Stretched with Joy

Hey everyone! Welcome to the March newsletter sent from Trujillo, Peru! 

The semester has started and the institute is full of students taking notes and learning from the Word of God here at Calvary Bible Institute Peru.

Close to 50 students for the Genesis class.

Some of the students have sacrificed a lot, such as sleep and 45-minute bus rides in order to study all 50 chapters of Genesis. I am tremendously blessed to be able to serve them, and one of the ways is by preparing food with other interns in the kitchen. It has been a season of joy. This has been one of my main takeaways through my devotion time in the book of John. As we receive God’s Word, the work of joy naturally comes out. John 15:11 Jesus tells his disciples “These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.” I have noticed in myself calmness and even smiling despite the business and the amount of workload. Despite being challenged and stretched more than ever, God has faithfully guided me in His grace. It’s part of being prepared to be a pastor.

Something that has become more and more certain is that I cannot see myself doing anything else in life that is apart from preaching and teaching the Word of God. It brings out a passion in me, and I know it is one of the best things I can give to others. The Word of God has completely transformed my life, and I have seen it have that same effect here in Trujillo. I am very thankful to be able to teach throughout 2nd Samuel in the mid-week services at Calvary Trujillo.

From April 3-9 we are Moyobamba bound! This semester I’m leading a group of 15 back to the jungle city. One of our objectives in this trip is to serve and connect with the people that we already know in the city. Some of these people we are going to meet up with in Moyobamba may eventually be some of the first attendees of Calvary Moyobamba.

This trip, we are also planning on going into the jungle and serving Pastor Alfredo’s church in San Rafael. This is the community we’ve worked with before. We are also excited to meet with people in Moyobamba and try to start a weekly prayer group through zoom.

Currently, we are fundraising by selling lunch to the church on Sunday, as well as making marcianos (like popsicles) to sell to people in public places.

Here we are cutting the strawberries and washing the dishes in preparation to make marcianos.

Praise reports

  1. With the help of Pastor Cory, I have been able to grow in teaching the Word of God.
  2. The team that is going to Moyobamba in April for a week has been diligent with fundraising and prayer. They have wonderful attitudes and are working hard.
  3. God has given me lots of joy and grace in the midst of business.

Prayer requests 

  1. That I would be continually trusting and resting in God.
  2. For growth in leadership
  3. Partnership from others to want to join in this work of God: both prayerfully and financially.

18 Hours Closer to the Next Destination

Greetings friends and family!

It’s a blessing to be able to connect with you all again and share a report from these last few months! Since my last update, I have joined Saving Grace World Missions as a missionary. My updates will be sent out on a monthly basis. I am thankful that you take the time to read these updates and your prayers for the requests at the end of this letter are very much appreciated. This is an aspect of missions that I am learning the importance of. Missionaries need people involved in their lives that are outside of their mission field. Your encouragement, prayers and friendship minister to me and remind me that I am not alone and spur me to continue forth.

To quickly catch up with those of you who are new, I have been in Trujillo, Peru, for 3.5 years. In my time here, there have been a lot of transitions. What started as a desire to start an English club, turned into serving at Calvary Chapel Trujillo with Pastor Cory Kilgus, leading me to become a student at Calvary Chapel Bible Institute Peru, where I received a calling to be a Pastor and was sent on mission trips to the jungle. Now I am leading a team to plant a church in that same jungle in Moyobamba, Peru.

Lots of curves and mountain passes to endeavor through to get to Moyobamba by bus. Can you spot Moyobamba and Trujillo? (They have yellow circles with a star).

Moyobamba is a city about 18 hours by bus from Trujiilo. There are approximately 60,000 people that live there, with coffee plants, chocolate plants, and banana trees right outside the city. I will lead a team out there at the end of September to plant a Bible teaching church (which are either few or none). Our heart is to share the true gospel with all. We will be sent out by Pastor Cory, other Calvary Chapel pastors, and Calvary Chapel Trujillo.

Nathaniel, Paul, Pastor Alfredo and I in the main square of Moyobamba.

Pastor Alfredo is a jungle pastor 2 hours from Moyobamba and has connections to many communities who want to know more about God from the Bible. We have given them Bibles and plan to visit them in June.

This December I was able to return to Colorado and spend the holidays with my family. I met my 2-month- old nephew for the first time. I got him to half-smile at me, which brought lots of joy to my heart. My time in the U.S. was also used to meet up with other Pastors and churches to build friendships and share about the Moyobamba church plant. It was an edifying time, and several young adults said they were stirred up and were considering missions in their life. Pastor Chris from Calvay Chapel Tooele in Utah encouraged me with his testimony about how the gospel has reached hundreds of people in a predominantly Mormon area where he has lived for ten years. May the Lord do that same work in the Peruvian jungle, where there are lots of legalism, rules, and religion and little knowledge on who Jesus actually is.

In Colorado Springs with my friends Frank and Suzy eating a good old American Hamburger! (No offense Peru).

One thing that has helped to solidify my calling was when a Christian man whom I respect in many ways challenged me and advised me not to do a church plant any time soon. I appreciated his good intentions and bluntness, and I left our meeting re-examining what I thought God made very clear. After scripture reading and lots of specific prayer, I am convinced that even though I am young (29 years old) don’t yet have a super team of elders, and even though I don’t know much Hebrew and Greek, God did indeed call me to plant here and has given me lots of evidence pointing to that. Primarily through Joshua 3, where Joshua and the Israelites crossed the Jordan river and entered the Promise Land. When I was praying in Moyobamba, the Lord brought me to that verse and it felt like He said this verse is for the city of Moyobamba and what He’s calling me to do. 

I am excited to be back as an intern at the Calvary Bible Institute campus in Trujillo. In the next few months I will be teaching the book of Proverbs at the Institute, as well as teaching in some of the mid week church services, leading a Bible study, gardening, and other ministry duties. I am continuing to grow in my calling by taking that Church Planting class through Calvary Trujillo.

Evangelizing and handing out invitations with the Calvary Bible Institute students.

Praise reports

  • That I had quality time with many people in Colorado
  • I am now with my brothers and sisters in Christ again in Peru
  • There are many people in Trujillo and Moyobamba that desire to know more about Jesus and His Word

Prayer requests

  • Wisdom and provisions in building a team to be sent out with me in September to Moyobamba
  • Diligence in preparation for the Proverbs class I will be teaching in March at the Bible Institute in Trujillo, Peru
  • Financial partnership