This December in Peru. God poured out the blessings. Every week was packed full of activities, and we had more people saved than we could count. Grandpa and Grandma, Kyle and Carla Rader, arrived just shortly after Timothy was born. During their 2½-week stay, we put them to work.
During the first full week of December, while Grandma stayed with Mommy, the girls, and the babies, Grandpa, Daddy, Paul, and Samuel went to the jungle. In Iquitos, we met up with Pastor Zach Foust and Jonathan Alfaro to venture farther into the jungle together. Farther down the Amazon River, we arrived in Indiana. That night, Pastor Foust preached at Pastor Carlos’s church to encourage them because the police were restricting their services. The next morning, we went to the police station to present them with a water-purification system and preach the Gospel. Pastor Foust presented the water system and gave me the opportunity to preach to the police. Many, if not all, of the officers accepted Christ that morning. With the power of the Gospel, the local pastor and the police connected beautifully.
We then entered a small boat to head farther down the Amazon River and then up the Napo River to a small village. The pastor in this village had invited Pastor Foust and me to preach the dedication service for his new auditorium. After Pastor Foust preached, a young lady came forward to be saved. I had the privilege of leading her to Christ and then baptizing her in the Napo River that night. God kept the anacondas and the caimans away during the baptism. After the baptism, we got right out of there. God is good! Grandpa Rader said that he had the time of his life.
The following week, Grandma Rader spoke at Sarah’s Ladies’ Meeting, which broke an attendance record that night. Our ladies still comment about what a blessing it was to hear the pastor’s mom. At the end of that week, Grandpa Rader preached through an interpreter. Our people are still talking about what they have learned from the pastor’s mom and dad.
That same weekend, we had an open-air meeting, which we refer to as a Chocolatada, in a well-known park. We had a children’s program and a soccer tournament for the youth. We gave out hot chocolate, sweet bread, gifts for all of the children, and raffle prizes, including family groceries. Over 220 were present, and many were saved. When we were done, we had enough resources to do it again the following weekend. We had a speaker hanging out of a car window promoting the meeting in the neighborhood just the day before, and we kept the meeting as simple as possible. More than 200 came to the meeting, and even more were saved this time than the week before.
On Friday during the same weekend of the second Chocolatada, we had our first Christmas Youth Banquet, organized by Exodo. We had an encouraging evening, with 32 teenagers in attendance, and 1 came to Christ that evening.
We ended that weekend on Sunday night with our Christmas play. This event was only promoted by word of mouth through our members, who were heavily involved in the play. We had more visitors than we could count, and more were
saved than we could count. We broke a Sunday night record with more than 130 in attendance.
Also in December, we finished up the semester for our institute classes. We really enjoyed teaching the book of Romans. Some of our students mentioned how God had touched their hearts during the class. This month we also finished our first book. It’s only 73 pages, but we put a lot of heart into it. We hope to make it available soon.
Thank you for your love, support, and prayers. We know you pray; obviously, you have prayed for us this December. Thank you for your love for world missions. Please pray for our family, Team Peru, and God’s blessings for this next year.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year,
Mark, Sarah, Savannah, Paul, Samuel, Rebekah, Luke, & Timothy Rader