Dec 7, 2015

Greetings from Louisiana!

     Yes we are in Zachary, LA! It has been over two years since we have been back for Christmas so we decided to come back this year to spend the holidays with family and take time to recharge. We plan to return to Peru December 31st to be back in time for our summer camp event the first week in January.  We will have two more years on this term before we come back for home assignment in 2018.
     I regret not sending out a newsletter sooner but with all the busyness in the church and school and preparing to leave we failed to send out our newsletter until now. Please keep praying for the ministries and pleading with God to bear fruit from all the labor of proclaiming Christ crucified and resurrected. 

These last few months have been packed.
     Pastor Ricardo had a hernia operation late October. I filled in for him preaching morning and evening in November so he could recover and also take a little bit of time to sharpen the saw. Please pray for his continued recovery. He is back in full swing with the work. Pastor Percy's mother passed away Nov. 21 and Ricardo stepped back in a week early to help fill in at Cristo Redentor. In Cristo Restaurdor in the Arevalo neighborhood, we had a congregational meeting Nov. 29 and received nominations for 7 potential officers. Please pray for these men and for the officer training that we will start when I get back in January. 
     Several leaders of the young adults ministry are filling in for me while I am gone. We have had several new visitors the last few weeks. One of the young adults is leading the adolescent ministry and growing in leaps and bounds in his faith.
     In the middle of October we had a week long seminar with Rev. Dr. Rodney Wood training us to train expository preachers. It proved to be a great encouragement to all of us. As soon as the seminar ended a group of ladies from Tupelo, MS and the Dominican Republic held a women’s retreat Friday and Saturday which ended with an evangelistic meeting Sunday evening. Both of these events were a good shot in the arm for our churches and pastors. 
     It seems that the previous several months we have had a slump in our church attendance.  Pastor Ricardo, Pastor Percy and I have been meeting with each of the members to encourage them and find out how they are in their relationship with God. Please pray for us and for the church members to grow in grace and understanding of Christ's love in such a way that it will compel us all to more evangelism. Many of the members are begging for us to come visit them to encourage them but don't come to be fed at the regular services nor are they reading their Bibles on their own. Please pray for us to be more clear in our teaching of the gospel. 
    As for the regular ministry in the church: There are several young couples that Meg and I are counseling. We will start pre-marriage counseling with one couple in January and also counselling another couple that are close to getting engaged. There are several young men that are rotating to teach the bible studies. We are also doing an apprenticeship study with a group of men in the church. We worked through two books on leadership and also The Peacemaker by Ken Sande. One of the men will teach The Peacemaker in Sunday School the next two months. Several young adults are teaching the children Sunday school classes. Meg has been teaching the toddler Sunday school class.
    The woodworkers are doing well. Ford Franklin is an intern from Pear Orchard in Jackson, MS and has been working with them these last few months. They just delivered an order from two former interns who are trying to start a business selling their products. Look for Black Palm products. Please pray for one of the carpenters and his family, they are having problems with his step son. The Bible studies with a mechanic have also been going well. The other day he told me that he is understanding more and more and that once a week is not enough, he wants me to teach them twice a week now. God is waking up a hunger for His Word! 
    Lastly and most urgent, pray for the school that started this year with our church, Geneva School. Meg is now the President of the board and is doing a great job trying to get things in order. The first school year ended with several complicated challenges. This led to one pastoral case that I asked for prayer about last week please keep praying. Please pray for finding a new director, a couple of new teachers and God's direction and blessing to allow the school to become sustainable. Please also pray for our family and a healthy balance of all the responsibilities.

May His Kingdom Come!
Stuart and Meg (Satomi, Samuel and Ezra) Mills 

May 9, 2015

Ramblings

Sometimes I find myself getting frustrated with my brothers and sisters because they don't pursue God. I wonder if I am being like a gardener who gets frustrated that the plants don't go water themselves or a shepherd who gets frustrated that the sheep don't lead themselves to pasture. But does God really want Christians to stay so needy and not grow to maturity?

A veces siento que me frustra los hermanos que no buscan a Dios por si mismos. Pero me pregunto si es que estoy como un jardinero que se frustra porque las plantas no se riegan a si mismos o un pastor que se frustra porque las ovejas no se llevan a pastorear. ¿Pero realmente quiere Dios que los Cristianos quedan tan necesitados y no crecen en madurez?


I need an app or blog that will allow me to post something with a link to click to show either english or spanish.
Necesito una manera publicar con el link de escoger cual lengua mostrar lo que publico.

May 8, 2015

Notas de una predica de 20 de Abril


Jesus es el buen Pastor que da su vida por nosotros
Introducción:
Uno de mis favoritos pasajes es cuando Jesús sana el ciego en Juan 9…
El contexto mas amplio es de que Jesus responde a los fariseos que no saben que son ciegos cuando rechacen a Jesus. 
El responde diciendo que es el portero del redil de las ovejas y también que es la puerta de las ovejas. Sigue diciendo en nuestro pasaje que es el buen pastor. Después de nuestro pasaje dice que los suyos le escuchen y que es uno con su Padre y por eso querían apedrearle. 
El punto principal aqui es que Jesus es el único pastor que da su vida por todo los suyos de su propio poder. 
Ezequiel 34 es un ejemplo de los mal pastores que no cuiden el redil y de la profecía que Jesus cumple la promesa del buen pastor quien venia en nombre del Hijo de David. Salmo 23 del mismo David es un ejemplo de como es el buen pastor.

1.Jesus no huye, mas da su vida por nosotros
Explicar
Él no busca lo suyo como los demás como un asalariado. Como en Ezequiel 34 Jesus no apaciente a si mismo. El cuando viene el peligro si afrenta y guarda. Pero aquí mas habla Jesus de la copa de la ira del Padre que tomó en la cruz. Jesus dio su vida por nosotros. Cuando dice los asalariados refiere a todos demás que no son Él. Jesus es el único verdadero Pastor. Todo los demás que quieren ser líderes no son de verdad. Aquí habla de el Joseph Smith, habla de Mohamed, hablad del este Coreano Moon. No hay ni un otra pastor de sus ovejas. Todos buscan a si mismo pero Jesus es quien dio su vida por nosotros y quien es nuestro buen Pastor verdadero.
Ilustrar:  
Si usted fue encargado de guardar 50 millones de dollars y viene una banda con armas a ti, cuantos de ustedes le entregaría. 
Si fuere tu propio dinero cuantos de ustedes pelearía. 
Pero, mas profundo si fuere tu hija, ¿quien no pelearía hasta la muerte por tu hija? Así Cristo muestra que él nos cuida así. Jesus es nuestro pastor como nuestro padre y él no nos abandona.
Aplicar: El punto de Jesus es que podemos confiar en él por la vida. No nos prometió que no permitiera que moramos pero si nos prometió que esta con nosotros para siempre y que nos da vida eterna. Mateo 10:24-33. Igual como el da su vida por nosotros a veces tenemos que dar nuestra vida por él, como nuestros hermanos en el Medio Este sufriendo persecución y muriendo como mártires.  Jesus no les falló. La promesa de Jesus de ser nuestro pastor es algo mas profundo que solo a este vida de tener tranquilidad. Nos promete algo mas eterno y mas grande en la resurrección y la nueva Tierra. Pero si le podemos confiar que nunca nos faltará y que nunca nos falle haste la muerte. Hay mas en la vida que el temporal de la muerte. 
¿Confías usted en Jesus o dudas como Judas o los fariseos?
Sí Jesus nos cuida como el buen Pastor y le podemos confiar.

2.Jesus nos conoce como le conoce el Padre
Explicar: Salmo 139. Él nos conoce mas que nosotros conocemos a nosotros mismos. Dice también en el versículo siguiente de Juan 10:25-30. explica como el nos conoce y nosotros le conocemos y por eso entendemos. Si no le obedecemos significa que no le conocemos.
Ilustrar: Juan 17. Jesus pide que nosotros conozcamos a el Padre como a él. 
Yo conozco a mi esposa y a mis hijos. en otra manera conozco a la mayoría de ustedes. Cuando alguien postula para un nuevo trabajo, normalmente pide referencias. Normalmente esos referencias deben ser alguien que le conoce bien. Escuche alguien decir que ha recibido una llamada de una iglesia para ser referencia de un aplicante pero el que recibió la llamada ni recordaba quien era… Fue un mal decision poner a él como su referencia porque no le conocía bien. Al contrario un amigo mío quien es pastor me llamo para preguntar de mi primo Daniel porque le consideraba pedir trabajar como ayudante de los adolescentes en su iglesia. Yo di un buen referencia porque le conozco muy bien.  
Aplicar: Cuanto mas que Jesus nos conoce y nosotros le conocemos y que el nos da conexión con el Padre. La pregunta es que le conoces o no?  Si no conversas con él por su palabra o por oración o por su cuerpo, la iglesia. ¿como le puedes conocer?  Si somos de él, él nos conoce pero si no, no.  (rf. El llamamiento eficaz)  
¿Como de usted? ¿Le conoces o no?
Sí Jesus nos conoce y nosotros conocemos a Él.

3.Jesus busca los perdidos
Explicar: a los Gentiles ejemplo los Griegos en Juan 12:20-23. No habla de los Mormones. Dice que sea un pastor y un redil. Él incluye a los otros con el mismo cuerpo no que va a tener otro redil aparte. 
Ilustrar: la oveja perdida Mateo 18:10-14. Cuando trabajaba con el campamento y tenia la carga de un grupo de niños siempre andaba contando todos para evitar que no falta uno. Igual Jesus hace a nosotros.
Aplicar
¿Como es que a nosotros con nuestra iglesia hay bastante miembros que no acercan al redil los domingos? ¿Ocaso que Jesus falta a buscar los suyos? El buen pastor siempre busca a los suyos. ¿Siempre cae a los hombros del pastor a recoger los miembros que faltan? Si lo hacemos. El martes pasado sí hemos salido buscando a varios. Siempre salimos buscando pero muchas veces no les encontramos. Seguro que nos hace falta en la obra y siempre buscamos hacer mejor. Pero también necesitamos ayuda. ¿Donde esta la responsabilidad de cada oveja? No hay un parte que la oveja debe buscar a Jesus también? A nosotros Jesus nos ha dado la conciencia que nos fastidia cuando alejamos de él. En otro lado vemos que Dios nos permite hacer nuestro libre albedrío. Nos permite alejarnos por un tiempo para enseñar algo como Jonás.
Pero desvío en hablar de los miembros. Jesus aquí esta hablando de los que están lejos, como los que todavía no están en el redil aunque son suyos. Aquí habla de la predestinación. Dice que el tiene otros que no son. Jesus mando sus pastores que les busca. Jesus manda a los misioneros y evangelistas que vayan buscando a los que no han escuchado de él. Jesus dio esta carga a nosotros en La gran comisión, Mateo 28:19 También dio la obra de pastorear a las ovejas en Juan 21:15-19: Apacienta a mis ovejas. ¿Como participamos con él en su obra que nos a llamado hacer?
Si Jesus nos buscó y nos mando a ir buscando a los otros.
Conclusion: La Resurrección es el plan del Padre
Terminando el pasaje de 17-18. Mas profundamente no es una comparación del mal pastor o del buen pastor. Es una explicación de que él es el único para la salvación, es el propietario de las ovejas.
vv.17-18. Porque el es el buen pastor que da su vida para volverla a tomar 
el Padre le ama
el es poderoso para poner su vida y volverla a tomar
La Resurrección era parte del plan de Padre desde el inicio y que el cumplió 
le anuncio antes para que sepan que no era un fracaso que murió Jesus
todo su muerte y su resurrección fue parte del plan de Dios en ser el buen pastor para rescatar a sus ovejas por medio de morir en la cruz y resucitar de la muerte.

Jesus dio su vida por nosotros. Necesitamos creerle para conocerle cuando nos llama.  Aquí hoy día, él nos llama venir delante de él y confiar en él y conocerle. Nuestro buen Pastor.

Apr 13, 2015

This past week in the life of a missionary in Trujillo

Yesterday, I had the privilege of preaching in Christ the Redeemer which is in Parque Industrial. It is the extension work of Christ the Restorer in Arevalo. It is in a dangerous zone where Pastor Percy lives and serves as the pastor. Pastor Percy is a member of the session in Arevalo where I also serve. Pastor Percy spent last week in Lima taking classes from a seminary working on a masters in theology. Since he was busy all week, I preached for him in the morning.
     We normally preach through the lectionary, so this week being the week after Easter we preached the passage in John 20:19-31, where Jesus presented himself, resurrected in glory, to the disciples and gave them the Holy Spirit and authority to proclaim forgiveness and discipline. This passage also deals with Thomas' lack of faith and then faith after seeing and the blessing to those who believe who haven't seen along with the purpose of the gospel of John to explain the things that Jesus did so we would believe and believing have life in his name.

After the service, a family member of one of the members gave us a ride back to Arevalo where I taught Sunday School. We are now on chapter 10 of the Westminster confession and harmony of the catechisms, talking about effectual calling.  I am excited to see several members regularly learning more and more about how God works salvation in our lives.

Sunday Evening Pastor Ricardo preached in Arevalo from Exodus 18 and Ephesians 4 on the need for counseling and encouraged the members to pursue biblical counsel.

Saturday night I taught the young adult group from Galatians 2:20. It was a very fruitful and helpful discussion for several of them to learn more about how the gospel impacts their lives living by grace instead of living by works. We will start next week working through the life of David in 1 and 2 Samuel over the next few months. I also spent some time trying to encourage them to be involved in the University ministry called SUSA (Sociedad Universitario San Agustin).

Some may say that studying the confession and theology and the Bible is not practical. I have heard some say that they wish we would teach more practical lessons to help people apply the gospel to life. I think what they are probably saying is that they need help understanding how theology applies to practical life. There are problems when our teaching fails to teach and we simply mention names and things that we don't explain and the listeners are left hanging without any new understanding. But if we actually teach the truth of what theology is, we are teaching how the Holy Spirit applies the Word of Christ to our lives and wakes us up and transforms us to make us able to understand it and how He gives us the ability to resist sin and the power to go out and proclaim the wonderful glory of God's grace. That is very practical. Please keep praying for us as we teach God's word that the Spirit will empower us to teach and effectively apply the scriptures to make a real difference in the lives of those who hear us.

Last week, along with preparing for preaching and the other lessons mentioned above, I had several meetings for the different ministries we are working with. The group of pastors that we work with met to coordinate how our church ministries collaborate with the University ministry. I had a meeting with our Peru Mission board to find out about the transition to our new accounting system and how it will work in the future. I met with the session of our church to counsel a member who is going through some difficult situations. I also met with the Sinergia board to deal with an urgent problem of one 'shark' business trying to steal our analysts and in turn steal our clients. I also gave my weekly devotional lesson to the teachers at Geneva School in Arevalo.

I spent some time with the carpenters. I met with one carpenter on Thursday morning for a Bible study and then on Friday morning I met with the group at Las Ponas. I eat lunch both of those days with some of them and talk about different things in life. I am trying to encourage the two business owners to be more involved in discipleship with their helpers. I was excited to hear them recognize that they need to be more involved in encouraging them.

Our ministry with the carpenters is going through a new transition. Hermes was called to be the director at Sinergia and so now his time with the carpenters is limited to only Saturdays. The timing of this is very interesting because Hermes and I have been working on our strategic plan for Parish.  I have been very slow to develop it because I am recognizing a transition in what God is leading us to do with this ministry.  I have all along understood Parish to be a ministry to the workplace but I am finally coming to terms with the fact that many people understand Parish to be the furniture shop that tried to export furniture to the U.S.  I am also recognizing that many of my goals for Parish are very similar to the goals of Sinergia. Sinergia focuses on micro financing to groups of women but their main goal is to help people grow out of poverty. What I sense God leading us to is to focus on discipleship and development to help men and women be restored to God in their worship and work. I am beginning to think that we can benefit each ministry by working together. I have been considering either merging with Sinergia to apply discipleship and development to what they do in giving micro loans and seeking their help in providing loans for the people we work with OR changing our ministry to a broader, than only carpenters, Workplace Ministry. As Hermes and I were talking about this the director of Sinergia resigned and the board called Hermes to replace her. I also have since decided to reactivate my membership on the Sinergia board. One other board member of Sinergia is interested in forming a new aspect of Sinergia to help start businesses. In effect this is what we have done with the carpenters at Las Ponas. We have discipled and developed them to the point that they are now operating a successful wood shop to the local market in Trujillo. Now we think it is time to help others get to that point in other businesses. Please pray for our conversations and decisions as we work through all these ideas and listen to God's guidance.

Apr 6, 2015

He is Risen!

We enjoyed celebrating and proclaiming the Resurrection these last few days.

Thank you for praying for us.  Please keep praying that God will transform this city and this country for His glory through the proclamation of Christ crucified and risen.

and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied." 
"But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep. For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive.

(1 Corinthians 15:17–22 NAS95)

I am grieved to hear about the recent murders of Christians in Kenya. We continue to celebrate the Resurrection because Jesus is still the hope for all man. Our brothers who suffered at the hands of the devil did not loose. They gained a mighty victory for their savior and they now see him face to face. Jesus warned us that this will happen but he also promised to be with us always. The death of Christians will only continue to proclaim the name of Jesus. May their death lead us to pray more fervently for the coming of the Kingdom. Maranatha!

Thursday Evening Worship
Friday Morning Fast
Saturday Evening Vigil



Resurrection Morning
Resurrection Morning Worship
Breakfast after Worship




Mar 24, 2015

March Newsletter

We finally sent out an update about what we have been doing lately. You can see it here.
Praise God, the Peacemaker conference went well. Please continue to pray for all the participants that we will put the processes we learned into practice.

The very next day, I had the privilege of preaching in the extension church in Parque Industrial in the morning and then preaching in the evening in Arevalo. God was gracious.

Now we are beginning preparations for Resurrection services.
We will have a Maundy Thursday Service, Friday morning fast, Saturday evening vigil and then a sunrise service Resurrection morning.

Please also keep praying for our work with Parish and the growth of the carpenters. The guys at Las Ponas are starting a trial with a new master carpenter. They gave him a job to build a door to test his skills.  Pray also for our planning as we work out how we continue helping the guys at Las Ponas and work out how we reach out to help others glorify God in their work.

Also please pray for our team as two families are returning for the States as they finish their terms. We are heading to a despedida (farewell party) tonight for the Johnson family and last week we went to another one for the Sutton family. We pray God will bless them in their plans but we are also sad to see them go.

Mar 7, 2015

Peacemaker conference and new Geneva School

We have been busy and there is too much to say in one blog post. I am working on getting out a newsletter next week.  I just want to mention two things.

We are having a Peacemaker conference on March 20 and 21. It will be for the leaders of the churches we work with here in Trujillo. Please pray for all the pastors and leaders involved. I found out about a translation of the materials in Spanish on the Peacemaker website.

Also, we just celebrated the inauguration of Geneva School in Arevalo. It will start with 2-5 year olds but each year will add the next grade up. Fellow missionary, Dale Ellison, Pastor Ricardo Hernandez and another member of Arevalo, Jorge Espino, were monumental in getting this started. Fellow missionary, Pastor Wes Baker spoke at the inauguration ceremony of how John Calvin in Geneva and John Knox in Scotland started something that had impact not in one year but in 50-100 years. Our goal for this school is that starting with the foundational principles of the Scripture we will build a community of believers who will be the best scientists, mathematicians, philosophers, artists, doctors and teachers who will in turn transform the culture for God's glory.

Please pray for the development of the school, the continued discipleship work in our churches, the medical ministry, the economic development ministries and this Peacemaker conference coming up at the end of the month.