This month of January here in Peru was a month of many adventures. We were privileged to enjoy an institute class about parables, taught by Pastor Noe Montelongo. Every week we were privileged to see souls saved through our efforts of soul winning and in our services. Our daughter Savannah and our son Samuel both celebrated birthdays this month. We took a trip to the jungle, we coordinated and officiated Johan Manuel and Enma’s wedding the week after, and we went to camp on the last day of the month.
Savannah and I went to the jungle with Pastor Eric Grindstaff of Grace Baptist Church in Marion, North Carolina, along with his friends, Jonathan Crawford and Pastor Jonathan Watson. We arrived in Iquitos on Monday. After we led 4 people to the Lord at the market, we took the speedboat down the Amazon River to a little town named Indiana. We were privileged to spend an hour and a half sharing our experiences as pastors with Pastor Carlos to encourage him. After preaching to the church that evening, 2 souls were saved. That evening at dinner, the police captain, whom we led to the Lord during our last visit to Indiana, came to greet me. Pastor Carlos says that his relationship with the police is now much different.
The next morning, a pastor from a jungle village was supposed to pick us up. After noon, Pastor Carlos took us in his boat to go up the Napo River. After I got in the middle of the river to push the boat free from the mud, we discovered that we had both assumed the other person knew the directions. (Would anyone else like to sign up for my boat tour?) At sunset, we finally saw a village. We pulled in, and they said that we had passed our village by a half-hour. Because the river was low, the entrance river to the town had completely dried up. By the end of this conversation, the skies were dark. We asked if we could set up our tents in a church and invite everyone for a meeting. They were happy to oblige us. That night, lost on the river on Savannah’s 14th birthday, 14 souls came to Christ.
Early the next morning, we took the slow boat back to Indiana, the fast boat back to Iquitos, and an SUV ride to Nauta. We arrived with just enough time to get ready for the evening service with Pastor Canaquiri. At 3:00 the next morning, we left to get on a speedboat going four hours up the Maranon and Tigre Rivers. We arrived just in time for breakfast at a small town named New York. The local pastor led us to a few in-home visits, where we were privileged to see 10 people saved. That evening, 1 person was saved, but 8 believers made a decision to follow the Lord in believer’s baptism. The next morning, the pastor told us that they had never baptized in the river at night. The Lord had truly blessed our journey, as this trip was simply preparation for a very big trip next year.
Please pray for our family and church, as we are looking for another property. Our church’s lease is coming to an end. Please pray for a young man named Diego. He came to me wishing to be baptized, but his presuppositions of salvation are hindering his salvation. We spent more than 20 hours in the Bible about salvation, and he is still lost. Please pray for our fundraising for a house and vehicle here.
Thank you for your faithfulness through these present times. Thank you for your love, prayers, and support. To represent you in Peru is our joy. God bless you.
In Christ in Peru,
Mark, Sarah, Savannah, Paul, Samuel, Rebekah, Luke, & Timothy Rader