I just returned from a great evening with the teenagers from our winning team this summer. We played on the beach, watched the sun go down, and roasted hot dogs; I also taught them what s’mores were and how to make them. They were quite a hit! During our time around the bonfire, I asked our kids, ¨What was your favorite thing about this summer?¨ Their answers? ¨Camp.¨ ¨Camp.” ¨Camp!¨ and ¨Camp!¨ It made me smile and convinced me that we definitely need to have camp again next year (not that I really needed convincing, seeing the special work of God we experienced just a few weeks ago).
Allow me to share a few blessings of camp with you. First of all, I have never seen a more open spirit to the things of God right from the start of camp! The first night I preached a message about the importance of carrying your cross and following Him. We made our own miniature crosses out of twine and sticks and laid them up front while I preached. At the end of the sermon, I challenged the kids, if they were willing, to come up, pick up a cross, and go out and pray around the campground and get alone with God. Immediately, they rose to their feet, grabbed a cross, and got alone with the Lord. It was a very special time to see the kids praying, singing, and seeking God’s face that first night of camp. After they spent alone time with the Lord, they all eventually came back to the auditorium, where we had a sweet testimony time of decisions the kids had already made. I stand amazed to have seen and heard their testimonies and stories of what the Lord had already done that first night. On the second night, our preacher, Dan Hubbard, came out and preached to the kids. He did a wonderful job, and once again the kids went and prayed alone with God. The whole time at camp really was an amazing experience. I wouldn’t change it for anything in the world.
All of the kids responded, except one . . . Renato. Renato was a friend of one of our church kids who just happened to be an atheist. He just sat in his chair thinking those nights. We prayed for Him that the Lord would change His heart, but we had no idea when God would. Camp ended on Saturday afternoon. Sunday evening Renato came back to church. During the invitation time, we sent Anthony, who also used to be atheist, over to try to witness to him one more time. This time Renato listened and received Christ as His Saviour. What an immense joy it was to see him accept Christ as His Saviour!!! I may never forget the look on his face that night. I walked up to him later to thank him for coming, and in response he said, ¨No, thank YOU. Thank you for allowing me to come. Thank you! I will be coming back more frequently to your services.¨ Praise Jesus!
Last week a group of young ladies from our church between the ages of 18-30 or so went on a short, three-day mission trip to Jauja. They contacted several churches there and shared their desire to help them reach their city for Christ. These young ladies spent hours on the streets, telling others about Jesus and leading many to Christ. All in all, the Lord allowed them to see 103 people saved on their trip! We praise God for the openness of the hearts of the people in Jauja. Please pray that many will stay faithful to their commitments and to Christ. Pray that many will become involved in their local churches.
Our Bible study night continues to be a highlight every Tuesday evening. I love our sweet time in prayer with our brothers and sisters in Christ, the preaching of God’s Word, and the special time of fellowship which follows. I long to see the living room where we meet completely filled with others who want to know more about Jesus. This past week we had 23 people. Please pray that our study will continue to grow and that the believers will also grow in their personal walks with Christ.
The first week of March, we will begin recording sessions for our Bible seminary. This is the first step in a huge project of creating our own Bible seminary in order to train faithful men. Please pray that the Lord will bless our first week of intense training. Right now we have a pastor who will come down the first week and teach 45 hours. After that, our preacher and I will both teach for two hours every Saturday. The goal is to have an online college so that many young people and even current pastors can be better trained for the work of the ministry. This is a huge endeavor, and we certainly cannot achieve this without the Lord. We would beg of you for special prayer for our seminary. Only God knows how much potential a seminary like ours could have in Peru and South America.
Thank you for partnering with us. We appreciate each of you and the time and investment you make in
In His service,
Daniel and Heather Kokubun