March 30, 2021 Prayer Letter
We are so thankful for your prayers and support. God continually answers your prayers and ours as He sustains us and provides for us. A tremendous example of that has been the church construction. Although materials and labor have risen dramatically here, as they have in the United States, God has continued to supply for the work to advance.
The cement structure and external walls were completed last month! Even before they were entirely done, we began to meet in the first floor of the new facility. Currently, we have four subcontractors at work: the roofing crew, the stucco crew, the electrical crew, and the door crew. We are so grateful for the offerings of God’s people, both here and abroad!
Note the flooding of our church yard.
We began to meet in the new building for the first time, despite the rains, because it is much larger than the old building, and the government required more social distancing at all events. We were able to meet those requirements by changing to two identical services on Sundays and asking people to only come to one service. That certainly was a first for me: encouraging folks to come to fewer services – haha! Our area of the country is once again under total lock-down on Sundays, so we have returned to virtual services for now. I always tell the people “this is not church, but we’ll do the best we can.” We were also thrilled to receive two new members last month. One of them was saved after leaving an apostate church, and the other was saved through a Bible study with his neighbor (who just happens to be one of our deacons.)
Last month, we held our first ever youth camp. We were given a beautiful five-acre property with a creek, so we built a galvanized metal pavilion right there in the jungle. Why metal, you might ask? Wood structures in the jungle often get eaten by termites if they aren’t consumed by the slash-and-burn farming techniques first. We believe that this structure should serve us well for many years. The camp was a definite success! We had some of our college and career class serve as staff, and together, we enjoyed ministering to the saved and unsaved teens who came to the three-day/two- night camp. We continue to follow up with the teen visitors who were there, and some are even doing Bible studies now!
The first college/career group is a great blessing as they run three Bible clubs every week. Many new kids have heard the Gospel as a result of these efforts. The college/career group also hosted our beautiful Valentine banquet this year, and we even had a few unsaved couples come to that.
We were excited to make an overnight tribal visit to one of the nearby Yine villages. It is always encouraging to travel with Segundo, go see the tribe, and preach the Word there. Our boys especially love these jungle excursions, and we rejoice to serve together.
Some saw photos of the tremendous flooding that happened in our town this year. Locals commented that they had never seen such high waters. We were saddened that many people lost most of their belongings, but rejoice to see some of our church members ministering to them.
Lord willing, we will be going on furlough in late July for about 5 months. You can imagine how nerve-wracking it is to leave your ministry, house, and work for five months to go halfway across the globe. However, furloughs are a great blessing, enhanced by the fact that God has directed James and Joyce Sechrest (BWM furlough replacement missionaries) to come fill in for us while we are gone (another first for us). We are so thankful for their desire to serve and years of experience that they bring. We’re also training our deacons and many other disciple-makers in the church so that the gospel ministry continues regardless.
Thank you for your prayers and support.