October Newsletter

Dear Family and Friends,

This month has flown by so fast! We have been working in the same ministries we shared about last month.

 Belen Girls Orphanage: with the help from the church and donations we were able to throw a party for the girls. It was a time to celebrate them and also that they all wanted to follow Jesus.

Natalia keeps discipline here at the house, and she is really excited because one of the young ladies decided to study theology at the Bible College. She started her first class this week.  We definitely see her as a future leader in the church.

I have been teaching a few Wednesdays and also preaching some Sundays.  Its funny, this wasn’t our plan, I never thought I was going to be preaching in a church.   I have to say I spend more time studying the Bible now, and it has been a blessing. Natalia says I am doing a good job and she also said that I surprised her, she had no idea I could preach! To be honest, I didn’t think I could do that either.

We are still teaching American football in the sports club.  English classes are going well.  We started a second day for classes.  We now have a basic level one class and basic level two class.

We traveled for a week to Lima to help out at an orphanage named Amparo. Many years ago before My wife Natalia came to the States, she used to work with this orphanage and assist them with their medical needs.  We have always kept in touch with them. The director of this orphanage is a good friend of ours. Unfortunately, many years ago they stopped having help from the Lima church.  They also stopped receiving donations that were coming through the church.  For the past 5 years our friend Mario and his wife Patty have been supporting the 12 kids they have at their home along with their own 2 children with his secular job.  This year he lost his job.  When we heard about the situation, it really touched our hearts and the Lord opened doors for us to go and help them.  With the help of our good missionary friend Nitro, who is a contractor and has been in the construction business for over 40 years, traveled with us to Lima to build a chicken coop for them. Right now the kids at the orphanage are only eating vegetables, rice and sometimes quinoa.

While in Lima, we stayed in the orphanage.  The orphanage is a very beautiful and peaceful place.  The kids are so sweet.  It broke my heart to see all the needs that they have.  While in Lima, we decided to make a donut party to help them with some money.  We sold donuts and coffee to some old friends of Natalia.  Not only did they  buy donuts and coffee, God put in their hearts to help even more.  They are right now planning an activity called “Pollada” which is basically a BBQ party to sell bbq chicken.  All the proceeds that they make will be going towards the orphanage. Please pray for this event and for these kids.

Our Family: this month we celebrated our little Emily’s 2nd birthday!  It’s so hard to believe that she is 2 years old now! She was only 8 months the fist time we came here to Cajamarca.  She is the sweetest little girl in the world!  She is a huge blessing in our lives. We are so grateful for her life.

Alejandro finished his school year, he did a great job!  We are so proud of our son!

Prayer Requests: 

Please pray for Alejandro, his health is not the best lately. A couple months ago he started complaining about feeling tired.  Then he didn’t want to eat as usual and he was getting more tired than normal.  A couple weeks ago we realized he has anemia.  Meat and fish are really expensive here so we mostly eat chicken.  It seems that it wasn’t enough for him.  He is growing very fast and needs better nutrition.  Natalia has started making Liver twice a week and making him vegetables shakes along with giving him proper vitamins. Please pray that he recovers fast. It’s sad to see a young 11 year old boy asking to go to bed at noon because he feels tired.

Pray for our trip home.  We are going to California at the end of November and staying for seven weeks. We would like to thank an anonymous person for a big donation that has allowed for  us to buy plane tickets. And also our parents that are allowing us to stay with them while we are in the states. God is always faithful!  One of the main reasons for why we will be going to the states is to work on immigration paperwork for Natalia and Alejandro. With all the changes in immigration rules they have to come back to the states every 6 months which can be very costly, so our plan is to ask for a special permit that will allow us to be out of the country for 2 years so we won’t need to go back as often. This is going to be a very important prayer request.

 

For our marriage. It’s so challenging to find time for us as a couple with all the work we are doing. We love each other so much but sometimes we just need time for just us, but around here there is not much for entertainment and good restaurants. My wife always says that the best food in Cajamarca is here in our home! Pray that I can be the husband that shows her Christ love.

 

Love,

 

John, Natalia, Alejandro & Emily

 


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September 2017

Dear Friends and Family,
We are so excited to share with you all the things that have been going on in Cajamarca. 1st we would like to share with you that 3 weeks ago all 49 of our young girls in our orphanage ministry (Belen orphanage is an orphanage for young ladies that have been in prostitution and sexually abused) have accepted the Lord. Praise the Lord! Since March Natalia has been in charge of visiting this orphanage with a group of ladies from church, on a consistent basis. Every visit that was made, two things always happened. 1. At the end of each visit the girls would always ask them if they were coming back? 2. Spiritual attacks and something always went wrong (tv not working, dvd not working, dvd player not playing, computer not working). This happened every visit! After all these months the girls finally trusted in them. It’s awesome to see God’s hand of work upon these girls who once ignored what they were sharing but now are excited each time to be with them and learn about Jesus. Now they welcome them with hugs and kisses, even calling them “mom”.
Here are some recent updates:
2. Natalia is discipline a small group of ladies in our home once a week.
3. I have recently been made an elder at the church and given opportunities to teach Bible studies on Wednesday nights and even teach an occasional Sunday.

4. We were able to bless one of our Belen girls with dental work. This 16 year old had an accident and lost her front teeth. With the help of a missionary team from San Francisco and the pastor’s family, we were able to cover her expenses.
5. We did our first clinical outreach with a Missionary group that was here to put a roof on a church up in the mountains . We saw 78 patients from 8months to 98 years old. This was a very successful trial run. It helped us to see what we will need for future medical outreaches.
6. Originally, we thought to continue working with the Bible school this new semester that started in August, however, God has changed those plans. Clearly we see God calling and leading us in a different direction. Now, 100 percent of our work will be focused in the city of Baños del Inca and Cajamarca.
7. Natalia along with the pastor’s wife are organizing the first women’s retreat of the church. It will take place September 29-30th. Natalia will be teaching how to be a godly mother. I have the privilege of cooking for their lunch.
8. We finally had a date, it was really needed! Thank you for your prayers.
Please keep the following in prayer:
1. Emily is still struggling with constipation.
2. Alejandro’s good friend is leaving us shortly with his family to start another church in Chile. Please pray that he can find another good godly friend.
3. Natalia-after the loss of our baby, she has been having hormonal issues. Sometime she feels down, body aches and lacks energy. Please pray for strength and peace.
4.John-prayer for wisdom and direction in how to guide my family. Since we are leaders in the church, prayer for wisdom and knowledge. Many come to us asking for advice and how to deal with their problems, especially issues in their marriages. This can be very stressing.

We love and appreciate your trust in us. Thank you for being a part of this team.

Love,

The Gundersons


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Gunderson Family Update July 2017

Dear Family and friends,

I apologize, we wrote this letter back in July but we never sent it out.  I know it has been quite some time since we last wrote a newsletter but I would like to catch you all up on how our missionary journey is going.  After we came back from the states we continued to serve at the Bible College.  During this time God strongly laid it on our hearts to start a sports club.  The Lord opened many doors for us to be able to start it.   First we started with soccer classes and now we are doing basketball.  Aside from teaching a sport we like to use this time to teach the kids a Bible lesson.  Many of the kids have received Jesus!

In March, we moved out from the Bible College in Llacanora and into the city of Banos del Inca.  For the past Four  Months we have been in this new location.  God moved us in His perfect time.  He has blessed us with a very nice house which we have been able to open up to many people.  Some of the activities that we have had in our house have included cooking for a missionary group, hosted missionaries, a barbeque swim party for our sports club, hosting a baptism and many gatherings after church. One of the big events that we have been able to be a part of since we have been here is in the planning and catering of a wedding.   The bride is a member of the church but the groom didn’t like or want to be a part of the church. This couple had been living together for the past 16 years without marriage.  Here it is so common for two people that love each other to live together. In fact by other people they are called husband and wife.  One reason for why they live together without marriage is because a wedding is so costly.  A couple of ladies in the church had been encouraging this young lady to get married because she was living in sin.  My wife came along and insisted that they get married!  Finally Carmen and Cesar went through with their wedding and the two became one.   When Cesar  saw all the things we did for his wedding and the love of Jesus being shown, his heart changed toward the church.  Now he is coming to the Church.  I pray that he will soon come to know Jesus as his Savior.   Another way that God has used this wedding, is now a few other members of the church who are living together without benefit of marriage are praying and wanting to get married.

In the city of Banos del Inca we have had the pleasure of being a part of La Iglesia Refugio (The Church of Refuge).   During our time that we have been a part of this church, we have started an English class two days a week. On Mondays we do Lectures and on Friday we do a conversation club.  God has blessed this class!  We now have over 40 people coming to the class and some are even becoming a part of the church.  On Fridays we visit a couple of different orphanages.  Wednesdays we have our midweek Bible Class.  Some of the classes I will be leading.  Sundays we help with translation because the services are in Spanish and English.  My wife also helps out with the worship.

The Family:  Emily is now 20 months old!  Time is going too fast!  She has quite the vocabulary and even understands both English and Spanish.  One of her favorite things to do is climb!  Alejandro is working extremely hard on his homeschool.  We are very blessed to find another homeschooling American family with a boy that is the same age as Alejandro and two sisters.  He has found a best friend here.  Every Friday we have a small homeschool co-op.

Prayer Requests:  1. Health for the family, especially the kids.  This time of year it can get so chilly at night.  Many kids get really sick during this time of the year.

2.  Emily has been having constipation issues.  Please pray that her stomach will work properly.

3. Provision:  There are many needs here but we need to be wise in how we administrate our support that we receive.

4. Protection:  Spiritually and Physically. We are constantly under Spiritual attacks in many ways.

5. Our marriage: We are looking forward to having a date soon.  I can’t tell you how long it has been since my wife and I have had a date just the two of us.

 

Love John, Natalia, Alejandro and Baby Emily


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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!  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.john-cel-982

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


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We Are Going to Peru!

Dear Family and Friends,

We are excited to share with you the call that the Lord has laid on our hearts to go and serve Him in Peru! For some time now the Lord has been leading us to answer the call to serve Him at the Calvary Chapel Bible College in Cajamarca, Peru.

Many of you might know that I studied as a chef in the Le Cordon Bleu program in California and graduated from the Bible College in Peru. During my two years of study at the Bible school I met Natalia. Natalia used to work as a pediatrician in Peru and was also involved with children’s ministry at church. Before we got married we believed that God had a place for us to serve him using our unique personal skills. Since we have been married, we have been praying for God to show us where he wants us to serve.

Right now we are home schooling our 9 year old boy Alejandro and will continue do so on the mission field. He loves to be challenged and enjoys the company of other people. Our son is very chatty, smart and energetic. One thing is for sure about our boy, he loves Jesus with all his heart! Emily our little baby girl is now 7 months old. Praise the Lord, she is overcoming her acid reflux! This is something she has been fighting with since birth. She smiles and giggles all the time, and just recently started crawling!

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Our ministry in Peru is going to be in different areas. During the week I will be in charge of the kitchen at the Bible College. My wife will be taking care of our kids and provide medical assistance to our surrounding community. We want this to be a way that we reach out to people and see them come to Christ. On Saturdays, we are going to work as a family creating a sports club for the kids. The sports club will include teaching different sports, giving small bible studies and provide the kids with a healthy snack. Another way we will reach out to the community is by giving free English classes.

1d2b57bc-e6e5-4f5f-852a-35fa8983c19aOn Sundays, we are going to attend the local church and serve in any area where there is a need (worship, translating, Sunday school and ushering). While we were in Peru visiting this month God gave us a little glimpse of what He has in store for us! During our time at the Bible College, we had the opportunity to cook for the graduation dinner. While in Lima, Natalia was invited to give a bible study for the girls youth group and I was in charge of providing the food. We also had the privilege to be used by God to help one of our good friends who was falling out of the Faith, come back to Jesus! There was an opportunity to meet up with one of Natalia’s childhood friends, who is not a Christian and pray over her baby as she was scheduled for a C-section. As we sat down and began to write down this letter she wrote us a text. Her text read, “The Lord is amazing and she is so grateful for all the blessings she has from Him.”

We look forward to writing our next newsletter from Cajamarca, Peru!  May God continue to bless you and your families.

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Blessings,
John, Natalia, Alejandro and Emily


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