Since I can remember, my father always took us, his children, wherever he went. There were evenings I thought I would have to myself after homework, only to realize my Dad was leaving to his side job as a remodeler of office spaces. There we went, my brothers and I, following our dad into his 1980 Chevy Suburban at 5 p.m. We aided our Dad throughout his projects. We were his official “go-fers”; you know, “Go for this. Go for that.” We would get home close to 11 p.m., sometimes later. I remember feeling physically and mentally fatigued. Taking a shower was the last thing an 8- to 12-year- old boy wanted to do at that moment. We begrudgingly took our showers and got our clothes ready for the following school day. In a short amount of time, our school bus would be by to pick us up and take us to City Baptist School. We closed our eyes; and, in what seemed like a split second, our alarm clock sounded, letting us know that it was now 5 a.m. It was time to get ready, as our bus would be by in less than an hour. We would walk down to the dining room, only to see that our dad had already left for his regular construction job.
I recall asking my dad if he ever got tired, and he would say with a smile, “Anything worth doing is worth doing right.” Unfortunately, one of the side effects of doing things right is almost always fatigue. However, some things are worth getting tired for, so I just focus on that when I do get tired. I really didn’t get what my dad meant until I started working on my own in high school. It definitely rang true once I had my own family.
Fast forward a decade and a half, my family and I are now in Lima, Peru. My fatigue is more mental than physical, and my patience tends to wear thin at times. I have had this question asked by several people in the last few years: “Is there anything that bothers you since you moved to Lima, Peru?” I always smile and respond, “Satan know where to get us. He knows my weaknesses and my struggles, but better than that, God knows them as well. I’ll just continue asking God for strength.” Then I hear my Dad’s words in my ears, and I focus on them when I do get tired.
The kids know what’s about to “go down.”
Hot chocolate in 90-degree weather anyone? We were somewhat surprised to find out that it is customary to drink hot chocolate for Christmas here in Peru. I say “somewhat” because we did the same thing in the States, but we’re talking about walking around in snowy weather with snowflake-kissed noses and a cup of hot chocolate in one’s hand.
There is an outreach/humanitarian activity in which a vast majority of the Peruvian residents partake. It is called “Chocolatada.” What it entails is taking hot chocolate, panettone (an Italian sweet bread), and toys to low-income residential areas. It’s really interesting to participate in one, as it seems the kids know what’s about to “go down” when one pulls up to set up shop. The moms and kiddos start forming a line almost as soon as you open your van door. We have taken a different approach with our Chocolatadas. In addition to the above gift items, we grab our captivated audience and share the Gospel with them. It is really beautiful to see the cute, dirty little faces when they bow their heads and trust Christ as their Saviour.
Please join us in prayer, as this coming week many of our churches will be hosting their own Chocolatadas, specifically our San Gabriel church plant. Bro. Foust and his family will be going to a nearby mountain and hosting their third Chocolatada. May many come to know Christ and receive the best gift in the world.
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 team leader Bro. Dan Hubbard, and the other families of Team Peru
• Additional monthly financial support
• Health for the families of Team Peru
• Proper execution of all Christmas outreach activities
• Our postal carriers are on strike, and nothing has been delivered since August.
• We have seen 48 souls saved.
• Sunday school class children are soul winning and bringing visitors to church.
• My car is still in the shop.
• One of my wife’s family members visited us recently. We thoroughly enjoyed Tatiana Espinoza Miranda’s companionship.
Thank you once again for your prayers and support.
Your co-laborers to Peru,
Abraham, Fabiola, Marco, Leilani, and Joaquin Avila