Please pray for a pilot group

Not actually airline pilots like in the photo!

As we develop classes for internet use, we need a pilot group that we can work closely with.  You could call them guinea pigs, but here those are food!
Ideally this group would be in Lima, but would for schedule or distance reasons prefer internet to a live class. The group would also need to have a coordinator who will tell us what is working and what isn't, so that will need to be a thoughtful person with good communication skills who wants to help shape the program.  We have a few potential candidates, but one essential is that it be a group that has a real desire to study.  So far we haven't really found this. 

Pray that God brings us a good group.

Coffee chats

We posted our first “Coffee Chat,” short videos that help pastors and church members answer questions and challenges biblically.

More leaders

As more churches come on board for church-based seminaries, they take different forms. One church does their seminary as their Saturday night event, open to all. The group pictured here are leaders from two churches that meet on a week night to study.

Prayer Requests

  • Please continue to pray for Paco Laos's health. He is undergoing treatment right now, and still working hard in the ministry. Pray that he will be healed and will not need surgery.
  • Pray that the podcasts that we will be distributing will be of assistance to the listeners and that the listeners realize that they can trust the Bible.
  • Please pray for our continued health.
  • Pray for God's provision and guidance of our ministry.  This is something that is always necessary, but we especially need it right now.

Working together to strengthen the church in Peru: scenes from eyeglass and evangelism campaign by Coordinator Paco Laos, Mike teaching at Seminario Luz y Verdad and Pastor Gustavo Requejo’s promotional art for Worldview class, Elk Ridge Baptist visiting team VBS outreach.

August Prayer Requests
1. Paco Laos, our team coordinator and friend, is suffering from some health problems. Please pray for his return to health.
2. Please pray for three mini courses and 10 standalone classes that we hope to write and record in the next four months.
3. Please pray for safety and blessing for Mike’s upcoming Ancash trip.
4. Pray for schedule coordination.
5. Funds are low, as is usual over the (US) summer. Please pray for more funds as we head into the very busy spring (PERU) season. .

We’ve been teaching:
Defensive Apologetics (Church Seminary Class)
What Women Need to Know About Jesus Christ (Women’s Bible Study)
Worldview (High School Class at Camp Pearl)
Worldview (Church Seminary Class)
Weaving the Gospel into a Bible Story (Teacher Training Class)
The Church and the Sexual Revolution (Mini-conference)

Power of Prayer

When the going gets tough--the tough get praying! 

Ok, that's not really a saying, but prayer really is the best thing to do in a bad situations. God really shows up when things get harried and stressful.
Or maybe just pay more attention to what He does.

Two recent and noticeable answers to prayer:

When the team from Elk Ridge was here, the washer broke down and the repairman thought that it was going to need a costly repair.  The team prayed, and when he came back to check if the problem was the computer chip in the washer, it just worked!  The repairman concluded that there had just been water in the machine causing a short circuit (There had been a leaky roof that we had just repaired).

On a busy day, a cell phone disappeared from the house.  Suspicions were rife because there was work being done on the bathroom and people coming and going.  We sent out a prayer request that God would clear this up. The phone, which had been missing for a week, turned up in a completely unexpected place, to everyone's relief.

Family Camp and the Old Testament Prophet School of Teaching

Family Camp April 2019
You want to hear about the best reception we ever got for teaching?

We had a lot of great Biblical principles about communication that we wanted to present, and we wanted the people to really listen.  The trouble was, this teaching was gonna be the first session at camp. And was going to be a great camp-- the churches participating had organized driving instruction for those who want to learn to drive, massage therapy for those with health problems, and crafts and games and sports tournaments. Plus it was all in a beautiful green natural setting (unusual for Lima!) and there was a swimming pool! We just knew that everyone would be waiting to get class over so they could get to the fun stuff!

So we were asking God how to keep the attention of a crowd of oldsters, old and young marrieds, teens, and children with swimming pools on their minds? And the answer? Skits. Just think of all the dramatic examples in the books of Ezekiel and Jeremiah.

Example: a soft answer turns away wrath.  Tammy throws on a purple cape to go to a wedding and Mike laughs and says she looks like a stout eggplant.
Wrong way: she goes ballistic and the fight is on.
Right way: she laughs at the idea and they’re off to the wedding.

People were talking about the skits all four days of camp. The "stout eggplant" skit communicated so well that at the end of the camp one elderly woman gave Tammy an offering of 50 soles because she said she would never forget that lesson!

Good News

May 13th we had our visa appointment and everything looks good to go.  We should get our residency visas in 60-90 days.  That is a real answer to prayer.

Defensive Apologetics Class

Seminario Luz y Vida kicked off March 30th with a class in Defensive Apologetics.
Students in the month-long class learned the differences between biblical Christianity and cults.

An Unpleasant Surprise

Our trip to Chile was uneventful, in a good way. 
The border crossing process has been streamlined and was much easier to negotiate than in years past.  When we crossed back into Peru, we found out that more had changed than just streamlining the process. We needed to act, and fast, if we wanted to stay for the rest of 2019.

The big change

Travelers are allowed to stay in Peru for a maximum of 183 days within a 365 days period for touristic, recreational or health purposes

We started working on our resident visas in 2016, but we put that on hold because our new schedule had us traveling to the US more often. As a resident, you can't be outside of Peru for more than six months in a year without losing your residency. 

We and many other missionaries who traveled frequently opted for the tourist visa because it is granted immediately in the airport upon arrival and didn't restrict your travel at all. As long as you left the country before your time was up, you could come back in again and get 183 days.

Our first surprise was actually when we entered January 1st and received only 90 days.  Our flight back is on May 23, but we figured we could leave and come back in.  And we were right about that.

However, the clerk that processed our entry in March told us, "I can give you days until your flight, but that will use them all up for this year."  Friends confirmed that this was now true--and that we needed to get to work right away to get our resident visas.

If we don't get our residency in Peru approved before our next trip to the US on May 23, we will not be allowed back in until 2020. And we have ministry planned from July until December.

Blame it on Nicolas Maduro

World politics has a way of affecting missionaries in ways you wouldn't think of. In our case, our predicament is at least in part due to President Nicolas Maduro's wild mismanagement of Venezuela.

From Caracas, Venezuela to Lima, Peru is 2750 miles, about as far as Miami to Seattle
His predecessor, Hugo Chavez, had implemented many expensive socialist government programs, funded by oil revenues. He was, after all, leader of the Venezuelan United Socialist Party. When he died in 2013, Maduro ascended to the presidency of the oil-rich country. When worldwide oil prices crashed, Venezuela did not have enough money to pay workers and continue these welfare programs. Maduro's government responded by simply printing more money. The results? Last year's 2,688% inflation rate, food and medicine shortages. Venezuelans are reported to have lost an average of 11 kilos in body weight, and crime and sickness are on the increase.

And the result that affects us? 660,000 Venezuelans immigrants fled to Peru. That's equivalent to all of Memphis, Tennessee, and then some. This resulted in a necessary and urgent update to immigration laws in order to process that many people. 

This has impacted not only us but other missionaries that were in the country on tourist visas. When you pray for missionaries, remember that they are living in a country that usually didn’t invite them and doesn’t make laws to accommodate them. We are a relatively small number of people who can't vote. 

We are moving as fast as we can on this--we have already done our Interpol check and are waiting for our appointment with Migraciones. 

Please pray that we can get this situation resolved so that we will be able to reenter the country in July. 

Church Anniversary at Palabra Fiel

March 16 and 17th Mike was the speaker at  the church anniversary of Iglesia Bautista Palabra Fiel. He also preached Sunday morning at Iglesia Bautista Buen Pastor, making for a busy weekend!