I just helped to host the first Conference for Ladies at Calvary Baptist Church in Tacna, Peru. We were praying for 50 ladies and God blessed us with over 80 ladies who attended the three days of the conference. We had a special speaker Mrs. Luisa Silva come from Arequipa to speak to the ladies. I was also able to teach a session to the single ladies on Saturday. Five ladies came from across the boarder in Arica, Chile. Those who chose to stay overnight I housed with me. We had a great time of fellowship in the evening also. I also lead the services, and I was able to lead the invitation times. We had several ladies respond to their need of salvation and speak to their pastor’s wives separately. Many ladies also made decisions for their spiritual growth, commitment, and service to the Lord. Please pray that these decisions will continue to grow and bloom (florece) in their lives.
Sunday morning God blessed my ministry with the deaf in a special way. I have been leading deaf Bible studies for over 6 months now. The deaf here in Tacna lack Bible knowledge and understanding of spiritual concepts. I have prayerfully taught through Bible stories while presenting who God is and the spiritual basics like sin and its penalties, and Jesus’ gift of redemption and forgiveness of sin through His death on the cross.
This Sunday 6 of the most faithful deaf students came for our class time. God used the review of the lesson of Adam and Eve and the first sin to bring the deaf class to understand their need to accept the Lord Jesus as their personal Savior and the only one who takes our place our penalty and guilt that we deserve and gives us His innocence.
Praise the Lord God led in each step of the lesson and each illustration God put in my heart, and three people accepted the Lord as their Savior. I am very excited by this first fruit of the deaf ministry. Please continue to pray as I lead the deaf ministry and as Pastor Henry and the other leaders and I work to build a strong deaf ministry to really help the deaf community in Tacna.
This week we celebrated the church’s anniversary. We had special services on Friday and Saturday, and a Grand banquet and services on Sunday. The Stover family arranged for Fred Kindhart, the Central and South American field director for Macedonia World Baptist Missions, to come and preach for our conference. On Saturday there was an earthquake during the middle of the message, but God still worked after the distraction was over. A teen age girl who I have been witnessing to and praying for received Christ as her Savior. Pray for Romina as she begins her Christian life. On Sunday, I had a huge number of people come on my bus route. Lucia, my visitation and bus route partner, and I just kept picking up more and more kids and two moms. One other mom came with her two children on her own, and Lucia ended up having to take five people in a taxi because there was just no more room in the van. On the way home I took everyone home in two turns like in the “old days” with my little car. We picked up 37, and took 40 home! Praise the Lord for such a blessing.
I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. We had a good time here in Peru.
Here Christmas is celebrated more on Christmas Eve than on Christmas day. Traditionally families join together and plan to eat their big turkey dinner at midnight Christmas Eve. At midnight the Peruvian tradition is to also set off fireworks. We had a special Christmas service in the morning and then spent time with family in the evening. I spent the Christmas Eve celebrations with the family of our national pastor, Pastor Henry Sucapuca. We had a nice time of fellowship and enjoyed watching the fireworks in the neighborhood at midnight.
On New Years Eve Peruvians also light fireworks but the display for Christmas is much bigger. We celebrated New Years in the church with a special service and fellowship time. We planned to eat dinner together at 9:30 and then watch a Christian film until midnight. We wanted to watch the fireworks and then come back inside the church and finish the evening with a prayer time. As we were finishing dinner at about 10:30, the electricity went out. We waited for a while and then decided to finish our meeting with prayer and go home. We were disappointed to have to change our plans, but I believe God did it on purpose to protect me. After the service I took several families home with the church van. As we got close to their houses we had to navigate through some crazy street celebrations. Many people had been drinking and twice people ran out in front of the van. I was able to avoid hitting anyone, but I can only imagine how much worse it would have been after midnight when they had really celebrated. So even in disappointment I can see that God’s way was better for me.
I wanted to give you an update on the two new ministry opportunities that I have for this summer.
First of all, on Saturday, I went to the deaf association of Tacna’s meeting. I was able to meet many deaf adults at the meeting, and I will continue to visit their meetings for the next few months. I pray that as I get to know the members of the deaf community, I will be able to invite them to the church, and win many people to the Lord. Pray that this could be one of the first steps to starting a great deaf ministry here in Tacna.
Today I was able to meet with Maria the Director of the State orphanage (Aldea) here in Tacna. We have scheduled for me to teach English classes two days a week to the 3rd-6th grade students. I also pray that these classes will be the first step to building a great ministry here in Tacna working with the orphans and abandoned children here.
Please pray for two opportunities for new ministries.
I have been in touch with the director of the government run orphanage here in Tacna. I have asked to be considered as a volunteer in their program. I would like to go one to two times a week to tutor the children, to teach English classes, or to play with the younger children. I am contacting her again this week as she would like to plan English classes for the summer months. Pray that this will be an opening for me to minister more in the future. As I work with the children I pray that I can be a godly example, and also minister to their spiritual needs.
A second ministry opportunity that has presented itself recently, has been a long time desire of mine. As many of you know I have worked in deaf ministries in the United States. I have prayed about finding an inroads into the deaf community here in Tacna, but I had not found any open doors until recently. I have been invited to go to a deaf club meeting for Christmas. I have just learned of this club and I hope to minister to them and their needs as I get to know the deaf here. There is also a young lady who has recently come back to our church. She has been taking classes online to learn sign language, and is very excited about trying to start a deaf ministry with me.
Please pray for these ministries and that God will bless me as I try to serve Him in every way I can.
Here are some Photos of our recent baptisms.
In November we held our annual mission’s conference. Many of our church members came out to decorate for this week. Here are some of the pictures from that night.
Bulletin board decorated with our theme, “For all the world, For my city.”
Flags from various countries.
Preparing back drop decorations.
South American map