April and May here in Peru have been so filled with blessings. We started April 1 with a men’s meeting. During this Saturday evening meeting, we had to tell the men that only two days prior, the owner of our church building had said that because of foreclosure, we had until the end of April to move. The following morning we shared the news with the church. Both meetings were amazing, and our people rose to the challenge at hand. The first week of April, we found a building, and we also celebrated Sarah’s birthday. The third week of April, we voted as a church for the new property, and the result was a 96% vote in favor of the new building. The last week of April, the owner gave us the month of May to stay in the building because the legal process had been delayed.
On May 1, our church hosted our first Family Retreat. Fifty-four of our members participated for a day-and-a-half retreat. The Avila family, Pastor Zach Foust, and 32 members from his church came. We had good food, fun games, and great teaching and preaching. This was truly a time of healing for many of our families.
Our institute is still seeing great results. In April we taught Bible doctrines, and in May we taught personal evangelism. The second part of the class was practicing sharing the Gospel with each other. Then we went outside to share the Gospel with the neighborhood. We had a great time putting the teaching of the institute into practice.
The second Tuesday of May, we received a call from the owner stating, “Pastor, I’m sorry, but I cannot give you until the end of May. The church must be out of the building in two days.” The next day we pleaded with his bank to give us until Monday morning. That weekend was Mother’s Day. We had an incredible service, honoring 27 mothers. Sunday night after the evening service, our men moved the last of our things. Monday, while caring for the last of the details, the bank was already changing the locks, but God gave us a wonderful new place to meet for church. The front of the property has 180 square meters for an auditorium, and towards the back of the property is a four-story building for classes. Altogether we have 620 square meters to utilize for the Lord’s service and a five-year lease. Glory to God!
For my birthday I received two of the greatest gifts a son could receive: two loving parents at the airport. We had a spectacular time. While seeing the sights of Lima, they were able to see the new construction and attend many of our meetings. My mother was the guest of honor and spoke at our ladies’ meeting. I had the honor of translating for my dad for the Sunday morning preaching. Also on a Sunday night at our church in Chorrillos, our teen girls’ ensemble sang, and we preached “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus.” Afterwards the response by the people was amazing.
The last week of May, our church celebrated our 4th Anniversary Sunday. The attendance was 120, with many visitors. This was a very encouraging day for our church. Speaking of encouraging, May ended with a two-day visit from our pastor, Pastor John Wilkerson. His visit was truly a healing balm.
Please pray for our team families and our churches as we face some recent difficult changes. Please pray for our church in Surco as we care for new construction and remodeling in our new location. Please pray that God will continue to work through us here in Peru.
Thank you so much for all that you sacrifice, all that you do, and all that you are. Thank you so much for your love, your support, and your prayers. God bless you.
In Christ in Peru,
Mark, Sarah, Savannah, Paul, Samuel, & Rebekah Rader