My brothers planned a birthday party with the entire local family to celebrate my father’s 60th birthday. Unfortunately, it was going to be in the United States, and I didn’t think my family and I were going to be able to make it. I hesitantly asked our team leader, Bro. Hubbard, for permission; and he smiled as he said, “Yes! Your father only turns 60 once!”
The answer came at the same time my parents were visiting us here in Peru. We decided to keep it a secret from them and our children. In less than a week, our flight would depart. We had some serious planning to do. The day arrived, and our children were awakened at 2 a.m. I walked into their rooms and said, “Good morning, kiddos. Time to go to the airport!” They sat up in their beds and rubbed the sleep out of their eyes with a smile. Marco, Leilani, and I had not visited the USA in three years and were more than a little excited.
We arrived in Chicago and made our way to my father’s birthday party. We showed up to the party and immediately saw the surprise on everyone’s faces. We cried and hugged our families. It seemed as if we had not seen each other in ages. We spent the following weeks with our family and really played “catch up” in the limited amount of time we had.
Due to the visit being very impromptu, we only had the opportunity to visit a few local churches and a local business that supports us. Reuniting with our home church and our local supporters was very sweet. It was good to see so many familiar faces and give them all an update on our team.
My family and I thoroughly enjoyed revisiting local spots. I did not realize how much we had missed and forgotten about. You may laugh and wonder how that could be possible. When we arrived at O’Hare Airport, my daughter gasped and pointed to a boy who was drinking water from a water fountain. “That boy is drinking water from the wall!” she said shockingly. With a smile we told her that that was called a water fountain and reminded her that there are many public water fountains in USA. She sheepishly smiled and said, “Oh yeah, I know that.” I will provide photos that will also show items that I missed.
The cat’s away; the mice will play.
While we were away, I had some of our Sunday school workers fully take over the Sunday school class. It was really great to hear good reports from them about how successful the classes were going. The workers have really matured spiritually, not to mention the kiddos themselves. The usual tendency is “The cat’s away; the mice will play.” It was heartwarming to hear that the Sunday school class kids were continuing to show up for soul winning on Saturdays.
There are a couple salvation stories I would like to share with you. I was on a bank run and happened to be sitting next to a man in the waiting room, and we started to talk. After 20 minutes I was able to share the Gospel with Miguel, and he trusted Christ as his Saviour. You are probably wondering why we were sitting in the bank for 20 minutes. Short answer: depending on which bank one goes to, it can take up to one hour for a bank run, but that’s a story for another time.
That same day I was going to exchange money, and the man behind the counter exclaimed, “Hey! I haven’t seen you in a few weeks!” I told him that I was in the States. To which he replied, “I got scared. I thought you had left and weren’t coming back.” I smiled and started to talk with him for a bit. Would you believe it? Angel also received Christ as his Saviour. God is good!
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
• Travel mercies for the Rader family as they travel to the States
• Continued growth for our Sunday school workers and church families
• We saw 26 souls saved.
• Sunday school class children are soul winning and bringing visitors to church.
• We were able to start a Kids’ Club after our soul-winning time.
• Faby and I celebrated our 13th wedding anniversary.
• I celebrated my father’s 60th birthday with him.
• We were able to visit the States.
Thank you once again for your prayers and support.
Your co-laborers to Peru,
Abraham, Fabiola, Marco, Leilani, and Joaquin Avila