Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the Foust family! We are so thankful for each of you, and we pray that you enjoy a wonderful Christmas season as we celebrate the birth of our Saviour. Thank you for your faithful support and prayers during this “interesting” year. We look forward to God continuing to work in the coming year.
We have gradually been able to return to “normal” at our church in San Gabriel and the churches that we work with in Lima. The government is lifting restrictions, and we have been able to meet as a church family, with limited capacity of 30 percent of our congregation. Since our church building was already too small for us, this has been a bit of a challenge, especially on Sunday mornings. Many of our families are still staying home and watching the services online. Since children have not been allowed out of their houses since March, we have been only holding children’s services in our remote areas. We have just now been given permission to hold children’s services; we are excited to begin our children’s programs again.
Our remote-area Bible studies are going well. We are looking to start some more and are seeing new families visiting and growing in the Lord. We have been able to disciple many converts from the Bible studies, and several have been baptized in the last couple of months. During this Christmas season, we will hold several “Chocolatadas.” These events are held for children in the areas of our remote Bible studies and for the children who live near our church. The children will receive a small gift, hot chocolate, and panettone. We will witness to each family as well. These events are always well received, and we love to spoil these kids a little during the holiday season. Please pray for these events on the 12th and the 19th of December. Please pray especially for the workers of our church as they manage these events and win souls.
We have begun working with the police precinct of our church area. After receiving the necessary permission from them for distributing food, we were asked if we could come and teach the officers from the Bible! The ladies from our church made breakfast and hot chocolate, and I was able to teach them about the Gospel. The commander has asked me to come back two Saturdays this month to teach the officers and administrators what the Bible says about the family. We are hoping that this will become a way to help the police in our area and see many souls saved and families grow in the Lord.
The state of emergency in Peru continues! COVID restrictions are still in place, masks are required everywhere, schools are still closed, churches are at 30% capacity. Politically, Peru is a disaster. In November, the president of the country was voted out of office by the Congress in the middle of the night. A puppet president was put in place, but protests (that turned violent with two people being killed by police) forced him to resign. A new president and cabinet have been put in place until the general elections to be held in April 2021. We ask you to please pray for Peru.
We are excited about the continued diligence of our institute students, who, despite distance learning and other obstacles, continue on. We are thankful for the dedication of our teachers and staff and for the many pastors who contribute by preaching in chapel. Next year, Lord willing, we will have our first graduating class!
Our church family raised money to help three of our missionaries this month! We were able to buy shoes and clothing items, a refrigerator, a mattress, and other household needs for some of our most hardworking missionaries. What a blessing it was to see our church people jump right in to raise the money, even though many of them would be considered very poor by American standards.
The Amazon Outreach is going well. A couple of our young men visited the jungle this week to help local pastors and to help villages get clean water with the Hays water-purification system. We have a trip planned to the northern part of Peru to train pastors in January.
Please pray for some important requests: (1) Zach, Jr. and Cassandra are coming to serve with us for about five months! They will then be returning to the States to begin deputation to serve here as full-time missionaries. (2) Please pray for Karin’s health, as we are in the States getting some important health issues taken care of. (3) Please pray as we try to reenter Peru. A negative COVID test is needed, and we are having some passport issues. We arrived in the States to care for Karin’s medical issues, and we were supposed to return on December 2. We are still visiting the doctor but are encouraged by the answers and help we are getting. Our tickets are purchased for the 17th of December, and we are looking forward to being home for Christmas with our people. May God richly bless you in the new year to come.
His for souls,
Zach and Karin Foust