My plan this month was to write a short summary of several newsy things going on. If you were here (or I was there), I would suggest we go have coffee and catch up. Little did I know that I would end up writing this article from my hospital room! So I will begin with me...
He is here!
Greg and I are proud to announce that Cohen Timothy made his debut 2 1/2 weeks early. The combination of a high-risk delivery, my water breaking with no contractions, and risk of infection led to an emergency c-section on April 19. He is a healthy 8 lb. 5 oz. baby. Though my recovery will be harder because of the surgery, we are so thankful for a healthy baby boy. Thanks to any of you that prayed for our son.
How is the team?
I am so proud of my teammates and the work they are doing. If you keep up with ICDU’s website you know that Kyle has been hard at work on our interest-free loan program. The people here are so grateful for an opportunity like this in their businesses, and I am so proud of the many contacts Kyle has made. It is also neat to see God working through this program as many are interested in what we are doing here.
Larissa is growing more and more as she adds more evangelistic studies to her plate. She has 3 studies weekly right now. One of those studies is with a church member’s wife. Larissa has a gift of organization and helping to keep the team’s ducks in a row. She has also done a lot with organizing the info. and details of our upcoming interns’ summer.
It is hard to believe that Rachel has less than a year left with us. She is an incredible blessing to the team as she fulfills the role of children’s minister. She works with the kids at Naranjal, the libraries, and our little group of house church kids. I love that my daughter gets excited about Bible class. As a momma of 3 now, I greatly appreciate having someone on the team here to help with that ministry. Rachel just recently enjoyed a visit from one of her closest friends, Mary. We prayed that she would be reenergized and blessed by that visit. We all know how hard it is to be so far from home, family, and friends.
Greg has been teaching a series at house church on evangelism. More than anything, we want disciples making disciples here in Arequipa. The discussions have been good, and I am very proud of the work that he has put into these studies.
I am doing well, but I feel like I have had to slow down on many opportunities. Being the momma in my family is my main priority for now, and I think Cohen will be taking up a lot of my time. I have enjoyed the library work, but I am really excited about our interns coming this summer. They will be a tremendous help with the libraries.
This Sunday (Easter Sunday) we will have a special celebration picnic at a park. It will mark the last time for us to meet as a large group every Sunday. We have reached a number large enough to multiply! This is really exciting. My family will be meeting with a group in Porvenir (where our large library is located and where Abraham has a lot of influence). The Smiths will be meeting on the other side of town with many of the members that live closer to that area. We plan to structure a celebration Sunday each month where our two groups combine somewhere.
It will be exciting to see how the dynamics change, but more importantly, how leadership among the Peruvians emerges, since the missionaries will be split up. We have prayed for years that we could plant a house church movement here in Arequipa. Well... it seems to be moving, and that is so exciting. Please pray for this time of transition and the leaders of the Arequipa church.
Arequipa. Peru is in a time of electing a new president. The candidates were narrowed down to two front-runners, and the final vote will take place the first of June. This is a big deal for Peru. Not only is the person president for 5 years, but the Peruvians have expressed a sense of fear with either candidate and how they will change the country. Please pray for the future leadership of this country. I am not sure how it could affect our work, but some change is likely to happen with either candidate winning.
We have some really exciting things coming up. I am glad in a way that Cohen came early because I will be better prepared to participate in some of the(m). In May, my mom is coming to help out with the baby, but also Ken and Suzanne Smith (Ken is one of the elders at Cedar Lane) are coming for a visit.We are always excited to have people from our supporting churches come to see the work first hand.We can’t wait to see you Ken and Suzanne!
The first of June marks our second annual Peruvian Missions Summit. There are currently three teams here in Peru (our team, Lima, and Cuzco). We are all about the same age and came to do this work around the same time. It is a wonderful opportunity to gather with fellow missionaries and share what God is doing in Peru. This year, we are hosting the retreat. Gary Green (one of the Lima team mentors) and our very own Bill Richardson will be our guest speakers for the weekend. This retreat also serves as an exciting time for our children. They don’t have VBS or church camp, but it is our hope that they will look forward to this retreat as something like those events. There are lots of kids among the three teams so it is neat to see them all get together. We are blessed this year with a group from Texas A & M that is coming to work just with our children.
After the retreat, Bill and Holly Richardson will join us in Arequipa for a little over a week. We have invited Bill to do a mini-conference with our church on the study of worship. We love any time we get to spend with our team mentors, and we especially love to share that relationship with the Peruvians here. There in the states are all kinds of extra workshops and guest speakers, but here it is a special treat to have someone like Bill in to speak to the church body.
June 8 our interns arrive. I emailed the education faculty at Harding last year about our internship and how I thought it would be an awesome opportunity for education/Spanish majors. Disappointingly I never received a response. Well, guess what God did? He is sending us three interns from Harding that are education/Spanish majors! Isn’t that awesome. We also look forward to having a girl intern from ACU. There will be four girls in all. Cohen is added, but the guys are still definitely outnumbered.
I think my coffee is cold now.