I was raised in a Lutheran home. My pastor was an old-fashioned pastor and still taught salvation through grace but left the final step for you to take on your own. Speaking about salvation was just not done, as they viewed it as a personal thing between you and God. When I was seven, I attended a Vacation Bible School at the same church. It was after a story on the fiery furnace that I realized that I needed to be saved. After the class was let out, I stayed behind by myself, knelt at my chair, and trusted in Jesus and asked Him to save me.
My mother grew up as a Methodist and stopped attending church when she married my father who was a Catholic. My Mom’s family would invite us to Sunday school, and as kids we visited their church. I always remembered the happy songs and the sweet people we met there. Years later my youngest sister started attending a Methodist church and kept inviting me to go with her. A few months later, I finally went and heard the wonderful truth about Christ. That same day at the age of seventeen, I asked Jesus to be my Saviour.
In early 2012 after prayer, fasting, and pastoral counsel, we felt that God was leading us to join Team Peru. Being able to use my aviation skills on a mission field had always interested me. We will have the opportunity to utilize aviation in the future in Peru. With the skills God has given me through the years in mechanics, aviation, and education, I believe we are ideally prepared for this work.
We hope and pray that you had a happy New Year! New Year’s celebrations in Peru were subdued this year due to the quarantine and the curfews that were in place. No meetings, reunions, or parties were allowed; and no one could be out after 6:00 p.m. There were fireworks being set off on every street as usual, but the police were out and trying to keep the people indoors.
In early January, we held an online conference. Normally, this would have been an in-person conference in the north of Peru, but due to COVID, we had no other choice. It went well, and we pray that many pastors were refreshed and that many church members were encouraged.
Our annual Youth Camp was scheduled in February but had to be moved. The new date is now in August. We also had to do our Youth Conference completely virtually. We had a great attendance and had good reports about the conference.
January saw our first summer school course in our institute. Pastor Tommy Ashcraft was our guest teacher and taught on planting a New Testament church. There was a separate class for the ladies. There were a variety of teachers for the ladies’ class, including Irene. The second summer class was Hermeneutics with Pastor Enoc Principe from Trujillo, Peru. Both of these classes were done using Zoom.
Our U.S. Embassy finally opened, and I was able to get my temporary passport just one week before they closed again! We took a relatively short trip to visit Ecuador, our northern neighbor. We were able to visit with a few missionaries and pastors there and were excited to see the work that they are doing there. We also had the opportunity to visit Shell, Ecuador, known as “The Gateway to the Jungle.” If that sounds familiar to you, it’s due to a group of missionaries in the 1950s whose base of operations was there. These are the five missionaries that were speared to death in 1953 by the Waodani Indians. The most famous of the group was Jim Elliot; however, my favorite was Nate Saint because he was the pilot. The house that he built is still there in Shell, and it is now a museum. We enjoyed our time there, but we had to get back and prepare for our first furlough since coming to Peru.
Thank you for your amazing support. We know that God has amazing things planned for us, and we are thrilled to have you working alongside us!