It was a difficult decision for us to temporarily return to the United States and leave the work in Peru. Not because we were leaving it to the national’s care, that is what we would prefer. And not because we would be traveling through 23 states, though that reason is a close second. It is that we miss the blessings of being on the front line, where every day challengers are met with the Lord of the Harvest leading us and providing for us in unusual ways.
As most missionaries do, we work on prayerfully preparing new leaders as much as we can before we turnover responsibilities to those we have prayed for. It is difficult, for sure, to let go and let God have His way without our interference or intervention. I must admit, praying for peace and grace to accept what we were about to experience, was not what I planned for.
In a sense, I realized what it is like to ask you to pray for something or someone that is distanced and foreign to you. I learned on this furlough that God uses these events to prove me and strengthen me for our return. I have learned that I can trust Him in prayer and ask Him in faith to bless the diligence of the laborers, protect the testimonies of the ones who are not being discipled, and keep the souls of those longing to hear, but have not yet received the gospel message.
Three challenges came to the three ministries God entrusted to us in Peru. I will attempt to share them with you without devolving all of the details.
The first incident involved La Molina Christian Schools. I couldn’t have made the extended trip without the help and support of others who are willing to fill in and substitute teach from the curriculum, quizzes and Powerpoint Programs left for them to use. A temporary “helps missionary” volunteered for the first quarter, teaching almost 75 students he had never met. As planned, he would not be able to stay until I returned in July. However, another missionary was willing and available to help. Praise God! What we did not expect was a medical emergency with which he was faced. As we heard the news, we prayed for answers. At the time of this writing he has continued to teach, but his burden increased to over 100 students, and an important surgery is looming in the immediate future!
Along with the care of the village ministries, we have been able to bring special people with us to help in Antioquia. Our intention was for the weekly discipleship and soul winning to continue without interruption. I have not been able to discover all the details explaining what isn’t happening. Please use this information you have now to PRAY for God to encourage him and provide whatever it is that prevented him from going.
And lastly, please pray for the Jesus Maria church plant. The Lord used an experience, which became a good proving period, and resolve something quickly. Praise God the members are stronger for it and have grown in the Lord.