December and January have been extraordinary here in Peru. December began with the baptism of Brian. Brian, as well as his brother Stephen, is a university student. Stephen has been coming for weekly counsel to answer the questions of his atheist classmates concerning his faith. Their dad has helped us at the church and our apartment for almost a month of full-time work. We keep trying to pay him, but he keeps reminding us, “I’m not working for you; I’m working for the Lord.”
In December, we taught on prayer at our institute. We had more of a four-hour prayer meeting than a four-hour class on prayer. We believe it was one of the best classes we have ever had. In January, we taught on physical proofs of the faith. We taught through the days of Creation and the Flood. It’s marvelous to see people’s faces when they realize that the Bible is not a religious book of stories but actual, real-world history.
Our biggest event of these two months was the wedding of Jimmy and Marcella. We had the privilege of conducting premarital counseling with this couple for a year. Jimmy and Marcella are two young people who came to our church already knowing Christ. Jimmy was at a low point in his spiritual walk with the Lord when he came to our church. He said that through the preaching, God quickened his heart again. He then invited his girlfriend and her family to join the church. Jimmy and Marcella became involved with everything: soul winning, cleaning, institute, Sunday school, ushering, song leading, children’s class, teen nights, etc. Their wedding pulled our church together like nothing else. Everybody jumped on board to put on a great wedding. The day before the wedding, they had their legal ceremony at the municipality with the judge. When the judge told Jimmy he could kiss the bride, he kissed her forehead. The judge then told him, “Kiss her!” Jimmy then kissed her on the cheek. The judge snapped, “Boy, what’s wrong with you?!” Jimmy then replied, “We’re saving our first kiss for the wedding at the church.” This is just one example why our whole church loves this couple. Our auditorium was packed for the wedding, and the Gospel was given. Many voices were heard in prayer, receiving Christ as Saviour.
For five months now, we have been working on the apartment above the church. Last year in August, our church voted to invite us to live there, but there were just empty rooms. We had to gut the walls and install everything: plumbing, electrical, drywall, masonry, roofing, etc. A friend of a friend donated kitchen cabinets, closets, dressers, doors, toilets, sinks, countertops, and more to us. Team Peru members and church members donated days and weeks of their time. God has been so good to us, and by January 31, we were officially moved onto the property. By cutting out a lot of traffic time, this will allow us to have more time as a family and will allow us to give more time to the church as a family.
Thank you so much for your prayers. We need them, and we see them answered constantly. Please pray for our Teen Camp in February and for many more upcoming projects this year. Thank you for your love, support, and prayers. God bless you.
In Christ in Peru,
Savannah, Paul, Samuel, & Rebekah Rader