Please pray with us! One of the churches where we recently presented will have a church meeting this Sunday and will be voting to take us on as new missionaries. Currently, we are at 72% and hope to attain 75% by Christmas! We continue to make plans for a summer departure to Peru! Thanks so much for your prayers!
Unlikely Candidates: In one of the books that Becky is reading for her Masters degree (“Called to be God’s Leader, Lessons from the Life of Joshua”), the authors focus on the life of Joshua and how God used him greatly despite everything he had going against him. The book compares some of our own historical leaders to Joshua.
The author states that “God takes pleasure in fashioning great leaders from the most unlikely candidates. Modern history corroborates the numerous biblical examples of God doing exactly that. "D.L. Moody was a poor, uneducated young man. His grammar was so poor, church members would squirm in their seats whenever he spoke up! He failed a simple entrance exam for church membership! Yet, by God’s grace, he would become one of the greatest preachers of his era.
"Billy Graham’s first sermon lasted only eight minutes! Those listening to his early attempts at preaching concluded he showed little promise for that vocation. Like Joshua, the early life of these men seemed to preclude any hope of success. Yet God is not as interested in our origins as He is in our obedience.” Our prayer is that God would continue to use these two, unlikely candidates to serve and honor Him!
I Peter 2:9 “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:”
are so grateful to report that just a couple short weeks ago, we received word
that another church voted to support us! This now takes us to 57%! We waited to
send out official word in hopes of other potential support, but in the
difficult economic time our beloved country is facing, we realize that the
normal process for churches to begin supporting new missionaries is lengthened
even more. Even though the economy is supposedly improving, we often find that
it is the church that sees this improvement last, not the first, as it should
be. We are not discouraged in this; we are confident that God is in control of
ALL things! We believe this whole-heartedly – don't you? The belief that
God is sovereign in our lives should make our lives different! This has been
one of our challenges and it is our heart’s desire that we not only believe it,
but live it, as we should. I have to be honest, it has truly changed how we
live and how we proceed in the ministry to which God has called us!
few weeks back we spent some time in Kansas at two of our supporting churches.
What great blessings we received! We were so encouraged and strengthened spiritually.
Even more exciting is that during one service, we saw three individuals make
decisions for the Lord! How thrilling to see how God used us, alongside the
pastor of that ministry! Over the last couple months, we have been
re-working our ministry presentation video, so we were grateful to be able to
show it during these visits.
Since we left Kansas, we
have been traveling throughout Colorado presenting our ministry. It looks
like we will spend most of the winter here. Currently, we have meetings
scheduled through the end of January and have been trying to solidify several other
potential meetings. We are thankful for many individuals who have assisted us
in scheduling more meetings in Colorado.
We want to say a huge "Thank You!" to so many who have been praying about our vehicle. As you know, we were traveling across country when our GMC Yukon kept getting louder and louder. We thought it was the transfer case, but when we finally made it into Kansas City and the mechanic took it apart, we quickly realized it was not the transfer case, but rather the whole rear end. Chunks from the gears were all over.
The Lord was so gracious to us to allow us to travel across six states without breaking down. The mechanic found a low-mileage, good-quality rear end and was able to install it within the timeframe we needed. This allowed us to get back on the road quickly and on to our next meeting in Wichita.
We were so encouraged to receive many phone calls, e-mails, and texts from concerned friends and supporters. The Lord provided in a huge way, and the entire cost of the repair was covered.
Philippians 4:19 "But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus."
We are in Kanas City! Excited to be at our Home Church tomorrow to report to them on what the Lord has been doing with us this summer!
Our trek west confirmed that our truck has some issues. Before our journey, we had a tune-up done, in which the mechanic wanted to do a very costly repair to the transfer case (which we thought was the problem, as well), but due to the timeframe, the mechanic could not complete the work before our journey.
We barely made it to Kansas City, still thinking our issue was the transfer case. Well, thank the Lord for protecting us from getting the work done, because it turns out that it's not the transfer case at all, but rather the whole back end. We are very blessed that we even made it to KC.
We have a Christian mechanic in the area that is looking into all the options available, however, all options take time and money. We are confident in God's continual leading and guiding and are coveting your prayers at this time!
So much has happened since our last prayer letter. As you know, we left California in March and began traveling east. We had wonderful meetings throughout the west and mid-west. These meetings stretched throughout NM, CO, KS, IA, MN, IN, and finally Cleveland, OH for BMM’s Tri-Annual Conference in early July.
Along with our regular presentations, we were privileged to be part of two Vacation Bible Schools this summer, both in MN. We loved talking to the kids about Peru and what it means to be a missionary. We even showed them our little “Peruvian jungle animal”- our dog, Adi! Not sure about this, but the kids might have liked her more than they liked us!
With all the traveling, there is always need for maintenance and upkeep. By the time we arrived in MN, we had to do several repairs to the trailer, including a repair to the floor, which became spongy due to excessive rains and humidity. By the time we left the state, we had developed a few leaks in the roof, which we didn’t fully repair until this last week in South Carolina. Here we were able to investigate some potential transfer case issues we have recently developed, which as of yet, have not been resolved. We praise God for not having any major breakdowns or being stuck on the side of the road thus far in our travels, but ask you to pray for needed wisdom on the transfer case issue, which could necessitate a complete rebuild.
Twenty Peru Team Members attended Baptist Mid-Missions Conference in July! Very happy for the Stein and Cochrell Families, as they head to Peru in August for their first term!
Over Half Way There!!!
We are so excited to share that we currently have 52.3% committed support. With much prayer, consideration, and recommendation from others, we have been encouraged to try and attend Launch Seminar in Cleveland this coming September. In order to attend the seminar, we need to have 60% of our support but will need to have this support raised by mid-August. We need many prayers for this to happen, but we also need additional financial supporters. We only need an additional $375 of committed monthly support, which means that we only need 8 new churches or individuals to commit to $50 per month or only 4 supporters to commit to $100 per month! Would you pray and consider if the Lord would have you partner with us in order to reach the Jungles of Peru for Christ. If you want more information on giving, click here:
As you know from our ministry presentation, we plan to work with several national pastors and missionaries. Throughout our deputation travels, we have had many people ask how to help and support nationals who are serving the Lord. In order to facilitate this desire, Baptist Mid-Missions has helped us set up a special account to help these national servants.
Those who have a special burden to help a national missionary can give to this account, the goal which would be to assist them until the new church is able to support their own pastor. This fund will also be available to help in times of emergency or to help with a special need. Individuals or churches can give to this fund through a one-time gift or can set up a monthly gift. 100% of the monies donated to this account will be given to the nationals. We will update you on where these funds are used, so you can see how the Lord is using your gift and so you can be praying specifically for these servants of the Lord! The national missionaries will also be asked to raise support from churches in Peru. Deputation is a very important part of being a missionary, and we don’t want them to miss out on all the blessings and learning it brings!
The fund is set up under our Project Number (#701364), but if you desire to give to the account, please specify that the gift should be put into the National Pastor’s Assistance Fund. Should you have any further questions, feel free to contact us or Baptist Mid-Missions.
"Revival will not come to our ranks when some preacher preaches something new - revival will come when God's people obey the old! The problem is not ignorance - the problem is disobedience. Our education exceeds our obedience. The need of the hour is not more decisions - the need of the hour is to start living the decisions we have already made. Until that happens, we will be plagued with mediocrity instead of progressing to maturity." - "Mentoring and Modeling" by Dr. John Goetsch/Dr. Mark Rasmussen
Since we've been on the road non-stop, sending a prayer letter or communicating regularly has become increasingly more difficult! We apologize for our lack of communication.
Here's a run-down of the last couple months on the road:
A couple weeks this month was spent in northern California, around Redding. This was the first trip to use the travel trailer that was given us for the remainder of our deputation. During this trip, a church along with a local solar energy company decided to bless us with installing a new solar panel on the travel trailer, along with new batteries for the panel, as well as welding a rack onto the back of the trailer for extra storage. We are so grateful for this huge gift.
We were in Southern California during this month visiting churches. One of these churches was in Thousand Oaks, CA, who's pastor is a retired missionary from BMM who ministered in Peru many years ago. What an amazing time of fellowship and remembering Peru! We would ask that you pray for them and the ministry there, that the Lord would continue to strengthen, grow, and encourage this work for the purpose of showing God's glory through their lives. For Easter, we spent our last Sunday with our dear friends in Larkspur. These folks invited us into their homes and lives and were our "home away from home." They will be greatly missed.
We have now begun our march out of California. We were blessed to have one last meeting in California, this time in Concord with one of Becky's pastors, from when she was in middle school. We truly enjoyed our time at Tabernacle Baptist Church, as we were able to get to know many who have the same desire to reach their own communities for Christ. From there we dropped into Arizona for a couple days to visit Bob's dad and to prepare for the rest of our trip East. The next Sunday, we were in Las Cruces, NM presenting at a church plant, Mountain View Baptist Church. We have known the pastor for several years and had a great time with everyone there. We were encouraged to see their passion for the lost, of the desire to teach sound Biblical truths, and of the building the body of Christ. The rest of the month will be spent in Colorado, visiting churches from the southwest to the southeast.
The Months Ahead
Starting in May, we continue our trek east, starting at our home church, Olivet Baptist Church in Westwood, KS. From there, we travel to Iowa and Minnesota, then ultimately Cleveland, OH, where we will attend the Tri-Annual Conference at BMM.
Thanks to each and every one of you who have given to us in one way or another, as the Lord directed and burdened your hearts. We are truly thankful. We may not have the opportunity to appropriately show you our gratitude this side of heaven, but we pray that God reward you abundantly for your love and care for us and for those that are lost and dying in Peru!
We covet your prayers as we prepare to travel many miles over the next several months. In preparation for this, a church here in California, along with a solar energy company, blessed us greatly by installing a solar panel on the travel trailer we will be using throughout the duration of our pre-field ministry.
A huge "Thank You!" to so many who have called and e-mailed wanting an update on the political situation in Peru. We have received a few more details about the new law that went into affect January 18th, concerning the annual visas for foreign missionaries. One of the reasons that we have not been able to give an update before now is that it seemed impossible to get a clear understanding of what this new law even said, because the laws were changing, on what seemed like, a daily basis. As many of you know, this situation is a common occurrence in many foreign countries.
As of right now, we know that this new law requires religious entities to register or re-register with the Justice department, if they want to obtain or maintain religious residency visas. There are now thirteen requirements in order to obtain these visas, one of which states that we must "mention" a minimum of 10,000 followers. At first, we thought that the interpretation meant that Baptist Mid-Missions needed 10,000 missionaries in the country, which is impossible; however, we have now learned this is not the correct interpretation of the law. The current missionaries on the field have submitted the re-registration paperwork, which included a broad interpretation of this law. The missionaries did extensive research on the history of Baptist MId-Missions within the country and counted the number of total spiritual descendants of BMM's works in Peru during the last 75 years. This number surpassed 20,000 believers, which we hope to be sufficient. As one missionary currently on the field explained, "We are praying that Justice would decide favorably for BMM." We should have an answer around February 25th and will update you when we know more details.
We are delighted and thankful to report that another church has joined us, as one of our faithful supporters! That puts our support level at 30.3%! This is exciting and reminds us that our goal of 50% by the end of 2012 might still be attainable by the end of this month, as many churches will be voting in the coming weeks about our possible support. Would you commit to pray that we reach 50% support by the end of January? Would you consider partnering with us in reaching the unreached through financial and prayer support?
You may remember our last e-mail concerning a recent law to Peru that foreign-mission agencies have 10,000 members in order to receive their annual visas. Currently the number of missionaries with Baptist Mid-Missions is 30 members. There is suspicion that the militant sect of Catholics, Corpus Dei, are behind this law, which many lawyers have deemed unconstitutional. President Ollanta Humala could sign a modification to the law which would reduce the number of members to 120 or no limit at all. It is not likely that the president will sign either of these modifications, as he has been given numerous opportunities to do so, and has refused. The last opportunity for him to sign one of these modifications is January 18th, as the following day, the law goes into effect.
We have known for some time that president Humala has had ties to many in the communist party. January 12, 2013 Humala took a controversial trip to Cuba. According to website, www.peruthisweek.com, they stated, "Humala also met with Fidel Castro, with whom he had a conversation, which 'emphasized the long tradition of friendship and cooperation that unites the Peruvian and Cuban peoples,' a Peruvian government spokesperson said, according to El Comercio." (El Comercio is a Peruvian newspaper; link to article found below). There is cause for prayer! We know the Lord is in control of these situations. We are praying for our fellow missionaries in Peru, some of whom have been established there for years. They are the ones who are dealing with the uncertainties on a daily basis.
Would you please join us in praying for the future of missions in Peru, especially over the next few days? http://www.peruthisweek.com/news-3414-perus-humala-meets-with-raul-and-fidel-castro-in-cuba/