A few weeks ago, we were watching a documentary on Chicago, and a scene from Millennium Park overlooking “The Bean” came up. My two eldest kids yelled at the same time, “Hey, that’s your building, Dad!” They were referring to the diamond-shaped building in the background. I used to work for a law firm on the 33rd floor. From the hallway, my littlest child Joaquin asked in a loud way, “Why did you leave that job, Dad?” Before I could even open my mouth, Marco and Lani answered, “Because God needed Dad in Peru.” Joaquin, now standing in the doorway with a perplexed look on his face, asked, “Did you always know you were going to be a missionary?” Again, before I stopped grinning, Marco answered for me, “God showed Dad a way He wanted him to go. Dad had to choose to obey God or stay in Chicago.”
My mind quickly rewound to when Marco had just turned nine and he asked me the same questions Joaquin was asking. It was almost four years ago. We were at their grandparents’ house getting ready, for within a few months, we would all board a plane to Lima, Peru. Marco was deciding on which toys to bring or leave behind for his cousins. He looked up and asked me those same questions. I showed him a few Bible verses and reminded him that God can see our future and has already laid down an ideal path for us to take through life, but ultimately it is up to us to obey Him. To which he replied, “Sorta like what you want from us, huh? You want us to just trust and obey.” He was referring to the training we were giving them. I smiled, nodded, and finger-traced a lightbulb over my head. He smiled as he said, “Even when sometimes it’s not that easy to obey, right?” To which I smiled and nodded “Yes.”
Fast forward to present day. I had the opportunity to translate for Bro. Adam Ogle in our Surco church plant a week ago. He was preaching on how God’s will for our life is far better than anything we could ever imagine (Psalm 139:1-6). When we got home, the kiddos start getting ready for bed, and Joaquin said, “Dad, Bro. Ogle preached on the same thing you did.” I said, “Yes,” as they walked into their rooms to get into their PJs. Both Lani and Joaquin said at the same time as they closed their doors, “Trust and obey.”
I’m glad we came.
My wife stayed home with our two boys. The boys had caught some nasty bug and had been on the mend, so it was just Lani and me going soul winning this Saturday. As we walked out, she held my hand and smiled. I looked down at my little grown-up girl. There we were singing in the streets, enjoying the warm, setting sun. Oddly enough, we didn’t cross paths with many people. We stopped, prayed, and asked God to lead us to the right persons. There was a young mother with her seven-year-old daughter in the park. We walked over and started a conversation. The mother and daughter listened as I witnessed to them. At the end they both trusted Christ as their Saviour. Lani, still holding my hand, smiled and, walking with a skip, looked at our path ahead and said, “Could you imagine if we didn’t come today? How long would it have been before someone else talked to her about Jesus? I’m glad we came.”
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 my Faby, Marco, and Lani—they will be visiting the USA in May.
• We saw 29 souls saved.
• Sunday school class children are soul winning and bringing visitors to church.
• Marco attended his first Teen Rally.
• We received a very generous love offering to repair/replace our car—more on that in our next prayer letter.
• Faby celebrated her birthday on March 22.
• Lani will be celebrating her tenth birthday on April 25.
• Marco will be celebrating his thirteenth birthday on May 14.
• I will be celebrating my birthday on May 28.
Thank you once again for your prayers and support.
Your co-laborers to Peru,
Abraham, Fabiola, Marco, Leilani, and Joaquin Avila