Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!

We are getting ready for a little New Year's Eve celebration here at our house tonight.  I pray it will be a good time of celebration and rejoicing in another year in the life God has given us in Jesus Christ our Savior.

I recently received prayer requests from some of our supporting churches and thought maybe some of you would also like to hear how to be praying for us in the new year.  Our prayer list is as follows:

Mills Family
We are returning to the States in late May 2012 as we complete the 2 years that we originally committed. Our plan is to continue raising support to return to Peru for long-term service early 2013.  Our goal is to raise $50,000 dollars in one-time support and another additional $1,000 dollars a month of monthly support to be able to return to the field in 2013. 

Economic Development: Parish Woodshop
For ministry expenses for the Woodshop: our operation costs are currently at zero.  After the transition to close the initial shop and help several carpenters get established on their own self-sustaining business, I am presently guiding and discipling these carpenters. We are selling their products on our website, www.parishfurniture.com. Please pray for growth in marketing and sales for this website to continue providing work for the carpenters as well as their sales in the local furniture market.

For our plans of having a training facility we are regrouping and developing long-term future plans. These plans include establishing a training center with a kiln and sufficient space for carpenters.  With my returning to the states in May 2012 we plan to develop this more thoroughly and work towards making progress in 2013 after we return to Peru. A rough idea of what this may cost is $150,000 dollars but these plans are still pending and mostly a prayer request for wisdom and guidance.

Medical Ministry: Arevalo Hospital
A more urgent need is that presently our mission is working on a capital campaign for building a hospital in one poor neighborhood that we work with. You can find out more about this and download a brochure at, http://www.perumission.org/arevalo/.  Please consider this opportunity to work with our medical ministry in Peru.

Spiritual Growth and Discipleship
Prayer for the spiritual growth and development of many people we work with as well as for our own family.
Pray for God to raise up a leader for the church small group that meets at the Woodshop. Several men show a lot of promise but are not yet demonstrating enough leadership to lead the small group.


(To be able to give details for prayer without invading privacy I will change the names of the individuals I am about to mention.)
Jim and Jon recently developed a business with Parish Woodshop lending them use of our tools. Pray for their business to make a profit and be able to hire more people to reach out and grow.

Pray for Jon and his wife as they work through marriage counseling and grow in grace as young Christians. Also pray for their baby boy due in March!

Frank is a member of the church and a carpenter but is independent from the Woodshop. The week before Christmas he broke his arm and lost a lot of money in medical expenses. He also has had a long-term struggle in fulfilling responsibilities and paying debts. Pray for the Spirit to heal him completely as he also heals his arm.  Also pray for his family as he and his wife are going through marriage counseling and growing as young Christians. 

Chris is an English student working at the Woodshop part-time and recently had a return to Jesus conversation after being awakened by sin confrontation 

Jeff is another young English student who also worked part-time at the Woodshop for only a short while but is showing more promise as a bible student and possible leader.  He is involved with the cell group and bible studies and is very eager to learn more and help in teaching as he learns enough.

Mike is a former Woodshop worker who is a member of a sister church. He is engaged to get married with a baby boy on the way. He recently went through discipline in his church and demonstrates true repentance. Pray for him and his future family and decisions for work and living situation, as he needs to make more money to provide for his family.

Peter is another man who is not a woodworker but attends a bible study that I have been teaching and shows a lot of interest in learning more and growing in Christ. He is very steeped in the catholic church and seems to be studying what we teach in Reformed theology openly and seeking to understand. Pray for the Spirit to work through the Word to give him understanding of the Truth.


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Meg's Caja Feliz (happy box)

Here are photos of a jewelry box made for and designed by Meg. It was a belated anniversary and birthday present to her.  It is a combination of Black Palm and a wood called Shihuahuaco (a relative of Ipe).




As far as how our life is going in Peru: We are staying busy with life chasing after two crazy toddlers and loving on our friends here in Trujillo. Each day we are amazed by God's grace in our lives and working through us in others.  It seems there have been many challenges brought into the lives of many we work with and it is good to see God speaking into lives through His Word as we attempt to communicate the gospel through counsel, bible study and just passing time with them.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

July Update

“Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel,” Philippians 1:27
     We have decided to return to Peru August 1. The more we think and pray it seems that there are many good reasons for either decision. It seems the main reason to stay is that if we don't have enough money to finish our term, but praise the Lord we just have enough to get us through May 2012. We pray the Lord will provide more support throughout the year to make sure we are okay. If He is laying it on your heart to support us you can give hereThe other important factor came down to what is best for our family and it looks like it would be best for our family if we return, finish our term and prepare for being in the States for long-term support raising.
     The verse above gives me great comfort as we are torn between Peru and the U.S. It is our prayer that we all are united in one spirit striving together for the faith of the gospel of Christ. This month we are busy visiting many of our supporting churches to report on this striving for the faith of the gospel before we return to Peru August 1. We hope to see many of you while we are visiting.
   As we endeavor to proclaim the glory of Christ through the Scriptures, we rejoice to see it take fruit in many lives. There are several men who have been blessed tremendously by your support and the ministry of the Parish Furniture project. Javier and Norvil are busy working as their business is growing. I am encouraged to see their heart for evangelism demonstrated as they make plans for their work. They are thinking with a Kingdom perspective of reaching the lost for Christ and/or helping church members as they hire helpers. A few members of our churches are also working with them helping them or renting shop space.  In addition there are two new students from the University Ministry that are working part time in the shop and coming to the Bible studies. They have included a neighboring family into the church small group community. I am excited to see this ministry becoming an incubator for economic and leadership development in the church. The fruit of your donations to help start Parish Furniture is that many lives are being changed and community leaders are being developed.
            If you recall, three carpenters left to work independently. Alfonso is working out of town doing a restoration job for one year but we still keep up with him when he comes back to visit. Geronimo is also growing his business and stops by to visit when he is in town. Please pray for Marden as he went back to work for a former employer in the jungle. We are sad to say goodbye to our two interns from the States, Tyler Jones and Seth Covington who completed their terms and went back home the end of May.
            We continue to work on developing the business of exporting furniture to the U.S. We recently shipped 11 pallets to Louisiana and Tennessee. My father, when he visited us last fall, ordered a sample of each item we were working on with plans to help with sales.  These items will be on display in Zachary as samples for future orders from anyone interested in supporting this work and owning fabulous furniture.
            One of the most exciting things happening with the ministry is the growth of the small group that meets at the wood shop. This small group is one of many formed with the downtown church plant, Cristo Rey. Their main focus is to cultivate community and facilitate the mission of the Kingdom of God.  We often have around a dozen people and there are several leaders in training in our group.
            Megumi and the children are doing well and enjoying time with family and friends.  We miss our friends in Peru and look forward to getting back in August.  Please pray for us as we search for a new house to live in. We will have 10 months left before our term ends and we come back to the States to raise long-term support to continue working with Peru Mission.

                                                in the joy of resting in Christ,

                                                Stuart Mills (for Megumi, Satomi and Samuel)

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Big Decision and Prayer request


Now that we are in the States after my father's funeral. We are faced with a big decision.
Our original schedule is to return to Peru August 1st. However, it  has been suggested that we consider changing our plans to stay and raise our long-term support now since we are already here in the States.  This is because our original plan would have been to return next spring or summer to raise support to return for long-term (four years).  We are torn over the issue. There are many reasons to stay now but there are also many other reasons to continue the plan and come back next May.  If we return we could finish our plan of 2 years and wrap up our work in Peru and prepare more for coming back to raise long-term support. If we stay, we would be here to help my family and we would save money on the return trip as well as not having to set up a new home for less than 1 year. We could spend this time raising support and preparing for our long-term ministry in Peru for the next four years. My work with the Parish project is actually at a transition point and the carpenters would be okay if I were to stay, however I would prefer to have more time with them before leaving for a longer period of time. Staying, we would also decrease our stress of moving again within a year.  Right now, Meg and I are leaning much more toward returning to Peru and having more time to prepare for being in the States long-term.  We are also torn over this for thinking of being able to be here to help my family more during this tough time.  If we decide to stay we would have plenty of opportunities to schedule reports on the work. If we return to Peru August 1st there is very little time and every Sunday is already tied up with us visiting surrounding churches.  Right now we would love to prepare for leaving and squeeze in every opportunity to share as if we are leaving Aug. 1st.  That way if we decide to return we are ready and if we decide to stay then we have a jump start on our work.  

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Difficult Times

It has been way to long since our last post.  We are actually back in the States at the moment. We are in Louisiana. We had to come back on an emergency trip because my father's battle with cancer took a turn for the worse. He passed away last Saturday and is now enjoying a more perfect and full union with Jesus.
I hope to post more fully with an update about our life and work in Peru soon.


First I want to mention about my cousin Wil Mills and ask for prayer for him and his family. You can read about his battle on caringbridge here.
Things have turned very bad for him within the last few days.  Also his father, Wilmer Mills was diagnosed with prostate cancer just after we got back to the States.  He will be scheduling surgery to remove his prostate after the dust clears from helping Wil and his family.
Also my aunt, Kathleen Davis (my dad's sister) is still waiting on an surgery to remove part of her liver and bile duct to get rid of cancer in her.
It is crazy how so much cancer is ravaging my family these days. However, my grandparents are in their 90's and still plugging away. 
trusting in a good and sovereign God who we may not always understand,
Stuart

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Growing Community


 Things are going quite well at the shop. The carpenters are busy filling a few additional orders for our shipment to the States, they are also working on a few local orders. They have so much work they are sub-contracting another carpenter, Gerver, to come in and help them with local orders. Gerver is also a member of the local church-plant, Cristo Rey. There is also another carpenter, Kelvin, who is a member at a sister church in Arevalo and hasbeen renting shop space to work on one of his jobs.  Our tools and Javier and Norvil's shop are turning out to be a blessing to others.  It is feeling like a busy shop with so many people around. We actually took Saturday off to go to the beach and relax a little before the summer ends.  They have been working so hard they have not taken any time off the whole summer.  
They have recently finished a trundle bed for a local customer, received an order for several cedar lounge chairs , a table top, and are working on a bunk bed, dresser and coffee table.
We are also in the process of looking into a kiln to be able to properly dry wood for exporting indoor furniture.  This is a big step of growth for our shop. We are very excited for this opportunity and thankful for the investor who is interested in helping this project grow.

Friday, February 04, 2011

February Update

     We appreciate and are very thankful to your faithful support. We have actually been in Peru for over a year now. We had a wonderful visit back to the States over Christmas and the New Year. It was very good to visit family and friends and even get to share a report at three different churches while we were in town. We are sad we were not able to visit more of you and share personally what God has been doing here in Peru but look forward to the next opportunity down the road.
     The day we arrived back in Trujillo we celebrated Meg’s birthday and not long after that we also celebrated Satomi’s 3rd birthday! We hit the ground running as soon as we got back in Peru with many things going on with the mission as well as having to find someone new to help Meg keep up the house. The day we arrived in Trujillo the lady who used to work for us, Karim, came to tell us that she had exciting news that she was pregnant but had serious complications that required her to be on bed rest. Please join us in praying for her and her baby.
What is Parish doing now?
     Since we moved out of the old shop and helped our employees start out on their own business, many people ask, “so what do you do now?” I continue pursuing the same goals of this project. I continue teaching Bible Studies every morning before work at Javier and Norvil’s shop. They are the two most promising leaders who are more or less continuing with the vision of the ministry. We are lending them the use of our equipment and they are investing all of their savings into setting up a new shop. They asked me to set up an office with them and teach bible studies and disciple them. They also want our interns to keep working with them and are excited about the opportunities of their new location creating new contacts for starting another cell group for the church. One of the most promising things about these two men is that they are interested in bringing in helpers so they can both teach them woodworking skills and teach them the gospel as they learn more from the Bible. I also visit Alfonso in his shop once a week to continue working with him in his business and discipleship. I have started visiting Gerver another carpenter who is a member of the church and also started coming to our daily morning bible studies. I meet with him to do an in depth bible study as well as help him improve his business. I have started also meeting with Lenin who was the original leader of this woodshop ministry. Lenin is a deacon in the church and does many different projects with his architectural background for the mission.
     As well as getting more involved in discipleship with these carpenters and others, I also am still working with them to help develop their business. As Parish’s goals are to train leaders in three areas; administration, technical skills, and spiritual disciplines. I am working towards helping them facilitate their business through marketing with our website. This will entail not only selling smaller items through the website but continuing to pursue the market for exporting their fine furniture. I also will be working on pursuing a location in the industrial park where land is fairly cheap right now with the hopes of setting up a future training center where we can move all of our equipment and hire the carpenters we work with to be teachers to train more people in need of a skill to work their way out of poverty. One of our major prayer requests is for the development of this training center in the future and for a good kiln to properly dry wood for exporting fine furniture.