Gunderson Update

Greetings from California! Yes, we have returned back from Peru 2 days ago and are now under a 14-day travel quarantine.  Don’t worry, this is just required for those traveling back from Peru.  We wanted to send out a quick update on our situation so that you can pray for us as we continue to serve the people of Peru.

These past three months have been very difficult for us living under a military quarantine in Peru. We are very thankful that we were able to have food, supplies, and a home.  The Lord has been gracious to us.  Unfortunately, under these circumstances, we have not been able to physically meet at church or do our children’s ministry.  As always, the Lord continues to amaze us.  He has been showing us that even in the middle of a pandemic, a military curfew, security concerns, and shortages of food and other essential items that He is Lord and He is in control.

Life has been difficult for our members as most have not been able to work.  In some cases, people have sold their animals and possessions to be able to buy food for their family.  For a while no one was allowed to even go out of their homes.  Yet we saw the Lord’s hand at work.  After a night of prayer where we asked Him for provision to help our church members, God answered immediately with some special gifts sent to help those in need.  The Lord allowed us to bless those struggling to pay rent and we were able to buy food for those who were in need.   We are beyond thankful for your generous heart!

Like churches in the USA, we decided a few months ago to do all of our services, women’s Bible classes and discipleship groups through Zoom.  We have been busy texting and calling members and those we are trying to reach in order to encourage them and uplift them.  An example of the fruit of our online ministry was seen in the life of a young girl who received Jesus though our Zoom service, praise the Lord!  

Maria, one of the young ladies that Natalia has been discipling for the past 2 years has a friend named Eliana. Eliana had a dream one night that the Lord was calling her and that He wanted her to go to church.  She knew Maria loved Jesus so she called Maria who just happened to be watching the live online service. Maria texted back that she was at church.  Eliana responded by texting “I want to be part of the church too, please send me the zoom link!”  Eliana was able to join the service and afterwards she stayed and talked with us.  During the conversation that we had, she received Jesus in her heart!  There are no boundaries for the Gospel, praise the Lord!   Please keep her in your prayers.  She is experiencing heavy spiritual attacks.  The enemy is doing his evil work as Eliana’s mom has kicked her out of her home for becoming a Christian.    

  Some of you might know Peru is changing slowly but surely the way the country is governed.  The president is doing anything he wants. People have been in home quarantine for the past 3 months and nothing seems to be changing.  We started doing research, wondering when we will be able to meet again as a church.  It turns out there will be no social meetings until at least June of 2021. This news completely broke our hearts.  We love our church and really miss meeting together.  We decided to start praying about what our next steps should be as a family. As we prayed for several weeks, the Lord started showing us that with the ongoing shutdown in Peru, this may be an opportune time to return to the USA to work on some specific things as we look ahead to our long term mission in Peru.  As we have heard from Him, consulted with trusted mentors and leaders, we believe the Lord is clearly leading us to do the following:

  1. Keep serving and ministering with Refugio Community Church through zoom, exactly the same way as if we were in Peru.  Our commitment to doing this is evidenced by Natalia doing her women’s bible study on zoom, 15 minutes after we arrived back to the USA.  There is nothing that stops her!  
  2. Continue to meet the physical needs of those that we serve through Anita and Jose, two of our amazing leaders. Currently they are staying in our home and are trusted by us to diligently care for our members. They will be able to take care of purchasing food or disbursing financial help as need arises.  We will be sending them funds to pay the church rent and utilities or other needs for the church that we would normally cover.
  3. Get training on church planting.  Pastor Sham had suggested this last year when we were back but we were concerned about the church in Peru and decided to put it off. Now the Lord is making it possible while still being able to pastor our church in Cajamarca.  We met with Pastor Sham and he agrees with this plan to take this time to prepare, so we can better serve the community when we go back to Peru.
  4. Get Natalia’s immigration papers taken care of. This has been an ongoing issue and has caused us to go back and forth more times than we wanted to. 
  5. Improve our health.  Natalia has had some nagging health issues and we believe this will be a good time for her to take care of her health and be ready for ministry when we head back.

The Lord has opened the door for us to stay in a missionary home in Pasadena. This is a huge blessing! We continue to pray that God will continue to direct our steps and prepare us for the next phase in our ministry in Peru. We are truly grateful for your ongoing support as we minister in Peru.  Meeting the needs of the poor, helping young women like Eliana come to Christ, raising up leaders like Jose and Anita are all part of what you have invested in! Muchas Gracias!!

John & Natalia

PS. The whole story of how the Lord has taken us from a very strict military controlled country and brought us safely here to the States is too long, but we will do a blog with all the details later.  We are blown away that we are here in California!  When it seemed really impossible to do, the Lord made it possible. There is nothing impossible for our God! 

Back in Peru 2020

Dear Friends and Family,

            It is good to be back here in Peru! As soon as we arrived, we immediately started in ministry work. We had the opportunity to start a one-week bible study for the church.  This class was taught by a very good friend of ours, Juan Carlos.  Many of our members took the Apologetics class.  All those who took the class were very blessed to learn about the attributes of God.   

Apologetics Class 

Natalia started her women’s Bible classes and organized a baby shower for one of the ladies from our church.  My wife doesn’t disappoint when it comes to organizing parties.  Everyone one of the ladies had a really good time.  Some of the ladies were telling Natalia she should be a professional party planner.  I firmly agree!  

Baby Shower
Baby Shower

Sundays were as usual, after the service the entire church stayed for lunch and enjoyed a time of fellowship.  We all have been very blessed to serve with this amazing group of people.

While we were planning out our different activities that we do on a yearly basis, something not planned happened. What we have all come to know as the COVID-19 or the Coronavirus became a worldwide pandemic.  Peru had its first case on March 6th. As you know my wife is a doctor, so we talked about this subject for many days, and specifically how this would affect our ministry. After much praying and guidance, we both decided that our Bible studies and services should be done online.

Many of you might have known that our missionary friend Elaina, from San Francisco had planned to stay with us for three months. The plan was for Elaina to work three times a week with my wife at the Belen Orphanage, but the Lord changed all the plans.  

On Friday March 13th, my wife couldn’t sleep.  She felt that something drastic was going to happen.  Through the night she got up to pray and ask the Lord for direction.  That morning after asking a friend for prayer, this friend happened to have very viable information regarding the Lima airport.  The President of Peru announced the shutting down of the airports on March 15th, but the Lord allowed us to know one day before this happened through our friend.  Since we knew that the airports were going to be closed for a long time, and that we were going to be in quarantine, we decided that it would be best if Elaina went back home that same day. It is amazing how the Lord allowed us to have the right information just in time!

For us to know this information ahead of time, it even crossed our minds to go back home too.  My wife and I decided after praying, to stay here in Banos del Inca, serving the Lord using online technology.  

We also told the young couple living in our house, Anita and Jose, that because of these circumstances they should either go and live elsewhere or stay in quarantine with us.  They made the decision to stay with us.  

God has everything perfectly planned.  Jose is a professional video editor and now we are having to do everything through the virtual world.  He is also a great musician and helps with the translations of the services. I don’t know where we would be without Jose and Anita, they have been a tremendous blessing to our family.   Please keep them in your prayers. Anita is 20 weeks pregnant now!

Jose and Anita

Sunday March 15th, was our first Sunday service online. I think it turned out really well! We are having more than 200 people watching our service every Sunday! Natalia is also doing the women’s bible studies on Mondays. Hundreds of women are watching and learning about Jesus through the online teachings. We don’t know what the Lord is going to do through this time, but is great to see that a lot of people that were not coming to church for whatever reason, are watching us online now.  Natalia and I are very excited to see what the Lord is going to do even through this time of crisis.  

We have been in strict military quarantine for 30 days now and we don’t know how long this is going to last.  

Here is the most current situation in our country:

Airports and country borders are completely closed. No one is able to get in or out of the country. We are not allowed to leave the house after 5pm. The driving of cars is not permitted. We can only walk to get our groceries and that is only if needed. The only reason someone is allowed to leave the house is for buying groceries (if you are lucky to find them) or buying medicines. You can only go to work if you work in a hospital, supermarket or pharmacy. Military and policemen are patrolling the entire country.  They are even putting people in jail if they do not abide by these rules. The punishment can even be up to 3 years in jail. Children are not allowed under any circumstances to leave their homes. 

Here is what are we doing right now:

Facebook Women bible Study 

Natalia is encouraging the ladies from church daily through their WhatsApp group. She is also leading Zoom meetings for women’s discipleship class on Fridays and on Mondays teaching the women’s Bible study through the facebook live. Natalia continues homeschooling Alejandro through 7th grade and she just started Emily with Pre-K. Both of the kids are keeping her very busy!

John Preaching on Sunday

John keeps doing the Sunday service online and also doing a Thursday night bible study on the Facebook page. He is leading prayer meetings through zoom with the whole church twice a week. On a weekly basis John makes phone calls to the members, to keep in touch with them. We have also started cooking classes online.  Our goal is to keep our church encouraged and upbeat during this time of uncertainty.           

Prayer Requests:

  1.  Safety is definitely our number one concern.  We are worried that the longer this goes on stealing and physical harm might become an issue.  I know that we are in the Lord’s hands and He will protect us. 
  2. Natalia’s asthma has been getting worse this past month. Pray that her lungs get better and stronger. Breathing in this altitude doesn’t help either. 
  3. Food Provision. 
  4. Spiritual protection.  
  5. For Natalia’s Immigration paperwork. To be able to travel back to the US in time for her future interview. 

Exciting Things in Peru!

Dear Family and friends,

I would like to thank everyone on behalf of my family for all your love and support. It has been a wild and crazy past few years here in Peru! God is doing something very special here. I know that I haven’t written in the past few months but I would like to highlight some of the exciting things that have been going on. I am sorry it has been a very busy time for us. I haven’t had the opportunity to put a letter together.

All the ministries that we have been doing are the same but God has been blessing each one with more people. This is just the highlights of what has been going on for the past few months besides the regular ministries.

 

August: it was such a thrill to have my parents and younger siblings Rebekah and Noah here with us. It was great to be able to show them what usually happens on a weekly basis among our family here on the mission field.

We had a mission team here from Purpose Church Pomona serving with us for two weeks! They helped us in doing a VBS and we had around 60 kids learning about Jesus.  The group also ran a sports camp with around 50 kids and an English camp for all ages with around 60 people. It was a big blessing having Pastor Sham, Ana & Jim Powell, Ernie & Lori Perez, and Paula Lantz with us.  On the last night, we had a celebration with all the children and their families.

September: We had Dr. Ryan and his wife Carrie come and join us for the weekend. Dr. Ryan is the head doctor at the Osborne Head and Neck Institution in Los Angeles. They came to search out Cajamarca, as they will be doing their next medical mission here. It will be great to have Dr. Ryan with us in March of 2019, as they will be operating on over 100 patients. He will bring a team with 30 members for a 10 day trip. We ask for prayers as for the best way to reach out to the families and also the doctors that will be coming down and doing the medical work.

 

October: what an exciting month for our Church. We went on our very first mission trip to a small city on the coast of Peru called Pacasmayo. It was great to see the Church come together in unity and help a church establish there. The women from both of the churches also had a nice tea party and Natalia was invited to teach to the ladies. This was a great opportunity for our church to step up and lead. We had 95% of our church members participating in this mission trip! It was 42 of us from Refugio Community Church.  Here is some of what the team got to experience: cleaning the church before the inauguration, the tea party, baptisms at the ocean (2 people from each church got baptized) outreach at the boardwalk with our children’s ministry, two different dramas and a worship concert. Everyone had the opportunity to serve the Lord.

Women’s Retreat: The Ladies of our church had a wonderful weekend together as they celebrated in their annual ladies retreat. There were 26 women who showed up and enjoyed the nice weekend to encourage and to exhort one another. I want to brag on my wife for a second. I am so amazed by how gifted my wife is in the area of teaching. I heard great things about her teaching as she covered the whole book of Ephesians with the ladies. The theme of the retreat was butterflies. How we are new creatures in Christ, like the butterfly is new and a beautiful creation that comes from the gross, ugly caterpillar.

November: I know we just started this month but I wanted to share about our next big event.  With Thanksgiving coming up and it being my favorite of all the holidays, I wanted to make sure we celebrated here in Peru.  We will be having our first Thanksgiving meal together as a church. We already have people wanting to donate ingredients towards this special meal. What a blessing to see everyone working together.

We are very excited to announce that we will be coming home in December until the middle of January 2019. We look forward to seeing many of you! Keep an eye out in the church bulletin for a get-together with the Gundersons. At this luncheon, we will give you a larger debrief of all that has been going on this past year.

Blessings and Love to all,

John, Natalia, Alejandro and Emily

Prayer requests:
1. Health (physically and spiritually). Always one of the prayer requests. I can’t tell you how important prayer is for this.
2. Finish the year strong!
3. The upcoming year and all that will be going on. (Provision, prayer support, future of the Refugio church, the upcoming medical mission, the high-school team coming down for a short-term mission trip
4. Spiritual protection and wisdom to guide the church.

Called to Pastor

Dear Family and Friends,

We can’t thank you enough for all your love, prayer and support.  It has been an amazing privilege to be able to serve here in Banos Del Inca, Peru. God is doing some amazing things in this part of Northern, Peru. Here is the latest of what has been going on in the ministry fronts and our home life.

 

  • Belen Orphanage: A medical and dental team from Baltimore, Maryland came and worked alongside us. We were able to take this team to the Belen Girl’s Orphanage. This was an incredible opportunity for us to know the girls on a more personal level. Natalia broke into tears when she asked one of the girls about her life because of some of the issues she was having. At the age of 7 this young girl was sexually abused by her uncle and this happened for many years. She was able to finally escape from this family member and that is how she ended up at the orphanage. This is only one story of one of the young girls, hearing story after story you will find that many have gone through the same type of situation.

 

  • Women’s Ministry: The ladies have been studying the book of Esther for the past few months. It is very exciting to share with you all that one of the young ladies, who we see as a future leader for the Church, has started to help Natalia with some of the teaching. It is very rewarding to see those who are maturing in the Faith, step out in Faith and start to use their spiritual gifts that God has given to them.

 

  • Awana: Oh my goodness, we are thrilled with these kids! They are learning so much about Jesus, memorizing Bible verses. The best part is that these 20 kids are consistent and committed! These kids are so sweet they just melt our hearts! We couldn’t be more grateful for this Awana program in our Church. We have so much fun playing the games, singing the music and watching all the kids learning from the Bible!

 

  • Church news: This past month, I was officially named as the pastor of the church. It has been extremely challenging and we have had to deal with a lot of spiritual attacks. We are blessed though because it’s an honor and a privilege to be a witness of men and women coming to know Jesus Christ and have their lives transformed!

 

  • Worship: Natalia continues serving on the worship team. For the next 3 months she will be leading worship while our worship pastor is away in Germany, serving with refugees. Please keep her in your prayers for strength and wisdom in the area of worship.

 

  • Medical Mission Team: We worked along with a great group of ophthalmologists from John Hopkins. They performed 12 cataract surgeries. These operations took place in the local hospital and we were able to build good relationships with the doctors there. After having worked with the ophthalmologist from John Hopkins for a week the ophthalmology director of this hospital made a decision to follow Christ. There were 2 patients that particularly touched our hearts. One lady that loved Jesus, told us that she wants to be able to see so that she can read her Bible again. This brought tears to our eyes. It’s Interesting because she was one of the more difficult cases that the doctors had to handle. For a moment we thought she wasn’t going to be able to see at all! We were praying for her during the surgery and after it. The very next day her cornea wasn’t good, we thought she would need to go back to surgery to fix it, but we kept praying.  Then on the second day after her operation her eyes worked perfect! It was a miracle! Even the doctor started jumping and yelling, “it’s a miracle!” All of the patients that were being operated on were legally blind but now they can see! It was a privilege to be part of this team. They are even willing to come back next year and perform more operations.

  • Home Life:
    • Alejandro: Started regular school! This was an answer to prayer because he was very lonely and sad. We found a small Christian school that is only 10 minutes away from our house! He loves it and has already made some friends.
    • Emily: Is getting so big! She loves going to church with her favorite dress and loves giving sweet greetings to everybody that comes into the church! She is a future usher!
    • Natalia: Her liver is recovering slowly. It’s hard to have a special diet. She just recently got her permanent green card and had to travel on a short notice to the states to keep everything in line with her residency. I was so happy to have her back!

 

 

I am feeling more and more comfortable preaching. It’s very challenging but it has been a good challenge. I feel that the people are very responsive and are really starting to grow more in their faith.

God is Good!

March Newsletter

Dear Family and Friends,

We are glad to share in all the big news that has been happening here in Peru.

Belen ministry: We finally started the cooking classes in the orphanage. There are 20 girls from the ages of 15 to 17 who are taking this special cooking course. Everyone is so thrilled, even the kitchen volunteers want to participate in these classes!  Thanks to the City Hall the girls who finish 100 hours will receive a government certificate. This certificate will enable them to find a nice job when they turn 18 and they have to leave the orphanage. It’s amazing how the Lord works! 50 percent of the girls in the cooking classes are girls that didn’t want to attend  the Bible classes.  These Bible classes were being taught by Natalia and the ladies from the Church.  After we started these cooking classes for these young ladies, they are seeing the love that we have for Christ and for them.  Now they are more open to talk with us and trust in us more.

 

First Medical mission 2018! This was a very tiring few days but we were very blessed to have an amazing eye doctor from John Hopkins along with a few others from the states, working with us at the local hospital. The team came for only 3 days and checked on many of the local patients.  The doctor and his team have scheduled 30 of these patients for cataract surgery.  The surgeries will be taking place in June.  Our God has everything under control and He works everything according to His perfect plan. We saw many people coming to see the eye doctor and we were able to show the love of Jesus to them.  After the medical campaign was done, we invited the local hospital’s doctors and workers to pray with us. One of the local doctors opened his heart out and shared with us about a very personal problem involving someone in his family.  He was crying out and asking for prayers!  We are looking forward to seeing what the Lord is going to do in June!

Men’s bible study: We are excited to share that we had our first men’s retreat!  It was also the way we started our new men’s Bible study group. On Saturday’s from 6-8pm we have a nice time of fellowship with dinner and a study of the word.  Right now I am leading the guys through 1 John.  It’s great to see a group of 15 men growing in the Faith together.

 

Women’s breakfast and Bible study: This ministry is going very well.   Many of the women started coming only to the breakfast study but now they are also coming to the Sunday services. It’s exciting to see all these women coming to learn more about God’s will in their lives and falling in love with Jesus. We definitely are witnessing a change in each person’s life! This makes all the hard work worth it!

English classes: Every week we have new people coming to learn English, but the most exciting thing is that some of them end up coming to church to learn about God’s word!  The past 2 people that have started coming to the English classes are 2 refugees from Venezuela. We can see the pain in their eyes when they talk about the situation in Venezuela.  We were able to sing happy birthday to one of them in the last class.  Then we invited him to the men’s Bible study and he came.  Actually both of the guys are coming to the study and also to the church!

Memorial service: John was asked to do a memorial for a Canadian that died here in Peru.  His family wasn’t able to take his body back to Canada, so he was buried here in Cajamarca. We celebrated his life here with his Peruvian friends. They were really grateful. What we loved most about doing this memorial was that people who were around burying their loved ones were listening and paying attention to what we were sharing about Jesus and His love for us.

Sports club: We are currently playing baseball with the kids. They love learning this new sport! All of these kids are so precious.  They really love Jesus so much and we love them! For Easter, we had a little party here at the house with these kids and we did an egg hunt with them.  It was so much fun! We also taught that day about what Easter really means for us as Christians.

We continue serving at the local church.  I still continuing to preach on occasional Sundays.  Natalia is helping with the worship, and now our son Alejandro has started playing the piano for the worship time!  We are so proud of him!

Family updates:  Alejandro continues his music lessons and home schooling. He is really happy that he is getting to participate in the worship by playing the piano.  Please pray for his heart to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit and that he obeys with a happy heart.

Emily has started going to a daycare close to our house.  In time she will be able to stay on her own with the other kids and the three teachers but for now Natalia is staying with her.  We feel we don’t need to rush our little baby girl. We hope that in the future she will be able to stay there by herself.   That will give us a little extra free time in the mornings, YAY! Please pray for health especially that we are going through the flu season right now.

Natalia is having a rough time with her health, but nothing is going to stop her from serving Jesus!  She recently found out she has a fatty liver and has to be on a strict diet.  Please pray for health, self control and contentment.

John-guidance and wisdom.  To be a good leader for my family and the Church.  Please pray that all of my Immigration paperwork is done correctly and that I will be able to receive my residency card.

We appreciate your love, support and your prayers.

The Gundersons

Back In Banos Del Inca

Dear Friends and Family,

We are so excited to be back in Banos del Inca, Cajamarca. Having been here for the past several weeks it is very exciting to report that God is doing some amazing things here. I will try to keep this letter short but I want to share what God is doing in this part of Northern, Peru.

First let me give you an update on all the ministry fronts:

Belen Ministry: The girls were very happy to see us! We told them, that all of you are praying for them.
We will now have an additional cooking class that will be on Fridays from 9am-1pm. Participants will be given an official certificate from the government upon completion.

Women’s Bible Study: Natalia started the breakfast Bible study for the women three weeks ago. It takes place every Tuesday at 8:30am-10:30am. They start with a nice breakfast, buffet style and chatting with Christian music in the background. Then they start the Bible study part of it around 9:15. Right now they are going through the book of Esther. Lastly, the ladies close with a time of prayer.
I cannot believe how much of an impact this time of study has made on the women of our church! I also can’t get over the fact that 15 women are showing up on a regular basis. In fact we had a new lady that came last Tuesday and she committed her life to Christ! Manuela one of our ladies in the church invited this lady to come to a breakfast and she ended up crying and receiving the Lord at the end of the Bible study. I thought that was awesome!

English Classes: I am so thrilled that we have around 20 new faces in our English classes that take place on Mondays and Tuesdays. I have already seen 5 of the 20 new people get plugged into one of our other Church Ministries. This is why we created the English classes. I knew that this would be a great way for people to get plugged into our church.

Sports Ministry:
We have only had two Sports clubs take place but it’s great to see some of our older kids really growing and maturing in their faith. For the next few months I will be teaching the kids baseball and doing stories from the Old Testament for our bible time.

Awanas: We have finally been able to connect with Awanas International in Peru, and we will be starting an Awanas program in March,

Lord willing! There is a lot of work to be done beforehand but I know that a month and half of preparation will be sufficient time to get things done.

Medical Clinic: We are just so amazed by God! An ophthalmology team from John Hopkins has contacted us through a friend. There is a group of Christian doctors that want to bless the community of Cajamarca with free eye surgery. In the next 3 weeks the main doctor from the department of Ophthalmology at John Hopkins is coming with his wife to meet us. He will check on the future patients to be blessed with the surgery. The whole team will be coming in June of this year to take care of the patients. Natalia has a lot of work to do before the team comes. Please pray for open doors in the local hospitals and God’s guidance.

Family Update:
Alejandro has started his fifth grade year of homeschooling. Along with homeschooling we have found a place for Alejandro to advance in his musical talents. He is so happy to be taking piano lessons again!

Emily: We have found a very nice small daycare where Emily will be going for a few hours each morning. We really think that she will enjoy it because she is very energetic and loves to be around other kids.

Natalia and I have added two cute little bunnies to our family. They are really cuddly and the kids love to play with them. We are looking forward to starting our garden project.

Prayer requests:
1.For the members of our church, to continue growing in Faith and being more consistent in being a regular attendee at church and for us to be able to guide them according to God’s Word.
2.The new pastor of our Church, Adolfo. That he grows in wisdom and guides the Church according to God’s will. For him to be more prudent and learn to wait upon the Lord. Church Unity and strong relationships.
3.For us, we need prayer to have wisdom and God’s guidance in all the ministries that we are doing. We are very busy and we need to be wise in how we use our time.
4.For our family’s health and the kids to feel love.

Our Adventure Has Begun!

Dear Family and Friends,

I apologize that it has taken so long to write our newsletter.  We had a severe thunderstorm and lightning hit our towers, so it left us without internet for a while.  A couple weeks ago I wanted to send this letter out but we had a painful event take place in our family.  My wife had a miscarriage. She was 8 weeks pregnant but the baby had no heartbeat and was not forming properly.  This made us very sad but we have peace knowing that our baby is with Jesus.

2016-cajamarca-1141

 

These past weeks that we have been here we have had time to adjust to the altitude, worked on some ministry outings and are continually praying about the New Year as we plan to move out of the Bible College and into the city of Banos Del Inca. Our family is adjusting well to the altitude.  In this higher altitude you can easily lose your breath.  We need to constantly remind each other to put on sunscreen and drink water. The scenery up here at 9000 feet is beautiful, our God is very artistic!

 

 

  • Ministry Outreaches: We had the opportunity to travel to a small little town called Matara. Matara has a population of 3000 people.  We had the privilege to share our testimonies and even pass out 100 New Testaments in the only school in this area.  We are looking forward to coming back in the future.  Another opportunity that we had was at the Bible College.  With a few of the students from the Bible school we did a Dental checkup for the kids in the Llacanora Community.  One of our favorite outreaches was sharing at a juvenile hall for girls.  Here there are 50 girls from the ages of 6-17 years old.  The majority were involved in prostitution and also raped.  We worked alongside with a dentist offering them free dental care as an excuse to get into the institution.  All of these girls have had a tough life, so at first they were very suspicious, cold and even some were disrespectful in their reception towards us.  When we finished all of the program, after sharing, drama and music these girls broke down in tears and received Christ as their Savior, Amen!

One of my personal favorite ways to evangelize is when I am taking taxis to tpic-7-cajamarca-2016he city.  The trip usually takes 20-30 minutes and the driver can’t go anywhere so I always have the opportunity to share my faith.  In fact, I have become close with one of our drivers.  This was definitely a heavenly appointment.  For many reasons Roger and his wife are desperately seeking a new Church to attend.  They invited us to their house for coffee and bread.  It was a very blessed time with our new friends.  Both are involved in a children’s ministry in a very poor area close to the city.  Roger has invited me to share a small bible study for the parents.

 

 

  • 2016-cajamarca-1193Our Family: Little Emily is walking and climbing everywhere! It can make us extremely nervous! It is so funny to see her dancing every time she hears music. For some strange reason she loves country music! She has stopped nursing this week and her acid reflux is almost gone!  Each day it seems like she is learning a new word.  My favorite word that she says is “Daddy”!

 

 

Alejandro is having an amazing time here!  He has become a big helper, especially with laundry and doing the dishes! john-cel-982 His mornings are usually for homeschooling and in the afternoons we let him go and run around with all his friends.  Sometimes he thinks he is just another one of the students at the Bible College.  The students are very nice to him.  They play ping-pong and foosball together.

A couple of things that have made me excited about our time here is how much I have drawn closer to my son and how little time he spends on the video games.  It’s a simple life here.

My wife has had a difficult time adjusting to the mice and humongous spiders that make it into our house from time to time, but she loves being able to bless others with her medical skills.  Aside from this, it has been a huge blessing to work alongside with my wife!

We are learning that the Missionary life is full of challenges but we are also learning that all we need to do is depend on Him.  Please keep us in your prayers, especially for protection.  Since we have been here at the school, it has been robbed three times.  Due to these robberies, all of us guys have had to take on a night time watchman shift.

Time and time again God continues to show us His faithfulness!  We are blessed and honored to be the feet of those that go and bring the good news!  There is no better place to be than in Gods will.

Thank you for your prayers,pic-1-cajamarca-2016

John, Natalia, Alejandro and Emily