Mark and Sarah Rader Prayer Letter: The "Bus-a-Thon"This July and August, the LORD gave us a few trials and some great blessings. Thirty-two of our church members came back from the missions trip to the jungle tired but excited. That same weekend we came back, the temperature in Lima dropped tremendously. For the first time since being in Peru, we could see our breath as we breathed in the wet, cold weather. The weather is not very extreme here, but the houses are not insulated from the cold. Many of us got sick, including our family. Between illness and revised regulations here in Lima, our church attendance dropped to hardly anything. For three weekends in a row, I would improve during the week and get sick again on the weekend.

During this time, we encouraged our families to get well at home. The majority did; however, one family took advantage of free hospitalization for coronavirus victims. They were so excited, but we found out about it after they had been admitted. Once they were admitted, they were not allowed to leave. The dad, our good friend Magno, within a few days of being there, was sent to intensive care. At the end of July, we had an all-night prayer meeting with our men that was cold, wet, and miserable; but it was refreshing to see our men happily press through the night in prayer. Magno’s adult son Brian was with us in the meeting. He told us that the hospital would not communicate with the family any of Magno’s treatment, so they had to look for a friend on the inside.

Through all of this, the church marched forward with soul winning in the parks, the bus stops, and preaching on the public buses. Attendances were low, but our doors stayed open. While preaching on the buses, we got off at a market to go soul winning, and there were people everywhere. While waiting on everyone to rendezvous at the bus stop, the LORD spoke to my heart about preaching on the buses. Seeing someone saved while sharing the Gospel is not necessarily in my control. What is in my control is sharing the Gospel and to how many. I was sick, tired, and irritable while passing out tracts on the corner in front of a casino, and the LORD spoke to my heart and asked me the questions: “How many people are on how many buses driving by you? How many can your church preach to in one day?” We knew in our hearts that we could preach to thousands, but the struggle would be to convince our church of that.

We set a goal of 5,000 hearing the Gospel preached in one day on the buses. Of course, at first, they did not believe it, but they were willing to entertain the idea. While having a few meetings with our team captains late at night, we did the math on the dry erase board. Our church leaders gasped as they saw the math. They left that meeting believing that God could use us to do it; therefore, we knew that we had already won the day. We bought portable, battery-powered speakers with microphones, and we borrowed even more. That morning, 30 of our church members left, forming 9 teams of public bus preachers and soul winners. They left with 18,000 Gospel tracts and 1,000 soles for bus fare. While Magno was fighting for dear life in the hospital, his son Brian was among the preachers that day.

We called the activity, “The Bus-a-Thon.” For 9 hours, our people preached on the buses. When their speakers lost their battery power, they preached with their voices. We saw 74 people saved (this was our most conservative number), and we collected 141 interested contacts. We preached on 183 buses, and 6,278 people heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Hallelujah!

Just a few days later at midnight, we were praying with Magno’s family. Magno had gone to be with the LORD. Magno was one of our right-hand men. He was a very strong and intelligent man. He accompanied me on five of our missions trips to the jungle and camps. We affectionately called him “MacGyver.” He could talk about anything, but he would always talk about the Bible. At his funeral, we preached Psalm 112:1-2, “Praise ye the LORD. Blessed is the man that feareth the LORD, that delighteth greatly in his commandments. His seed shall be mighty upon earth: the generation of the upright shall be blessed.” Magno’s son Brian is presently attending our institute. Please pray for Magno’s wife Delia and their children: Stephen, Brian, and Abby.

Pray for our church, the institute, and Team Peru. Please pray for our family and Sarah’s pregnancy. Please pray for three of our church couples that are preparing to get married. Please pray for some upcoming missions trips. Please pray that God will continue to bless like only He can.

Thank you to so many for your encouragement through this winter here in Peru. Thank you for your love, support, and prayers. We pray that the Light will shine bright through you in our country that we love so dear. God bless you.

Thank you,

Mark, Sarah, Savannah, Paul, Samuel, Rebekah, Luke, and One More Rader