To serve the Lord through June and July has given us great joy here in Peru. We started June by celebrating 10 years of marriage. We took two days with the whole family to enjoy some fun activities. June was also the start of our institute. Every week our church has seen souls saved. Every week visitors have been present. Many visitors are attending regularly now, including whole families.
At the beginning of June, we began to fix up one of our rooms for the Bible institute. We had a sign made, and we bought 10 desks and a dry-erase board. This year the institute is only open to our own church members, as we still need to work out the rough edges. The institute is two Saturdays a month, with four hours of classes each of these days. So far the experience has been very edifying for me as a pastor and for many of our church members. These are incredible people, and the honor is mine to work with them. In June, we studied biblical finance, and 9 attended the class. In July, 17 attended our class on marriage. Our people have responded with joy and gratitude for the classes. We are planning to open the institute to everyone, starting with a pastors’ workshop in November. Please keep our institute in prayer.
We were invited to teach at a pastors’ workshop in Iquitos, a city in the jungle. This was Sarah’s and my first trip to the Amazon. We were privileged to teach four sessions. We also took a day to go up the river to preach to two different villages. At the villages and at the workshop, we were given the opportunity to explain and share 200 copies of our soul- winning booklet. The booklet is a word-for-word presentation of the Gospel. Less than a week later, we had already received word that the booklets were being used and that souls were being saved, even by the pastors themselves.
Speaking of souls being saved, I must tell you about one afternoon with my daughter Savannah as my soul-winning partner. I told her, “You’re my armor bearer today, Savannah. Let us go forth to the war and show them the thing.” We passed by a park with a lot of people, and we interrupted a soccer game to talk to the team. Ten of those boys got saved. While we were talking to the team, we had the attention of everyone at the park. We’d like to say more were saved, but we don’t know. We stepped away from the team and talked to a group of adult men. Four of them got saved, including a lady who came by to sell us chips. Just as we finished with them, there was a group of boys sitting down, waiting to play the next game of soccer. We spoke with them, and while we did, the boy in the center kept raising his hand and shouting, “One more goal!” He was keeping the present game going longer, so we could finish talking. Five of them got saved, and I had a great day at the park with my armor bearer Savannah.
Please pray for these new names written down in glory. Please pray for the new families that have joined our church. Please pray for the churches in the jungle that have started winning souls. Please pray that God will use our institute to edify our church and many others.
None of this is possible without your prayers, love, and sacrifice. We want to be good stewards of the Lord’s investment through us. Thank you for the honor to represent Jesus Christ in Peru. Thank you for your love, support, and prayers. We love you. God bless you.
Mark, Sarah, Savannah, Paul, & Samuel Rader