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!

Saturday, July 31, 2010


Right now the team is at a spiritual retreat for the church. Please pray for all those attending, that those who don't know Christ would come to know him, and that those that do would deeper roots in him! There were about 40 people going so this could have a huge effect on our church! Pray for our team as they help minister to kids and adults. Tyson took Kai with him so pray for opportunities for both of them to be lights for Christ this weekend as well! Pray for safety of all as well:) God Bless!


We have shared with many but have not yet blogged about it....we are expecting baby #2 in December! We want to thank all of you who have been praying for us. The first 3 1/2 months were pretty hard. There were lots of unknows and I was having bleeding on top of the normal fatigue and morning sickness. I am now 20 weeks (halfway!) and things are going really well. I am feeling great (if not large) and have had no more complications. We are praising the Lord for his healing in this area! I have been feeling the baby more for a while and Tyson has been able to feel it for the last few weeks. I love it and feel like he/she is giving me a little kick saying "I'm doing good mom" :)We are planning on having the baby in Peru but will be flying to Arequipa where the medical care is better than here in Puerto. We are excited for this new addition. Oh and we will be waiting to find out what we are having. While there is the technology here to find out, Tyson is a big fan of suprises so I am willing to wait since I insisted on finding out with Kai:) Kai is very excited to have a brother or sister and the team (mostly the girls) are excited to have a new baby around:) We appreciate your prayers for continued protection! We will keep you updated!
This is the only pic I have so far. 15 weeks...I am quite a bit bigger now and will continue to post pics once in a while on our family blog here.


Beyond the ministry happening in Arequipa it was just wonderful to be there. Flying into Arequipa I had a flashback to of when we first arrived in Peru (we lived in Arequipa for our first 3 months here). I was shocked at the crazy traffic, the half finished buildings, and the foreign language. This time getting off the plane I looked around thinking “Wow, this place is so modern.” After living in Puerto my perspective sure changed:) Beyond the conveniences (real cars, grocery stores, coffee, hot water, the wonderful cool, dry weather, etc.) it was so wonderful to see old friends again. We stayed with our friends, the Englunds, while we were there and Kai was in heaven playing with their two girls! We were also able to meet all the other cluster families and made wonderful connections and Kai had a great time making new friends with all the kids. The last weekend we were there we had a staff retreat with all of the Extreme Staff. It was a huge group and it was so fun to hang out and relax with everyone. We went to Mollendo a couple hours from Arequipa at the beach. The weather was really cold but Kai and I still managed to get wet! Tyson played soccer both afternoons for hours. It was a good weekend for fellowshipping and relaxing.

Kai and I playing in the freezing water

One of Kai's favorite activities was feeding the birds in the Plaza. This kid has no fear (or disgust) of these things. He would sit down and they would practically pile on top of him. He really wanted to hold one but I was too grossed out to get close enough to help him...sorry kiddo.
We enjoyed a Father's Day/Goodbye dinner with our group from Trevecca and Felix & Liliana Vargas in the Plaza de Armas in Arequipa

Love Extreme Part 3 - Love 2

Following the big event we had more short term projects going on for Love 2. Groups headed out to Iquitos, Pucallpa, Puno and Cusco. Our 40/40s, Andrew and Daniel, stepped up and lead the group who went to Puno. The rest of our 40/40s stayed in Arequipa and worked on following up with all contacts from the event. Our family stayed in Arequipa as well and Tyson lead the short term group doing construction on one of the churches there, Alto Libertad. He worked with Cuarto (who is leading up construction there and also built our house…he is a ball of energy!) translating and directing the short termers.
Tyson with Cuarto

Kai and I went to visit a few times and Kai loved being at the site with Dad!

At the end of the week there was a dedication service for the church and it was awesome to see it filled! Kai and I had a pretty low key week with almost no responsibilities (which was weird and wonderful at the same time). We joined a group visiting an orphanage one day and we had a great time blessing the girls living there. We did nails, painted faces, crafts and made balloon animals. It was wonderful to be part of another awesome project!

Kai and his buddy Thomas helped with balloons!

Love Extreme Part 2 - The BIG Event

We arrived in Arequipa Thursday night and Saturday was the big event. While we had our event going on in Puerto, there were short term projects happening in Cusco and Arequipa as well. We then had more volunteers arrive from the US for the second part of Love Extreme joining up with those already here. For the event on Saturday we had about 300 short termers (I think) there to help. The event was held in a fairgrounds like area and it worked out perfectly. Promotion had been going on all week by the short termers there and weeks if not months beforehand with those based in Arequipa…and it showed. Hundreds of people were lined up outside waiting to get in…it was awesome! We had a building that had Kids events happening all morning so parents could drop off their kids and go to the conferences that were happening.

There was a women’s conference and across the hall, a men’s conference. Tyson worked set up for the men’s conference and when I went to see him they were scrambling to take down partitions and bring in more chairs because they were so full…great problems to have!

Outside was huge grassy area with a stage and there were concerts going on all day. That evening the main speakers Felix Vargas and Nick Vujicic. Nick was born without arms and legs and has an incredibly powerful testimony and the response after he spoke was incredible. He is an amazing man and I would encourage you to check out his testimony online if you can!

Tyson was able to meet Nick before his talk...

Over all there were over 10,000 people that attended the event and about 1000 who made a decision for Christ that day! It was an amazing day and we felt blessed to be a part of it!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Love Extreme Part 1 - Puerto

We had an amazing group of short termers here in the middle of June. The majority of the group was from Trevecca Nazarene University in Tennessee. They arrived on Friday and Saturday worked hard all day (a long, hot day) at the soccer tournament.
Most of the group at the soccer tournament
Sunday was another big event, our women’s conference with Lonna Vopat. Most of the team entertained/wrangled the kids of the 70 women attending. This was quite a feat considering it was about 3 hours, most of the did not speak Spanish, and the kids were outside (aka, not contained)! I was impressed:) The conference was wonderful and in addition to Lonna sharing her testimony , Felix Vargas’ wife, Lillian, shared hers as well. It was a wonderful balance and between the two testimonies the conference spoke to a wide range of women. During prayer time about 30 women accepted Christ!

The rest of the week was full of activities in different communities. We showed the Jesus film, visited the women’s prison, built garbage cans for one community and planted trees in another. The girls went to houses and pampered the women by giving manicures and pedicures to hard working women. In one of the communities outside the city, La Joya, there were certain areas that had been going without water for many days at a time and when it was turned on it was only for a short time. We ordered up a water truck and the team hauled water around to the people in need. It was a huge blessing to the people in that community! Between the tournament, conference and other events about 80 people made a commitment to Christ! Praise the Lord! We are now in the process of following up with them all with discipling so please keep them in your prayers.
Working hard hauling water in La Joya

We could not have asked for a better group of short term volunteers. They had such a wonderful attitude, were ready to jump in and help in anyway and we never heard complaints! In that short week we grew to adore the group. While we were there to encourage and support them they turned around and encouraged and blessed us! What an awesome group! Needless to say we were sad to see them get on a plane that Thursday as they headed to Arequipa…the good news was we joined them a few hours later. On to Arequipa for the big Love Extreme Event…more to come!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Soccer Tournament with Felix Vargas

Many of you may be wondering, so how did that soccer tournament go that the Smith’s talked about months ago? We’ll, while the event finished about a month ago we are super excited to finally share how everything went. So for those of you who got the pitch from us about this event and the potential that we saw; we must thank you for believing in this and help see it to fruition. We are very proud to report that because of your faithfulness this event was able to make an impact for our King.

The idea for the tournament was out of a desire to reach the men of Puerto Maldonado for Christ, using their pastime. We do very well with our 6 women missionaries to reach the women, but my thought was that we needed to fight the problem of prostitution, drugs and violence in our city from all angles. We couldn’t just fight the problem of prostitution with our prostitution ministry efforts, we needed to address the problem that the men have as well. We planned the date of our tournament to coincide around two very important factors. The invitation of Felix Vargas and the arrival of 23ish Treveca University Students for a Short term missions project. Without these two factors we also could not have been as successful, thanks to all of you.

Putting on something like this requires a different type of strategy than I was used to in the US. We needed 1) a cash prize for the winner, S/1000 for first prize in order to have participants. 2) other prizes so that the players will attend the final main event with Felix even though their teams may have been eliminated. 3) promotion, promotion, promotion so that they will sign up. We did all of the above very well. We spoke on the television 4 times, radio countless, made banners, handed out forms at the courts, made a commercial, talked with the mayor, etc, but it really all comes down to FAITH. We had a series of deadline, but it wasn’t until the night before the tournament that we had 19 teams sign up, talk about testing our faith. That’s 152 competitors. GLORY TO GOD!

We organized the tourny much like the March Madness or World Cup bracket but with double elimination. In total we had 36 different matches to plan in one single day. We used 5 courts and a small stadium to host the final three matches at night. The response was incredible from the teams, they had never been a part of a bracket tournament like this and on the dawn of the World Cup it was perfect timing. They loved it even if they did end up losing. The matches went steadily from 8:30am to 5pm and then at 7pm Felix Vargas shared his testimony. Felix is an ex-member and hitman for the drug cartel in Cali, Columbia. He shared his incredible testimony and had the group of hardened men, cheering and participating as he shared his story of redemption.

PLEASE WATCH his testimony if you get the chance it is powerful. English Subtitles. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=71flRXvja04&feature=related

We are so encouraged to see God make an impact in the lives of these men who play soccer daily on courts within feet from prostitution bars. This macho culture is very hard to change and we are seeing that the work put in by all, and the work that was completed on the cross is sufficient. That night 59 people accepted Christ, 40 of them were men. We were able to get their information following the event and we are now busy doing follow up. To see that these men are breaking free from their former lives and beginning to lead their families is a huge huge deal. Just yesterday as our team of boys went out to meet with one of these participants and during the meeting his wife gave up her life to Christ and together they are being discipled.

Upon planning this event, our desire was that this would not just be a one time thing, and in talking with Pastor Freddy, we decided to promote it as “The First Annual” and that the church would continue this in much past our time here. With the positive response we have received, when I see players on the street, they ask when are we doing it again. Thank you all for your help, prayers and supports for this event.

Oh yeah, and the final match came down to penalty kicks, it was epic.

O LORD, you are my God; I will exalt you and praise your name, for in perfect faithfulness you have done marvelous things, things planned long ago. Isaiah 25:1

Monday, July 12, 2010

More Coming Soon!!

Hello everyone, we have a ton to update you on and we apologize for the lack of communication over the last month. We´ve hardly had a chance to breath let alone find a second to fight the slow internet. I´m going to write all that we´ve been involved in into one giant sentence because I feel it will give weight to the fact that we´ve been really really busy...okay we´ve organized a short term group of 25 folks from Nashville´s Treveca U, here in Puerto for a week and then our team along with 300+ volunteers helped facilitate a huge 10,000 person event called¨Love Extreme¨ in Arequipa for 3 days and following that event I helped organize an amazing group of men on a construction project at Alto Libertad Church in Arequipa for 6 days and then got 3 days to deal with surprise happenings with our team and 2 days at the beach before returning home to Puerto. I hope you read that in one breath. We are planning to expound on the above but I felt like putting the blogging drout to a short end. We are excited to report in detail because of what God did during all this craziness, HE is always Good and we thank God that his plans are bigger than ours. Stay tuned. Tyson and Tracy.