The Lord has given us a great start to our year here in Peru. In the midst of so many blessings, it was a pleasure to enjoy a visit from our missions director and friend, Billy Paugh, and our hero, Dr. Darrell Moore. Thanks to the hard work of Pastor Zach Foust and his wife Karen, we now have a school for the children of Team Peru to attend. My wife and I teach two days a week in the new school. My wife and I are also having a great time leading the Junior Church in Surco. Surco is an area that is composed of people who are more financially well-to-do, so finding people to listen is a little more difficult. In spite of this, we are still seeing people saved and having visitors in church. On the other hand, my disciple John, who took my soul-winning group in Chorrillos, is now helping to teach a soul- winning class on Saturdays. More people are soul winning now, and people are being saved every week. God is great! We have so many other blessings to report, but we can only take the time to share two major stories.
In Peru there are many misconceptions concerning baptism. My brother-in-law, Pastor Ezekiel Martinez, and I spent a month working on a tract that would answer the common misconceptions as well as present a challenge to be baptized. The first Sunday evening of January, we were able to put it into action during our invitation. We asked our soul winners to just read the tract to those who got saved. That night 3 of those who were saved were also baptized. Almost every week after that, the Peruvians have been leading the visitors to be baptized after salvation using just the tract. Glory to God!
Of course, the most exciting event of our January was the arrival of Samuel Noah Rader. We will let Mommy share this story. Sarah says, “We had been concerned with the fact that our baby was sitting breech and seemed content to stay that way, because 80% of all births in Lima are C-section. After much prayer by many people, Samuel flipped on Saturday afternoon, January 25. I was nearly 39 weeks along. On Monday, the 27th, contractions woke me up at 3 a.m., and my thought was, “Not today; I need to go to the market.” Around 5:30, I decided that it was time to wake up Mark. His first words were, “Seriously! Monday morning?!” We called our taxi-driver friend who attends our church and told him that we wanted to leave around 7:30. From 7 to 7:30, things only got more intense. We left at 7:30. For the next hour as we struggled to get through morning rush-hour traffic, each contraction came closer and closer, and I begged God to not let me have this baby in a taxi. We pulled up in front of the birthing center around 8:30, and at 9:06 Samuel Noah entered this world. He was born one day shy of 39 weeks at 7 pounds 11 ounces and was 20 inches long. My first labor was almost 36 hours, my second was 25, and Samuel shocked us by arriving in about 6 hours. Seven hours after the birth, we all went home. What an amazing blessing!”
Thank you so much for all of your prayers for Sarah and Samuel. Please pray for the residency status of Savannah and Paul; their visas expire February 9. We will need to exit the country again. Thank you for praying for our family, our team, and the ministry God allows us to be a part of here. God is doing an incredible work in the lives of many. Thank you for your love, support, and prayers. God bless you.
In Christ in Peru,
Mark, Sarah, Savannah, Paul, & Samuel Rader