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