A little less than six months to go requires a ministry update for you little readers so here we go.
Our districts are not connected nor within walking distance, but a good thing about them is that if we need a backup plan we can have one for this reason: In order to get to the center from Jayllihuaya or Rinconada, you must go through Salcedo. So if we were to combine anything, we could make a Salcedo a super church (of 12 people lol.) There is only one family that we continue to visit and disciple in Jayllihuaya (we stopped making contacts a while back to focus on Rinconada and Salcedo.) That family can and has come to Salcedo because the bus passes almost right by the church.
If we don’t start seeing some progress in Rinconada, we may end up doing the same for that place, although it would be of last resort. Our hopes are that both churches are able to thrive, but there’s also the necessity to realistic. Once that church in Rinconada was the focus point and pride of our work with many people coming, lots of help, and a lot of promise for a strong church. Then the roller coaster went down. We started out really, really high but now we’ve gone to the valley and we’re seeing poco progress and little promise (which is like opposite of Salcedo.)
Pues, like I said in my last blog that Salcedo is growing. This is truth. Salcedo started out May 22 of last year and nobody came for literally 3 or 4 months, or at least nobody that we knew. I remember how discouraging that was, Sunday after Sunday. Looking back on it I see how much of a depressed state I was in, and how it really was the most suffering that I’ve gone through here in Peru. It gets to you, affects your attitude, makes you want to kill kittens (not really, but really.) I remember saying one Sunday to myself on an empty bench that I was just there in church to worship and serve my God, whether or not anyone was there. And I did, and have since.
Then one day a youth group from Arequipa came and invited about 50 people from the neighborhood, and 1 person came. He, Juan, still comes today, very awkward at first because it would be just us and him. Then finally a lady came that we were discipling. Then the owners of the house where we rent. Then the owners friends. Then friends of one of the ladies we disciple. Then the people from Jayllihuaya. Then who? Who knows, but we have their names written down praying and fasting that these people will be firm in the church, the objective being that they serve God.
I would like you to please pray for my compañero Geremías. He has a decision to make, whether to stay or go. He has said that he will do whatever the leaders tell him to do, whether stay or go. But, I would like the will of God to be done. In our feeble minds, it is best that he stays, but maybe God has something bigger. Please just pray for discernment on our and his part that he would be guided to the right choice, not the just most obvious one or the one that is most beneficial for him but for all.
I have been struggling with the thought of evangelizing to people and in order to escape from doing what we’re called to do, I invite them to church or ask if they want to study the Bible. Normally the hope being that we can meet again, and then at that point after studying a lesson in the Bible we can offer them salvation. I understand that in the States this would be a large step, but I don’t agree with it. We are to offer salvation, because this person could be lost tomorrow. We had done this in the past, but then found it easier to escape by inviting them to church or open a Bible. It just weighed down on me too much.
We met the lady above, Brigida (Bridget, for you English speakers), while she was visiting one of the ladies that we disciple. We conversed, said what we were doing here, then invited her to church and she said that she would be there (before continuing on, everyone says that they will come to church and then 1 in 1000000000000000000 actually do come.) Job done? Well that may satisfy you, to invite one of your friends to church, but God has been working in my heart. I thought that she has a soul, that could be eternally damned if I do not act now. We were about to leave, but I awkwardly started the conversation again. I gave her machete (as they say here, in other words very strongly), and then she told me she had seen this coming in a dream 8 YEARS ago. She wanted to give her life to Christ, and we prayed with her.
Her daughter told us that she came home and wanted her to meet these 2 young people that “made her feel happy all the time.” We disciple Brigida, her 22 year old daughter Carmen, her 28ish year old son Edwin, her 15 year old son Juan, and their cousin Wagner.
I firmly believe that what we reap is what we sow and in this case it’s obvious. These people needed a reason, a thirst, to come to church and we gave it to them in that instant which is what this mission is all about which is Jesus Christ.
Well that’s all, you’ve been updated. Until next time, keep up the good work and check out this song.