Fall has begun here in Lima, and the temperatures are starting to cool down at night. While still not terribly cold, it’s getting to the point of throwing on a jacket before going out. “Football weather,” we’d call it in the States, but fútbol isn’t the same here, so I’m not sure if the term applies.
Since our last letter, God has really blessed our ministry here in a very obvious, direct way. We have, in these last few months, seen an increased awareness in our people of the necessity of winning souls. In February, our pastor had me take four weeks on Wednesday nights and teach how to win souls, and the fruits of that emphasis are abounding. The church is abuzz with a newfound desire to reach our district, our city, our country, and our world. It’s amazing what focusing on “the main thing” will do for a congregation. Allow me to share some of the blessings we have seen.
We recently started a second soul-winning time on Wednesday nights, and the response was immediate. The first night, we had 25 people at the meeting, and that wasn’t just the emotion of something new. There have been no less than 15 soul winners going out on any given Wednesday night. In addition to the new time, the other soul-winning meeting has seen a dramatic increase of people participating, and we are regularly seeing 50 or more different church members go out each week to share Christ with their community.
Personally, God has blessed both Heather and me in our individual ministry here. Last week, I went out to visit a man who has come a few times to our church. He has been struggling with his health, as well as family issues. While there, I had the sweet opportunity to lead he and his wife, as well as his adult daughter, to the Lord. Pray for Jaime and his family as they start their Christian lives.
A few weeks ago, I went out with a member of our church who is a professor of physics at a local university. We were knocking in a neighborhood about a mile from our church. I knocked on the door of a man named Jhan, only to have him tell us that He was an atheist. To make a long story short, after an hour of talking to him, it was clear that individual hurts and difficulties in his life had left him without a desire to believe in God. When showed the true message of the Bible, that God is not the evil deity in the sky waiting for any chance to judge, but that He freely offers salvation to anyone who will just ask Him, Jhan bowed his head and sweetly accepted Christ.
The same day in which we talked to Jhan, we were able to invite a family to our church through a tract. While I don’t remember inviting them, as we have passed out dozens of tracts, there are not terribly many Peruvians who match my description, and I trust them when they told me that it was me. They are a Christian family that had been looking for a church in the Chorrillos area, and when another church member invited them a week later, they took it as a sign from God and have jumped into the program of the church. It’s exciting to watch God working in them!
It is amazing to hear that story repeated over and over again. “Another member of your church just invited me last week!” is one of my favorite things to hear. I talked to a man named Francisco two nights ago, and it was the same thing. “Last week in the market, one of the other members of your church invited me.” In a city of over 9 million, in a district of almost 400 thousand, it is amazing watching God use our church in big ways. Francisco and his two nephews, Josué and Isaías, all accepted Christ when presented the opportunity.
These are just a few stories of what God’s doing here. We see more and more what God is doing on a daily basis, and it’s a blessing to be able to be a part of it all. We’ve had a full few months. We’ve had the opportunity to be part of the team’s Missions and Youth Conferences, as well as Vacation Bible School, our Teen Retreat, Bible studies, weekly teen programs, kids’ days, and more. God keeps us busy!
Pray for us, our church’s anniversary is coming up in July, and the plans are already going into place for everything. We are going to have Pastor Jonathan Ashcraft from Monterrey, Mexico, with us, as well as Missionary John Biazzo from Northern Peru. We are planning a mini-conference and are hoping for 400-500 people in the final day on that Sunday morning. Pray that God blesses the efforts of His people.
The team’s institute started again this past week, and there were 35-plus people in attendance. God is doing big things through the vision of Pastor Foust, and we are thankful for the opportunity to have a part. Pray for God’s continued blessings on our classes, as well as the continued growth, both numerically and spiritually, of the students.
Heather starts a new Bible study for ladies next week; pray for that to reach people here. She has ladies’ programs monthly, as well as weekly studies, and God has blessed her efforts and continues to magnify them. While it is for the ladies of our church, it is also a chance for new ladies to come and hear about Christ. Many who come first to the study end up coming back to church, accepting Christ, and involving themselves in His work. Please pray that this new study would be effective in reaching the ladies of that specific area of Chorrillos.
To Him be the glory,
Josh and Heather Hedderman