As the title suggests, our June missions trip was an incredible time. Marsha and I presented material from our book, “God’s Blueprint for Marriage”, in four meetings, including a pastors conference. It blesses us to see how our story of repentance, reconciliation and restoration touches so many lives.
Every trip to Peru is special, but this one was made extra special because we stayed with one of our adopted Peru families, Paul and Maria Diamond and their daughter, Alani. And we were accompanied by our spiritual son and grandson from home, Aaron and Andrew Hollinger, and by Diana Velasquez, one of our spiritual daughters, from Amarillo, TX,.
Andrew got his preaching feet wet with two youth conferences. Aaron ministered at a youth Conference, a business leaders’ workshop, and at Pastor Samuel Castillo’s church. Pastor Samuel was our Hispanic pastor here before returning to Peru to serve with his father.
We arrived on Thursday June 1, and went to work the next evening at a marriage conference hosted by Pastors Luis and Sofia Soldevilla. In our first session we shared our testimony, and how Marsha and I learned to forgive ourselves when dealing with sin. Out of that message over half of the congregation were set free from the guilt and shame of their own sins. Saturday we spoke at another marriage conference, this one is San Juan de Lurigancho, hosted by Pastors Jans and Rachel Ramirez, and we saw similar results.
We were at Comunidad de Fe and Emanuel Bible Church Zarate on our first Sunday. Since that day was Pentecost Sunday, when we celebrate the outpouring of the Holy Spirit and the birth of the church, I preached from Acts 1 and 2, then invited each congregation to experience the Power of Pentecost and be filled with the Holy Spirit. Dozens responded to that invitation, filling the front of the sanctuaries. There were many salvations at each service.
Tuesday June 6, Diana Velasquez and Marsha spoke at a women’s conference at Emanuel-Zarate. About 100 women were in attendance, learning what it means to be brave women of God.
Wednesday we made a 2 hr 45 minute trip to meet with a house church, Christian Villa Club. In my mind I was evaluating the trip to meet with a group of about 15. But when one of those 15 received Jesus Christ as his Savior, I concluded, “Yes, it’s worth it!’
Thursday I preached at an Evangelical Church of Christ in San Juan de Lurigancho, where long time friend, Abraham Gueverra, is pastor. What began as a very small turnout turned in to a nearly full house. I had a message prepared on the blessing of giving, but the Holy Spirit prompted me to preach on Luke 15, The Lost Sheep, The Lost Coin, the Prodical Son and the Bitter Older Brother. At the conclusion six people received Jesus, including the worship leader and drummer!
Friday evening we spoke at a parenting conference at Emanuel Bible Church San Juan de Lurigancho, to a predominately non-Christian group of moms and dads of children through ages 1-6. We shared the importance of parents demonstrating love for each other and for the children, and an importance of growing up in a home without strife. Following that we answered questions like, “What do you do when your 3-year old has a temper tantrum?”, or “What’s the appropriate discipline for a 2-year old?” Marsha’s years as a pediatric nurse in Tulsa helped her field those questions.
Satiarday evenning we spoke at a pastors conference in the Villa El Salvador district. Marsha spoke to the women on leadership, and I spoke to the men on overcoming discouragement. Over half of the 100 or so in attendance came forward for prayer for their discouragement. Then, in a joint session we both shared “Marriage is a Cross-Cultural Ministry”, from “Los Planes de Dios Para Matrimonio” (God’s Blueprint…”)
meanwlie on Saturday Diana was speaking at a women’s conference, while Aaron and Andrew two meetings, the first for young adults on the second floor
Sunday morning I preached the 8:30 service at Catredal de Fe on “Seven Tactics of the Enemy and How to Overcome Them”, which is the subject of the next book I’m working on. We left about 25 copies of our book, with instructions that the proceeds go toward relief for the victims of the recent flooding in Peru. We were only about ten minutes out, en route to our next ministry event, whe the church called requesting more copies!
Our final ministry stop was at the Evangelical Church of Christcin San Martin, one of our “home churches” in Lima, where Juan de Dios and Cristina Huaman are the pastors. There, I preached a message of hope from Mark 4, when Jesus calmed the storm. Following lunch with Pastor Juan and Pastora Cristina we returned to our host home, where we spent our final hours before returning home.
On my second trip (Marsha stayed home that time), God said not to count the number of salvations on our trips because it could lead to pride. So, though I don’t know how many people received Jesus Christ as Savior on this trip, there were a bunch! But, even if it were only one who was saved, it was worth the trip to that one!
Thank you for your prayers and support. We are looking at November or early December for our next trip, and will keep our friends posted on our plans.