This June, we have been jumping with jubilee here in Peru. We started the month with a big shipment from Lima to the jungle in preparations for our missions trip. We shipped 28 boxes of supplies of first-aid and dental materials, tracts, books for pastors, discipleship booklets, and more. We had many meetings to coordinate the participation of four different churches. Meanwhile, excitement and attendance were building at our church.
The week before the big trip, we took our fourth and last preparation trip. Along with four men from our church, Savannah, our oldest daughter, and I flew to the jungle. When they arrived in Nauta, they split into two different teams. The four men from our church stayed in Nauta and went up a different river each day to prepare for our meetings in the villages. Savannah and I rode back to Iquitos to go shopping for needed items. These purchases were graciously made possible by the special offerings of a few churches. We bought a new sound system, a refrigerator, a stove, propane tanks, an industrial fan, etc. for our host church in the jungle. To be used in the boats, we also bought six battery-powered speakers, six microphones with cables, and life vests. This shopping day had to have been our best daddy-daughter date yet.
Just two days later, the big trip began. Friday night, Pastor Eric Grindstaff, with a group of 20 from Grace Baptist Church of Marion, North Carolina, arrive in Lima. Two hours later, Dr. Daniel Siemer arrived in Lima. Saturday, we enjoyed a big lunch cooked by the people of Pastor Grindstaff’s church. After the meal, we spent three hours sharing testimonies. We finished the day going out soul winning, and 10 were saved. During Father’s Day Sunday, Peru had a hard lockdown. We walked a group of 20 well-dressed Americans from the hotel to the church four blocks away. The police watched us along the way, but no one bothered us. We started the service with our traditional Father’s Day bacon-cheeseburger breakfast.
Monday morning, 64 people from Lima arrived in the jungle. At 1:00 p.m., we arrived at the hotels and spent the rest of the day in preparations for the week. Tuesday morning, we went in 6 different boats to visit villages along 3 different rivers. We visited 23 villages in one day. We preached to 1,288 people, and 360 were saved. The next day in Nauta, we started our “Healthy Faith and Family” conference. Each afternoon, Dr. Siemer, Marvin Hancock (a national champion for CPR), and Mrs. Cathy Grindstaff (a registered nurse) taught first-aid classes. Wednesday night, 22 received Christ as Saviour. Thursday morning after classes for the pastors, the whole conference went out soul winning, and 155 souls were saved. Pastor Grindstaff took a few interpreters along with his group to go out street preaching at a local festival. Thursday evening, with more than 300 in attendance, 19 souls surrendered their lives to full-time Christian service. To conclude the conference, each family was given a first-aid kit. Fifty-eight pastors were present, and we’ve already had reports of some starting soul-winning programs in their churches.
The next morning, we took our group to the hospital. We had the opportunity to present CPR mannequins, hospital gowns, and first-aid kits to the hospital staff. We preached the Gospel to the entire staff. Everyone was so enraptured in the moment that nobody counted, but we know that many were saved. It seemed as if everyone in unison was asking God to save them that morning. The hospital administrator wants to work with us in further village outreaches.
The Lord truly poured out His Spirit during the week. The brotherly love was rich between church members and other churches working together. Our people, including our family, worked themselves sick. All our key leaders on the trip and their wives came down with the flu bug. I’m happy to report that all are well or recovering. The consensus among the sick is that we would happily do it again. We serve with great people here, made possible by the support of great people, made possible by the care of a great God. We can conservatively say that more than 500 were saved on the trip. Including souls saved in preparation for the trip, more than 700 were saved. Only eternity can measure the fruit that abounds to your account here.
Thank you to our dear supporting churches that supplied special offerings to make this trip possible. Please pray for our family and Sarah’s pregnancy. Please pray for our church, as many are out sick. Please pray for Team Peru. Pastor Foust and his wife are sick. Please pray for our upcoming Pastors’ School here in Lima. Thank you to so many for your love, support, and prayers. God bless you.
In Christ in Peru,
Mark, Sarah, Savannah, Paul, Samuel, Rebekah, Luke, and One More Rader