Thank you so much for your prayers for us over these last few months that we have been here in Peru. We ask for your prayers specifically as we return to the States at the end of May for deputation. We will enjoy the deputation process, but we hope to return to Peru as soon as possible!
These last few months have been action-packed. Since arriving in Peru, we have been able to start Bible studies, begin music programs, and go through discipleship with people in our church. One man in particular named Vladimir, whom I led to the Lord about eight years ago before I returned to the States for college, did not attend church for a few years after being saved, but he now attends church faithfully with his wife and daughters. He is currently on Level 2 of our discipleship booklets.
One of the favorite parts of our ministry here is our frequent trips to the jungle. Since arriving in January, Cassandra and I have been able to be a part of two major trips to the Amazon as a part of Team Peru. On the first trip, we held a Pastors’ Conference in Yurimaguas, deep in the jungle, where we had over 20 local Baptist pastors attend. Most of these men have had little formal training. We spent three days teaching and preaching on soul winning, standards, doctrine, music, marriage, and more. Among other topics, I was given the honor to teach on soul winning. After the session, we took time to go soul winning with the pastors, each team member with a different pastor. I had the privilege of going with a local pastor named Gary. He was able to watch me lead someone to Christ, and a few minutes later, he had the opportunity to lead someone to Christ as well. As we left, he was moved to tears as he told me that it was his first time seeing someone saved. He was so excited! He said that the church he pastors did not go soul winning, but as soon as he returned home, they would start. God is so good! We left the pastors there with tracts, discipleship booklets, and water systems invented by Bro. John Hays.
Our most recent trip to the jungle ended this past week. Team Peru spent eight days on the Amazon River, going from village to village, preaching the Gospel, and taking the water-purification system invented by Bro. John Hays to them. From Lima, we flew to the jungle city of Iquitos, where we boarded a boat that took us eight hours up the Amazon River to the jungle city of Pebas. From there, we boarded a smaller boat and went three more hours up the river, stopping at each village along the way. Most of these villages do not have electricity and grow or hunt for their own food. They also drink water directly from the river, which is contaminated with parasites and bacteria. A few of these villages have a pastor and a local church, but most have never heard the Gospel. Bro. Hays presented each village with a water-purification system, and then we preached a salvation message offering the Living Water.
We ended the week with a Family Conference on Saturday at the local church in the village of Pucarquillo. We taught split sessions for men, women, teenagers, and children. We taught on purity, standards, marriage, and other such topics. I was able to speak to the men and teenage boys, and Cassandra was able to speak to the women and teenage girls. This marked a great moment for Cassandra, as it was her first time to teach entirely in Spanish! We ended the night with an evangelisticservice, where I was given the opportunity to preach to over 100 people. Overall for the week, we saw 145 people saved as a group. God really blessed. Besides our team, we were accompanied on this trip by Bro. John Hays, Bro. Tom Vogel, and Bro. Charlie Bowers.
There are so many more stories I could share. God has been so good! I will say that my parents have been a huge blessing since arriving here, and working with them has been great. Once again, please pray for us, as we have about a month here before returning to the States for deputation.
Zach Jr. and Cassandra Foust