God’s mercy and grace were very evidently present throughout March. God was a very “present help” through Grandpa and Grandma Davis, who stayed from the time of Mark’s passing through those first most overwhelming days. They helped with the children and just everyday tasks that needed attention, while we dealt with the shock of much change. Many from our home/sending church surrounded us and loved us through meals, cards, cash, hugs, and more. Others like you sent love gifts in the mail, and so many have been lifting us up through prayer.
Last year while on furlough, many of you gave offerings to help us purchase a needed family vehicle. We had post-dated our international driver’s license to begin on February 1 and were looking and praying for the “right” car. When we suddenly left Peru to come back to the USA in late January, we had not yet purchased a vehicle in Lima, Peru. The SUV Mark had just purchased a few days prior to his accident was totaled in the head-on collision with a semi. A very kindhearted pastor and friend loaned us their church van for a month, and on March 29, due to all the help we have received, God allowed us to purchase a nice, dependable, semi-new Subaru. We want to praise God for His blessing and thank all of you because your generosity to our family made this possible. We left directly from the car lot to attend the midweek service.
Rebekah, at the end of church, began asking more questions about salvation. I told her we would talk at bedtime. She reminded me when we got home, and after getting the other children to bed, I took a few minutes to go through the Gospel with her. Rebekah sweetly and sincerely asked Jesus to save her—what a great day!
Samuel, who had trusted Christ as Saviour last year in the month of June and had been asking about baptism, decided to make his decision public on Resurrection Sunday. As we got to the altar, I felt someone coming up behind me. Paul, of his own accord, came forward with us. He got the reassurance of his salvation the same day Samuel got saved, so he wanted to be baptized as a true believer. I am so thankful for my children and their decisions to follow Christ.
Rebekah went forward the following Sunday to be baptized, so three out of the six children in the Rader family got baptized in the month of April. I guess turning 40 years old this month hasn’t been all that bad. God has been blessing abundantly.
When God gave me the word abundantly from Ephesians 3:20 at the beginning of this year and then, in a very short span of time, I lost what felt like so much, I almost felt as though it was a cruel joke. I am now beginning to see—ABUNDANT grace, ABUNDANT provision, ABUNDANT blessings, and ABUNDANT comfort. I stand in a place of great loss, and yet God is growing our faith. He is showing us that He is abundantly faithful and good.
May I quickly share in closing that Iglesia Bautista Internacional de Surco in Lima, Peru, is doing well despite their transition and heartache. Our friend and Team Peru leader, Zach Foust Sr., is the senior pastor, and our dear brother and co-laborer, Exodo Buitrago, is serving as the intern pastor. The circle of men that my husband was privileged to love, inspire, and work with has continued to serve, and seeing them continue is my greatest comfort and joy. We are so grateful that your investment and ours continues and that fruit remains. The work in Peru belongs to God, and He is very much alive and well.
Here are a few statistics from recent days. In March, the church had a big soul-winning push one Saturday; 46 soul winners went out (they have been averaging between 25 and 30 soul winners weekly) and reached 84 souls on one day. The total in March for souls saved was 113. In April, 44 souls were saved. The teen group has been growing, and they have had 17-20 during their weekly meetings. Several have completed the discipleship lessons recently. During a recent Fires of Evangelism Conference, around a dozen from our church were heavily involved in serving. The church attendance has been over 100 weekly, and one Sunday, they had 140. Six people got baptized on Resurrection Sunday, though I didn’t get the month’s totals. Pastor Foust said they have had visitors weekly, and several new folks have joined the church recently. Please pray that God will continue to bless abundantly.
Thank you for having a part in the work being done for Christ in Peru. Thank you for your continued prayers for our family as we seek God’s direction for moving forward.
Trusting His plan and purpose,
Sarah Rader and Children
Savannah, Paul, Samuel, Rebekah, Luke, and Timothy