Sarah and I started March with a survey trip to Nauta, Peru, to lay the groundwork for an upcoming missions trip. The week after, we celebrated Paul’s birthday with a food drive, resulting in 50 people coming to Christ. Paul was so excited to share in the food drive right before his party. I was late to Rebecca’s birthday party because of a funeral. We were not allowed in the cemetery, so we preached the Gospel to the funeral party on the street, with approximately 40 in attendance. Our institute finished up their summer classes and started the semester with many new students. Our soul-winning program, teen program, and church attendance are growing again. We successfully celebrated Sarah’s birthday by spoiling her rotten, and she deserves more. Team Peru had an excellent missions trip to the jungle. I was only able to follow as far as Iquitos with them. While they were coming back from the villages, our teammate Rollin and I were headed to another part of the jungle to prepare for a men’s camp. After all this fun, 11 men of our church ended the month of April with an all-night prayer meeting.
I had just gotten back in the late afternoon from Team Perú’s trip to the jungle. I came home, hugged the family, cared for myself, and left within the hour. I had promised to make it to the bedside of a dying man. He was 91 years of age, lying there in a hospice bed with much of his family all around him. I sat in the corner next to the man in the bed with the family in front of me. I asked, “How long has he been unconscious?” They said, “For a week.” “Has he eaten?” “No.” “Has he been responsive?” “No.” I then said, “I need to ask your permission to speak to him loudly so he can hear me. I will speak right into his ear. I must ask for your patience, because you will see that this will cause a physical and emotional reaction of discomfort. It is not my desire to cause him pain. I will proceed kindly and respectfully, but you will see him react with discomfort to my words. Do I have your permission, please?” Unanimously, they agreed. I then proceeded to preach the Gospel directly into his ear by the theme that Christ is our rest. I was very repetitive. With every point of the Gospel, there was a physical, emotional, and verbal reaction. Every time I mentioned that he needed to call on Jesus to save him, he began to moan. Every time I repeated that he needed to invoke the name of Christ for eternal life, he moaned strongly. You could hear and feel his soul through undiscernible groans, yet still discernible to God, as he called on Christ to save him. By my peripheral vision, I could see others in the room doing the same. Twelve hours later, Jose went on to be with the Lord. The family called me and said, “We want you to preach at the funeral.” I arrived at the cemetery to see only 5 people with the casket passing through the gate. We waited on the Catholic priest inside to finish. When they came out, one of the family introduced me to more than 50 people waiting on the street. I preached the Gospel while the police arrived right behind me. I stood between the people and the police as I preached. The police intimidated a few into leaving, while the rest continued to listen. Many accepted Christ as their Saviour. When we were done, the police did not reprimand me. They simply left.
Please keep our work in your prayers. Please keep our family in your prayers. Sarah and I are expecting another new little Rader. Thank you for your love, support, and prayers. God bless you.
In Christ in Perú,
Mark, Sarah, Savannah, Paul, Samuel, Rebekah, Luke, & One More Rader