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