Thursday, August 4, 2016

Getting Settled and the Reforming Peru Fall Conference

We have been getting settled and enjoying the summer with our family since we have arrived at the end of June. Levi and his family drove up from California to spend the month of July with us, and Chase drove from Kansas to spend three weeks with us. 

Like always, time flies by and we have been busy. We love our church, Calvary Baptist, in Helena and we are so grateful that they gave us the church parsonage to live in. The transition has went amazingly well. We are so grateful to our kind and gracious God. 

The church in Cusco continues to thrive while both us and the Martinez family are in the States. Joe and family return to Cusco at the end of August to continue on with the church. 

I am excited to be going back to Peru on August 23rd to visit my dear brothers and sisters in our church in Cusco, as well as to participate in another Reforming Peru conference in the jungle. A group from our church in Helena, Calvary Baptist, will be joining our good friends at Mount Vernon Baptist church in Atlanta to teach the Ashaninka people about the local church and holiness. A group of Peruvian brothers are making a trip to the villages right now to gather up the Ashaninka people for the conference. We are expecting a large turn out this fall. 

Below is the schedule and prayer list. We really beg your prayers for this conference. 

Reforming Peru 2016 Fall Conference

August 29th Monday (Conference Begins)
Childcare       Joanna and Irene (Calvary)
Session 1       What is the Church? Nature of the Church (MVB)
Session 2       Holiness defined (2 Timothy 2:20-26) (Scott)
Session 3       What is the Church? Attributes of the Church (MVB)
Session 4       Questions and Answers (Everyone)

August 30th Tuesday
Childcare       Joanna and Irene (Calvary)
Session 1       What is the Church? Marks of the Church (MVB)
Session 2       Pursuing holiness (Hebrews 12:14) (Chad)
Session 3       Who is the Church? Membership of the Church (MVB)
Session 4       Questions and Answers (Everyone)

August 31st Wednesday
Childcare       Joanna and Irene (Calvary)
Session 1       Who is the Church? Leadership of the Church (MVB)
Session 2       Holiness in all our conduct (1 Peter 1:15-16) (Chad)
Session 3       What Does the Church Do? Mission of the Church MVB
Session 4       Questions and Answers (Everyone)

September 1st Thursday
Childcare       Joanna and Irene (Calvary)
Session 1       What Does the Church Do? The Unity and Love of the Church (MVB)
Session 2       Holiness and sexual purity (1 Thessalonians 4:1-8) (Mike)
Session 3       What Does the Church Do? The Discipline of the Church (MVB)
Session 4       Questions and Answers (Everyone)

September 2nd Friday
Childcare       Joanna and Irene (Calvary)
Session 1       Where is the Church Going? Hope of the Church (MVB)
Session 2       Holiness as a requirement for elders (Titus 1:8) (Mike)
Session 3       What is My Place in the Church? The Call to Love and Serve the Church (MVB)
Session 4       Questions and Answers (Everyone)

Prayer List
-       This trip requires extensive travel by plane and bus. Please pray for safety and that all luggage, books, and Bibles will arrive without problems.
-       Please pray that the Word of God would be made effectual in the hearts of the people.
-       Pray for God to remove distractions of the enemy that may prevent people from hearing.
-       Pray that God would bring all the Ashaninka and locals to the conference without obstacles.
-       Pray that all the teachers will be able to commune with God and prepare well spiritually each day.
-       Pray that we will preach the gospel clearly and boldly.
-       Pray that the teachings will be clear and understandable for the Ashaninka people.
-       Pray that God will be glorified.

The success of all real missionary effort is dependent on prayer.  Anti-missionary Churches are dead Churches, just as anti-missionary Christians are dead Christians.  The trophies won by our Lord in heathen lands will be won by praying missionaries, not by professional workers in foreign lands.  More especially will this success be won by saintly praying in the churches at home.
- E.M. Bounds

Monday, May 30, 2016

Reforming Peru, The Church, and The Work of God

The Three Pastors and Their Families
I must say that the conference in the jungle this past week was very good, but I am so glad to be back in our church in Cusco. God is really doing a great work here. We are seeing people saved, a tremendous amount of spiritual growth within the members, triple the people in our prayer meetings, and a full building each Sunday. We were maxed out this Sunday for space. Wehrner is really improving in his preaching and has just started a series on the book of Ruth. It is so great to see the Word of God being made effectual in the brothers and sisters here.

The Reforming Peru conference in Satipo went very well. There were four Ashaninka villages represented, as well as many leaders from churches in the area of Satipo. Scott Dollar taught 20 basic doctrines and Rob Aldridge from Calvary Baptist in Helena, MT taught on worship. I taught on Justification, Adoption, Sanctification, and Perseverance, as well as translated for Rob. Rebecca, Rob's wife, is a doctor. She did a mini medical campaign for two hours a day. Every person was seen and treated during the week.

It took 12 hours to arrive to Satipo by a questionable bus from Lima, and it was very hot. We taught from 9am to 5pm each day from Monday through Friday. Martin Manchego, our Peruvian friend from Lima preached on Sunday morning at Miguel's church, and did a lot of filming to make a promotional video for Reforming Peru. The video should be out in June. Our brother Walter Isse, who is a pastor in Lima, translated all week for Scott Dollar. I also brought along a brother from our church in Cusco.

At the end of every day we had a session of questions and answers for several hours. The people came up with some very interesting questions. Through these questions and answers we learn a lot about the heretical teachings of a variety of cults that occupy this part of the jungle. For example, we discovered some crazy end times teachings. The people had a lot of questions about the end times because there is a crazy group that is traveling all over the jungle from village to village teaching about the anti-christ. They have a video identifying the anit-christ as the United States government and the Peruvian government. Apparently they teach that if the villages accept help from the government then they are accepting the mark of the beast. Sadly, many villages are signing a document that says they refuse all help from the government. Scott Dollar taught for four hours on the end times, but they seemed to be slow to grasp it. We find that we need to constantly re-teach certain doctrines every conference.

Roric and Walter
We also had some funny questions. One Ashaninka man asked if they can all bathe naked together in the river. Later we found he was asking the question because he wanted permission look at naked women. One guy introduced his question like this: "I have a hard question that I cannot find an answer to. It is very controversial and difficult." He then went on in his introduction for some time. He finally asked the question, which was: "What is the first day of the week?"

Our friend Roric, who is a pastor in Pichinaki (about 45 minutes from Satipo), preached in the plaza on Wednesday night. He did very well. We all shared the gospel after. I shared the gospel with a man who was very affected by the preaching. He said he has never heard the gospel explained like we explained it. Another guy, a homeless man named Juan, was affected and came to the conference the rest of the week. He was taken care of medically, with meals, and a bus ticket back to Lima. He said that in all his time being homeless, not one person has ever helped him or gave him anything.