My family and I enjoyed a long-awaited trip to the States in May. Before we departed Peru, we were saddened to know that one of our Sunday school children’s grandmothers had passed away. We had befriended Sra. Josepha a few months prior. She was bedridden and didn’t want to eat or drink anymore. I quickly gained her trust and built a good rapport with her. I understood that her favorite drink was a cold Sprite. Therefore, every visit I presented her with one. Later I learned that she looked forward to our Saturday visits. She loved to see our family and the Sunday school children who always accompany us on Saturdays. Sadly, a few days before we departed Peru, she passed away. We attended her wake and felt a little “out of place,” as we didn’t know the distant families that were present. We tried to start conversations with them, and we could tell that they were grieving heavily. I took out the last cold Sprite I would ever bring Sra. Josepha and placed it near her casket. Immediately, the family members started to talk to each other, and a smile came upon their faces. One lady walked over to me and asked, “Are you the brother from the church who would always bring her a cold Sprite?” I smiled as I nodded, “Yes.” She thanked me for doing this and stated that Sra. Josepha always spoke highly of our church and our Sunday school children. She also added that Sra. Josepha always told her bedside visitors about the “brother” who brought her the cold Sprites. They finally got to meet her Sprite supplier. They thanked me and our church for all the love we gave their mom and grandmother, Sra. Josepha.
Dedication to move forward doing the Lord’s work.
Our trip in May, although short in time, was going to have us visiting various churches. Unfortunately, we were greeted with sad news: Bro. Dan Hubbard would no longer be our Team Leader and would no longer be with us in Peru. We were deeply saddened and hurt. I found myself staying close to our home church in the event that they needed me for anything. I was really hurt because I knew my family looked forward to visiting churches. I actually had to turn an invitation down. Needless to say, we were greatly blessed to be in our home church. It was good for us to hear good, solid preaching live and in our language. I was able to teach in some adult Sunday school classes. I was also able to see two of my family members graduate from high school. I remember holding one of them in my arms when she was only a few months old—talk about feeling old. We spent quality time with our immediate family.
Upon our return to Peru, we were greeted with special visitors, Pastor Wilkerson and his wife. Pastor Wilkerson gave us an encouraging message. The churches took the earlier mentioned sad news with great spirit and dedication to move forward doing the Lord’s work. Bro. Zach Foust will be taking over the leadership of FBMI Team Peru.
She thanked me for reintroducing her to Jesus.
I was standing in line to make a bank deposit and noticed a flustered lady behind me. She was about my mom’s age and seemed really agitated. I asked her if she was okay, and she scoffed as she said, “No.” My number was finally called, and I asked the lady behind me for her ticket as I handed her mine. She either didn’t know what I was saying, or she was just shocked at the gesture. The young man behind her angrily told her to give me her ticket and then pointed to the teller window and said, “You’re next.” A good 15 minutes went by, and I was now done with my bank deposit. I walked out of the bank, and the lady was waiting for me at the door. She stated that she was having a bad day, as she had just been given horrible news regarding her family. She stated that she was very upset with humanity and all the evil in the world. I apologized for her troubles and sympathized with her. She stated that my kind gesture gave her hope. I smiled and asked her if she had a few minutes to talk. A good 30 minutes went by, and Sra. Margarita received Christ as her Saviour. She thanked me for “making her day” and for reintroducing her to Jesus.
To be continued . . .
I am thankful for praying and giving friends such as you. If it weren’t for you, my family and I would not be able to be here in Lima, Peru. We love you and pray for you often. I pray that the Lord continues to bless you and your family.
I have included links below for more information and pictures of the various ministries of Team Peru (IBI). Please feel free to share them with friends and families who may ask, “Hey, what is Team Peru up to?”
• Safety for our family, our new team leader Bro. Zach Foust, and the other families of Team Peru
• Additional monthly financial support
• Health for the families of Team Peru
• My dad’s physical therapy
• My wife’s grandmothers, who are experiencing medical complications with every year
• We saw 51 souls saved.
• Sunday school class children are soul winning and bringing visitors to church.
• My dad is gaining more movement through his therapy and is starting to become more confident in his mobility.
• Marco celebrated his 14th birthday.
• I celebrated my birthday in May.
• My family and I had the opportunity to visit our home church and spend time with our family members.
Thank you once again for your prayers and support.
Your co-laborers to Peru,
Abraham, Fabiola, Marco, Leilani, and Joaquin Avila