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
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.