Here is an email exchange I had yesterday, as I prepared for my last day in Haunuco, Peru. It is a little raw, but I wanted to share it to let you know that your prayers are important. In them, the Holy Spirit energizes us and reminds us that we are not running this race alone. We are in it together.
From Someone Praying:
My heart is heavy for you guys this morning. My prayers are Jeremiah 17:7-8 “Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD And whose trust is the LORD. “For he will be like a tree planted by the water, That extends its roots by a stream And will not fear when the heat comes; But its leaves will be green, And it will not be anxious in a year of drought Nor cease to yield fruit.”
The Lord bless you and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;
The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.
I’m praying the Lord will give you new visions and that your heart will be led by His.
Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,
Nor have entered into the heart of man
The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.
Please let me know if there is anyway that Lakeshore Church Missions can pray, or of any specific needs you may have.
May you have a beautiful day!
Thank you so much, Jen, for your constant and very meaningful prayers for us. I have been in the Peruvian Andes, 10 hours from Lima by bus. It is the most culturally isolated and challenging assignment I have done in a long time. I’ve been here already more than two weeks, and have yet to meet one single tourist or an American in this major mountainous city.
The people here are dirt poor. It is very arid, so no grass, and thus, no agriculture in the area. Most of the people earn a living selling junk to each other. Our pastors are often persecuted, and are very afflicted emotionally and spiritually.
I came here without my Monita (my wife). She is an expert in the educational processes for working in third world indigenous cultures. She had to stay back and from home, run our offices and try to help us with the academic and administrative flow of the work load here in this month-long, post-graduate, advanced ministerial leadership seminar with 29 indigenous leaders. Her dad’s wife fell and broke her hip (again, because she broke it three years ago as well). So I’ve been slugging it out alone these weeks. There is no one here that speaks English, so it’s been total immersion.
My heart is so broken today for our people. We had about 200 last night in the closing ceremony for the month. A real celebration, but the people come so humble, and culturally so awkward. Many of them speak Spanish as a second language, and it’s hard for them to relate to me as North American. Talk about ministering with unreached people groups…Whew! While I speak Spanish fluently, it’s hard to connect what is cultural, what is linguistic, what is shame, and what is plain crushed hopes and dreams. These people need everything. No matter what we can teach them, model for them, mentor into them, they receive it often with tears of gratitude.
And so, that’s kind of a long description of what’s been going on here. I have lost 10 pounds since coming here. The altitude is an appetite killer. There are heavy winds that whip up dust everywhere that is just chocking. I can’t imagine how many have athsma and lung problems. And there’s constant background noise starting at 3 AM with dogs barking, then cocks crowing, trucks and transports roaring up the mountain road alongside our rented facility, and a mountain river that emits a constant rushing sound as it rages past the back of this property 24 hours a day.
In all honesty, I feel exhausted this morning, and do ask your forgiveness for being so blunt. But I guess it’s just the truth. So, yes, I do need your prayers.
And so, here are a few other things. Please pray as I leave here to go back to Lima this afternoon. I have two services to preach in a great church tomorrow. Meanwhile, please pray for my wife, Mona (Monita) as she helps my father-in-law get his wife into a good rhythm at the rehabilitation center back in Miami.
Please pray for me to regain some strength before I have to head to Cuba and a 8 city marathon preaching, teaching, meeting pastors for projects we are coordinating all across the island. Monita is not going with me because the transportation situation throughout Cuba is so brutal, and it just doesn’t work trying to haul everything for two people.
Please pray for the several of our little churches in the U.S. who galliently continue to support us when things have been so hard for them. There are several such churches who once in awhile miss sending their monthly commitment, then the Lord provides, and they make it up. I’m shocked they don’t just kick us off, but they have helped us, they’ve been faithful. If you could see who we are helping down here (I’ve put out over two hundreds dollars in the past 24 hours helping some of our poorest pastors and their families get bus tickets to go home as much as 16, 19, and 24 hours away!). Our faithful little churches back in the States need our prayers to keep pressing ahead and see victory as they faithfully give to missions.
And pray for my daughter, Kristi. She is three months along with her third child, but has had several abdominal problems. She’s a pastor’s wife, a well known worship leader, a writer for Leadership Magazine, but she is being dramatically affected by this intestinal crisis that put her in the emergency room last night. Her daddy feels so helpless thousands of miles away, so we just reach out and pray. We leave with it in the Hands of Jesus. Your prayers really matter today.
Jen, I need to quit. I have such a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes. Gotta snap outta this and live the dream for Jesus.
Please thank the most precious people at Lakeshore for giving us the privilege of being on their team of missionaries. We love you for it.
Haunuco, Peru (headed to Lima)
P.S. I’ve attached a photo from last’s nights big celebration concluding a month of Advanced Ministerial Studies in Huanuco. I’m pictured here with one of our three top national executives who came from Lima for the service. He’s a graduate of our program.