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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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
- 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