In early December we were able to visit with my family in California. We went there primarily so Irene could have her interview for United States citizenship. Everything went well, and since January 26, Irene has been a U.S. citizen! Back in Indiana, we had the pleasure of visiting with another FBMI missionary on Christmas Day. It is wonderful having family and friends wherever we end up during holidays.
We started the new year with a meeting in Pensacola, Florida, continued to Ocean Springs, Mississippi, then Lafayette, Louisiana, and finally ended up in Alvarado, Texas. We visited our mission board as part of our preparations for leaving and had meetings in Beloit, Wisconsin, and Cahokia, Illinois, on our way up and back. In Beloit, the pastor of the church is the father of one of Irene’s bus families during her time in college. He was thrilled to see her again and credited her with his being saved and being in the pastorate. Most of his family is now saved, and his son is also a pastor. It was a sweet reunion and a reminder of the influence you can have on people by being faithful on a bus route.
While doing our final preparations for our departure for Peru, we found that we cannot yet leave. Our housing and medical costs while on the field were going to be provided by Team Peru but, due to some recent changes, will no longer be able to be provided. This means that we have to continue our deputation to raise the additional monthly support. While we are disappointed that we will not be joining our team in the very near future, we trust in God’s provision and purpose. He is making sure that we are where we need to be before we go. If this had happened a couple of months later, it would have meant having to leave the field. We are happy that we can now continue from where we are and become the first members of Team Peru to be fully supported by caring churches and individuals like you.
While staying at our supporting church in Alvarado, Texas, and working on what we thought to be our final preparations for departure to Peru, we were able to grow closer with the church. We always love to help in any way we can. This included church services, soul winning, prayer meetings, a revival meeting, and a missions conference. We were refreshed and strengthened as we prepared to head back out on the road. On one particular Sunday, many church people were sick, including the normal altar workers and soul winners. I was privileged to lead Jose, a teenage boy, to Christ during the morning service. He had been invited by some of his friends who had been saved the week before. All of the boys decided to get baptized during the evening service so some of their family members could attend. It was a sweet service with five baptized.
We covet your prayers for safety as we head out on the road again to gain the support we need. Thank you for praying for us!
Your partners in Christ,
Chris and Irene Williams