Summer came to a crashing stop, and we jumped right back into school . . . almost. First, we took our team winners from our teen competition on a prize trip! What better thing to do than to go help start a church?! Nine teens got to go on our first missions trip. We visited a town called Paracas about three hours south of here. The teens did an awesome job of jumping in right away to lead the service, soul win, make visits, and do repairs around the future church and pastor’s home. They led singing, played guitar, installed locks on doors, painted a house, and enjoyed every minute of hard work, I think. If you would be so kind as to pray for Giancarlo and Dora Sarmiento, it would mean a lot to me. They have since been able to move into the house we painted and are now holding services in the church building.
Some of you may have heard about the mudslides and disastrous floods that have hit Peru in the past month. We had about five days without water around where I live, but other than that, the Lord has kept me very safe. Unfortunately, there are many other places in the country that have been seriously devastated. It typically “never rains” here, so there are no drainage systems. Some parts of Peru have flooded up to six or seven feet high. Many have lost homes, bridges have collapsed, and major highways have been completely washed away. I’ve seen videos and heard stories of how bad it is; it sounds like a horror story and not quite real life.
Please pray for so many who are struggling in my country. Pray that this tragedy will turn people’s hearts to God instead of away from Him. Many are confused and wondering how a good God could allow something like this to happen. The damage will take years to recover from. Many areas will never be the same again; and, for sure, many hearts will forever be changed. I believe about 60 people have died in these tragedies. I can’t imagine losing a loved one and everything one has, standing in lines in hope of receiving a piece of bread and having nowhere to get a clean shower, not to mention nowhere to rest my head. Perú is doing its best to send relief, but your prayers are appreciated and coveted.
Mariella showed up at my Wednesday night ladies’ class. I’ve just started a series on “Sacrificial Love.” I thought she had attended before, but I wasn’t completely sure. Of course, I got to share about Christ and His love for us. I challenged the ladies: “When was the last time it actually cost you something to love someone else?” In addition, I challenged them with: “When was the last time you loved someone who could do nothing to repay you?” Culture is so different here than in the States. Even the most common kindness in our mind to them is almost overwhelming. I taught them the phrase we so often say in the States: “And they’ll know we are Christians by our love.” None of them had ever heard that before, so I began painting a picture for them of our church being a church that is good at loving people.
At the end of my class, Mariella and the young lady who brought her came over to me and told me what a blessing my class had been, and then I realized that Mariella wasn’t yet saved. I took a few moments to share Christ’s love in a personal way, and she readily accepted Jesus as her Saviour. Doesn’t she have the sweetest smile ever?
The Lord constantly shows me His never-failing love. I’m one blessed girl to get to serve Him daily and see Him move in so many incredible ways. If I took all day, I couldn’t tell you everything He’s done recently! Someday you should just come see for yourself! Thank you for your prayers. I really covet them. God is incredibly good, but I know it’s only by His grace that I can do what I get to do. May He bless you richly for your sacrifice in giving so that I can be here.
Gratefully serving Him,