We are currently enjoying our mid-year break and trying to get caught up on many things. I need to apologize for not keeping up with our updates the way that we should. Please forgive me. I will be making it a higher priority to send the updates in a timely manner. Over the next few days I will be sending updates from the months that have been missed.
February & March
The Peruvian school year begins March 1st. Our missionary staff returned from their Christmas break in time to begin our teacher in-services on the 6th of February. We began this year with a 3-day staff retreat with a focus on individual spiritual growth and team building. As this was my first retreat with them, I invited myself as the guest speaker. We learned about having the mind of Christ, the dangers of pride, dealing with bitterness, making biblically-based decisions, understanding the basics of a Christian worldview, and reviewing principles of witnessing. It was a good time for me to get to know the staff better and for the staff members to get to know some of the new members of the team. During the rest of the time before the school year started, we prepared the building, prepared lessons, and prepared ourselves for ministry. The school year then got off to a good start with over 300 students. We are looking forward to all that the Lord will do through the school this year.
Eating lunch with the staff at the retreat center
The LMCS staff before coming home from the retreat
Shortly after arriving in Peru last August, we began attending a new church plant that was meeting at the new school location. One of the missionary families who helped start the church, Andy Pace's family, was due to come home on furlough and our family was asked to help fill in for them while they were gone. I helped teaching some evangelism classes, leading the music, and assisting with a few other projects. JD also helped with the sound and multimedia equipment. We enjoyed working with the church and with the Frerichs (the other missionary family that started the church) during these months. In early March, the Paces returned to Peru to continue their ministry here in Peru. Since the church is a new church, having three missionary families may cause an over dependence on the missionaries and discourage the Peruvians from taking responsibility and leadership in their church. We will therefore be transitioning to another church shortly. We thank God for the time of ministry that we had with New Life Baptist Church of Sol de La Molina.
People of New Life Baptist Church
As if getting ready for a new school year was not enough, we moved to a "new" rented house. The Lord provided a larger home for us to rent at about the same price of our previous home. One of the teachers from the school will also be living in an apartment located on the property. The extra space will come in handy for hosting groups from the States as well as school and church groups. We are not sure how long we will be able to live here after the one-year lease is up as the owner is looking to sale the house. The housing prices in Peru are increasing and property value on this side of town is astounding. The owner of the house gave us first dibs on buying the house but the asking price is far beyond what we would be able to afford (or even wise to spend). We will use the house for as long as the Lord allows us to live here for His glory.
Though Debbie and the kids took a few weeks off from their Spanish classes, they are progressing well with the language. Vicky Garcia, their Spanish teacher is a pastor's wife and was not available for a few weeks as she worked at the summer camp ministry that their association of Baptist churches have. Even though they enjoyed the break from the formal classes, just being here and hearing the Spanish around them helps them to continue learning. They also enjoyed having some time off to enjoy the summer weather with some of the other missionary families.
In March, JD and Amy were also able to go on the FMCA high school retreat. FMCA is the Christian school for missionary kids from which I graduated. Though our kids are still being homeschooled, they go to FMCA on Fridays to attend and help with the AWANA program. Because of the relationship that has formed with the school, JD and Amy were invited to attend the annual retreat. It was very good for them to be able to participate with other Christian young people and hear messages that were directed at their age group in a language that they understood. They enjoyed their time greatly.
Our rented house
Sunrise shot taken by JD who enjoys photography
Amy (wearing the hat) at the missionary school retreat
Emmanuel Baptist Church
4681 East Trindle Rd.
Mechanicsburg, PA 17050
(Please do not mail us anything without checking with us first through email)
Costa de Oro, Mz 3B, Lote 7
Sol de la Molina
Lima 12, PERU
Open Door Baptist Missions
1115 Pelham Road
Greenville, SC 29615-3603