Greetings from a COVID-19 world! Had someone told us all the changes that this year would bring, it would have been near impossible to believe, but here we are!
Here in Peru, we are still under a watered-down version of quarantine. While some of the more extreme restrictions have been lifted, any gathering of people is still not permitted, and Sundays are once again under a mandatory stay-at-home order. While we do record our services from the church, the only people in attendance are the three families we have living on the property. Even still, it is fantastic to be able to preach and sing from our own pulpit.
While we are not able to congregate physically, we are still seeing God move in incredible ways. He keeps building His church, and we stand amazed in the process. About 10 weeks ago, God placed in the hearts of some of our members to donate food enough to feed 20 families for a week. We made a packet of food with enough of the basic staples to feed a family for a week. After giving to our members, we had a few packets left over, so we took them to the neighbors beside and in front of the church. The next week, we decided to increase that amount to 50 baskets of food, and we were able to give to all the neighbors on the street.
We were thrilled after those couple of weeks, happy in knowing that God had used us to be a blessing to those around us, but we quickly realized that our work was not done. God provided the money to be able to increase the amount and give 100 packets of food for multiple weeks, but each week, more and more people were left waiting in line without having enough to give them. For the last two weeks, we have given out 150 packets, and people have started coming from other parts of our district to receive a food packet. This last weekend, with 200 packets prepared, we had planned to open our doors at 10:30 a.m. to start handing out food. Our church secretary called us at 8:00 a.m., letting us know that there were already 100 people lined up to receive their food.
While it’s amazing to be able to provide for the physical needs, our favorite part of this food bank has been being able to witness to every person who comes through the door. We have seen hundreds of people saved in the last two months, and many of them are now following all of the church’s live services. We have had people baptized and seen God do amazing things.
Would you consider helping to purchase food packets? We have found that for $5.00, we can provide a family with the necessary staples to make it through a week, but it also gives us an entrance to share the Gospel and introduce them to the One Who can truly meet their needs.
Please pray for us. We are starting multiple new discipleship groups via Zoom to meet the ever-increasing need of training these new converts. Pray for our people, as they continue to love and reach the most needy here in Peru.
These times are definitely different; but God is still doing huge things, and it’s incredible to have a small part in HIS work. Thanks for giving to make it possible.
Josh and Heather