The new year began with a very special blessing! At 12:01 a.m. New Year’s Day, we welcomed my sister and brother-in-law, Joe and Hannah Hembrough, as new missionaries to Peru. They stayed with us for a few weeks until they were able to secure an apartment here in Lima. Please pray for them, as they will be working with Team Peru for a few years while they prepare as missionaries, learning the language and culture. Continue to pray that the Lord will send more laborers into His harvest!
The first full week of January, we spent in Paimas, Piura, Peru. Team Peru hosted a camp for pastors and leaders. During the week, I had the privilege of preaching six times, leading the singing, caring for the special music, and being the official baptizer—5 were baptized during the week. One of my chances to preach during the week was at an open-air meeting in the center of town with the mayor and his staff present. Many were saved that night, and the town’s residents seemed hungry to hear more. Our team leader, Pastor Zach Foust, is doing an excellent job working with pastors to reach other pastors. Our team, along with a few pastors from Lima and a few of our church members, had an awesome week. Many were saved, hearts were strengthened, and 13 surrendered their lives to full-time Christian service.
Back in Lima, Peru, we continued forward with souls saved and baptized, and we ended the month with Vacation Bible School. The joy was ours to see our people jump on board with enthusiasm with decorating, serving food, teaching classes, preparing skits, and inviting children. For 4 days, 50 children came, and 20 volunteers participated. We saw the faith of our church grow day by day this month. Our God is so good to us!
A special blessing in January was a young man named Ray. He was our last baptism of December. When he first visited us, he hit me with deep, tough, and direct questions about our faith and the Bible. He had obviously studied many topics about the Bible. After answering his questions, he calmly looked at me and said, “Okay then, I want to get saved and baptized into this church.” Since then, he has been faithful to everything, including soul winning with us. A week after getting baptized, he brought his friend Diego to church, and he was saved and baptized. Both Ray and Diego are faithful members and faithful soul winners in our church. Please pray for Ray and Diego as the grow in the Lord.
Thank you for your prayers. Our church and Team Peru are off to a great start this year. Please pray for our family and our needs. Please pray for our church and all our upcoming events this year. Please pray for our team, as we will be traveling more and hosting more conferences this year. Thank you for your love, support, and prayers. God bless you.
In Christ in Peru,
Mark, Sarah, Savannah, Paul, Samuel, Rebekah, and Luke Rader