just ask for a quick resolution, if not for the mining situation, then certainly for the Evangelistic situation. We were unable today to go downtown due to the miners blocking every intersection and threatening stores and people, so we'd also like prayers for the rounding up of food for our team in the next few days and weeks. Thank you all for your continued prayers and we know God is bigger than these skirmishes. God Bless,

1 Peter 5:6-7 "Humble yoursleves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you."

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

El Truinfo Baptism

This last Sunday, the 20th of February we joined the cell groups in El Triunfo for a day of celebration. They are currently holding reunions three days a week in El Triunfo including a Sunday morning service since it is located far from our mother church and due to the large number of committed folks attending. This Sunday was special because it was a day to witness what the children had learned during their week of Vacation Bible School that was planned by our missionaries Ana and Elisa. It was also special because following the service they had planned a baptism for 5 of their contacts. It was a beautiful day watching the kids exitement as they received their finished awards and crafts, recite scripture and sing together in front of the church group. Immediately following, we had a Peruvian style potluck with chicken nibblet soup and cake together before heading to the baptism. The baptism took place about 7km outside of town at a little jungle creek that was absolutely perfect. We just love the picture of Kai stepping into the water and getting checked out by the ladies. It was pretty comical because some of the adults had commented on Kai's whiteness, but Kai just responded in Spanish like any good and confident boy would, "yeah the bottoms of my feet are pretty white." We then celebrated the baptism of their 5 contacts and watched as their whole "new" church community came out to support this decision. We're telling you, it was awesome! This is one of the greatest joys that we get to experience in our ministry, the time with our team witnessing God reap His harvest due in part to the faithfullness of those willing to sacrifice for them. (that you!) Additionally, we wanted to include a photo of our two missionaries with the couple that will be taking over leadership of their cell group when we leave this coming May. They are a beautiful couple that is mature in their faith and just love the people of El Triunfo. We couldn't be happier knowing that this cell group will continue to thrive long after we are gone.

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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Baptisms and Membership in Castanos

Callie and Carmen have been working hard spreading God's Word in Castanos (an area of Puerto). They currently have a prayer group every Tuesday night and a service on Saturdays (as well as discipleship meetings throughout the week). This Saturday we had a baptism for 3 in their group. Washington, Betsi and Noe were all baptized. We have written about Washington and Betsi before (see New Life) and let me just say how awesome it is to see a couple come to Christ, and the ways the Lord uses to reveal Himself to his children. The night before the baptism Washington and Betsi stopped by and asked us if we would be their "padrinos." This is sort of like a mentor role in their lives and we were very honored! Please pray for these three as they continue to grow in Christ!
Some of the Castanos group at the baptism

Tyson and I with Washington and Betsi

Callie, Noe, Washington (with daughter, Angela), Betsi, Pastor Freddy and Carmen after baptism

Another awesome event for the Castanos group was that 2 of their ladies, Hermana Ericka and Hermana Jovana, became members this last Sunday. Praise the Lord for their desire to be commited to the church!

Please pray for this group in Castanos. They are growing and learning and we are excited about what is happening. Please pray specifically for a strong leader to take over the group when we leave! Thank you for your prayers!

Catch up...

There were a few blogs I hadn't posted yet from 2010. Just a few memories I didn't want to forget and if you want to check them out click on Paraguay, Puno, Chachani (or just scroll down:)

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Church Anniversary

The 4th of February we celebrated the church’s 3rd anniversary here in Puerto. Pastor Freddy arrived 3 years ago and began the ground work to establish the Church of the Nazarene here in Puerto Maldonado. We arrived 15 months ago and it has been awesome to see how the church has grown. We also celebrated the church arriving at the 4th level (there are 5 levels to the churches here) with 51 (official) members. The 5th and final level comes when they have planted another church (a group of 12 members). It has been a privilege to be a part of this church, to see Pastor Freddy’s passion as he evangelizes and watch many contacts from our team's communities coming to the mother church. The evening was one of celebration with special songs, skits and yummy food after.
Pastor Solano, the District Superindentent, with Pastor Freddy and leaders of the church.

Tyson played Jesus in a drama the youth of the church put on. It has an awesome message and still moves me everytime I see it.
The church fellowshiping and celebrating with food and cake after the service!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Thank you!

We want to thank everyone for their prayers, concern and offers to help. These past couple weeks at time have been extremely frustrating and difficult, but God has giving us little victories each day to keep us going. He is faithful to care for our needs!
Praises! The airline found our luggage. We currently have recieved all but one of our suitcases. Praise the Lord! This was in my mind a miracle because we had no record on our tickets of luggage and two of our suitcases didn't even have our names on them! Please pray we recieve the other one soon. They did locate it but we just have not gotten it yet for some reason.
Also, we have found a place to live and are moving in today. It was very hard to find places to live here. There are not a lot of apartments and there is no organized way to advertise/find them. We did a lot of driving around and knocking on doors. Just as it was feeling hopeless the Lord led us to knock on the right door with a place that was opening up the next week. We move in today and are looking forward to finally getting settled as a family of four! Please pray for this transition. This has all been really hard on Kai. We have been here and there for the past month and a half and the whole time he has wanted to go "home". Now "home" is a new place (where we will only be for 4 months before moving back to the States). Please keep him in your prayers. He is a little trooper but this has been difficult.
I really can't express in words how touched and encouraged we were by so many of you. Our church has been so generous in helping us cover these unexpected costs, praying for us and encouraging us. So many of you have offered to help in any way you can! Thank you, your encouragment and support of us kept us going when we didn't want to take another step. God bless you all!