Thursday, June 7, 2012

Day 28

Well, I knew we would start to adjust to this place just as soon as it was time to leave. Week 3 was the toughest, and now that we're coming to the end of week 4, we're finally getting use to everything. I had a hunch that would happen. lol.

Sindy spent over six hours with her disciples today treating them to coffee, lunch and shopping. It was a great time to bond for them. These girls are very humble, and they were excited to see Sindy put her love into action. Who wouldn't enjoy a few gifts and a free lunch? Something like this could be considered standard procedure in America, but is just not possible on the salaries people make down here. So, it was a big deal to them. Two of the girls are already telling Sindy that they're considering attending the seminary after high school!

We visited Lighthouse baptist church again tonight, and I'm overwhelmed at the love they have for us. I really feel like the love would be the same even if our church hadn't sent the money to help with the new building. As a member of OHBC, it's true that we are more blessed to give them the gift, than they are to recieve it. Lighthouse is a welcoming church with lots of love, and the Word is taught passionately there. Juan bought us up on stage again, and had us tell everyone the things God is doing with us, and they presented us with gifts of gratitude for partnering with them on the church building. It is very refreshing to see how another body of believers worship. Tonight was filled with lots of prayer sandwiched in between a great message. I thought it was unique how pastor Juan called on specific members to pray for a specific missionary they support. We are grateful for the opportunity God gave OHBC to help build their church, and I can clearly see that there will be tons of heavenly treasures because of our investment.

Check out this link for those interested in seeing photos of the church:
This is from Chris Gardner's blog. He pastored Lighthouse for years, discipled and trained Juan, and turned it over to him, I guess 6-7 years ago.

Lastly, I failed to mention something cool on Tuesday. Sindy and I attended the weekly service here at the seminary, and it was one of those situations where it felt like the message was prepared just for us. The speaker spoke in great length about the cost of being a missionary (an appropriate topic for seminary students, right), and was teaching out of Acts. He said don't be surprised if your house gets broke into (that actually happened to us last Thursday), then he said you should expect some friends to speak evil against you (that also happened last week, and unfortunately appears to be ongoing). Sindy asked me several times if I spoke with the pastor to help him prepare the message, and I reminded her that I had never met the guy. I love how God speaks to us exactly what we need to hear.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Day 27

The visit to Lighthouse Baptist Church was really good. Everyone was very nice and welcoming. Even before people knew we were from OHBC, everyone went out of their way to make sure we were welcomed. After we were introduced people continued to show their gratitude. A gentleman they are sending out to plant a church in Tacna spoke for a few minutes, then Juan delivered a great message. I was surprised at the end of service as Juan called me on stage to say a word, and dismiss in prayer (with Sindy translating). I was sure to let them know that, on behalf of OHBC, we are privileged to partner with a church that is doing great things. The church invited us back for their Thursday service because they have some gifts for the church they would like to send back with us.

Monday was another pastor's conference, and another opportunity to make more contacts. I'm invited to share my testimony at a youth meeting at Omega this Saturday. Some of Sindy's disciples will be in attendance, and I'm pumped about sharing my personal story in Christ. A gentleman named Luis Alberto is the youth leader, and is planning to plant a church in Paraguay. Sindy and I are hoping to meet with him to hear about the plans God has in store for him. He's a great guy, and it may be another opportunity for us to support him.

Sindy is doing a great job building a relationship with her disciples. We're praying that she'll still have influence over them even after we're gone. They have great Bible studies, and today even concluded with one of the girls' mom getting saved. Tomorrow she'll treat the three of them to a ladies day out. I'm encouraged about all the evangelism Sindy has done. Her taxi driver received salvation today too. He asked her about some material he received from some Jehovah's Witness, and told her he didn't think it was truth. Sindy proceeded to tell him the real TRUTH, and he was thrilled to accept Jesus as his saviour. He even mentioned that he would like to take his family to church! Also, we've met with a couple in the park four different times. They sell handmade jewelery, so, they're always there. They are very friendly, and have informed us that they are atheist. However, they said many great things about our testimony. Even asked us to pray for them! They've had many religious people be rude to them when they tell that they are atheist. They are intrigued to listen to us talk about the Bible, and our relationship with Christ. We purchased a Spanish copy of the book "The Case for Christ," by Lee Stobel, and gave it to them as a gift. They are very gracious and told us they like to read books. So, please pray for Fernando and Paula. We're going to try to see them one more time before we leave, and we've got their email. I'll try to line up some of the Omega members to follow up with them.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Day 22

Thursday was one of those days where a lot of things seem to go wrong, and you wish the day would end sooner rather than later. Sindy had a near-miss incident with a taxi driver. Her disciple lives towards the outskirts of town, and when Sindy instructed the driver to turn, he went the other way. He failed to fulfill Sindy's request to turn around. He said he knew another way, and things weren't looking good. Thankfully, Sindy talked the driver into asking a person on the street for directions, and as soon as he stopped Sindy got out, paid him the money, and took a bus back home.

Later in the evening we learned our home had been broke into. Only an old laptop was taken, and we learned today the thieves have been apprehended. Just an overall challenging day.

The good news is we had many supporters encourage us to press on. We had the fellowship of the church that was encouraging (Omega has their midweek meeting on Thursday night). Yesterday we went back to the park for more evangelism, and had a handful of great conversations, including another salvation!

Tomorrow night we'll be visiting Faro (Spanish for lighthouse) Baptist Church. This is Juan Pacheco's church. My home church, OHBC, took on a special project to help them expand their building. The church has experienced healthy growth under Juan's leadership, and we're anxious to taste the ministry in which we've invested in! At the end of the month a group from my church will be visiting as well. Here's a photo of Juan and I.

This week a group from LaGrange, GA has been here working to build wheel chair ramps around town. I've enjoyed chatting with those guys as they come and go. They're flying back home today.