Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Bass 2 Peru

The Jungle Chronicles - July 2017 Edition

 
 

APRIL

April was a busy month, as we focused on teachings surrounding Easter or what we call Resurrection Sunday. Traditionally people in our area are incorrectly taught that they should only eat fish during this cultural holy week because that is what Christ ate. While we did teach on why this practice is unbiblical, we focused on the death and resurrection of Jesus, the Son of God!

April also brought a huge blessing in that the Lord allowed us to purchase a small piece of property on which to build our home in the town of Salvación. Originally we received permission from the town engineer to move forward with building a facility that would house the church and other ministries. However after buying the property, the mayor who is Adventist blocked us from being able to move forward with these plans. We know the Lord’s plans are different from our own and we trust that His plans are best! The believers have been giving their tithes and offerings and we pray that we can purchase property for the church within the next couple years.

During this month, Becky started a new ministry for our local teenage girls called “Señoritas para el Señor.” The desire is to provide a fun, safe environment to do activities, as well as go through a Bible study specifically for teen girls.


MAY

May brought some exciting times both personally and in the ministry. Bob’s mom came in May to help us for two months! Her presence allowed Becky to be involved in different ministries to a greater extent.
At the church we had a special Mother’s Day service and had several visitors. One young man whom Bob was able to lead to the Lord last fall brought his entire family, who are Catholics. This young man has since moved to the capital city of Lima to be close to his fiancé and child. We are praying for the salvation of his entire family!

Our big activity in May was a medical campaign with a group from ORH (Operation Renewed Hope). During the four-day campaign, this huge 40-person group was able to see over 1,000 patients in two different communities. Over 100 people accepted Christ as a result of the one-on-one introduction to the Gospel. We are still working on the follow-up from this ministry!


JUNE

June kept the same busy pace. We had our special Father’s Day service, at which we had some visitors from the community. Our special speaker for Father’s Day, Larry Fogle, was also our special speaker for our 2nd Annual Family Conference, which we hope to have each year. This year the conference went from Wednesday to Sunday. Each night we increased in number, almost doubling our original attendance by Sunday. Two families that have been regularly attending our church services faithfully came each night, bringing different members of their family. During the conference church members made some exciting decisions.

One of the issues in our area is that people don’t usually get married. It’s an epidemic throughout Peru, especially in the jungle. We had one couple who has been faithfully attending the church decide to get married on August 31st! Bob is privileged to be able to officiate the wedding. Another couple would like to get married, but the man is currently not a believer. We have been working with this couple, praying that he will accept Christ. Pray with us that we can have yet another wedding this year!
We were so blessed and encouraged by the ministry of Larry Fogle here in Salvación. After our campaign, Larry had the opportunity to speak at two more family campaigns in the Cusco area. He has certainly been a blessing to all of us in Peru!

On the Saturday of the campaign, we hosted a special ladies ministry during the family campaign. Becky used her Polaroid camera to take an instant photo, which they used for the stamp craft that Bob’s mom Terry brought. We didn’t have a huge attendance, but the ladies who came really enjoyed their time! 
From ladies ministries to children ministries, the Lord greatly blessed our 2nd Annual Family Campaign! We praise the Lord for our special speaker, Larry Fogle, who is director of the PEP ministries at BMM. 


What’s ahead:


August: New radio ministry

September: Group coming to help our building project
(Please pray how you might involved financially)
-Videographer from our home church coming to help us with our furlough video

October: Medical Campaign with group from Baptist Mid-Missions

January - June 2018: Furlough

Prayer Requests:


-Co-pastor - We are praying the Lord will provide us with a national pastor and family, who can partner with us in the ministries in Salvación and further into the jungle
-Finances - $10,000 needed to finish our house, so we can live in the community where we are ministering
-Growth spiritually and physically of the new ministry in Salvación
-Furlough from January to June 2017. We need to find a travel trailer, as our schedule is extremely busy
-Other financial, physical, and spiritual needs that we have yet to understand or consider
-Continued healthy and safety for our family. We are grateful Colton has adapted to the jungle so well!

Check out our Facebook Page for our most recent photos!!!


--> Click here <---

Bob, Becky, and Colton Bass
Apartado 368
Cusco, Peru
South America

E-mail: bass2peru@gmail.com
Bloghttp://bass2peru.com

Phones in Peru:
Bob - 011.51.990.000.779
Becky - 011.51.999.907.675

Our Home Church:
Olivet Baptist Church
4901 Mission Rd
Westwood, KS 66205

Serving with:
Baptist Mid-Missions
PO Box 308011
Cleveland, OH 44130-8011

Project: Bass #701364
Phone: 440.826.3930
Websitehttp://bmm.org

Baptist Mid-Missions

Monday, June 27, 2016

Surprise Announcement!

Surprise! Baby Bass is on the way. We would like to be able to announce this special delivery a little more creatively, but because of some complications with our new miracle, we feel it's best to let you know, so you can be praying for us. 

Baby Bass is due January 1, 2017. This has come to a HUGEsurprise, considering our past (almost) fourteen-year struggle with infertility, as well as the stresses we have faced lately with Bob's accident. But, God is great and still works in miraculous ways. 
Because of some complications and the high-risk nature of this pregnancy, Becky will need to be on bedrest, which means that she cannot travel back to the jungle for at least the next month. After that, we will see what the doctor suggests. 

Please pray for Bob. He traveled to Cusco on Monday and will soon travel to the jungle. As you know, he has not fully healed from his shoulder surgery, so pray for him, as he makes this trip. He needs to make this trip in order to organize for upcoming visitors. Also, he will be trying to do some basic cleaning on our home. He will return to be with Becky on the coast, as soon as he can get those things arranged. From there his travel plans to the jungle depend on Becky's status. 

God's plan and timing is often not our own, but His plan is always perfect! We covet your prayers as we prepare for this new blessing. This means many changes ahead, although our resolve and ministry focus have not changed. However, for the safety of Becky and the baby, we will have to make some sacrifices. 

Thank you for praying for us and for rejoicing with us.
We truly consider this a miracle from the Lord!


1 Samuel 2:1-10
 


Thursday, May 19, 2016

May News

Although the last few weeks have been difficult, the Lord has bountifully provided for us and has lovingly protected us from the situations we faced. It was a wonderful reminder to us of all of the amazing gifts God gives to His children.

A few weeks ago, we took a scheduled trip to Lima for several reasons. While in Lima, we also took advantage of being in an area with good medical care to have Becky’s thyroid checked. She had been struggling the last few weeks in the jungle and the check up proved necessary.

During our time in Lima, we were invited on a short trip to the southern coastal city of Ica, where we would enjoy some activities there, including riding four-wheelers and motorcycles on the sand dunes. Unfortunately, Bob suffered an accident on the first day of the trip and ended up needing surgery for an AC joint separation, which means that his clavicle bone separated from his shoulder. In turn this injury tore the ligaments connecting those bones. Additionally, he suffered multiple fractures and bruising of his ribs, as well as deep bruising on his body. Thankfully, we did not face a life-threatening situation and are grateful to have received excellent medical care at the clinic in Lima where we ultimately took Bob.  The Lord lovingly protected us from a crooked doctor in Ica, which is why we chose to return to Lima.

Because of our extended time in Lima that the recovery has given us, we have been able to reconnect with friends from our time in Lima, as well as gain some new friends the Lord put into our path. Please pray for Juan Antonio. We met him on a day that we had appointments. Bob had the opportunity to speak with Juan for over three hours about his spiritual condition. They exchanged numbers and have been in contact ever since.

Due to this accident, we have had to delay our return to the jungle in order for Bob to recover. Unfortunately, the jungle environment, which is hot and humid, is not a good place to recover, as infection can easily set into a wound. Our current plan to return to the jungle is on the sixth of June, pending clearance from Bob’s doctor.

So, with all of this, please pray for:

1  1).   The ministries in the jungle. We have been in constant communication with our national pastor and the members of the church. The pastor is doing a wonderful job in our absence and even had a successful Mother’s Day event for the ladies of our church!

    2).   Bob’s healing. The last stage of his healing will be to remove the pins connecting his shoulder and clavicle bones. He will have one titanium screw located on the underside of the bones that have been essential in helping the ligaments reattach. The doctor has been happy with how he is healing and says that Bob will eventually regain his full strength and mobility. Praying for that to be the case!

    3).   Becky’s health. Thankfully her thyroid levels have once again stabilized and because of that fact, she is feeling much better. Additionally, a special “Thank You!” to those who prayed for her, as she finished her Masters Thesis! She received an excellent report and has since graduated with her Masters in Biblical Counseling with a 4.0 GPA. We would love to share her Thesis entitled “He Chose to Call Me Barren: Experiencing God through Infertility.” Please contact us if you would like for us to send it to you!

    4).   Future ministry plans. Currently, our plan is to return to the jungle the first week in June. We have a very busy June and July planned, as we have two groups and a special church anniversary celebration planned during these months.
Additionally, we are thankful to be nearing the end of our first year of ministry in the jungle. Over the next few months, we hope to begin Bible studies in neighboring towns with hopes of a future church plant. Pray for God’s direction in these future plans!

Again, we want to thank you so much for your love and care for the ministries in the jungle.






Tuesday, April 12, 2016

2015 Year-in-Review

During 2015 we are grateful to have experienced God´s providing hand each step of our path! We give Him all honor and glory for what He did this year and for what He will do in the years to come.

Peru's famous World Wonder: Machu Picchu
We began 2015 completing the require language study at the Spanish Christian School in Lima. Additionally, we attended Iglesia Evangélica Bautista de Salamanca and helped in several ministries during our time in Lima. Becky helped teach several ladies Bible studies, as well as used her talents during several special events for the ladies. Bob spoke several times, including the teens Sunday School. We are thankful for the church in Salamanca and for our language teachers, who also attend that church. They made us feel at home and for that, we are grateful!

Manuel, a special little boy for our family, handmade Bob this wooden ship! Was a special gift!

In January, we were privileged to put our language studies to the test during a medical missions trip to the mountains outside of Lima along with one of our fellow missionary families and their church from the States. Bob was in charge of logistics and Becky translated for one of the visiting dentists. We learned a lot that week and were both challenged in our language skills. Becky was also privileged to help lead one of the Peruvian dentists to the Lord that week. The Lord blessed greatly!

February brought with it big blessings, as we were able to purchase a used Toyota Hilux truck. Purchasing the vehicle at this time gave Bob adequate time to complete the paperwork, as well as the needed repairs and updates to make the truck jungle worthy. Since we were in Lima, we were able to do research and look around for the best deals. We now have a vehicle that can safely get us around the rough, unstable jungle roads!


Our truck is called "el sajino" which is the name for a jungle pig of our region known for its ability to roam the jungle with ease!

During our time in Lima, we were privileged to host people in our apartment many times, and became very close with several families in our neighborhood. To this day, those friendships continue and we pray for the salvation of many that we were able to meet. We are very grateful for the time we had in Lima.

Enjoying the famous Nazca Lines!

In July, we finally moved to Cusco. Bob made the two-day trip in the truck along with a friend from Lima. Becky flew the next day, after finishing the cleanup of our apartment. During this transition, we found out that due to the pregnancy of the wife of our national pastor, our national team would need to leave the jungle for several months in order to prepare for and to recover from the birth of their son. This would leave the church in the jungle without a pastor for several months.  Because of this, we requested special permission to do our internship in the jungle, in order to assist in the ministries, while our team was in Cusco. We were able to thus begin our internship through being in constant communication with our senior missionaries to consult on different situations we were facing in order to get direction and counsel.


Pineapple Plant - it takes 2 years to produce one pineapple :)


Then in a quick survey trip in late July, Bob found a home to rent in the community of Pilcopata and returned to Cusco for supplies and to pick up Becky. We returned in August and began doing needed repairs to our rental home. The home had not been inhabited for the previous four years and the jungle was literally destroying it. Thankfully by the end of the year, we had a home that was suitable for our family, as well as for any visitors we may have in the future.

Upon our arrival we immediately jumped into ministry. Bob helped with the music ministry, began preparing his preaching series for when the national pastor left for Cusco, as well as doing Bible studies in the homes of our church members. Becky played the piano for the church services, as well as helped with the children’s ministry. By October when our national team left for Cusco, Bob began a preaching series at church, teaching on the basic doctrines of the Bible.

Bob with an Anaconda~ 
Along with our normal church ministries, our days and weeks are currently filled with visiting church members, as well as other contacts from the community, in their homes or fields and doing Bible studies. Additionally, we have already been doing survey trips to surrounding communities to see the viability of beginning future churches in these areas. Our goal is begin Bible studies in these communities in 2016 in order to prepare for a future church plant. 

Becky is always monkeying-around! 

Our first guests came in November, when Bob´s friend/ language teacher came for three months. He came to help in many areas of the ministry, as well as to continue to challenge Bob in language acquisition. Additionally, Bob´s mother came in December and stayed with us for two months. She, too, helped in several areas, including projects at home and helping to kick off a ladies ministry with Becky.


Bob's mother Terry and Becky teaching a sewing class for the church ladies!

Bob and Jhon (correct spelling) a child from our jungle church!

This year Becky has also been finishing her Masters degree in Biblical Counseling. Her thesis will be turned in by the end of March of 2016. The topic of her thesis deals with infertility.

The church families with whom we work at Iglesia Bautista de Pillcopata (Pillcopata Baptist Church)!

We are excited about 2016 and what the Lord is doing in Pilcopata and surrounding communities. We pray that the Lord would continue to lead and guide and to show us His will concerning the future for jungle ministry in Southern Peru. We have many exciting plans for future ministries and look to the Lord for His guidance in each! Thank you for your prayers and support. God has protected us from many dangers and has blessed in ways that only prayers can provide! Thank you for your faithfulness in praying for us and for the Word of God to have an open door in the jungles of Peru!


In Grace Alone,

Bob and Becky Bass

Monday, November 16, 2015

A 'Strike'ing Story...

For over a month, we heard rumors of a potential strike by the people in our area who grow the coca plant. These people are called “Cocaleros.” Dependable news from the community was impossible. I don’t know how many times they scheduled the strike, canceled the strike, and then rescheduled it for a future date. It really seemed like the strike would never start. Some in town said it would never happen. Others said it would eventually happen and that it would last three days. And yet others said it would be indefinite. We never received anything close to consistent information.

Finally, we heard that the strike was set for the 7th or 8th of October and that at least we could be certain that it would definitely not start before then! We had received word from one of our church attenders. He’s not faithful to church, but it seemed like he really knew what was going on. Finally we could finally start making some needed travel plans. Our niece and her husband, who are part of our ministry team, were expecting their second child, and she needed to be in Cusco in order to make the preparations for the birth, especially since she would need to have a C-section. We urgently needed to get them to Cusco, in case the strike lasted longer than expected.

*****

In light of what we thought was reliable news, Flor, Alex, their daughter Melody, and Bob planned to leave on Monday, October 5th at the reasonable time of 4am (ha!). They would head to the home of Becky’s sister in Arin, which is located in the Sacred Valley of the Incas. The trip is a grueling seven hours of jungle and mountain roads. Flor and Alex plan to stay there for about three months, for both the birth and the recovery process.

After the long, hard trip, they arrived in Arin and after unloading Flor and Alex’s belongings, Bob immediately drove another twenty minutes to Urubamba, where he would pick up our funds. Then he drove another hour and a half to the city of Cusco. He spent the day furiously making needed purchases for the jungle. He arrived back in Arin at nine that evening, where he spent the night.

*****

The following morning, Tuesday, he left at 4:30am and drove as hard and fast as he could safely manage, in order to arrive home in Pilcopata, just in case the strike began early. He arrived into Patria, the closest town to Pilcopata, in a record time of 5 hours (usually 7 hours with stops). So, by now, it is only 9:30am and guess what he sees ahead. That’s right…a roadblock. He is only 15 minutes from home. Only 15 minutes from a good breakfast, a nice nap, and a wonderfully, cold shower!

Bob parked and immediately went over to the roadblock. As of yet, everyone was calm. He asked for the church attender who had given us the dates for the strike. He was not at this roadblock but was rather at the roadblock in Pilcopata. Bob spent a few minutes joking with some people in the crowd and told them that he was the pastor of the Baptist church in Pilcopata. He asked if they would make an exception for a preacher of God’s Word and allow him to pass the roadblock and go home. He was met with this response from a large and very vocal Quechua lady, “You’re a pastor? Then pastor us here at the strike!” So he asked her, “Are you ready and willing to obey the Word of God and all that God says in His Word?” She stared at him for what seemed like forever and then replied, “You cannot pass! Nobody can pass!!!” She then stormed off down the street.

After much searching, Bob was able to get the phone number for the church attender, our “reliable source” for the strike and called him. He asked why he hadn’t informed us of the changes, as he knew of the importance of our trip to Cusco. Bob asked for his help, as he had purchased a lot of perishables which are now in the hot truck. These items included a large amount of fresh meat, that he purchased in Cusco. All of this food was going to spoil, if left for too long. The man said he would help get Bob through the roadblocks. Bob would just need to wait. Over an hour later, Bob called him back and heard the words he dreaded once again, “You cannot go through. You will just have to wait with everyone else.” He then hung up on Bob.

*****

So, there’s Bob, stuck with no water and no food and because of all the travels, he hadn’t slept more than three hours over the last two days. He was exhausted. He had to keep reminding himself, “I’m a pastor here. HERE, you are a pastor!”

A few minutes later, a police truck pulled up and five officers got out of the truck. Now, the 50-60 people sitting near the roadblock started getting a little worked up. After five minutes or so of this, the policemen got back into the truck and just sat there. The crowd calmed down and went back to sitting in the shade. Bob decided to approach the police truck and introduced himself as Pastor Roberto of the Baptist church in Pilcopata. He explained his situation to them and that he has responsibilities to his church in Pilcopata. They explained that they, too, are from Pilcopata. The Sr. Officer told Bob, “Pastor, right now, we cannot do anything without causing a riot and people WILL get hurt. We will be back at 6 this afternoon to help get you through. If we can’t get everyone through, we will at least get you through. Please just be patient, Pastor. This situation is going to be hard on everyone.”

So, Bob followed their example, and returned to sit in his truck, only to find that the extreme temperatures of over 100* had converted the truck into an oven! He had to find some way to keep cool! He’s now starting to get hungry, too. So, during one of the many meetings held by the Cocaleros that morning, Bob nonchalantly crossed the roadblock, in order to look for food and water. He walked over two kilometers around the whole town, but each and every store was boarded up and if the store owner happened to be there, he or she wouldn’t sell anything for fear they would be attacked. That’s when he learned that during the strikes, no one is allowed to sell food or water at all.

               Finally sick from the heat, Bob convinced one fearful store owner to sell him some water, although she would only do so after a large group of protestors passed by the store. After they passed, she lifted her store door, which looks like a small garage door that raises and lowers like a scroll. She quickly ducked down to tell Bob the price for the water through the small opening. She then threw the bottle of water under the door and reached her hand out to receive payment. It was a stark realization of how serious the situation really was.

***** 

Bob and I had been able to talk throughout the day, as the events unfolded. However, I was able to do so from the safety and comfort of our house in Pilcopata. I was able to contact one of our church members and pleaded with him to take Bob a large bottle of water. So, at great risk to himself, this man got on his motorcycle and ran through the roadblock of Pilcopata and made it to Patria, where he had to leave his motorcycle at a different roadblock at the southern end of Patria. He then had to walk a full kilometer to where Bob was waiting at the truck.

After taking a few gulps of water, Bob and this kind man carried the cooler full of meat on the verge of spoiling, all the way back through town, dodging the angry protesters, to the motorcycle. Thankfully, all they received along the way were a few angry shouts. They quickly secured the large cooler to the back of his motorcycle and Bob watched him speed away, as Bob stood in the middle of the street. Suddenly he realized he was not alone but had been standing in front of about 100 protesters, who were keeping cool in the shade. Quickly, and with singular focus, he began his quick return to his truck. He marched right through the middle of the street, all the way through town, almost in an attitude of defiance of the protesters who had already caused so much discomfort both to himself and to the other people in the community.
              
As he walked through town this time, he realized that the attitude of people was changing. Things were heating up and I don’t mean the weather. People were getting riled up. So, he made a quick, deliberate dash to the ditch and pushed his way through the thick jungle grass that stood about seven feet tall. He made it all the way to the other side of the roadblock before he reentered the road, startling a driver who was sleeping on the side of the road in the shade of the grass.

*****

It was now one in the afternoon and the sun was beating down everyone. One of our other church members, who lives in Patria, emerged from the crowd. She exclaimed, “Pastor, lock up your truck and come with me. My mom (who is also a member of the church, along with her husband) has prepared lunch for you. You are also welcome to take a cool shower to get refreshed!” By this point, Bob was literally at the point of heat exhaustion, so he quickly obeyed her orders! They passed back through town, once again without harm, as her father has considerable pull in the community. This, however, would not protect him during later events.

Bob spent the next three house in the house of some of the dearest believers we know here! They fed Bob so well and allowed Bob to drink all the clean water he needed. He said he probably drank a gallon of water, during his short time at their home. He also stood under the cold shower for well over thirty minutes. He was beginning to feel human again!

         Feeling well-fed and refreshed, he returned to the blockade somewhere around four that afternoon. For the next hour and a half, he was able to get to know some of the other people who were also trapped at the same roadblock. He got to ask them about where they lived, what they do for work, and about how each of them got caught at the strike. They all commented about how glad they were that a pastor was with them. Bob remembers thinking that he was not really sure whether he was glad about it but that it was nice to hear that they thought so!  

The conversations were good, but they kept getting distracted by the protesters, who were again getting frazzled. Then a few police officers show up from Paucartambo, a town about four hours away from us, traveling toward Cusco. As soon as the policemen saw Bob, they made a bee-line for him. They didn’t know him personally, but recognized that he was a gringo. They wanted to know why he was there and asked to see some identification. Bob showed them his Peruvian ID, called a 'Carnet de Extranjería,' which also states that Bob has a religious visa. Bob quickly told them that he is a pastor in the neighboring town. They, too, agreed that the protesters should let Bob through, so that he can return to his important job of seeing to people’s spiritual needs. The policemen quickly move forward to the mob, who is increasingly growing more angry, because their leader has decided to permit the caravan of vehicles, including Bob, to go through the roadblock. The mob decide to replace the leader with someone else and negotiations between the mob and the police start from scratch.
              
Much to Bob’s surprise, the police from our town, Pilcopata, returned as promised at six that evening. This time eight officers came, probably the entirety of the police force, and were sporting long rifles and hand guns. The protesters were not happy about this. All of a sudden, out from nowhere, the Sr. Officer cried out, “Where’s the Gringo Baptist Pastor from Pilcopata?” Bob steps out from the crowd, where the officer could see him and waves at him. The officer pushed through the crowd to make it over to where Bob was standing. He took his hand and gave him a firm handshake. The officer asked if Bob was ok, to which Bob could honestly say he was doing well, thanks to our church members. The officer replied, “Give us a few minutes. We are taking everyone through the roadblocks.” Bob quickly spread the word to the other drivers and they slowly retreat, each to their own vehicle.

*****

          At about seven, Bob heard one officer loudly exclaim, “Well, there ARE consequences for your actions!” Bob can’t see what is going on, because of the crowd; however, the police suddenly turn on their lights and everyone in the caravan started to move. Slowly but deliberately, the caravan of vehicles crept along, as if in a parade, leaving minimal space between each vehicle. They pass the first roadblock and drove the kilometer through town to the next roadblock, where they were met with a much larger number of people, whom are also much angrier that the first group. The caravan of vehicles had no option but to stop, as the road was full of debris and burning tires. The group quickly realize that the police are no longer there and were replaced by angry shouts by the protesters at their windows. They had to endure this horror for about twenty minutes, each minute wondering whose window would be smashed first. Most of the drivers abandoned their vehicles and retreated together into the darkness of the night.

               For some odd reason, the crowd dispersed and returned to the blockade, where a very large and very drunk woman was yelling loudly. Honestly, Bob nor his comrades-in-arms could understand anything she was saying. Moments later, one police truck with two officers appeared to speak with those of who were stuck at the roadblock. They admitted that they were not going to be able to break up this second group of protesters enough to get the caravan of vehicles through the roadblock that night. The crowd was just too crazy!

               One of the officers, a small, young negotiator, entered into the middle of the crowd in order to talk to them. Bob thought the large, vocal, angry woman might eat him alive, but he finally emerged from the crowd, about an hour later, shaking his head. He said, “Well, that didn’t go well. We will definitely not be getting through the roadblock tonight.  They are already way too drunk to reason with.” The crowd began lighting more tires on fire, this time close to the police truck. Bob asked the officers if it would be safe for him, a gringo, to stay there or should he take his truck to a safer place in town.  The officers told Bob that if he decided to stay there, the police would have to stay by his truck the whole night, to ensure that the group would not attack Bob. It was not a safe situation. Bob decided immediately to give the officers an opportunity to sleep that night and drove the truck to the church family’s home where he would park it for the night. He grabbed a few things and headed back down the cross the blockade in order to head home to Pilcopata. He knew his options were walking all the way home or riding a motorcycle with someone, which was a much preferable method!


When he made it to the town center, about half a kilometer from the roadblock, he encountered a group of about 300 people chanting and running through the street. Bob ducked into the shadows and stood next to a man sitting on a park wall, who seemed to trying to be discrete, as well. He briefly looked at Bob and then looked back at the crowd and asked Bob where he was trying to go that night. Bob told him that he was trying to get home in Pilcopata, where he is a pastor. The man grimaced a bit and told Bob to sit down on the wall with him for a minute, so Bob sat down. All of a sudden the crowd decided to attack a store that had opened to sell some food and water to people. The man leaned over and told Bob that he should leave immediately and that he should stay in the shadows. Bob agreed. The man quietly said, “God bless you, Pastor!”
               

        Bob takes the man’s advice and walked against the building to stay as hidden as possible until he reached the point where the other drivers remain trapped. Bob explained to them where he was going and that if he made it home that night, he would return in the morning with food and water. They explained that several of them had tried to cross the blockade in order to purchase food in Pilcopata, but that the protesters would not let them through. Together they decide to create a diversion, in order to help Bob get across. They made a human wall with Bob hidden behind them and a few of them began arguing with the protesters. All the attention was drawn to the two sneaky drivers and the other drivers shoved Bob across the blockade.
               
*****

          As he was briskly walked in the darkness, he realized that someone was following closely behind him. The man quickly caught up with Bob and Bob asked him if he had a motorcycle. He said that he did, to which Bob asked if he was going to Pilcopata. The man shook his head in agreement and Bob quickly pled for a ride home. The man agreed and they headed down to Pilcopata! At this point, Bob has a large flashlight in his hand, his backpack, and a small knife in his pocket. He started to wonder if the man was part of the group of protestors and that he might try to kidnap Bob. So to ease his mind, Bob began to talk with the man. Bob told him that he is the pastor of the Baptist church in Pilcopata and asked the man where he is from. The man replied that he was from Puerto Maldonado. Bob asked if he was in town for the strike and the man immediately exclaimed, “No!!!” He, too, was frustrated because the strike was keeping him from going home. At his moment, Bob felt comfortable enough to put his pocket knife away!

               The two weary travelers finally arrive into Pilcopata and were surprised that the roadblock in Pilcopata had been abandoned. The streets were quiet and calm. Bob got home just in time to get a good meal, some cool water, a shower, and finally fell into bed!

Early the next morning, Tuesday, the 6th, Bob went to our friendly neighborhood store owner, who decided to risk opening her store for a few minutes. Bob bought almost all the bread she had. At home, he packed his backpack with the bread, several Bibles, as well as some water and immediately headed back to Patria. As he was on the edge of town, he was met by a group of about 60 people, blocking the road and protesting. They were not letting any motorcycles leave town and as Bob tried to pass, they grabbed him and started yelling, “TOURISTS CAN’T PASS! GRINGOS CAN’T PASS!” Bob pulled arms from their hands and told them, “I live here. I’m your neighbor and I’m the pastor of the Baptist church in town. You will let me pass!” He then walked right passed them.

As he walked out of town, Bob noticed that there were no signs of any motorcycles coming or going. So determined to deliver what he had promised to the other drivers, he began the six kilometer walk to Patria. He arrived about two hours later, exhausted and thirsty himself, and now faced with an even bigger and angrier crowd. Unfortunately, there is no brush to duck into in order to avoid the crowd. Besides, they had already seen him. He quickly prayed and asked God to protect him. He put his head down and head right into the middle of the crowd. He doesn’t even get passed the first person before several people grabbed him. The protesters started pushing Bob and holding onto both arms. They yanked on his backpack, demanding to see what was inside. He knew they would confiscate the bag’s contents, so he refused to show them. He is now fully expecting to be beat for refusing their demands, but praise God that did not happen.
               Instead, they continued yelling, as he sternly informed them that he is a pastor and that he has church members in town that he needs to attend to them, as well as others. He says he is there to do his pastoral duties and that they WILL let him pass! Everyone except one person let go of him, but that one man’s grip continued to get tighter and tighter around Bob’s arm. Bob can still smell the foul stench of the homemade liquor on his breath and can see in his eyes that he is still drunk from the night before. Bob looked him straight into the eyes and almost yelled, in order for the whole crowd to hear, “You’re going to attack a pastor, a preacher of the Word of God, a man of God? How dare you! Shame on you!” Bob then yanked his arm from his death grip and with great determination, marched right through the middle of the angry mob. No one else laid a hand on Bob, but rather looked on silently as he passed by.

*****

Right on the other side of the roadblock, Bob encountered the first truck driver and asked if he had eaten anything yet. He quietly answered that he had not yet been able to get anything to eat. So Bob opened his backpack in front of the entire group and handed the driver some food and water. Bob told him to then get into his truck to eat. No one from the angry mob said a word. Bob went from truck to truck until each person had received something to eat and drink.

After eating, the drivers, along with Bob, sat down in a shady area together. The whole time, Bob had been looking for an opportunity to speak about spiritual things and had been praying that God would show him the right time to do so! Out of nowhere, one of the men said, “Well, pastor, you fed us and gave us water. You met our physical need. Now all we are missing is to be fed spiritually.” Smiling, Bob replied, “Well, I came prepared for that, too!” Once again he opened his backpack, but this time, he pulled out the Word of God, the Bread of Life, and gave one to each person there. Before accepting the Bible, one person in the group asked how much the Bible cost. Bob stated that they were a free gift, which was a perfect segue into Ephesians 2:8-10!

Bob spent the next two hours preaching to these ten lost souls on the love of God, about the sacrifice He gave for their sins. He explained how the free gift of God is available to all mankind, if we would only accept it by faith! He talked together with them about how Jesus IS God and how the Bible is our final and ultimate authority. He also shared with them that works cannot save a person. As this special, God-ordained meeting was going on, there were hundreds of protesters behind them who were yelling, marching, and running around chaotically. This did not deter these ten from intently listening. They were glued, fixed, as Bob shared the Word with them. At the end, God saw fit to save seven souls, one a Mormon and one a Seventh-Day Adventist.

***** 

A short time after this blessed event, the driver that was first in the line of the caravan was simply at his limit and he jumped in his truck and broke the roadblock. Bob and the other drivers quickly got into their vehicles and followed the first driver. They had been freed. Not only had they been freed physically but for those seven new brothers and sisters in Christ, they had been freed spiritually.

Through this experience, we now have contacts deep into tribal areas of the jungle, where a person must have an invitation in order to enter. We also have contact into our local municipality and police departments. The Lord has already allowed us to have one of them into our home for dinner and we pray we have many more opportunities like this one!


God allowed us to be a part of this amazing experience, to be a part of His great work. This is not Bob and Becky’s doing. This is the work of an Almighty God! As the missionaries of old would give God all the honor and glory for the victories won, may we do the same! 

PRAISE BE TO GOD!!!

                      

                   Ephesians 2:8-10

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Not of works, lest any man should boast.
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Exciting Future Plans


Even though we don’t have any major news since our last letter, I wanted to send a quick note to update you on Language School and to let you know of some exciting future travel plans!

We continue to make huge advances in our Language School studies. My strenuous school schedule consumes the majority of my time. Because of your generosity, we have been able to see Becky begin her studies again, in order to take some advanced-technical classes, which will help her create and translate material in the future. Also, it will help her keep me in-line… Well, maybe not, but it’s sure worth a try!

On Mother’s Day I was able to teach a teen class at the church we attend in Salamanca. In general, one never thinks about how to says things in one's mother tongue, until you have to translate into another language. I have been told by Becky, and must now publicly admit, that she was right. My jokes don’t translate into Spanish…(sigh!) I guess she finally gets her way, in that, now, I finally have to come up with new jokes. Oh well! I’m sure my Spanish jokes will be just as corny as my English ones!


We continue to meet and work with many friends and neighbors in our community with whom we have developed relationships these last few months. Although the busy city lifestyle of Lima continues to be a challenge, we know that seeds have been planted and pray that someday, these seeds will yield much fruit, to the glory of God!


Future Plans!

We are now making plans for our departure from the coast and getting into the mindset for our eventual move to the jungle and the many changes we will soon face. We have finally been able to set a date to leave Lima and head to Cuzco. Lord-willing, we will leave Lima on July 15th with a loaded-down truck and will make the journey to the Urubamba Valley in Cuzco. From there, we will work with senior missionaries, as we prepare to transition into the jungle. Although the “how’s” and “when’s” of the futre are unknown, we rest in the knowledge that God is never late and that His plans are always greater than anything we can imagine. So we continue to wait on Him and trust in His plans for us.

We appreciate your continued prayers for all of these upcoming changes. If you would like more details about any of the specific needs we have mentioned in our previous letters, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE contact us. We would be happy to give you more information.



Please note: Once we leave Lima, our ability in and ease of communication WILL change drastically. We are not yet sure what type of access we will have and once we leave for the jungle, access to good communication will be even less predictable!